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Full text of "Annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution"

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Ix'ttcr of transmit till XXI 

Intniductidii xxill 

Puhlication xxiv 

Fielil wiirk xxx'l 

Mound explorations xxvi 

Work of Prof. Cj'rus Thomas xxvi 

Explorations in the Southwest XXA'III 

Work of Mr. James Stevenson xxvm 

Work of Mr. Victor Mindeletf xxix 

Linguistic field wijrk xxx 

Work of Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith .... XXX 

Work of Mr. H. W. Henshaw ... XXXI 

Work of Mr. A. S. Gatschet .xxxill 

Work of Rev. J. Owen Doi'sey xxx vi 

Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curtin XXX vii 

(Jineral tield work XXX viii 

Work of Dr. Washington Matthews xxxvin 

Work of Dr. H. C. Yarrow xi. 

AVork of Dr. W. J. Hoffman xi.l 

Office work xliii 

Work of Mr. H. W. Henshaw xi.v 

Work of Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith XLV 

Work of Col. Garrick Mallery XLV 

Work of Dr. W. J. Hoffman XLv 

Work of Mr. James C. Pilling XLV 

Work of Jlr. Frank H. Cushing XLVi 

Work of Prof. Cynis Thomas XLVii 

Work of Mr. Victor Mindeleff XLVII 

Work of Rev. J. Owen Dorsey XLVIII 

\\ ork of Mr. Albert S. Gatschet XLViii 

Work of Mr. W. H. Holmes XLViii 

Work of Dr. H. C. Yarrow i. 

Work of Mr. Charles C. Royce l 

Accompanying ]>apers Li 

Ancient art of the province of Chiri(|ui. Colnmbi.i. by William H. Holiiii's. i.i 
A study of the textile art in its relation to the devclo|iment of form ;ind 

ornament, by William H. Holmes !,iv 

Aids to the study of the Maya Codices, by Cyrus Thomas i,v 

Osa,ge traditions, by Rev. J. Owen Dorsey LVI 

The Central Eskimo, by Dr. Franz Boas Lvi 

Financial statement LVlli 






Introduction 13 

Geogra]ihy 13 

Literature 14 

People 15 

The cemeteries 16 

The graves 17 

Human remains 20 

Placing of relics 21 

Objects of art 31 

Stone 21 

Pictui'ed rocks 21 

Columns 22 

Images 23 

Mealing stones 2.'j 

Stools 27 

Celts etc 29 

Spearheads 34 

Arrowpoints 34 

Ornaments '. 34 

Metal 35 

Gold and copper 35 

Bronze 49 

Clay : Pottery 53 

Preliminary 53 

How found 55 

Material 55 

Manufacture 56 

Color 57 

Use 57 

Forms of vessels 58 

Decoration 62 

Unpainted ware 60 

Terra cotta grou]) 67 

Black incised group 80 

Painted ware 84 

Scarified grou]) 87 

Handled group 90 

Tri])od group 97 

Maroon group 107 

Red line groui) 109 

White line group Ill 

Lost color group 113 

Alligator group 130 

Polychrome gi-ou]) 140 

Uncla-ssified 147 

Miscellaneous objects 149 

Spindle whorls 149 

Needlecases 1 50 

Figiu'ines lol 

Stools 154 


Objects of art — Contimied. 

Miscellaneous ohjects — Continued. 

^Musical instruments 156 

Rattles 156 

Drums 157 

Wind instruments KJO 

Life forms in vase painting 171 

Resume isii 


Introduction \{\^ 

Foruj in te.xUlc art 196 

Relations of form to ornament ooj 

Color in textile art 201 

Textile ornament 202 

Development of a geometric system within the art 202 

Introduction 203 

Relief phenomena 203 

Ordinary features 203 

Reticulated work 210 

Superconstructivc features ; 211 

Color |)lienomi?n:) 215 

Ordinary features 213 

Non-essential constructive features 226 

Superconstructive features 228 

Adventitious features 231 

Geometricity imposed upon adopted elements of design 233 

Extension of textile ornament to other forms of art 244 


Introduction 2o9 

Chap. I. The numerals in the Dresden Codex 201 

II. Conclusions 3:59 

III. The writing 345 

Signification of the characters 347 

Symbols of animals etc 348 

Symbols of deities 3.58 

Discussion as to phonetic features of the cliaracters 305 


Introdviction .377 

Traditions of the elders 381 

Unii" U(fa3{e. Tsiou wactaife itade (Ti-adition of the Tsiou waetaj[e gens) . 381 

Translation 388 

Unit" u(|;aJie. Qi'Kt^apasa" itade (Tradition of tlie Bald Eagle subgens). . . . .fflO 

Translation 3i)4 

Concluding remarks 396 


Introduction 409 

Authorities quoted 410 

Orthography 413 

Geography of northeastern America 413 



Distribution of tlie tribes 419 

General olwerx atiims 419 

Baffin Lanil 421 

Tbe Sikosuilarniiut 421 

Tbe Akuliarniiut 421 

Tbe Qaiunauangmiut 421 

Tlie Nugumiut 423 

Tbe Oiiomiut 424 

The Patlbmiut anil tbe Akudnirniiut 440 

The AuKoiuiiit 443 

Tbe iKlubrmiut 444 

Tbe PUingmiut 444 

Tbe Sagdliriniut 444 

Western shore of Hudson Bay 444 

Tbe Aivillirniiut 445 

The Kmii)etu or Agutit 450 

Tbe Sagdliriniut of Southain|iton Island 451 

Tbe Sininiiut 451 

Boothia Felix an<l Back River 453 

The Netehillinniut 453 

Tbe Ugjuliruiiut 458 

Tbe Ukusiksalirmiut 458 

Smith Sound 459 

The natives of EUesmere Land 459 

Tbe North Greenlanders 460 

Influence of geographical conditions upon tbe distribution of the settlements . . 4G0 

Trade and intercourse between tbe tribes 463 

List of the Central Eskimo triljes 470 

Hunting and fishing 471 

Seal, walrus, and whale bunting ■. 471 

Deer, musk ox. and bear hunting 501 

Hunting of small game 510 

Fishing 513 

Manufactures 516 

Making leather and preparing skins 516 

Sundry implements 533 

Transpt)rtation by boats and sledges 537 

The Ixiat 527 

Tbe sledge and dogs 539 

Habitations and dress .539 

Tbe bouse 539 

i Clothing, dressing of the luiir. and tattooing 554 

Social and religious life 561 

Domestic occupations and amusements ,561 

Visiting 574 

Social customs in summer 576 

Social order and laws 578 

Religious ideas an<i tbe angakunirn (jiriestbood) 583 

Sedna and the fulmar 583 

The tornait and the angakut .591 

The flight to tbe mo n 598 

Kadlu tbe thunderer 600 

Feasts, religious and secular 600 

Customs and regulations concerning birth, sickni'ss, and ileatb 009 

co:ntents. vii 


Tales and traditions 615 

Ititaujang 610 

The emigration of the S;ig(lliruiiiit 618 

Kalopaliiig 6dO 

Tlie LTissuit 621 

Kiviung 621 

The origin of the iiurulial 62") 

The visitor 627 

The fugitive women 628 

Qaiidjaiidjuq 628 

I. Story of the tl;ree lirotliers 628 

II. Qaudja(|djuii 6:10 

Igimarasugiljuii(ljuai| tiie eunnibal 683 

The Tornit 684 

The woman and the s])irit of tlie singing house 686 

The eonstellation Udleiidjun 630 

Tlie origin of the Adlet and of tlie yadle .it 637 

The great Hood 637 

InugpaqdjiKidjualmig 638 

The bear story 638 

Sundry tales 639 

Tables relating to animals 641 

The owl and the raven 641 

Comparison between BafKn Land traditions . nd those of other tribes. . . 641 

Science and tlie arts (543 

Geograpliy and navigation 643 

Poetry and music 648 

Merry-making among the Tornit 649 

The lemming's song 6.50 

•Arhim pissinga (the killer's song) 650 

I. Summer song 653 

II. The returning liunter 653 

III. Song of the Tornit 653 

IV. Song of the Inuit traveling to Nettilliiig 653 

V. O^aitocj's song 054 

VI. Utitiaifs song 654 

VII. Song 654 

VIII. Song 654 

IX. Song of the Tornit 654 

X. The fox and the uimian 655 

XI. The raven's song 655 

XII. Song of a Padlimio 655 

^ XIII. Ititaujang's song 655 

XIV. Playing at ball 656 

XV. Playing at ball 657 

XVI. -XIX. Extracts 057, 658 

Glossary 059 

Appendix 667 


Index 671 



Plate I Map of Cliiriiiui 13 

I] , Map showing in detail the geograi)hical divisions of territory occu- 
pied by the Eskimo tribes of northeast America (*) 

1 . Oqo and Akudulrn. 

2. Frobislier Bay. 

3. Echpse Sound and Admiralty Iidet. 

4. Repulse Sound and Lyon Iidet. 

5. Boothia Istlmuis and King William Land. 

III. Map of the territory occui)ied by the Eskimo tribes of North Amer- 

ica, showing ti.e boundaries (*) 

IV. Cumberland I'eninsula. drawn by Aranin. a Saumingnjio. . .* 643 

V. Eskimo drawings 648 

VI. Eskimo drawings 6.')0 

VII. Eskimo drawings 651 

VIII. Eskimo carvings C.53 

IX. E.skimo carvings 6.53 

X. Modern Eskimo implements 6r)4 

Fl(i. 1. Section of oval grave 17 

2. Section of a quadrangular grave 18 

3. Grave with pillars 18 

4. Compound cist 1!) 

5. Southwest face of the pictured stone 22 

6. A goddess of tlie ancient Chiri(iuians 23 

7. A god of the ancient Chiriquians 24 

8. Fragmentary hinuan figure in gi'ay basaltic rock 25 

9. Mealing stone with large tablet ornamented with animal head.s .... 26 

10. Puma shajjed metate 27 

1 1 . Stool shaped object 28 

12. Stool with columnar base 28 

13. Stool with perforated base 29 

14. Large jiartially polished celt 30 

15. Celt of hexagonal section 31 

16. Small wide bladed celt 31 

17. Celt with heavy shaft 31 

18. Celt or ax with constriction near the top 31 

19. Flake<l and partially polished celt 33 

20. Well polished celt 33 

21. Narrow pointed celt 32 

23. Narrow pointed celt 33 

23. C'ylindrical celt with narrow point 33 

24. Leaf shaped olijects suggesting spearjioints . . .- 34 

* In pocket at end of volume. 


ii.i.rsiitA rioNs. 

Fl(j. 25. AriDwpoints 34 

36. Huiiiari ti,i;ure foriued of copper-f^uld ;illiiy 41 

27. Urott'sijui" Imiiiaii ti<;ui'e in gold 43 

28. Rudely shaped human figure in gold 42 

29. Grotesque human figure in nearly pure copper 43 

30. Grotesijue human figure in nearly pure gold 43 

31. Rudely executed image ot a l)ir<l in gold 44 

32. Image of a bird in gold 45 

33. Puma shaped figure in gold 45 

34. Puma shaped tigure in base metal 45 

35. Quadruped with grotesque face in hase metal 40 

3G. B'igiu-e of a fish in gold 46 

37. Large figure of a frog in base metal plated with gold 47 

38. Small tigure of a frog in liase metal iilate<l with gold 47 

39. Figure of an alligator in gold 48 

40. Animal figure in base metal plated with gold 48 

41. Bronze bells plated or washed with gold 50 

42. Bronze bell with human features . . 50 

43. Triple bell or rattle found on the Rio (Jrande 51 

44. Ancient Mexican bell 51 

45. Fuiulamental forms of vases — convex outlines 58 

46. Fundamental forms of vases — angidar outlines 59 

47. Vases of complex outlines — exce|itional forms 59 

48. Vases of con\])ound forms HO 

49. Square lii)])ed vessel ,59 

50. Variations in the forms of necks and rims 60 

51. Arrangement of handles 00 

53. Types of aimular bases or feet 61 

53. Forms of legs * 61 

54. Grotesque figure forming the handle of a small vase 63 

55. Grotesque figure forming the handle of a sma'l vase 63 

56. Grotes(|Ue figure forming the handle of a small vase 63 

57. Monstrous figure with serpent shaped extremities 63 

58. Monstrous figure with serjient shaped extremities 63 

59. Grotesque figure 64 

60. Grotesque figiue 64 

• 61 . Grotesque figure 64 

63. Figure of a monkey 64 

63. Figure of a monkey .-. 04 

04. Figure of a monkey _ 64 

65. Animal forms exhibiting long jn-oboscis • ... 05 

66. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 05 

67. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 65 

68. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 00 

69. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 66 

70. Series of bowls and cups of unjjainted ware 67 

71. Vase of graceful form 08 

72. Vase of graceful form 08 

73. Vase of fine form ornamented with grotes(|Ue heads OS 

74. Va,se of fine form ornamented with grotes(|ue heads 09 

75. with ornament of applied nodes an<l filli'ts 69 

76. Vase with mantle C(jvere<l with incised figures 70 

77. Vase with frieze of grotes(|ue heads 70 

78. N'ases with Haling rims and varied oriLameiit 71 



Fl(i. 79. Vases with complex outlines ami varied ornament 71 

80. Lai'KP vase with two in mths and neatly decorated necks 73 

81. Large vase with hi.nh handles 72 

83. Top view of high handled vase 73 

83. Handletl vase _ 73 

84. Handled vase 73 

8.1. Handled vase 73 

86. Small cup with siiif^le huiiUe. ornamented with Krotescpie flsfiirc, ... 74 

87. Small cup with single handle, ornamented with .urotesque figure. ... 74 

88. Vase of eccentric form 74 

89. Vessel illustrating forms of legs 75 

90. Vessel illuslrating forms of legs 75 

91. Vessel with large legs decorated with sti'lhir iiinutures 75 

92. Vases of varied fcjrm with plain and aniuKil shaped legs 75 

93. Large vase of striking shape 76 

94. Cup with legs imitating animal forms 76 

95. Cup with legs imitatin.g a grotesijue animal form ■ 77 

96. Cup with legs imitating the armadillo 77 

97. Cup with legs imitating the armadillo 77 

98. ( 'up with frog shaped legs 77 

99. Cup with legs imitating an animal an 1 its young 77 

100. Cups supi)orted l)y grotesque heads 77 

101. Large cuj) supported hy two grotesipie figures 78 

102. Cup with two animal heads attached to the sides 78 

103. Cup with two animal heads attached to the sides 78 

104. Vase imitating an animal form 79 

105. Vase imitating an animal form 79 

106. Vase imitating an animal form 79 

107. Fish sha|)ed vessel. ... 79 

108. Top view of a tish shaped \ essel 80 

109. Cup with grotesque head attached to the rim 80 

110. Black cup with incised n-ptilian figures 81 

111. Blai'k cui) with incise.l reiitilian figures 81 

112. Black vase with conventional incised jiattern 81 

113. Small cup with conventional incised pattern 82 • 

114. Small tripod cup with upright %valls 82 

115. Vase with flaring rim and legs imitating animal heads 82 

116. Vase modeled to represent the head of an animal 83 

117. Pattern upon the hack of the vase 83 

118. Tripod Ijowl of red scarified ware 87 

119. Tripod howl of red scarifieil ware 87 

130. Ohlong Ixisin with scarified design 88 

131. Large scarified howl with handles inntating animal heads 88 

132. Jar with flat l)ottom ami vertical bands of incised ornament 89 

123. Vase with stand and vertical incised hands 89 

124. Vase with handles, legs, and vertical ril)s 89 

135. Tripod with owl-like heads at in.sertion of legs 90 

136. Tripod with legs rudely suggesting animal forms 90 

137. Heavy red vase with four mouths 90 

138. Vase with horizontally |jlaceil handles and rude designs in red 91 

129. Unpolished vase with heavy hamlles and coated with soot 92 

130. Round luidied vase with nni(|ue handles and incised ornament 93 

13). Vase with grotesque Hgnres affacheil to the handles 93 

132. Vase with upright handles and winged lip 93 



Fig. 133. Top view of vase w ith winged lip 94 

134. Vase with grotesque animal shaped handles 94 

135. Vase with handles representing strange animals 95 

136. Vase with handles representing grotescjue figures .... 95 

137. Vase with han lies representing animal h ^ads 9G 

138. Vase with arched handles emliellished with life forms in high relief. 96 

139. Vase with arched handles embellished with life forms in high relief. 97 

140. Tripod vase with shallow basin and eceentrie handles 99 

141. Trijjod vase with shallow basin and eccentric handles 99 

143. Tripod vase with shallow basin and eccentric handles 99 

143. Tripod vase of graceful shape and neat finish 100 

144. Heavy tripod vase with widely spreading feet 100 

145. Neatly modeled vase embellished with life forms and devices in red . 101 

146. High trijiod vase with incised designs and rude figures in red 101 

147. Handsome tripod vase with scroll ornament 103 

148. Vase with lizard shaped legs _. 103 

149. Vase with scroll ornament • 103 

150. Large vase with flaring rim and wide s|irea ling legs. ... _ _ 103 

151. Fragment of a tripod vase embellished with figure of an alligator. . 104 

152. Vase supported by grotes(iue human figui'es 105 

153. Round bodied vase embellished with figures of monsters 106 

154.- Oup with incurved rim and life form ornimeutation 107 

155. Cup with widely exjianded rim and constricted neck 107 

156. Small tripod cup with animal features in high relief 108 

157. Handsome vase supported by three grotesque figures 108 

158. Vase decorated with figures of and devices in red 110 

159. Vase of unique sha|)e and life form ornamentation 110 

160. Two-handled vase with life form and linear decoration 110 

161. Small tripod vase with animal figures in white Ill 

162. Shapely vase with designs m white |)aint 113 

163. Small red bottle with horizontal bands of ornament 115 

164. Small red bottle with encircling geometric devices 115 

165. Bottle with zone occupied by geometric devices ._ 116 

1015. Bottle with broa 1 zone containing- geometric figures 116 

167. Bottle with decoration of meandered lines 117 

16S. Bottle with arched panels and gen uetric device-) 117 

169. Bottle with arched panels and elaborate devices 118 

170. Vase with rosette-like panels 118 

170a. Ornament from preceding vas ■ ,. 118 

171. Vase with rosette-like panels 119 

173. Vase with rosette-like panels 119 

173. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 130 

174. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 130 

175. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 130 

176. Vase decorated with conventional figures of alligators 130 

177. Portion of decorated zone illustrating treatment of life forms 131 

178. Portion of decorated zone illustrating treatment of life forms 131 

179. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 131 

179o.Design from preceding vase 133 

180. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 133 

181. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 133 

183. Djsor.itel panel with device; rei^mbliug vegetal growths 124 

183. Vase of uinisual shape 134 

184. Vase of unusual shape 134 


Fig. 185. Va,se of luiusual shape ^ 

186. Double vessel with high ;irehed lutiuUe jo.- 

187. Double ves.sel with arched handle J05 

188. embellished with life forms in color and ui relief 126 

189. Vase modeled to represent a peccary joy 

190. Under surface of peccary vase jg^ 

191. Small vessel with human figures in high relief I37 

192. Tripod cup with figures of the alligator [ jog 

193. Large shallow tripod vase with geometric decoration jog 

194. Large bottle shaped with high tripod and alligator design . . ' . ' 130 

195. Large bottle with narrow zone containuig figures of the alligator. 133 

196. Vase with decorated zone containing four arched ])anels.. . J33 

197. Vase with fourround nodes uijon wliieh are painted animal devices. . 133 

198. Vases of varied form and decoration J34 

199. Alligator va,se with conventional markings J35 

200. Alligator with figures of the alligator painted on the sides. . '. '. 135 

201. Vase with seri)ent ornamentation jog 

203. Vase representing a puma w,th alligator figures painted on sides . . 137 

203. .Shallow vase with reptilian features in relief and in color 137 

204. Vase with funnel shaped mouth _ ^ jgo 

203. Toji view of vase in Fig. 204 .oq 

200. End view of vase in Fig. 204 jon 

207. Large vase with decorations in red ami black IjO 

208. Devices of the decorated zone of \ase in Fig. 207. vic«-,;l above 141 

209. Handsome vase with four liandles and decorations in black, red. 

and purple ' . .^ 

210. Painted design of vase in Fig. 209, vieweil from above 143 

311. Vase of unusual shape, with decoration in black, red. and i)urpie. . 144 
212. Ornament occujiying the interior surface of the basin of vase in 

Fig-211 ; jj^ 

313. Large of fine sliape and simijle decorations 14,5 

214. Vase with extraordinary decorative designs 

215. Painted design of vase in Fig. 214. viewed from al 

216. Vase of unicpie form and decoration 

317. Painted design of vase in Fig. 216 

218. S|)indle whorl with annular nodes 

219. Spindle whorl decorated with animal ligiircs 

220. Spmdle whorl with perforations and inciseil ornament 

221. Needlecase 

233. Needlecase 

233. Needlecase with painted geometric ornament 

334. Needlecase with incised geometric ornament , j'g'J 

325. with incised geometric ornament 1^1 

236. Statuette 

237. Statuette 

228. Statuette ' ^ ^ ^ 

329. Statuette 

330. Stool of ])lain terra cotta 

231. Stool of plain clay, with grotesque figures j'g5 

332. Stool of plain terra cotta 

233. Rattle ....[...[.. 

234. Section of rattle 

235. Rattle with grotesque figures 

236. Drum of gray unpainted clay 

i'"ve 147 







Fig. '3;3T. Drum with iiaiiitfd nriKiiin'iU l.">9 

3iiH. Painted design of drum in Fig. T-i'i lo9 

239. Double whistle Hi] 

340. Section of double whistle Uil 

341. Tubular instrument with two Hnger hole.s 1()3 

342. Section of whistle 1(!2 

243. Small animal shaped whistle I(i2 

244. Small animal shajied whistle 162 

24.). Top shaiied whistle 163 

246. Section. to]i. and bottom views of whistle 164 

247. Dnim shaped whistle 165 

348. Vase shap;-d whistle 16.5 

249. Crab shaiied whistle 16(; 

2.50. Alligator shaped whistle 16G 

251. Cat shaped whistle 167 

252. Whistle with four ocelot-like heads 168 

253. Bird shai)ed whistle 169 

3.54. Bird shaped whistle 169 

2.55. Bird shaped whistle 170 

256. Whistle in grotesque life form 170 

257. Conventional tigui'e of the alligator 173 

258. Conventional tigui'e of the alligator 173 

259. Conventional figure of the alligator 174 

260. Conventional figTire of the alligator 174 

261. Conventional figure of the alligator 174 

262. Two-headed form of the alligator 175 

263. Figure of the alligator much simplified 175 

264. The alligator much modified by ceramic influences 176 

265. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 176 

266. Conventional figure derived fmm flic alligator 176 

267. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 176 

368. Conventional hgure derived from the alligator 177 

269. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 177 

270. Conventit)nal figure derivetl from the alligator 177 

371. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

272. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

373. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

374. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 179 

275. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 179 

276. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 180 

277. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 180 

278. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 1^\ 

279. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 182 

280. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 1H2 

281. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 182 

383. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 183 

2.83. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 183 

284. Vase with decorated zone containing remarkable clevices 1H5 

285. Series of devices 1^'^ 

286. Mat or tray with esthetic attributes of form 197 

287. Tray having decided esthetic attributes of form 1!)8 

28H. Pyriform water vessel 19*^ 

289. Basket with esthetic characters of f(irm 199 

290. Basket of eccentric form 200 



Fig. 291. Character of surface in the simplest form of weaving 204 

292. Surface produced by ini])actin<; 204 

293. Surface proiluceil l)y use of wide fillets 204 

294. Basket with ribhed smlace '. 2()r> 

29.'). Bottle showing ol)lii|iiely rilihcil svu lace 20.5 

296. Tray showing radial ribs 205 

297. Combination giving herring bone etfect 206 

298. Combination gi-iing triangular figures 206 

299. Peruvian work basket 206 

300. Ba.sket of Seminole workmansliiii 207 

yoi. Surface etfect produced in oiien twined combination 207 

302. Surface etfect produced in open t« ineil combination 207 

303. Surface et1'e<'t produced by impacting in twined combination 208 

304. Surface etfect [irothued by impacting the web strands in twined 

combination 2U8 

30.J. Surface etfect iiroihiceil l>y crossing the web series in open twined 

work 20S 

306. Tray with open mesh, twined combination 208 

307. Conical basket, twined combination 209 

308. Example of primitive reticulated weaving 210 

309. Simi)le form of reticulation ; 211 

310. Reticulated jiattern in cotton cloth 211 

311. Peruvian emiiroidery 212 

312. Basket with pendent ornaments 213 

313. Basket with pendent ornaments 213 

314. Tasseled Peruvian mantle 214 

315. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of dilTercnt colors 216 

316. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of ililfereiit colors 216 

317. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors 216 

31H. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors 217 

319. Base of coiled basket 218 

320. Coiled basket with geometric ornament 218 

321. Coiled Ijasket with geometric ornament 219 

322. Coiled ba,sket with geometric ornament 220 

323. Coiled ba-sket with geometric ornament 230 

324. Coiled ba-sket with geometric ornament 221 

323. Coiled basket with geometric ornament 223 

326. Coiled tray with geometric ornament 224 

327. Coiled ti-ay with geometric ornament 225 

328. Tray with geometric ornament 225 

339. Tray with geometric ornament 226 

330. Ornament produced by wrapjiing the stratuls .' 227 

331. Ornament imiduced by Hxing strands to the surface of the fabric, . 227 

332. Basket with feather ornamentation 227 

333. Basket with feather ornamentation 227 

334. Piece of cloth showing use of supplementary warp and \\ oof 228 

335. Piece of cloth showing use of supplementary warp and v. oof 228 

336. Example of grass embroidery 230 

337. Example of feather embroideiy 231 

338. Figures from the Penn wamjium belt 233 

339. Figures from a California Indian basket 234 

340. Califoi-nia Indian basket 234 

341. Figuies fiom a Peruvian basket 335 

343. Figure from a piece of Peruvian gobelins 236 



Fig. 343. Figures fnim a rcruvian vaso 237 

344. Figure from a circular basket 238 

345. Figure of a bird from a Zufii sliielJ 239 

340. Figure of a bird woven in a tray 240 

347. Figure of a bird woven in a basket 241 

348. Figures embroidered on a cotton net liy tbe ancient Peruvians .... 243 

349. Figui-es of liirds embroidered by tlie ancient Peruvians 243 

350. Conventional design painted upon cotton clotb 243 

351. Herring bone and checker [lattenis producecl in weaving 240 

353 Herring bone and checker patterns engraved in cla}' 24(i 

353. Earthen vase with textile ornament 247 

354. Example of textile ornament painted upon pottery 248 

355. Textile pattern transferred to pottery through costume 248 

356. Ceremonial adz with carved ornament of textile character 250 

357. Figures upon a tapa stamp 251 

85S. Design in stucco exhiliiting textile cliaracters 251 

359. Line of day and numeral s.vmbols from Plates 30c and 3Tc. 1 )resden 

Codex 272 

300. Line of day and luimeral characters from Plates 33-39. Dresden 

Codex 276 

361. Unusual syudxil for Akbal from Plate .s of tlie Dresden Codex .... 284 

362. Copy of Plate 50, Dresden Codex 297 

363. Copy of Plate 51 , Dresden Codex 300 

364. Copy of Plate 53. Dresden Codex 307 

365. Copy of Plate 53, Dresden Codex 308 

366. Copy of Plate 54. Dresden Codex 309 

367. Copy of Plate 55. Dresden Codex 310 

368. Copy of Plate 50. Dresden Codex 311 

309. Copy of Plate 57. Dresden Codex 313 

370. Copy of Plate 58. Dresden Codex 313 

371. Siiecimens of ornamental loops from page 73, Dresden Codex 337 

373. Numeral character from the lower division of Plate XV. Minu- 

script Troaiio 343 

373. Turtle from tlie Cortesian Codex, Plate 17 348 

374. Jar from the t.;ortesian Codex. Plate 37 349 

375. Worm and plant from Manuscript Troano. Plate XXIX 351 

376. Figure of a woman from the Dresden Coilex 351 

377. Co]iy of miihllc and lower divisions of Plate XIX. JIanus-ript Tro- 

ano 353 

378. Copy of lower division of Plate 65, Dresden Codex 353 

379. The moo or ara from Plate 16, Dresden Codex 355 

380. The god Ekchuah, after the Troano and Cortesian Codicei 358 

381. The long nosed god (Kukulcan) or go 1 with the snakedik? tongue. 359 
383. Copy of head from the Borgian CVxlex (Quetzalcoatl ?) 360 

383. The suitposed god of death from the Dresden C^odex 361 

384. The supposed god of death from the Troano Codex 301 

385. The god with the banded face from the Troano Codex 303 

380. The go<l with the old man's face 363 

387. The god with face crossed by lines 364 

388. Wooden idol in vessel with basket cover 371 

389. Symbolic chart of the Osage 378 

390. Harpoon from Alaska 472 

391. Modern or .sealing harpoon 473 

893. Old style naulang or liarpoon head 473 



Fig. 393. Modern naixlang or harpoon head 473 

394. Qilertuang or leather strap and clasps for holding coiled up harpoon 

lines 474 

395. Slatko or harpoon head of the Igiulu-miut 475 

396. Siatko found at Exeter Sound 475 

397. Eskimo in the act of striking a seal 476 

398. Tutareang or buckle 477 

399. Eskimo awaiting return of seal to blowhole 478 

400. Tuputang or ivory plugs for closing wounds 479 

401. Wooden case for plugs 480 

403. Another form of plug 480 

403. Qanging, for fastening thong to jaw of seal 480 

404. Qanging in form of a seal 480 

405. Qanging in form of a button 481 

406. Qanging ser%-ing for both toggle and handle 481 

407. Qidjarung or whirl for harpoon line 481 

408. Simple form of whirl 481 

409. Old pattern of hook for drawing out captured seal. 483 

410. Seal hook of bear's claw 483 

411. Modern form of seal hook 483 

413. Eskimo approaching seal 484 

413. Frame of kayak or hunting boat 486 

414. Kayak with covering of skin 487 

415. Model of a Repulse Bay kayak 487 

416. Sirmijaung or scraper for kayak 488 

417. Large kayak harpoon for seal and wah'us 488 

418. Tikagung or support for the hand 488 

419. Qatu'n or ivory head of harpoon 489 

420. Manner of attaching the two principal parts of the harpoon 489 

431. Tokang or harpoon head in sheath 489 

432. Tokang or harpoon head taken from a whale in Cumberland Sound . . 490 

433. Ancient tokang or harpoon head 491 

434. Tehqbing, which is fastened to harpoon line 493 

435. Qatilik or spear '. 492 

436. Avautang or sealskin float 493 

437. Different styles of poviutang or pipe for inflating the float 493 

438. Agdliaq or spear for small seals 494 

439. Agdliaq points 494 

430. Spear heads 495 

431. Large spear head 495 

433. Anguvigang or lance 496 

433. Nuirn or bird spear 496 

434. Nuqsang or thi-owing board 496 

435. Sealing at the edge of the ice 498 

436. Model of sakurpang or whaling harpoon 500 

437. Niutang with floats 500 

438. Wooden bow from Iglulik 503 

439. Wooden bow from Cumberland Sound 503 

440. Bows of reindeer antlers 503 

441. Bow of antlers with central part cut off straight 503 

443. Arrows with bone heads 504 

443. Arrows with metal heads 504 

444. Arrow head 505 

445. Showing attachment of arrowhead vertically and parallel to shank. 505 



Fig. 446. Various foi-ins of ariowliead 506 

447. Socket of spear handle from Alaska 506 

448. Slate arrowhead 506 

449. Fhnt arrowheads from old graves 507 

450. Various styles'of quiver 507 

451. Quiver handles 508 

453. Whalebone nooses for catching waterfowl 511 

453. Kakivang or salmon spear ; gi2 

454. Ivory fish used as bait in spearing salmon 513 

455. Quqartaun for stringing salmon 514 

456. Salmon hook 515 

457. Salmon hook 515 

458. Bait used in fishing with liooks 516 

459. Butcher's knife with bone handle 516 

460. Pana or knife for dissecting game 517 

461. Form of ulo now in use 518 

463. Old ulo liandle from Cape Broughton, Davis Strait 518 

463. Fragiuent of an ulo blade made of slate 518 

464. Ulo handle from recent grave 518 

465. Modern tesirqun or scraper 519 

466. Old style tesirqun or scraper 519 

467. SeUgoung or scraper used for softening skins 530 

468. Old stone scrapers found in graves 531 

469. Stretcher for lines 533 

470. Ivory needle 528 

471. Ivory needlecase from Cumberland Sound 533 

473. Common pattern of needlecase 533 

473. Tikiq or thimble 534 

474. Instrument for straightening bone 525 

475. Drill for working in ivory and bone 535 

476. Driftwood used in kindUng fire 536 

477. Eskimo graver's tool 526 

478. Framework of Eskimo boat 537 

479. Kiglo or post '. 537 

480. Umiaq or skin boat 538 

481. Umiaq or skin boat 528 

483. Qamuting or sledge 539 

483. Sledge shoe 530 

484. Form of clasp for fastening traces to sledge 531 

485. Artistic form of clasp for fastening traces to sledge 531 

486. Uqsirn for fastening traces to pitu 533 

487. Ano or dog liarness 533 

488. Sadniriaq or clasp .- 533 

489. Tube for drinking 535 

490. Various styles of snow knife 539 

491. Ground plan of snow house of Davis Strait tribes 540 

493. Snow house of Davis Strait, sections 541 

493. Section and interior of snow house 543 

494. Ukusik or soapstone kettle 545 

495. Flan of double snow house 546 

496. Plan of Iglulik liouse 547 

497. Plan of Hudson Bay house 547 

498. Plan and sections of qarmang or stone house 548 

499. Plan of large qarmang or stone liouse 549 



Fig. 500. Plan of stone house in Anarnitung, Cumberland Sound 549 

501. Plan of groups of stone houses in Pangnirtung 530 

503. Plan of qarmang or house made of whale ribs 550 

503. Storehouse in Ukiadliving 551 

504. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of Cumberland Sound 551 

505. Plan and section of tupiq or tent of Pond Bay 553 

506. Plan and section of double winter tent, Cumberland Sound 553 

507. Qaturang or boot ornament 554 

508. Woman's jacket 555 

509. Ivory beads for women's jackets 555 

510. Girdle buckles .- 556 

511. Infant's clothing 557 

513. Child's clothing 557 

513. Ivory combs 559 

514. Buckles 560 

515. Manner of tattooing face and wearing hair 561 

516. Manner of tattooing legs and hands 561 

517. Forks 563 

518. Ladle of musk ox horn 563 

519. Skull used in the game ajegaung. 565 

520. Ivory carvmg representing head of 'fox, used in the game ajegaung. 565 
531. Ivory carvings representing polar bear, used in the game ajegaung. 566 
533. Figures used in playing tiugmiujang, a game similar to dice 567 

533. Game of nuglutang / 568 

534. The saketan or roulette /. 569 

535. Ajarorpoq or cat's cradle .... 1 569 

536. Ball 570 

537. Dolls in di-ess of the Oqomiut 571 

538. DoUs in dress of the Aku .nirmiut 571 

539. Modern snow goggles of wood 576 

530. Old form of sno%v goggles of ivory 576 

531. Diagram showing interior of qaggi or singing house among eastern 

tribes 600 

533. Plan of Hudson Bay qaggi or singing bouse 601 

533. Kilaut or drum 603 

534. Plans of remains of supposed qaggi or singing houses 603 

535. Qailertetang or masked figure 606 

536. Model of lamp from a grave in Cumberland Sound 613 

537. Qaudjaqdjuq is maltreated by his enemies 631 

538. The man in the moon comes down to help Qaudjaqdjuq 631 

539. The man in the moon whipping Qaudjaqdjuq 633 

540. Qaudjaqdjuq h;i.s become Qaudjuqdjuaq 633 

541. Qaudjuqdjuai) killing his enemies 633 

543. Tumiujang or lamp of the Tornit 634 

543. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio. 644 

544. C!umberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn by Sunapignang, an 

Oqomio 645 

545. Cumberland Sound, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio 646 

546. Peninsula of Qivitung, drawn by Angutuqdjuaq, a Padlimio 647 


Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, October 23, 1885. 
Sir : I have the honor to submit my Sixth Annual Report 
as Director of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

The first part consists of an explanation of tlie plan and 
operations of the Bureau ; the second part consists of a series 
of papers on anthropologic subjects, mainly prepared by my 
assistants to illustrate the methods and results of the work of 
the Bureau. ■ 

I desire to express my thanks for your earnest support and 
your wise counsel relating to the work under my charge. 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 

Prof Spencer F. Baird, 

Secretary 8mithso)iian Institution. 



By J. W. Powell, Director. 


The prosecution of research among the North American In- 
dians, as directed by act of Congress, was continued during 
the fiscal year 1884-'85. 

No change has been made in the general plan upon which 
the work has been prosecuted as set forth in former reports. 
Certain lines of investigation have been decided upon, which 
are confided to persons trained in their pursuit, and the results 
of these labors are presented from time to time in the publica- 
tions of the Bureau provided for by law. A brief statement of 
the work upon which each of the special students was actively 
engaged during the fiscal year is furnished below ; tliis, how- 
ever, does not embrace all the studies undertaken or services 
rendered by them, since particular lines of research have been 
suspended in this, as in former years, in order to prosecute tem- 
porarily work regarded as of paramount importance. From 
this cause delays have been occasioned in the completion of 
several treatises and monographs, already partly in type, which 
otherwise would have been published. 

Invitation is renewed for the assistance of explorers, writers, 
and students who are not and may not desire to be officially 
connected witli the Bureau. Their contributions, whether iu 


the shape of suggestions or of extended communications, will 
be gratefully acknowledged, and, if published either in the 
series of reports or in monographs or bulletins, as the liberality 
of Congress may in future allow, will always receive proper 

The items now reported upon are presented in three princi- 
pal divisions. The first relates to the publication made ; the 
second, to the work prosecuted in the field ; and the third, to 
the office work, which largely consists of the preparation for 
publication of the results of field work, with the corrections 
and additions obtained from the literature of the subjects and 
by correspondence. 


The only publication actually issued during the year was 
entitled Proof-Sheets of a Bibliography of the Languages of 
the North American Indians, by James Constantine Pilling. 
The volume, a quarto of 1,175 pages, consists of an author 
catalogue of books, manuscripts, magazine and newspaper 
articles, publications of learned societies, and other documents 
relating in any way to the Indian languages of North America. 
Only one hundred copies were printed, which were distributed 
to collaborators. 

This work was commenced by Mr. Pilling in 1879 and has 
been prosecuted with diligence and skill, notwithstanding the 
engrossing nature of his other duties. It began as an author 
card catalogue, designed merely for office use. In time it 
became apparent that such a systematic catalogue of the liter- 
ature of Indian languages, if printed and distributed, would 
be of important service to all the numerous workers on the 
general subject, besides those directly connected with the 
Bureau, to whom alone it was accessible in manuscript form. 
By this course the accumulated results of several years' labor 
would be immediately available for the use of students gen- 
erally, and the distribution of proof-sheets would in turn in- 
crease interest in the work, elicit comment and criticism, and 
secure additional contributions, tln-ough all of which the final 
volume contemplated would become more satisfactory and 


complete, both in form and substance. The thorough con- 
scientiousness and punctilious care shown in the present cata- 
logue, and especially the comprehensive bibliographic spirit 
in which the work has been conceived, prove the peculiar fit- 
ness of the author for the undertaking. He has set before 
him and has kept steadily in view the following aims : 

First, to discover every document in existence relating to 
the subject, either printed or in manuscinpt. 

Secondly, to record a description of every document found, 
so accurate and full that each book or article mentioned is 
clearly identified and all its contents relating to Indian lan- 
guages set forth, with citation of the chapters and pages 
within the work where the linguistic material may be found. 

Thirdly, to name, when possible, one or more libraries 
where each work catalogued may be found. 

Fourthly, to arrange and combine the whole so that the stu- 
dent using it may in the shortest time learn whether any work 
contains the special matter which he desires to consult, and, if 
so, precisely where he may find it. In the case of rare books 
or papers special attention has been paid to obtain full informa- 
tion, and in the case of some of the rarest books fac-similes of 
the title pages are given. The value of a work so broadly con- 
ceived and so carefully executed is very great. The litei'ature 
of this subject has become so voluminous, so disconnected, so 
scattered in time and place, that progress in the classification 
of Indian languages and the determination of their affinities 
has been greatly i-etai'ded, awaiting the orderly arrangement 
of accumulated information. This requisite, with the impor- 
tant addition of the correction of current errors, is met by the 
catalogiie. It has been found indispensable to the Bureau and 
has already been gratefully acknowledged as invaluable by 
all students of American tribes to whom copies have been dis- 

Since the printing and distribution of the proof-sheets, and 
markedly as a result thereof, the card catalogue has continued 
to grow ; and, although not complete and, from the nature of 
the subject, not expected to become absolutely exhaustive, the 
recent additions to it indicate how thoroughly the work was 


originally done. It may be possible, therefore, before long to 
substitnte for the Proof-Sheets the Bibliography itself in 
standard form. 


Under this heading are comprised — 

First, the systematic operations of the division of mound 
exploration carried on east of the Rocky Mountains. 

Secondly, researches in and collections from the ancient 
ruins of the Southwest and comparative study of the pres- 
ent inhabitants of that region and the objects found among 

Thirdly, linguistic work or expeditions amoilg the several 
Indian tribes at their homes, with the main purpose of acquir- 
ing knowledge of their spoken languages. 

Fourthly, general studies, or those embracing various 
branches of inquiry, conducted among the existing Indian 


The work of exploring the mounds and other ancient mon- 
uments of that portion of the United States east of the Rocky 
Mountains, conmienced in 1882, was carried on during the 
fiscal year, under the charge of Prof. Cyrus Thomas 

The regular assistants during the first half of the year were 
Messrs. P. W. Norris, James D. Middleton, and John P. Ro- 
gan For the latter half they were Messrs. Middleton, Rogan, 
and John W. Emmert, the last named having been engaged 
to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr. Norris. 

Mr. Norris was engaged during the fall of 1884 in explor- 
ing the extensive group of works in the vicinity of Charles- 
ton, Kanawha Valley, W. Va. He continued at work there 
until December, when he was compelled by cold weather and 
illness to desist. To the ffreat reoret of all his associates in 
the work, his illness terminated in death on the 14th of Jan- 
uary, 1885. By his death the division has lost a faithful and 
enthusiastic worker. 


During the summer and fall of 1884 and until the approach 
of extremely cold weather, Mr. Middleton was engaged in ex- 
ploring the works of Knox County, Ohio. Throughout the 
winter and following s})ring his field of operations was east- 
ern Arkansas. In the latter field he was assisted by Mr. L. H. 
Thing, who was employed for three months as temporary as- 

During- the summer and until the beo-inning' of winter, Mr. 
Rogan was engaged (in conjunction with Rev. J. P. Maclean, 
who was employed as a temporary assistant) in exploring the 
ancient monuments of Butler County and the adjacent regions 
of southern Ohio. On the approach of the cold season he 
went south, his field of operations for the remainder of the 
year being northern Georgia and the southern counties of 
East Tennessee. 

Mr. Emmert, who had been employed on January 1, 1885, to 
make some special explorations in East Tennessee, was made 
permanent assistant innnediately after the death of Mr. Nor- 
ris. His work in that section proving successful he continued 
it until the close of the fiscal year. 

Mr. Gerard Fowke was engaged during November in ex- 
amining the ancient quarries of Flint Ridge, Ohio, and in 
making a collection to illustrate the various stages in the ab- 
original manufacture of flint implements. His collection is, 
perhaps, the most complete in this particular line of any so 
far made in this country. In the winter he was employed 
about two months in special investigations of some ancient 
works in Pontotoc and Union Counties, Miss , a locality sup 
posed to have been visited by De Soto during his unfortunate 
expedition. In some of the mounds of this section, which was 
formerly the home of the Chikasa, he found some articles of 
European manufacture, among them a small silver plate bear- 
ing the royal arms of Castile and Leon in an old herjildic form. 

Although the number of specimens obtained does not exceed 
that of the collection of the preceding year, the general result 
shows a decided advance in the accuracy of the work done. 
The measurements and plats have been made with more care 
and exactness, the descriptions are more complete, and the de- 


tails more fully set forth. As an illustration one case is pre- 
sented. A large mound was opened which was found to con- 
tain over ninety skeletons, irregularly placed and at different 
depths. At the outset a plat of the mound was made; each skel- 
eton was located on it as discovered, and notes were taken of 
the depth, position, articles found with it, etc. Thus the exact 
position of each skeleton in the mound is recorded, as well as 
that of any article accompanying- it The collections made are 
more varied in character than those of any previous year, in- 
cluding several new types of pottery, some unusually fine stone 
implements, and from several mounds articles showing contact 
with Europeans. The pottery obtained by Messrs. Middleton 
and Thing in Arkansas is of more than ordinary interest, con- 
taining a number of specimens of the rarer forms, also several 
colored specimens. 

The same care has been taken as heretofore in labeling and 
numbering the specimens, so that each can be traced by the 
record to the exact place where it was found. The illustra- 
tions showing the construction, character, and form of the 
various works explored exceed in number, accuracy, and im- 
portance those of any previous year. 


Mr. James Stevenson was placed in charge of a party, with 
instructions to proceed to Arizona and New Mexico to make 
researches and collections among the Pueblo Indians and the 
ancient ruins in that region. 

Mr. Stevenson's party was divided into three sections. The 
section in charge of Mr. F. T. Bickford visited the remarkable 
aeries of ruins in Chaco canon, in northwestern New Mexico ; 
Canon de Chelly and its branch canons; the cliff dwellings in 
Walnut caiion, in Arizona, and a group of interesting cave 
dwellings, different in structure from any heretofore found, near 
Flagstaff, in the same Territory. All these were carefully ex- 
amined. Full and extensive notes, as well as sketches and 
photographic illustrations, were made of these ruins. 


Another section, in charge of Mr. C. A. Garlick, was stationed 
at the pueblo of Acoma, in New Mexico. The work at this vil- 
lage resulted in a collection of about thirty-five hundred spec- 
imens, consisting of pottery and a variety of utensils of other 
material, such as stone, bone, wood, and woven fabrics, illus- 
trating the arts of the people of Acoma. The collections from 
this pueblo, though not embracing a great variety of objects, 
will illustrate nearly all the phases of the arts and industrial 
pursuits of these Indians. 

Another section of Mr. Stevenson's party, under his own 
supervision and with the important assistance of Mrs. Stev- 
enson, was employed in making collections and studies at 
Zuni. The collection from there is much larger than any here- 
tofore obtained and includes many objects relating to the out- 
door ceremonies of the Zuni. Specimens of these were secured 
from their sacred springs, caves, and shrines. All details re- 
lating to their ceremonials were attentively studied, and a 
series of water color sketches was made of altars used and of 
masks worn on these important occasions. A large number of 
fetiches was also obtained, representing many of the animals 
held in religious esteem by the Zuni. A series of photographs 
was made of the sacred springs, wells, monuments, picture 
writings, and shrines of the Zuni located at different points 
over an area of about seventy -five miles from Zuni, and a col- 
lection was secured of i-epresentative specimens of their fetiches, 
plume sticks, and other objects connected with their mythology 
and religious practices. The collection made during the year 
was unusually large and important. It comprises about eighty- 
five hundred specimens from the Indian tribes of the Southwest 
embraced in the research ; these consist of woven fobrics and 
pottery, bone, and stone implements, both ancient and modern, 
and represent nearly all phases of the life, art, and industries 
of these triljes. These collections have been deposited in the 
U. S. National Museum for arrangement, classification, and de- 


A party in charge of Mr. Victor Mindeleft' left Washington 
on August 5 to survey the ruined pueblos of the Chaco, in New 


Mexico. Five of the ruins were accurately measured and 
platted to scale, and a full series of sketches, plans, M,nd photo- 
graphs was secured. Mr. Mindeleff returned from the field on 
the 1st of October. He tlieu made a trip to the great Etowah 
mound, near Cartersville, Ga., under the direction of Prof 
Cyrus Thomas, in order to secure an accurate survey and scale 
drawing, as a basis for the construction of a model. 

At the close of this work Mr. MindeleflP returned to Wash- 
ington, on October 7, and was engagedTu office work until the 
middle of tlie following June, when he took the field in ad- 
vance of his party for further studies among the ruins and 
pueblos of the Cibola and Tusayan groups. He was also in- 
structed to secure similar material at other available points for 


From the 1st of July to the 15th of August, 1884, Mrs. 
Smith, assisted by Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, of Tuscarora descent, 
was engaged among the Onondaga living near Syracuse, N. Y., 
in translating and annotating two Onondaga manuscripts; after- 
ward, until the latter part of October, with the same assistance, 
she was at work on the Grand River reservation in Canada, 
where she filled out the vocabulary in the Introduction to the 
Study of Indian Languages from the dialect of the Cayuga. 
She also obtained from the Mohawk a translation, with annota- 
tions, of a manuscript in their dialect. 

The three manuscripts mentioned are now in the possession 
of the Bureau of Ethnology. Their origin and history are not 
distinctly known, as they are all probably copies of originals 
which seem to have been lost or destroyed. It was intended 
in these manuscripts to reproduce, by the alphabet and the 
script used by I^nglish writers, the sound of the dialects eni- 

These records have their chief interest in the preservation of 
many archaic words, or those of ceremony, law, and custom, 
which in these dialects, as is the general rule, remain un- 
chano-ed, although the colloquial language may be modified. 


The subject matter of all these records is genuinely and exclu- 
sively Iroquoian. 

The Mohawk manuscript was copied about the year 1830 
by Chief Joini "Smoke" Johnson from an earlier original or 
perhaps copy. The orthography of this copy is quite regular 
and is that of the early English missionaries, being similar in 
many respects to the well known Pickering alphabet. 

One of the Onondaga manuscripts was found in the posses- 
sion of I\Ir. Daniel La Fort and the other in that of Mrs. John 
A. Jones, both of the Onondaga reserve, New York. These 
two copies differ from each other in orthography and substance, 
tlie Jones manuscript being probably a full detail of a part of 
the other. 

The orthogi'aphy of the La Fort manuscript is very irregu- 
lar and difficult to read, but that of the Jones manuscript is 
regular and legible. Tiie Mohawk maiuiscript contains a de- 
tailed account of the rites and ceremonies, speeches and songs, 
of the condoling and inducting council of the Iroquoian League 
in the form in which that council was conducted by the elder 
brothers or members of the Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca 
divisions, which have been generally called tribes, but are 
more correctly confederacies, their villages being the tribal 
unit. The La Fort Onondaga manuscript comprises a similar 
ritual of the same council as carried out by the younger 
brotheivs, viz, the Cayuga, Oneida, and Tuscarora members or 
confederacies of the league. The Jones Onondaga manuscript 
is the charge of the principal shaman to the newly elected or 
inducted chief or chiefs. 

During the remainder of the year material was collected and 
work continued on the Tuscarora-English part of the Tusca- 
rora dictionary. 


Mr. H. W. Henshaw visited southern California for the pur- 
pose of pursuing linguistic studies in the group of languages 
spoken by the Santa Barbara Indians. Although these In- 
dians became known at a very early day, being mentioned 
with particularity in the relation of Cabrillo's voyage along 


the California coast in 1542, but little has been ascertained in 
respect to their language and its relations to the speech of 
neighboring tribes. 

Few vocabularies were collected by the early Spanish mis- 
sionai-ies and those gathered were very imperfect, so that no 
conclusions can be based upon them with confidence. 

As a result of the policy pursued by the various missionaries 
among these docile tribes, aboriginal habits were soon ex- 
changed for others imposed by the priests. Tribal organiza- 
tions were broken up and the Indians were removed from their 
homes and located about the missions. In addition the Span- 
ish language was early introduced and so far as possible made 
to replace the aboriginal tongue. As a consequence Spanish 
became familiar to a large number of the proselytes, and all 
the surviving Santa Barbai'a Indians speak Spanish fluently, 
or rather the Mexican dialect of Spanish. Indeed, the im- 
pression prevails genei-ally in California that none of the In- 
dians can speak their own tongue. As a matter of fact, how- 
evei', in their own families and when away from the white men 
they discard Spanish entirely. 

The attempt to preserve the language was begun none too 
soon, as of the large population attributed to this part of the 
California coast Mr. Henshaw was able to discover only about 
fifty survivors, and these were widely scattered over several 
counties. A number of the dialects of the linguistic family 
are now extinct, and only a month before Mr. Henshaw's 
arrival at San Buenaventura an old woman died who, it is 
believed, was the last person to speak the dialect belonging 
to the Island of Santa Cruz. In Santa Barbai-a and Ventura 
counties six dialects of the family were found, which are be- 
lieved to be all that are now extant. 

In the case of the dialect of Santa Rosa island, but one Indian 
remained to speak it. Two more dialects are spoken by two or 
three individuals only. The existing dialects, named accord- 
ing to the missions around which they were spoken, are as 
follows : San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa Island, 
Purissima, Santa Inez, and San Luis Obispo. With the ex- 
ception of the last named the several dialects are very closely 


related, and, althougli each possesses a greater or less number 
of woi'ds not contained in the others, their vocabularies show 
many words which are common to all. 

The dialect formerly spoken at San Luis Obispo differs much 
from any of the others, and a critical comparison is necessary 
to reveal a sufficient number of words possessing identical roots 
to render their common parentage obvious. 

p]xtensive vocabularies of the dialects of San Antonio and 
San Miguel were obtained, there being about a dozen Indians 
who speak these languages around tlie old San Antonio mis- 
sion. These languages have been supposed to be of the Santa 
Barbara fiimily (as it has hitherto been termed, now called 
Churaashan family), but the material obtained by Mr. Hen- 
shaw disproves this, and, for the present at least, they are con- 
sidered to form a distinct family. 

Mr. Henshaw visited Los Angeles and San Diego counties 
for the purpose of determining the exact northern and southern 
limits of the Shoshonian family, which extends quite to the 
coast in California. 

At San Diego and San Luis Rey he obtained vocabularies 
repi'esenting four dialects of the Yuman family. 


In August, 1884, Mr. Gatschet proceeded to visit the Tonk- 
awe and Lipan tribes in Texas 

He reached Fort Griffin on the 29th of August. The 
Tonkawe tribe was encamped about a mile and a half south of 
Fort Griffin, Shackleford county, and consisted of 78 individ- 
uals, while tlie Lipan camp, one mile north-northwest, consisted 
of 19 persons only. All these Indians were on the point of re- 
moving to the Oakland reserve, Indian Territory. 

The Tonkawe constitute an aggregate of several tribal 
remnants formerly living independently of one another in 
southern Texas and on the Rio Grande. Mr. Gatschet devoted 
five weeks to the study of their language and one week to 
that of the Lipan, which is a dialect of Apache (Athapascan). 



The Toiikawe is a sonorous and energetic form of speech. The 
radjx of many of the adjectives becomes reduphcated to form a 
kind of plural, and the same thing is observed in some of the 
verbs, where iteration or frequency has to be indicated. Case 
suffixes are observed in the substantive, which can easily be 
traced to postpositions as their original forms. Very few of the 
natives were sufficiently conversant with English or Spanish 
to serve as interpreters, so that it was difficult to secure trust- 
worthy results. A white man who had lived over six years 
among them was of material help, and several mythologic and 
other texts were obtained with tolerable correctness through his 

On October 9 Mr. Gatschet left Fort Griffin and reached 
Fort Sill, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th. Many Kaiowe 
and (Jomanche Indians encamped during the warmer months 
of the year around this fort, which is situated at the southeast 
base of the Wichita mountains. He engaged the best help he 
could find for studying the Kaiowe language, for which there 
is no Government interpreter. The Comanche is the predomi- 
nating language on the whole Kaiowe, Comanche, and Apache 
reservation, although the Comanche exceed the Kaiowe but 
little in number. The Comanche is more easily acquired, at 
least to the extent I'equired in conversation, and all the traders 
and shopkeepers on the reservation have a smattering of it. 

Better interpreters for Kaiowe were obtained at Anadarko, 
the seat of the agency, where Mr. Gatschet remained from 
October 31 to December 12. A few Kaiowe were found who 
had passed some months or years among Americans or at the 
Indian schools at Carlisle, Chilocco, and elsewhere, and could 
express tliemselves intelligibly in English. A few white Mex- 
icans were found among the Comanche, who were captured by 
them in infancy, acquired the Comanche language, and have 
ever since lived among these Indians. Of the Kaiowe, Mr. 
Gatschet acquired over two thousand terms, phrases, and sen- 
tences, several historic texts of value, and of the Comanche, 
eight hundred or a thousand words. The circumstances neces- 
sitated careful and numerous revisions of everything obtained, 
by which nuich of the time was absorbed. 


The Na-ishi Apache, about four huiuh-ed in number and 
formerly roaming with the Kaiowe, furnished also a large 
amount of terms, exceeding fifteen hundred. 

There are a few verbal similarities between the Kaiowe and 
the Shoshoni languages, but apparently not enough to indicate 
anything more than long association of these peoples. The 
Kaiowe has a dual in the intransitive verb and in some nouns. 
There are more than a dozen different modes of forming the 
plural of nouns. The subject pronoun is incorporated with 
the verb as a prefix, and every tense has a different subject 
pronoun, as in Otonii and other languages of southern Mexico. 

Vocabularies were also obtained of Delaware, Ottawa, Yu- 
chi, Caddo, Wichita, and of tiie hitherto unstudied Caddo dia- 
lects of Anadarko and Yatassi. 

In spite of persevering search it was not possible to find any 
of the Bidai or the Tonica in Texas, although it is probable 
that some of them survived in that State as late as 1850. 

Mr. Gatschet then passed a whole month among the Ata- 
kapa at Lake Charles, the county seat of Calcasieu parish, 
Louisiana. Of the two dialects traceable, only the western one 
seems to exist now, being still spoken by a few women living 
at the town. The language is sonorous, but strongly nasal. 

Returning to the Indian Territory, after a fruitless search for 
the Tonica and Adai, he stopped at Eufaula, Creek Nation, to 
meet a Na'htchi Indian named Lasley, about sixty years old, 
who had represented his tribe in the councils of the Creek 
Nation. This man explained his Na'htchi terms and phrases by 
Creek equivalents, and these had to be translated into English 
to obtain full light concerning the Na'htchi terms. One legend- 
ary text was also obtained. The language is rather conso- 
nantal and has a multiplicity of verbal forms. 

Among the Yuclii tribe on Middle Arkansas river, south- 
western bank, and over 40 miles from Muscogee Station, Indian 
Territory, he remained but a week, too short a time to obtain 
full information respecting this interesting language. There 
are five or six hundred Yuchi still living on this tract. Two 
texts and a few popular songs, with one thousand terms of the 
language, were obtained. 


The last stop was made among- the Modoc at Qnapaw 
Agency, at the agency buildings. About ninety are left of 
those brought there for having taken part in the Modoc war of 
1872-73. P^ive mythic tales were gathered from the natives 
within the short time of three weeks, one of them being of 
considerable length and of importance. It is called " The birth 
of Aishisli." The birth of this astral deity resembles in most 
particulars that of Bacchus from the thigh of Jupiter after his 
mother, Semele, had l)een burned to death. The terms, phrases, 
and sentences gathered, besides the myth mentioned, amount 
to over fifteen hundred items, which will prove useful for com- 
pleting the work on the Klamath Indians of Oregon now in 

Of the Shawnee language several hundred words were 
gathered from the Indians of that tribe settled around the 

Mr. Gatschet returned to Washington in April, 1885. 


Rev. J. Owen Dorsey visited the Siletz Agency, Oregon, in 
August, 1884, to gain linguistic and other information respect- 
ing the tribes in that region. When he returned, in November, 
he brought back as the result of his work the following 
vocabularies: — Athapascan family: Applegate Creek, Galice 
Creek, Chasta Costa, Miko-no-tunne, Clietco, Smith River, 
Cal., and Upper Coquille. — Yakonan family: Yaquina, Alsea, 
Siuslaw, and Lower Umpqua. — Kusan family: Mulluk or Lower 
Coquille. — Takilman family: Takilma or Upper Rogue River. — 
Shahaptian family: Klikitat. — Sastean family: Shasti — total, 
nineteen vocabularies, ranging from fifty to three thousand 
entries, exclusive of phrases and grammatical notes. 

He also obtained materials for an account of the social or- 
ganization into villages of some of these Indians, the basis for 
which appears to have been the clan or gens. Rough maps, 
showing the localities of the villages, were made. Mr. Dorsey 
also obtained from several tribes the corresponding Indian 
names of about sixty vegetal products, specimens of which 
were brought to Washington for identification. 



Mr. Ciirtin spent the first two weeks of July at the Quapaw 
agency, Indian Territory, in making a collection of Modoc 
myths, which he had begun in the preceding winter, being part 
of a general collection of Indian myths begun in 1883. The 
number of Modoc myths obtained was nearly one hundred. 

After finishing work at the Quapaw Agency, he returned to 
Washington, and shortly afterward was directed to proceed to 
northern California and obtain vocabularies of the Nosa and 
Kombo languages', and thence to Oregon to obtain vocabularies 
of the Wasco, Tyigh, and Tenina languages. 

Work was begun on the Nosa language (Yanan family) at 
Redding, Cal., on October 11. The difficulties were very 
great, especially at first, owing to the fact that the Nosa are 
few in number, live far from one another, and have a very 
imperfect knowledge of English. 

The Nosa were a prominent and rather numerovis people 
until 1864, when all of them who could be found were mas- 
sacred by white settlers, who organized two companies for the 
purpose of exterminating) the tribe. Owing to a chance by 
which a few escaped and to the exertions of Mr. Benjamin 
Oliver, who secreted several in his cellar, about fifteen full 
blood Nosa survived. 

Work on Nosa was continued in and around Redding until 
the end of November, when Round Mountain was visited to 
complete the Nosa vocabulary and obtain that of the Atsugei 
(Palaikan family), a very interesting language. Work at 
Round Mountain was finished on January 8 and Redding was 
revisited on January It, preparatory to departing for Oregon. 

Owing to the excessive severity of the winter and the snow 
blockades, which lasted six weeks, communication with Warm 
spring was closed, and it was impossible to enter the reserva- 
tion till January 27, when Sinnashee, a school and center of 
the Warm Spring Indian population, was reached. 

At this place the Tyigh vocabulary (Shahaptian family) was 
collected. The Wasco (Chinookan family) was obtained at 
the agency headquarters near the Deschutes river. Tenina, 


being identical with the Tyigh language, was omitted. From 
April 18, at which date work at the Warm Spring agency was 
finished, until June 30, the time was devoted to collecting myths 
in the Klamath reservation and at Yreka. 

During the whole period of work all the myths that could 
be found among the people whose languages were being in- 
vestigated were reduced to writing. In this manner a large 
body of Nosa, Atsugei, Tyigh, and Wasco myths was col- 
lected. In the cases of Klamath and Shasti, myths were the 
objects directly in view 

The vocabularies were obtained with satisfactory complete- 
ness and the verbal systems worked out in detail. 

The Nosa is remarkable for a regularity of structure which 
yields to analysis and has a certain monotonous harmony of 

The Atsugei has a sonorous roll, a strong letter r, and a 
certain number of words in common wiih the Shasti, itself 
one of the r languages. 


Dr. Washington Matthews, assistant surgeon U. S. Army, 
continued his investigations among the Navajo Indians in New 
Mexico and Arizona. He liad been stationed in the Navajo 
country as post surgeon of Fort Wingate, N. Mex., from 1880 
to 1884, during which time he devoted himself to studying the 
language, customs, and ceremonies of this tribe as much as his 
official duties would permit. Some of the great shamanistic 
ceremonies of the Navajo, occupying nine days for their per- 
formance, he had often seen in part; but he had never had an 
opportunity of witnessing one throughout its entire duration, 
as he had not sufficient time at his disposal. 

Before leaving New Mexico, however, he secured the friend- 
ship and confidence of some of the leading medicine men and 
obtained their promise to admit him to their most secret rites 
during their entire performance whenever he should be able 
to avail himself of the privilege. He was also promised com- 


plete instruction in the mythology and symbolism of these 

In the autumn of 1884 he was given an opportunity, under 
the auspices of the Bureau of Ethnology, to return to the Na- 
vajo country and devote himself for a considerable time en- 
tirelv to anthropologic studies among the people. 

He first visited the Navajo who dwell in the neighborhood 
of the San Mateo mountains, the Tsotsildine, or people of the 
Great Peak, a local division or subtribe living nuich farther to 
the east and having longer and more intimate associations with 
Mexicans and Aniericans than the main body of the people. 
While at this place he ascended the peak of San Mateo, or 
Mount Taylor, a mountain held sacred by the Navajo, to ob- 
serve the various places on the mountain mentioned in the 
Navajo myths 

Leaving San Mateo he proceeded to Fort Wingate, and 
learning that one of tlie most iaiportant of tlie Navajo rites 
was about to be celebrated at a place called Niqotlizi (Hard 
Earth), north of Fort Wingate on the Navajo reservation, he re- 
paired thitlier witliout delay. The ceremony which he went to 
witness was that of dsil}idje-qa(,'iil, or mountain cliant. It isalso 
called Ilnasjingo-qa(;iil, or chant in the dark circle of branches, 
from the great corral of evergreens in which the public rites of 
the last night are performed. It is known to the white men 
who live among these Indians as the hoshkawn dance, from 
one of the public dances of the last night, in which the Indian 
jugglers pretend to grow and develop the hackkn, or Yucca hac- 
cata. This last night's performance is varied and interesting 
and all persons, including whites and Indians of other tribes, 
are permitted to witness it; but previousl}^, for several days, 
mystic rites are celebrated in the medicine lodge, to the most 
of which only the initiated are admitted. Dr. Matthews re- 
mained ten days in the Indian camp at Niqotlizi, during which 
time the shamans admitted him into their medicine lodare and 
allowed him to observe their rites and practices. 

His most interesting discovery on this occasion was that of 
their system of mythic dry paintings, by which they represent 


various legends or traditions witli dry pigments on the sanded 
floor of the medicine lodge. A full account of the ceremonies 
and of the myth on which they are based was prepared by Dr. 
Matthews and appeared in the Fifth Annual Report of this 

When the ceremony at Niqotlizi was over he proceeded to 
a locality in Arizona called by the whites The Haystacks, 
from the peculiar appearance of the rock formations there. 
At The Haystacks another great ceremony, probably the sec- 
ond in importance of the Navajo rites, was to take place. 
Here he again encamped with the Indians and remained until 
the work of the shamans was done. 

The ceremonial observances witnessed on this occasion are, 
collectively, called by the Navajo Kledji-qa(;al, or chant of the 
night. They are called by the whites the Yaybichy dance, 
from the name of the principal masked character, Yebitcai or 
Gebitcai, the granduncle of the gods. Like the hoshkawn 
dance, it has several days of secret rites with elaborate sj^m- 
bolic sand pictures and one night of public dances, less varied 
and interesting than those of the hoshkawn. Dr. Matthews 
was permitted to witness the whole performance and to take 
as many notes and sketches as were necessary. 

From The Haystacks Dr. Matthews went to the Indian 
agency at Fort Defiance, Arizona, where he secured the serv- 
ices of one of the oldest and most learned (in their own pecul- 
iar lore) of the Navajo priests, and from him he obtained full 
explanations of all these rites and of the symbolism of the 
pictures and masked characters, with a complete recital of the 
long and elaborate myths on which the ceremonies de])end, and 
the texts and translations of the very numerous songs which 
form the ritual of the ceremonies. 


Dr. H. C. Yarrow, acting assistant surgeon U. S. Army, 
with the assistance of military details and supplies, in addi- 
tion to the instruction and facilities provided by this Bureau, 
started, August 8, 1884, on an expedition into the Territory of 


Utah, with reference mainly to tlie exploration of burial mounds 
and the study of mortuar}^ customs 

Near Choke Cherry Spring a burial cave was discovered, 
containing the skeletons of three persons, which were secured. 
Other skeletons, with contents of graves, were obtained near 
Willow creek; also, an interesting specimen of tree burial. 

At Deep creek an explanation of the curious form of water 
burial was gained from a chief of the Gosiats, to the effect that 
the bodies of the turbulent and disorderly men of the tribe 
were thus disposed of to prevent the spirits of these objection- 
able persons from joining the rest of the tribe after death. 
Their bodies were sunk in springs and marshy places and kept 
down by sticks and stones, so that their spirits could never get 

In the neighborhood of Fillmore a mound was excavated 
which afforded an admirable example of tlie beforementioned 
conversion of a dwelling into a sepulcher. The probability is 
that the deceased died in his house, which was made of adobe 
bricks, and that it was at once abandoned and the body left 
therein, the roof being first removed. The corpse was placed 
on the floor and covered with a paste of moist clay, on which 
were placed the mortuary gifts of weapons, utensils, and food. 
Cottonwood branches were then piled above and set on fire, 
thus baking the cla}' crust and charring the several objects. 
The whole structure had been covered, so that on first examina- 
tion the hard surface of burnt clay, 18 inches below the loose 
earth, appeared to be the floor of a former dwelling. 

In the whole of the expedition, which continued into the 
last days of September, much difficulty was experienced from 
the suspicion and consequent hostility of the Indians of the 
localities visited. 


Dr. W. J. Hoffman pi'oceeded early in August to Victoria, 
B. C, Avhere numerous sketches of Haida totem posts and 
carving's were obtained, in connection with the mvths which 
they illustrated. At this locality attention was paid to the 


burial customs and osteologic remains of the nearly extinct 
tribe of Songish Indians. 

At Port Townsend sketches were obtained of Thlinkit 
ivory and wood carvings, clearly indicating the adoption by 
that tribe of Haida art designs. Here, too, many Indians of 
British American tribes were met on their Avay south to work 
in the Puyallup hop fields, notable among which was a large 
number of Haida, whose persons were examined for the purpose 
of copying the numerous and varied tattoo designs with which 
they were profusely decorated. Interpretations of many of 
tliese characters were obtained from the persons bearing them, 
as well as from the chief artist of the tribe, tog-ether with con- 
cise descriptions of the methods and customs in connection 
with tattooing and the materials used. Drawings were made 
of a collection of Eskimo pictographs and ivory carvings at 
the museum of the Alaska Commercial Company and the Cali- 
fornia Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, Cal. 

At Santa Barbara, Cal., Dr. Hoffman discovered some painted 
pictographs and examined a number which have not yet been 
published. In several private collections at this place were 
found interesting relics of the Indians formerly inhabiting Santa 
Cruz island, the most important of which was a steatite cup 
containing earthy coloring matter and pricking instruments of 
bone, which had evidently been used in tattooing. Painted 
pictographs were also visited in the Azuza canon, twenty-five 
miles northeast of Los Angeles. 

At Tule Indian Agency, in the deep valleys on the west- 
ern slope of the Sierra Nevada, sketches of pictographs were 
made in continuation of work accomplished there two years 
before. Vocabularies were also obtained from the Waitchunmi 
Indians here located, as well as from tlie few remaining Santa 
Barbara Indians at Cathedral Oaks, Santa Barbara county, 
Cal. By far the greatest amount of pictographic material was 
collected in Owen's valley, CaHfornia, where series of petro- 
glyphs are scattered over an arid, sandy desert, the extremes 
of which are more than twenty miles apart. 



The work upon a synonymy of the Indian tribes of North 
America, which has been inentioned to some extent, in former 
reports, has been continued with increased energy. 

Every tribe of Indians of any size and impcirtance has been 
treated of by historians under a variety of names. The sources 
of these different appeUations are manifold. In very many 
instances the names of tribes or other bodies of Indians com- 
municated by themselves have been imperfectly understood 
and erroneously recorded ; misspelled names and typograph- 
ical errors have been perpetuated. 

Traders, priests, and colonists have called the same tribes by 
different names and the historian has often added to the con- 
fusion by handing down these synonyms as the names of other 
and different tribes. Not a few tribes well known under es- 
tablished names have received new names upon a change of 
residence, especially when they have removed to a great dis- 
tance or have coalesced or allied with other tribes. Added to 
these and to other sources of confusion are the loose and dis- 
similar applications of the terms clan, band, tribe, confederacy, 
and league, the same term having been used with various mean- 
ings by different authors. 

As a consequence the student of Indian languages and cus- 
toms finds himself in a tangle, as regards tribal names, which 
it is beyond the power of the individual worker, unaided, to 
unravel. The scope of the work in question includes the at- 
tempt to trace the several names back to their sources and to 
ascertain their original and proper application, to define then- 
meaning when possible, and to relegate each tribe under its 
proper title to the linguistic family to which it belongs In 
the completion of this work the whole force of the Bureau as 

The need of a volume giving the results mentioned has long 
been felt, and it is believed that it will prove to be one of the 
most important contributions to tlie accurate study of Indian 
history ever made. The classification of the languages of the 
North American Indians is closely connected with the synon- 


ymy of tribal names, each work assisting the other. Durino- 
recent years the number of students who have directed their 
attention more or less exclusively to the study of Indian lan- 
guages has been constantly augmented, and as a result of their 
labors the number of vocabularies has been correspondingly in- 
creased; hence the demand for a more comprehensive and satis- 
factory classification than now exists. 

Prior to Gallatin's time little or nothing had been done in 
the direction of a systematic classification of Indian languages. 
In 1836 Gallatin issued his treatise in which he classified all 
the languages which he was able to study by a direct com- 
parison of vocabularies. His classification was an immense 
advance over anything previously done and has proved a boon 
for scholars, having served, indeed, practically as tlie basis for 
most of the work in the same line performed since his time. 
No fixed rules of nomenclature, however, have ever been 
adopted by linguistic writers, and authors have named and re- 
named linguistic groups without regard to the names imposed 
upon the same or similar groups by earlier Avriters. As a re- 
sult great confusion has followed not only respecting the status 
of the various linguistic families, but also respecting tlie iden- 
tity of the languages which have served as a Ijasisfor the sev- 
eral groups proposed. The remedy for this state of affairs is 
the adoption, with strict adherence thereto, of a code of no- 
menclatural rules similar in scope to those prevailing among 

There would appear to be no good reason why the rule of 
priority of name, for instance, should not be followed in lin- 
guistic as well as in zoologic classification, or why the same 
beneficial result of fixity of nomenclature should not be ex- 
pected to result from the adoption of this rule in the one case as 
in the other. Students who may attemjit to unravel the many 
perplexing nomenclatural problems arising from unnecessary 
change of names will certainly agree that such a rule is no 
less desirable in linguistics than in zoology. 

Accordingly, the rule of priority of name, within certain lim- 
itations, together with some other rules, has been adopted by 
the Bureau. These limitations and rules, together with a dis- 


cussion of the subject, which would still be premature, may be 
presented by the Director in his next annual report. 

Mr. H. W. Henshaw, when not in the held, was specially 
engaged in the organization and details of the office work upon 
tribal synonymy and linguistic classification above described. 
A careful examination of all the literature pertaining to these 
correlated subjects was necessary and also the preparation of 
tentative tables of synonymy. He has prepared such tables 
and made in connection with them a brief historical re'sume of 
the literature. Much longer time and the work of the whole 
official force will, however, be needed for the completion for 
publication of the results of this vast and complicated under- 

Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith was occupied, while not engaged 
in the field as reported above, in the revision for publication of 
her Tuscarora dictionary, the material for which had been col- 
lected during several years. 

Col. Garrick Mallery continued the collection and classi- 
fication of material on the two correlated subjects of sign lan- 
guage and pictographs. His two preliminary papers on those 
subjects have appeared in former annual reports. It is in- 
tended, while increasing the data obtained from the Indian 
tribes of North America, bearing upon these subjects, to sup- 
plement and illustrate the mass of information collected from 
those tribes by comparison with everything of a similar char- 
acter to be found in other parts of the world and to publish the 
results of the collection and study in the form of monographs. 

Dr. W. J. Hoftman, when not in the field, continued to assist 
in the work mentioned. 

Mr. James C. Filling's preparation of the Bibliography of 
North American Languages continued during the year. In 
October and November he visited several libraries in Boston 
and Providence, for the purpose of clearing up a number of 
doubtful points. During the year pages 839-1135 were re- 
ceived from the printer, which completed the volume. In the 
spring a limited number of copies were struck off by the Pub- 
lic Printer, and these have been sent to various libraries, j^ub- 
lic institutions, and to individuals interested in the subject, for 


the purpose of obtaining additions and corrections, with the in- 
tention, it" tliese should prove to be numerous, of resetting the 

Mr. Frank H. Gushing was stationed at Washington at the 
conniiencenient of the fiscal xeav and was engaged in the 
classification of his field" material in preparation for its pub- 
lication. During the fall he completed a short paper on 
Zuni culture growth as evidenced by studies of Pueblo ce- 
ramics, which was published in the Fourth Annual Report of 
the Bureau. In this jiaper he maintains, with a large amount 
of linguistic evidence, that the Zuni culture is mainly autoch- 
thonous, and that its growth, especially the growth of archi- 
tectural, agricultural, ceramic, and other arts and industries 
pertaining- to it, has been largel}' accomplished within the 
desert areas of America which still form the habitat of the 
Pueblo Indians, and probably, also, within a period more lim- 
ited than has usually been supposed essential to such develop- 

He prepared also a paper on the "Ancient province of Ci- 
bola and the seven lost cities," in which he not only identifies 
the seven cities of Cibola above referred to with seven ruins 
near the present Zuni village, but also furnishes interesting- 
examples of the permanence of Indian tradition and of its value, 
when propei'ly used, as a factor in ethnographic and historiic 

Among the later and perhaps more important results of his 
studies during the year are investigations of the myths and 
folk tales abundantly recorded by him during previous years 
among the Zuni. 

By the extended comparison which he is able to make be- 
tween these folk tales and myths, now first brought together 
as a whole, and by the application to their study of the lin- 
guistic method employed by him in the preparation of the two 
papers already mentioned, he is able to trace the growth of 
mere ideas or of primitive conceptions of natural or biotic phe- 
nomena and of physical or animal function into the persona? 
and incidents which go to make up myths, as well as to trace 
the influence of these growths on the worship of the Zuni. 


Early in 1885 Mr. Gushing furnished the Director with a 
schedule of his manuscript, notes, and sketches, and from an 
examination of this it was deemed advisable that he should 
continue putting his linguistic material into permanent shape, 
in order tliat it might be used as a check on ensuing- studies 
of the sociology and mythology of the Zuiii, as well as for its 
suggestive value towards the explanation of obscure passages 
in those departments of study. This work had progressed 
but little, however, when a severe illness necessitated its tem- 
porary abandonment. 

Prof. Cyrus Tuomas, in addition to his administrative duties 
in charge of the division of mound exploration, was engaged 
in preparing for publication the results of the operations of 
that division. The constant arrangement, comparison, and 
study of the material objects and facts ascertained required his 
close application. He also commenced the paper presented 
by him in this volume. 

Mr. Victor Mindeleff, in the first part of the fiscal year, 
completed models of the seven villages of the ancient Province 
of Tusayan, together with a relief model illustrating the topo- 
graphical character of the province. The model of Walpi, of 
this series, was carried out in such a manner as to show on a 
large scale the character of the rocky mesa on which the town 
is built. Several types of cliff ruins were also modeled for 
this series, among them the White House ruin of Canon de 
Chelly and the muumiy cave of Canon de la Muerte. After 
August 1 this work was carried on under the supervision of 
Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff', who also prepared a model of the great 
Etowah mound from the data of Mr. V. Mindeleff's survey; he 
also furnished several other examples of mounds, with sec- 
tions, under the direction of Prof Cyrus Thomas. This work 
was carried on without interruption until December 7, when 
Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff was ordered to New Orleans, to take 
charge of the combined exhibits of the U. S. Geological 
Survey and the Bureau of Ethnology, and was instructed to 
look after the proper installation of the same in the Govern- 
ment building. He returned to Washington about Februar}^ 
1. During the ensuing four months the small force in the 


modeling room was engaged in making models of the ancient 
pueblos of the Chaco, from the plans secured during the pre- 
ceding summer, as referred to in the report of field work. 
This work continued until enrlj June, when Mr. C. MindelefF 
was again ordered to New Orleans to take charge of the pack- 
ing and shipment of the exhibits of the Geological Survey and 
Bureau of Ethnology for their return to Washington and for 
the installation of a portion of the material at the Louisville 
Exposition. During the interval from February 1 to June 
15 Mr. Victor Mindeleff was engaged in the preparation of a 
report on the architecture of the ancient provinces of Cibola 
and Tusayan, together with the plans and diagrams necessary 
for its illustration. This study was based on the large amount 
of data that had been secured during former field seasons for 
modeling purposes. 

Rev. J. Owen Dorset, when not in the field, made nearly 
10,000 entries for the (/^egiha-Enghsh dictionary, and pre- 
pared Ponka and Omaha native texts, with free and interlinear 
translations, in addition to those found in part 1 of vol. 6, 
Contributions to North American Ethnology. After Decem- 
ber 1, 1884. he collated the following vocabularies obtained 
by him in Oregon, viz: Takelma, Shasti, Applegate Creek, 
Chasta Costa, Galice Creek, MuUuk, Siuslaw, Lower Umpqua, 
Yaquina, Klikitat, and one on Smith River, California. He 
also prepared a list of the villages obtained from the tribes at 
the Siletz Agency, Oregon. 

Mr. Albert S. Gatschet was engaged at the beginning of 
the fiscal year in revising and perfecting his grammar of the 
Klamath language of southern Oregon. The phonology was 
completed and stereotyped, extending from page 200 to 245. 
He was engaged in correcting proofs of the subsequent section 
on morphology when he proceeded to the Southwest, as else- 
where reported, to investigate several languages spoken there, 
the affinities of which had not before been ascertained. 

Mr. W. H. Holmes, as in previous years, has supervised the 
illustrations of the Bureau publications. He also continued 
his archpeologic studies, chiefly in the department of ceramics, 
the character of which is shown by his papers in this volume. 


He was in charge of the preparation of exhibits for the exposi- 
tions at New Orleans, Louisville, and Cincinnati; but, owing- 
to the pressure of other duties, much of this work was intrusted 
to Mr. Cosmos Mindeleif, who was as.sisted materially by Mr. 
Victor Mindeleff. The most important feature of the exhibits 
consisted of models of plaster and papier mache of the pueblo 
towns and clitf houses of New Mexico and Arizona. 

Aside from the models, exhibits of ethnologic and archajo- 
logic materials were made. A large and important collection 
of objects of pueblo art was obtained by Mr. James Stevenson, 
but much of it failed to reach Washington in time for exhibi- 
tion purposes, and a series of similar objects, already classified 
and labeled, was selected from the National Museum and for- 
warded to New Orleans. A valuable collection of the ancient 
fictile products of Tusayan belonging to Mr. Thomas Keam 
was also utilized in perfecting the exhibits of Pueblo art. 

Archseologic materials from other sections of the country 
were placed on exhibition, notably a superb collection of pre- 
historic relics from the province of Chiriqui, Panama, which 
was purchased for the purpose. 

The collections of ethnologic and archfeologic material made 
during the year are of unusual importance and magnitude. 
This is chiefly due to the facilities afforded by the New Orleans 
Exposition fund, a liberal portion of which was devoted to the 
collection and purchase of objects of permanent value to the 
Government and to science. The collections made by Mr. 
Stevenson in Zuiii and Acoma comprise upward of four thou- 
sand pieces, chiefly objects of clay, but including other classes 
of products. The collection of prehistoric relics obtained by 
Mr. J. A. McNiel from the tombs of Chiriqui is one of the most 
important and complete series of ancient American products to 
be found in any country, and must prove of great value to stu- 

Mr. Victor Mindeleff secured a small series of relics from 
the ancient ruins of northern New Mexico and Arizona, and 
Dr. H. C. Yarrow added some objects of arclueologic and 
etlmologic interest from central Utah. Mrs. Erminnie A. 
Smith procured a numl)er of articles of shell, illustrating the 



modern manufacture of wampum in New Jersey; a small col- 
lection of fragmentary pottery from the eastern shore of Mary- 
land was presented by Mr. Joseph D. McGuire, of Ellicott 
City; and Mr. Holmes secured a series of articles, including- 
arrowheads, shell implements, and pottery, from the island of 
Nantucket. Mound explorations, conducted by Dr. Cyrus 
Thomas, yielded a valuable series of objects of stone and clay. 
An unusually interesting series of the earthen vessels of the 
ancient pueblo races Avas secured by Mr. E. W. Nelson in east- 
ern central Arizona. The greater part of the abovementioned 
material has already been catalogued and turned over to the 
U. S. National Museum. 

Dr. H. C. Yarrow, acting assistant surgeon, U. S. Army, 
besides his field explorations described, continued to collect 
information relative to the mortuary customs of Noi'th Ameri- 
can Indians. Of the material gathered, a considerable portion 
has been forwarded by various persons throughout the coun- 
try in answer to the circular sent out early in the last year, 
but much has also been derived from the published works 
on anthropologic subjects, including scientific journals and re- 
ports. Numerous authorities have been consulted and much 
time has been devoted to the consideration of the many theories 
advanced to account for certain peculiar rites and customs. 

Mr. Charles C. Royce continued during the year the prepa- 
ration of a historical atlas of Indian cessions. The boundaries 
of the various cessions of land by the different Indian tribes 
were traced out and located upon the maps of the States and 
Territories left uncompleted at the date of the last annual re- 
port. All that remains to be done in completing the atlas for 
publication is to transcribe, with considerable elaboration, the 
historical and descriptive notes pertaining to the various ces- 
sions, and to make, from the rough working sheets, legible 
copies of the maps showing the boundaries of the cessions 
within the States of California, Oregon, Nevada, and Texas 
and the Territories of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, 
Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Dakota. Most of these States 
and Territories will each require two maps, showing respec- 


tively the primary and secondary cessions. The work will be 
finished as rapidly as possible. 


The present voliune contains papers the subject matter of 
which may be classified under the grand divisions of Tech- 
nolog-y, Philosophy, Sociology, and Ethnography. 

They are all prepared by experts of recognized authority 
in their several lines of research and are illustrated to the de- 
gree required by the text for full understanding, the number 
of figures presented being 548, besides ten full page plates. 
Special mention of each of these papers follows in their order 
as printed. 


The archfBology of Chiriqui should be studied, not only for 
comparison with that of the territory comprised in the present 
political divisions of North America, but because geograph- 
ically the province should be considered as a part of the North 
American continent. Until recently this isthmian region was 
little known, the explorations for railroads and canals having 
furnished the first valuable accounts of its modern inhabitants 
and the relics left by former occupants. 

The National Museum now contains a large and precious 
collection of archteologic material from the province, chiefly 
obtained by Mr. J. A. McNiel during years of enthusiastic la- 
bor. The information derived and the lessons to be learned 
from this collection, together with all particulars relating thereto 
gatliered from other sources, are now presented in this paper 
by Mr. W. H. Holmes. His work iu tiie classification of the 
immense number of objects and in the elucidation of their func- 
tions, material, construction, forms, and decorations has been 
careful and comprehensive. His manifest success has been 
owing to his artistic insight and skill as well as to his archteo- 
logic training. His ability in both fields can be appreciated 
by an examination of the 287 illustrations iu his paper, con- 


sidered not only as to their number, but as to their instructive 
arrang-ement in his text. 

The objects of ancient art found in Chiriqui are, as else- 
where in North America, derived almost entirely from graves. 
The cemeteries, apart from their contents and the mode of sep- 
ulture, constitute in themselves topics of interest wliich are 
discussed and illustrated in the papei*. Another curious feature 
is that the objects buried generally appear to have been manu- 
factured for mortuary purposes and not for use by the living. 
A general I'eview of the contents of the gra.ves shows that the 
ancient inhabitants were skillful in the manipulation of stone, 
gold, copper, and clay, and tombs of undoubtedly gi-eat an- 
tiquity yield evidence of long continued culture. 

It also appears that, while the art of the old peoples of the 
isthnuis can in some respects be connected with that of adja- 
cent regions in North America, in others it is remarkable for 
individuality. Ornaments of stone were seldom used by them 
and those of gold and copper wei'e common. The articles of 
gold which the graves have yielded in large quantities to ex- 
plorers during the last quarter of a century, and for wiiich 
only they liave until recently been searched, have generally 
been considered to be mere ornaments, but they probably had 
a fetichistic origin. 

It is remarkable that no weapon, tool, or utensil of metal 
has been noticed The objects were generally formed bv cast- 
ing in molds, which was done with considerable skill, and gild- 
ing, or at least plating, was practiced. The art of alloying also 
appears to have been understood. 

The use of metals does not appear early in the order of 
technology, and an advanced degree of culture is generally 
attained before the casting of any metal is attempted. With- 
out allowing too much weight to any argument based upon 
the sui-prising skill of these people in plating and alloying, the 
evidence of technical skill in general, together with the con- 
ceptions embodied in their art, proves conclusivel}' that 'it was 
the product of a long period of experiment and progress. 

The pottery of Chiriqui is to be noted for the perfection of 
its technique, it^ high specialization of form, and its conven- 


tional use of a wide range of decorative motives. Its forms 
present many striking analogies to the wheel made ware of the 
Mediterranean, regarded as classic. 

The mythologic stage of the builders of tliese graves is 
shown by the fact that in their ceramic art there is no attempt 
to render the human face or fignre witli accuracy. The per- 
sonages of their religious philosophy were zoomorpliic and 
some of their forms may be discerned by a skillful analyst in 
or on all the ornaments and vessels. On each of the latter all 
decorative devices and delineations have some reference to 
the mythic creature associated with the vessel and its functions. 

Mr. Holmes has made an important discovery in the evolu- 
tion of decoration inChiriqni from which are deduced instructive 
generalizations of wide application. All the decorations orig- 
inate (doubtless under the influence of the stage reached in 
mythologic philosophy) in life forms of animals, none being 
vegetal. Coming from mythologic concepts they are signifi- 
cant and ideographic, and coming from nature they are prima- 
rily imitative and non-geometric. Nevertheless the agencies 
of modification inhei'ent in the practice of art through its me- 
chanical conditions are such that the animal forms early em- 
ployed have changed into conventional decorative devices, 
among which ai-e the meander, scroll, fret, chevron, and guil- 

That this was the course of evolution of the classic forms of 
ornaments is not asserted ; indeed, it is not necessary to form 
such a hypothesis, as by the interacting principles, well classi- 
fied by Mr. Holmes, the course by which the same result was 
accomplished may have been wholly diverse. It is, however, 
shown that this was in all probability the particular and inde- 
pendent course in one region of America, being in that respect 
in distinct contrast to other art regions, such as that of the 
Pueblos, where the rise of geometric figures through techno- 
logic channels is equally obvious. It follows that in seeking 
to divide peoples by the criteria of their decorative arts the 
examination must embrace what is far more fundamental than 
a mere comparison of their finished products: these may be 


and are markedly similar without any evidence of transmis- 
sion, and when in fact by deeper study the ascertained sepa- 
rate courses of development preclude such transmission. 


For several years Mr. Holmes has been engaged in the study 
of the ancient and existing art of the North American Indians, 
and has published in the annual reports of this Bureau a num- 
ber of elaborate essays upon the art of specified peoples and 

In the present paper he submits the comprehensive results 
of his studies in one great branch, the textile art, and treats 
chiefly of its esthetic relations as distinct from those of con- 
struction and function, so far as they can be separately dis- 

He has been fortunate in the character of the material 
studied. In America there is yet found a great body of primi- 
tive, indigenous, and independent art, almost uncontaminated 
by the complex phenomena, processes, and conditions which 
elsewhere obscure its origin and development. To a knowl- 
edge of American art acquired by long study Mr. Holmes 
adds a mental equijiment excej)tionally qualifying him for its 
philosophic discussion. His conclusions therefore, presented 
with ample evidence and explained by illustrations, are to be 
received as those of a recognized authority, although they may 
disturb some sentimental and metaphysical fancies concerning 
abstract beauty in form, color, and design. 

It is not contended that the earliest concepts of beauty orig- 
inated with textile art. On the contrary, it is probable that 
the first esthetic attempts were in the line of personal decora- 
tion, such as paints on the skin and pendants and feathers dis- 
posed about the person. But as the textile art appears early 
and widely in culture it is Ijelieved that the association of 
esthetic concepts with it very generally preceded their asso- 
ciation with other arts. Having thus the start in the field, its 
nature was full of suggestions of embellishment, wliile it was 
fixed in its method of expression. The technique therefore 


shaped and directed the esthetic concept and became the par- 
ent of ninch geometric ornament. 

Mr. Hohiies gives an instructive analysis of the forces and 
influences inherent in the textile art, the first lessons of which 
are order, uniformity, and symmetry; he shows how the neces- 
sities of technique determine ideas of the beautiful in linear 
geometric forms and how taste in selecting certain ornaments 
as the most beautiful is simply choosing that product which in 
the evolution of art gave it character and power. 

The influence of textile ornament upon other forms of art, 
such as architecture and sculpture, is discussed, as also the 
manner in which extrinsic decorative elements are remodeled 
in accordance with the rules of textile combination. The 
paper, however, does not undertake to cover the whole field 
of the development of form and ornament, being confined to 
the relation of the textile art thereto, and similar studies in all 
other sfrand divisions of art must be made before the relative 
importance of all their forces and tendencies can be estimated. 
But the laws of evolution in all art closely correspond, and the 
present paper is eminently instructive to all students of the 


That Prof. Cyrus Thomas has long been engaged in the ex- 
amination of the few Maya records in existence is known from 
his former works, "A study of the Manuscript Troano" and 
"Notes on certain Maya and Mexican manuscripts," both pub- 
lished by the Bureau of Ethnology. 

The object of the present paper is to give information of 
some original discoveries and to present some explanations not 
brought forward by Professor Thomas in his former pajjers. 

The records of Maya and Mexico yet challenge students 
with unsolved problems similar to those which in the writings 
of Egypt and Assyria have perplexed so many generations. 
The translation of the paleographic literature of this continent 
may be expected to throw light on the past of America, in some 
degree reproducing the brilliant result which has attended the 
translation of the hieroglyphs of the eastern hemisph.ere. Long 


and laborious comparisons, together witli the trial of succes- 
sive hypotheses, will be necessary to the decipherment of our 
aboriginal manuscripts, and but few competent persons are 
actively engaged in the work. It becomes, therefore, the duty 
of any one whose discoveries tend to clear up even minor 
points of the great problem to furnish them to his fellow 
laborers, and tliereby limit the remaining- field of investigation. 
In this paper Professor Thomas supplements his former work. 


This paper contains an account of a secret society of seven 
degrees, still existing among the Osage, in which the traditions 
of the people have been preserved. The author, by his skill 
and personal influence, has obtained and now furnishes two of 
these traditions in the original language, with an interlinear 
and a free translation of each and with explanatory remarks. 

The traditions are both eosmologic and sociologic, and are 
admirable examples of Indian philosophy. The existence of 
secret associations, pei'iodically celebrating religious mysteries, 
and of shamanistic orders, which, by ceremonies, pictographs, 
and chants, have preserved in more or less purity the tradi- 
tions of their ancestors, has been vaguely known for some 
years, but until lately no accurate or indeed intelligent ac- 
count of them has been secured. 

The exertions of several of the oflBcers of this Bureau have 
been successful in obtaining full details and clear explanations 
both of tlie traditions and the ceremonials of several of the 
Indian tribes, notably those of the Zuui and the Navajo, pub- 
lished in former annual reports. The present paper by Mi*. 
Dorsey takes an important place in this new collection of ma- 
terials for the study of Indian philosophy, from wiiicli valuable 
results have been already acquired. 


For the express purpose of personal exploration and exami- 
nation, the author of this important paper spent a considerable 
time iu the region of which he treats. His course of travel 


was to Cumberland sound and Davis strait. The grand di- 
vision of the Eskimanan hngnistic family, inhabiting nearly 
the whole range of the Arctic-American coast, which has been 
classed as Central Eskimo, occupies the northeastern part of 
the continent and the eastern islands of tlie Arctic-American 
archipelago. It inhabits, at Smith sound, the most northern 
countries in which man has been known to dwell. Its southern 
and western boundaries are about Fort Churchill, the middle 
part of Back river, and the coast west of Adelaide peninsula. 

Dr. Boas gives an admirable account of the topography of 
the region and of the distribution, tribal divisions, and num- 
bers of the inhabitants. His work is replete with valuable 
statements in minute detail and with acute suggestions regard- 
ing their habits and customs. Their peculiar and ingenious 
weapons, implements, and utensils ai'e fully described and 
illustrated. His account of their religious practices and be- 
liefs, supplemented by translations of their myths and legends, 
is equally entertaining and instructive. 

In connection with his observations made through original 
research, Dr. Boas presents the result of a close study and 
analysis of the work of former explorers in this field, by which 
his contribution to the study of this interesting hyperborean 
people will command additional attention. 



Table showing amonuts appropriated and expended for Noi'th American ethnology for the 
fiscal year ending June 30, 1885, 



A moan t ap- 

A. Services 

B. Traveling expenses 

C. Transportation of property 

D. Field sulisistence 

E. Field supplies and expenses 

F. Field material 

G. Instruments 

H. Modeling material 

I. PUotogiapbic material 

K. Books and maps '. 

L. Stationery and drawing material 

M. Illustraiions for reports , 

N. Articles for distribution to Indians 

O. Office furniture 

P. Office supplies and repairs 

Q. Manuscripts 

R. Correspondence 

S. Specimens 

T. Collection of material for classification of the Indians in the TTnited 

States '. 

Balance on hand to meet outstanding liabilities 

$30, 433. 55 

3, 716. 14 

354. 12 

198. 42 

535. 45 

197. 71 



306. 71 

355. 85 






395. 00 



1, 326. 61 
1, 200. 34 

40, OOO. 00 



G ETH i 







Inti-oduotion j;^ 

Geography 13 

Literature 14 

Peoples 15 

The cemeteries K; 

Tlie graves 1 7 

Human remains o() 

Placing of relics oj 

Objects of art 21 

Stone 21 

Pictured rocks 21 

Columns 23 

Images 23 

Mealing stones 25 

Stools 27 

Celts &c 29 

Spearheads 34 

Arrowpoints 34 

Ornaments 34 

Metal 35 

Gold and copper 35 

Bronze 49 

Clay: Pottery 53 

Preliminary 53 

How found 5-, 

Material .--, 

Manufacture 50 

Color ;~ 

Use y/^'.]'//.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 57 

Forms of vessels 5,S 

Decoration (jo 

Unpainted ware _ (ji; 

Terra cotta group (;7 

Black incised grou]) j-O 

Painted ware §4 

Scarified group ,^7 

Handled group HO 

Tripod gr(jup j)7 

Maroon group 1117 

Red line group log 

White line grouj) jH 

Lost color group 1 1 ;; 

Alligator gi-oup l;50 

Polychrome gTouji I40 

Unclassified I j- 


Objects of art — ( 'ontimied. 

Clay : Miscellanei >iis objects 14!l 

Spindle whorls 1 -I !• 

Needlecases 1">'| 

Figurines I"'! 

Stools 1^4 

Musical instruments lofi 

Rattles l^(i 

Drums . . . ■. 157 

Wind instruments 160 

Life f(jrms in vase jiaintiiig I'i^l 

Resume , lf:*f) 



Plate I. Map of Cbiriqui 1'^ 

Fig. 1. SeL-tiou of oval grave 1'^ 

2. Section of a quadrangular grave IS 

3. Grave with pillars l'** 

4. Compound cist 19 

5. Southwest face of the pictiued stone 22 

6. A goddess of the ancient Chiriquians 23 

7. A god of the ancient Chiriquians 24 

8. Fragmentary human figure in gray basaltic rock 25 

9. Mealing stone with large tablet ornamented with animal heads .... 26 

10. Puma shaped metate 27 

11. Stool shaped object 28 

12. Stool with columnar base 28 

13. Stool with perforated base 29 

14. Large jjartially polished celt 30 

15. Celt of hexagonal section **! 

16. Small wide bladed celt 31 

17. Celt with heavy shaft 31 

18. Celt or ax with constriction near the top 31 

19. Flaked and partially polished celt 32 

20. Well polished celt 32 

21. Narrow pointed celt 32 

22. Narrow pointed celt 32 

23. Cylindrical celt with narrow point 33 

24. Leaf shaped objects suggesting spearpoints 34 

35. Arrowpoints 34 

26. Human figure, formid of copper-gold alloy 41 

27. Grotesque human figure in gold 42 

28. Rudely shaped human figure in gold 42 

29. Grotesque human figure in nearly pure copper 43 

30. Grotesque human figure in nearlj- pure gold 43 

31. Rudely executed image of a bird in gold 44 

32. Image of a bud in gold 45 

33. Puma shaped figure in gold 45 

34. Puma shaped figiire in base metal 45 

35. Quadruped with gi'otesque face in base metal 46 

36. Figiu-e of a fish in gold 46 

37. Large figure of a frog, in base metal plated with g(jld 47 

38. Small figure of a frog, in base metal plated with gold 47 

39. Figure of an alligator in gold 48 

40. Animal figure, in base metal plated with gold 48 

41. Bronze bells plated or washed with gold 50 

42. Bronze bell with human features 50 

43. Ti-ii)le bell or rattle found on the Rio Grande 51 



Flu. 44. Aucii'iil Mexican lifll 51 

45. Fumlaineutal forms of vases — convex outlines 58 

46. Fxindamental forms of — angular outlines 59 

47. Vases of complex outlines — exceptional forms 59 

48. Vases of compound forms 59 

49. Si|uare lipped vessel 59 

50. Variations in the forms of necks and rims 60 

51. Arrangement of handles 60 

52. Types of annular liases or feet 61 

53. Forms of legs 61 

54. Grotesque figure forming the handle of a small vase 63 

55. Grotesque figure forming the handle of a small vase 63 

56. Grotesque figure forming the handle of a small vase 63 

57. Monstrous figure with serpent shaped extremities 63 

58. Monstrous figure with serpent sliaped extremities 63 

59. Grotesque figure 64 

(iO. Grotes(]ue figure 64 

6 1 . Grotesque figure 64 

6'i. Figure of a monkey 64 

63. Figure of a monkey 64 

64. Figure of a monkey 64 

65. Animal forms exhibiting long proboscis . 65 

66. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 65 

67. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 65 

68. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 66 

09. Vase illustrating ornamental use of animal figures 66 

70. Series of l)owls and cu|is o{ unpainted ware 67 

71. Vase of graceful form 68 

72. Vase of graceful form 68 

73. Vase of fine form, ornamented with grotesque heads 68 

74. Vase of fine form, ornamented with grotesque heads 69 

75. Vase with ornament of applied nodes and fillets 69 

76. Vase with mantle covered with incised figures 70 

77. Vase with frieze of grotesque heads 70 

78. Vases with flaring rims and \aried ornament 71 

79. Vases with complex outlines and varied ornament 71 

80. Large vase with two mouths and neatly decorated necks 72 

HI. Large vase with high handles : 72 

82. Top view of high handled vase 73 

83. Handled , 73 

N4. Handled vase 73 

85. Handled vase 73 

86. Small cuj) with single handle, ornamented with grotesque figure ... 74 

87. Small cup «ith single handle, ornamented with grotesque figure ... 74 

88. Vase ( )f eccentric form 74 

H9. Vessel illustrating forms of legs. . 75 

90. Vessel illustrating forms of legs 75 

91. Vessel with large legs, decorated witli stellar punctures 75 

92. of varied form with plain and animal shaped legs 75 

93. Large vase of striking shape 76 

94. Cuj) with legs imitating animal forms 76 . 

9.5. Cup with legs imitating a grotesque animal form 77 

96. Cui) witli legs imitating the armadillo 77 



Fig. 97. Cup with legs iinitatins the armailillo 77 

98. Ciii) « itli frog shaped legs 77 

99. Cup with legs imitating an animal ami its Vdung 77 

100. Cuj)s sujjported \>y gi(ites(|ue heails 77 

101. Large cup supported l)y two grotesipie figures 78 

102. Cup with two animal heads attached to the sides 7« 

103. Cup with two animal heads attached to the sides 78 

104. Vase shaped to imitate an animal form 79 

lO.'j. Vase shaped to imitate an animal form 79 

106. Vase shaped to imitate an animal form 79 

107. Fish sliaped vessel 79 

108. Top view of a fish shaped vessel 80 

109. Cup with grotesque head attached to the rim 80 

110. Black cuj) with incised reptilian figures 81 

111. Black cup witli incised re])tilian tigmes 81 

112. Black vase with conventional incised i>attern 81 

113. Small cup with conventional incised pattern 83 

114. Small tripod cup with upright walls 83 

115. Vase with flaring rim and legs imitating animal heads 82 

116. Vase mtxleled to represent the head of an animal. 83 

117. Pattern upon the back of the vase 83 

118. Ti-ipod bowl of red scarified ware 87 

119. Tii]iod bowl of red scarified ware 87 

120. Oblong basin with scarified design 88 

131. Large scarified liowl with handles imitating animal heads 88 

122. Jar with flat bottom and vertical bands of incised ornament 89 

123. Vase with stand and vei-fical incised bands 89 

124. Vase with handles, legs, and vertical ribs 89 

12."). Tiipod with owl-Uke heads at insertion of legs 9(1 

126. Ti-ipod with legs rudely suggesting animal forms 91) 

127. Heavy red vase with four mouths !H) 

128. Vase with horizontally placed handles and rude designs in red 91 

129. Unpolished vase with heavy handles and coated with soot 93 

130. Round bodied vase with unique handles and incised ornament 92 

131. Vase with grotesque figures attached to tlie handles 93 

133. Vase with upright handles and winged li]) i»3 

133. Top view of vase with winged lip !I4 

134. Vase with grotesque animal shaijed handles 94 

13'). Vase with handles representing strange animals 9.") 

136. Vase with handles representing grotesque figures 9.") 

137. Vase with handles representing animal heads 90 

138. Vase with aiched banilles embellished with life forms in highreUef . . . 96 

139. Vase with arched handles eml>ellished with life forms in high relief. . . 97 

140. Tripod vase with shallow Ixasin and eccentric handles 99 

141. Tripod vase with shallow basin and eccentric handles 99 

142. Tripod vase with shallow basin and eccentric handles 99 

143. Ti-ipod of gi-aceful shajie and neat finish 10(1 

144. Heavy tripod vase with widely si)readiug feet lOfl 

14.5. Neatly modeled vase embellished with Ufe forms and devices in red ... 101 

146. High tripod vase with incised designs and rude figures in red 101 

147. Handsome tripod vase with scroll ornament 102 

1 48. Vase with lizard shaped legs 102 

1 49. Vase with scroll ornament 103 



Fig. 1.50. Large vase with flaring rim and widespreaJing legs 103 

1.51. Fragment of a tripod vase embellished with figure of an alligator. 104 

1.52. Vase supported by grotesque human figures 105 

153. Foun 1 bodied vase embellished with figures of monsters 100 

1.54. Cui) witli incurved rim and life form ornamentation 107 

155. Cup with widely expanded rim and constricted neck 107 

156. Small tripod cup with animal features in high relief 108 

157. Handsome vase sup)5orted by three grotesque figures 108 

158. Vase decorated with figures of frogs and devices in red 110 

159. Vase of unique shape and life form ornamentation 110 

160. Two-handled vase with life form and linear decoration 110 

161. Small tripod vase with animal figures in white Ill 

162. Shapely vase with designs in white paint 112 

163. Small red bottle with horizontal bands of ornament 115 

164. Small red Ixittle with encircling geometric devices 115 

165. Bottle with zone occupied liy geometric devices 116 

166. Bottle with broad zone containing geometric figures -. 116 

167. Bottle with decoration of meandered lines 117 

168. Bottle with arched panels and geometric devices 117 

169. Bottle with arched panels and elaborate devices 118 

170. Vase with rosette-like panels 118 

170((.Ornament from preceding vase 118 

171. Vase with rosette-hke panels 119 

172. Vase with rosette-like panels 119 

173. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 120 

174. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 120 

175. Theoretical origin of the arched panels 120 

176. Vase decorated with conventional figures of alligators 120 

177. Portion of decorated zone illustrating treatment of life forms 121 

178. Portion of decorated zone illustrating treatment of life forms 121 

179. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 121 

179a. Design from preceding vase 122 

180. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 123 

181. Vase decorated with highly conventional life forms 123 

182. Decorated panel with devices resembling vegetal growths 124 

183. Vase of unusual shape 124 

184. Vase of unusual shape 124 

185. Vase of unusual shape 124 

186. Double vessel with high arched handle 125 

187. Double vessel with arched liandle 125 

188. Vase embellished with life forms in color and in relief 126 

189. Vase modeled to represent a peccary 127 

190. Under surface of peccary vase 127 

191. Small vessel with human figures in high relief 137 

192. Tripod cup with figures of the alligator 128 

193. Large sliallow tripod vase with geometric decoration 129 

194. Large bottle shaped vase with high tiipod and alligator design. . . . 130 

195. Large bottle with narrow zone containing figures of the alligator. . 132 

196. Vase with decorated zone containing four arched panels 133 

197. Vase with four round nodes upon which are painted animal devices . 133 

198. Vases of varied form and decoration 134 

199. Alligator vase with conventional markings 135 

200. Alligator vase with figures of the alli.gator painted on the sides 135 



Fig. 301. Vase with serpent ovnameutatidii 136 

iJ02. Vase representing a puma with alliKatur tigiu'es painted on sides. . 137 

303. Sliailow vase with reptilian features in relief and in color 137 

204. Vase with funnel shaped mouth 138 

205. Top view of vase in Fig. 204 139 

206. End view of vase in Fig. 204 139 

207. Large vase with decorations in red and black 140 

308. Devices of the decorated zone of vase m Fig. 207, viewed from above . 141 

209. Handsome vase witli four handles and decorations in black, red, and 

purple 1'* 

210. Painted design of vase in Fig. 209, viewed from above 143 

211. Vase of unusual shape with decoration in black, red, and purple. . 144 
213. Ornament occupying the interior surface of the basin of vase in 

Fig. 211 144 

213. Large vase of fine shai)e and simple decorations 145 

214. Vase with extraordinary decorative designs 1-16 

215. Painted design of vase in Fig. 214, viewed from above 147 

216. Vase of unique form and decoration 148 

317. Painted ilesign of vase in Fig. 216 148 

21S. Spindle wliorl with annular nodes 149 

319. Spindle wliorl decorated with animal figm-es 149 

320. Spindle whorl with perforations and iniised ornament 149 

231. Needlecase ^^^ 

232. Needlecase 1'^** 

233. Needlecase with painted geometric ornament •. 151 

224. Needlecase with incised geomeh-ic ornament 151 

325. Needlecase with incised geometric ornament 151 

326. Statuette ^^^ 

237. Statuette ^^'^ 

238. Statuette 1"^^ 

229. Statuette 1^2 

330. Stool of plain terra cotta 154 

231. Stool of plain clay, with gi-otesque figvu-es 15o 

232. Stool of plain teiTa cotta 1^'^ 

233. Rattle 1'^^ 

234. Section of rattle ^^^ 

235. Rattle, with grotesque figm-es 15''' 

230. Drum of gray unpainted clay ''"^ 

237. Drum with jiainted ornament 159 

238. Painted design of drum in Fig. 337 159 

339. Double whistle 1^1 

240. Section of double whistle 161 

241. Tubular instrament with two linger holes 162 

342. Section of whistle 163 

243. Small animal shaped whistle 163 

244. Small animal shaped whistle 163 

345. Top shaped whistle 16=^ 

346. Section, toj), and bottom views of whistle 164 

247. Drum shaped whistle 16' 

248. Vase shaped whistle '65 

349. Crab shaped whistle 166 

3.50. Alligator shaped whistle 166 

351. Cat shaped whistle 16"^ 

252. Whistle with four ocelot-like heads 16^ 

253. Bird shaiied whistle 16" 

12 Il.I.rSTi;ATlnXS. 


Fig. 254. Bird sliaped whistle 169 

355. Biril shaped whistle 1 TO 

256. Whistle in grotesque life form , 170 

257. Conventional figure of the alligator 173 

258. Conventional figure of the alligator 173 

259. Conventional figure of the alligator 174 

260. Conventional figure of the alligator 174 

261. Conventional figure of the alligator 174 

262. Conventional figure of the alligator 175 

263. Conventional figure of the alligator 175 

264. Conventional figiu-e of the alligator 176 

265. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 176 

266. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 170 

267. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 176 

268. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 177 

269. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 177 

270. Conventional figure derived frf>m the alligator 177 

271. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

272. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

273. Conventional figure derived from the alligator 178 

274. Conventional figures derived fr om the alligator 179 

275. Conventional figure derived from tlie alligator 179 

276. Conventional fig-ure derived from the alligator 180 

277. Conventional figures derive<l from the alligator ISO 

278. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 181 

279. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 182 

280. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 182 

281. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 182 

382. Conventional figures derived from tlie alligator 182 

383. Conventional figures derived from the alligator 183 

284. Vase with decorated zone containing remarkable devices 185 

285. Series of devices 185 


M ^ J 



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By William H. Holmes. 



Until coiiijjaratively recent times the pruviuee of Cliiriqiii lias 
remained almost unknown to the world at large. The isthmus 
was traversed a number of times by the conquerors, who published 
accounts of their discoveries, but it was reserved for the period of 
railroad and canal exploration to furnish trust wfjrthy accounts of its 
character and inhabitants. The situation of Chiriqui is unique. 
Forming. })olitically. a part of South America, it belongs in reality 
t(i the North American continent. It occupies a part of the great 
southern flexure of the isthmus at a point w here the shore lines begin 
finally to turn toward the north. 

The map accompanying this ])aper (Plate I) conveys a clear idea of 
the position and the leading topograijliic featiires of the province. 
The boundaries separating it from Veragua on the east and Costa 
Rica on the west run nearly north and south. The Atlantic coast line 
has a northwest and southeast trend and is indented by the bay or 
lagoon of Chiriqui. The Bay of David extends into the land on the 
south and the Gulf of Dolce forms a part of the western boundary. A 
range of mountains, consisting principally of volcanic jirodiicts, ex- 
tends midway along the province, forming the continental water- 
shed.' The drainage comprises two systems of short rivers that run, 
one to the north and the other to the south, into the opposing oceans. 
Belts of lowland l)crder the shore lines. That on the south side is 
from twenty to thirty miles wide and rises gradually into a plateau 
two or three thousand feet in elevation, which is br(jken by hills and 
cut by caiions. This belt affords a natural thoroughfare for jjeoples 
migrating from continent to continent, and doubtless formed at all 
periods an attractive district for occupation. It is in the middle por- 
tion of this strip of lowland, especially in the drainage area of the Bay 
of David, that the most plentiful evidences of ancient occupation are 
found. Scattering remains have been discovered all along, however, 
connecting the art of Costa Rica with that of Veragua, Panama, and 

' For physical features, see report of Lieutenant Norton (Report Chiriqui Commis- 
sion, Ex. Dnr. 41. isen). 



the South American continent. The islands of the coast furnish 
some fragmentary monuments and relics, and there is no doubt tliat 
a vast quantity of material yet remains within tlie province to reward 
the diligent search of future explorers. 


The antirpiarian literature of the pi-(nnnce is extremely meager, 
being confined to brief sketches made liy transient visitors or based 
for the most part upon the testimony of gold himters and government 
explorers, who took but little note of the unpretentious relics of past 
ages. As there are few striking monuments, the attention of archse- 
ologists was not called to the history of primeval man in this I'egion, 
and until recently the isthmus was supposed to have remained prac- 
tically unoccupied by that grou}) of cultured nations whose works in 
Peru and in Mexico excite the wonder of the world. But, little by 
little, it has been discovered that at some period of the past the 
province was thickly populated, and by races jjossessed of no mean 

The most important contributi(jns to the literature of this region, so 
far as they have come to my knowledge, are the following: A paper 
by Mr. Merritt, published by the American Ethnological Society:' a 
paper by Bollaei't. published by the same society, and also a volume 
issued in London;^ a vahiable pamphlet, with photographic illustra- 
tions, by M. De Zeltner. Fi'ench consul to Panama in 18G0:' a short 
l^aper by Mr. A. L. Pinart, published in the Bulletin de la Societe de 
G^ographie (Paris, 1885, p. 433), in which he gives valuable infor- 
mation in regard to the peoples, ancient and modern; and casual 
notes by a number of other writers, some of which will be referred 
to in the following pages. A jiretty full list of authorities is given 
by Mr. H. H. Bancroft in his Native Races, Vol. V, p. IG. 

One of the most important additions to our knowledge of the prov- 
ince and its archfeologic treasures is furnished in the maniiscript notes 
of Mr. J. A. McNiel. who made the greater part of the collection 
now deposited in the National Miiseum. This explorer has person- 
ally siipervised the examination of many thousands of graves and 
has forwarded the bulk of his collections to the United States. His 
explorations have occui^ied a number of years, during which time he 
lias undergone much privation and displayed great enthusiasm in 
pursuing the rather thorny pathways of scientific research. In the 
preparation of this paper his notes have been u.sed as freely as their 
rather disconnected character warranted, and since Mr. McNiel's re- 
turn to the United States, in July, 1886, I have been favored with a 

' J. King Merritt: " Report on the huacals or ancient graveyards of Chiriqui." 
Bulletin of the American Ethnological Societj'. 1860. 

-Bollaert: Antiquarian Reseaiche.s in New Oranacla. Loinlon. IHfiO. 

"A. De Zeltner: Notes siir les seiiuituves imliennes thi departenient ile ( 'liiiiqiii. 


series of interviews witli him, and by this means much iminntaut in- 
formation has been obtained. 


At the present time tliis di.striet is inhabited chiefly by Indians and 
natives of mixed blood, who follow grazing and agriculture to a lim- 
ited extent, but subsist largely u^jon the natural products of the 
country. These peoples are generally thought to have no knowledge 
or trustworthy tradition of the ancient inhabitants and are said to 
care nothing for the curious cemeteries among which they dwell, ex- 
cept as a source of revenue. Mr. A. L. Pinart states, however, that 
certain tribes on both sides of the continental divide have traditions 
pointing toward the ancient grave builders as their ancestors. There 
is probably no valid reason for assigning the remains of this region 
to a very high autiqiiity. The highest stage of culture here may 
have been either earlier or later than the period of highest civiliza- 
tion in Mexico and South America or contemporaneous with it. There 
is really no reason for supjjosing that the tribes who built these graves 
were not in possession of the countrj', or parts of it, at the time of the 
conquest. As to the affinities of the ancient middle isthmian tribes 
with the peoples north and south of them we can learn nothing posi- 
tive from the evidences of their art. So far as the art of pottery has 
come within my observation, it aj^pears to indicate a somewhat closer 
relationsliip with the ancient Costa Rican peoples than with those of 
continental South America; yet, in their burial customs, in the lack 
of enduring houses and temples, and in their use of gold, they were 
like the ancient peoples of middle and southern New Granada. ' 

The relics preserved in our museums would seem to indicate one 
principal period of occupation or culture only: but there has been no 
intelligent study of the contents of the soil in sections exjjosed in 
modern excavations, the exclusive aim of collectors having generally 
been to secure either gold or showy cabinet si^ecimens. The relics 
of very primitive periods, if such are represented, have naturally 
passed unnoticed. Mr. McNiel mentions the occux-rence of pottery in 
the soil in which the graves were dug, but. regarding it as identical 
with that contained in the graves, he neglected to preserve specimens. 

In one instance, while on a visit to Los Remedios, a pueblo near 
the eastern frontier of Chiriqui, he oljserved a cultivated field about 
which a ditch some 8 or 9 feet in depth had been dug. In walk- 
ing through this he found a continuous exposure of broken i)ottery 
and stone implements. Some large urns had been cut across or 
broken to conform to the slope of the ditch, and were exposed in 

'R. B. White: .Jour. Anthrdp. Tiist. Great Britain and Irelaml. |i. '241. Fel>niary, 



Altliuiiyli iiiit apjiai-ciitly n^prescutiiig a vvvy wide range nl' culturi' 
or distinctly .sejjarated periods uf culture, the varioiis groups of relics 
exhibit considerable diversity in conception and execiition, attribut- 
al)le, no doubt, to variations in race and art inheritance. 


The ancient cemeteries, or huacals, as tliey are called tlirougiioiit 
Spanish America, are scattered over the greater part of the Pacific 
slope of Chiriqui. It is said by S(jnie that they are rarely found 
in the immediate vicinity of the sea, but they occur in the river 
valleys, on the hills, the plateaus, the mountains, and in the deepest 
forests. They are very numerous, but genei'ally of small extent. 
The largest described is said to cover an area of about twelve acres. 
They were probably located in the immediate vicinity of villages, 
traces of which, however, are not described by exploi-ers; but there 
can Ije no doubt that diligent search will bring to liglit the sites of 
dwellings and towns. The absence of traces of houses or monuments 
indicates either that the architecture of this region was then, as now, 
of destructible material, or, which is not likely, that so many ages 
have passed over them that all traces of nnburied art, wood, stone, 
or clay, have yielded to the "gnawing tooth of time." 

One of the most circumstantial accounts of these burial places is 
given by Mr. Merritt. who was also the first to make them known to 
science. ' Mr. Merritt was director of a gold mine in Veragua, and in 
the summer of 1859 spent several weeks in exploring the graves of 
Chiriqui : he therefore sjteaks from personal knowledge. In the autumn 
of 1858 two native farmers of the parish of Bugaba, or Bugava. dis- 
covered a golden image that had been exposed by the uprooting of a 
plant. They proceeded secretly to exi^lore the graves, the existence 
of which had been known for years. In the following spring their 
oi^erations became known to the people, and within a month more than 
a thousand persons were engaged in working these extraordinary gold 
mines. The fortunate discoverers succeeded in collecting about one 
hundred and thirty pounds weight of gold figures, most of which 
were moi-e or less alloyed with copper. It is estimated that fifty 
thousand dollars" worth in all was collected from this cemetery, which 
embraced an area of twelve acres. 

• Although there are rarely surface indications to mark the position 
of the graves, long experience has rendered it comparatively easy to 
discover them. The grave hunter carries a light iron rod. which he 
runs into the ground, and thus, if any hard substance is present, dis- 
covers the existence of a burial. It is mentioned by (jne or two writers 
that the graves are in many cases marked by stones, either loose or 
set in the ground in rectangulai- and circuhir ari-angements. The 

'.r. King MeiTitt: Paper read before tlic Ainciieiiii KtlimiloKii-al Societv, ISfiO. 



graves do not often seem to have had a uniform position in relation 
to oiie another or to the points of the compass. In some cases they 
are chistered about a central toml), and then assume a somewhat . 
radiate arrangement; again, according to Mr. McNiel, they are some- 
times placed end to end, occupying long trenches. 


Graves of a i)articular form are said to occui- sometimes in groups oc- 
cuj)ying distinct parts of the cemetery, biit the observations are not suf- 
ficiently definite to be of value. The graves vary considerably in form, 
constructioii, and depth, and are classified variously by explorers. 
In the Bugalta cemetery Mr. Merritt foimd tw(j well marked varieties, 
the oval and the (]uadraugular, reference being had to the horizontal 
section. The oval grave pits were from 4^ to G feet deep and from 3 
to -t feet in greatest diameter. A wall of rounded river stones 'H to 
3 feet high lined the lower part of the pit, and from the top of this 
the entire s^jace was closely packed with rounded stones. Within 
the faced u]) part of this cist the remains of the dead, the golden 
figures, pottery, and implements had been deiif)sited. This form is 
illustrated in Fig. 1 by a vertical section constructed from the de- 
scription given by Mr. Merritt. 

Fig. 1. Seotiou of oval ^rave. 

The quadrangular graves were constructed in two somewhat dis- 
tinct ways. One variety was identical in most respects with the oval 
form illustrated above. They were sometimes as much as 6 feet deep 
and frequently 4 by 7 feet in horizontal dimensions. In the other 
form a pit 4 by G^ feet in diameter was sunk to the depth of aljout 3 
feet. Underneath this another pit some 2 feet in depth was sunk, 
leaving an offset or terrace 8 or lo inches in width all arountl. The 
sm;dler pit was lined with flat stones placed on edge. In this cist 
the human remains and the relics were placed and covered over with 
flat stones, which i-ested upon the terrace and prevented the superin- 
cumbent mass, which consisted of closely packed river stones, from 

(J ETH •^' 



crushing the contents. A section of this tomb is given in Fig. 2, also 
drawn from the description given by Mr. Merritt. 

Fig. 2. Section of a qnadi-anfciilar grave, showing the surface pack of i-iver stones and the positions 
of the slabs and olijects of art. 

Mr. Merritt and otliers mention tliat in sf)me of tlie graves jjiHars 
are employed to support the roof of the cist. These pillars are 
mentioned briefly by De Zeltner, from whose account the following 
illustrations are drawn. This author does not state fhat he made 
any personal investigations, and if his accounts were obtained from 
the natives their entire trustworthiness may very properly be ques- 
tioned. The first two forms mentioned by him are similar to those 
already given. The third is described as having at the corners square 
pillars of stone to support the covering, which, however, is not de- 
scribed. The fourth has four pillars, placed in the corners of the pit. 
These serve to support a vault of flagstones. The walls betwei.^n the 
pillars are faced with pebbles, as in tlie cases previously described. 

^^**»^wi>.fii»*»»^.;c^?^^^.*^^«yf-^>iV"'*^vr •*fj?y*^jwfej>^^y.*'^^—*''' f **■' 

Flo. :?. Orave with pillars. descrihed by De Zeltner. 

Fig. .3 will make this form clear at a glance. The fifth variety de- 
scribed by De Zeltner is cpiite extraordinary in constructioii. His 
account is somewhat confusing in a luimber of respects, and the 
section given in Fig. i cannot claim iikhc tlian ai^proximate accuracy 

in details and measurements. 

tJic surface a paving, ])i'rhaps 



of river stones, was foiind covering an area of about 10 by l.T feet. 
This paviug was apparently tlie surface of a pack about 2 feet thick, 

Fta. 4. Compound cist . described by Dp Zeltner, 

and covered the mouth of the main pit, which was some 6 or 7 feet 
deep. Pillars of col)ble stones about 10 inches in diameter occupied 
the corners of tlie pit, and probably served in a measure to su^jport 
the paving. In the bottom of this excavation a second pit was dug, 
the mouth of which was also covered by a paving 2k by upwards of 
3 feet in horizontal dimensions. This lower pit consisted of a shaft 
several feet in depth, by which descent was made into a chamber 
of inverted pyramidal shape. This chamber approximated G by 9 
feet in horizontal dimensions and was some -t or 5 feet deep. At the 
bottom of this cistern the human renuiins and uKJst of the relics were 
deposited. The shaft was filled in with earth and the pavings de- 
scribed. The total depth, computed from the figures given, is about 
IS feet, a most remarkable achievement for a barbarous people; yet 
this is equaled by the ancient tribes <jf the mainland of New Granada, 
where similar burial customs .seem to have prevailed. Mr. White,' 
who traveled extensively in the nortlnv(^stern i)art of the state, says: 

A dry. elevated ridf<e. composed of easily excavated material, was selected as the 
cemetery. A pit of only a yard or so in diameter was sunk, sometimes vertically, 
sometimes at an angle, or sometimes it varied from vertical to inclined. It was 
sunk to depths varying from 1.5 to 60 feet, and at the bottom a chamber was 
formed m the earth. Here the dead was deposited, with his arms, tools, cooking 
utensils, ornaments, and chattels generally, with maize and fermented liquor made 
of maize. The chamber and passage were then rammed tightly full of earth, and 
sometimes it would appear that peculiar earth, other than that excavated on the 
spot, was used. One not unfrequently detects a peculiar aromatic smell in the earth, 
and fragments of charcoal are always found mixed with it in more t)r less quantity. 

' B. B. Wliite: Jour. Anthrop. Inst. Great Britain and Ireland, p. 346. February, 



M. De Zeltner describes otlier very sini])le graves which are filled 
in with earth, excepting a surface paving of pebbles. 

Mr. McNiel, who has examined more examples than any other white 
man, and over a wide district with David as a center, discredits the 
statements of De Zeltner in respect to the form illustrated in Fig. 4. 
and states that generally the graves do not differ greatlj' in shape 
and finish from the ordinary graves of to-day. He describes the 
pits as being oval and qiiadrangular and as having a depth ranging 
from a few feet to 18 feet. Tiie paving or pack consists of earth and 
water worn stones, the latter pitched in without order and forming 
but a small percentage of the filling. He has never seen such stones 
used in facing the walls of the pit or in the construction of pillars. 
The flat stones which cover the cist are often K) or 15 feet below 
the surface and are in some cases very heavy, weighing 300 pounds 
or more. A single stone is in cases large enough to cover the entire 
space, but more frequently two or more flat stones are laid side liy 
side across the cavity. These are supported by river stones, a foot 
or more in length, set around the margin of the cist. He is of the 
"pinion that both slabs and bowlders were in many cases carried hjug 
distances. No one of the i)its examined was of the extraordinary 
form described in detail by De Zeltner and othei's. 


The almost total absence of human remains has frequently been 
remarked, and the theory is advanced that cremation must have been 
practiced. We have no evidence, however, of such a custom among 
the historic tribes of this region, and. besides, such elaborate tombs 
would hardly be construc'ted for the dei)osition of ashes. Yet, con- 
sidering the depth of the graves, their remarkable construction, and 
the character of the soil selected for burial purposes, it is certainly 
wonderful that such meager traces of human remains are found, 
rinart surmises, from the analogies of modern burial customs upon 
the north coast, that the liones only were deioosited in the graves, the 
flesh having been allowed to decay by a long period of exposi;re in the 
ojjcn air. This, however, would proba1)ly not materially hasten the 
decay of the bones. 

Mr. Merritt states that human hair was obtained from graves at 
Bugaba, and that he has himself secured the enamel of a molar tooth 
from that loctility. De Zeltner tells us that in. three varieties of 
graves remains of skeletons are found, always, however, in a very 
fragile condition. One skull was obtained of sufficient stability to be 
cast in plaster, but De Zeltner is not certain that it l)elonged to the 
people who built the tombs. 

Mr. McNiel reports the occasional finding of bones, and a number 
of bundles of them are included in his collection. He reports that 
there are no crania and that nothing could be determined as to the 
position of the bodies when first buried. 


Piuart observes that in suiiie cases tlie bodies ov remnants of bodies 
were distributed about tlie margin of the pit bottom, with the various 
utensils in the center, and again that the remains were laid away in 
niches dug in the sides of the main pit. 

These scattering ol)servations will serve to give a general idea of 
the modes of sepulture practiced in this region, but there must l)e a 
closer record of localities and a careful correlation of tlie varying 
phenomena of inhumation before eitliei' ethnology or archaeology can 
Vie greatly benefited. 


The pieces of pottery, implements, and ornaments were prolialdy 
buried with the dead, pretty much as are similar objects in other parts 
of America. The almost total disappearance of the human remains 
makes a determination of exact relative positions impossible. The 
uni^'ersal testimony, however, is that all were not placed with the 
body, but that some were added as the grave was filled up, being placed 
in the crevices of the walls oi- pillars or thrown in upon the accumu- 
lating earth and pebbles of the surface pavement. The heavy im- 
plements of stone are rarely very far beneath the siirface. 


From the foregoing acc(junt it is apparent that our knowledge of 
the art of ancient Chiriqui must for the present be derived almost 
entirely from the contents of the tond)s. The inhabitants were skill- 
ful in the employment and the manipulation of stone, clay, gold, and 
copper; and the perfection of their work in these materials, taken in 
connection ^vitli the construction of their remarkable tombs, indi- 
cates a culture of long standing and a capacity of no mean order. 

Of their architecture, agriculture, or textile art we can learn little 
or nothing. 

The relics represented in the collection of the National Museum 
consist chiefly of articles of stone, gold, copper, and clay. 


Works executed in stone, exchuling the tombs, may be arranged 
in the following classes: Pictured rocks, sculptured columns, images, 
mealing stones, stools, celts, arrowpoints, spearpoints(?), polishing 
stones, and ornaments. 

Pictured rocks. — Our accounts of these objects are very meager. 
The only one definitely described is the "piedra piiital." A few of 
the figures engraved uptin it are given by Seemann, from whom I 
quote the following paragraph: 

' I am indebted to Mr. J. S. Diller. of the United States Greological Survey, for 
the determination of the species of stone in this series of objects. 



At Caldera. a few leagues [north] from the town of Davi<l, lies a granite block 
known to the country people as the pietlra pintal,or painted stone. It is If) feet 
higli, nearly 30 feet Lii circumference, ami flat on the top. Every i)art. especially 
the eastern side, is covered with figures. One represents a radiant sun; it is fol- 
lowed by a series of heads, all, with some variation, scorpions and fantastic figures. 
The top and the other side have signs of a circular and oval form, crossed by lines. 
The sculpture is ascribed to the Doraclios (or Doras(jues), but to what purpose the 
stone was applied no historical account or tradition reveals.' 

These inscriptions are irregularly placed and much scattered. 
They are thought to have been originally nearly an inch deep, but in 
places are almost effaced Ijy weathering, thus giving a suggestion of 
great anticiuitj-. I have seen tracings of these figures made recently 
by Mr. A. L. Pinart which show decided differences in detail, and Mr. 
McNiel gives still another transcriijt. I present in Fig. 5 Mr. McNiel's 
sketch of the southwest face of the rock, as he has given considera- 
bly more detail than any other visitor. Mr. McNiefs sketches show 

Fig. 5. Southwest face of the pictured stone. 

seventeen figures on the opposite side of tlie rock. Seemann gives 
only twelve, while Mr. Pinart's tracings sliow upwards of forty upon 
the same face. These three copies would not l)e recognized as refer- 
ring to the same original. That of Mr. Pinart seems to show the 
most careful study and is probably accurate. Good photographs 
would be of service in eliminating the inconvenient personal ecjua- 
tion always present in the delineation of such subjects. These 
figures bear little resemblance to those painted upon the vases of 
this region. 

Other figures are said to be engraved upon the l)owl(lers and stones 
used in constructing the burial cists. De Zeltner states that "one 
often meets with stones covered with rude allegorical designs, repre- 
senting men. ptimas (tigre ?), and birds. It is particitlarly in such 
huacas as have pillars and a vault that these curious specimens of In- 
dian art are found."'' 

Coluiinis. — A number of authors speak castially of sculptttred 
stone coltimns, none of winch have been fottnd in jjlace. Seemann 

' Seemann: Voy. Herald, Vol. I. p. .312. 

'■' A. de Zeltner: Notes sur les sepultures indiennes du departement de Chiriqui. 



says that tliey may he seen in David, where tliey are used for buikl- 
ing purposes,' biit this is not confirmed by others. The sculptures are 
said to be in relief, like those of Yucatan and Peru. Cullen says tliat 
columns are found on the Island of Muerto, Bay of David. ^ Others 
are mentioned as having been seen in Veragua. 

Jmof/e.s. — Objects that may properly be classed as images or idols 
are of rather rare occurrence. Half a dozen specimens are found in 
the McNiel collections. The most important of these represents a 
full length female figure twenty-three inches in height. It is executed 
in the round, with considerable attempt at detail (Fig. 6). I may 
mention, as strong characteristics, the flattened crown, encircled by 
a narrow turban-like band, the rather angular face and prominent 
nose, and the formal pose of the arms and hands. Besides the head 
band, the only other suggestion of costume is a belt about the waist 

Fig. 6. A goddess of the ancient Cbiriiinians. Gray basalt — I. 

The material is a compact, slightly vesicular, olive gray, basaltic 
rock. I have seen a few additional examples of this figure, and from 
the identity in type and detail conclude that the personage repi'e- 
sented was prol^ablj' an important one in the mythology of the Chiri. 

' Seemann: Voy. Herald, Vol. I, p. 313. 
■^Cullen's Darien, p. .38. 



(|uians. lu general style there is a rather close correspondence with 
the sculptures of the Central American States. Some of the plastic 
characters exhibited in this work appear also in the various objects of 
clay. gold, and copjjer described further on. 

There is also a smaller, rudely carved, half length, human ligure 
done in the same style. Besides these figures there are two large flatfish 
stones, on one of which a rude image of a monkey has been picked, 
while the other exhibits the figure of a reptile resembling a lizard or 
a crocodile. The work is extremely rude and has the ap]jearance of 
being unfinished. It seems that all of these objects were found 
upon the surface of the ground. 

In Figs. 7 and S I present two specimens of sculpture also collected 
by Mr. McNiel. and now in the possession of Mr. J. B. Stearns, of 
Short Hills. N. J. The example shown in Fig. 7 was obtained near the 
Gulf of Dolce, 82° 55' west. Three views are presented: profile, front, 
and back. It is carved from what appears to be a compact, grayish 

Fig. 7. A prod of the ancient C'tiiriquian.s. rjray volcanic rock — ^. 

olive tufa or basalt, and represents a male personage, distinct in style 
from the female figure first ijresented. The head is rounded above, 
the arms are flattened against the sides, and the feet are folded in a 
novel position beneath the body. The lieight is 9 inches. 

The other .specimen. Fig. s, from near the same locality, is carved 
from a gray basalt which sparkles with numerous large 
crystals of hornblende. It is similar in style to the last, but more 
boldly sculptured, the features being ju'ominent and the members of 
tlie body in higher relief. The legs are lust. Height, oi inches. 



A remarkable figure of large size now in the National Museum 
was obtained from the Island of Cana or Cano l)y Mr. McNiel. It is 

a i> 

Fio. 8. Fragmentary limuan H^ure iu gray basaltic rock — i. 

nearly three feet in height and very heavy. The face has been mu- 
tilated. In general style it corresponds more closely to the sculpture 
of the Central American States than to that of Chiriqui. 

Mealing stones. — The metate, or hand mill, which consists of a con- 
cave tablet and a rubbing stone, was au important adjunct to the 
household appliances of nearly all the more cultured American na- 
tions. It is found not only in those plain suVistautial forms most 
siiitable for use in grinding grain, seeds, and spices by manual means, 
1 >ut in many eases it has been elaborated into a work of art which 
reciuired long and skilled labor for its production. 

In the province of Chiriqui these mills must have been numerous; 
but. since they are still in demand by the inhabitants of the region, 
many of the ancient si^ecimens have been destroyed by iise. It seems 
from all accounts that they were not very generally buried with the 
dead, but were left upon or near the surface of the ground, and were 
hence accessible to the modern tribes, who found it much easier to 
transport them to their homes than to make new ones. 

The metates of Chiriqui present a great diversity of form and pos- 
sibly represent distinct peoples or different grades of culture. They 
are carved from volcanic rocks of a few closely related varieties, the 
texture of which is coarse and occasionally somewhat cellular, giving 
an uneven or pitted surface, well suited to the grinding of maize. 
Three classes, for convenience of description, may be distinguished, 
although certain characters are common to all and one form grades 



more or less completely into anotliei'. We have the plain slab or 
rudely hewn mass of rock, in tlie upper surface of wliicli a sliallow 
depression has been excavated; wehcivethe carefully hewn oval slab 
sui^ported by short legs of varied shape; and we have a large num- 
ber of pieces elaborately sculptiired in imitation of animal forms. 
The first variety is common to nearly all temperate and tropical 
America and does not require fiirther attention here. The second 
variety exhibits considerable diversity in form. The tablet is oval, 
concave above, and of an even thickness. The peripliery is often 
squared and is in many cases ornamented with carved figures, eitlier 
geometric devices or rudely sculptured animal heads. Tlie legs are 
generally three in number, but four is not iinusiial. They are mostly 
conical or cylindrical in shape and are ratlier short. 

The finest examjile of the second class has an oval plate 37 inches in 
length, 29 in width, and 2 inches thick, wliich is nearly symmetrical 
and rather deeply concave above. The centi'al pcn-tions of the basin 
are worn quite smooth. Near the ends, within the basin, two pairs of 
small animal-like figures are carved, and ranged about the lower 
margin of the iieri^jhery are eighty-seven neatly sculptured lieads of 
animals. Tliere are four short cylindrical legs. Tliis superb piece of 
work is shown in Fiw. ',». 

Flo. 0. Mealing stone with larj^e tablet ornainented with animal heads, from Ciualaca — J. 

Examples of tlie third class are all carved to imitate tlie puma or 
ocelot. The whole creature is often elaborately worked out in the 
round from a single massive block of stone. The thin tablet rei)re- 
senting the body rests upon four legs. Tlie head, wliicii projects 
from one end of the tablet, is generally rather conventional in style, 
but is sculjitured witli sufficient vigor to recall tlie original (luite 
vividly. The tail appears at the other end and curves downward, 
connecting with one of the hind feet, probably for greater security 
against mutilation. The head, the margin of the body, and the ex- 
terior surfaces of the legs are elaliorately decorated witli tasteful carv- 
ing. The figures are geometric, and refer, no doubt, to the markings 
of tlie animars skin. Nearly identical specimens are obtained from 
Costa Rica and other parts of Central America. 




A fine example of medium size is given in Fig. 10. The material 
is gray, minutely cellular, basaltic rock. The upper surface of the 
plate is polished by use. The entire length is 17 inches. 

Fig. 10. Puma .shajied metate of gray anJosite. from Rio Joca — [. 

The largest specimen in the McNiel collection is 2 feet long, 18 
inches wide, and 13 inches high. A similar piece has been illustrated 
by De Zeltner. 

The usual office of these metates is considered to be that of gi'iud- 
ing corn, cocoa, and the like. The great elaboration observed in 
some examples suggests the idea that perhaps they were devoted 
exclusively to the preparation of material (meal or other substances) 
intended for sacred uses. A high degree of elaboration in art jjvod- 
ucts results in many cases from their connection with su]icT-stiti(ms 

Speculating upon the use of these objects, De Zeltner mentions a 
mortar "whose pestle was nothing but a round stone, which still 
shows traces of gold here and there. It was evidently with the help 
of this rude instrument that the Indians reduced the gold to jjowder 
before fusing it.'"' 

The implement or pestle used in connection with these jnealing 
tablets in crushing and grinding is often a simple river worn jtcbble. 
as mentioned above, but is more usually a cylindrical mass of volcanic 
rock, worked into nearly symmetric shape. 

Stools. — The stool-like appearance of some of the oTijects described 
as metates suggests the liresentation in this place of a grouj) of oli- 
jects that must for the present be classed as stools or seats, although 
their true or entire function is unknown to me. They are distin- 
guished from the mealing stones by their cii'cular jalate, their sharply 
defined, upright, marginal rim, and the absence of signs of use. 

Two of these objects are from the vicinity of David, The largest 

' A. Dp Zeltner : Notes sur les sepultures iudiennes, p. 7. 



and most interesting is illustrated in Fig. 11. It is carved fruni a 
piece of vesicular basaltic tufa and is in a perfect state of preservation. 
The heiglit is (i inclios and the diameter <>i the top 10 inches, tliat of 

Fig. 11. Stoi)! shaped object carvtMl f'i-< 

?ray, utimitely cellular basalt 

the base being a little less. The slightly concave upper surface is 
depressed about half an inch below the upright marginal hand. The 
peripliery is a little nun'e than an inch in width and is (h'corated with 
a simple guilloche-like ornament in relief. The disk-like cap is con- 
nected by open lattice-like work with the ring which forms the base. 

Fig. 12. Stool with columnar base, carved from gray basaltic rock — J. 

The interior is neatly hollowed out. The open work of the sides con- 
sists of two elaborately carved figures of monkeys, alternating 
with two sections of trellis work, very neatly executed. The other 
specimen is somewhat less elaboi'ate in its sculptured ornament 




( Jntliiies of two ailditional examples of these objects are given in 
Figs. 12 aud 13. Tlie tablets are round, thick, and slightly concave 

Fig. 13. Stool vnth perforated base, carved from gray liasaltic- rook— J. 

above and are margined with rows of sculptured heads. The siip- 
porting column in the first is a jjlain shaft and the base is narrow and 
somewhat concave underneath. In the second the column is hollowed 
out and perforated. 

As bearing upon the possible use of these specimens it should be 
noticed that similar stool-like objects are made of clay, the softness 
and fragility of which would render them unsuitable for use as meal- 
ing plates or mortars, and it would also ajjpear that they are rather 
fragile for iise as stf)ols. I would suggest that they may have served 
as supports for articles such as vases or idols employed in religious 
rites, or possibly as altars for offerings. 

Celts. — The class of implements usually denominated celts is repre- 
sented by several himdred specimens, neai'ly all of wliich are in a 
perfect state of preservation. They are thoroughly well made and 
beautifully finished, and leave the impression upon the mind that they 
must represent the very highest plane of Stone Age art. 

Although varying widely in form and finish there is great homo- 
geneity of characters, the marked family resemblance suggesting a 
single i:)eople and a single period or stage of culture. They are found 
in the cists along with otlier relics and are very generally distributed, 
s limited number, rarely more than three, being found in a single 
grave. They may be classified by shape into a number of groups, each 
of which, however, will be found to grade moi'e or less completely into 
the others. They display all degrees of finish from the freshly tlaked 
to the evenly picked and wholly polished surface. Tlie edges or points 
( )f nearly all show the contour aud polish that come from long though 
careful use. All are made of compact, dark, volcanic tufa that re- 
sembles very closely a fine grained slate. The following illustrations 
include all the more important types of form. There are but few 
specimens of very large size. That shown in Fig. 14 is 8^ inches 
long, 4 inches wide, and seven-eighths of an inch thick. The blade is 
broad at the edge, rounded in outline, and well polished. The upper 



en<l terminates in a rather sliar]) point that slii)\vs tlie rough flaked 
surface of the, original blocking out. The middle portion exhibits an 

Fir. 11 Lar-.' iiarlially in.lishcd 

r inotrled vdlcnnio tufa — ! 

evenly jiicked surface. The rock is a dark slaty looking tufa, the sur 
face of which displays ring or rosette-like markings, reminding one 
of the polished surface of a section of fossil coral. These markings 
probably come from the decomposition of the mineral constituents of 
the rock. 

The implement given in Fig. 15 may be taken as a type of a large 
class of beautifully finished celts. It also is made of the dark tufa, 
very fine grained and compact, resembling slate. The beveled sur- 
faces of the blade are well polished, the remaindei- of the surface being 
evenly ])i(ked. The hexagonal section is characteristic of the class, 
but it is not so decided in this as in some other pieces in which the 
whole surface is freshly ground. 

The conti'action of the lateral outline and the sudden expansion on 
reaching the cutting edge noticed in this specimen are more clearly 
marked in other examples. The small celt sIkjwu in Fig. 10 is narrow 
above and quite wide toward the edge. A wide, thick specimen is 




giveu in Fig. 17. A specimen qnite exceptional in Cliiri(ini is sliown 
in Fig. 18. Mr. McNiel states that in many year-s' exploration this 
is the only piece seen that exhilnts the constriction of outline charac- 
teristic of grooved axes. 

FiQ. l.j. .. ..' ..agonal section made of dark 
compact tula — l. 

Fir. lii. Small wiilc Mailed cell made 
of tlark tufa— i. 

Fig. 17. Celt with heavy shaft made of 
dark speckletl tufa - - L 

Fig. 18. Celt or ax with ccmsti-iction 
near the top. 

Two superb implements are illustrated in Figs. 1!) and -UK the one 
in the roiigh excepting at the cutting edge, where it is ground into the 
desired shape, and the other neatly polished over nearly the entira 



surfact'. Tlie surfaces are somewliat whitened from decomposition, 
but witliiii tlie rock is nearly blaclv. and tlie eye could not distinguish 

Fig. I'J. Flaked am! partially pol 
islied celt of dark tufa — }. . 

FiG.aO. Well polished celt of dark 
tufa — J. 

it from a dark slate. The material is shown by microscopic test to 
be a volcanic tufa. These exami^les were evidently intended for more 

Fig. 21. NaiTow pointed eelt of 
dark tvifa— 1. 

Fig. '^-i. Narrow pointed celt 
of dark tufa — .1 . 

delicate wcn-k than the precedino-. The shapes of the specimens 
illustrated in Figs. 21 and 22 indicate a stili different use. The upper 



end of the implement is large and rough, as if intended to facilitate 
holding or tafting, while the shaft diminishes in size below, termi- 
nating in a narrow, symmetrical, highly polished edge, a shape well 

Fib. -Mi, Cylindrical oi-lt with narrow jioint. of ilaik mfa — i. 

calculated to unite delicacy and strength. The highest mechanical 
skill could hardly give to stone shapes more perfectly adapted to the 

f Si 

Fig. iM. Leaf .shaped objects suggesting spearpoints, of dark tufa — j. 

manipiilation of stone, metal, or other hard or comijact substances. 
The material is a very dark, compact, fine grained tufa. 
An additional example is given in Fig. 23. The shaft is cylindri- 
6 ETH 3 



cal and terminates in a conical point at one end and in a very narrow, 
abrupt, cutting edge at the other. The whole surface is polished. 
The material is the same dark tiifa. 

The class of objects illustrated in this and the two preceding cuts 
comprises but a small percentage of the chisel-like implements. 

Spearheads f? J. — Another class of objects made of the same line 
grained, slaty looking tufa is illustrated in Fig. 2-t. They resemble 
spearpoints, yet may have been devoted to a wholly different use. 
They are long, leaf -like flakes, triangular in section, slightly worked 
down by flaking, sharpened by grinding at the point, and slightly 
notched at the top, perhaps for hafting. 

Arrowpoints. — The uniqiie character of the arrowpoints of Chi- 
riqui is already known to archa>ologists. The most striking feature 
is the triangular section presentetl in nearly all cases and shown in 
the figures (Fig. 25). The workmanship is extremely rude. The 

Fig. 2.'j- Arrowpoints of ja.>^per— i. 

material is generally a flinty jasper of reddish and yellowish hues. 
The number found is comparatively small. The specimens given 
are of average size. 

Ornaments. — It would seem from a study of our collections that 
ornaments of stone were seldom used by the inhabitants of Chiricjui. 
There are a few medium sized beads of agate and one pendant of 
dark greenish stone rudely shaped to resemble a human liead. Orna- 
ments of gold and copper were evidently much preferred. 



The Chiriquians, like many of their neighlxn's in the tropical por- 
tions of the American continent, were skilled in the working of met- 
als. Gold, silver, copper, and tin — the last in alloys with copper form- 
ing bronze — are found in the graves. Gold is the most important, 
and is associated with all the others in alloys or as a surface coating. 
The inhabitants of the isthmus at the time of the discovery were 
rich in objects, chiefly ornaments, of this metal, and expeditions sent 
out under Balboa, Pizarro, and others plundered the natives without 
mercy. When the Indian village of Darien was captured Ijy Balboa 
(1510) he obtained " plates of gold, such as they hang on their breasts 
and other parts, and other things, all of them amounting to ten thou- 
sand pesos of fine gold." ' From an expedition to Nicaragiia the same 
adventui'ers broiight back to Panama the value of " 112,.5--i4 pieces of 
eight in low gold, and l-tS in pearls."^ Early Spanish-American his- 
tory abounds in stories of this kind. Among others we read that 
Columbus found the natives along the Atlantic coast of Chiriqui and 
Veragua so rich in objects of gold that he named the district Cas- 
tillo del Oro. It is said that the illusory stories of an El Dorado 
somewhere within the continent of South America arose from the 
lavish use of gold ornaments by tlie natives whom the Spaniards en- 
countered, and that Costa Rica gets its name from the same circum- 
stance. It is also recoi'ded that the natives of vaiious parts of Cen- 
tral and South America at the date of the conquest were in the lial)it 
of opening ancient graves for the purpose of securing mortuary 
trinkets. The whites have followed their example with the greatest 
eagerness. As far back as IG-i'i the Spaniards passed a law claiming 
all the gold found in the burial places of Spanish America,^ the whole 
matter being treated merely as a means of revenue. 

The objects of gold for which the tombs of Chiriqui are justly 
famous are generally believed to have been simple personal orna- 
ments, the jewelry of the primeval inhabitants, although it is highly 
probable that many of the figures, at least as originally employed, had 
an emblematic meaning. They were doubtless at all times regarded 
as i^ossessed of jjotent charms, and thus capable of protecting and for- 
warding the interests of their owners. They have been found in great 
numbers within the last twenty-five years, but for the most part, even 
at this late date, have been esteemed for their monej' value only. 
Very many specimens found their way to this country, where they 
were either sold for curiosities or. after waiting long for a purchaser, 
even in the very shadow of our museums, were consigned to the melt- 

' Herrera: Hist. America, Vol. VI, p. 369. 
-Herrera: Hist. America. Vol. Ill, p. 387. 

"Mr. Hawps's letter answerino; questions iilioiit Chiriqui. read by Mr. Davis before 
tlie American Ktbnoloyical S<iciety. April IT, ISfill, 


iug pot. Many stories bearing iipon this point liave been told me. A 
Washington jeweler is represented as having exhibited in Ms win- 
dow on Pennsylvania aveni;e aboi;t the year 1 8G0 a remarkable series 
of these trinkets, most of which were afterwards sent to New York 
to be melted. Abont the same period a gentleman on entering a shop 
in San Francisco was accosted by a stranger who had his pockets well 
filled with these curious relics and wished to disj^ose of them for cash. 
A number of my accjuaintances have neat but grotesciue examples of 
these little images of gold attached to their watch guards, thus ap- 
proving the taste of our prehistoric countrymen and at the same 
time demonstrating the identity of ideas of personal embellishment in 
all times and with all peoples. 

The ornaments are found only in a small percentage of the graves, 
those probably of persons sufficiently opiilent to possess them in life; 
a majority of the graves contain none wliatever. They are often 
foiind at the bottom of the pits, and probal)ly in nearly the position 
occuj^ied by them while still attached to the persons of the dead. It 
is said that occasionally they are found in niches at the sides of the 
graves, as if placed during the filling of the pit. 

Strangely enough, the gold is very generally alloyed with copper, 
the composite metal ranging from pure gold to pure copper. A small 
percentage of silver is also present in some of the specimens exam- 
ined, but this is probably a natural alloy. In a few cases very simple 
figures appear to have been shaped from nuggets or masses of the 
native metals; this, however, is not susceptible of jtroof. The work 
is very skillfully done, so that we find it difficult to ascertain the 
precise methods of manipulation. The general efi'ect in the more 
pretentious pieces resembles that of our filigree work, in wliich the 
parts are produced by hammering and united by soldering; yet there 
are many evidences of casting, and these must be considered with 
care. As a rule simple figures and some portions of composite fig- 
ures present very decided indications of having lieen cast in molds. 
yet no traces of these molds have come to light, and there are none 
of those characteristic markings which result from the use t)f com- 
posite or "'piece" molds. Wire was extensively used in the forma- 
tion of details of anatomy and embellishment, and its presence does 
not at first seem compatible with ordinary casting. This wire, or 
pseudo-wire it may be, is generally about one-twenty-fifth of an inch 
in diameter. 

The manner in which the numerous parts or sections of complex 
figures are joined together is l)oth interesting and perplexing. Evi- 
dences of the use of solder have been looked for in vain, and if such 
a medium was ever iised it was identical in kind with the body of 
the object or so small in quantity as to escape detection. At the 
junction of the parts there are often decided indications of hammer- 
ing, or at least of the strong pressure of an implement; but in pur- 


suing the matter further we find a singular perfection in the joining, 
which amounts to a coalescence of the metals of the two parts con- 
cerned. There is no weakness or tendency to part along the contact 
surfaces, neither is there anything like the parting of parallel wires 
in coils or where a series of wires is joined side by side and carried 
t-hrough various convolutions. In a number of cases I made sections 
of coils and parts composed of a number of wires, in the hope of 
discovering evidences of the individuality of the strands, but the 
metal in the section is always homogeneous, breaking with a rough, 
granular fracture, and not more readily along apparent lines of junc- 
tion than across them; and further, in studying in detail the surface 
of parts unpolished or protected from wear by handling, we find 
everywhere the granular and pitted uneveuness characteristic of cast 
surfaces. This is true of the wire forms as well as of the massive 
parts, and> in addition to this, such defects occur in the wires as 
Avould hardly be possible if they were of wrought gold. 

All points considered, I am inclined to believe that the objects were 
cast, and cast in their entirety. It is plain, however, that the original 
model was made up of separately constructed parts of wire or wire- 
like strands and of eccentric and often rather massive parts, and that 
all were set together by the assistance of jjressure, the indicati(jns 
being that the material iised was sufficiently plastic to be worked 
after the manner of clay, dough, or wax. In one case, for example, 
the body of a serpent, consisting of two wires neatly twisted together, 
is held in the hand of a grotesque figiire. The hand consists of four 
fingers made by dcjubling together two short pieces of wire. The coil 
has been laid across the hand and pressed down into it until half 
buried, and the ends of the fingers are drawn up around it without 
any indication of hammer strokes. Indeed, the efl^ect is just such as 
would have been jjroduced if the artist had worked in wax. Again, 
in the modeling of the eyes we have a good illustration. The eye is 
a minute ball cleft across the entire diameter by a sharp implement, 
t-hus giving the effect of the parted lids. Now, if the material had 
been gold or copper, as in the specimens, the Imll would have been 
separated into two parts or hemispheres, which would not exhibit any 
great distortion; biit as we see them here the parts are flattened and 
much drawn out by the j^ressure of the cutting edge, just as if the 
material had been decidedly jjlastic. 

It seems to me that the processes of manufacture must have been 
analogous to those employed l)y the more primitive metal workers of 
our own day. In Oriental countries delicate objects of bronze and 
other metals are made as follows: A model is constructed in some 
such material as wax or resin and over it are placed coatings of clay 
or other substance capable of standing great lieat. These coatings, 
when sufficiently thickened and i^rojierly dried, form the mold, from 
which the original model is extracted liy means of heat. The fused 


metal is afterwards poured in. As a matter of course, both the mohl 
and the model are destroyed in each case, and exact diiplications are 
not to be expected. Mr. George F. Kunz, of New York, with whom 
I have discussed this matter, states that lie has seen live objects, such 
as insects, used as models in this way. Being coated with washes of 
clay or like substance until well protected and then heavily covered, 
they were placed in the furnace. The animal matter was thus reduced 
to ashes and extracted through small oi^enings made for the purpose. 

As bearing upon this siibject it should be mentioned that occa- 
sionally small figures in a fine reddish resin are obtained from the 
graves of Chiriqui. They are identical in style of modeling with 
the objects of gold and copper obtained from the same source. 

In discussing possible processes, Mr. William Hallock, of the divis- 
ion of chemistry and physics of the United States Geological Sur- 
vey, suggested that if the various sections of a metal ornament were 
embedded in the surface of a mass of fire clay in their proper rela- 
tions and contacts they could then be completely inclosed in the mass 
and subjected to heat until the metal melted and ran together. After 
cooling, the complete figure could be removed by breaking up the 
clay matrix. I imagine that in such work much difficulty would be 
exjjerienced in securing proper contact and adjustment of parts of 
complex figures. It will likewise be observed that evidences of 
plasticity in the modeling material would not exist. I must not pass 
a suggestion of Nadaillac' which offers a possible solution of the 
problem of manipulation. Referring to a statement of the early 
Spanish explorers that smelting was unknown to the inhabitants of 
Peru, he states that it would be possible for a people in a low state 
of culture to discover that an amalgam of gold with merciiry is 
quite plastic, and tliat after a figure is modeled in this composite 
metal the mercury may be dissii^ated by heat, leaving the form in 
gold, whicli then needs only to be jjolished. There is, however, no 
evidence whatever that these people had any knowledge of merciiry. 

There is no indication of carving or engraving in the Chiriquian 
work. In finishing, some of the extremities seem to have been shaped 
by hammering. Tliis was a mere flattening out of the feet or parts 
of the accessories, which reqiiired no particular skill and could have 
been accomplished with comparatively rude stone hammers. It is a 
remarkable fact that many, if not most, of the objects apjjear to be 
either plated or washed with pure gold, the body or foundation being 
of base gold or of nearly pure copper. This fact, coupled with that 
of the association of objects of bronze witli the relics, leads i;s to in- 
qiiire carefully into the possiliilities of European influence or agency. 
I observe that recent writers do not seem to have questioned the gen- 
uineness of the objects described by them, but that at the same time no 
mention is made of the plating or washing. This latter circumstance 

' Nadaillac: Prehistoric America, p. 450. 


leads to the inference that pieces now in niy possession exhibiting 
this phenomenon may have been tampered with by the whites. In 
this connection attention should be called to the fact that history is 
not silent on the matter of plating. The Indians of New Granada 
are said to have been not only marveloiisly skillful in the manipula- 
tion of metals, biit, according toBollaert, Acosta declares that these 
peoples had much (jilt copper, "and the copper was gilt by the use_ 
of the juice of a plant rubbed over it, then put into the fire, when it 
took the gold color. " ' Just what this means we cannot readily de- 
termine, but we safely conclude that, whatever the process hinted 
at in these words, a thin surface deposit of pure gold, or the close 
semblance of it, was actually obtained. It is not impossible that an 
acid may have been applied which tended to destroy the copper of 
the alloy, leaving a deposit of gold upon the surface, which could 
afterwards be burnished down. 

It has been suggested to me that possibly the film of gold may in 
cases be the result of simple decay on the pai't of the copper of the 
alloy, the gold remaining as a shell upon the surface of the still un- 
decayed portion of the composite metal; but the sxxrface in such a 
case would not be burnished, whereas the show surfaces of the speci- 
imens recovered are in all cases neatly polished. 

If we should couckide that the ancient Americans were probably 
able to secure in some such manner a thin film of gold, it still remains 
to inqiiire whether there may not have been some purely mechanical 
means of plating. In some of the Chiriquian specimens a foundation 
of very base metal appears to have been plated with heavy sheet gold, 
which as the copper decays comes ofl: in flakes. Occasional pieces 
have a blistered look as a consequence. Were these people able with 
their rude appliances to beat gold into very thin leaves? and Had they 
discovered processes by which these could be applied to the surfaces 
of objects of metal? are questions that should probably be answered 
in the affirmative. 

The flakes in some cases indicate a very great degree of thinness. 
Specimens of sheet gold ornaments found iA the tombs are thicker, 
but are sufficiently thin to indicate that, if actually made by these 
people, almost any degree of thinness coiild be attained by them. It 
would ijrobably not be difficult to apply thin sheet gold to the com- 
paratively smooth surfaces of tliese ornaments and to fix it by bur- 

Mr. Kunz suggests still another method by means of which plating 
could have been accomjjlished. If a figure in wax were coated with 
sheet gold and then incased in a clay matrix, the wax could be melted 
out. leaving the shell of gold within. The cavity could then be filled 
with alloy, the clay could be removed, and the gold, which would ad- 
here to the metal, could then be properly burnished down. 

' Bollaert: Ethnological and Other Researches in New Granada, &c. 


It -R-ill be seen from this hasty review that, although we may con- 
clude that casting and i^lating were certainly practiced by these peo- 
ples, we must remain in ignorance of the precise methods emj^loyed. 

Referring to the question of the authenticity of the specimens them- 
selves. I may note that observations bearing upon the actual discov- 
ery of particular specimens in the tombs are unfortunately lacking. 
Mr. McNieL acknowledges that with all his experience in the work of 
excavati(3n no single piece has been taken from the ground with his 
own hands, and he cannot say that he ever witnessed the exhumation 
by others, although he has been present when they were brought up 
from the pits. Generally the workmen secrete them and afterwards 
offer them iov sale. He has, however, no shadow of a doubt that all 
the pieces procured by him came from the graves as reported by his 
collectors. The question of the authenticity of the gilding will not be 
satisfactorily or finally settled until some res^jonsible collector shall 
have taken the gilded objects with his own hands from their undis- 
turbed places in tombs known to be of pre-Cohimbian construction. 

There are many proofs, however, of the authenticity of the objects 
themselves. It is asserted by a number of early writers that the 
American natives were, on the arrival of the Spaniards, highly ac- 
complished in metallurgy; that they worked with blowpipes and 
cast in molds; that the objects i^roduced exhibited a high order of 
skill; and that the native talent was directed with tmusual force and 
uniformity toward the imitation of life forms. It is said that the 
conquerors were "struck with wonder" at their skill in this last 
respect. And a strong argument in favor of the genuineness of 
these objects is found in the fact that it is not at all probable that 
rich alloys of gold would have been used by Euroiaeans for the base 
or foundation when copper or bronze, or even lead, would have served 
as well. We also observe that there is absolutely no trace of pecu- 
liarly European material or methods of manipulation, a ct)ndition 
hardly possible if the extensive reproductions were made by the 
whites. Neither are there traces of European ideas embodied in the 
shapes or in the decoration of the objects — a circumstance that argues 
strongly in favor of native origin. An equally convincing argument 
is found in the fact that all the alloys liable to corrosion exhibit 
marked evidences of decay, as if for a long period subject to the de- 
structive agents of the soil. In many cases the copper alloy base 
crumbles into black powder, leaving only the flakes of the plating. 
Lastly and most important, the strange creatures represented are in 
many cases identical with those embodied in clay and in stone, and 
for these latter works no one will foi' a moment claim a foreign 

Considering all these arguments. I arrive at the conclusion that 
the ornaments are, in the main, genuine antiquities, and that, if any 
deception at all has been ijracticed, it is to be laid at the door of modern 




goldsmiths and speculators, who, according to Mr. McNiel, are known 
in a few cases to have "'doctored" alloyed objects with washes of 
gold with the view of selling them as pure gold. 

I present the following specimens with a reasonable degree of con- 
fidence that all, or nearly all, are of purely American fabrication, and 
I sincerely hope that at no distant day competent archaeologists -may 
have the opportunity of making personal observations of similar relics 
in place. 

The objects consist to a great extent of representations of life forms, 
in many cases more fanciful than real and often extremely grotesque. 
They include the human figure and a great variety of birds and 
beasts indigenous to the country, in styles resembling work in clay 
and stone of the same region. My illustrations show the actual 
sizes of the objects. 

The huina)i fi(/iire. — Statuettes of men and women and of a variety 
of anthropomorphic figures of all degrees of elaboration abound. 
Fig. 20 illustrates a plain, rude specimen belonging to the collection of 

Fig. 26. Human flginv with ridgeil crown, formed of copper-Kold alloy. 

J. B. Stearns. It was obtained by Mr. McNiel from near the south 
base of Mount Chiriqui. • The body is solid and the surface is rough 
and pitted, as if from decay. In many respects it resembles the stone 
sculptures of the isthmus. The metal is nearly pure copper. A piece 
exhibiting more elaborate workmanship, illustrated by Bollaert,' is 
shown in Fig. 37. Another remarkaljle specimen is illustrated by De 
Zeltner, but the photograph published with his brochure is too indis- 
tinct to permit of satisfactory reproduction. He describes it in the 
following language: 

The most curious piece in my collection is a gold figure of a man, 7 centimeters 
in height. The heail is ornamented with a diadem terminated on eacli side with the 
head of a frog. The body is nude, except a girdle, also in the form of a plait, sup- 
porting a fJat piece intended to cover the privates, and two round ornaments on 

'Bollaert: Antiquarian Researches in New Granada, plate facing p. 31. 



each side. The arms are extended from the body : the well drawn hands hold, one 
of them a short, round flub, the other a musical instrument, of which one end is in 
the mouth and the other forms au enlargement like that of a flute, made of human 

Fig. 27. Grotesque human fi^xu'e in gold, from BoUaert. 

bone. It is not probable that this is a iiipe. Both tliighs have an enlargement, 
and the toes are not marked in this little figurine. ' 

Fig. 38. Rudely shaped and fnii-shed human figure in gold. 

In Fig. 28 we have a rather rudely made and finished piece collected 
'A. De Zeltner : Notes sur lea sepultures indiennes du departement de Ohiriqui. 



by Mr. McNiel, aud now owned by Mr. Stearns. It exhibits features 
corresi^onding with a number of those referred to by De Zeltner. 
The foundation is thin and is of base metal coated with jjure gold. 
I present two additional examples of the human figure from the col- 
lection of Mr. Stearns. One of them (Fig. -^O) is an interesting little 

Fig, 29. Grotesque human figure iu iitiuly puiu cuiJijer, partially coated with yellow gold. 

statuette in dark copper that still retains traces of the former gilding 
of yellow gold. The crown is flat and is surrounded by a fillet of 
twisted wire. The face is grotesque, the nose being bulbous, the 
mouth large, and the lips in-otruding. The hands are represented as 
grasping cords of wire which connect the waist with the crown of 
the figure and seem to be intended for the bodies of seri^ents, the 
heads of which project from tlie sides of the headdress. Similar 
serpents project from the ankles. Tlie feet are flattened out as if 
intended to beset inacrevice. The extremities — excepting the feet — 
and the ornaments are all formed of wire. The various parts of the 
figure have been modeled separately and set together while the nia- 

cin, :i». Grotesque human figure in nearly pure gold. 

terial was in a plastic or semiplastic condition. This is clearly indi- 
cated by the sinking of one part into another at the points of contact. 


An excellent example of tlie more elaborate figures is shown in 
Fig. 30. It is of reddish gold, slightly alloyed apparently with cop- 
per, and has in finishing received a very thin wash or plating of yel- 
low gold, which is worn oii in exposed parts. The central feature 
of the rather complicated .striicture is a grotesque human figure, 
much like the preceding, and having counterparts in botli clay and 
stone. The figure is backed up and strengthened by two curved and 
flattened bars of gold, one above and tlie otlier below, as seen in the 
cut. The figure is decked with and almost hidden by a profusion of 
curious details, executed for the most part in wire and rejiresenting 
serpents and liirds. Three vulture-like heads project from tlie crown 
and ovei'hang the face. Two serpents, tlie bodies of which are formed 
of plaited wire, issue from the mouth of the figure and are held about 
the neck by the hands. The heads of tlie serpents are formed of wire 
folded in triangular form and are supjalied with double coils of 
wire at the sides, as if for ears, and with little balls of gold for 
eyes. Similar heads project from the sides of the head and from the 
feet of the image. 

The peculiarities of construction are seen to good advantage in this 
specimen. Tlie figure is made up of a great number of separate 
pieces, united apparently by pressure or by hammering while the 
material was somewhat plastic. Upwards of eighty pieces can be 
counted. The larger pieces, forming the body and limbs, are hollow 
or concave behind. Nearly all the subordinate parts are constructed 
of wire. 

The bird. — Images of birds are numerous and vary greatly in size 
and elaboration. They are usually represented with expanded wings 
and tails, the under side of the body being finished for sliow. The 
back is left concave and rough, as when cast, and is supplied with 
a ring for suspension or attachment, as seen in the profile view (Fig. 
31). The owl. the eagle, the parrot, and various other birds are 
recognized, although determinations of varieties are not 2iossible, as 
in many cases the forms are rude or greatly obscured by extraneous 

Fig. 31 llii^lily .xmii,-,! iriia;,'.- of a liiril in gold 

details. The example shown in Fig. 31 is of tlie simplest type and 
the rudest workmanship, and is apparently intended for some ra- 
pacif)us species, possibly a vulture. The body, wings, and tail are 



hammert'il quite thin and are left frayed and uneven on the edges. 
The material appears to be nearly piire copper plated with yellow 
gold. Specimens of this class are very numerous. One, presented 
in a publication of the Society of Xortheru Antiquaries, and now in 
the nniseum at Copenhagen, is thought to be intended for a fish hawk, 
as it carries a fish in its mouth. De Zeltner mentions a statuette in 
gold of a paroqiiet. whose head is ornamented with two winged tufts. 
Such a specimen may be seen in the collection of Mr. Stearns. 

Fin. 33. Image of a bird in gold, from BoUaert. 

Fig. '-i'i is reproduced from Bollaert. It represents a parrot and is 
very elaborately worked. 

The puma. — Representations of quadrupeds are common; a good 
example, copied from Bollaert, is given in Fig. 33. The animal in- 

FiG. 33. Puma shaped figure in gold. 

tended is apparently a puma, a favorite subject with Chiriquian 
workers in clay and stone as well as in gold. The body is hollow and 
open beneath and the fore feet are finished with loops for suspen- 

FiG. 34. Puma shaped figure in base metal. 

sion. A similar piece with head thrown back over the body is shown 
in Fig. 34. The metal in this case appears to be nearly pure copper. 



Grote.sqMe Jignre.— jjiece rollected by Mr. McNiel is out- 
lined iu Fig. 35. The metal is quite base and the surface has been 

Fig. Xi. Quarlnipefl with grotesque face in base metal. 

coated with gold, which is now nearly all rubl)ed off. The shape is 
that of a quadrujied. The face has a rather grotesque, not to say 
Satanic, expression. The details are not unlike those of other exam- 
ples i^reviously given. 

The Jish.— The fish was a favorite subject with the ancient nations 
of South America, and is modeled in clay, woven into fabrics, and 
worked in metals with remarkable freedom. It was in great favor in 
Chiriqui and must have been of importance in the mythology of the 
country. It occurs most frequently in pottery, where it is executed 
in color and modeled in the round. The very grotesque specimen in 
gold shown in Fig. 3U is copied from Harper's Weekly of August G, 

Fig. 36. Figiirp nf a liPh in gold. From Harper'.s Weekly, ia5n. 

ISSO. where it forms one of a number of illustrations of these curious 
ornaments. The jjaper is, I believe, by Dr. F. M. Otis, who had just 
returned from Panama. A very curious piece owned by Mrs. Philij) 
Phillips, of Washington, represents a creature having some analogies 



witli the fish figure of Otis. Issuing from the mouth is the same 
forked tongue, each part terminating in a serjjenfs head. The body 
is al)Out two inches long and tlie back has five triangular 2)erfora- 
tions. The tail is forked and the four leg-like members terminate 
in conventional serpents' heads. The metal is jiure or nearly i)ure 

The frog. — The frog appears in the plastic art of Chiriqui more 
frequently perhaps than any other reptile. Its form is repi-oduc-ed 
with much spirit and in greatly varying sizes, degrees of elaboi-ation, 
and styles of presentation. It is probable that a number of species are 
represented. In Fig. 37 we have a large, rather plain specimen, now 

Fit;. ;J7. Large fiKin't" ' >t ■' I 

tal plated with Kold. 

in the National Museum. The body and limbs are concave beneath, 
the metal being about one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Teeth are 

Fig. 38. Small figure of a frog, in base metal plated with gold. 

suggested by a number of lierforatioiis encircling the jaws and the 
eyes are minute hawk bells containing jiellets of metal. The legs are 



placed in cliaracteristic positious, and the hind feet are broad plates 
without indications of toes, a characteristic of these golden frogs. 
The framework or foundation is of copper, apparently nearly pure, 
and the surface is plated with thin sheet gold, which tends to flake 
off as the copper foundation corrodes. 

The minute, delicately finished example given in Fig. 38 contrasts 
strongly with the preceding. It is also of base metal plated with pure 
gold and belongs to the collection of Mr. Stearns. 

Tlw alligator.— i:\w alligator, which appears so frequently in the 
pottery of Cliiriqui, is only occasionally found in gold. A striking 

^v liiif 

Fig. 30. Fifjiire of an alli^ato?". in grold, publisliPd in IIarper\s Weekly, 1R59. 

specimen, illusti-ated in Harper's Weekly of August G, 1859, is given 
in Fig. 39. A similar i3iece, formed of base metal, is in the collection 
of Mr. Stearns. 

The crayfish (?). — In Fig. 40 we have a fine specimen, intended ap- 

FiG. 40. Animal fig^ure, in base metal plated with gold. 

parently to represent a crayfish or some similar crustacean form. The 
head is supplied with complicated yet graceful antenna-like append- 


ages, made of wire neatly coiled and welded together by i^ressure or 
hammering. The eyes are globular and are encircled by the ends of 
a double loop of wire which extends along the back and incloses a line 
of minute balls or nodes. The peculiar wings and tail will be best un- 
derstood by referring to the illustration. The foundation metal is mucli 
corroded, being dark and rotten, and the plating of reddish gold seems 
to have been coated with a tliin film of yellow gold. The profile view 
gives a good idea of the thickness of the metal and of the relief of 
the parts. Two rings or loops of doubled wire are attached to the 
extreme end of the nose and a heavy ring for suspending is fixed to 
the under side of the head. 

Miscellaneous. — Gold, pure and in the iisual alloys, was also ixsed 
in the manufacture of other articles, such as bells, beads, disks, 
balls, rings, whistles, thimble shaped objects, and amulets of varied 
shapes. Bells are more generally made of bronze, because, i^erhaps, 
of its greater degree of resonance. Thin iilates, or leather circular 
sheets, of gold leaf are nxuuerous. One mentioned by Bollaert was 
7i inches in diameter. They are plain or crimped about the mar- 
gins, indented in various ways, and sometimes perforated, apparently 
for suspension or attachment. Merritt mentions examples liaving 
holes which showed evidences of wear upon oue side only, indicating 
attachment in a iixed position to some object or to some part of the 
costume. But one example is at hand, a thin sheet, three inches in 
diameter and crimped or indented neatly about the margin. Its thick- 
ness is about that of ordinary tinfoil. 


Bells. — Bells seem to have been in pretty general use by the more 
cultured American races previous to the conquest. The form best 
known is the hawk bell, or common sleighbell of the North. The 
globular body is suspended by a loop at the top and is slit on the under 
side, so that the tinkling of the small free pellets of metal may be audi- 
ble. Such bells are found in considerable numbers in the graves of 
Chiriqui, although I have no positive assurance that any of the ex- 
amples in my possession were actually taken from graves which con- 
tained typical Chiriquian relics of other classes. The specimens now 
in the National Museum (Fig. 41) are in most cases, if not in all. of 
bronze, as determined by Mr. R. B. Riggs, of the chemical labora- 
tory of the United States Geological Survey. All have been cast in 
molds. In most cases there are traces of a plating of gold. The 
largest is i\ inches in height and three-fourths of an inch in diameter. 
It is surmounted by the rude figure of an animal, throixgh or beneath 
the body of which is an opening for the attachment of a cord. Others 
have simple loops at the top. The small perforated specimen belongs 
to Mr. Stearns. The additional piece given in Fig. 45 is unique in con- 
ception. It represents a human head, which takes an inverted position 
6 ETH 4 



wlien the bell is suspended. The lower part of the hell forms a 
conical crown to the head and the ring of suspension is attached to 
the chin. Double coils of wire take the place of the ears, and the 

Fig. 41. Brouze bells idaied or washed withhold. 

other features are formed by setting on bits of the material used in 
modeling. This sjDecimen belongs to the collection of Mr. Stearns. 
Many examples of more elaborate workmanship have been recovered 
from the tombs and are now to be found in tlie collections of America 
and Eui-ope. 

Fifi- 4?. Bronze l)ell with linnian featui-es. 

A specimen fcnind many years ago on tlie Rio Grande, near Panama, 
and figured in Harjier's Weekly, was of gold and showed specific 
variations from the Chiritpiian jjieces. It will be seen by reference 
to the outline given in Fig. -t.'J that three very neatly shaped and 
gracefully ornamented bells are mounted upon a circular plate to 
which a short handle is attached. It was evidently not intended fur 
suspension, lint rather to be held in the hand as a rattle. 

A question as to the authenticity of these bells as aboriginal worlds 
very naturally, and it may be difficult to show to the satisfac- 
tion of the skeptical mind that any particular specimen is not of 
European origin or inspiration. At the same time we are not without 
strong evidences that such bells were in use by the Americans before 
the advent of the whites. Hist(jrical accounts ai'e Jiot wanting, but I 
shall only stop to point out some of the internal evidences of the 
native ai't. The strongest argument is to be found in the presence 



of analogous features in other brandies of the art and in otlier arts. 
The eyes of the golden figures of reptiles are in many cases minute 
hawk bells, and in works of clay, the purely aboriginal character of 
which has not been called in question, similar features are discov- 

Fl(;. 43. Triple bell nr rattle foiiml <»n the Rio Omnde. 

ered. The American origin of the bell, therefore, is not to lie (pies- 
tioiied. The form oiiginated, no doubt, in the rattle, at first a nut- 
shell or a gourd : later it was modeled in clay, and in time the same 
idea was worked out in the legs and the ornaments of vessels and in the 
heads and otlier parts of animal forms, which were made hollow and 
supplied with tinkling pellets. With the acknowledged skill of these 
people in the working of metals, there is no reason why the bells de- 

Fui. 44. Ancient Mexican belt. 

scribed should not have been manufactured independently of Euro- 
pean aid and infliience. ])rovided the retpiisite metal was at hand. 


It should be observed that if these early American bells were copied 
from or based upon Spanish originals they would nut probaljly vary 
greatly in type with tlie various sections from which they are recov- 
ered, but it is observed that marked and persistent differences do 
occur. The well known Mexican bell, an example of which is out- 
lined in Fig. i4:, althoiigh of bronze, is geuerically distinct in form 
and construction. 

In a brief review I may recall the more salient points regarding 
tlie use of metals in ancient Chiriqui. Gold, silver, copper, and ap- 
parently tin are represented. 

Gold and copper were very plentifully distributed among the isth- 
mian races, but we have little information as to the sources of suj)- 
ply. Free gold is found in tlie stream beds of many localities, and 
copper was probably found in its native state in some convenient 
Incality: yet it is not impossible that these metals were transported 
from distant regions, as tlie inhabitants of Chiriqui must have had 
considerable intercourse with those of Central America on the north 
and with those of Granada on the south. Silver and tin are found 
in alloys with gold and copper, but not as independent metals. 
The silver gold alloy is probably a natural comi:)ound. In no case 
have I foiind silver to exceed per cent, of the composite metal. 
Tin was artiticially alloyed with cojjper, forming bronze. The latter 
metal resembles our ordinary bronze in color and hardness, biit I am 
unable to secure more than a cpialitative analysis on account of tlie 
scarcity of specimens available for the puriiose. We have no infor- 
mation in regard to the origin of the tin. It is not found in a native 
state, and since it seems hardly probable that the Chiriquians under- 
stood smelting ores we are left in doubt as to whether it was obtained 
from more cultured nations to the nortli or to tlie south or from trans- 
oceanic countries. 

The gold-copper alloys appear to range between pure gold and i)ure 
copper. If the bronze is of European origin, then we must conclude 
that all objects made of that metal are of post-Columbian manu- 
facture. This question will probably be definitely settled in tlie 
near future. 

The greater number of the objects were formed by casting in molds. 
Hammering was but little practiced, excepting, apparently, in the 
formation of sheet gold, which was probably an indigenous product. 
Repousse work is not found, save as represented in the crimping 
and indenting of gold leaf. Engraving and carving were not prac- 
ticed. It may be considered certain that gilding, or at least plating, 
was understood. 

The objects are obtained from ancient graves of whicli no record 
or reliable tradition is preserved. They are all ornaments, no coin, 
weapon, tool, or utensil having come to my notice. .The absence of 


iitensils and of hammered olijects of any kind strikes me as bein,% 
rather extraordinary, since it is popularly supposed that, in the nor- 
mal succession of events, hammering should precede casting and that 
utensils should be made before elaborate ornaments. 

The work exhibits close analogies with that of the mainland of 
South America, but these analogies appear to be in material, treat- 
ment, and scope of employment rather than in the subject matter of 
the conceptions. The personages and zoomorphic characters rei^re- 
sented are characteristically Chiriquian, and were derived no doubt 
from the mythology of the locality. These works affiliate with the 
various works in stone and clay, the art products of the province 
thus constituting a fairly homogeneous whole and being entirely free 
from traces of European influence. 

Metals do not come into use early in the history of a race, as they 
are not found in shapes or conditions suitable for immediate use. nor 
are they sufficiently showy when f(jund to be especially desirable for 
ornaments. A long period must have elajjsed before the use of metals 
was discovered, and a longer period must have passed liefore they were 
worked; and. in the light of our knowledge of the ancient tribes of 
the United States, it would seem that a considerable degree of culture 
may be achieved before the casting of metals is understood; but in 
the ordinary course of pi-ogress the discovery of methods of alloying 
rare metals would lie far separated from that of the simple fusing 
and casting of a single metal, such as gold. The Chiriquian peoples 
not only had a knowledge of the methods of alloying gold with cop- 
per, and. apparently, copper with tin. but. if our data are correct, 
they were able t(j plate the baser metals and alloys with sheet gold, 
and, what is far more wonderful, to wash them with gold, producing 
an effect identical with that of our galvanic processes. 

The character of the conceptions embodied in the art unite with 
evidences of technical skill to prove to us that American culture, as 
represented by the metal ornaments of Chiriqui. was not the product 
of a day, but of long periods of experiment and progress. 


Preliminary. — The importance of the i>otter's art to archseology 
has often been pointed out. Baked clay is one of the most enduring 
materials utilized in art, and its employment by the races of men has 
fallen biit little short of universal. The creations of that noblest of 
arts, architecture, and the antecedent forms of house building are 
necessarily left where erected, to be fed upon by the remorseless ele- 
ments of nature, but the less pretentious utensil of clay accompanies 
its owner to the toml), where it remains practically unchanged for 

Many glimpses of the early history of the American races and of 


tlie iJi'ogress of art in pre-Columbian times are obtained through these 
exhumed relics, and in no case have we a view more clear and compre- 
hensive than that furnished in the series here presented. The graves 
of Chiriqui have yielded to a single explorer upwards of lO.OOo pieces 
of pottery, and this chiefly from an area perhajjs not more than fifty 
miles sqiiare. These vessels constitute at least 1)0 per cent, of the 
Ivuown art of the ancient occujiants of the jirovince. and. although 
not so eloquent of the past as are the inscribed tablets of Assyria or 
the pictiired vases of Greece, they tell a story of art and of peoples 
that without their aid would remain untold to the end of time. 

A careful study of the earthenware of this pi'ovince leads to the 
conclusion that for America it represents a very high stage of devel- 
ojjment, and its history is therefore full of interest to the student of 
art. Its advanced development as compared with other American 
fictile jjroducts is shown in the ijerfection of its technique, in the high 
specialization of form, and in its conventional use of a wide range of 
decorative motives. There is no family of American ware that bears 
evidence of higher skill in the manipulation of clay or that indicates 
a more subtile api^reciation of beauty of form, and no other that pre- 
sents so many marked analogies to the classic forms ui the Mediter- 
ranean. Strangely enough, too, notwithstanding the well established 
fact that only primitive methods of manufacture were known, there 
is a parallelism with wheel made ware that cannot but strike the 
student with amazement. 

In speaking thus of the whole body of ceramic products, I would 
not convey the impression that there is perfect homogeneity through- 
out, as if all were the work of a single j^eoijle developed from within, 
and therefore free from the eccentricities that come from exotic in- 
fluence. On the contrary, there is strong evidence of mixed conditions 
of races and of arts, the analysis of which, with our present imperfect 
data, will be extremely difficult. These evidences of mixed conditions 
are found in the marked diversity and individuality of character of 
the various groups of ware. 

It is imjiossible, without the aid of careful oliservations in the 
field, to arrive at any conclusion as to the relative age of the differ- 
ent varieties of ware. Apjaearances of age are deceptive; the newer 
looking varieties may be the older and those executed in the most 
primitive style may belong to the later period, for grades in culture 
are not chronologic. 

With reference to the principal groups of relics, we cannot do bet- 
ter than accept the statements of collectors that all are buried in like 
ways and in similar tombs, different varieties in many cases occurring 
in the same tomb. There are. h(jwever, in a few minor groups such 
marked distinctions in workmanship and style that we are compelled 
to attribute them to different periods en- to distinct conununities. 


The groups separated most completely from others are the scari- 
fied pottery presented first in the series of jjainted wares, the maroon 
groujj. which follows, and other varieties represented by fugitive 
pieces. The latter may have reached Chiricjui from neighboring 
provinces. There are certain pieces that speak decidedly of Costa 
Rican influence and others that find their counterparts in the Colom- 
bian states to the south. 

In art in clay in most counti'ies the vessel is the leading idea, the 
center about wliicli nearly the entire ceramic art is gathered. This is 
true in a marked degree in Chiriciui. and vessels are therefore given 
the first place in this paper. The less usual forms include drums, 
whistles, rattles, stools, spindle whorls, needlecases. and toy-like im- 
ages, all of which present features (jf peculiar interest. These classes 
of objects are discussed in separate sections. 

There are few indications of an ambition to model natural forms 
or mythologic figures independently of utensils and useful objects, 
and, strange to say, no pieces are found that portray the human face 
and figure with even a fair degree of approach to nature. 

How foinid. — In describing the graves and tombs in a previous 
section, I alluded to the manner in which the pottery was deposited. 
It appears to have been buried with the dead or thrown into the grave 
with the earth and stones with which the i)it was filled. There was 
little regularity in the place or position of the vessels and many were 
broken when foiind. The precise use of the vessels, the character of 
the contents, or the relation of particular pieces to the remains of the 
dead cannot be determini'il. Although the human remains have 
almost entirely disajjpeared and there are no traces left of vitensils of 
wood, bone, horn, or shell, the paste, slip, and colors are wonderfully 
well j)reserved and the surface is not even discolored by contact with 
the earth. When found, every crevice and cavity is completely filled 
with earth, and the paste is often so tender that the vessels have to 
be dried with great care before they can l)e handled with freedom. 
The number of pieces found in a grave sometimes reaches twenty, 
but the average is perhaps not above three or four. 

Material. — The material used in the manufacture of this ware is 
remarkably uniform throughout the whole province, varying slightly 
with the locality, with the group, and with the character of the vessel 
constructed. Generally the paste consists of a matrix of fine clay 
tempered with finely pulverized sand, in \\'hich may be detected grains 
of Cjuartz, feldspar. h()rnblende, augite, particles of iron oxide, &c. 
Argillaceous matter has been sparingly used, the sand in many cases 
comprising at least 75 per cent, of the mass. Many of the unpainted 
specimens, from which the polislied slij) has been removed, give off 
showers of fine sand when rulibed by the hand, ami it is difficult t(_) 
detect the presence of any finely comminuted matrix whatever. The 


thill slip eiii] (loved in surface finish is more higlily argillaceous than 
the paste. The clay used was probably mostly light in color, as the 
paste is now quite iiniformly so. The liaking was effected apparently* 
without a very high degree of tennjerature and by methods that left 
few marks or discoloratioiis upon the vessels. In hardness and dura- 
bility the paste corresponds pretty closely with that of our red porous 
earthenware. The softer pieces can be scratched or even carved with 
a knife. Water will penetrate any of these vessels in a few minutes, 
but decay has probabh' tended to make the walls more porous. 

Manufacture. — There is no piece of this ware that does not bear 
evidence of a high degree of skill on the part of the potter; and yet, 
owing to the thorough manner in which the work is finished, the 
precise methods of manipulation are not easily detected. So great is 
the symmetry and so gracefiil are the shapes that one is led to suspect 
the emi3loyment of mechanical devices of a high order. The casual 
observer would at once arrive at the conclusion that the wheel or 
molds had been iised, but it is impossible to detect the use of any 
such appliances. We (.)bserve that irregular and complex forms, in 
the production of which mechanical appliances could not l^e used to 
advantage, are modeled with as much grace of contour and peii'ec- 
tioii of surface as are the simiiler shapes that could he turned ujioii 
a wheel, and we conclude that with this remarkable people the hand 
and the eye were so highly educated that mechanical aids were not 
indispensable. I find no evidence that coil buikling was systematic- 
ally practiced, but it is clear that pai'ts of complex forms were mod- 
eled separately and afterwards united. The various ornaments in re- 
lief (the heads and other parts of animals) and the handles, legs, and 
bases of vessels were constructed separately and then luted on. and 
with such skill that the thinnest walls and the most complex and 
delicate forms were not injured in the process. The contact irregu- 
larities were then worked down, and every part of the surface, in- 
cluding the more important ornaments, were rendered smooth, pre- 
paratory to the application of the thin surface wash or slip. After 
the slip was applied and the clay became somewhat indurated, the 
surface was polished with smooth pebbles, the marks of which can 
be seen on the less accessible parts of the vessel. On the exposed 
surfaces of certain groups of ware the itolish is in many cases so per- 
fect that casual oliservers and inexperienced persons take it for a 
glaze. Incised figures and painted decorations were generally exe- 
cuted after the polishing was comidete. Details of processes will be 
given as the various classes of ware pass under review. 

The methods of baking were apparently of a higher order than 
those practiced in many parts of America. One rai-ely discovers 
traces of the dark discoloratioiis that result from primitive methods 
of baking, yet there are none of the contact marks that arise from 
the furnace firing of Spanish-American potters. 


Color. — The coloi's of tlie ware and of the surface applications vary 
decidedly with the different groups. The prevailing colors of the 
paste may be defined as ranging from very light yellow grays to a 
variety of ochery yellows and very pale terra cotta reds. In one or 
two groups there is an ajiproach to salmon and orange hues, and in 
another the color is black or dark brown. The color within the mass 
is in some cases darker than upon the surface, an effect produced in 
baking, and not through the use of different clays. The slip is usually 
lighter than the surface of the paste. 

The colors used in finishing and decorating are confined to reds, 
blacks, and purple grays. In one large group of ware the appear- 
ance of the delineations is such as to lead to the conclusion that the 
principal pigment or fluid employed in delineation has totally dis- 
appeared, carrying with it all iinderlying colors not of unusual per- 
manence or not worked down with the polishing implement. The 
Aztec and other races of tropical America used an argillaceous, white 
pigment in decorating their wares, which has in many cases partially 
or wholly disappeared, carrying away considerable portions of the 
colors over which it was laid, while in other cases, and also in this 
Chiriqiii ware, there is no trace of color remaining and we are left to 
siirmise that the brush used probably contained merely a ' ' taking 
out " medium. Red was profusely used and varies from a light ver- 
milion to a deep maroon. In certain classes of vessels it was hastily 
daubed on, covering prominent parts of the surface or forming irreg- 
ular spots, streaks, and rude figures. In two groups of ware it was 
used as the chief delineating color. In some cases it was employed as 
a wash or slip and was worked down with the polishing stone, and in 
this condition it was treated as a ground upon which to execute de- 
signs in other colors. It is always a fast color and is probably of 
mineral character. 

The blacks are of two kinds, which are used in distinct groups of 
ware : one, i^robalily a mineral pigment, somewhat pasty when ap- 
plied and quite iJermanent. is always used in delineating the orna- 
mental figures ; the other, possibly a vegetable tint, is always used 
as a gro\ind upon which to execute designs In other mediums. It is 
confined to a single group of ware. It has in many cases disappeared 
entirely, and where remaining can be removed with ease by rubbing. 

A light purjale tint is tastefully and sparingly emi^loyed in one 
group of ware. Browns and other hues occur but rarely and in all 
cases result from alterations of other colors produced in firing. The 
color effects of this pottery, although evidently much modified by 
age, are sufficiently rich to be highly pleasing to the eye. 

Use. — The uses to which most classes of earthen products were ap- 
plied are easily determined. Whistles, drums, rattles, and spindle 
whorls have definite duties to perform, and vessels, as to general scope 
of function, answer for themselves : but when we come to inquire 



into the particular uses of the various groups of vessels we are often 
at a loss. The majority of the pieces show no abrasion by handlint^- 
or discoloration by fire or by contents, and I am inclined to believe 
that a large jjortion were taken directly from the furnace and (lepf)s- 
ited in the tombs. Tliis implies maniifacture for purely mortuary 

Two important groups, the high tripods and the two handled cups 
or pots, are generally discolored by use over fire, but we cannot say 
with confidence whether that use was a domestic one or whether it 
was ceremonial. The small size and the elaborate modeling of a 
majority of the pieces make it appear improbable that they were in- 
tended for use in ordinary cooking or even in the preparation of 
beverages. A few large plain caldrons are found, and these were 
probably domestic receptacles. All things considered, it would seem 
highly probable that the greater portion of the vessels exhiimed from 
the graves were intended to be used for religious and mortuary pur- 

The preceding paragraphs refer, for the most part, to the whole 
body of earthenware products, but throughout the rest of this sec- 
tion I shall treat of vessels only, except in the matter of decoration, 
which refers equally to all classes of objects. 

Forms of vessels. — Divesting the utensil of extraneous features, 
such as rims, handles, and legs, we have the following series of 
shapes, which shows a pretty full graduation of outline from ex- 
treme to extreme. Beginning with the simplest fundamental form, 
the shallow cup (Fig. 45, a), we ascend gradually to more complex 
outlines, such as are seen in the hemispherical bowl (ft), the deep basin 
with slightly incurved rim (c), the globular form (d). and the elon- 

Fir,. 45. Fundamental forms of vases — convex outlines. 

gated form (e). Occasionally we see an eccentric variation, such as 
is shown in /. Flat bottoms are unusual ; a conical base is the rule. 
Outlines do not always exhibit these even, convex curves, but many 
are straight or concave in profile, as shown in Fig. 4<i. Complex 



forms are shown in Fig. 47. a and o, and compound forms in Fig. 48. 
a and h. Examples of these classes are numerous and important. 

be d e 

Fig. 4t). Fundamental forms of vases — angular outlines. 

The compound shapes result from the union of two or more simple 
forms. Eccentric forms are numerous and result in a majority of 
cases from the emjiloyment of some animal as a model. Tiuis, if an 

Fir,. 4r. Vases of complex outlines— exceptional forms. 

alligator or almost any quadruped is emliodied in the vessel, the form 
tends to become elongated; if a crab or a fish is imitated, there is a 
tendency to flatness &c. The base is almost imiversally more or less 

Fig. 48. Vases of compound forms. 

conical, is rarely flat, and never concave, excepting as the result of 
tlie addition of an annular foot (;r stand. The railical shapes do not 

Fig. 49. Square lipped vessel. 

undergo any considerable change when i-ims, necks, handles, legs, 
and other appendages are added. The rim or lij) is in many cases 
incurved. l»ut as a rule it is turned outward. The margin is ]>lain. 



symmetrical, and ofteu considerably thickened. In a few instances 
the outline is rectangular or scalloped, as shown in Fig. 49, and the 
attachment of handles often leads to peculiar outlines, as will be seen 
further on. 

The neck in its simplest form is a narrow upright band surrounding 
the orifice (Fig. 50, o) and is not differentiated from the rim. Varia- 
tions in size and shape are shown in the remaining figures of the 
series. In 6 it is a narrow constricted band beneath an overlianging 
rim, in c it is upright and considerably elongated, and in d it expands, 
giving a funnel shaped mouth. The exterior surface is very gen- 

t( bed 

Fig. 50. Variations in the forms of necks and rims — various groups of ware. 

erally decorated with relieved or painted devices. High necked bot- 
tles and pitcher shaped vessels are unknown. 

Handles constitute a very interesting feature of this pottery and 
are much varied in shape and arrangement. In a few cases the handle 

Arrangement of handles — various groups of ware. 

is a single arch springing over the orifice, as seen in Fig. 51, a. Again, 
the handle is attached to one side, as in b, but as a rule handles occur 
in twos upon the shoulder, one on either side of the aperture. They 
are horizontally attached, as in c, or vertically placed, as in d, connect- 
ing the rim with the shoulder, or they occur low on the body, as in e. 
In rare cases there are imir handles, which are arranged as seen in / 
or are set on in pairs. In the elaboration of handles, the use made of 
animal forms is perhaps the most notable feature. Grotesque figures 
are made to take the place of handles or are attached to or placed near 




them. The treatment is so varied tliat I sliall have to refer the stu- 
dent to the subsequent series of ilhistrations. 

Annular bases or feet were not in very general use in Chiriqui, al- 
though in sonie cases they are modeled with a great deal of grace. 
The shape varies from a simple ring, liarely deep enough to give a 
firm support to the vessel when placed upon a level surface, to a long, 
attenuated column with flaring base. The latter is perhaps one of 
tlie nearest approaches which America has furnished to the slender 
foot characteristic of the wheel made ware of Mediterranean countries. 

The vessel shown in Fig. 52, a, has a somewhat rudimentary foot; 
another, h. a firm, wide base, which is perforated to give lightness; 
an hourglass-like piece is shown in c, and a long. Ijell shaped f(jot is 
seen in d. In no part of the world do earthen vessels exhibit such a 
remarkable development of legs as in Southern Central America. 

a h c d 

Fig. 52. Types of annular bases or feet — various groups of ware. 

The tripod is the favorite support, and in Chiriqui the forms are moi'e 
graceful than in the neighboring provinces. In a few cases, where 
the body was modeled in close imitation of animal forms, four legs 
were used, but three were generally preferred, even for vessels of rect- 
angular or irregular shapes. In the simplest form they are small 
conical knobs, placed rather close together about the base of the vessel 
(Fig. 53, a), but from these the dimensions increase until the size is out 
of all reasonable propcjrtion. The maximum development in point of 
expansion is seen in h and the greatest height in c. They are fre- 
quently modeled after life forms. In a few cases rings or loo^js are 

Biscuit ware. 

Biscuit warn. 
Fig. 53. Forms of legs- 

Tripod group, 
various groups of ware. 

Red line group. 

employed, as shown in d. The larger forms, and especially those imi. 
fating animals, are hollow and contain round pellets of clay that rattle 
when the vessel is moved. The manner in which the legs are attached 
to the body of the vessel leads me to observe that the vessel is iude- 


jaendently a perfect utensil, and tliat in all ])robal)ility the tripod was 
a feature acquired late iu the progress of Chiriquian culture, as a re- 
sult of some change in the surroundings of the people or in the uses 
to which the vessel was devoted. Annular bases and tripods would 
be of little iise until level floors of unyielding material came into 

Decoration. — In decoration the pottery nf this pr(jvince exhibits 
many remarkable features. The work resembles somewhat closely, 
in a number (jf its features, that of certain districts lying to the noi'th 
and to the south, but at the same time it is possessed of very decided 
individuality. From an examination of the designs I conclude that 
they repi'esent a period of culture considerably inferior to that of 
some more northern sections, although the ware itself is nowhere 
surpassed in grace of form and delicacy of finish. 

The ornamentation is pretty evenly divided between plastic and flat 
fonns. The former include relieved features and intaglio features, 
which are executed in the plastic clay, and the latter ci )mprise figures in 
color, penciled or jtainted ui^on the surface. Each style of work 
embodies its own peculiar class of conceptions. Relief work is generally 
realistic or grotescjue; incised woi'k is almost exchisively geometric, 
and embraces combinations of lines usually recogiuzed as archaic. 
An occasional example is easily recognized as imitative. Painted 
figiires are both geometric and imitative, the two forms blending im- 

The more imijortant plastic decorations consist of animal forms 
modeled in the round. Vegetable forms have not been employed. 
Fillets of clay imitating twisted cords are sparingly used in the dec- 
oration of necks and handles, and rows and groiips of small nodes 
are similarly employed. The human figure is always treated in a 
conventional and usually in a grotesque manner. The animals imi- 
tated include a very large number of species. Crocodiles, pumas, 
armadillos, monkeys, crabs, lizards, scorpions, frogs, and fisl; appear 
very frequently. Many of the animals. t)wing to conventional treat- 
ment or to carelessness on the part of the modeler, are difficult of 
identification. These plastic forms occur in nearly all the groups of 
ware, and similar forms are found to a limited extent in gold, cop- 
per, and .stone, as will be seen by reference to the illustrations already 
given. Their study will, I believe, give some insight into the mental 
characteristics of the Chiriquians. That their art, so far as these 
figures are concerned, was not serious is indicated by the sketchy, 
unsystematic nature of the work, and more esjjccially by the gro- 
tesque and occasionally amusing representation of men and animals. 

The figures are usually placed upon the shoulder of the vessel or 
ai'e attached to the legs and handles or form jiart <jf them. The 
favorite subjects are doleful little figui'es, human or partly so. fixed 
upon the vessel in a sitting posture, with legs and arms doubled up, 



and witli expressions which appear to indicate a variety of exagger- 
ated emotions (Figs. .")4, 5.5, 50). 

Fig. B4. 

Fir., so. 
rirntcsquo (iKiirps formiri}:^ the iiandle.s of small vases — terra cotta frroiip. 

The exuberance of fancy often found vent in tlie production of 
monstrosities, such as are seen in Figs. 57 and 58, iu which the arms 

Fig. 57. 

Fig. 58. 

Monstrous figm-es, with sen>ent-shaped extremities— handled fjroup. 



and legs of the figures are writhing serjients. the faces expressing 
great agony; iu other cases the figures are double ; and again two 
bodies imited at the waist have but one pair of legs. An imusually 
grotesque creature is seen in Figs. 50 and GO. and another is given in 
Fig. Ul. Similar figures are worked in gold, one of which is now 

Fig. 61. 
Grotesque flgure-s — terra cotta proiip. 

Fig. go. 

worn as 
in Fiss. 

a charm by Mr. J. B. Stearns. Figures of monkeys are shown 
U:;', 03, and 04. One creatiire, represented as having a long, 

Fig. fi3. Fig. M. 

P'iguivs of monkeys — terra cotta ^roup. 

trunk-like sntnit, recurs frequently. Such a form discovered in the 
earlier days of archteologic investigation would probably have given 




rise to many sunaise.s as to the contemporaueous existence of man 
and the elephant in Chiriqui. In reality the original was proha1)ly 
some unassuming little inhabitant of the isthmian jungles. This 
creature is shown in profile in Fig. 65. a. and front views are given in h 
and c. Innumerahle examples, embracing most of the more impor- 

FiG. (55, Animal forms t'xhibitinp a Iouk i>l"ohf»si:is — bandied group. 

tant animals of Cliii-i(jui. could be given, but in a majority of cases 
identification is difficult or imptwsible. as there has been little or no 
effort to reproduce nature with fidelity. But the chief interest sur- 
rounding these figures is not found in the variety of creatures shown 
or in the character of the delineation, but in the manner of their em- 
ployment in the embellishment of ceramic forms. Tlie ancient potter 
must have possessed a keen sense of grace of form and of the proper 
adjustment of parts. The most cultured taste could hardly improve 

Fib. i«i- Fig. RT. 

Vases iUustratiup ornamental use of animal figures — terra cotta group. 

Upon the lines of the vases presented in Figs. 66 and 6?. which employ 
the frog, and in Figs. 68 and 69. in which other creatures are used. 
Many ecjually pleasing examples arc illustrated further on. The 
G ETH 5 



question very naturally arises as to whether these little figures had 
any meaning or performed any function aside from that of simple 

Fig. ok. 

Fig. 60. 

Vases iliust rating ornamental use of animal figures — ten-a cotta group. 

decoration. I feel inclined to take the view that in their present con- 
dition they are survivals of ideographic originals; that if their past 
could be unveiled we would find that in the primitive ages they were 
not exclusively employed for ornament. The animals made use of 
originally were the embodiment of mythologic conceptions, and their 
images were revered or served as fetiches or charms, and because of 
this they came to have a permanent place in art. They were applied 
to the vessel because its office had reference to them or because they 
were thought to have a beneficial effect upon its functions. It is evi- 
dent that their employment was governed by well estalilished rules 
and that they occupied places and occurred in numbers and relations 
not wholly dependent upon the judgment of the individual potter. We 
may suppose that they occur in twos because the handles -with which 
they were associated occurred in t^sos; or, if they serve to take the 
place of the extremities of the animal forms in the semblance of 
which the vases were originally modeled, their positions may be re- 
lated to the original positions of the heads and tails of those forms. 
It is not improbable that the conventional incised and relieved orna- 
ments, the meanders, nodes, and varied marks refer also to the 
creatures or the markings of the creatures with which the vessel was 

It will be seen, from the above remarks, that we cannot fully deter- 
mine to what extent these ancient decorators followed the traditional 
pathways of early ideographic usage or liow much they were governed 
by those powers of esthetic discrimination known to us as taste. 


For cOHVPuience of descri])tion I separate the pottery of Chiriqui 



into two grand divisions: the unpainted ware and the painted ware. 
Two important groups come under the tirst head. The first of these, 
the terra cotta or biscuit ware, comprises a larger number of pieces 
than any other group and is readily distinguished by its colors, which 
include only the pale grayish yellow and reddish tints of the burned 
clay. The second is limited to a small number of pieces and is black 
or very dark upon the surface and dark within the mass. 

The terra cotta group. — This biscuit-like pottery is not in any way 
inferior to the painted varieties. It bears evidence of great freedom 
in handling, and serves, perhaps better than any other class of prod- 
ucts, to illustrate the masterly skill and the refined taste of the an- 
cient potter. It is said to occur in the same cemeteries and in the 
same graves with the more important varieties of painted ware. The 
function of these handsome vessels cannot be determined. It can 
hardly have been of a domestic nature, as they show no evidences of 
discoloration or wear, and we are left to speculate upon the possibility 
of a purely ceremonial use. The paste is moderately fine, but con- 
tains an extremely large share of gritty sand; the slip is thin and has 
received but a slight degree of polish, so that the surface has a dead, 
somewhat granular effect. As a rule the vases are of small size and 
are very thin walled. The forms are symmetrical and exceptionally 
graceful. The ornamentation includes incised figures (mostly geo- 
metric), raised decoration (of similar character), and animal forms in 
the round. The following illustrations are intended to epitomize the 
multitude of forms, as any"thing like a complete representation is out 
of the question. 

Bowls, which form a leading feature of the j^ottery of most primi- 
tive peoples, are here rarely seen, excepting as mounted upon tripods 
or annular bases. There are in the collection a number of small cuiya 
of hemispherical shape that may have served as spoons, ladles, or 
drinking vessels. A few of these are outlined in Fig. ?0. Two have 
minute projections resembling handles affixed to the rim. In rare 

Fig. 70. Series of bowls and cups of unpainted -xare. 

cases these are so i^rolonged as to be of service in handling the cup; 
l)ut in no instance is there an approach to the long cylindrical handles 
seen in the eai'thenware of other disti icts. 



Ill following the form scale upward from these simple shapes we 
tiiid the orifice becoming more constricted and the neck more pro- 

FiG. 7J. Vase of graceful form — i-. 

Fig. 7^. Vase of graceful t'onn — J. 

nounced. The margins are m^right. incurved, or flaring, and give 
variety and arace to the outlines. A tendency toward elaboration 

Fig. 73. Vase of fine fortn. onianiented with ^roLesHiue heads— J. 




of ornament accompanies the development of form. Bands of in- 
cised or relieved tignres are carried around the neck, shoulder, and 
liandles and are added in such a way as greatly to enhance the beauty 
of the vessel. The forms of these ves.seLs are so graceful and the finisli 
is so perfect that one is tempted to present an extended series, but it 
will be necessary to confine the illustrations to a limited number of 
type specimens. Fig. 71 shows a somewhat shallow form of great 
simi)lii'ity and grace. That in Fig. 7-> is deeper, with a narrow neck 
and a more decidedly conical shape. Two minute grotesque figures are 
perched upon the shoulder. Fig. 73 represents a larger vessel of good 
form, which has a neat incised pattern encii'cling the slightly incurved 

Flo. 74. Vase of fine ton 

uriianienrea with ^f.ite.s<iiie lieads— t. 

neck. Grotesque heads are set upon the shoulder. A form somewhat 
more refined is shown in Fig. 74. The neck is furnished with a 
relieved ornament, consisting of a meandered ami indented fillet. 

Fifi. r. 

iits of applied iioiles anil fillets 



accompanied by two rows of minute indented nodes. Tke heads are 
probably intended to represent the armadillo. They are hollow and 
contain movable ^jellets. The fillet ornaments are always tastefully 
treated, and in many cases re^jreseut twisted and plaited cords. 
Some are marked in herring bone fashion and others have trans- 
verse indentations. Small pellets of clay were mnch used and to 
excellent advantage. They were set on lightly with the fingers and 

Fm. 7fi. Vase with mantle covered with incised figures — I . 

firmly pressed down with miniite pointed or edged tools and hollow 
straws or reeds (Figs. 75 and TO). Some of these nodes are finished 

Fir>. 77. Vase with fi-jeze of grotesque heads 

to re]jresent the heads of animals. This is done with an ease and 
a simplicity that call forth our admiration (Fig. 77). 

Fig. 78 illustrates a series of vases having flaring rims, the ti-eat- 



meut otherwise being uniform with the preceding. We notice in 
these vessels a decided tendency towards complexity of outline. 
Three examples, shown in Fig. 79. have a two storied character, the 

Fig. 78. Vases with flariiiE rims and varied ornament— 5. 

upper part possibly being the outgrowth of the collar ornament seen 
in so many cases. The large specimen in the center is a handsome 

Ftg. 79. with complex outlines and varied ornament — i- 

piece witli square offset at the shoulder and a decidedly conical base. 
A chaste ornament in relief encircles the neck and two grotesque fig- 
iires are seated upon opposite sides of the shoulder. The vase at the 
left has two orifices, set wide apart. The body is oblong and slightly 
flattened above. There are a number of vessels of this conformation 
in the collection, some of which have the mouths so close together 
that the margins or lips coalesce in part. A superb specimen of this 
class is illustrated in Fig. 80. The shape is thoroughly satisfactorj" 
to the eye, having a refinement of line rarely attained in native 
American work. Its symmetry suggests the use of the wheel, but 
the closest examination fails to detect a trace of mechanical appli- 
ance, save that left by the polishing stone. The decoration is simple 
and effective, consisting of minute nodes with annular indentations 
about the necks and of two grotesque figures, placed with consiim- 
mate taste in the angles formed by the contact of the two necks. 
A very small percentage of these vessels possess true handles, but 


tliese. ill some of the exainjiles, are worthy of high admiration. The 
specimen presented in Fig. SI attracts attention at once on account 

Fio. Wi, I>ar^'e vase w-itli two intuitlis ami neatly decorated necks — .}, 

of its resemblance to well known classic forms. It is evident, from 
a study of this piece, that only a stejj moi'e was necessary to place 

Fit;. 81. lAiri^f witii liigli handles J. 




these potters alongside of tlie liighest masters of the art. The sharji 
high elbow ami the broadening of the handles at their junction with 
the lip are notable features. The latter is shown more satisfactorily 
in Fig. 82. which is a top view of a companion piece. I wish to call 

Fig. S*J. Top vinw of hiffh handled va.sp J. 

attention here to a pecnliai- featniv of these handles and one repeated 
in vessels of other classes. At the elbow of each handle we find a 
device in relief marked with herring bone indentations that would 
seem to represent a kind of textile attachment, as if, at some previoiis 
time and perhaps in an antecedent form of vessel, the upright and 
horizontal ])arts of the liandles had been stitched or tied together at 
this point. Yet it is by no means certain that this feature is not the 
survival of some feature of an animal form into the semblance of 

Fir. 83. 

Fig. *1. 

Examples of handled vases— 4. 


which, as seen in other examples, this feature has a tendency to 

These vessels are not niinierons. but acquire imi^ortance from their 
large size, the larger being upwards of eight inches in height. A few 
pieces of nearly identical shape, but of small size, are found among 
the painted wares. Additional shapes are given in Figs. 8.3. 84, and 
83, and serve to illustrate the extent of variation exhibited in this 
group of vases. The small shallow piece is exceptionally fine and the 
handles are furnished with animal features of a highly conventional 
type. An expansion of the handles somewhat similar to this is fre- 
(-[uently seen in vessels of other classes, especially in those of the 
liandled group. 

Single handles of like character occur in a number of cases upon 
minute cups, an example of which is given in Fig. 8G. It would 
seem that possibly in such cases the rim had been exj^anded and jjro- 
longed for the purpose of giving support to the animal figures with 

Fig. 86. Fig. 87. 

Small flip with single haudle ornameuted with grot<'sque figure — J. 

which the shoulders were embellished. The expansion is probably 
the outgrowth of the use of animal figures in connection with simple 

Fig. 88. Vase of eccentric form — }. 

We have a number of vessels of this groiip the bodies of which 
iiriitate animal forms, but thev are in nearlv all cases furnished with 




legs. Rarely we meet with compound or eccentric forms. An inter- 
esting specimen of the latter class is seen in Fig. 88. Such shapes are 
common in Peru and are occasionally met with in Central America. 
The two strong handles are decorated with minute images of birds 
and the bottom is concave, an exceptional character in Chiriquian 

The ilhistration of this group of vessels would not be complete with- 
out a series of tripod vases. In shape of body these vases differ but 
little from the legless " forms already given, excej^ting where the use 
of life forms has led to eccentric modifications. Very great interest 
attaches to the modeling of the tripod supports, upon which the pot- 
ters have expended much time and ingenuity. 

The illustrations given here^\'ith are chosen from a great number 
of examples and are intended to convey an idea of the range of forms, 
both of the vessels and of their supports. Figs. 89 and 90 show plain 
forms of legs, all of which are hollow and contain small jjellets of clay. 
The openings are generally wide vertical slits, and are placed in front, 
as seen in Fig. 89, or in the side, as in Fig. !»(•: but in exceptional 

Fig. 89. Fig. sk). 

Vessels Ulnstratinfr forms of lef^ — J. 

Fig. iJl. 
Vessel with large legs oma- 
m anted with stellar punct- 
ures — i. 

cases they take other shapes and are scattered over the surface, as 
seen in Fig. 91. The legs are often remarkable in form, being swollen 
to an enormous size above and terminating in small rounded points 

Fig. 02. Va-sps of variea form with jilain ant^ with animal shapeii legs- 



below. The bowls are symmetrically shaped aud graceful in outline. 
In Fig. 92 I present a group illustrating some of the more eccentric 
forms of bowls and a variety of their supports. A very superior 
piece aud one of the largest of this style is shown in Fig. 93. 

Fio. n.S. I.argp vase of striking shape — .1. 

It will be seen that in a numlier of cases the legs are modeled to 
represent animal forms. This feature is brought out more clearly in 
succeeding figures. The creatures represented are often grotesqiie. as 

Fig. M. Cup with le^ iinilatinp: animal forms. — I 

seen in Figs. 94 and 95. The human form is rarely shown in a way 
to uuikf it clearly distinguishable from the figures of monkeys and 
other animals. The armadillo is a favorite subject. An e.xample of 



small dimensious is illustrated in Fig. DG, in which this animal is 
given in characteristic style, and a more pretentious piece is shown 
in Fig. 07. The characteristics of the creature are very simply but 
graphically expressed. In the first the hai'd rihbed and figured case 
is represented by applied fillets and nodes, and in the other by incised 

Fro. 95. 
Oup^with legs imitating a grotestiue animiil 
form — 1 , 

Pig. m. Fig. »r. 

( 'ups with legs imitating the armadillo - 

lines. Tile frog is also much u.sed (Fig. 1*8). A rather remarkable 
conception is illustrated in Fig. 99. Upon the front of each leg is a 
curious little animal-like figure, to the front of which are liound two 
minute infantile creatures. In the piece presented in Fig. 100. the 

Fig. 9S. Cup with frog shaped legs — ;. 

Fig. 99. Cup with legs imitating an ani 
mal and its young — i . 

Fig. 100. Cup supported by grotesque lieads — 



legs are grotesque heads, inverted, witli wide open mouths and glar- 
ing eyes. The work upon tliis vase is very superior. 

The remarkable specimen illustrated in Fig. 101 is furnished 
with unique supports. Two rudely modeled, semihuman, grotesque 
figures are affixed to the under surface of the howl, supporting it 
with their backs. 


*#^ - 

Fig. ]01. Lai'Ke cup suiipnrted liy two ^^rntesque figures — ^. 

The legs of these figures are spread out liorizontally. so that a firm 
support is obtained. The periphery of the body of this vessel is en- 
circled by a number ot nodes and uoded projections, which represent 
the heads, tails, and spines of two crab-like animals. The heads, 
with arms attaclied. appear at the right and left, and tlie tails occur 
at the front and back just over the heads of the supporting figures. 
The use of the crab in this way is quite common. Fish, birds, and 
a variety of quadrupeds are similarly treated. Some very interesting 

Fig. 103. Cup »ith two animal beads attached to the sides—}. 

Fig. 103. Cuji with two animal heads attached to the sides — J. 

examples of double lieaded animal vases ai-e found. Two of these are 
iiutlined in Figs. M2 and 103, the first having a single orifice antl the 



second a pair of (jrifices. In many cases the bowl of the vessel is 
considerably modified, to give a more decided resemblance to the 

Fig. 106. Vase -shaped to imitate an animal form — 3. 

body of the creature. This is well shown in Figs. lUi-lOU The first 
is prol)ably intended for a bird: the second resembles an armadillo; 


Fig. 107. Fish shaped vessel — i. 

and the third portrays a creature with ears and three horns. The 
oblong vessel shown in Fig. 107 is modeled after a eurious 



to wliich tlie Cliiriquians seem to have attached considerable im- 
portance. It is repi-esented with a wide mouth displaying teeth, two 
spines or horns upon the end of the snout, and tins upon the back 
and sides. Fig. 108 gives the top view of another fish vase, which is 
supported, as are the others, by three legs. The. body is flat and is 
encircled by well modeled tins. The head is rather flat and has the 

Fig. 108. Top view of a fish shaped vessel — J. 

eyes and nose on the upper surface. I close this series of illustra- 
tions with an outline of a fine vase (Fig. 109) the rim of which is deco- 
rated with a single head of extremely grotesqiie and rei^nlsive chai'- 

Fig. 109. Cup with grotesque head attached to tlie rim - }. 

Black incised group. — This pottery, although closely related to the 
other varieties in its leading features, presents differences of a jiro- 
uonnced character. The number of specimens recovered is ratlici- 
small. The largest piece has a capacity of perhaps a quart. Some 
of the forms are identical with those of other groups, but a few arc 
jieculiar to this ware. The color is black, brown, or dark gray, and 
in most cases the entire mass is quite dark. The decoratiou is exe- 
cuted in two somewhat distinct styles: in one the lines were scratched 
or engraved subsefpiently to the hardening of tlie clay: in the other 



they were deeply engraved with a sharp pmut wliile the chiy was still 
moist. The lines are usually very deejj and are filled with a white 
substance which renders the pattern distinctly visible upon the sur- 
face. It seems jirobable that the lines were engraved deeply with the 
intention of producing this effect. Type specimens are shown in Figs. 
110 and HI. They are .small globular bottles, with short necks and 
wide apertures and with handles placed at opposite sides of the lip. 
which is })rolonged to meet them. The design covers a large p)art of 
the body and is separated into two parts by the handles and the un- 
decorated panels that descend tiuni them. The figures apjiear to be 

Flu. 110. 

Fig. 111. 

Black clips with incisci rcpliliaii figures - 

very highly conventionalized animal foi-ms, proliably serpents. Tiie 
coiled ends of the ribbon-like dotted bands are evidently meant to sug- 
gest the heads of reptiles. The figures assume a variety of shapes and 

Fig. 112. Black vase with cunvpnuoiial incised pattern — i. 

grade by degrees from the recognizable life forms into purely geomet- 
ric patterns. Examples of the latter style are given in Figs. 112 and 
6 ETH (j 



llo. The motives employed, altlioiigh so conventionally treated, are 
jiretty certainly identical in origin with the preceding. 

There are a number of tripods in this group, some of which have 
the deeply incised ornaments and others the shallow ones. The shajjes 
vary greatly, a few examples being decidedly Costa Rican in type. 


Fig. 113. Small rup «,tli ronv.-ntioiial incised Fig- H-*- Small tiii i i;, lilh upright walls 

patterns — i. and legs imitating animal heads — ^.. 

Pieces with round bodies have conical legs, like much of the Chiri- 
(|uian ware, but those with shallow basins and angular, incurved, 
upright, or flaring rims have the Costa Rican tripod. Figs. 114 and 
115 may serve to illustrate this variety. The first is a cup, with 

Fio. 11."). Vase with tlarint; rim and leR.s, imitating animal heads — .i. 

upright sides and thick rim. having an incised geometric pattern. 
The second is much more striking in appearance. The surface color 
is brownish gray in hue and the simple geometric design was scratched 
through into the lighter color beneath after the clay hardened. The 
legs represent the heads of animals conventionally treated and are 
hollow, containing movable pellets. This specimen is from latitude 
8° -t-2' north, longitude 83° 53' west. Others of this class come from 
different jjarts of the province. 

To this class belongs also a small dark vase of peculiar shape and 
interesting decoration, which is illustrated in Fig. 11(3. The neck is 
large and the lip widely flaring, and the body is modeled in imitation 



of the head of some animal, possibly a i)eccary. The side rejiresent- 
ing the face is prolonged, giving an unsymmetric profile, as seen in 
the second figure. The eyes are set midway between the ears (which 

Fig. 1 IG. Vase modeled to resemble the head of an animal — ! . 

are placed at the sides) and the nosti-ils, and are inclosed by curious en. 
graved figures, probably suggested by the markings of the animal 
portrayed. An arched ridge, representing the brows, connects the 
bridge of the nose with the ears. The most novel feature of this 
piece is the band of incised ornament that crosses the back of the 

Fig. 117. Pattern upon the back of the vase presented in Fig. 116. 

head and serves probably to carry out the idea of the complete creat- 
ure. As will be seen by reference to the figure, it is a guilloche-like 
interlacing of fillets, boi'dered and apfiarently held in place by longi- 
tudinal bands, beyond which the angles of the ornament project. The 
pattern is a modified form of one commonly seen iipon the margins 
of the larger stone metates, and, although rarely met with in the pot- 
tery of Chiriqui, was a favorite motive with the potters of Costa 
Rica. This vessel comes from .30 miles north-northwest of David. 

The unpainted wares here so bi-iefly described are typically Cliiri- 
quian, and are closely associated in the graves with most of the lead- 
ing groups of art products of the province. It must be allowed that 


they take fii'st rank in the isthmian states, if not in America, tnr sim- 
plicity and refinement of form, perfection of method, and jjurity of 


The jjainted vases of Chiriqui embrace at least ten easily distin- 
,i;-uished varieties of ware. The characters npon which the classifica- 
tion is based are somewhat heterogeneous and include material, color, 
shape, finish, ornamentation, method of manufacture, and evidences 
of use. No single character and no one grouiJ of characters can be 
relied upon to distinguish the diff^erent groui)s. We must depend, 
therefore, upon an assemblage of characters or upon one character 
in one place and another in another place. Observing a niimber of 
striking difi'ereuces in two groups of ware, we arrive at the conclu- 
sion that these groups must have been the work of distinct comniTini- 
ties; yet we find very marked difi'erences in wares that (through the 
possession in common of some particular feature) we know to be the 
work of the same hands. We can, thei-efore, determine little in re- 
gard to the peoples concerned. 

I do not consider the presence in a single gi-ave of two or more 
varieties sufficient jsroof of their common origin, for a number of dis- 
tinct wares may come into the possession of one community through 
trade, conquest, or the spoliation of tombs ; but a constant recurrence 
together of the same forms affords strong evidence that the objects 
were the work of the people with whom they were buried. Unfortu- 
nately our observations in the field are not sufficiently accurate to 
enable us to utilize associations or methods of occurrence in the graves 
as a means of classification. 

The following classification is, under the circumstances, the best 
that I can devise, and is of use mainly as a means of facilitating de- 
scription. The name chosen generally indicates a leading or striking 
characteristic of the group. 

The scarified groixp. se^jarated widely from all other varieties. 

The handled group and 

The tripod group, apparently the work of one community and de- 
voted to the same or similar uses. 

The maroon grouij; 

The red line group; 

The tvhite line group; 

The lost color group; 

The alligator group: and 

The polijchrome group, no two of which are sufficiently alike to 
make it certain, without extraneous evidence, tliat they were manu- 
factured by the same community, yet all clearly belonging to one 
great family. 

These groups are presented in the order given. 


Before jjroceeding with the desci'i2)tious, liowever, there are some 
matters of a general nature that shouhl be referrt'd to. Technical 
questions have already received considerable attention, and I shall 
need only to refer here to the painted ornamentation, and at sufficient 
length to insure a clear understanding of its treatment and the scope 
of its subject matter. 

Painted vessels are embellished to some extent also by incising and 
modeling, and these methods are emjjloyed very much as in the nn- 
p.iinted pottery ali-eady described. 

Painted decoration is executed with much freedom and in nuxny 
cases with considerable skill. It is greatly varied in method of treat- 
ment and embraces a wide range of motives. Geometric patterns 
occur in great variety, but are found to be of types peculiar to Isth- 
mian America. The conventional meanders, frets, and scrolls so 
extensively employed in other regions are here almost imknown. 
Decorative motives derived from natural forms are abundant and 
afford an excellent opiiortunity to study the processes of conventional 
modification. These designs are often applied in a way to indicate 
that the decorator possessed a keen sense of the requirements of the 
vessel, although the treatment perhaps is not as univei'.sally satisfac- 
tory as is the treatment of plastic embellishment. 

The potter, in isreparing the vessel for the decorator, ordinarily 
finished it with a slip or wash of fine clay, which varied in hue from 
a gray white to a pale orange. A slij) of bright red tint was also ex- 
tensively used. The more delicate hues formed an excellent ground 
upon which to work. The sliji covered surface was generally pol- 
ished, often to a high degree, with the usual polishing imjjlements, 
the marks of which can be seen upon the less carefully finished sur- 
faces. By observers unacquainted with aboriginal methods this jjol- 
ish is liable to be taken for a glaze, and it has been pronounced a vit- 
reous glaze by a few writers. It is more noticeable upon sijecimens 
that have been handled a great deal, as is the case with whistles, 
needlecases, and the like. 

The colors utilized in decoration, so far as they have been preserved, 
are the ground tints, described alxtve, and the delineating colors, the 
latter consisting of black, white, red in various hues, and a dull pur- 
ple. An additional color (or perhaps a solution without particular 
color) extensively emi)loyed in the designs has totally disajjpeared. 
The nature of the various colors has not been determined, but it is 
probable that some were of mineral and othei's of vegetal origin. 

Red was often employed as a ground color, as stated above, and 
sometimes covered the whole surface, but more frequently occujiied 
zones or panels. In such use it was applied and polished down with 
the slip. Red was also extensively used in the delineation of decora- 
tive figures in several of the grou])S of ware, and is in all cases a per- 
manent color. The hues vary decidedly with the groups of products. 


suggesting differences in people or in environment. White may have 
been freely used, but it is preserved in a few cases only, in which it was 
used in the production of simple decorative patterns, and appears to 
have been a somewhat thick or pasty color. Black was extensively 
used and was of two distinct kinds: a thick permanent pigment, em- 
I^loyed in the delineation of designs, and a thin color, not so permanent 
and employed exclusively as a ground upon which to execute designs 
in other mediums. The latter may possibly be of vegetal derivation. 
Its use was confined to a single variety of ware, the lost color group. 
The former was employed in all the other groups, with one exception, 
the red line group. 

The light i^urple tint is but sparingly used and only in the poly- 
chrome groiip. It is very effective in comljination with the reds and 
blacks upon the orange ground of this ware. It is pirobably of a 
mineral natiire. 

What I have denominated the lost color was a pigment, or "taking 
out" solution, extensively and exclusively employed in the decoration 
of one of the principal groups of ware. Its former existence is made 
known by its action upon the ground colors and upon the paste or slip 
within the areas covered by it. Where superim^Dosed upon black, that 
color has in all cases been removed, exposing the underlying tints of 
the slip in which the designs are now manifested, the interspaces being 
still black. In some cases the lost color has not only removed the 
black ground, but has affected the slip beneath, removing it also, and 
to such a degree that the polished surface is destroyed and shallow 
intaglio lines occur, leaving the interspaces in relief. This circum- 
stance enfcn-ces the idea that possibly the "lost color" was really 
"not a color at all, biit an acid which acted iipon the ground colors at 
once, destroying the black entirely and leaving the effect now seen. 
This point must remain for the i^resent undetermined. 

The figures in all cases appear to have been delineated with ordi- 
nary brushes and by purely free hand methods. The degree of skill 
varies greatly. The execution in the great body of the work is rather 
inferior and indicates a lack of skill and care, but in a limited num- 
ber of pieces the manipulation is masterly. 

The designs are confined to the .show spaces, being exterior in 
narrow necked vessels and generally interior in shallow forms. 

In arrangement upon the surfaces this decoration jDresents some 
novel features. The slight degree of uniformity in arrangement in- 
dicates the absence of any mechanical aid, such as the wheel, which 
device would tend to reduce all decoration to a series of horizontal 
zones. We observe indeed the occurrence of horizontal arrangements, 
but not to a degree greater than would naturally arise as a result of 
the conformation of the vessel. Upright, oblique, and arched arrange- 
ments are frequently met with, and all are safely attributable to the 
domination of spaces to be covered or to the influence of antecedent 




shapes. Examples and details are given as they come np in the various 

The scarified group. — This group is represented by about forty 
specimens and is worthy of especial attention. It comes from the 
graves of two localities, one near C. E. Taylor's hacienda, north of 
David, on the slopes of Mount Chiriqui, and the other at Alanje, south- 
west of David. As a variety of ware it stands so entirely alone that 
had it arrived unlabeled no one would have recognized its affinities 
with Chiriquian art. It is rather inferior in material, grace of form, 
and surface finish, and the decoration appears to belong to a lower 
grade of culture than that of the other groups. It is possibly the 
work of an inferior race in comparatively recent times. 

Nearly all the vessels are tripods, biit a few have rounded f)r flat 
l)ottoms and a few are supplied with annular stands. The walls are 
thick and the shapes are uncouth or clumsy. The paste is coarse, 
poorly baked, and friable; near the surface it is a warm reddish or- 
yellowish gray; within tlie mass it is-a dark gray. 

The makers of this pottery, like their bix)ther artificers, took especial 
pleasure in the modeling of life forms. The work exhibited in these 
specimens is, however, exceptionally rude. In .some cases grotesque 
heads are attached to the rims of bowls; in others the head, tail, and 

Fig. IIH. Triixxi liowl of red scarified ware — J. 



Fig. 11!i. Ti-ipoil bowl of red scarilk'd ware — J. 



feet of animals appeal- alioiit tlie pei'iphery of the vase; and in a 
number of eases the legs of the tripods are modeled to represent tlic 
forms of living creatures. Generally the feet are clumsy in sliajic 
and three toed, suggesting the feet of the tapir. 

These vessels are embellished by painting, incising, or scarifying 
and by modeling in relief. Color was not employed in the jiroduc- 
tion of designs, but a dark Indian red pigment was daubed over that 
part of the surface not occuj^ied by incised ornament. Little or no 
slip was used and the rude geometric patterns were executed with 
jjointed tools in a very hap-hazard manner. 

The bowls are more numerous tlian in any other grnuj) of tlie Cliii'i- 
quian ware, l)ut, as in the other groups, they are sujijilied with sup- 

FiG. 120. oblong basin with scarified design — 3. 

Fio. I'il. Lar^e bowl with handles imitatinp: animal heads — i. 

ports, either tripods, shajied like the feet of quadrupeds, or rude annu- 
lar bases. In most cases the rim expands gradually from below, as 
seen in Fig. lbs, or is recurved, as shown in Fig. 110. In afeAv cases 
the basin is o1)]ong or boat shaped and the ends art^ jJointed, as indi- 
cated in Fin. I'.'i*. 



An interesting specimen is illustrated in Fig. 131. At the ojjposite 
ends of the bowl jjortions of the rim are carried upward and inward, 
forming handle-like appendages, modeled to represent, rudely, tlie 
heads of animals. Details of form and ornament are well brought 
out in the exit. 

In Fig. 13-3 we have a high cylindrical shape with a flat bottom, the 
surface being scarified in vertical bands. A small pot, having an 
annular base and decoration similar to the jireceding, is given in Fif. 
123. In Fig. 12-1-, instead of the vertical lines, we have a series of 
heavy ribs. Two strong vertically placed loops are fixed upon opjx)- 
site sides of the slioulder and the Imse is supplied with the usual 


FiR. 129. Jar v\ ilh Hat bottom and vc'i-iii.'al bands of incised ornament — J', 

The tripods show 11 in Figs. 1 35 and 1 3(5 are somewhat mutilated, but 
they i)resent features of interest in tlie novel shapes and the unitiue 

Fig. I:;:i. Vase witli stand and wrtieal in 
eised bunds - i. 

Fig. 124. Vase with liandles, le^s, and verti' 
eal ribs — i. 



animal forms witli which the legs are emliellished. Each leg is rep- 
resented as a complete animal, whose back or Ijreast siippoi-ts tlie ves- 


Fig 12.> Ttip i A\ith owl-like heads at inser- 
tion of legs— i- 


Fig. l"2fi. Tripod with legs nulely suggesting 
animal forms ~ \. 

sel and whose cylindrical nether extremity rests upon the gi'oimd. 
The head in the first example resembles an owl and in the second 
reminds one of some crustacean form. An additional specimen of 

Fig. YTt. Heavy red vase with fnui' iimiitUs — ^. 

considerable interest is shown in Fig. 1-^7. It is a heavy tripod, hav- 
ing four independent moutlis, all ijpeuing into one chamber. Tlie 
shape is unsatisfactory, being heavy and imsymmetrical. The exte- 
rior surface has the usual scarified figures and the interspaces and 
the entire inner surface of the vessel are painted I'ed and leather care- 
fully polLshed. 

The handled grottp. — The series of vessels to which this name is 
given comprises a large number of pieces of unusually even characters. 


They are obtained from a i>retty wide district to the nortli and west 
of David and occur in connection with other groups. They are nota- 
ble for uniformity in size, shape, and finisii and for the unmistaka- 
ble evidences of use over fire which at least three-fourths of them 
show. With the exception of a few large caldrons, not yet assigned 
to a particular group, they are more like ordinary cooking vessels 
than any other group of Chiriquian ware. The size, however, is re- 
markably small, the average capacity being about a pint. Larger 
pieces contain a quart or three pints. 

The body is usually much compressed vertically and is flatfish 
above and more or less conical below, giving a very graceful contour. 
The surface is rather rudely polished and the painting is done with 
notable carelessness, as if the intended use were not favorable to the 
preservation of the ornament. By means of a heavy brush, red 
figures, consisting of splotches, .stripes, arches, and encircling bands, 
were applied to the yellowish gray surface and sometimes, as indi. 
cated by a smeared appearance, were polished down with an imple- 
ment. It does not seem that a slip of ordinary White clay was very 
generally used. In a few cases a grayish blue tint appears upon 
some of the wider spaces. 

The handles are perhaps the most notable feature of this ware, and 
usually occur two to a vessel; rarely there is but one handle and in a 
few cases there are four. This groujJ may be sei^arated into at least 
four sections by the styles of handles. Vessels of the two more impor- 
tant sections have two handles each, which are placed vertically in 
one variety and horizontally in the other, reference Ijeing had to the 
position of the points of attachment. These differences of position 
have given rise to a marked difference in the shape of the (jrifice and 

Fig. 12R. Vase with horizontally ijlaced Uamllesand rude designs in red — J. 

of the lip. The handle is a simple loop, which in the one variety is placed 
as seen in Fig. 128 and in the other as in Fig. 133. In the latter 
case one end of the loop is fixed to the shoulder and the other end 



to the lip, which is uniformly prolonged at the contact and is also 
widened all around ; tlie result is the curious winged outline shown 
in Fig. 133. 

A third variety of handle is a single arch, which spans the orifice 
and is attached to opposite sides of the expanded lip. In a fourth 
variety the looped handles are replaced l)y the heads of animals, 
which are set upon the shoulder of the vase, as are similar features in 
other groups of ware. 

A type specimen with the horizontal loop is shown in Fig. 128. 
The lip and a wide belt about the body are painted red and the 
shoulder is occupied by rudely executed arched strokes of the same 

Fig. 129. Unpolisheil vase with heavy handles and coated with soot — J. 

Fin. 130. Rou.mI bodied red vase with nnitine handles and ineised ornament — J. 

color. A much less usual shape is given in Fig. I '.'ii. which exhibits 
some characters of contour that remind lis of well known Grecian 
forms. AiKjther novel variation from the type is seen in Fig. V.iO. 
ill which the arch of each looj) is divided by an upright piece. A 
neat iiici.sed oj-iiament occupies (he shoulder of this vessel and the 
remainder of tjic ])ody is finished in pale red. 




It will be observed that the handles are rarelj^ wholly plain. Each 
loDj) is sui^plied with one or more rings or ring-like fillets, or with 
small nodes, generally near the most prominent part of the curve or 
arch. By the study of a large number of specimens I am able to 
trace these jjuzzling features to their origin. They are the repre- 
sentatives of life forms which were originally modeled in full detail 
and which are still so modeled in many cases. The nodes and like 
features are atrophied heads, hands, or feet, and in some cases are 
marked with indentations tliat refer to the eyes or to the fingers or 
toes, and the round fillets stand for the arms and legs of animals, or, if 
notched in peculiar ways, may be referred to other originals, such as 
the mouths of fishes or the spines of crabs. Examples could be given 
showing all stages of the jirogress of simplification. 

l"ij. 131 Vase «ith grotesque figures attached to tUe hamlles — J. 

Fig. 133. Vase with upright handles and winged lip — J. 

In Fig. i;JI I present a fine example of the horizontal loop, in 
whicli the opposite ends are supported Ijy grotesque animal figures, 
applied, however, in a way not detrimental to the grace and simplic- 
ity of the vessel. 

An example shown in Fig. 132 is of especial interest in this con- 
nection. The ornament upon the handle serves as a link between 



the realistic life form and the conventional nodes and fillets. In this 
case the node is supplied with eyes and a mouth, and the double roll 
of clay beneath is manifestly intended for the arms, the handle itself 
standing for the body. The loop is upright and joins the shoulder 

Fig. 133. Top view of vase with winged lip — i. 

to the rim. The winged character produced by the expansion at the 
contact of handle and lip is shown to advantage in the top view (Fig. 
133.) In some cases this expansion is so great as completely to hide 
the body of the vase when viewed from above. 

Examples are outlined in Figs. 13-t and 135 in wliich the life form 

Fig. IM. Vase witli grotesque animal shaped handles — i. 

is clearly defined. In the first we have a human-like figure, the face 
of which is entirely hidden by the hands. In the second we observe 
a curious little animal figure, with a long curved proboscis and a body 
covered with annular indentations. In general shape and in orna- 
mentation these vases do not differ from the preceding. A remarka- 




ble piece, witli two pairs of handles, is presented in Fig. 136. Gro- 
tesque figiires are attached to the oi;ter surface of the kx)ps, one in 
each pair being placed in an inverted position. The two figures seen 

Fig. 135. with handle.s representing strange animals--*. 

in the cut are simple, but those on the opiDosite pair of handles are 
compound, being double above the waist. The faces, hands, and 
feet of these figures are touched with red, and the lip and body of ' 

Fig. 136. Vase with two pair>. of haiulles ornanicnted with grotesque figures — f. 

the vase are decorated with cai'elessly drawn stripes of red. In 
another case four plain handles are i^laced ecpiidistantly about the 
neck of the vessel. 

In a third variety the loop is omitted entirely, the animal figure 
taking its place upon the shoulder of the vase. This feature appears 



ill the specimen given in Fig. 137 and represents the fj-ont part of a 
reptile, tlie liead lieing liollow and eontaining a lai"ge movable pellet. 
This is a handsome j'iece, well finished, and decorated in the usual 
broad way. 

Fig. 137. Vasp with hcindles representing ; 

I are hollow .111(1 contain pelletsof rl.ay — j. 

A fourth variety is shown in Figs. loS and loO. in wliieh the handle 
spans the orifice as in an ordinary l)asket. The liiJ is flaring and is 

Fig. 1:3S. Vase with archefi hanrtles emhellishofl with life fnrni.s in hif^h relief — i. 



prolonged at tlie sides to ineel tlic liamlle. In ime case the outer sur- 
face of the handle is embellished with ligures of frogs and serpents. 

Fig. l;iO. Vase witli archeil handles enibellished with life fr>riiis in hi;;li relief 

or what seem to l)e intended for serpents, modeled in the round and 
rather imijerfectly attatdied, and in the other with a pair of gro' 
tesque human figures set against the base of each end <it the liandle. 

Typical vessels of this class are in many cases mounted upon triijods, 
but, for convenience of description, these are classed with the succeed- 
ing grouj), which consists mainly, if not entirely, of the same variety 
of ware. 

To recapitulate, the striking characteristics of this group are the 
uniformity of size, shape, and handles, the rude finish and ruder 
ornamentation, and the very marked evidence of use over fire. 

The tripod (/roup. — Closely related in respects to the group of 
ware just described is the striking series of vessels here presented. At 
first glance the resemblances are not apparent, but a careful study ren- 
ders it clear that the vessels proper correspond closely in both groups. 
The basins are for the most part made in the same heavy, rudely 
finished style, the decoration is almost equally rude, and the size 
and the evidence of use over fire are the same. The strong contrast 
in appearance is due mainly to the presence of tripod supports in this 
gi'oup. The legs, which constitute such a striking feature, are merely 
appendages to the bodies of vases already perfect, and are evidently 
an acqiiired feature suggested by some change in function or in the 
habits of the people. In this way we are able to account for the 
G ETH 7 


rather ilneoiith look oliserved in so many case's, the legs being too 
long and too heavy to jilease the cultured taste; yet in many cases the 
parts are so adjusted as to give an imjjression of firmness and strength, 
united with a goodly share of grace of line. 

The legs are very generally modeled to rejiresent animal forms. 
In a majority of cases the fish was chosen because, perhaps, its shape 
was suitable or because the fish bore some relation to the use to 
which the vessel was to be devoted. Lizards and mammals are also 
seen and the human form occasionally apjDears. In some cases the 
animal figui'e is attached to the upper part of the leg or is perched 
upon the hip, where that feature is pronounced. The body, or 
shaft, is hollow and contains pellets of clay, sometimes one only and 
again a dozen or more, and in order that these may be seen and heard 
variously shaped slits are c\;t in the sides or front of the legs. If the 
animal represented is a fish or lizard the entii-e body is modeled: the 
head is jilaced at the top, the under jaw or neck uniting with the 
body of the vessel ; the tail rests upon the ground, and the fins or legs 
appear along the sides of the shaft. It should be observed that, while 
in Chiricjui the whole body of the creature is usually emjiloyed in 
forming the suj^port, in Central America and Mexico the head alone 
is very generally used, the nose resting upon the ground. In less 
elaborate forms the legs are plain or have the merest hint of animal 
form in a node, a notched ridge, or a slightly modified extremity. 

Handles are present in a majority of cases and as in the preceding 
group take the form of loops or represent th.e forms of animals. The 
loops are generally attached in a vertical position, connecting the 
shoulder with the lij) of the vessel, and are plain round ropes of clay 
or consist of two or three cords twisted or plaited together. A few 
eccentric forms occur and are illustrated early in this section. 

The animal shapes are often quite elaborate and ap^^ear to bear no 
relation to the creatures embodied in the legs of the vessel ; neither 
does the jjosition of the handles bear any imifoi'm I'elation to the 
positions of the legs — another indication that the latter features are 
recent acqi;isitions, since features developed together are uniformly 
well adjusted. 

The rim or lip is generally heavy and flaring, and the neck, which 
is short and pretty sharply constricted, is decorated with incised 
patterns and with various applied ornaments in relief. The body is 
graceful in outline and more or less conical below. As a rule the 
surface is uneven and but slightly polished and the figures in red are 
rudely executed, but in the more pretentious pieces much care has 
been exercised in finishing and painting. Most of the vessels have 
been used over the fire and still retain the sooty incrustations. This 
ware comes from a wide range of territory to the north and west of 

The following illustrations represent some of the more imjjortant 



pieces and serve to give a jjartial idea of the range of form, size, and 

I present, first, three vases of rather eccentric sliapes, the basins of 
■which are sliallow and in two cases are flat bottomed. The liandles 
are of iiniisual shapes, consisting of modifications of the liji, as seen 
in the illustrations (Figs. 140-14".^). Life elements are present in all 

Fio. 142. 
Tripoli vases with shallow basins and eccentric handles — |. 

cases in connection witli the handles and legs where these are pre- 
served, but they are very meager and so abbreviated as to be identified 
with difficulty. Incised markings at the ends of the handles represent 
hands or feet nnd eyes are aifi.xed to the upper part of the legs. The 
ware is identical with that of the jjreceding group. 

A representative sjiecimen of the fish legged vessels is presented in 
Fig. 143. It is one of the most graceful forms in the series and is 
neatly finished and embellished, but is thoroughly blackened with 
soot. The handles are formed of twisted fillets or ropes of clay and 
a narrow, incised, rope-like band encircles the lower jiart of the neck. 
Set upon the neck and alternating with the handles are two scrolls 
neatly formed of small round ropes of clay. The fishes forming the 
legs are very simply treated. The mouth at the apex is formed by 
laying on an oblong loop of clay and the eyes are represented liy two 
round pellets set into the soft clay of the head and indented with a 
slit that gives to them the exact effect of screwheads. A pair of 
fins — small incised or channeled cones — is placed at the sides of the 
head and another at the sides of the Ijody. The cavity contains a 
single ball of clay and the slit is long and wide. 

In other examples the fish form is much more elaborately modeled. 



TlieAvirle month exhibits a row of teeth and thr Imily is well siii)])lieil 
with fins. The head in Fig. 1 tt reminds one forcibly of the catfish. 

Fir. 1J:!. Trip.i.l v,iw of ^ 

1)11- mill iiiMt rmish — i- 

Tlie snont is furiushed witli two horn-like api)endages: tuoth-like 
features are formed })y setting in pellets of clay, and the gills are in- 
dicated Ijy a punctured excrescence at the side of the mouth. In 

l'\ii. lU. Heavy tripod vaso mth widely spreading feet — J. 

other cases a high sharp cone is set upon the middle of the head 
(Fig. 145). It is channeled down the sides, as if meant for a fin. 



The process of iiiodeliiig tliL'si.' hr;uls was about as follows: The 
upper end of the leg — the head of the fish — was first rounded off, giv- 
ing the genei'al sliape; then parallel incisions were made to represent 
the teeth, and around these a fillet of clay was laid, forming tlie li])S. 
which were then channeled witli a shar]) to(_)l. Nodes oi' flattened 
pellets of clay, representing the gills, snout, and eyes, were thi'U laid 

Fin. U.", Xeal ly modeleil vasf etnliellishcd u-irh life forms and devices in red — J. 

on and finished with incision-like indentations. The handles consist 
of Inrd-like heads, with protruding eyes and long bills that curve 
downward and connect with tlie shoulder of the vase. Tlie Ixxly is 
rudely spotted with red. 
A large, uncouth specimen is shown in Fig. I fil. The legs are poii- 

Fio. 14G. Hijrh tripod vase with incised designs and nide figures in re<l- i. 

derous and are not neatly adjusted to the vessel. A meander pattern 
of incised lines encircles the neck and the body is rudely decorated 
with broad red stripes. 



There is a general consistency in tlie nse of life forms which is worthy 
of notice. The fish and other creatnres nsed. altliounh varionsly con- 
ceived and treated, are never confnsed. When the tish is employed 
no features suggesting other animals appear and when tlie heads of 
other creatures occupy the upper extremity of the leg all the details 
refer to these creatures with uniform consistency. In Fig. 147 we 

Fig. 147. Handsome tripod vase with scroll ornaitient — ^. 

have an unusually graceful shape, decorated ab(jut the neck with 
scrolls and indented fillets. The legs represent some reptilian form 
resembling a lizard. The head projects from the hip and is conven- 
tionally treated. A round fillet fixed at its middle point to the muzzle 
of the creature is turned back at the sides of the head and coiled to 

Fig. 148. Vase witli lizard shaped lej^s 

form the eyes. The forelegs are attached at the sides near the top 
and the recurved terminal point is encircled by rings that stand for 
the coiled tail. 



There is little room for doubt as to the kind of creature represented 
in the legs of the vase given in Fig. lis. The head, legs, and general 

Fig. 149. with scroll ornament — i. 



Fia. 150. Large vase with flaring rim and wide spreading legs — f 



shape are characteristic of the lizard. The vessel is small, plain, and 
neatly finished. In Fig. 149 the legs of the vessel, otherwise quite 
plain, are surmounted by heads that seem to represent a dog or some 
like animal. A series of neat vertically placed scrolls formed of 
round fillets encircles the neck, and below these is a band in relief 
imitating a twisted cord. 

A vase of unusually striking appearance is presented in Fig. 15(1. 
It is one of tlie largest trijaods in the collection and is characterized 
by a higli widely expanded lip and a long conical body and by legs 
of unusual size and conformation. Small animal figures are perched 
upon the projecting hips. The surface of tlie vessel is rudely finislied 
and is nuu-li lilackened by smoke aboiit the upper iiart of the legs and 
the ])ody. 

A unique use of tlie animal form is illustrated in Fig. l.")l, which 
shows a large fragment of one oi these trij^ods. The figiire of an 

Fio. IT)!. Fragment of a tripod vase emljellished with the fitriire of an ani;ratnr. 

alligator, modeled with a great deal of spirit, is attaclied to tlie side of 
the vessel, resting partly upon the leg and extending upward obliquely 
to the lip. A similar figure ujjon the opposite side of the same vase 
is rei)resented as grasping the form <jf a man or boy in its foi-midabli' 
looking jaws. 

The alligator, rarely employeil in this group of ware, is freely used 
in other groups and was ])rob;ibly a creature of imjiortance in the 
mythology of Chiriqui. 

In one case only, so far as I have seen, is the human form employeil 
in the supports of these vessels, and in that case, as will be seen in 
Fig. lo'i. the result is extremely grotescjue. The shape of the basin 
is good and tlie thick, rounded lip and most of the surface are care- 
fully [)olislied. A disconnected nieandei- of incised lines encircles 
the rather high neck, and jiarts of the l)ody and its attacluMl features 


are painted red. A.s usual this color was ajjplied along with the slip 
and in polishing has become much mixed up with it. giving- a mottled 
effect. The handles take the form of curious hi;man-appearing figui-es 

Ftg. 152. Vase supportcil by gruU^Miue human figures — I. 

which sit against the constricted neck, their heads supporting the 
rim and their feet resting npon the shoulder of the vessel. In one 
case the hands are held tightly against the lower part of the face and 
in the (jther they are bound together against the chin by a serpent- 
like coi'd of clay. The hollow figures forming the legs of the vase 
are as grotesque as could well Ije iniagined. There is no head wliat- 
ever. and the outlandish features are placed u^jon the front of the 
upper ]Kirt of the Ijody. The arms and hands take the conventional 
position characteristic of the statuary of the isthmian states and the 
only traces of costume are bands about the wrists and a girdle encir- 
cling the lower part of the body. 

I add, in Fig. 153, one more exam^jle, a large, full bodied vase, 
which, more decidedly perhaps than any of the foregoing, pro- 
claims its relationship to the preceding group. If the three rathei- 
clumsy legs were knocked off there would remain a large beautifxxlly 
shaped and finished vase, with a constricted l)ut flaring rim not in any 
way distinguishable from those of the i)receding group. The legs in 
this case are less perfectly adapted to the vessel than in the otliei- 
examples, as if the potter, skillful in modeling the vessel, had only 
recently undertaken to add the tripod. The slit in the outer face of 
the leg is unusually wide and the inclosed ball is three-fourths of an 
inch in diameter. The most remarkable feature of this vessel is the 
pair of unique figures affixed to the upper sui-face of the body near the 
lip, and which would seem to be intended to represent semiliuman 
monsters. The arms and legs are contorted and serpent-like in ap- 
pearance and terminate in most cases in heads of serpents instead (jf 



in hands and feet. The attitude is expressive of agony or liorror. 
It seems to me probable that, contrary to the rule in in-imitive art, 
these strange figures do not embody any well defined or serious con- 
ception, but are rather exhibitions of the fancy of the potter. They 
occupy small unpainted panels, which are finished in neat incised pat- 
terns. The remainina- surface is a bright red. 

Fig 153. Round bodied vast* eiiihelli-shed with figrures of monsters — i. 

It may be noted, in recapitulation, that these vases, although elabo- 
rately modeled and often well finislied. are rudely decorated and very 
generally show use over fire ; that the legs, though often graceful 
and well proportioned, are in many cases clumsily adjusted to the 
body, giving a decidedly unsatisfactory result as a whole. This ware 
was devoted to domestic uses, or, if otherwise, in all probability to 
the burning of incense. Animal forms are freely employed, but in 
a rather rude way. The fish form is more generally used than any 
other, and is in all cases embodied in the legs of the vessel, the head 
joining the body of the ve.ssel and the tail resting upon the ground. 
These representations exhibit all grades of elaboration from the fairly 
well modeled to the merest suggestion of animal character — any one 
feature, as the mouth, the eye, the fins, or the tail, being alone a suf- 
ficient suggestion of the creature to satisfy the potter and keep alive 
the idea of the fish. Other animal forms are employed in modeling 
the legs, and exhibit equally varying degrees of elaboration, and it is 



worthy of especial note that creatures are not confused or confounded, 
so far as I can discover, at any stage of the sinaplifyiug process — 
that a fish is still purely a fish if nothing is left to represent it but a 
node or an incision. There is no apparent relationship between the 
animal forms forming the legs and those attached to the body or to 
tlie rim of the vessel. 

The pottery of the two groups already presented exhibits charac- 
ters so uniform throughovit that there need be no hesitation in plac- 
ing them together as the work of one commtmity and of one period 
of practice of the art; but between these groujjs and those that 
follow there is a wide gap. The differences are so marked that, if 
they had come from widely separated localities, very intimate rela- 
tionships would not have been suggested. 

The maroon group.~Fov the want of a better name I have called 
the group first to be jjresented the maroon group.- on account of its 
color. Our collection comprises not more than a dozen jjieces of 
this ware. The locality from which they come is called Los Tena- 
jos by Mr. McNeil, biit he has not distinguished them in any way 
from the other varieties, and I am therefore unable to say whether 
or not they occur together with others or under identical condi- 
tions. In symmetry of outline, diversity of shape, and cleverness of 
modeling this ware takes a high rank, but there is no painted orna- 
ment. The surfaces are usually well p<jlished, and all exposed parts 
have received a coat of i)urplish maroon colored paint. The paste 
contains a great deal of fine sand, and is yellowish upon the surface 

Fig. 154. Cup with incurved rim and life form oniamentatioii— j 

Fig. 155. Cup with widely expanded rim and constricted neck — L 

and generally quite dark within the mass. Considering the small 
number of pieces, the scale of form is remarkably varied. There are 
plain bowls with incurved rims and with flaring rims, vases with 



round bases, with aniii;lar stands, and with tripods, and life forms 
wliolly iinique. Perliaps the most usual form is that shown in Fig. 
154, whicli represents a small cup with incurved rim and a narrow 
annular base. The shoi^lder is embellished with three groups of 
small nodes, of four each, which refer to some animal form. In other 
similar vases the form of the creature is given in more realistic guise. 
A larger vase, similar to this in most respects, has a rounded contour 
and incurved lip. The periphery is supjjlied with four plain nodes. 
Another, shown in Fig. 156. has a wide recurved rim, a character 
seen to equally goo<l advantage in some of the following figures. In 

Fkj. 157. Handsome vase supportt^ii Iiy three pxotesque figures — I. 

the small vase i-ejiresented in Fig. 151; the treatment of animal forms 
in connection with the body of the vessel is shown to good advantage. 


The head, legs, and tail of wliat is probably intended to represent an 
alligator, modeled in the round, are attached to the periphery of the 
basin, and heads of some mammal are used for legs. 

A most interesting tripod is shown in Fig. 157. The bowl is beau- 
tifully modeled, is symmetrical, and has a flaring rim, rounded and 
polished on the ujjper surface and drooping slightly at the outer mar- 
gin. The body is hemispherical and is supi^orted by three grotesque 
anthropomorphic figures that strongly remind us of the "mud head" 
masks used in one of the dances of the Zuni Indians. The head is a 
rounded Ijall. upon which pellets of clay are stuck to represent tlie 
features. The arms are set against the sides of the body, as in other 
isthmian specimens, the hips are excessively large, the legs straight, 
and the feet small and united to form the foot of the vessel. Nearly 
the entire surface is finished in a dark purplish red paint, which ap- 
pears to have been jjolished down as a slip. A companion ])iece is 
considei'ably smaller and the supporting figures are very grotesque 
and somewhat crouched, as if bearing a very heavy weight. 

A number of large basins or caldrons, collected in Chiriqui. and 
fragments of vessels of extraordinary size resemble this ware in 
material, color, and finish. The rims of the larger pieces ai-e up- 
wards of an inch thick and the walls are in cases three-fourths of an 
inch thick. A number of large vessels of similar ware now in the 
National Museum were collected in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. 

The red line (jroiip. — The group of vessels to which I have given 
tliis name is represented by about a dozen specimens, which indicate 
a wide range of f<jrni and exhibit a number of uniqiie characters. 

The localities from which they are derived extend from S^ "id' to 
8° 40' north latitude and from 82" 40' to 82° 50' west longitude. 

The paste is of about the usual composition, liut takes a A'^ariety of 
tints on burning, a light gray orange prevailing. The finish of the 
surface is about the same as in other groujxs. The decoration consists 
of life forms and their conventional representatives in relief and 
of carelessly executed geometric designs, the pigment used being a 
bright, sienna-like red. 

As will be seen by reference to the illustrations, the forms are 
varied and pleasing, but for the part repeat outlines common 
to other groups. The handles, .single or in twos, are upright loops, 
and the tripods are in nearly all cases looped or annnlar. an unusual 
feature in other groups. 

I present three illustrations, two of which were given in outline in 
the introductory pages. The first (Fig. 158) has a well pnjportioned, 
somewhat globular body, snjiported by three legs formed of loojied 
bands of clay. On the shoulder are two small animal forms, prob- 
ably meant for frogs. The spaces between these are occupied Ijy 
panel-like arrangements of red lines. The surface is yellowish gray 
in color, excepting where blackened in the baking. The paste has 



cracked in firing, a feature observed in a number of pieces belonging 
to tliis group. 

A unique piece is represented in Fig. 159. Tlie single handle is a 

Fig. 1.5S, Vase decorated with figures of fro^ and devices 
in red — }. . 

Fifi. 159. Vase of unique shape and 
life form ornamentation — L 

high projecting loci) and connects with the "margin of the orifice, 
which rises to meet it, and with the lower part of the shoulder. An 
animal form, apparently anthroi^omorphic, is embodied in this vessel. 
The uj^per pari of the vessel, sejaarated by a slight constriction from 
the body projjer, rej^resents the head of the creature, the nose, mouth. 

Fig. 160. Two handled vase with life form and linear decoration — i. 


and eyes apiiearing on the front and the ears at the sides. A few 
incised lines seen npon the inner surface of the handle stand for the 
hair. Ui^on the shoulder are two sharp nodes, standing for the 
breasts, and between these are-markings that represent a necklace. 
A rude design in red lines covers the upper surface of the bodJ^ 

A graceful shape is illustrated in Fig. 160. The paste is a grayish 
orange on the surface and is rather dark within the thicker portions 
of the walls. The under surface is much blackened by use over fire. 
An interesting feature is seen upon the handles at the highest point 
of the loop. Instead of the single indented transverse fillet oliserved 
in similar forms in other groups, we have two such features, set 
about an inch apart, and between them are two indented nodes which 
stand for eyes, and a number of indentations within the space refer 
to other features of the animal suggested. Upon the shoulder and 
collar of the vessel are carelessly drawn geometric patterns in red 

The H-hite line cjfonp. — One group of vases, of which we have but 
four pieces, is characterized by the use of a whitish pigment in de- 
coration. Not one of the collections that I have seen is well sup- 
plied with this class of ware, and hence little can be said of its varie- 
ties of form and ornament. All are tripods, but the shapes of the ves- 
sels vary considerably. Two small pieces are from latitude 8° 40' north 
and longitude 82° 32' west. One of these is shown in Fig. KH. They 
are small, rather carelessly finished tripods, with narrow necks and 

Fk:. ICl. Small tripod vase with animal flprures in white — j. 

flattened bodies. The inner surface of the orifice and the i;nder side of 
the body are painted a dull red. The remainder of the surface is a 
warm reddish gray, the color of the slip and the paste. The legs in 
the piece figured represent some small creature with a rabbit-like face 
and a body which tapers gradually to the base. Two feet are placed 
near the middle of the body, which is striped transversely with white 
lines. A white collar crosses the neck and the eyes are white dots. 
The upper surface of the vase is embellished with two animal figures, 
executed in a white earthy pigment. They may refer to the alligator, 



but the drawing is too conventioDal- to admit of full identification. 
The companion piece is a little largei'. and the upper surface is deco- 
rated with three groups of broad white stripes, bordered by rows of 
dots, which extend from the base of flie neck to the periphery of the 
body. The legs are similar to those of the other piece. The little 
animal figure fixed to the upper end or hip is identical with that seen 
in the following illustration. 

Fig. 162. Shapely vase with designs in white paint— ;.. 

The large tripod vase presented in Fig. 1G2 is distinct in many 
ways from anything in the collection and is remarkable for sym- 
metry of form and neatness of finish. The body is a long, symmet- 
rical cone and the legs are long, straight cylinders, neatly rounded 
off to a point below. A thick rim projects at a sharp angle and is 
rounded up toward the margin. The legs are hollow, and throiigh 
two pairs of lateral slits a number of small pellets can be seen, which 
rattle when the vase is moved. Rudely modeled little animals, with 
erect ears, large feet, and conical tails, a-re fixed to the upper end (jf 
the legs. Tlie ground color, the slij). and the jiaste are of a redtlish 


gray cast. The greater part of the surface seems to have been painted 
red, but the vase has been used over fire to such an extent that little 
of tlie original color remains. The Ijody and the legs have been deco- 
rated with geometric patterns in a wliitish pigment that can be scraped 
off like indurated clay. The little animal figures were also painted 
white. A vase very similar to this, from which the legs have been 
removed, and the surface smoothed down, has a longer and more 
graceful body and a similar rim. Another piece, exhibiting simi- 
lai- yet even more strongly marked characteristics of shape, belongs 
to the collection of Mr. J. B. Stearns. 

The lost color group. — In uumber of specimens this grouj) is second 
to none, excei)ting perhaps that given under the head of terra cotta 
ware. Nine-tenths of the pieces may be classed as bottles, which 
have rather short, wide necks and globular bodies, slightly conical 
below and in cases flattened above. They range in size from one inch 
to nearly a foot in height, but the average capacity is not above a 
pint. Aside from the bottles there is a wide range of shapes. There 
are shallow bowls and various complex and compound forms. Ani- 
mal forms are associated with all classes of vessels. Trijioil supports 
are limited to rather modest proportions, and handles, although often 
present and greatly varied in style, do not con.stitute an important 
feature. These vessels are remarkably well preserved and exhibit 
few traces of abrasion by use or of Ijlackening over fire. The paste 
is fine grained and usually of a light yellow gi'ay tint throughout. 

The surface was finished either in a light colored slip or in a strong 
red pigment. In some cases the light tint was xised exclusively and 
again the red covered the entire surface, but more frequently tlie 
two were used together, occupying distinct areas of the same vessel 
and forming the groundwork for decorative patterns in other colors. 
They were usually polished down with very great care, giving a 
glistening surface, ujjon which the markings of the tool can still be 

I have already descril)ed the methods of decoration, but may review 
them briefly here. The Ijright reil color, which forms such a promi- 
nent and pleasing feature, is, as stated above, only aground tint and is 
not used in any case in the delineation of design. The actual pat- 
terns, so varied and interesting, were worked out in a pigment or fluid 
now totally lost, but which has left traces of its former existence 
through its efl'ect upon the ground colors. In beginning the decora- 
tion, a thin black color, proltably of vegetal character, was carried 
over the area to be treated, and upon this the figures were traced in the 
lost color. When this color (if it was indeed a pigment, and not 
merely an acid or " taking out" medium) disapi^eared, it carried with 
it the black tint beneath, exposing the light gray and red tints of the 
ground and leaving the interstices in black. The interstitial figures 
thus formed are often of such a character as to be taken for the true 
6 ETH 8 


clesiii;n. In examining the decoration of this ware it is essential that 
this fact should be Ivejit in mind, as otherwise great coufusiou will 

The nature of the materials employed cannot he determined. Ap- 
plied to the polished surface, they were easily removed. The black 
ground tint is now easily rubbed off and in most cases is much in- 
jured by handling or by contact with the soil. The lost color may 
have been similar to the white, argillaceous pigment used by the 
Aztecs, which has in many cases partially or wholly disapi^eared, 
leaving its marks upon the ground either by deadening the polish or 
by removing portions of the slij) and the paste upon which it was laid, 
presenting the ornament in intaglio. 

The designs are infinitely varied in appearance and arrangement, 
yet are far from having a mixed or heterogeneous character. It is 
probably our lack of knowledge of the origin and history of the ele- 
ments and their derivations that causes confusion. Both geometric 
and imitative elements abound and are blended in perfectly graded 
series. The treatment of geometric figures is peculiar to Chiricpii 
and in many respects is peculiar to this group of ware. Classic 
forms, such as the meander, the scroll, and the fret, rarely occur 
and are barely recognizable. It appears from a close study of all the 
work that motives deiived from nature have greatly leavened the 
whole body of decoration. This matter will receive attention as the 
examples are presented and will be treated with greater care in a 
succeeding section. 

Plastic decoration, aside from the life forms so commonly associated 
with the body of the vase and with the handles and legs, is not of 
importance. The high degree of polish required in this ware tended 
to simplify all relieved features. 

The presence of life forms in relief has produced imiiortant modifi- 
cations in the appearance and the arrangement of the painted devices, 
and in many cases there is a manifest correlation between the i)lastic 
and the painted forms: as, for example, when the body of the vase was 
thought of as the body of the animal, the extremities of which were 
placed upon its sides, the colored figures carried out the idea of the 
creature by imitating in a more or less conventional way the mark- 
ings of the body. This will be understood through reference to the 
examples presented in the following pages. 

I will present, first, a series of bottles, selecting at the beginning 
those decorated in the more purely geometric style and gradually 
approaching those upon which animal forms are treated in a literal 
manner. The few jjieces selected f(jr illustration are totally inade- 
quate to the proper representation of the group and must be regarded 
only as average specimens, more or less typical in character. 

I give first a number of examples in which the decorative devices 
are arranged in horizontal zones. In Fig. KKJ broad bands of orna- 




ment, consisting of scalloped and plain lines, encircle the neck and 
the body f)f the vessel. In finishing this piece the whole surface was 
painted a rich red iind highly polislied; then a black coat was applied, 
covering the body from the lip to the base of tlie design: and finally 
tlie delineating fluid was applied, removing the black, as shf)wn in the 
narrow lines, the sliai-ply dentate bands, and the broad, plain band 

Fig. lfJ3. Small red bottle with horizontal liaiuis ot ornament oonsLstin^ of plain and scalloped 
lines — i. 

Fin. ir4. Small r«l bottl.- with .n. 

: geometric devices — ^ 

between. The second example (Fig. 104) varies somewhat in shape 
and design, but is identical in color and manipiilation. The dark 
figures are merely the interspaces, although they ai>pear at first 
glance to have been intended for the design proper. 

In a numei'ous series of vessels the decorated bands are divided into 
compartments or panels, often four in number, which s^jaces are occu- 
pied by lines and figures of greatly diversified characters. In the 
example shown in Fig. Iii5 the ground color of the princi])ai zone is 
in the light yellow gray tint of the slip, the remainder being red. 
Tills lends ])rilliancy to the effect. 



Ill the vase shown in Fig. 100 tlie treatment is in a general wny the 
same, 1)ut tlie compartments are triangular and ai'e separated by lines 
that form a disconnected meander. An additional exam^ile is given 
in Fig. 107. Here the principal zone is expanded to cover the whole 

Fig. 1C5. Bottk' with /."U rniiicl liy Ki'Dnictric ileviees— }. 

Fifi. W<. Bottle with hro. 

Hiieti-ic (iptires- 

upper surtace of the vase, which was finislied in the light colored slip 
to receive it. The principal lines are arranged to give the effect of 
rays when viewed from above, but as seen in the cut they give the 
effect of a .carelessly connected meander. The grou23s of lines are 



lionlcivd l)y series of dots. A i>'reat nunilicr of pieces are painted in 
this style. Tlie effect is varied by alterini;' tlie sliajic nf the inter- 
spaces (jr l»y niodifyin.u- the nuniher and rehitionsliip of tlie lines, dots, 
and tit^nres. 

Flo. Uir. Bottli- witll .: 

iiu'aiult'reil lines — *. 

Somewhat similar also in general effect to the last exani])le is the 
work npon another iniijortant series of vases. Instead of the sim- 
ple meandered nr zigzag arrangement of jiarts. two ijf tlie dividing 

Fig. 16S, Bottle with arched panels and geonietrie devices 

lines of the zone rnn tangent to the neck of the vase on opposite 
sides, forming arclied panels and leaving upright panels between. 



Ill the example presented in Fig. lUS the airlied areas are fineil in with 
lattice-like arraiigenients of lines. In others we have dots, checkers. 

Fig. 109. Bottle with arched ]ianely ami eialuirate devices — i. 

and varied geometric combinations, and in very many cases the fig- 
ures are derived from life forms. The same may be said of the de- 
vices that occupy the spaces between the ai'ches. The piece shown in 
Fig. IfJO exhibits a somewhat more elaborate treatment, l)ut the mo- 
tives and arrangements are much the same. These vessels are pecu- 
liar in the treatment of the ground. The entire surface is red, with 
tlie exception of narrow bands of light ground color, whicli outline 
the arclies and encircle the periphery. In other cases tliese bands are 
red, tile remainder (jf the gr(.)und being light. Series (jf lines are 
drawn from tlie hjwer border of the zone to the center of the base oi 
the body. 

In a small group of vases we have a radiate ornament within the 
arches and in a few cases the arched lines are continued down artnind 

Fig. m). Vase with lusettelilie panels- 

Fig. 170ft. Ornament from vase sliowii in Fip. 170. 

the base of the vessel, forming vertical ciirles in which rosette-like 
designs are formed by repeating tlie radiate figures in an inverted 



Ijusitiuii liel(jw the periphenil line. The elaboraticni in these circular 
inclosures is very remarkable, as will be seen by reference to the three 

Fig. in. Vasi- with lusitl.' Iik<' panels — }. 

Fig. IT'.?. with rosette-like paneis- 

examples giveniu Figs. 1?(», 171, and 17"^. Intlielirst casethe perijih- 
eral line is a red band nearly one-half an inch wide and the i-ays 
appear in groups above and below it. Within the four broader black 
rays (Fig. 170((), which are the interspaces or remnants of the ground, 
groups of lines have been drawn, in most cases curved at theinnerends 
like an opening frond and accompanied in all cases by series of dots. 
An examination of a number of vessels shows various degrees of con- 
vention. It is clear, however, that these devices, showing curves, 
hooks, and dots, are not of technical or mechanical origin, but that 
they refer t(j delineative originals of which they are survivals; but we 
must remain in the dark as to what the originals were or what was the 
precise nature of the idea associated with them in the mind of the 
decorator. Another question refers to the arrangement of the parts 
of the design in the five preceding figures. The distrilnition of the 
designs is a matter of great interest, and much may be learned from a 
close study of these specimens. 

Horizontal zones appear in the ceramic dectn-ation of all countries, 
and result, no doubt, from technical causes; but the division of zones 
into compartments of peculiar shape is due to other influences. I be- 
lieve the peculiar arched arrangement here seen resxilts from the em- 
ployment of plastic features, such as handles or life forms. The 
ancient races were accustomed to conceive of the vessel as the body of 
an animal, an idea originating in the association of mythologic con- 
ceptions with art. The head and the tail of the particular creature 
thought of were attached to ojjposite sides of the vase and consequently 
interfered with the original zonal arrangement of the design where 
it existed, or where it did not exist the sides were filled with devices 
repi'esenting the markings of the creature's body. The decoration 
now consisted of four parts, two in the round or in relief and two in 
color, the former occupying small areas and the latter wide areas, as 



seen in Fig. 173. The same result would spring from the use of two 
handles, such a common feature in tliis ware. The lateral spaces 
reached from the periphery to the of the neck and were most 

Fig. 173. 

Fig. 175. 

Fin, 174. 
Theoretical origin of the arched panels. 

readily and naturally separated from the plastic features by lines ex- 
tending across the shoulder tangent to the neck and fm-ming arches 
(Fig. 174). In time the plastic features, being dilficult to manage, 
woiild gradually decrease in boldness of modeling and finally disap- 
pear, leaving a space upon which the life f(n"m could be symbolized 
in color (Fig. 175). Now it happens that in this collection we have 
a series of examples illustrating all stages of this change, the first, 
the middle, and the final steps being shown in the above figures. 

Fig. 170. Vase decoraifM uiiii (■()ii\.miiiiiii;ii ti,:;ures of alligators — f. 

In multiplying these vessels the original forms and associations of 
decorative features are necessarily to some extent lost sight of ; the 
panels change in shape, number, and relationshijjs; and devices orig- 
inally appropriate to particular spaces are employed indiscriminately, 
so that the uninitiated see nothing but C(jnfusion. All devices are 
delineations fif or have more or less definite i-efereiice to the creature 
or spirit associated with the vessel. 



1 will now pass over the many hundreds of pieces with designs too 
conventional to furnisli a clew to the original animal forms, yet 
still snggesting tlieir existence, to those in which the life forms can 
be traced with ease or in which they are delineated with a much 
nearer approach to nature. The manner of introducing life forms 
into the panels of the encircling zones is illustrated in the following 
figures. In the vase shown in Fig. ITti there are four panels, two 

Fig. 177. Fig. 178. 

Portions of decorated zones illustrating treatment of life forms. 

short and two long, separated by vertical bands. The short panels 
are black, but the long ones are occupied by rudely drawn figures of 
alligators, some of which are very curiously abbreviated. At the 
right hand in the cut we have simply the head with its strong re- 
curved jaws and notched crest. The principal figure at the left is a 
two headed alligator, the body being straight and supplied with two 
feet. The ground finisli of the decorated V)and is in the light gray 
tint and the alligator figui'es and vertical septa now appear in that 

Fig. 179. Vase deenrated 

color. The ground of the remainder of the surface is red. It will 
be seen that in this case the panel outlines are rather elaborate and 
that the neck and base are striped in a way to enhance consideral)ly 
the beauty of the vessel. Additional examples of animal devices are 
given in Figs. 177 and 17S. The significance of the curious figure 



seen in the first is not easily determined, althongli we do not hesitate 
to assign to it an animal origin. There is a suggestion of two sitting- 
figures placed back to back between the upright serrate lines. In the 
second piece, which is from another v essel, the space between the ser- 
rate lines is occupied by a sketchy figure which, in the jihraseology 
of heraldry, may be likened to a monkey ramimnt. 

P^iG. lT9o. Design from vase shown in Fig. 170. 

In Figs. 170 and ISO I present very interesting examples in which 
the arched panels are used. In the first the compartments are occu- 
pied by a favorite Chiriquian motive, which consists of groups of 

Fin. IHO. Vase decorated with higiily eonventional life forms — ^. 

lines curled up at one end like unfolding fronds. The whole group 
represents a very highly conventionalized animal figure (Fig. 179o). 
The devices occupying the upright i)anels take the place of the ani- 
mal heads shown in several preceding figures. In the arched panels 
shown in Fig. 180 we have the frond-like motive treated in a man- 



ner to make it pretty certain that a reptilian torni is intended. These 
figures are fully and systematically presented in a succeeding section. 
Many of tliese globular vases are unusually handsome. The pol- 
ished ground is red or is varied with stripes or panels of the whitish 
slip. Over this ground the whole surface was piainted black and then 
the lost color was employed to work out the design. The coiled 
figures were i^roduced by drawing the lines in the lost color. The 
interspaces were then roughly gone over with the same pigment in 
such a way as to leave the figures inclosed within rather uneven black 
borders. The presentation of these ornaments brings me naturally to 
the consideration of a number of very puzzling forms which, if taken 
alone, must inevitably be referred to vegetal originals. In Fig. 
181 we have a handsomely shaped vessel, finished in a polished red 
ground and decorated in the iisual manner. In the main zone — here 

Fig. 181. Vase deciiraU^I w ii 

uulily couventioual life forms — i. 

rather high up on the vase — there is a series of upright figures re- 
sembling stalks or stems with scroll-like branches springing from the 
sides. The stalks are probably the septa of the panels and the leaves 
are the usual reptilian symbols. About the widest part of the body 
of the vase is a band of ornament probably representing an animal. 
A still more remarkable ornament is shown in Fig. 182. The dec- 
orated zone of the vessel from which this is taken is divided into three 
panels, each of which contains stem-like figures terminating in flower 
shaped heads and uniting in a most remarkable way animal deriva- 
tives and vegetal forms. I am inclined to the view that here, as in 



tlie preceding case, tlie resemblance to a vegetal growth is purelj- 

Fig. 183. Decorated panel witli cleviee."! resembling vegetal growths, bnt prolwVily nf animal origin — i. 

In striking contrast with the globular forms just given are the 
angular outlines presented in the following ilhistrations. The first is 
flattened aljove, the body being much expanded horizontally and 

FlQ. 184. 

Fig. 185. 

Examples of vases (»f uniisnal shapes — }. 

having a sliarp peri])]ieral angle. U])on the shoulder, occujiying the 
places of and pi-oliably standing for animal heads, are two cruciform 




nodes, about which the sc-roU-like decorations of the upper surface are 
coiled. We see by iliis tliat in tlie mind of the potter a correlation 
existed between the plastic and the painted device.s even in these con- 
ventional decorations. The second illustration represents a neatly 
finished bottle, with uiiright sides and conical base, ujion the shoidder 
of which minute animal figures are perched. The painted design is 
nearly obliterated. The third examjde is uniques The sides are uj)- 
right and the Ixjttoni is flat. The ornament occujjies the entire sur- 
face and is divided intu two sections or zones by a red band about the 

Complex and compduud forms are C()mi)aratively rare. A double 
vessel is shown in Fig. 186, and a second, varying somewhat from the 

Fig. IMi Pciibl- v.-ss.-l with l]it;li arched hancili 

first in shape and ornamentation, is j)ri.'seiit('il in t lie snceeeding figure. 
Vessels of this form are always snuill, but are neatly constructed and 
finished with nuich care. The strong handles are more or less arched 
and connect the inner margins of the two lips. The bodies of the twin 
cups are closely joined, but the two compartments are not connected. 

Fig. 187. Double vp.s.sel with art-lied handle 

It seems imj)ossible to present a satisfactory series of the plastic 
features charactei-istic of this group of products without extending 
this pajjer inordinately. Handles, legs, and life forms are varied and 
interesting; they are not so boldly treated, however, as in some of the 


other groups. Tliis is a result jicn-]iiii)s of the unusual degree of pol- 
ish given to all i)arts of the sui-face preparatoi'y to the ai)i)lication 
of designs in color, the pi'ocesses tending to subdue and simplify 
the salient features. 

With reference to life forms it has already been pointed out that 
the painted figures generally imitate or tyjjify animal forms, and it 
is important to note that these figures are in very many cases used 
as auxiliaries to plastic features in the development of particular 
conceptions. This is shown to advantage iu Fig. 188, v.diich illus- 
trates a small, well formed bottle, having two large human-like heads 
attached to opposite sides of the body. There are no other plastic 
features, but the lieads are supplied with arms and legs, rudely ex- 
pressed in black lines, which are reallj' the interspaces of the linos 
drawn in the lost color. These painted parts occupy the zone usually 
devoted to decoration and, as will be seen by reference to the cut, re- 
semble closely the radiate or meandered figures seen in vases of the 
class shown in Fig. 167. The arms are joined to the lower part of 
the head and extend ujiward to the neck of the vessel, where they 
terminate in rudely suggested fingers. Rising to the right and left 
of the arms are legs terminating as do the arms. A double row of 
dots is carried along each member, and thus we have a suggestion of 

Fio. 388. Vase embHllished with life forms, he^ids in relief nnrl other parts in color — J. 

the relation of the dots and dotted lines, seen in more highly con- 
ventional forms, to the markings of the creature represented or sym- 
bolized. The grotesque faces are covered with lines which follow the 
forms as if imitating markings upon the skin. Another example, 
equally suggestive, also employing an animal form, is shown iu Fig. 
189. It is a cup, mounted upon three feet, which has attached t(j 
one side the head of a peccary, modeled with more than usual skill. 
The ears of the animal appear at tlie sides of the vessel and the 
tail is ojjposite the head. The lines and dots seen upon the head 
are carried along the sides of the vessel as far as the ears and un- 


doiibteiUy rei^resent the markings of the animars skin. Behind the 
ears the markings are different in character and purely geometric. 
A view of tlie under side of the vessel is shown in Fig. I'.iO and illus- 

FiG. 189. Vase modeled to represent a peccai->' — j . 

Fig. i;io. Under .surface of vase shown in Fi^. 189. 

trates a treatment characteristic of the trii:)od vases of this class. In 
other cases, instead of fixiiin' the head of the animal upon one side 

Fig. 101. Small ves.sel with hnman figures in higli relief and s*?ometric color decoration — *. 


and otlier members of the body n\H^n otlier sides, two lieads, or two 
complete creatui-es, are jjlaced opposite each otlier. 

I present next (Fig. 191) a piece in wliicli there is no recognizable 
relationslnp between the jiaintecl and tlie i)lastic features. It is a 
small tripod CTip with upright walls, npon which two characteristic 
Chiriquian human figures, male and female, are fixed. The painted 
figures upon the sides of the vessel are geometric, but refer possibly 
to some character or attribute of the modeled figures or are the sur- 
vivals of figiires belonging to vessels of this shape or style before the 
life forms were associated with them. The legs, however, so far as 
can he determined, are not related to the human motive, as they are 
modeled and i^ainted to imitate the heads of alligators. 

I shall now present a few shallow bowls or pans nmunted uijon 
tripods. They vary in dimensions from a few inches in diameter to 
a foot or more and are strongly made, symmetrically formed, and 
neatly finished. The polished surfaces are mainly red. The designs 
were executed in the usual way in the lost color, upon a black ground, 
and are confined chiefly to the exterior surface. The alligator is the 
favorite motive, and in a number of cases is quite gra|jhically, al- 
though still conventionally, rendered. As in the preceding examples, 
the animal heads represented in the legs do not always correspond 
to the creatures embodied in the painted decollation. 

In Fig. 192 we have a representative example of moderate size and 
ordinary finish. The decorated band is divided into panels, three (if 
which arc lung and contain figiires of the alligator. The other three 

Fig. 11*2. Tripod ciip. with figures of tbe allijrator — }. 

are shoi't and are filled with conventional devices, related perha])s to 
that animal. The legs are apparently intended to resemble the heads 
of alligators. A large piece, nearly twelve inches in diameter, is very 
similar in shape and decoration, but the legs resemble puma heads. 



The specimoii shown in Fig. \'X] is extremely well made and differs 
decidedly from the preceding. The sides are upright and the lip is 
recurved and thick. The legs represent some animal form with 
thick body, eyes at the top, and a tail-like appendage below that 
tui'ns up and connects with the side of tlie body. The foi'ui of the 
l)owl is symmetrical and the surface carefully finished and polished. 
Tlie exterior design is divided into panels, as in the i^receding case; 
tlie figures are simple and geometric. The inside of the upright por- 
tion of the wall is decorated with vertical lines and bands and the 
bottom is covered with an octopus-like figure, now partially obliter- 

Fin. 103. Large shallow tripotl vase, with freometric decoration — 1. 

The remarkable example shown in Fig. 19-1: illustrates a numlier 
of the points suggested in the preceding pages. It is a large bottle 
of the usual contour and color, mounted upon three high legs, 
which are slit on the inner surface and contain movable balls of 
clay. Two handles, placed at opposite sides of the neck, represent 
human or anthrojiomorijlnc figures. These figures and the neck and 
base of the vessel were finished in the red slip. The broad zone ex- 
tending from the neck to some distance below the periphery was fin- 
ished in the gray slij), with the exception of the frames of two panels 
beneath the handles and the foundation lines of two large figures of 
alligators, which are in red. The s\irface. when thus treated, was 
well polished and then a coat of black was laid ujion it, and upon this 
details of the designs were drawn in tlie lost color. The figures of 
the alligators exhibit some striking jDeculiarities. The hooked snotit, 
the hanging jaw, the row of dotted notches extending along the back, 
and especially the general curve of the body are worthy of atten- 
G ETH 9 



tion. These features are seen to better advantage in the series of 
vases presented in the following section. 

Belonging to this group are many wliistles, needlecases, and rattles, 
all of which are described under separate headings upon subsequent 


Fig. 104.*' bnttle shaped vase, with hi^h tripod and allie:ator dpsijjnp! — }, 

Thealligafoi- (jronp. — The groupof ware to which I give the above 
name is perhaps the most interesting in the collection, although 
numerically inferior to some of those already jjresented. Its deco- 
ration is of a very striking character and may serve to throw much 
light iipon the origin and evolution of certain linear devices, as it il- 
lustrates with more than usual clearness the processes of modification. 

I will first present a representative series of the vessels, in order that 
they may in a measure tell their own story ; yet it is not possible with- 


out the direct aid of a full series of the objects themselves to convey 
a clear and comprehensive notion of the metamorphoses through 
which the forms and decorations pass. 

This group, like that last described, is composed chiefly of bottle 
shaped vases with globular bodies and short, wide necks; butthereis 
no danger of confusion. By placing a series from each grouj) side by 
side a number of marked differences may be noted. In the lost color 
group the neck is decided in form, the body is usually somewhat flat- 
tened above and is distinctly conical below, and the prevailing color 
is a rich dark red. In the alligator group the body is more nearly 
globular and the curves of the whole outline are more gentle ; the 
Ijrevailing color is a light yellowish gray. The reds and the blacks, 
which are used chiefly in the figures, are confined to rather limited 

Besides the bottle shaped there is a limited series of the 
usual forms, and a few pieces exhibit unique features. The manage- 
ment of life forms is especially instructive. Handles are rare and 
legs are usually not of especial interest, as they are plain cones or at 
most but rude imitations of the legs of animals. Shallow vessels 
are invarialily mounted ui^on tripods and a few of the deeper forms 
are so equipped. Usually the sizes are rather small; but we occasion- 
ally observe a bottle having the capacity of a gallon or more. The 
materials do not dift'er greatly from those employed in other groujjs 
of ware. The paste is fine grained and light in color, sometimes 
reddish near the surface, and where quite thick is darker within the 
mass. A slip of light yellowish hue was in most cases applied to the 
entire surface. A red ochery pigment was in some instances used in 
finishing the lip and the base of the body, and occasionally the red 
pigment was applied as a base, a kind of sketch foundation for the 
decoration proper. For examjjle, when the alligator was to appear 
upon the side of the vessel, the principal forms were traced in broad 
lines of the red color, and these were polished down with the slips 
When the polishing process was complete, the details of the figure, 
were drawm in black and in cases partially in red. Black was the 
chief delineating color, the red ha^^ng been confined to broad areas, 
to outlines, and to the enframing of i^anels. In execution, therefore, 
there is a decided contrast with the 23i'ecediug groujj, and it may be 
added that there is an equally strong conti'ast in both treatment and 
subject matter of the ornament. The motives are derived almost 
wholly from life forms and retain for the most part features that sug- 
gest their origin. The subjects are chiefly reptilian, the alligator 
appearing in a majority of cases, and hence the name of the group. 

I present first a few examj^lesof plain bottles which have no extrane- 
ous plastic features. The decorations are arranged in two ways, in 
zones about the upper part of the body or in circular areas, generally 
four in number, equidistantly placed about the shoulder of the vessel. 



An example of the first style is given in Fig. l'.)5, wliich rejiresents the 
largest piece in this group of ware. The form is symmetrical and 
very pleasing to theeye. The surface is not very highly ijolished and 
shows the marks of the polisliing implement distinctly over the entire 
surface. Two black lines encircle the flat upper surface of the rim 
and the outer margin is red. The neck and a narrow Z(jne at the up- 
per part of the body are finished in a cream colored slip and tlie body 
below this is red. Tlie narrow band of ornament occupies the lower 
margin of the light colored zone and consists of five encircling lines 
in black, three of which are above and two below a band one-half an 
inch wide, in which five much simplified figures of alligators are 
drawn. Besides these figures there are two vertical septu m-1 i ke ba nds. 

Fifi. 105. Large hottlft, with iiai 

ontnnnns figures of ilie nlligafor— J. 

Each of consists of three lines bordered by dots, whicli proba- 
bly have some relationship with the alligator. The decorated zone of 
these vessels is divided in various ways into panels, some of wliicli are 
triangulai-. while others are rectangular or arched. The latter form 
is seen in Fig. 190. Five arches, having no border line above, are 
occupied by abbreviated alligator devices. The number of conqjart- 



ments raii^'es in (ither specimens froin two to a dozen or more. They 
are tilled in with various devices, to be described in detail further on. 

Fig. lyfl. Vase with decorated zone eoiitaininj; four arched panels — i. 

A very jjeculiar form of decoration consists of circular or rosette- 
like ornaments, such as are .shown in Fig. 197. Four slig'htly relieved 
nodes an inch or more in diameter are placed upon the shoulder of the 
vessel. These are encircled bv red lines which inclose two black lines 

Fig. in7. Vase with four round nodes upon which animal devices are painted — j. 



each, and witliin tliese are peculiar devices in black. Other vessels 
furnish figures of greatly diversified characters, most of which evi- 
dently refer to life forms. A full series of these is given in a subse- 
quent section of this paper, where the origin of the nodes and the 
manner in which the jjainted figures probably became associated witli 
them will be fully set forth. 

In the series of outlines presented in Fig. 11)8, we have some of the 
varieties of form and decoration of both the ordinary bottles and the 
plainer trijjod cups. Each example presents certain features of par- 
ticular interest. The handsome little bottle (d) with the plastic orna- 
ment about the neck and the zone of geometric ornament in black and 
red lines is unique. The double necked bottle is an unusual form and 

Fig. 198. Vases of varied form and decoration. 

its decoration consists of a strangely conceived representation of the 
alligator. The tripod vases are worthy of close attention: the piece 
illustrated in b has a zone of ornament separated into three parts by 
vertical spaces, each part being enframed in black. The sections are 
divided by red lines into three panels, each of which contains a con- 
ventional figure of an alligator in black. The piece shown in a is 
unique in its decoration. Four angular fret links in black are in- 
closed in as many panels, bordered by red and separated by blank 
spaces. These fret links, ofi I shall show further on. probably refer 
to or symbolize the alligator. The legs of the cups are all conical 
and are marked with short transverse lines in black, which have a 
direct reference to the markings of the animal to which the vase was 
consecrated. A careful study of the preceding illustrations leads to 




the conclusion that in tlio mind of the potters there was a close and 
importaiit relationship between the vessel and the reptilian forms 
embodied in both plastic and surface embellishment. The series of 
examples which follow have a bearing upon this 2:)oint. I shall begin 
with that in which the creature is most literally rendered. 

In Fig. 100 tlie whole conformation of the vessel is con-siderably 
modified through tlie attempt to perfect the likeness of the alligator, 
whose head, tail, and legs are graphically rendered. The body, head, 
and tail are covered with nodes, each of which is encircled by a black 
ring and has a black dot upon the apex. Dotted rings and short strokes 
of black occupy the interspaces. These devices represent the spines 

Fig. 200. Alligator vase, with conveutional figure.s of the alligator painted ou the sides — J. 

and scales of the creatiire's skin. The legs are marked with horizontal 
stripes and oval spaces at the top inclose three dots each. The gen- 


eral color of the vessel is a dark Ijrown. This piece should be com- 
pared with tile alligator whistle shown in Fig. 2oU. 

A somewhat different treatment is shown in Fig. 200. Here the 
animal form has undergone considerable modification. There are but 
three legs — a concession to the ci^nventional tripod — and the body 
exliil)its. instead of the nodes and the markings of the creature's skin, 
two conventional drawings of the whole animal. Now, by higher and 
higher degrees of convention, we come to a long series of modified 
results which must be omitted for want of room. We find that the 
plastic features are gradually reduced until mere nodes appear where 
tlie head and the tail should be, and finally in the lower forms there 
remains but a blank panel or a painted device, as already shown in a 
preceding section. The painted devices are also reduced by degrees 
until all resemblance to nature is lost and geometric devices alone 

Fig. 201. Vase having the head and tail of a serpent projeLtin^ from opposite sides of the body and 
connected by a meandered design which stands for the markings of the body— i. 

remain. I observe in this association of plastic and painted features 
a lack of the perfect consistency I had learned to expect in the work 
of primitive peoples. It is easy to see how, from painting the mark- 
ings of the creature's skin upon the body of the vessel, the painter 
should come gradually to delineate parts of the creatiire or even the 
whole creature, but we should not expect him to jiaint a creature 
distinct in kind from that modeled, thus confusing or entirely sepa- 
rating the conceptions; tliis has been done, apparently, in the vase 
illustrated in Fig. 302, where the plastic form represents a puma and 
the painting ujion the sides seems intended for an alligator. It will 
be seen from the figures given that the devices of the panels or sides 
do not necessarily represent the markings of the animal's body, as in 
Fig. 201, but that tliey may refer to the entire creature (Fig. 200) or 
even to what appeal's to be a totally distinct creature (Fig. 202). 

If realistic or semirealistic delineations are confused in this way 
it is to be expected tliat highly conventi(mal derivative figures, so 
numerous and varied, should be much less clearly distinguished; that 
indeed there should be no certainty whatevei' in the reference to orig- 
inals. It is difficult to say of any particular conventional device 




thai, it originated in tlie figure of the animal as a whole rather than 
in some part or character of that animal or of some other animal. 

A very instructive example hearing upon this subject is shown in 
Fig. 203. Attached to one side of the hasin is a jjendent head resem- 

FiG. '202. Vase represeiitinj^ a puma, with figures of the alHgator painted upon the side-s —J. 

hling that of a serpent or a turtle. A kind of hood overhangs the 
head and extends in a ridge around the sides of the vessel, connect- 

FiG. a03. Shallow vase with reptilian features in the round and de.signs in red and black representing 
the inarliings of the creature's body — J . 

ing with the tail of the creature, which is also pendent and hooded. 
Four legs suppcirt the vessel and are marked with transverse stripes 
of red and hlack paint. The upper surface of the head is covered 
witli reticulated lines in black, ami bands of conventional ornament 
in the same color extend around the sides of the vessel, uniting the 
head with the tail of the animal. A single band of ornament passes 
beneath the body, also connecting those members. It is plain that 
these painted l)ands ser\-e to compl(>te the representation of the reptile. 



But, as I liave just shown, tliey are as likely to stand for the whole 
creature or to be the abbreviated representative of the whole creature 
as to represent merely the markings of the body. These devices, as 
arranged in the zone, resemble in a remarkable degree the conven- 
tional running scroll. 

I have but one more example of the alligator vases to i^resent, but 
it is perhaps the most remarkable piece in the collection (Fig. 204). 

Fig. 2W. with funnul shaped mouth and squ.ire body, supported by two grotesque figures and 
decorated with figures of aUigators and monkeys — }. 

It illustrates to good advantage both the skill and the strange fancy 
of these archaic potters. A large vase, having a high flaring rim and 
a subcubical body, is supjDorted by two grotesque human apiJearing 
figures, whose backs are set against opposite ends of the vessel. The 
leg.s are j)laced wide apart, thus affording a firm support. The lieads 
of the two figures project forward from the shoulder of the vase and 
are flattened in such a wav as to give long oval oiitlines to the crowns 



whicli are truncated and furnished with long slit-like openings 
that connect through the head with the main chamber of the vessel. 
The openings are about two and a half inches long and one-eighth 
of an inch wide and are surrounded by a shallow channel in the 
fiat, well jjolished upper surface. The extraordinary conformation 
of this part of the vessel recalls the well known whistling vases of 
South America; but this piece is too badly In-oken to admit of ex- 
periment to test its powers. It is generally likened to a money box. 
In order to convey a clear conception of the shape of the ujiper sur- 
face. I i^resent a top view of the vessel (Fig. 205). 

A front view of one of the supporting figures is shown in Fig. 206. 
Although certainly not intended to represent a human figure with 
accuracy, it is furnished with a crown, as are the figures in gold and 
stone, and is covered with devices that seem to refer to costume. The 
features are extremely grotesque, the nose resembling the beak of a 

Fig. a05. Top view of in Fig. 204. Fig. 20fi. End view of vase in Fig. 204, show- 

showing the main oriflce and the ob- ing front view of grotesque figure. The red 

long openings. portions of the painted figures are outUned 

with dots. 

bird and the mouth being a mere ridge, without indications of the 
lips. The face and the chest are painted with ciirious devices in red. 
The funnel and body of the vase are decorated with subjects that seem 
to have no connection with the plastic features and no relation to one 
another in subject matter. The upper panel, sui-rounded by a frame- 
work of black and red lines, contains the figure of an alligator much 
simplified and taking a peculiar position on account of the shape of 
the space into which it is crowded. The figure occupying the body 
panel is that of a very strangely conventionalized two tailed monkey 
and is enframed by a wide red line. On the .shoulder of the vessel 
is an ornament consisting of a number of angular hooks attached 
to a straight line. The effect is like that of fretwork, but the figure 
is probably derived from a modified animal form. The paste of this 



vase is saiuly and is reddisli gray near the sni'face and quite dark 
within the mass. The modeling is thoroughly well done, and the sur- 
face, which is of a somber, yellowish gray tint, is highly polished. 
The figures are drawn chiefly in black, red being confined to broad 
lines and areas. De Zeltner published photograidiie illustrations of 
a similar vase with his pamphlet on the graves of Chiriqui. That 
specimen is now, I believe, in the hands of Prof. O. C. Marsh, of 
New Haven. It corresponds very closely in nearly every resjiect 
with the example here described. 

Thepoli/cliroiiir (jroiip. — Tlie Natidual JIuseum collection contains 
but three examples of this most aitistic (.)f the wares of Chiriqui. Its 
claim to suiieriority rests upon a certain boldness and refinement of 
execution, cumbined with nobleness of outline and a type of design 
mucli in advance of other isthmian decoration. It is probably most 
nearly allied to the ware of the alligator group, and it possesses some 
of the characteristics of the liest Central American work. Unlike 

Fio. 3i>r. I^rge vase with decorations in red an<i black — |. 

the other wares of Chiriqui. tliis pottery has a bright salmon red 
paste and the slip projwr is a delicate s]ia<le of the same color. In 
nearly all cases undeeorated portions of the surface are finished in 



red. wliich ai)pcars to liave been i^olisliod down as a slij). The designs 
are i n three colors — black, a strong red, and a fine gray iJiirjile — which, 
in combination with the bright reddish ground, give a very rich 
etfect. The first example, shown in Fig. 207, is a large, nearly 
symmetrical bottle with a short neck and a thick, flaring lij). The 
inner surface of the orifice and the lower half of the body are finished 
in red and the neck and shoulder in the salmon colored slip. A Mide 
zone of ornament encircles the uppfer surface of the body. The de- 
signs are executed with great skill in red and black colors and include 
Uvo highly conventional figures, probably of reptilian origin. Tlie 
manner of their introduction into the zone is shown in Fig. -^'os. The 

Fig. a08. Devices of tUe decorated zone of vase shown in Fig. 20r. 

oval faces are placed on opposite sides, taking the positions usually 
occupied by modeled heads. Each face is supplemented by a pair of 
arms which terminate in curiously conventional hands, and the two 
caudal appendages are placed midway between the faces, filling tri- 
angular areas. The body of the vase serves as a body for both 
creatures. In the illustration, the red of the design, which is carried 
over all of one face save the eyes and mouth and serves to emphasize 
the features of the other face, is indicated in vertical tint lines and the 
black is given in solid color. This vase is twelve inches in height. 



A second example, illustrated in Fig. 209, is a fine piece of some- 
what iinnsual sliajje. The orifice is trumpet shaped and rather too 
wide for good jiroportion. Tlie body is flattened above and coiiical 
below and is supported by a rather meager annidar foot. The paste 

Fio. 2nri. Hanclsnme vase with foiii- handles and decorations in black, red, and purple — J. 

is of a light brick red color, and the slip, as seen in the groimd of 
the decorated belt, is a i^ale gray orange. U ndecorated portions of 
the surface ai-e painted red. The ornamented zone is interrupted by 
two pairs of handle-like ajjiiendages set upon the outer part of the 
shoulder. These projections may i^ossibly have served as handles, as 
they are perforated both horizontally and vertically, liut they are 
at the same time undoubtedly conventionalized animal forms, the 
creature being represented by the four flattened, transversely marked 
arms or rays and an eye-like device painted upon the top of each figure. 
The painted devices are seen in plan in Fig. 210, where the relations of 
the relieved features to the zone of painted dec(jration are clearly 
shown. This zone is divided into panels of unequal dimensions, and 
within these a number of extraordinary devices are drawn in three 
colors, red, l)!ack, and purple. These are distinguished in the i)lan by 
peculiar tint lines. The designs are of such a character as to leave little 
doi;bt that they are ideograjjliic. although at i)resent it is impossible to 
guess the natiire of the associated ideas. Tlie annular foot observed 
in this specimen illustrates the first step in the develoijment of a 
feature the final stage of which is shown in Fig. 211. The latter 


shape is such as would result from inverting the preceding form, re- 
moving the conical base of the body, and iising the funnel shaped 
orifice as a stand. This highly developed shape implies a long prac- 

FiG. 210. The painted desi^s of vase in Fig. 209 viewed from above. 

tice of the art. The form is a usual one in Mexico and in Central 
America. The bowl is shallow and is set gracefully upon the stand, 
the whole shape closely resembling simple conditions of the classic 
kylix. The color of the paste is a pale brick red and that of the slip 
approaches orange. The walls are thick and even and the surface is 
very carefully polished. 

The painted decoration is of unusiial interest. The colors are so 
rich, the execution is so superior, and the conception so strange that 
we dwell upon it with surprise and Avonder. The central portion of 
the bowl is occupied by what would seem to rejjresent a fish painted 
in strong, firm, marvelously turned lines, and in a style of convention 
wholly unicpie. The outlines are in black and the spaces are filled in 
with red and purple or are left in the orange hue of the ground. An 
idea of the superior style of execution can be gained from Fig. SI"-?. 
It will be impossible to characterize the details of the drawing 
in words. The strange position and shape of the head, the oddly 
placed eyes and mouth, and the totally incomprehensible treatment 
of the body can be ajipreciated. however, by referring to the illustra- 
tion. A careful study leads inevitably to the conclusion that this 



was nil cirdiiiiu'y (lecoratitin, im playiiij;' witli lines, liut a scvicms 
working out of a conception every part of wliicli had its siguilicance 
or its raison d'etre. 

Fig. 311. Vase of unusual shape, with decoration in Mack, red, anrl iiurple — J. 

Fib. 212. Ornament occupyinpr the interior .surface of the basin of vase shown in Fig. 21i. 

The figures occupying the horder zone of the bowl are worthy of 
careful inspection. It will be seen that the i^otter, even in this 




highly specialized condition of the utensil, has not lost sight of the 
conception that the vessel is the body of an animal, as we have seen 
so often in simpler forms, and that the symbols of the creature should 
appear upon it and encircle it. The zone is divided into two equal 
sections by small knobs, painted, as are the handle-like appendages 
in the preceding specimen, to represent some animal feature. The 
lateral sections are occupied by eye-like figures that stand for the 
7narkings of the body of the creature symbolized. They really oc- 
cupy the spaces left by a continuous waved body or life line, which 
they serve to define. Devices of this class are most frequently met 
with in connection with representations of the alligator. They may, 
however, symbolize the serpent, as occasionally seen in the alligator 
group. Decorative conceptions so remarkable as these could arise 
only through one channel: the channel of mythology. The super- 
stitions of men have imposed upon the art a series of conceptions 
fixed in character and limited to especial positions, relations, and 
forms of expression. It is useless to sjjeculate upon the nature of 
the mythologic conceptions with an idea of arriving at any under- 
standing of the religion of the people ; but we do learn something 
of the stage of development, something of the condition of philos- 

I must not close this section without referring to some fine 
^■ases that belong apparently to this group and which were collected 

Fig. 813. Larjre \as.> of fine bhapc ami snni 
I! ETH 10 

n IIS From Dt* Ztltner — about j 



by De Zeltuer and illustrated by pliotograi^hs accompanying his 
pamphlet. They are now. I believe, in the possession of Prof. O. C. 
Marsh. The sketches given herewith are copied from De Zeltner's 
photograi)hs and are probably somewhat defective in details of draw- 
ing. The piece illustrated in Fig. 213 is not described by the author, 
but is evidently a handsome vessel and is decorated in a very simple 
manner. A band of devices symbolizing the body of an animal en- 
circles the middle portion of the vase. The height is about a foot. 

Fig. 314. V.i.t;e -n-itli rxtraonlinary decorative designs. From De Zeltner — aliniit }. 

A second piece (Fig. 214), of which two views are given by the 
same author, corresponds closely in many respects with the vase ilhis- 
trated in Fig. 311 and is described in the following language: 

My collection includes a cup (or chalice) of baked clay 25centimetei's in diameter, 
mounted on a hollow stand wh'ch gives it a height of 18 centimeters, and the de- 
signs of wliich are very rich and in perfect taste. The base is hollow and colored 
red. white, Ijlai-k, and purple ; it has four nanow openings or slits, and the design 
repi-esents plaits spirally arranged. The under side of the cup is divided into four 
compartmen's, each of which incloses a dragon painted in black and red on a white 
ground ; the borders are sometimes red, sometimes purjile. The body of the dragon 
might have been painted in China, so neat and inti'icate is the drawing. 

The design upon the inside of the cup seems to re.semble Egyptian art. The body 
of a man is seen, painted in red, the arms and legs sepai'ated, and the shoulders 
tearing the head of the dragon with teeth and crest. The color is similar to the 
rest of the piece — purple, white, and black. The intermediate spaces are fiUed 
with very int' icate designs. 

This extraordinary design is shown in Fig. 215, and it will be seen 
that it agrees in many respects with figures presented in the lost 
color and alligator groups. It is compound in character, however, 
the head referring to the alligator, the body and extremities perhaps 
to a man or to a monkey. The suggestion of the oriental dragon in 
this, as in other examples, is at once apparent, and the resemblance 
to certain conventional forms that come down to us from the earliest 


kuowu period of Cliine«e art is truly remarkable. We cannot, uf 
course, predicate identity of origin even upon absolute identity of 
appeai'ances, but such correspondences are worthy of note, as they 
may in time accumulate to sucli an extent tliat the belief in a com- 
mon origin will force itself upon us. 

Fig. ai.'>. Paiut^d design of va-se in Kig. ^14, viewvd from ahove. tlioufiht to represent a dragon by 
De Zeltner: probably a composite of the alligator and the monkey or man. 

Unclassified. — A small n\imber of vases do not admit of classifi- 
cation under any of the preceding heads. In most cases, however, 
they are not of esijecial interest and may ])e passed over. They rep- 
resent a number of varieties of ware and are possibly not all Chiri- 
quian, their affinities being rather with the pottery of Costa Rica 
and Nicaragua. One remarkable piece, of which a sketch is given 
in Fig. 50, c. is of large size and is shaped somewhat like an hour 
glass, and on accoiint of its peculiar form and markings may be said 
to resemble a corset. The upper end is somewliat the smaller, and 
the sef)tum. which forms the bottom of the vessel, is placed about 
an inch above the base of the foot. The interior surface is smoothly 
polished and painted a dark dull red. .The exterior is uncolored and 
neatly fluted. The series of vertical ril)s of the iipjier end is sepa- 



rated from those of the base by a Ijelt of horizontal flxitings. and a 
wide smooth space extends from the top to the base, the lower sec- 
tion of which is occupied by a row of button-like, indented knobs. 
The use of this utensil may not have been peculiar, but its shape is 
wholly unique. ' It resembles most nearly the ware of the maroon 
group. Its height is twelve inches. 

Perhaps the most interesting of these unclassified vases is a some- 
what fragmentary piece, of which an outline is given in Fig. •^l(i. 
The ware closely resembles that of the alligator groujj in color of the 

Fio. 216. Vase of unique form and decoration — i. 

paste and slip, but the base has been supplied with an annular stand, 
a feature not observed in that grou]), and the colors of the design, 
with the exception of the black, are unlike those used in Chiriquian 

Fig. 217 Painted design of vasi- iu Fi;;, ^lU in l)lack, red, and gray- 
It u-ill be seen Ijy reference to Fig. 217 that the painted figures are 
partially pictorial, the conventional scenes including the sun. the 
moon, and stars. The more conventional parts of the design are \-er\- 
curious and without doubt are symbolic. The border of fret work 
is Mexican in style. The sun, which is only partially exposed above 
the horizon, is outlined in red ami is surrounded by red rays. The 



figures supposed to represent the moon and the stars are in black. In 
the illustration the reds of the original are represented by vertical 
tint lines and the bi'cnvnish grays by horizontal tint lines. The black 
is in solid color. 


As primitive peoples advance in culture and the various branches 
of art are differentiated, each of the materials emplcjyed is made to 
fill a wider and wider sphere of usefulness. Clay, applied at first to 
vessel making and useil perhajas as an auxiliary in a number of arts 
in which it took no definite or individual shapes, gradiuiUy extended 
its dominion until almost every art was in a measure dependent upon 
it or in some way utilized it. The extent of this expansion of avail- 
ability is in a general way a measure of the advancement of the races 
concerned. The Ohiricjuians employed clay in the construction of 
textile machinery, as shown by the occurrence of spindle whorls, and 
a number of small receptacles, probably needlecases, are constructed 
of that material. It was employed in the manufacture of stools, 
statuettes, drums, rattles, and wliistles. With less cultuivd races, 
such as the Pueblo and mound builders of the north, such articles 
were rarely manufactured, while with the more cultured nations of 
Mexico and Peru a wider field was covered and the work was con- 
siderably superior. 


The art of weaving was carried t(j a high degree of ])erfection by 
many uf the American races, but the processes employed were of the 
simplest kind. The threads were spun upon wooden siiiudies weighted 

Fin. S18. Spindle whorl iu avay clay tk-Lurateil with annular nodes-}. 

Fig. 819. Spindle whorl of gray clav with 
Liiimal figiu-es— }. 

FiG.*iO. Spindle whorl of dark day with perfor.a- 
tions and iuciised ornament — !. 



with -whorls of liaked clay. These whorls are not jjlentifiil in the 
graves of Chiriqni, but such as have been collected are quite sim- 
ilar in style to those of Mexico and Peru. In Figs. 318, 319, and 
330 we have three examples modeled with considerable attention to 
detail but comparatively rude in finish. They are in the natural 
color of the baked clay and are but rudely polished. The first is en- 
circled by a line of rough, indented nodes, the second is embellished 
with homely little animal figures, and the third with incised patterns 
and rude incisions. 


I have given this name to a rather large class of small oblong or 
oval receptacles that could have served to contain needles or any 
other small articles of domestic use or of the toilet. They consist of 
two parts, a vessel or body and a lid. The former takes a variety of 
cylindrical, subcylindrical. and doubly conical shapes, and the latter 
is conical and is in many cases furnished with a knob at the top for 
grasping with the fingers. The lid is attached or held in place by 
means (jf strings passed through small holes made for the purpose in 
corresponding margins of the two j^arts. These objects were in pretty 
general use in the province, as they are found to belong to a number 
of the groups of ware, being finished and decorated as are the ordi- 
nary vessels of these classes. A few type specimens are given in the 
following cuts. A fine example belonging to the un^aainted ware is 

Fig. 321. Needlecase of tiiipaiiUfd clay with con- 
ical lid— j. 

Fio. 3*!. Needlecase, lost color group of 
ware — .'. . 

shown in outline in Fig. 321. It is five inches in height and three in 
diameter and is jjleasing in shape. The specimen outlined in Fig. 



222 is of the lost color group, but has lost nearly all traces of the 
decorative design. 

A fine example, with high polish and elaljorate decoration, is pre- 
sented in Fig. -i-l-i. The lid is raised to show the position of the per- 
forations. Two interesting examples belonging to the dark incised 

Fig. 224. Needlecase of grray clay with ans^i. 
lar incised geoinetrii- ornanieut — i- 

Fig. 223. Needlecase with painted geometric 
oniainent. belonging to the lost color group of 
ware— {. 

Fig. 225. of gray clay with black 
poUshed surface and incised ornament — J. 

ware are shown in Figs. 221 and 225. The deeply incised design of 
the first is purely geometi-ic, but is probably of graphic jjarentage, 
while that of the second, rather rudely scratched through the dark 
surface into the gray paste, is apparently a less highly conventional- 
ized treatment of the same motive. 


I have already called attention to the fact that there is no such thing 
in Chiriquiau ceramic art as a well modeled human figure and ajjpar- 
ently no indication of an attempt to render the human physiognomy 
with accuracy. It is highly i^robable that the pers<jiiages embodied 
in the mythology of the people took the forms of animals or were an- 
thropomorphic and gave rise to the peculiar conceptions embodied in 
their arts. The strange objects herewith presented are rendered in 
a measure intelligible by the adoption of this hypothesis. These 
figurines are confined to the alligator group of ware and are quite 
numerous. They ai-e small, carefully finished, and painted with cai-e 
in red and black lines and figures. They are semihuman and appear 
to be arrayed in costume. The head of each is triangular in shape, 
having a sharj"). projecting profile, with the mouth set back beneath 
the chin, reminding one of the face of a squirrel or some such rodent. 



The figures occiipy a sitting ])osture. The legs a^-e spread out hori- 
zontally, giving a firm support, and terminate in blunt cones, which 
are in some cases slightly bent up to represent feet. The hands rest 
upon the sides or thighs or clasp a small figure apparently intended for 
an infant, which, however, does not seem to have any human features. 
In one case this figure is placed upon the back of the figurine and 
appears to hold its place by means of four feet armed with claws (Fig. 
2-2(}); in another it is held in front (Fig. -.^^r). The neck is usually 
pierced to facilitate suspension, and the under side of the body — the 
sitting surface — is triply perforated, or punctured if solid, as if 
for the purpose of fixing the figure in an ujiright jiosition to some 

movable support. The central perforation is round and the lateral 
ones, on the under side of the legs, are oblong. The largest sijecimen 
is six inches in height and the smallest about one and a half inches. 
They are rather elaborately painted with black and I'ed devices 
which, by their peculiar geometric character, are undoubtedly in- 
tended to indicate the costume. The hair is represented by black 
stripes, which descend upon the neck, and the face is striped with red. 
They are found associated with other relics in the graves and were 
possibly only toys, but inoi'c jirobably were tutelary images or 



Statuette, alligator group— J 

served some unknown religious purpose. The sex is usiuxlly femi- 
nine. Two additional examples showing side and back views are 
outlined in Figs. 228 and 22!i. 

Fig. aas. statuette of small size- j. 

Fic. '-t^i. statuette of largest size — i. 



I have given tliis name to a class of stone carvings presented in a 
previous section, and, for want of a better name, give it also to a 
series of similar objects modeled in clay. These are among the most 
elaborate products of Chiriquian art. In all cases they are of the 
yellowish unpainted pottery and indicate miich freedom and skill in 
the handling of clay. They do not show any well defined evidences 
of use, and as they are too slight and fragile to be used as ordinavy 
seats we are left to surmise that they may have served some purj^ose 
in the religious rites of the ancient races. They are uniform m con- 
struction and general conformation and consist of a circulai' tablet 
supported by upright circular walls or by figures which rest upon a 
strong, ring shaped base. The tablet or plate is somewhat concave 
above, is less tlian an inch in thickness, and has a diameter of ten 
and one-fourth inches in the largest piece, descending to seven and 
one-half in the smallest. The margin is rounded and usually em- 
Ttellished with a beaded ornament consisting of grotesque heads, gen- 
erally reptilian. The variations exhibited in details of modeling are 
well shown by the illustrations. In the example given in Fig. 230 

^ / « I J 

Fig. ii.30. Stool of plain terra ootta. decorated with frrotesque lieads and incised fignres— \, 

the U2)right jjortion is a holhjAv cylinder, having four vertical slits, 
alternating with which are oblicpie bands of ornament in incised lines 
and punctures. The projecting margin of the tablet is encircled by 
a row of grotesque, monkey-like heads, facing downward. 

Fig. 231 illustrates a specimen in which three grotesciue figures, 
with forbidding faces, alternate with as many flat columns embel- 
lished with rude figures of alligators. Eighteen grotesque, monkey- 
like heads occupy the lower margin of the seat plate in the spaces 
between the heads of the supporting figures. This specimen illus- 
trates the favorite Chiriquian method of constiaiction. The various 
parts were modeled seijarately in a rough way and then set into place 



in the order of their importance. When this was done and the in- 
sertions were neatly worked together witli the fingers, a number of 
small instruments were employed in finishing: a sharp stylus for indi- 
cating parts of the costume, and blunt points and small tubular dies 

for adding intaglio details of anatomy, such as the navel, the pu]>ils 
(if the eyes, and tlie partings of the fingers and toes. 

The discoidal plate of another sjaecimen is supported by four ab- 
surdly grotesque monkeys, giving a general effect much like that of 
the last. 

A very remarkal)le piece is shown in Fig. 232 The tablet is siip- 


Pio. Wi. Sl.i 

if I-;., 

I lanpp fijriires — \. 

ported by six grotesque figures, somewhat human in appearance. 
whose limbs are intertwined Avith serpents, suggesting the famous 
group of the Laocoon. The work is roughly done and the details 


ai"e not carried out in a very consistent manner, as the arms and legs 
of the figures become confused with the reptiles and are as likely to 
terminate in a snake's head as in a hand or foot. The rudely shaped 
bodies are covered with indented circlets or with short incised lines. 
The material, color, and finish are as usual. The height is four and 
one-half inches and the diameter of the tablet ten inches. 

There are additional si^ecimens in the National Museum. In one 
case, the largest specimen of the series, the tablet is supported by 
&xe upright female human figures and the margin is encircled by a 
cornice of forty-six neatly modeled reptilian heads. A small example 
differs considerably in general shape from those illustrated, the base 
being much smaller than the circular tablet. The supporting figures 
are two rudely modeled ocelots and two monkey-like figures, all of 
which are jdaced in an inverted X'Hi^ition. Similar olijects are ob- 
tained from the neighboring states of Central and South America. 


Something is already known of the musical instruments of the 
ancient Chiriquians through fugitive specimens that have found their 
way into collections in all parts of Eun)pe and America. The testi- 
mony of the earthen relics — for no others are preserved to us — goes 
to show that the art of music was, in its rude way, very assiduously 
practiced, and that it proljably constituted with these, as with most 
primitive commiinities, a serious and important feature in the various 
ceremonial exercises. Clay is naturally limited to the production of 
a small percentage of the musical instruments of any people, the 
various forms of woody growtlis being better adapted to their manu- 
facture. We have examples of both instruments of percussion and 
wind instruments, the former class embracing drums and rattles and , 
the latter whistles and clarionette-like jiii^es. 

Rattles. — Besides the ordinary rattles attached to and forming 
parts of vessels, as already described, there are a number of small 
pieces that seem to have served exclusively as rattles, while some 
are rattle and whistle combined in one piece. In no case, however, 
would they seem to the unscientific observer to be more than mere 
toys, as they are of small size and the sounds emitted are too weak 
to be percej^tible at any consideralile distance. At the same time it 
is true that they may have had ceremonial offices of no little conse- 
cpience to the primitive priesthocjd. The simple rattles are shaped 
like gourds, the body being globular and the neck or handle long and 
straight. Like the wares already described, they are .inished and 
decorated, the majority belonging to the lost color group. The length 
varies from three to six or seven inches. A number of minute slit- 
like orifices or perforations for the emission of the sound occur about 
the upper part of the body (Fig. 233). A septum is placed in the lower 
])art of the neck, so that the handle, which is hollow and open at the 



upper end, may serve as a whistle. In some cases the lower part of 
the neck is perforated for suspension at the point occupied by the 
septum, as imperfectly shown in the section (Fig. 234). The in- 
teresting specimen in the collection is shown in Fig. 235; it is espe- 
cially notable on account of its construction, which points clearly to 
the gourd as a prototype. The body is of the usual globular shape, 
slightly elongated above. The neck is represented as a sej^arate piece 

Fio.233. Rattleilecoi-ateilinthe 
style of the lost color group— i. 

Fio. 3:)4. Section of rattle 
shown in Fig. -JSS. 

Fig. 235. K.iiil-- "I iil.iin ware 
surmounted by two grotesque fig 
ures — i . 

lashed on with cords by means of perforations made for the purpose, 
just as are the handles of similar instruments constructed of gourds 
and reeds in Central American countries. The compartments of the 
handle and of the body are separate and the sound pi-oduced by the 
small oval pellets is emitted through slits of the usual form. The 
top of the handle is surmounted by a pair of grotesque human figuies, 
male and female, placed back to back and united at the backs of the 
heads as seen in the cut. This object is gray in color and presents 
the roughened granular surface resulting from long exposure to the 

Dntms. — The drum was a favorite instrument with the native 
American musician. Early explorers found its use next to uni- 
vei'sal, and the "tambour" is even now a characteristic feature of the 
musical parai^hernalia of the Spanish-Americans. The primitive 
instrument was made by stretching a thin .sheet of animal tissue over 
the orifice of a large gourd vessel or a vessel of wood or clay. The 



use of clay was probably exceptional, as there are but three specimens 
in our Chiriquiaii collection. The shape is somewhat like that of an 
hour glass, the upper part, however, l)eing considerably larger than 
the base or stand. In all cases the principal rim is finished with 
especial reference to the attachment of the vibrating head. The ex- 
ample presented in Fig. 2M has a deeply scarified belt an inch wide 
encircling the rim, and below it is a narrow ridge, intended perhaps to 
facilitate the lashing or cementing on of the head. Two raised bands, 
intended to imitate twisted cords, encircle the most constricted part 
of the body, a single band similarly marked encircling the base. 
The surface is gray in color and but riidely polished. The walls are 
about three-eighths of an inch thick, the height sixteen and one-half 
inches, and the greatest diameter seven and t)ue-half inches. 

Fio. Sill. Drum of gray unpainted clay — 1. 

The decorated specimen illustrated in Fig. 237 is imperfect, a few 
inches of the base having been lost. The shape is rather more ele- 
gant than that of the other specimen and the surface is neatly finished 
and ijolished. Tlie ground color or sli]i is a warm yellow gi'ay and 
the decoration is in red and black. The rim or upper margin is 




rather rudely finished ami is painted red and on the exterior is made 
slightly concave and furnislied with a raised band to facilitate the 
attachment of the head. Tlie painted ornament encircles the body 
in four zones, two upon the upper portion and two upon the base. 

Fio. "i'jr Dnim with painted uraaiiieut in the style of the lost color group— J. 

Fig. *i38. Conventional design on drum shown in Fi^. 3.37. composed of alligator derivatives. 

The desis^'ns occupying the body zones are unique and viewed in the 
light of their probable origin are extremely interesting. In another 
place further on in this paper I shall .show that they are probably 


very highly conventionalized derivatives of the alligator radical, the 
meandered line representing the body of the creature and the scal- 
loped hooks the extremities (Fig. 338). The two bands upon the Imse 
consist of geometric figures, the origin of which cannot be definitely 
determined, although they also probably refer to the alligator. 

In the collection there is a minute toy drum of the same general 
shai)e. and the same form reappears in some of the whistles, in one 
of which (Fig. 34:7) the skin head and its fastenings are all carefully 
reproduced in miniature. The immediate original of this particular 
form (jf drum was probably made of wood. A drum recently l)rought 
from Costa Rica was made by hollowing out a cylindi-ical piece of 
wood and stretching a piece of snakeskin across the top. The shape 
is nearly identical with that of tliese earthen specimens. 

Wind insfriimeufs. — Earthenware wind instruments are found in 
considerable numbers and are associated with other relics in the 
tombs. Nearly all are A'ery simple in construction and are limited 
in musical power, receiving and perhaps generally deserving no bet- 
ter name than whistles or toys. A few pieces are more pretentious 
and yield a number of notes, and if operated by skilled performers or 
properly concerted are capable of producing jjleasing melodies. It is 
not difficult to determine the powers of individual instruments, but we 
cannot say to what extent these jjowers were understood by the origi- 
nal owners, nor can we say whether or not they vvere intended to be 
played in unison in such a way as to give a certain desired succes- 
sion of intervals. There are, however, in a large number of these in- 
struments a uniformity in construction and a certain close corre- 
spondence in the number and degree of the sounds that indicate the 
existence of well established standards. It does not a^jpear absolutely 
certain to me that the system of intervals was made to conform to that 
of any known scale; but a difficulty arises in attempting to determine 
this point, as most of the pieces are more or less mutilated. We find 
also that the note producible by any given stop is not fixed in pitch, 
but varies, with the force of tlie 1n"eath, two or even tliree full inter- 
vals. As a result of this a glide is possible to the skilled ijerformer 
from note to note and any desired pitch can be taken. 

In material, finish, and decoration these objects do not dift'er from 
the ordinary pottery. A majority ])elong to the alligator gn )up. The 
size is generally small, the largest specimen being about eight inches 
in length. The shapes are wonderfully varied and indicate a lively 
imagination on the part of the potter. Animal forms prevail very 
decidedly, that of the bird being a great favorite. In many cases the 
animals copied can be identified, but in others they cannot — perhaps 
from our lack of knowledge of the fauna of tlie i)rovince, perhaps from 
carelessness on tlie i^art of tlie artist or from the tendency to model gro- 
tesque and complicated shapes. Tlie following creatures can be rec- 
ognized: men, pumas, ocelots, armadillos, eagles, owls, ducks, parrots, 




several varieties of small birds, alligators, crabs, and scorpions. 
Vegetal forms, excepting where in use as instruments or utensils. 
as reeds and gourds, were not copied. In the National Museum col- 
lection there are two tubular pipes, probably modeled after reeds, 
and another resembles a gourd iu shape. The construction of the 
whistling- ajaparatus is identical in all cases and corresponds to that 
of our flageolets (see sections. Figs. 240 and 242). Plain tubes were 
doubtless also used as whistles, and all utensils of small size, such as 
needlecases and toy vases, can be made to give forth a note more or 
less shrill, according to the size of the chamber. The simplest form 
of whistle produces two shrill notes identical in pitch. The shape is 

color ware — J. 

t Mciililf whistle. 

double, suggesting a iirimitive condition of the tibicc ]mres of the 
Romans. The parts are pear or gourd shaped, are joined above and 
below, and have an opening between the necks. The two mouth- 
pieces are so close together that Imth are necessarily blown at once. 
The note produced is pitched very high and is extremely i>enetrating. 

not to say ear splitting, making an excellent call t'<.r the jungles and 
forests of the tropics. A small specimen is presented full size in Fig. 
2o'.i. and the section in Fig. 240 shows the relative positions f)f the 
mouthpieces, air passages, vent holes, and chambers. 

Reed shaped instruments are furnished with passages and orifices 
corresponding to the other forms. The chamber is tubular ami the 
lower end is open, and the finger holes, when i)resent, are on the upper 
side of the cylinder. ( )iie example without finger holes has two notes 
nearly an octave apart, which are produced, the higher with the tube 
open and the lower with it closed. Perhaps tlie most satisfactory 
instrument in the whole collecti(ni. so far as range is concerned, is 
shown in Fig. ^41 . and a section is given in Fig. 242. It is capable 
of yielding the notes indicated in the accompanying .scale: First, a 
normal series of eight sounds, pi-diluced as shown in the diagram, and. 

(i ETH 1 1 



second, a series produeeil by libjwiiig with greater force, one note two 
octaves ahove its radical and the others three octaves aliove. These 

Fig. '^-11 , Tulmlar iiistniiiieiit witb Ivvo finger liole-s, allij^ator ^rouit— [. 

Fig. -Wi. Section tif whistln 

notes are ditficult to produce ami hold and were }>r<)l)Hb]>' ])<»t utilized 
by the native performer. 




































Two little instruments of remarkable form and nnusual i)owers 
stand quite alone among their fellows. One only is ent're. It is 
made of dark clay and represeiits a creatvire not referable to any 
known form, so comjjletely is it conventionalized. A fair idea of its 
appearance can be gained from Figs. 24:3 and 244. Tlie first gives the 

Fig. a43. I'n- '-W 

Small animal shaped whistle of blackish ware, wilh four finger holes— }. 

side view and the second the top view. The mouthpiece is in what 
appears to be the forehead f>f tlieci'eature. The vent hole is beneath 



16 -5 

the ueck ami there are ionr minute tiiiger holes, one in tlie middle 
of each of foni- flattish nodes, which have the appearance of large 
protruding eyes. A suspension hole passes throiigh a node ujjon the 
top of the head. The capacity of this instrument is five notes, clear 
in tone and high in pitcli. It is notable that the pitch of each stop, 
when open alone, is identical, the lioles l)eing of exactly the same size. 

8va -- 

In playing it does not matter in what order the fingers ai'e moved. 
The lower note is made with all the lioles closed and the ascending- 
scale is produced by opening successively one, two, three, and four 
holes. The fragmentary piece is much smaller and the holes are ex- 
tremely small. 

Of a distinct type of form, although involving no new principle of 
construction, are two top-like or turnip shaped instruments, one of 
which is shown in Fig. 245. The form is symmetrical, the ornamen- 
tation tasteful, and the surface highly poli.shed. Tlie ware is of the 
alligator group and is decorated in red and black figures. A section 
is given in Fig. 340, a. and top and bottom views in h ami r. By 
reference to these a clear conception of tlie object cfiii lie foi'med. 

Fig. 245. Top shaijed instrunieiit, with three linger holes, alligator ware— }. 

The companion piece is identical in size, sliape, and conformation. 
and. strange to say. in musical notes also. The tones are not fixed. 



;is each can be made to vary tw( > ( n- tliree degrees by changing the force 
( )f the breath. The tones produced by a breath of average force are 

6 c 

Fig. 34B. Section and vertical views of instniment shown in Fi^. 345. 

indicated as nearly as may be in the accomjianying scale. They 
will l)e found to occur nearer the lower than the upper limit of their 

ranges. It should be observed that the capacity for variation i)os- 
sessed by each of these notes enables the skilled pei'foi'uier to glide 
from one to the other without interruption. This instrument is, 
therefore, within its limited range, as capable of adjusting itself to any 
succession of intervals as is the trombone or the violin. I do not im- 
agine, however, that the aboriginal performer made any systematic 
use of this power or that the instrument was puri)osely so constructed. 
It will be seen by reference to the scale that stopi^ing the orifice in 
the end opposite the mouthpiece changes the notes half a tone, or 
l)erhaps, if accurately measured, a little less than that. 

Our collection contains several dozen thrpo note whistles oi- i^ipes. 
Most of represent animal forms, wliich are treated in ,i more or 
less realistic way, but with a decided tendency towai'd tlie grotescpie. 
Nearly all are of small size, the largest, an alligator form, having ;i 
length of about eight inches. In the animal figures the air chamber 
is within the Ixidy, but does not conform closely to the exterior shape. 
The mouthpieces and the orifices ai'e variously placed, to suit the fancy 
of the modeler, but the construction and the ]>owers are pretty nn i form 
tlirongliout. There are two finger holes, placed in some cases at 
equal and in others at unequal distances from the mouthinece, but 
tjiey are always of equal size and produce identical irotes. The 
capacity is therefore three notes. The lower is produced when all the 
orifices are open, the higher when all are closed, and the middle when 
one hole — no matter which — is closed. 

Besides the animal forms there are a number of shapes copied from 
other musical instruments or from objects of art, such as vases. A 
very interesting sjaecimen, illustrated in Fig. 247, modeled in imita- 



tion of a (Iriuu, lias not only the general shape of that instrument, 
but the skin head, with its bands and cords of attachment, is truth- 
fully represented. A ciirious conceit is here observed in the asso- 
ciation of the bird — a favorite form for the whistles — with the drum. 
A small figure of a bird extends transversely across the body of the 
drum chamber, the back being turned from the observer in the cut. 
The tail .serves for a mouthpiece, while the finger holes are placed in 

Fig. *.M7. Drum shaped whistle of plain ware, 
with bird figure attaclied — \. 

Fig. it8. shaped whistle, lost color ware — J. 

the breast of the bird, the position usually assigned to them in simple 
bird whistles : its three notes are indicated in the accompanying scale: 

8va - 



One specimen is vase or pitcher shaped, with base prolonged for a 
mouthpiece and with a neat handle (Fig. 248). Th-e ground color is 
a dull red. ujjoii which are traces of painted figures. Its notes are 
as follows: 


A novel conceit is exhibited in the crab shaped instrument pre- 
sented in Fig. 249. which gives a back view of the animal. On the 
opposite side are four small conical legs, upon which the object rests 
as does a vase upon its tripod. The mouthpiece is in the right arm. 
beneath whicli is flic simnd hole. The two finger holes are in the 



Fig. 249. Crab shaped whistlf. alligator ware — }. 

back Lehiiid the eyes of the creature and a siispensiou hole is seen in 
the left arm. The painted designs are in red and black lines upon a 
yellowish gray ground. The following scale indicates its capacity : 




The largest specimen in the collection, shown in Fig. 25U, repre- 
sents an alligator and is finished in the usual conventional style of 
the alligator group. The air chamber is large and the sounds emitted 

n/l{(o))) <Ji 

Fin, aso. AlliKator shaped whistle, alligatoi' ware - 1. 

are full and melodious and are lower in pitch than those of any other 
instrument in the collection. The cavity in the mouth and head is 
separated from the body chamber, and, with the addi- 
: tion of earthern pellets, probably served as a rattle. 
- The mouthpiece is in the tail and the finger holes are 
in the sides of the bodv. 





Mammals are vei'v often reproduced in these in.stnimeuts. What 
api^ears to be the ocelot or jaguar is the favorite subject. A rep- 
resentative si^ecimen is shown in Fig. 251. The mouthpiece is in 

8va the tail and one of the sound holes is in the left shoulder 

and the other beneath the body. The head is tui-ned t(j 
one side and the face is decidedly cat-like in expression. 



Fmj iTl- (';ir sliapfii whi^^rli-. alli^'atitr A\are - }. 

The decoration is in black and red and may be taken as a typical 
example of the conventional treatment of the markings of the bodies 
of such animals. The tips of the ears, feet. and,tail are red. Rows of 
red strokes, alternating with black, extend in a broad stripe from the 
point of the nose to the base of the neck. Red panels, inclosing rows 
of red dots and enframed by black lines, cross the back. On the sides 
we have oblong spaces filled in with the conventional devices so com- 
mon in other animal representations. The legs are striped and dotted 
after the usual manner. 

A unic^ue form, and one that will be looked at with interest by com- 
parative ethnologists on account of the treatment of the tongues, is 
given in Fig. ri5:>. The instrument consi.sts of an oblong body to 
which foiir ocelot heads are fixed, one at each end and the others at 
the sides. It rests upon four feet, in one of which the mouthpiece is 
placed. The finger holes are in the side of the body near the legs, as 
seen in the cut. The decoration which consists of more or less con- 



Fk:. iVi. Whistle wilh li.iii M, ,l,.l-lii,.- h.-a.l> ,illn;al..r wniv— }. 

ventional represeutations of tlin iskia markings of the aninial. is in 
black and red. Its notes are three, as foUows : 


The prevalence of bird forms is due no doubt to the resemblance of 
the notes of j)rimitive whistles to the notes of bii-ds. The shape of 
the bird is also exceptionally convenient, as the body accommodates 
the air chamber, the tail serves as a moxithpiece, and the head is con- 
venient for the attachment of a cord of suspension. A great variety 
of forms were modeled and range from the minute proportions of the 
smallest humming bird to those of a robin. The larger pieces repre- 
sent birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles, and viiltures, and the smaller 
are intended for parrots and song birds. The treatment is always 
highly conventional, yet in many cases the characteristic features of 
the species are forcibly presented. The painted devices have reference 
in most cases to the markings of the plumage, yet they jsartake of the 
geometric character of the designs used in ordinary vase painting. 
The ground is the usual yellowish gray of the slip, and nearly all the 
pieces lielong to the color and alligator groups. 

A characteristic example is illustrated in Fig. "^53. The head is large 
and flat and the painted devices are in the red and black of the lost 
color group. The three notes are as follows : 




HOL4II-:w. ] 


Fig. 2iVi. Bird shaped whist I--, uuli ^i. -.mi,, nun in black, lost color ware — [. 

Tlie piece given in Fig. 254: has the shape and markings of a hawk or 
eagle. It belongs to the alligator ware and is elaborately finished 

Fig. 254. Bird shaped whistle, with conveuti-nuil dH^.-oratiou iu red aud black, alhgator ware — J. 





in semigeometric devices in red and black. All of thess devices re- 
fer more or less definitely to the markings of the plumage. 

The example shown in Fig. 255 represents a bird with two heads. 
the shape and markings of which suggest one of the smaller song 

Fio. 255. Two headed, bird shaped whistli-, « u nvn\'-iu,. i.ial deeoration iu black, lost color ware - i 


I cannot say that the whistles were modeled and pitched with the 
idea of imitating the notes of particular birds, but it is possible for 
the practiced performer to reproduce the simpler songs and cries of 
liirds with a good deal of accuracy. 

The human figure was occasionally utilized. The treatment, how- 
ever, is extremelv rude and conventional, the features having the 

Fk!. 3.")fi. Whistle hi erotesque life form, with deenrntions in blaek and led. allitralnr ware — }. 

holmes! life forms in VASE PAINTING. 171 

peculiar squirrel-like character shown in the figurines already given. 
The unique piece given in Fig. Sot? represents a short, clumsy fe'nale 
figure with a squirrel face, carrying a vessel upon her back by means 
of a head strap, which is held in place by the hands. The mouth- 
piece of the whistle is in the right elbow and one sound hole is in 
the middle of the breast and the other in the left side. The costume 
and some of the details of anatomy are indicated by red and black 
lines in the original. Its notes are the same as those presented with 
Fig. W.}. 


This section is to be devoted to a short study of the decorative sys- 
tem of the ancient Chiriquians, and more especially to a considera- 
tion of the treatment of life forms in vase painting. Many of the 
finest examples of these designs, so far as execution and effect in em- 
bellishment are concerned, have already been given ; but it is desir- 
able now to select and arrange a series to illustrate origins and pro- 
cesses of growth or modification. 

Elements of ornament flow into the ceramic art from a number of 
sources, but cliiefly in two great currents : the one from art, and con- 
sisting chiefly of technical or mechanically produced phenomena, and 
hence geometric, and the other from nature, and carrying elements 
primarily deliueative, and hence non-geometric. When once within 
the realm of decoration the various motives or elements are subject 
to modification by two classes of influences or conditioning forces : 
the technical restraints of the art and the esthetic forces of the hu- 
man mind. Mechanical and geometric elements, although Ijorn 
within the art or its associated arts, are modified in the processes of 
adaptation to the changing requirements and conditions of the art 
and through the tendency towards elaboration under the guidance 
of the esthetic forces : left by themselves they remain, throughout 
all changes of use and modification of form, purely geometric. Imi- 
tative elements tend, under the same influences, to move in the di- 
rection of the unreal or geometric. I:i this way the realistic forms 
undergo marked changes, gradually assuming a geometric character 
and flnally losing all semblance of nature. 

Now it must be noted that the decorations of any group of art 
products may embody both classes of elements or they may be re- 
stricted rather closely to either. This fact enables us to account for 
many of the strongly marked distinctions observed in the decorative 
systems of different communities, races, and times. In a recent study 
of ancient Pueblo art I traced the decoration to a mechanical origin, 
mainly in the art of basketry, and thus accounted for its highly geo- 
metric charactei'. Chiriquian art presents a strong contrast to this, 
as the great body of elements are manifestly derived from nature by 
delineative imitation. It was further observed in Pueblo art that as 


time went on life forms were little by little introduced intu its decora- 
tion and tliat in recent times they f>liai'ed tlie honors equally with tlie 
primitive geometric forms. In Chiii(niian art we find but meager 
traces of a primitive geometric system, and conclude that either the 
earliest art of the people did not give rise to such a system or that 
the graphic motives, entering gradually and steadily multiplying, 
supplanted the archaic forms, finally usurping nearly the entire field. 
As noticed in tlie preceding sections, there is always a certain amoimt 
of geometricity in the arrangement and the enframing of the designs, 
as well as a certain degree of convention in the treatment of even the 
most graphic motives; but these characters may be due to the restrain- 
ing conditions of the art, rather than to the survival of original or 
ancestral features or characters. 

In beginning tlie study of Chiriquian decorative art I fuund it 
. impossible to approach the subject advantageously from the geo- 
metric side, as was done in the Pueblo study, since life elements so 
thoroughly permeate every part of it. I have, therefore, turned 
about, and in the following study present first the more realistic 
delineations of nature, arranging long series of derivative shapes 
which descend through increasing degrees of convention to purely 
geometric forms. These remarks relate wholly to the plan or linear 
arrangement of the motives. 

As U) method of realization, ceramic ornament may be arranged 
in two classes: the plastic or relieved and the non-plastic or flat. 
Life forms are freely rendered by both plastic and non-plastic 
methods, and in either style may range from the highly realistic to 
the purely geometric. As shown in a preceding section, plastic life 
forms in Chiriquian art appear to have been subject to two divergent 
lines of thought, the one trivial and the other serious. Throixgh the 
one we have grotesque and peiliaps even humorous rei^resentations 
of men and of animals. The figures are attached to the vessels for the 
purpose — perhajas for the exclusive purpose -=-of embellishment, and 
i)ften with excellent success, as jiidged by our own standards of taste. 
The other deals witli plastic representations apparently of a serious 
nature, although utilized also for embellishment. The animal forms 
employed are treated in a way to suggest that in the mind of the 
artist the creature bore a definite relation to the vessel or its use, a 
relationship originating in superstition and preserved throughout all 
changes of form. Their office was symbolic, and this office was prob- 
ably not always lost sight of by the potter, even though, tlu-ough the 
forces of convention, the animal shapes were reduced to mere knobs, 
ridges, or even to painted devices. 

In color delineations, although the same subjects are to a great ex- 
tent employed, there is necessarily greater constraint — there is less 
freedom as well as less vigor in the presentation of natural forms. 
There is apparently no attempt at the grotesque or amusing. Tlie 



variants are practically iutiuite. The work is iiK^re purely decorative 
and is perhaps less subject to the restraints of associated ideas and of 
use with jjarticular vessels or in definite relations to other features of 
the vessel. At the same time it is manifest that these painted iigures 
are not all merely meaningless decorations, but that many, througli- 
ciut all degrees of modification, refer with greater or less clearness 
to natural originals, to ideas associated with these originals, or to 
the i-elationship of these originals to tlie vessel and its uses. 

It is clear, liowever. that a considerable body of nature-derived 
elements, plastic and painted, are emijloyed as simple embellishments, 
having no other function. This suggests the separation of all decora- 
tions into two grand divisions, based upon the kind of thoughts asso- 
ciated with them. These divisions may be designated as significant 
and non-significant, the term significant referring not to the mere 
identification (jf a device with an original form or to its office as an 
ornament, but to its symbolism, to its mystic relation with the vessel 
and its uses. But I have to do here with the forms taken by motives, 
with their morphology rather than with their signification, as the 
latter must, with reference to archaeologic mateiial, remain greatly 

In the application nf life foi'ins in vase painting several classes of 
modifying and constraining agencies of a technical nature are pres- 
ent, and the following examples are grouped with the idea of defining 
these classes of forces and keejiing them in a measure distinct. 

Of all the animal forms utilized by the Chiriquians the alligator 
is the best suited to the purjiose of this study, as it is jjresented most 
frequently and in the most varied forms. In Figs. 'iri7 and "258' I re- 

FiG. ^57, (Jraphic (iplineation nf tlit' allitrator. froni a vasp of the lost i-oior trroup. 

Fig. ass. Graphic delineation of the alligator, from a vase of the lost color Krouji. 

produce drawings from the outer surface of a tripod bowl of the lost 
color group. Simjjle and formal as these figvires ai-e. the character- 



istif features of the creature — Utv siiuuiuslxxly. the strong jaws, the 
upturned snout, the feet, and the scales — are forcibly expressed. It 
is not to be assumed that these examijles represent the best delineative 
skill of the Chiriquian artist. The native painter must have exe- 
cuted vei'y miich superioi- work iTpou the more usual delineating sur- 
faces, such as bark and skins. The examples here shown have already 
experienced decided changes through the constraints of the ceramic 
art, but are the most graphic delineations preserved to us. They 
are free baud products, executed by mere decorators, perhaps by 
women, who were servile copyists of the forms employed by those 
skilled in sacred art. 

KiG. 2.59 OonventiouaJ alli^atoi-, from the lost color ware. 

A third illustration from the same group of ware, given in Fig. 259, 
.shows, in some respects, a higher degree of convention. The scales 
ai-e here represented by triangular dentals, which occupy the entire 

Fig. 261. Style of convention in the alligator group of ware. 

length of the back. These dentals are filled with the round dots 
that stand singly in the |)receding cases. 




lu another class of ware — the alligator groujj — the treatment is 
quite diilerent, being decidedly more clumsy and realized by distinct 
processes ; but prominence is given to a number of corresponding- 
features. The strong curve of the back, the dentals and dots, and 
the muzzle and mouth refer apparently to the same creature. The 
curiously marked panel in the body of the last example is a unique 
feature, which appears, however, in a few other cases. 

These drawing.s occur upon the sides of vases, alternating with the 
plastic features, and ai'e perhaps generally associated with such 
features in the exjiressiou of some mythical idea. 

The modeled creature is often represented witli two heads instead 
of with a head and a tail, and the painted forms, in many cases, ex- 
hibit the same peculiarity as shown in Fig, 362. I surmise that the 
employment of two heads arises from the need of securing perfect 
balance of parts rather than as an original product of the imagination. 

It will be interesting, as additional examples are jjresented, to note 
the effect of modification upon particular features of the animal, to 
observe how some come into prominence, rexn-esenting the creature 
and the idea, while others fall into disuse and disappear. In nature 
the line of the body is perhaps the most strongly characteristic feature, 

Fit). 263. Two headed form of the aUipat. ir. • 

and it is in art persistent. It survives in tlio^ stems of many 
conventional devices from which all other suggestions of the animal 
have vanished. 

The following examples depart still further from nature, apijroacli- 
ing the border line between the distinctly imitative and the purely 
conventional or geometric phases. In the first (Fig. ■Hi3) all the lead- 
ing features are recognizable, but are very much .simplified. The 

Pig. 3fi8. Figure of the aUisat^r inueh siuipUfled. 



jaws are without teeth, the head is witliont eyes, and the body witliont 
indication of scales. The other example (Fig. a64) is of a somewhat 
different tyije and may possibly I'efer to some other reptilian form. 

Fig. '-iiU. The alligator much modified by ceramic influences. 

but many links eonnecting the two are found. The shape is more 
angular and is a step further removed f r(jm nature. From shapes as 
conventional as this we drop readily into purely geometric forms, as 
will be seen further on. These and the jjreceding drawings are all 
executed on broad surfaces, where fancy could have free play. The 
modifying or conventionalizing forces are. therefore, quite vague. 
Variation from natural forms is due partly to a lack of skill on the 
part of the painter, jjartly to the peculiar demands of ceramic em- 
bellishment, and partly to the traditional style of treatment acquired 
in still more primitive stages of culture and in other and unidentified 
branches of art. 

I shall now call attention to some important individualized or well 
defined agencies of convention. First, and most potent, may be men- 
tioned tlie enforced limits of the sjiaces to be decorated, which spaces 
take shape independently of the subject to be inserted. When the 
figures must occupy a narrow zone they are elongated, when they 
must occupy a square they are restricted longitudinally, and when 
they must occupy a circle they are of necessity coiled up. Fig. 265 

llliistr.'ili"?is ill' tin- iiiHueiice of the sliain.' of simccs upon Ihr deiiiiHati"ii i.l aninuil liinns. 


illustrates the effect produced by crowding the ohloug figure into a 
short rectangular space. The head is turned back over the body and 
the tail is throwu dowa along the side of the space. In Fig. :i(i6 the 
figure occupies a circle, and is in consequence closely coiled up. giv- 
ing the effect <jf a serpent rather than an alligator. In Fig. 207 the 
sijace is semicircular, and we observe peculiar conventional condi- 

FiG. aiiK. Delineation retaining Imt slight traces of tlje life form. 

tions, some of which may l)e due to other causes. For example, 
such spaces may originally have been filled with purely geometric 
figures, which tended to impart their own characters t(j the life forms 
that supplanted them. 


Fig. 569. Delineation retaining but slight traces of the life form. 

Now, it often happens that, as in the last example given, the ani- 
mal form, literally rendered, does not fill the panels satisfactorily. 
The head and the tail do not correspond and there is a lack of bal- 
ance. In such cases two heads have l)een preferred. The body is 
given a uniform double curve and the heads are turned down, as 
shown in Figs. 368 and 3(j!), or one may turn up and the other down, 
as seen in Fig. 27(i. The two headed form may also arise from imi- 

FiG, 270. Delineation retaining hut slight traces of the life form. 

tation of plastic forms, as I have already shown. The example given 
ETH 1-> 



ill Fig. -v'fJS is extremely interesting on account of its comijlexity and 
the novel treatment of the various features. The two feet are placed 
close together near the middle of the curved body, and on either side 
of these are the under jaws turned Ijack and armed with dental pro- 
jections for teeth. The characteristic scale symbols occur at inter- 
vals along the back; and very curiously at one place, where there is 
scant room, simple dots are employed, showing the identity of these 
two characters. Some curious auxiliary devices, the origin of which 
is obscure, are used to fill in marginal spaces. The shape given in Fig. 
26!) is so highly modified that it is not recognizable as an animal form, 
excepting through a series of links connecting it with more realistic 
delineations. It is perfectly symmetrical and consists of a compound 
curve for the body, with hooks at the extremities and two appended 
liooks for legs. The spots symbolizing the scales are here placed 
within the body, showing another step tcjward complete annihilation 
of the natural forms and relations. Three additional examples, show- 
ing still higher degrees of convention, are i)rpsented in Figs. v'71. -..'72. 
and 'i7d. The series could be filled up and continued indefinitely, 

Fig. 2ri. Highly conventiunalizetl alligator derivative. 

Fio. ■•iT'i Highlj' conventionalized alli- 
gator derivative. 

Fig. ^3. Highly cuiiventioualized alli- 
gator derivative. 

connecting the whole family of devices in whicli dentals, hooks, sjiots, 
and circles occur with the alligator radical or with other rei)tilian 
forms confused with the alligator through the carelessness or igno- 
rance of the decorator. 

Ill looking over a large series of the vases it will be seen that the 
tendency of deccn'atiou is toward the zonal arrangement, the spaces 



being narrow and long, even when divided into the usual number of 
panels. As a consequence the motives tend to take linear forms. 
Parts are repeated or greatly drawn out to fill the spaces. Tliis 
phase of conventional evolution may be illustrated by a multitude of 


Fig. i?74. Series uf forms showing mollification tlirough use in narrow zones. 

Beginning with anordinai'v t'oi-iu in Fig. "^74, a. we advance under 
the restraint of parallel border lines through the series, ending in a 
simple meander, /'. the spaces aljout which are. however, tilled out 
with the conventional scale symbols, tlie triangles inclosing dots. 
Thus we witness the transformation of the life form into a linear 
<levice, in wliich the flexures of the body are emphasized and mul- 
tiplied without reference to nature, and there is little doubt that the 
.series continues further, ending with simple curved lines and even 
with straight lines unaccompanied by auxiliary devices. 

Next to the body line the most important of the alligator deriva- 
tives is the notched or dotted hook, which in the lost color groujj 
stands sometimes for the whole creature, but more frequently for 
one or more of the members of its body, the snout, the tail, or 
the feet. It is employed singly or in vai'ious arrangements suited to 

Fig. :^5. Running ornaments composeii of life elements. 

the shape of the spaces to be filled or occurs in connection with 
the body line or stem, where, by systematic repetition, it serves to 
fill the triangular intersjjaces. Take, for example, an ornament 
(Fig. 375) which encircles the shoulder of a handsome vase of the 



lost color group. The space is neatly filled with groupings in 
which the simple life coil elements are joined one to another in 

Fig. •■!7<i. Running urnaments runiposed of life motives. 

such a way as to give somewhat the effect of an ordinary running 
ornament. The same motive takes a different form in Fig. 276, 
which is part of the decorated zone of an earthen drum (see Fig. 
235). Here the body of the creature is represented by a wide me- 
andered line, and to this the notched or scalloped hooks are attached 
with perfect regularity, one to each angle of the meandered body. 
In other examples the angular geometric character extends to every 
part of the detail and the curved ho(jks lose their last suggestion of 
nature and are entirely dropped or used separately. 

The rings, strokes, spots, and dentate figures that serve to reijre- 
sent the markings and scales of the reptile are among the most im- 
portant of the derivative devices and occur in varied relations to 
other classes of derivatives. They also occur independently, either 
singly or in groupings. Thus we see that the alligator, in Chiri(iuian 
vase painting, is represented by an endless list of devices, and it is 
interesting to note that among these are several figures familiar to 
the civilized world in both symbolism and ornament. 

I present five series of figures designed to illustrate the stages 
through which life forms pass in descending from the realistic to 
highly specialized conventional shapes. In the first series (Fig. 277), 
we begin with a meager but graphic sketch of the alligator; the 

a bed 

Fig. 877. Series of derivatives ot the alligator showing stages of simpUflcation. 

second figure is hardly less characteristic, but is much simplified; in 
the third we have still three leading features of the creature: the 
l)ody line, the spots, and the stroke at the back of the head; and in 
the fourth nothing remains but a compound, yoke-like curve, stand- 
ing for the body of the creature, and a single dot. 

The figures of the second series (Fig. 278) are nearly all painted 
upon low round nodes placed about the body of the alligator vases 
and hence are inclosed in circles (see Fig. 107). The animal figure 




iu the first example is coiled up like a serpent, but still preserves 
some of the well known characters of the alligator. In the sec- 
ond example we have a double liook near the center of the space 
which takes the place of the body, but the dotted triangles are 
placed separately against the encircling line. In he next figure 
the body symbol is omitted and the three triangles remain to rep- 
resent the animal. In the fourth there are four triangles, and the 
bodv device, being restored in red. takes the form of a cross. In the 

Fig. 278. Serifs showing stages in tlie simplification of animal characters. 

fiftli two of the inclosing triangles are omitted and the idea is ])re- 
served by the simple dots. In the sixth the dots are placed within 
the bars of the cross, the triangles becoming mere interspaces ; and 
in the seventh the dots form a line between the two encircling lines. 
This series could be filled up by other examples, thus .showing by 
what infinitesimal steps the transformations take place. The round 
nodes upon which these medallion-like figures are drawn are survivals 
of the heads or other jjarts of animals originally modeled in the round, 
but in the processes of manufacture partially or wholly atrophied. It 
was sought to preserve the idea of the creature by the use of painti'd 
details, but these, as we have seen, were also in time reduced to formal 
marks, .symbols doubtless in many cases of the conception to which 
the original plastic form referred. 

The derivation of the fret and scroll — most admired of the decora- 
tive motives of numerous races — has been a fruitful source of dis- 
cussion. The vase painting of Chiriqui serves to throw new light 
ujjon the subject. We learn by the series of steps illustrated in tlie 
annexed cuts that the alligator radical, under peculiar restraints and 
influences, assumes conventional forms that merge imperceptibly 
into these classic devices. In the third series given (Fig. 379) the first 
figure is far removed from the realistic stage of representation, but it 
is one of the ordinary conventional guises of the alligator. (~)ther 
still more conventional forms are seen in the three succeeding figures, 
the last of which is a typical rectangular fret link known and used 
bv most nations of moderate culiur(\ The derivatives in nearlv all 



the preceding figun-s can be traced back to the body nl' tlie creature 
as a root, but there are many examples wliich seem to have come from 
the delineation of a part of the ci'eatui'e, as the head. foot. eye. or 



Fig. ^9. The scroll and fret derived from the body line of the alligator. 

scales — abbreviated representatives of the whole creature. Such 
parts, assuming tlie role of radicals, pass also through a series of mc )d- 
ifications, ending in jjurely geometric devices in the manner indi- 
cated in the following or fourth series of e.xamples (Fig. 2S0). In the 
first cut we have what appears to be the leg and foot of the favorite 
re])tile, and following this are other forms that seem to refei- to the 


,LT-L.T<I r=3|='l=' 

r d 

Fig. 2yo. Devices derived from drawings of paii-s of the lifu ft)rin. 

same feature. Additional examples are shown in Figs. 281 and 282, 
which, while they doubtless arose more or less directly from the life 
form, are not so readily traceable through less conventional antece- 
dents. The first forms part of the incised ornament of a small vase 
or needlecase and the second is a section of the zonal ornament of 
the tripod ciip illustratpd in Fig. 20.3, by reference to which it will be 

Fig, 281. Devices incised in a 

Fig. 282. Devices representing 
the markings of a reptile's body. 

seen that the zone of devices serves to connect the head and the tail 
of the reptile, which are modeled as a pai't of the vase ; the devices 




therefore represent the mai'kiiiHS < >i t he creat ure's body, althoiigli tliey 
may originally have been derived from the figure of the whole or a 
part of tlie animal rather tlian from tlie markings of the skin. In 
other examjjles still more highly conventional figures are found to 
hold the same relation to the i^lastic representation of the extremities 
of the creature. They include the meander, the scroll, the fret, and 
the guilloche. We find that in the stone metates of many parts of 
Central America, nearly all of which are carved to imitate the puma, 
the head and tail of the creature are connected hy bands of similar 
devices that encircle the margin of the mealing plate (see Fig. '.)). 
The alligator form is therefore not necessarily the originator of all such 
devices. It is probable that any animal form extensively used by such 
lovers of decoration as the ancient inhabitants of Central America 
would be found thus interwoven with decoration. These considera- 
tions will serve to widen our views upon the origin and develoi^ment 
of especial devices. As it now stands we are absolutely certain that 
no race, no art. no motive oi* element in nature or in ai't can claim the 
exclusive origination of any one of the well known or standard con- 
ventional devices, and that any race, art, or individual motive is capable 
of giving rise to any and to all such devices. Nothing can be more 
aljsurd than to suppose that the signification or symbolism attaching 
to a given form is uniform the world over, as the ideas associated witli 
each must vary with the channels through which they were developed. 
Other classes of geometric figures, derived chiefly from scale or skin 
markings, are given in the fifth series. In more realistic phases of rep- 

53i£ nr Ji 

y^ /^r?^ 

Fig. 383, Conventional fibres derived from the marldngs of the bodies of animals. 

resentation the dentate and dotted devices are ranged along the body 
of the creature, as in nature, but as convention progresses they are 
used independently to fill \\\i spaces, to form the septa of panels, &c. 
Many illustrations appear in the preceding pages and additional ex- 
amples are given in Fig. 283. It is possible that these devices come 
from delineations of a number of distinct animal forms ; but in tlie 
higher stages of convention confusion cannot be avoided, and miist 
have 'existed to some extent in the mind of the decorator ; they serve, 
however, to ilhistrate the stages of simplification through which all 
forms extensively iised for a long period must pass. The laws of 
derivation, modification, and a])plicati()n in art are the same in all. 


It lias now been shown tliat life forms and their varied derivatives 
constitute the great body of Chirinuian decorative motives; that 
when first introduced the delineations are moi'e or less realistic, ac- 
cording to the skill of the artist or the demands of the art; but, that 
in time, by a long series of abbreviations and alterations, they de- 
scend to simple geometric forms in which all visible connection with 
the originals is lost. The agencies through which this result is accom- 
plished are chiefly the mechanical restraints of the art acting inde- 
pendently of voluntary modification and without direct exercise of 
esthetic desire. 

There may be forces at work of which we find no clear indications. 
Some of the conventional forms into which life forms are found to 
grade may be survivals of forms originating in other regions and 
belonging to other cultures which ha-s^e tlirough accidents of contact 
imposed themselves iipon Chiriquian art ; such are the scroll, the 
fret, and the giiilloche ; but the thorough manner in which such forms 
are interwoven with purely Chiriquian conceptions makes it imjaos- 
sible to substantiate such a theory. The conclusion most easily and 
most naturally I'eached is that all are prolialdy indigenous to Chiriqui, 
and hence the striking deduction that the processes of vwdijication 
inherent in the art are of such a nature that any animal form ex- 
tensively used in decoration may give rise to any or all of the 
h ighly conventional forms of ornament. 

During the progress of this study a question has frequently been 
raised as to the extent to which the memory of the creature original 
or of its symbolism in first use was kept alive in the mind of the 
decorator. It is a well established fact that primitive peoples habit- 
ually invest inanimate objects with the attributes of living creatures. 
Thus the vessel, from the time it assumes individual shajDe and is 
fitted to perform a function, is thought of as a living being, and by 
the addition of plastic or painted details it becomes a i^articular 
creature, an alligator, a fish, or a puma, each of which is in most 
cases the symbol of some mythologic concept. When, through the 
changes of convention in infinite repetition, all resemblance to indi- 
vidual creatures was lost and mereknnlis or simple geometric figures 
occupied the surface of the vessel, there is little doubt that many of 
tliese features still recalled to the mind of the potter the ultimate 
f)riginals and the conceptions of which they were the representatives, 
and that others represented ideas, the outgrowth of or a development 
from primary ideas, while still others had acquired entirely new ideas 
from without. It cannot be denied, liowever, that there does come a 
time in the Instory of vase painting at which such associated ideas 
become vague and are lost and elements formerly significant are added 
and combinations of them are made for embellishment alone, without 
reference to meaning or appropriateness; but I am inclined to place 
this period a very long way from the initiatory stages of the art. It 


may not be possible to tind evidence of tlie arrival of this period, 
as it is not necessarily marked by any loss of unity or consistency — 
striking characteristics of ancient American art; for such is the con- 
servatism of indigenous methods that, unless there be forcible in- 
trusion of exotic art, original forms and groupings may be perpetu- 
ated indefinitely and remain much the same in appearance after the 
associated ideas are modified or lost. 

In our study of the forms and meanings of these devices it should 
not be forgotten that collateral branches of art are also simultaneously 
employing the same motives and reducing them through other sim- 
ilar classes of conventionalizing forces to corresponding forms. Re- 
cording arts — pictography, hieroglyphic and phonetic writing — carry 
life forms through all degrees of abbreviation and change, and all 
ceremonial and all domestic arts with which such forms are associated 
do the same; and it is not impossible that many conventional forms 
found upon pottery are borrowed outright from the other arts. It 
will be impossible to detect these borrowed elements unless very liter- 
ally transferred from some art the style of which is well known. It 
would be comparatively easy to identify literal borrowings from jjlio- 
netic art or even from hieroglyphic art, as the form and arrangement 
of the devices are quite unlike those observed in pure decoration. 
We do not know that Chiriquian culture had achieved a hieroglyphic 
or a phonetic system of writing, but it is worth while to call atten- 
tion to the form and the manner of employment of some of the de- 

FlG. 2H4. Vase with decorated zone eontaiiiiiiK reinaricaole devices — i. 
Fig. 285. Series of twelve conventional devices from the decorated zoue of a vase. 

vices found upon the pottery. In Fig. 284 1 present an outline draw- 
ing of a vase, the shoulder of which is encircled by a broad zone of 
decoration. This zone is divided into panels by oblique lines, A 
row of rectangular compartments extends along the middle of the 
band and rows of triangular spaces occur at the sides. Eacli space is 


occupied by a device having one or more featiires suggesting a pictorial 
original and doubtless derived from one. In the main row there are 
twelve figures, no two of which are identical. Although we are unalile 
to show that any of these character.s had other than a piirely decora- 
tive use. we see how richly the ancient peoples were supplied, through 
the conventionalizing agencies of the art, with devices that could 
have been employed as ideograms and letters where such were needed, 
and devices, too. that, from their derivation and use in the art. must 
in most cases have had ideas associated with them. 


A brief summary of the more salient points of interest dwelt upon 
in this paper may very appropriately be given in this place. Wt' 
find that a limited area — a small and obscure province of the isth- 
mian region — jjossesses a wonderful wealth of art products the char- 
acter of which indicates a long period of occupation by peoples of 
considerable culture. The art remains are perhaps as a whole infe- 
rior to those of the districts to the north and south, but they possess 
many features in common with the art of neighboring provinces. 
There is, however, at the same time, a well marked individuality. 
In conception and execution these works are purely aboriginal, and, so 
far as can be determined by the data at hand, are pre-Columbian, and 
possibly to a great extent remotely pre-Columbian. The discovery 
of articles of bronze, which metal we cannot prove to be of indige- 
nous production, is the only internal evidence pointing toward the 
continuance of the ancient epoch of culture into post-Columbian times. 
The relics are obtained from tombs from which nearly all traces 
of human remains have disappeared. 

Art in stone covers the ground usually occupied by works in this 
material in other Central American countries, save in the matter of 
architecture, of which art there are but meager traces. There are 
rock inscriptions, statuettes and statues of rather rude character, 
shapely mealing stones, elaborately carved seats or stools, many celts 
of extremely neat workmanship, spear and arrow points of unique 
shape, and a very few beads and pendent uruaments. There are a])- 
parently no traces of implements of war. 

In metal there are numerous and somewhat remarkable works. 
They are of gold, gold-copper alloy, cojjper. and bronze. The objects 
are of small size, rarely reaching a pound in weight, and they are 
almost exclusively pendent ornaments. They were, for the most 
part, cast in molds, and in nine cases out of ten represent animal forms. 
A few bells are found, all of which are of bronze. Pieces formed of 
alloyed metal are usually washed or plated with pure gold. 

The great body of relics are in clay, and the workmanship dis- 
played is often admirable. Vases are found in great numlteis. .•ind 


as a rule are small and shapely, and are so carefully and elaborately 
decorated as to lead to the inference that their office was in a great 
measure ceremonial. They take a high place among American fictile- 
products for grace of form and beauty of decoration. There is neither 
glaze nor evidence of the use of a wheel. Besides vases we have sev- 
eral other classes of objects, which include grotesque, toy-like statu- 
ettes, small, covered receptacles resembling needlecases, seat -like ob- 
jects elaborately modeled, spindle whorls, and musical instruments. 
The occurrence of numerous s])eciniens of the two latter classes in- 
dicates that the arts of weaving and music were assiduously practiced. 

An examination of the esthetic features of the ceramic art has 
proved exceptionally instructive. We find much that is worthy of 
attention in the forms of vases as well as in the plastic or relieved 
features of Embellishment, and a still richer field is opened by the 
study of the incised and painted — the flat — decorations. 

I have shown that the elements of decoration flow into the ceramic 
art chiefly through two channels, the one from art and the other from 
nature. Elements from art are mainly of mechanical origin, and 
are, therefore, non-imitative and geometric. Elements from nature 
imitate natural forms, and hence are primarily non-geometric. Ele- 
ments from art, being mechanical, are meaningless or non-ideographic : 
those from nature are in early stages of art usually associated with 
mythologic concejjtions. and hence are ideographic. All decorations 
may therefore have four dual classifications, as follows: First, with 
reference to method of realization, as plastic and flat; second, witli 
reference to derivation, as mechanical and imitative; third, with 
reference to plan of manifestation, as geometi-ic and non-geometric: 
and, fourth, with reference to the association of ideas, as significant 
and non-significant. 

I have found that the ceramic art, having acquired the various ele- 
ments of ornament, carries them by methods of its own through 
many strange mutations of form. The effect upon life forms is of para- 
mount importance, as is indicated by the following broad and striking 
generalization : The agencies of modification inherent in the art in 
its practice are such that any particular animal form extensively em- 
l)loyed in decoration is capable of changing into or giving rise to any 
or to all of the highly conventional decorative devices upon which our 
leading ornaments, such as the meander, the scroll, the fret, the chev- 
ron, and the guilloche, are based. It is further seen, however, that 
ideographic elements are not necessarily restricted to decorative or 
symbolic functions, for the processes of simplification i-educe them to 
forms well suited to employment in hieroglyphic and even in phonetic 
systems of expression. Such systems are proliably made up to a great 
extent of characters the conformation of which is due to the unthink- 
ing — the mechanical — agencies of the various arts. 









Iiitioductiun 195 

Form in textile art 196 

Relations of form to ornament 201 

Color in textile art 201 

Textile ornament ogg 

Development of a geometric system witliin the art 203 

Introchietion 202 

Relief ijhennmena 203 

Orilinary features 203 

Reticulated \\ ork 210 

Superconstnictive features 211 

Color phenomena 215 

Ordinary features 215 

Non-essential constructive features 226 

Superconstructive features 228 

Adventitious features ; 231 

Geometricity imposed upon adopted elements 232 

Extension of textile ornament to other forms of art 244 




Fig. 386. Mat or tray with esthetic attributes of form 197 

287. Tray having decided esthetic attributes of form 198 

388. Pyriform water vessel 198 

289. Basket witli esthetic characters of form 199 

390. Basket of eccentric form 200 

291. Cliaracter of sui-face in the simplest form of weaving 204 

292. Surface produced by impacting 204 

293. Surface proiluced by use of wide fillets 204 

394. Basket with ribbed surface 205 

29.5. Bottle showing obliquely ribbed surface 20.5 

296. Ti'ay sliowing radial ribs 205 

297. Combination giving hen-ing bone effect 206 

298. Combination giving triangular figures 206 

399. Pemvian work Ijasket 206 

300. Basket of Seminole workmansliip 207 

301. Surface effect [iroiluced in open twined combination 207 

302. Surface elTect i)r(iiluced in open twineil combination 207 

303. Surface effect jiroduced by impacting in twined comljination 208 

304. Surface effect produced by impacting tlie web strantls in twined 

combination 208 

305. Surface effect produced by crossing the web series in oi)en twined 

work _. 208 

306. Ti'ay with open mesh, twined combination 208 

307. Conical basket, twined combination 309 

308. Example of primitive reticulated weaving 21(l 

309. Simple form of reticulation 211 

310. Reticulated pattern in cotton cloth 211 

311. Peruvian embroidery 312 

312. Basket with pendent ornaments 313 

313. Basket with pendent ornaments 313 

314. Tasseled Pei-uvian mantle 314 

315. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors 316 

316. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors 316 

317. Pattern i)roduced by interlacing strands of different coU)rs 316 

318. Pattern jiroduced by interlacing strands of different colors 217 

319. Base of coiled basket 218 

320. Coiled basket with geometric ornament 318 

331. Coiled basket witli geometric ornament 319 

333. Coiled basket with geometric ornament 220 

323. Coiled liasket with geometric ornament 330 

334. Coiled basket with geometric ornament 231 

335. Coiled basket witli geometric ornament 323 

326. Coiled tray with geometric ornament 224 

327. Coiled tray with geometric urnament 325 

(i ETH 13 19;i 



Fig. ii'iS. Tray with geometric oinauieiit 335 

839. Ti-ay with geometric ornament 336 

(SaO. Ornament produced by wrapping the strands 337 

331. Ornament prO(hiced by fixing strands to the surface of the fabric. . 237 

333. Basket with feather ornamentation " 327 

333. Basket with feather ornamentation 327 

334. Piece of cloth showing use of supplementary warp and woof 228 

33o. Piece of cloth showing use of supplementarj' wai-p and woof 328 

336. Example of grass embroidery 230 

387. Example of feather embroidery 231 

338. Figiues fr<im the Penn wam2)um belt 233 

330. Figures from a California Indian basket 234 

340. California Indian basket 234 

341. Figures from a Peruvian basket 235 

342. Figiii-e from a piece of Peruvian gobelins 236 

343. Figures from a Peruvian vase 237 

344. Figure from a circular basket 238 

345. Figure of a bird from a Zuili shield 239 

346. Figure of a bird woven in a tray 240 

347. Figure of a binl woven in a basket 241 

348. Figures embroidered on a cotton net by the ancient Peruvians 243 

349. Figures of birds embroidered by the ancient Peruvians 343 

350. Conventional design painted upon cotton cloth 243 

351. Herring bone and checker patterns produced in weaving 246 

352. Herring bone and checker patterns engi'aved in clay 246 

353. Earthen vase with textile ornament 347 

354. Example of textile ornament painted upon pottery 248 

355. TextOe jiattern transferred to pottery through costume 248 

356. Ceremonial adz with carved ornament of textile character 250 

357. Figures upon a tapa stamp 251 

358. Design in stucco exliibiting textile characters 251 


By William H. Holmes. 


The textile art is one of the most ancient known, datinjr back to 
the very inception of culture. In primitive times it occupied a wide 
field, embracing the stems of numerous branches of industry now 
expressed in other materials or relegated to distinct systems of con- 
struction. Accompanying the gradual narrowing of its s^jhere there 
was a steady development with the general increase of intelligence 
and skill, so that with the cultured nations of to-day it takes an im- 
portant, though unobtrusive, place in the hierarchy oi the arts. 

Woven fabrics include all those products of art in which the ele- 
ments or jjarts employed in construction are largely filamental and 
are combined by methods conditioned chiefly by their flexibility. 
The processes employed are known by such terms as interlacing, 
plaiting, netting, weaving, sewing, and embroidering. 

The materials used at first are chiefly filiforin vegetal growths, 
such as twigs, leaves, roots, and grasses, but later on filiform and then 
fibrous elements fnjm all the kingdoms of nature, as well as numer- 
ous artiflcial preparations, are freely used. These are employed in 
the single, doubled, doubled and twisted, and plaited conditions, and 
are combined liy the hands alone, by the hands assisted by simple 
devices, by hand looms, and Anally in civilization by machine h)oms. 
The iDi'oducts are, flrst, individiial structures or articles, such as 
shelters, baskets, nets, and garuieuts, or integral parts of these; and, 
second, '"piece" goods, such as are not adapted to use until they are 
cut and fitted. In earlier stages of art we have to deal almost ex- 
clusively with the former class, as the tailor and the house furnisher 
are evolved with civilization. 

In their bearing upon art these products are to be studied chiefly 
with reference to three grand divisions of phenomena, the first of 
which I shall denominate constructive, the second functional, and 
the third esthetic. The last class, with which this paper has almost 
exclusively to deal, is composed mainly of what may be called the 
superconstructive and suijerfunctional features of the art and in" 
eludes three subdivisions of phenomena, connected respectively with 
(1) form, (--i) color, and (3) design. Esthetic features of form are, 



in origin and manifestation, I'elated to both function and construc- 
tion; color and design, to construction mainly. In the following 
study separate sections are given to each of these topics. 

It is fortunate perhaps that in this work I am restricted to the prod- 
nets of rather primitive stages of culture, as I have thiis to deal with 
a limited number of uses, simjale processes, and simple shapes. In the 
advanced stages of art we encounter coiiiplex phenomena, processes, 
and conditions, the accumulation of ages, through which no broad 
light can fall upon the field of vision. 

In America there is a vast body of primitive, indigenous art hav- 
ing no parallel in the world. Uncontaminated by contact with the 
complex conditions of civilized art. it offers the liest possible facili- 
ties for the study of the fundamental i^rinciples of esthetic develop- 

The laws of evolution correspond closely in all art. and. if onco 
rightly interpreted in the incipient stage of a single, homogeneo;is 
culture, are traceable with comparative ease through all the succeed- 
ing stages of civilization. 


Form in the textile art, as in all other useful arts, is fundamentally, 
although not exclusively, the resultant or expression of function, but 
at the same time it is further than in other sha])ing arts from express- 
ing the whole of function. Such is the pliability of a large portion 
of textile products — as, for example, nets, garments, and hangings — 
that the shapes assumed are variable, and, therefore, when not dis- 
tended or for some purpose folded or draped, the articles are without 
esthetic vahie or interest. The more rigid objects, in common with 
the individuals of other useful arts, while their shape still accords 
with their functional office, exhibit attributes of form generally recog- 
nized as pleasing to the mind, wliicli are exjjressed by the terms grace, 
elegance, symmetry, and the like. Siich attributes are not separable 
from functional attributes, but originate and exist conjointly wdth 

In addition to these features of form we observe others of a more 
decidedly superfunctional character, added manifestly for the jjiir- 
pose of enhancing tne appearance. 

In very primitive times when a utensil is produced functional 
ideas predominate, and there is, perhaps, so far as its artificial char- 
acters are concerned, a minimum of comeliness. But as the ages 
pass by essential features are refined and elements of beauty are 
added and emphasized. In riper culture the growing pressure of 
esthetic desire leads to the addition of many superficial modifica- 
tions whose chief office is to please the fancy. In periods of dead- 
ened sensibility or even through the incompetence of individual art- 
ists in any period, such features may be ill chosen and erroneously 



apijlied, interfering- with construction and use, and tlnis violating 
well founded and generally accepted canons of taste. In respect to 
primitive works we may distinguish four stej)s in the acquisition of 
esthetic features of form, three of which are normal, the fourth 
ahnornial: First, we have that in which functional characters alone 
are considered, any element of beauty, whether due to the artist's 
hand or to the accidents of material, construction, or model, being 
purely adventitious; second, that in which the necessary features of 
the utensil appear to have experienced the supervision of taste, edges 
being rounded, curves refined, and symmetry perfected; third, that 
in which the functionally perfect object, just described, undergoes 
further variations of. contour, adding to variety, unity, &c.. thus en- 
hancing beauty without interfering with serviceability: and. fourth, 
that in which, under abnormal influences, beauty is .sought at the .sac- 
rifice of functional and constructive perfection. 

Fio. 286. Mat or ti'a.v ixljibn 

Moki work^i-. 

The exact relations of the various classes of forces and phenomena 
pertaining to this theme may be more fully elucidated by the aid of 
illustrations. Woven mats, in early use by many tribes of men and 
originating in the attempt to combine leaves, vines, and branches 
for purposes of comfort, are flat because of function, the degree of flat- 
ness depending upon the size of filaments and mode of combination; 
and in outline they are irregular, square, round, or oval, as a result 
of many causes and influences, embracing use, construction, material, 
models. &c. A close approach to symmetry, where not imposed by 
some of the above mentioned agencies, is probably due to esthetic 
tendencies on the part of the artist. The esthetic interest attach- 
ing to such a shape cannot be great, unless perhaps it be regarded, 



as all individuals and rlassfs may Ije regarded, in its possible rela- 
tions to ijreceding, associated, and siicceeding forms of art. The 
varied features observed upon the surface, the colors and patterns 
(Fig. 286), pertain to design rather than to form ami will receive at- 
tention in the proper place. 

Fig. 287. Ti'a.v having dfcided esthetic attriljutes ot form, t ilitained fi-oni the Apache — J. 

In point of contour tlie basket tray shewn in Fig. 287 has a some- 
what more decided claim upon esthetic attention than the 2:irecediug. 
as the curves exhibited mark a step of progress in complexity and 
grace. How much of this is due to intention and how much to tech- 
nical perfection must remain in doubt. In work so perfect we are 
•Avont, however unwarrantably, to recognize the influence of taste. 

Fig. 28H. Pj-rifonn water vessel iised by the Piute Infliaiis--i. 

A third example — presented in Fig. •-JSS — illustrates an advanced 
stage in the art of basketry and exhibits a highly specialized .shajie. 
The foi'ces and influences concerned in its evolution may beanalyzecl 
as follows: A primal Drigiii in runcliini and a 1iii:il adajitat idii to a 



si)ecial fimctiou, tlie carrying aud sturiiig of water : a contour full 
to give capacity, narrow above for safety, aud pointed below tliat it 
may be set in sand ; curves kept within certain bounds by the limit- 
ations of construction; and a goodly share of variety, symmetry, and 
grace, the result to a certain undetermined extent of the esthetic 
tendencies of the artist's mind. In regard to the last jjoint there 
is generally in forms so sim])le an element of uncertainty; but many 
examples may be found in wh ich there is pcsitive evidence of the exist- 
ence of a .strong desire on the part of the i)rimitive basketmaker to 
enhance beauty of form. It will be observed that tlie textile materials 
and construction do not lend themselves freely to minuteness in de- 
tail or to complexity of outline, especially in those small ways in 
which beauty is most readily expressed. 

Modifications of a decidedly esthetic character are generally sug- 
gested to the primitive mind by some functional, constructive, or 
accidental feature which may with ease be turned in the new direc- 
tion. In the vessel presented in Fig. -isii -the work of Alaskan 

Fin. 2Rn. Vesspl with psthetic ch.ara<?ters of I 

\^■cll■I^ nf the'i — }. 

Indians — the margin is varied by altering the relations of the three 
marginal turns of the coil, producing a scalloped effect. This is 
without reference to use. is uncalled for in construction, and hence 
is, in all probability, the direct result of esthetic tendencies. Other 
and much more elaborate examples may be found in the basketry of 
almost all countries. 

In the pursuit of this class of enrichment there is occasionally no- 
ticeable a tendency to overload the subject with extraneous details. 
This is not apt to occur, however, in the indigenous practice of an 
art, but comes more frequently from a loss of equilibrium or balance 
m motives or desires, caused by untoward exotic influence. When, 
through suggestions derived from contact with civilized art, the sav- 
age undertakes to secure all the grace and complexity ol)served in the 



works (if more c'liltured ijeoi)les. he does so at the ex])ense of coustruc- 
tion and adaptability to use. An example of snch work is presented 
in Fig. 290. a weak, useless, and wholly vicious piece of basketry. 

FlQ. 290. Basket made under foreign influence, constniction find use beinjj sacrifioeil to fancied 
beaxity — J. 

Other equally meretricious pieces represent golilets. bottles, and tea 
pots. They are the work of the Indians of the northwest coast and 
are executed in the neatest possible manner, beai-ing evidence of the 
existence of cultivated taste. 

It apjiears from the preceding analyses that form in this art is 
not sufticiently sensitive to receive impressions readily from the 
delicate toiich of esthetic fingers; besides, there are peculiar diffi- 
culties in the way of detecting traces of the presence and supervi.'^ion 
of taste. The inhei'ent morphologic forces of the art are strong and 
stubborn and tend to produce the precise classes of results that we, 
at this stage of culture, are inclined to attribute to esthetic infiixence- 
If, in the making of a vessel, the demands of use are fully satisfied. 
if construction is perfect of its kind, if materials are uniforndy 
suitable, and if models are not al)solutely bad, it follows that the 
result must necessarily jiossess in a jiigh degree very attributes 
that all agree are pleasing to the eye. 

In a primitive water vessel function gives a full outline, as ca- 
pacity is a prime consideration; convenience of use calls for a narrow 
neck and a conical base: construction and materials unite to impose 
certain limitations to curves and their combinations, from which the 
artist cannot readily free himself. Models furnished by nature, as 
they are usually graceful, do not interfere with the preceding agen- 
cies, and all these forces united tend to give symmetry, grace, and 
the imity that belongs to simjilicity. Taste Avliich is in a formative 
state can but fall in with these tendencies of llie art. and must be led 

holmes] form and ornament IN TEXTILE ART. 201 

by tliein, and led iu a measure correspouding to their 2)ersistency and 
universality. If the textile art had Ijeeu the only one known to man, 
ideas of the esthetic in shape would have been in a great measure 
formed through that art. Natural forms would have had little to 
do with it except through models furnished directly to and utilized 
hy the art. for the ideas of primitive men concentrate about that 
upon which their hands work and upon which their thoughts from 
necessity dwell with steady attention from generation to generation. 


It would seem that the esthetic tendencies of the mind, failing to 
find satisfactory expression in shape, seized upon tlie non-essential 
features of the art — markings of the surface and color of filaments — 
creating a new field in which to labor and expending their energy 
upon ornament. 

Shape has some direct relations to ornament, and these relations 
may be classified as follows: 

First, the contour of the vessel conti-ols its ornament to a large ex- 
tent, dictating the positions of design and setting its limits; figures 
are iu stripes, zones, rays, circles, ovals, or rectangles — according, in 
no slight measure, to the character of the spaces afforded l)y details 
of contour. Secondly, it affects ornament through the reproduction 
and repetition of features of form, such as handles, for ornamental 
purposes. Thirdly, it is probable that shape influences embellishment 
through the peculiar bias given by it to the taste and judgment of 
men prior to oi' indejiendent of the employment of ornament. 


Color is one of the most constant factors in man's environment, 
audit is so strongly and persistently forced upon his attention, so 
useful as a means of identification and distinction, that it necessarily 
receives a large share of consideration. It is probably one of the 
foremost objective agencies in the formation and development of the 
esthetic sense. 

The natural colors of textile materials are enormously varied and 
form one of the chief attractions of the products of the art. The 
great interest taken in color— the great importance attached to it — is 
attested by the very general use of dyes, by means of wliich adiliti( nial 
variety and lirilliancy of effect are secured. 

Color employed in the art is not related to use, excepting, perhaps, 
in symbolic and superstitious matters ; nor is it of consequence in con- 
struction, although it derives importance from the manner in which 
construction causes it to be manifested to the eye. It finds its chief 
use in the field of design, in making evident to the eye the figures 
with which objects of art are embellished. 

Color is employed or applied in two distinct ways: it is woven or 


workeil into tlic fabric l)y using i-nlured filaments or parts, or it is 
added to tlie surface of tlie completed object by means of pencils, 
brushes, and dies. Its employment in the latter manner is especially 
convenient when complex ideograi^hic or jaictorial subjects are to lie 




Having made a brief study of form and color in the textile art. I 
shall now ijresent the great group or family of phenomena whose 
exclusive office is that of enhancing beauty. It will be necessary, 
however, to present, besides those features of the art properly express- 
ive of the esthetic culture of the race, all those phenomena that, being 
2)resent in the art without man's volition, tend to suggest decorati^'e 
conceptions and give shape to them. I shall show how the latter class 
of featiires arise as a necessity of the art, how they gradually come 
into notice and are seized upon by the esthetic faculty, and how 
under its guidance they assist • in the develoi:)ment of a system of 
ornament of world wide application. 

For convenience of treatment esthetic phenomena may lie classed 
as reJieved and fiat. Figures or jiatterns of a relievo nature arise 
dui'ing construction as a result of the intersections and other more 
complex relations — tlie bindings — of the warp and woof or of in- 
serted or applied elements. Flat or surface features are manifested 
in color, either in unison with or independent of tJie relieved details. 
Such is the nature of the textile art that in its ordinary practice cer- 
tain combinations of both classes of features go on as a necessity of 
the art and wholly without reference to the desire of the artist or to 
the effect of resultant patterns upon the eye. The character of, such 
figures dejiends upon the kind of construction and upon the accidental 
association of natural colors in construction. 

At some period of the practice of the art these peculiar, adventitious 
surface characters began to attract attention and to be cherished for 
the pleasure they gave ; what were at first adventitious features now 
took on functions peculiar to themselves, for they were found to 
gratify desires distinct from those cravings that arise directly from 
physical wants. 

It is not to be supposed for a moment that tlie inception of esthetic 
notions dates from this association of ideas of beauty with textile 
characters. Long before textile objects of a high class were made, 
ideas of an esthetic nature had been entertained l)y the mind, as, for 
example, in connection with personal adornment. The skin had 
been painted, pendants placed about the neck, and bright feathers 
set in the hair to enhance attractiveness, .and it is lujt difficult to 


conceive of the transfer of such ideas from jjurely ])ei'sonal associa- 
tions to tlie embellishment of articles intimately associated witli tlie 
person. No matter, however. Avhat the period or manner of the as- 
sociation of such ideas with tlie textile art, that association may l)e 
taken as the datum point in the development of a great system of 
decoration whose distinguishing characters are the j-esnlt of the 
geometric textile construction. 

In amplifying this subject I tind it convenient to treat separately 
the two classes of decorative phenomena — the relieved and the flat — 
notwithstanding the fact that they are for the most pai't intimately 
associated and act together in the accomplishment of a common end. 


Ordinary feafnrpfi.— The relieved siirface characters of fabrics 
resulting from construction and available for decoration are more or 
less distinctly perceptible to the eye and to the touch and are suscepti- 
ble of unlimited variation in detail and arrangement. S^ich features 
are familiar to all in the strongly marked ridges of basketry, and much 
more pleasingly so in the delicate figures of damasks. emT)roideries, 
and laces. So long as the figures produced are crmfined exclusively 
to the necessary features of unembellished construction, as is the case 
in very primitive work and in all j)lain work, the resultant jjatterns 
are wholly geometric and liy endless repetition of like parts extremely 

In right angled weaving the figures combine in straight lines, which 
run parallel or cross at uniform distances and angles. In radiate 
weaving, as in basketry, the radial lines are crossed in an ecpially 
formal manner by concentric lines. In other classes of combination 
there is an almost ecjual degree of geometricity. 

When, liowever, with the growth of intelligence and skill it is found 
that greater variety of effect can be secured by modifying the essential 
combinations of parts, and that, too, without interfering with con- 
structive perfection or witli use, a new and wide field is opened for 
the developmental tendencies of textile dec(jration. 

Moreover, in addition to the facilities afforded by the necessary ele- 
ments of construction, there are many extraneous resources of which 
the textile decorator may freely avail himself. The character of these 
is such that the results, however varied, harmonize tliorougidy with 
indigenous textile forms. 

To make these points quite clear it will be necessary to analyze 
somewhat closely the character and scope of textile combination and 
of the resultant and associated jjlienomena. 

We may distinguish two broad classes of constructive phenomena 
made use of in the expression of relieved enrichment. As indicated 
above, these are, first, essential or actual constructive features and, 
second, extra or superconstructive features. 



First, it is found tliat in the practice of priniitive textile art a va- 
riety of methods of combination or bindings of the parts have been 
evolved and utilized, and we observe that each of these — no matter 
what the material or what the size and character of the filamental 
elements — gives rise to distinct classes of surface effects. Tims it ap- 
pears that peoples who happen to discover and use like combinations 
produce kindred decorative results, while those employing unMke con- 
structions achieve distinct classes of surface enil)ellisliment. These 
constructive peculiarities have a pretty decided effect upon the style 
of ornament, relieved or colored, and must be carefiilly considered in 
the treatment of design ; Init it is found that each type of combination 
has a greatly varied capacity of expression, tending to obliterate sharp 
lines of demarkation between the groups of results. It sometimes 
even happens that in distinct types of weaving almost identical sur- 
face effects are produced. 

It will not be necessary in this connection to jDresent a full series of 
the fundamental bindings or orders of comliination, as a few will suf- 
fice to illustrate the principles involved and to make clear the bearing 
of this class of phenomena upon decoration. I choose, first, a number 
of examples from the simplest type of weaving, that in which the web 
and the woof are merely interlaced, the filaments crossing at right 
angles or nearly so. In Fig. -^01 we have the result exhibited in a 
plain open or reticulated fabric ccmstructed from ordinary untwisted 
fillets, such as are employed in our splint and cane products. Fig. 
■.i'.rl illustrates the surface produced by crowding the horizontal series 

Fig. 891. Surface relief in 
.simplest form of intersec- 

Fig. sua. Surface relief pro- 
duced by horizontal series 
crowded together. 

Fig. S1I.3. Surface relief 
produced by wide fillets set 
close topetber. 

of the same fabric close together, so that the vertical series is entirely 
hidden. The surface here exhibits a succession of vertical ribs, an 
effect totally distinct from that seen in the preceding example. The 
third variety (Fig. 2'.t3) differs but slightly from the first. Tlie fil- 
lets are wider and are set close together without crowding, giving 
the surface a checkered appearance. 

The second variety of surface effect is that most frequently seen 
in the basketry of our western tribes, as it results from the great 
degree of compactness necessary in vessels intendc(l tocuntain li(|uids. 



seiiiiliquid foods, or pulverized substances. The general surface 
t'tt'ect given by closely woven work is illustrated in Fig. 294, which 
represents a large wicker carrying basket obtained from the Moki 

Fig. a!P4. Basket shoniiix rililied suiface produced Ijy impacting the horizontal or conoeiitT-ii- fii.i- 
lueuts. Moki work — {. 

Indians. In this instance the ridges, due to a heavy series of radi- 
ating warp tilanients, ai'e seen in a vertical position. 

It will be observed, however, that the I'idges do not necessarily iak^i 


Fig. :i9.5. .\ltei'nati<>n of intersection, 
producing oblique or spiral ribs. I*i- 
ute work — j. 

Fig. '^M. Kadiatinj^ ribs as seen in tlat work viewed 
from above. Moki work — ! . 

the directi(ni of the warp lilaments. for, with a different alternation of 
the horizontal .series — the woof — we get oblique ridges, as shown in 
111'' partly finished bottle illustrated in Fig. Silo. They are, how- 


ever, not so pronounced as in the preceding case. Tlie jjeculiar eflPect 
of radiate and concentric weaving upon the ribs is well shown iu Fig. 

By changes iu the order of intersection, without changing the type 
of combination, we i-each a .series of results quite unlike the preced- 
ing; so distinct, indeed, that, abstracted from constructive relation- 
ships, there would be little suggestion of correlation. In the exaniplc 

Fig. 2i)7. Diag:onal cumbiuation, 
herring bone effect. 

Fig. 398. Elaboration of diagonal combina- 
■ tion, giviuir triangular figures. 

given in Fig. ■ii)7 the series of filaments interlace, not by passing 
over and under alternate strands, as in the preceding set of exam- 
ples, but by extending ovei' and uinlei' a numbei' of the ojjposing seiies 
at each step and in such order as to give wide horizontal ridges 
ribbed diagonally. 

This example is from an ancient work basket oljtained at Ancon, 
Peru, and shown in Fig. 399. The surface features are in strong 
relief, giving a pronounced herring }>one effect. 

Fig. 2'M. IVi'uvian work basket of reeds, with strongly relieve<l ridges. 

Slight changes in the succession of parts enable the workman to 
pi-oduce a great variety of decoi-ative patterns, an example of which 
is shown in Fig. 298. A good illustration is also seen in Fig 28(1, 
and another piece, .said to be of Seminole workmanship, is given in 
Fig. 'MO. These and similar relieved results are fruitful sources of 
primitive decorative motives. They are employed :uA only within 


the art itself, hut in many otlier arts less lilterully supi^lied with sug- 
u'estioiis i)f embellishment. 

[Fig. :^'>0. Effects produced by var\iiii^ iln^ tirder of intersection. Seminole work — J. 

Taking a second tyjje of combination, we liave a family of result- 
ant patterns in the main distinguishable from the preceding. 

I''ici. 301. Surface effect in open t«ined combination. 

Fig. :>()1 illustrates the simplest form of what Dr. O. T. Mason lias 
called the twined combination, a favorite one with many of our native 
tribes. The strands of the woof series are arranyeil in twos and in 

Fig. Xri. Surface effect of twined, Uittic combination in baslselry of the Clallam Inilians of Washina- 
U 11 Territory — ,' , 



■weaving are twisted half around at each intersection, inclosing the 
oi)l)osing tillets. The resulting open work has miich the appearance 
of ordinary netting, and when of plial)le nuiterials and distended or 
strained over an earthen or gourd vessel the pattern exhibited is 
strikingly suggestive of decoration. The result of this combination 
upon a lattice foundation of rigid materials is well shown in the 
large basket presented in Fig. 303. Other variants of this type are 
given in the three succeeding figures. 

Fio. .30.'). Surface effect in impacted work of twineil coinliiiiatioii, 

The result seen in Fig. 303 is obtained by impacting the horizontal 
or twined series of threads. The surface is nearly identical with 
that of the closely impacted example of the preceding type (Fig. -iU-'). 
The peculiarities are more marked when colors are used. When the 
doubled and twisted series of strands are placed far apart and the 
oi^i^osing series are laid side by side a pleasing result is given, as 
shown in Fig. 304 and in the body of the conical basket illustrated 


in Fig 


Fio. SM. Surface effect obtained by 
placing the warp strands close together 
and the woof cables far apart. 

Fig. 305. Surface effect obtained 
by crossing the warp series in open 
twined work. 

In Fig. 305 we have a peculiar diagonally crossed arrangement of 
the untwisted series of filaments, giving a lattice work effect. 

Fig. 300 serves to show how readily this style of weaving lends 

Fig. :iU«. Decorajive effects produced by vanaimns in il 
tray. Klamath work—;. 

T-iidiate or warp series ni an open w 




itself to the production of decorative moditi cation, e.speciully iu the 
direction of tlie concentric zonal arrangement so universal iu vessel- 
making arts. 

The examples given serve to indicate the unlimited deccjrative re- 
sources possessed by the art without emi^loyiug any but legitimate 
constructive elements, and it will be seen that still wider results can 
be obtained by combining two or more varieties or styles of binding 
in the construction and the embellishment of a single ol)ject or in the 
same piece of fabric. -A good, though very simple, illustration of 
this is shown in the tray or mat presented in Fig. 28(i. In this case 
a border, varying from the center portion in ajjpearance, is obtained 
by changing one series of tlie filaments from a multiple to a single 


Fig. ."ior. Conical basket of tin' Klaiiialh linluuis of Oregon, showing peeuliai' twiiieil ellfeel .anil an 
open u-ork border — 4. 

The conical basket shown in Fig. ;507 serves to illustrate the same 
point. In this case a rmlcly worked, though effective, liorder is 
secured l^y changing the angle of the upright series near the to]) and 
combining them by plaiting, and in such a way as to leave a bcjrder 
of open work. 

Now the two types of construction, tlie interlaced and the twined, 
some primitive phases of which have been reviewed and illustrated, 
as they are carried forward in the technical progress of the art, ex- 
hibit many new features of combination and resultant surface char- 
acter, but the elaboration is in all cases along lines peculiar to these 
types of weaving. 

Otlier types of conibinatjoH of web and wo(jf. all tapesti-y. and all 


braiding, netting, knitting, crochet, and needle work exliibit char- 
acters peculiar to themselves, developing distinct groups of relieved 
results; yet all are analogous in principle to those already illustrated 
and unite in carrying forward the same great geometric system of 

Reticulated work. — A few ijaragrajdis may be added here in regard 
to reticulated faljrics of all classes of combination, as they exhibit 
more than usually interesting relievo phent)mena and have a decided 
l)earing upon the growth of oi'nament. 

In all the primitive weaving with which we are ac(iuainted dehnite 
reticulated i)atterns are produced by variations in the spacings and 
other relations of the warp and woof; and the same is true in all the 
higher forms of the art. The production of reticulated work is the 
especial function of netting, knitting, crocheting, and certain varieties 
of needlework, and a great diversity of relieved residts are produced, 
no figure being too complex and no form too pronounced to be under- 
taken by ambitious workmen. 

In the following figures we have illustrations of the peculiar class 
of primitive experiments tliat, after the lapse of ages, lead up to mar- 
velous results, the highest of which may l)e found in tlie exquisite 
laces of cultured peoples. The Americans had only taken the first 
steps in this peculiar art, but the results are on this account of espe- 
cial interest in the history of the art. 

An example of simple reticulated liand weaving is shown in Fig. 
308. It is the work of the mound 1)uilders and is taken from an im- 
pression uijon an ancient jiiece of pottery obtained in Tennessee. 

Fig. :J()H. Incinient slaj^e of reticulated ornament. Fabric of the mound builders. 

Fig. 309 illustrates a bit of ancient Peruvian work executed on a 
frame or in a rude loom, a checker pattern being produced by arrang- 
ing the warp and woof now close together and now wide apart. 

(Jpen work of this class is sometimes comjjleted by after processes, 
certain threads or filaments being drawn out oi' introduced, by which 
means the figures are empliasized and varied. 

In Fig. 310 we have a second Peruvian example in which the woof 
threads have been omitted for the space of an inch, and across this 



iutt'i-val the loose warp has been plaited and drawn together, pruduc- 
ing a lattice-like hand. 

Fic:. 800. Simple form of oiuaniental reticulatiim. Anciuiit Peruvian work. 

In a similar way four other bands of narrow open work are inti'o- 
duced, two above and two below the wide band. These are produced 


Rg. 310. Reticulaleil pattern in cotton cloth. Work ot the ancient Peruvians. 

by leaving the warp tlireads free for a short space and drawing al- 
ternate pairs across each other and fixing theui so T)y means of a 
woof threa<l, as shown in the cut. 

Exami)les of netting in which decorative features have been worked 
are found among the textile i)roducts of many American tribes and 
occur as well in several groups of ancient fabi'ics. but in most cases 
where designs of importance or complexity are desired parts are in- 
troduced to facilitate the work. 

Sirpercoiisfriictircfcafin-ps. — These features, so important in the 
decoration of fabrics, are the result of devices by which a construc- 
tion already capable of fulfilling the duties im])ose<I by function has 
added to it i)arts intended to enhance beauty and which may or may 
not be of advantage to the faltric. They constitute one of the most 


widely used and effective resources of the textile decorator, and are 
added hy sewing or stitching, inserting, drawing, cutting, applying, 
appending, &c. They add enormously to the capacity for producing 
relievo effects and nuike it i>ossible even to render natural forms in 
the round. Notwithstanding this fact — the most important section 
(if this class of features — emhroidery is treated to Letter advantage 
under color phenomeiui, as color is very generally associated with the 

One example of lace-like embroidery may be given in this place. 
It is probably among the best examples of monochrome embroidery 
America has jjroduced. In design and in metlKjd of realization it is 
identical with the rich, colored embroideries of the ancient Peruvians, 
being worked upon a net foundation, as shown in Fig. 311. The broad 

*■--'-'»■•■ •■•■•SiwS* ••/*• •» ——-»*"- — *^,«» w^ *iKi.Z*'*«V"- *^ J^wmi^ *'w^"5.'»»--»^^"^» »•«»!•'»'• 

Fig. 311. Open work design embroidered upon a net-like fabric. From a grave at Ancon, Peru. 

band of figures employs bird forms in connection witli riinnijig 
geometric designs, and still more liigldy conventional bird forms are 
seen in the narrow band. 

Appended ornaments are not ameiial^k* tu tlie geometric Jaws of 
fabrication to the extent observed in tether classes of ornament. Thev 

iior.MKs, ] 



are, however, attached iu ways consistent with the textile system. 
and are counted and spaced with great care, producing designs of a 
more or less pronounced geometric character. The work is a kind of 
emhroidery. the parts emi)h:)yed being of tlie natiire of jjendants. 

These include numberless articles derived from nature and ai-t. It 
will suffice to present a few examples already at hand. 

Fi"'. 'M'i illustrates a large, well made basket, the work of the 
Apaclie Indians. It serves to indicate the method of employing tas- 
sels and clustered pendants, which in this case consist of buckskin 

Fig. 313. Basket with ptMuleiU Inicksldn stranils tipped with bits nf lin. Apache Imlians — V 

strings ti])ped witit c<jnical bits of tin. The checker pattern is in 

Fig. :ii:) illustrates the iise of other varieties of pendants. A 
feather decked basket made bv the northwest coast Indians is em- 

_$y^ i ^ 

Fio. .313. Basket with pendants uf bea.l.s ami i 

, wui-k cif the northwest coast Indians. - 

bellished with pendent ornaments consisting of strings of beads 
tipped with bits of bright shell. The importance of this class of work 
in higher forms of textiles may be illustrated by an example from 
Peru. It is probable that American art has produced few examples 
of tasseled work more wonderful than that of which a fragment is 
shown in Fig. :iU. It is a fringed mantle, three feet in length and 
nearly the same in depth, obtained from an ancient tomb. The body 
is made up of separately woven Ijaiids, upon which disk-like and 


^^ ^t^' -«^ iff^ ^ 

M'i'iUl' l*im 


I. ' LK, 


Fig. 314. Tassel ornamentation from an iincieiit Pfnivum tiiantle. 


semihmar figures representing human faces are stitched, covering 
the surface in horizontal rows. To the center of these rosette-like 
parts clusters of tassels of varying sizes are attached. The fx'inge, 
which is twenty inches deep, is composed entirely of long strings of 
tassels, the larger tassels suijjiorting clusters of smaller ones. There 
are upwards of three thousand tassels, the round heads of which are 
in many cases woven in colors, ridges, and nodes to represent the 
human features. The general color of the garment, which is of fine, 
silky wool, is a rich crimson. The illustration can convey only a hint 
of the complexity and Ijeauty of the original. 

We have now seen how varied and how striking are the surface char- 
acters of fabrics as expressed by the third dimension, by variation 
from a flat, featureless surface, and how all, essential and ornamental, 
are governed by the laws of geometric combination. We shall now 
see how these are related to color phenomena. 


OrdiiKiry features. — In describing the constructive characters of 
fabrics and the attenda:it surface phenomena. I called attention to 
the fact that a greater part of the design manifested is enforced 
and supi)lemented by color, which gives new meaning to every 
feature. Color elements are jiresent in the art from its very incep- 
tion, and many simple patterns appear as accidents of textile aggre- 
gation long lief ore the weaver or the possessor recognizes them as 
pleasing to the eye. When, finally, they are so recognized and a de- 
sire for greater elaboration springs up, the textile construction lends 
itself readily to the new office and under the esthetic forces brings 
about wonderful results without interfering in the least with the 
technical perfection of the articles embellished. But color is not 
confined to the mere emphasizing of figures already expresseil in re- 
lief. It is capable of advancing alone into new fields, ju'oducing pat- 
terns and designs complex in arrangement and varied in hue, and 
that, too, without altering the simple, monotonous succession of re- 
lievo characters. 

In color, as in relieved design, each species of constructive combi- 
nation gives rise to more or less distinct groups of decorative results, 
which often become the distinguishing characteristics of the work of 
different peoples and the progenitors of long lines of distinctions in 
national decorative conceptions. 

In addition to this apparently limitless capacity for expression, 
lovers of textile illumination have the whole series of extraordinary 
resources furnished by expedients not essential to oixlinary construc- 
tion, the character and scope of which have been dwelt iipon to some 
extent in the preceding section. 

I have already spoken ot color in a general way. as to its necessary 
presence in art, its artificial application to falirics and fabric mate- 



rials, its symljolic rliuraclers. ami its iiiiiKJitaiice to t'stJiftic progress. 
My object in this section is to indicate the part it takes in textile de- 
siijn. its methods of expression, the processes by which it advances 
in elaltoration, and the part it takes in all geometric decoration. 

It will be necessary, in the first jjlace, to examine briefly the normal 
tendencies of color combination while still under the direct domina- 
tion of constructive elal)oration. In the way of illustration, let us 
take first a series of filaments, say in the natural color of the material, 
and pass throiigh them in the simplest interlaced style a second series 
having a distinct color. A very simple geometric pattern is pro- 
diiced. as shown in Fig. 315. It is a sort of checker, an emphasized 
presentation of the relievo pattern shown in Fig. "i'Jl, the figures 
running horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Had these fila- 
ments been accidentallv associated in construction, the results might 

Fig. 31."). PatU-in pioduced hj interlaLin^ strands of different colors. 

have been the same, but it is unnecessary to indicate in detail the 
possibilities of adventitious color combinations. So far as they ex- 
hibit system at all it is identical with the relievo elaboration. 

Assviming that the idea of developing these figures into sometliing 
more elaborate and striking is already conceived, let us study the 
|)rocesses and tendencies of growth. A very slight degree of inge- 
nuity will enable the workman to vary the relation of the jjarts, pi-o- 
(hiciny; a succession of results sucli. pi'i'li,-i]is. as indicated in Fig. .'Ili'i. 

Fig. 316, Pattern produced by modi- 
fying the alternation r)f (illets. 

Fio. 317. Isolated liffiires jirodtieed by 
niodir\ini; the order of interseetion. 

holmes] (JKOirKTKIC CHAHACTKl; OF (OLOl! PHKXO:\rEXA. 217 

111 this exauijile we liave rows of isolated s<iuares in white wliifh 
may be turned hither and thither at pleasure, within certain angles, 
liut they result in nothing more than monotonous successions of 

Additional facility of expression is obtained liy employing darlv 
strands in the vertical series also, and large, isolated areas of solid 
color may be produced T)y changing the order of intersection, certain 
of the fillets being carried over two or more of the o^jposiug series 
and in contiguous sjjaces at one step, as seen in Fig. 317. With these 
elementary resources the weaver has very considerable powers of ex- 
pression, as will be seen in Fig. :>18, which is taken from a basket 

, / ji '■' /' ' / / / 


/:■'//. y, 

/ , ■ 

- ',/■ 

/ " ■ /' . 


'< VA- 






-/ / '" 

Fig. 318. Pattern prorliiced l)y simple alternations i)t light and rlark fillets. Basketry of the Indians 
of British Gtiiana. 

made by South American Indians, and in Fig. iJ-tl, where human 
figures are delineated. The imtterns in such cases are all rigidly 
geometric and exhibit ste^iped outlines t)f a pronounced kind. Witli 
impacting and increased refinement of fillets the stepped character 
is in a considerable measure lost sight (jf and reali.stic. gmpliic rej)- 
resentation is to a greater extent within the workman's reach. It is 
IJi'obable. however, that the idea of weaving complex ideograpliic 
characters would not occur to the ])rimitive mind at a very early date, 
and a long period of progress would elapse liefore ilelineativc sub- 
jects would be attempted. 

I do not need to follow this style of combination into the more refineil 
kinds of work and into loom products, but may add that through 
all, until perverted by ulterior influences, the characteristic geome- 
tricity and nionotonoiis re])etition are allpervading. 

For the purpose of looking still more closely into the tendencies of 
normal textile decorative development I shall present a series of 
Indian baskets, choosing mainly from the closely woven or impacted 
varieties because they are so well repre.sented in our collections and 


at the same time are so very generally embellished with designs in 
color ; besides, they are probably among the most simple and primitive 
textile jjroducts known. I have already shown that several types of 
combination when closely imijacted pn xbice very similar surface char- 
acters and encoiirage the same general style of decoration. In nearly 
all. the color features are confined to one series of fillets — those of tlie 
■\YOof — the other, the warjj, being coinpletely liidden from view. In 
the preceding series the warp and woof were almost equally concerned 
in the expression of design. Here but one is used, and in consetpience 
there is much freedom of expresi^ion. as the artist carries tlie cohmMl 
iilaments back and forth or inserts new ones at will. Still it will 
]3e seen that in doing this he is by no means free ; he must follow the 
straiglit and narr( iw pathway laid down by the warp and woof, ami, di i 
what he may, he arrives at piirely geometric results. 

I will now present the examples, which for the sake of uniformity 
are in all cases of the coiled ware. If a basket is made with no other 
idea than that of use the surface is apt to be pretty uniform in color, 
the natural color of the woof fillets. If decoration is desired a col- 

FiG. 3UI. Base of coiled basket showing the method of building by dual coiling. The base or warp 
coil is ooiuposwl of luitwisted fiber and is formed by adding to the free end as the coiling goes on. 
The woof or binding filament, a.s it is coiled, Ls caught into the upper surface of the preceding turn — '. 

ored fillet is introdnced, which, for tlie time, takes the place and does 
the duty of the ordinary strand. Fig, 31!» serves to show the con- 
struction and surface appearance of the base of a coil made vessel 
still cpiite free from any color decoration. Now. if it is desired to 
begin a design, the plain wrap])iiig thread is dropped and a colored 

Fio. :W1. ('.lilcd l>uski't with simple geometric Drnanieiit, \V..rli of I In- n. irt Invest cuasl Indians— i 


fillet is inserted and the cinliug eoiitiiuies. Carried ouee around the 
vessel we have an encircling line of dark color corresponding to the 
lower line of the ornament seen in Fig. 320. If the artist is content 
with a single line of color he sets the end of the dai'k thread and takes 
up tlie light colored one previously droj)ped and continues the coiling. 
If further elaboration is desired it is easily accomplished. In the 
cxamide given the workman has taken up the dark fillet again and 
carried it a few times around the next turn of the warp coil; then 
it has been dropped and the white thread taken up, and again, in 
turn, another dark thread has been introduced and coiled for a few 
turns, ' and so on until ionv encircling rows of dark, alternating 
rectangles have lieen jiroduced. Desiring to introduce a meandered 
design he has taken the upper series of rectangles as bases and adding 
colored filaments at the proper time has carried oblicjue lines, one to 
the right and the other to the left, across the six succeeding ridges of 
the warp coil. The pairs of stepped lines meeting above were joined 
in rectangles like those below, and the decoration was closed by a 
border line at the top. The vessel was then comjdeted in the light 
colored material. In this ornament all forms art> bounded by two 
classes of lines, vertical and horizontal (or, viewed from above or be- 
low, radial and encircling), the lines of the warp and the woof. (Ob- 
lique bands of ccdor are made up of series of rectangles, giving step2)e(l 
outlines. Although these figures are purely geometric, it is not impos- 
sible that in their positicm and grouping they preserve a trace of some 
imitative conception modified to this .shape by the forces of the art. 
They serve c^uite as well, however, to illustrate simple mechanical 
elaboration as if entirely free from suspicion of associated ideas. 

In Fig. .'521 I present a superb piece of work executed by the In- 
dians of the Tule River. California. It is woven in the closely im- 

C imii njTij—- 

^ ^^^ ^ l^fc*-** ******* Mii^M^i^ 

^>.>.X ^-^^V^X^JK'yy^J^ y 

Fig. 321. Coiled basket with encircling bands of ornament in white, red. and bhu-l;. upon a yellowisli 
ground. Obtainetl from the Indians uf the Tule River, California — ;. 

pacted. Coiled style. Tlie ornament is arranged in hitrizontal zones 
and consists of a series of diamond sha]>ed lignres in Avhite with red 



centers ;ui<l black fnuncs set side by side. Tlie processes of substi- 
tution wliere changes of color are required are the same as in the 
preceding case and the forms of figures and the disposition of designs 
are the same, being governed l)y tlie same forces. 

Fig. 322. Cfiil^il basket with nnianu-iit anangi-d in zigzag rays. Olitained from tbe Pima Iiuliaiis 
of Arizona— 1. 

Another choice piece, from the Pima Indians of Arizona, is given 
in Fig. -ii'i. The lines of the ornament adhere e.xclusively to the direc- 
tions imposed by the warp and the woof, the stripes of black color 
ascending with the turns of the fillet for a short distance, then for a 
time following the horizontal ridges, and again ascending, the com- 
})lete result l)eing a series of zigzag rays set very close together. 
These rays take an oblicjue turn to the left, and the dark figures at 
the angles, from tlie necessities of construction, form rows at right 
angles to these. A few supplementary I'ays are added toward the 
margin to fill out the widening spaces. Another striking exami)le 
of the domination of techni(|ue over design is illustrated in Fig. '-xi-i. 

Fig. :i23. Coiled basket with t« 
of Arizona— \. 

ibtaineil from the Pima Indians 

Two strongly marked, fret-like meanders encircle the vessel, the 
elements of which are ruled exclusively l)y the war]) and woof, by 
the radiate and the concentric lines of construction. Tliis is tbe 
work of tlic Pima Indians of Arizona. 


I sIihII close the series witli a very liandsome example of IikHuu 
basketry and of basketry ornamentation (Fig. S'i-i). The conical 
shape is highly pleasing and the design is thoroughly satisfactory 
and. like all the others, is applied in a way indicative of a refined sense 

Fig. .3:^. Coiled basket with geometric ornament eomposecl of triangular figures. Obtained froni 
the McCloud River Indians, California-- J. 

of the decorative requirements of tlie utensil. The design is wholly 
geometric, and, although varied in appearance, is composed almost ex- 
clusively of dark triangular figures upon a light ground. The general 
grouping is in three horizontal or encircling bands agreeing with or 
following the foundation coil. Details are governed by the horizontal 
and the oblique structure lines. The vertical construction lines have 
no dii'ect part in the conformation of the design excepting in so far as 
they impose a stepped character iipon all oblique outlines. 

These studies could be carried through all the types of primitive 
textile combination, but such a work seems unnecessary, for in all 
cases the elal)oi-ation in design, relieved and colored, is along similar 
lines, is governed by the same class of forces, and reaches closely cor- 
responding results. 

We have observed throughout the series of examples i^resented a 
decided tendency toward banded or zonal arrangement of the orna- 
mentation. Now each of these bands is made up of a number of 
units, uniform in shape and in size and joined or linked together in 
various suitable and consistent ways. In contemplating them we 
are led to inquire into the nature of the forces concerned in the ac- 
complishment of such results. The (piestion arises as to exactly how 


imuh of the segregating and aggregating forces or tendencies belongs 
to the technique of the art and how much to tlie direct esthetic super- 
vision of the liuman agent, questions as to ideographic influence being 
for the present omitted. This is a difficult problem to deal with, and 
I shall not attempt more here than to point out the apparent teach- 
ings of the examj^les studied. 

Tlie desires of the mind constitute the motive power, the force that 
gives rise to all progress in art; the appreciation of beauty and the 
desire to increase it are the cause of all progress in purely decorative 
elaboration. It appears, however, that there is in the mind no pre- 
conceived idea of what that elaboration should be. The mind is a 
growing thing and is led forward along the pathways laid out by 
environment. Seeking in art gratification of an esthetic kind it 
follows the lead of technique along the channels opened by such of 
the useful arts as offer suggestions of embellishment. The results 
reached vary witli the arts and are important in propoilion to tlie 
facilities furnished by tlie arts. As I have already amply shown, 
the textile art possesses vast advantages over all other arts in this 
respect, as it is first in the field, of widest application, full of sugges- 
tions of embellishment, and inexorably fixed in its methods of expres- 
sion. The mind in its primitive, mobile condition is as clay in tlie 
grasp of technique. 

A close analysis of the forces and the influences inherent in the 
art will be instructive. For the sake of simplicity I exch^de from 
consideration all but purely meclianical or non-ideographic elements. 
It will be observed that order, uniformity, symmetry, are among 
th> first lessons of the textile art. From the very beginning the 
workman finds it necessary to direct his attention to these consider- 
ations in the preparation of his material as well as in the building of 
his utensils. If parts employed in construction are multiple they must 
be uniform, and to reach definite results (presupposing always a de- 
mand for such results), either in form or ornament, there must be a 
constant counting of numbers and adjusting to spaces. The most 
fundamental and constant elements embodied in textile art and avail- 
able for the expression of embellishment are the minute steps of the 
intersections or Inndings; the most necessary and constant coml)ina- 
tion (jf these elements is in continuous lines or in rows of isolated 
figures; the most necessary and constant directions for these combi- 
nations are witl: the web and the woof, or with their com]dementaries, 
the diagonals. If large areas are covered certain separation or aggre- 
gation of the elements into larger units is called for, as otherwise 
absolute sameness would result. Such separation or aggregation 
conforms to tlie construction lines of the fabric, as any other arrange- 
ment would be unnatural and difficult of accomplishment. When 
the elements or units combine in continuous zones, bands, or rays 
they are placed side by side in simple juxtaposition or are united 


in various wa,ys. always following the guide lines of construction 
through simple and comijlex convolutions. Whatever is done is at 
the suggestion of technique; whatever is done takes a form and ar- 
rangement imjjosed by techni(iue. Results are like in like techniques 
and are unlike in unlike techniques; they therefore vary with the art 
and with its variations in time and character. 

All those agencies pertainiug to man that might be supi)osed im- 
portant in this connection — the muscles of the hand and of the eye, the 
cell structure of the brain, together with all preconceived ideas of the 
beautiful — are all but impotent in the presence of techniqiie, and. so 
far as f oiuns of expression go, submit comi^letely to its dictates. Ideas 
of the beautiful in linear geometric forms are actually formed by tech- 
nique, and taste in selecting as the most beautiful certain ornaments 
produced in art is but choosing between jDroducts that in their evolu- 
tion gave it its character and powers, precisely as the animal selects its 
favorite foods from among the products that throughout its history 
constitute its siistenance and shajje its appetites. 

Now, as primitive peoples advance from savagery to barbarism 
there comes a time in the hist(jry of all kinds of textile i^roducts at 
which the natural technical progress of decorative elaboration is in- 
terfered with l)y forces from without the art. This occurs when 
ideas, symbolic or otherwise, come to be associated with tlie purely 
geometric figures, tending to arrest or modify their development, or. 
again, it occurs when the artist seeks to substitute mythologic subjects 
for the geometric units. This period cannot be always well defined, 
as the first stejis in this direction are so thoroughly subordinated 
to the textile forces. Between what may be regarded as purely 
technical, geometric ornament and ornament recognizably deline- 
ative. we find in each group of advanced textile products a series 
of forms of mixed or uncertain pedigree. These must receive slight 
attention here. 

Fig. 325 represents a large and handsome basket obtained from the 

Fig. 325. Coiled basket ornameuted with devices probably very highly conventionalized mjtliological 
subjects. Obtained from the Apache ~ \. 



Apache. It will Ije seen that the outline of the figures comprising 
the principal zone of ornament departs somewhat from the four ruling 
directions of the textile combination. This was accomplished by in- 
creasing the width of the steps in the outline as the dark rays pro- 
gressed, resiilting in curved outlines of eccentric character. This 
eccentricity, coujjled with tlie very unusual character of the details at 
the outer extremities of the figures, leads to the surmise that each part 
of the design is a conventional representation of some life form, a 
bird, an insect, or perhaps a man. 

By the free introduction of such elements textile ornament loses 
its pristine geometric purity and becomes in a measure degraded. 
In the more advanced stages of Pueblo art the ornament of nearly 
all the textiles is pervaded by ideograi)hic characters, generally 
rude suggestions of life forms, borrowed, perha^js, from mythologic 
art. This is true of much of the coiled basketry of the Moki In- 
dians. True, many examples occur in which the ancient or indig- 
enous geometric style is jjreserved, but the majority ajjpear to lie 
more or less modified. In manj' cases nothing can be learned from a 
study of the designs themselves, as the iiarticular style of construc- 
tion is not ada^jted to realistic expression, and, at best, lesemblances 
to natural forms are very remote. Two examples are given in Figs. 

Fig. 3^. Coiled tray with geometric devices piciijaljly uiodiiied by ideosfraphic a.ssociation. Jloki 
work — i. 

32G and '-Vi^. I shall exi^ect. however, wlien the art of these peojdes 
is better known, to learn to what particular mythic concept these 
mixed or impure geometric devices refer. 

The same is triie of other varieties of Pueldo basketry, notably 
the common decorateil wickerwarr. two specimens of which arc 


given ill Figs. 3'i>i and 3-V,i. Tliis ware is of the interlaced .style, with 
radially arranged web filaments. Its geometric characters are easily 

Fig. 3Si'. Coilfil tray with gpumetric (ievices, probalily iiioilififd by idi'cigrapliic as.soc-ialioii. Muki 
work— 1. 

distinguished fi'oni those of the coiled ware. Many examples exhihit 
purely conventional elaboratiim. the figures being arranged in rays, 

Fig. S'2S. Tray of interlaced style of weaving, showing geometric ornament, probably niodified by 
ideographic association. Moki work — J. 

zones, checkers, and the like. It is to be expected, however, that the 
normal ornament of this class of prodi;cts should be greatly inter- 
fered with through attemijts to introduce extraneous elements, for 
the peoples have advanced to a stage of culture at Avhicli it is usual 
to attempt the introduction of mythologic representations intcj all 
art. Further consideration of this subject will be necessary in the 
next section of this paper. 
ETH 15 


The processes of pure geomet lie elaboration witli wliicli this section 
is mainly concerned can be studied to best advantage in more prim- 
itive forms of art. 

F?ti. 3M. Tray of interlaced style of weaving, showing geoiiietrie ornament, jiroliably morlifled liy 
ideographic association. Moki work — J. 

X(»i-esfi<'iiti<il (■(iii.sfnirfirc fcntin-cs. — Now. all the varied effects 
of color and design described in the preceding paragraphs are obtained 
without seriously modifying the simple necessary construction, with- 
out resorting to the multiple extraordinary devices within easy reach. 
Tlie development and utilization of the latter class of resources must 
now receive attention. In the preceding examples, when it was de- 
sired to begin a figure in color the normal ground filament was dropped 
out and a colored one set into its place and made to fill its office 
while it remained; but we find that in many classes of work the colored 
elements were added to the essential jjarts, not substituted for them, 
although they are usually of use in perfecting the fabric by adding to 
serviceability as well as to beauty. This is illustrated, for example, 
by the doubling of one series or of both warp and woof, by the intrcj- 
duction of pile, by wrapping filaments with strands of other colors, or 
by twisting in feathei's. Savage nations in all parts of tlie world are 
actjuainted with devices of this class and employ them with great 
freedom. The effects produced often correspond closely to needle- 
work, and the materials employed are often identical in both varieties 
of execution. 

The following examples will serve to illustrate my meanin.g. The 
effect seen in Fig. 330 is observed in a small hand wallet obtained in 
Mexico. The fillets employed appear to be Avide, flattened straws of 
varied colors. In order to ax'oid the monotony of a plain checker cer- 
tain of the light fillets are wrapi)ed with thin fillets of diirk tint in 
such a way that when woven the dark color ajjpears in small squares 
placed diagonally with the fundamental checkers. Additi(jnal effects 
are ])roduced by covering certain portions of the filaments with straws 
of tiistinct color, all being woven in with the fabric. By other devices 


certain parts of tlie fille'ts are made to stand out ivinn the surface 
in sliarp p(_)ints and in ridges, f(,)rniing geometric tigures, either normal 
or added elements being emi^loyed. Another device is shown in Fig. 
331. Here a pattern is .secured by carrying dark fillets back and 
forth over the light cohn-ed fabric, catching them down at regulai' in- 
tervals during the jjrocess of weaving. Again, feathers and otlier 

Fig. 3.30. (Iniament produced by \vraiii»iiiK ceruiiii light fillet.s with clarker ones before weaving, 
Mexican work. 










^^fe— j^^j 






^= i&z 2 


-• jf S ]^ 

' ii 

1 — i — - 

^ — ^ 

■ — ^ — ^.!s — 4f — ' 

Fl(i. 331. Ornamental effect secured by u'eaviiitc in series of dark fillet.s. forming a superficiaJ de- 
vice. Work of the Klamath Indians. 

embellishing media are woven in with the W(jof. Two interesting 
liaskets procured from the Indians of tlie northwest coast are sIkjwii 
in Figs. 332 and 333. Feathers of brilliant hues are fixed to and woven 
in with certain of the woof strands, which are treated, in the execution 
of jiatterns. just as are ordinary colored threads, care being taken not 

Baskets ornamented with feather work. Northwest coast tribes — J. 


to (lestruy the beauty of the feathers in the i>rocess. The richly col- 
ored feathers lying smoothly in one direction are made to represent 
various figures necessarily geometric. This simple work is much 
surpassed, however, by the marvelous feather ornamentation of the 
Mexicans and Peruvians, of which glowing accounts are given by 
historians and of which a few meager traces are found in tombs. 
Much of the feather work of all nations is (^f the nature of embroidery 
and will receive attention further on. A very clever device practiced 
by the northwest coast tribes consists in the use of two woof strands 
of contrasting colors, one or the other being made to appear on the 
surface, as the pattern demands. 

An example from a higher grade of art will be of value in this 
connection. The ancient Peruvians resorted to many clever de- 
vices for pur])Oses of enrichment. An illustration of the ttse of ex- 
tra-constrtictional means to secure desired ends are given in Figs. 
334 and 335.' Threads constituting a supplemental warp and woof 
are carried acrcjss the itnder side of a common piece of fabric, that 
they may be l)rotight up and woA^en in liei'e and there to jiroduce fig- 
tires of contrasting color upon the right side. Fig. 334 shows the 
right side of the cloth, with the secondary series a])pearing in the 
border and central figure only. Fig. 335 illustrates tlie opposite side 

Fig. 3;i4. Fig. 335. 

Piece of cotton cloth showing the use of ;i siipijlementai-y web and woof. Ancient Peru. 

and shows the l(j(jse hanging, unttsed portions of the auxiliary series. 
In such work, when the figures are numerous and occupy a large part 
of the surface, the faliric is really a double one, having a dual warp 
and woof. Examples cotild be multiplied indefinitely, btit it will 
readily be seen from what has been presented that the results of these 
extraordinary means cannot differ greatly from those legitimately 
produced by the fundamental filaments alone. 

Siipcfcoiistvvcfive features. — In reviewing tlie sujjerconstructive 
decorative features in the preceding section I classified them some- 


what closely by method of execution or application to tlie fabric, as 
stitched, inserted, drawn, cut, apj^lied, and apj)ended. It will be seen 
that, although these devices are to a great extent of the natiire of 
needlework, all cannot be classed under this head. 

Before needles came into use the decorative features were inserted 
and attached in a variety of ways. In open work nothing was needed 
but the end of tlie fillet or part inserted; again, in close work, per- 
forations were made as in leather work, and the threads were inserted 
as are the waxed ends of the shoemaker. 

The importance of this class of decorative devices to primitive 
peoples will be ai)parent if we but call to mind the work of our own 
Indian tribes. What a vast deal of attention is paid to those classes 
of embroideries in which beads, feathers, quills, shells, seeds, teeth, 
&c., are employed, and to the multitude of novel applications of tas- 
sels, fringes, and tinkling pendants. The taste for these things is 
universal and their relation to the development of esthetic ideas is 
doubtless very intimate. 

Needlework arose in the eai'liest stages of art and at first was em- 
ployed in joining parts, such as leaves, skins, and tissues, for various 
usefiil purposes, and afterwards in attaching ornaments. In time 
the attaching media, as exposed in stitches, loops, knots, and the like, 
being of bright colors, were themselves utilized as embellishment, 
and margins and apertures were beautified by various bindings and 
borders, and finally patterns wei-e worked in contrasting colin-s upon 
the surfaces of the cloths and other materials of like nature or tise. 

No other art so constantly and decidedly suggested embellishment 
and called for the exercise of taste. It was the natural habitat for 
decoration. It was the field in which technique and taste were most 
frequently called upon to work hand in hand. 

With the growth of culture the art was expanded and jjcrfected, 
its wonderful cai^acity for expression leading from mere bindings to 
pretentious borders, to patterns, to the introduction of ideographs, to 
the representation of symbols and mytliologic subjects, and from 
these to the delineation of nature, the presentation of historical and 
purely pictorial scenes. 

And now a few words in regard to the character of the work and 
, its bearing upon the geometric system of decoration. As purely con- 
structive ornamentation has already been presented. I will first take 
up that class of superconstructive work most nearly related to it. In 
some varieties of basketry certain bindings of the warf) and woof are 
actually left imperfect, with the idea of cf)mpleting the construction 
by subsequent processes, the intersections being gone over stitch by 
stitch and lashed together, the embroidery threads passing in regular 
order through the openings of the mesh. This process is extremely 
convenient to the decorator, as changes from one color to another 
are made without interfering with construction, and the result is of a 


flusely similar character tu tliat readied by working tlie colors iu 
with warp and woof. In a very close fabric this metliod cannot be 
enijiloyed. but like results are reached by passing the added filaments 
beneath the protruding jjarts of the Inndings and, stitch by stitch, 
covering up the plain fabric, working bright patterns. Fig. 33(i is 
intended to show how this is done. The foundation is of twined W( >rk 

Fig. .336. Grass embroidery uimn the surtaee of elosely iTiiiiaeted. twined l)asketry. Work of the 
northwest coa-st Indians. 

and the decorating fillets are passed under liy lifting, witli or with- 
out a needle. This process is extensively practiced by our west coast 
tribes, and the, results are extremely i^leasing. The materials most 
used are cpiills and bright colored straws, the foundation fabric being 
of l)ark or of rushes. The results in such woi'k are generally geo- 
metric, in a way corresponding more or less closely with the ground 
work combination. 

A large class (.>f embroideries are applied by like processes, but with- 
out reference to the construction of the foundation fabric, as they are 
also applied to felt and leather. Again, artificially prepared perfora- 
tions are used, through which the fillets are passed. The results are 
much less uniformly geometric than where the fabric is followed; 
yet the mere adding of the figures, stitch by stitch or part by part, 
is sufficient to impart a large share of geometricity, as may be seen 
in the buckskin bead work and in the dentalium and quill work of 
the Indians. 

Feather embroidery was carried to a high degree of perfection by 
our ancient aborigines, and the results were perhaps the most Inill- 
iant of all these wonderful decorations. I have already shown how 
feathers are woven in with the warp and woof, and may now give a 
single illustration of the application of feather work to the surfaces of 
fabrics. Among the beautiful articles recovered from the t(jmbs of 
Ancon, Peru, are some much decayed specimens of feather work. In 
our example delicate feathers of red, blue, and yellow hues are ap- 
plied to the surface of a coarse cotton fabric by carefully tying 
them together in rows at regular distances and afterwards stitching 
them down, as shown in Fig. 3-'37. 

The same method is practiced by modern ijeojiles in many parts of 
the world. Other decorative materials are applied in similar ways 
by attachment to cords or fillets which are afterwards stitched down. 
In all this work the geometricitv is entirelv or nearly uniform with 


that of the foundation fabrics. Other classes of decoration, drawn 
work, applique, and the like, are not of great importance in aborig- 
inal art and need no additional attention here, as they have but slio-ht 
bearing upon the development of design. 

lowing thf method of attafliing the feathers 

Fio. .5.37. Feather embroidery of the ancient Peruvians, 

Attached or appended ornaments constitute a most imiiortant part 
of decorative resource. They are less subject to the laws of geome- 
- tricity, being fixed to surfaces and margins without close reference 
to the web and woof. They include fringes, tassels, and the multi- 
tude of appendable objects, natural and artificial, witli wliich primi- 
tive races bedeck their garments and utensils. A somewhat detailed 
study of this class of ornament is given at the end of the preceding 

Jdvpuf if ions features. — Onmment is applied to the surfaces of 
fabrics by painting and by stamping. These methods of decoration 
were employed in very early times and probal)ly originated in other 
branches of art. If the surface features of the textile upon which a 
design is painted are strongly pronounced, the figures produced with 
the brush or pencil will tend to follow them, giving a decidedly geo- 
metric result. If the surface is smooth the hand is free to follow its 
natural tendencies, and the results will be analogous in character to 
designs painted upon pottei-y. rocks, or skins. In primitive times 
both the texture of tlie textiles and the habits of the decorator, 
acquired in textile work, tended towards the geometric style of de- 
lineation, and we find that in work in whicli the fabric lines are not 
followed at all the designs are still geometric, and geometric in the 
same way as are similar designs woven in with the fabric. Illustra- 
tions of this are given in tlie next section. 

I have dwelt at sufficient length upon the character and the ten- 
dencies of the peculiar system of embelli.shmeut that arises within 
textile art as the necessary outgrowth of technique, and now pro- 
ceed to cxjilain tlie relations of tliis system to associated art. 


Ill the strung forward tendem-y of the textile system of decoration 
it has made two conquests of esj^ecial importance. In the first place 
it has subdiied and assimilated all those elements of ornament that 
have happened to enter its realm from without, and in the second 
l^lace it has imposed its haljits and customs ui^on the decorative sys- 
tems of all art« with which the textile art has come in contact. 


At a very early stage of culture most peo^jles manifest decided 
artistic tendencies, which are revealed in attem^jts to depict various 
devices, life forms, and fancies upon the skin and upon the surfaces 
of utensils, garments, and other articles and objects. The figures 
are very often decorative in effect and may be of a trivial- nature, bnt 
very generally such, art is serious and pertains to events or supersti- 
tions. The devices employed may be purely conventional or geometric, 
containing no graphic element whatever; but life forms afford the 
most natural and satisfactory means of recording, conveying, and sym- 
bolizing ideas, and hence preponderate largely. Such forms, on ac- 
count of their intimate relations with the philosophy of the people, are 
freely embodied in every art suitable to their employment. As already 
seen, the peculiar character of textile construction places great dith- 
ci;lties in the way of introducing unsymmetric and complex figures 
like those of natural objects into fabrics. The idea of so employ- 
ing them may originally have been suggested by the aiDplication of 
designs in color to tlie woven surfaces or by resemblances between 
the simpler conventional life form derivatives and the geometric fig- 
ures indigenous to the art. 

At any rate, the idea of introdiicing life forms into the textiire was 
suggested, and in the course of time a great deal of skill was shown 
in their delineation, the bolder workmen venturing to employ a wide 
range of graphic subjects. 

Now. if we examine these woven forms with i-eference to the mod- 
ifications brought about l)y the textile surveillance, we find that the 
figures, as introduced in the cloth, do not at all correspond with those 
execute<l liy ordinary graphic methods, either in degree of elaboration 
or in truthfidness of expressitm. They have a style of their own. 
Each delineative element upon entering the textile realm is forced 
into those peculiar conventional outlines imposed by the geometric 
construction, the character of which has already been dwelt upon at 
considerable length. We find, however, that the degree of conven- 
tion is not uniform throughout all fabrics, but that it varies with the 
refinement of the threads or filaments, the compactness of the mesh, 
the character of the combination, the graphic skill of the artist, and 
the tendencies of his mind; yet we observe that through all there is 
still exhibited a distinct and peculiar geometricity. 

So ])ronounced is this technical bias that ilelineationsof a ]iarticnlar 



creature — as, fur examijle. a bird — executed by distant and unrelated 
peoples, are reduced in corresponding styles of fabric to almost iden- 
tical shapes. This conventionalizing force is fiirther ilhistrated by the 
tendency in textile representation to blot out differences of time and 
culture, so that when a civilized artisan, capable of realistic pictorial 
delineation of a high (irder. introduces a figure into a certain form of 
coarse fabric lu^ arrives at a result almost identical with that reached 
by the savage i;sing the same, who has no graphic language l)eyond 
the rudest outline. 

A number of exami^les may be given illustrating this remarkable 
power of textile combination over ornament. I select three in which 
the human figure is presented. One is chosen from Iroquoian art, one 
from Digger Indian art, and one from the art of the Incas — jDeoples 
unequal in grade of culture, isolated geographically, and racially dis- 
tinct. I have selected specimens in which the parts employed give 
features of corresponding size, so that ctnnparisons are easily insti- 
tuted. The examijle shown in Fig. 338 illustrates a construction pecu- 
liar to the wampum belts of the Iroquois and their neighbors, and 
quite unlike ordinary weaving. It is taken from the middle porti(jn 
of what is known as the Penn wampum belt. The horizontal series of 
strands consists of narrow strips of buckskin, thi'oxigh whicli the op- 
posing series of threads are sewed, holding in place the i"ows of cylin- 

FiG. S3S. Figures from the Penn wampum belt, showing the conventional form imposed in bead work. 

drical shell lieads. Purple beads ai-e employed to develop) the figures 
in a grovind of white beads. If the maker of this belt had been re- 
quired to execute in chalk a di-awing depicting brotherly love the 
results would have been very different. 

My second illustration (Fig. 33!») is drawn from a suiaerb example <.>f 
the basketrv of the Yokut Indians of California. The two figi;res form 


part of a spir.iUy radiatiug Ijanil of oi'iiiiineiit. wliicli is yhown to good 
advantage in the small cut. Fig. 340. It is of the coiled style of con- 
struction. The design is worked in fonr colors and the effect is 
qniet and rich. 

Fig. :W9. Ciniventioiial fifjiires from a California Indian l)asket. 

Fir,. Ml. Ba.sket made li.v tin- Vnknt Indians uf California. 

Turning soutliwai-d from California and passing through many 
strange lands we' find -ourselves in Peru, and among a class of remains 
that bespeak a high grade of culture. The inhabitants of Ancun were 
wonderfully skilled in the textile art, and thousands of handsome 
examples have been obtained fnmi their ancient tombs. Among 
these relics are many neat little workbaskets woven from rushes. 
One of these, now in the National Museum, is encircled by a dec( n-ated 
belt in which are represented seven liuman figures woven in black 
filaments u])on a brown ground. 

The liase and i-iiii uf the basket are woven in the intertwined cdm- 
binatioii. Imt in the decorated Tielt the style is changed to the idaiu 


right iiiigloJ intcrlufiiig, for the reason, no (loul)t. that this coiiihi- 
natiou was better suited to the devehjiniient of tlie intended design. 
Besides the fundamental series of tillets tlie weaver resorted to un- 
nsnal devices in oi'der to secure certain desired resiilts. In the 
first jdace the black horizontal series of filaments does not alternate 
in the simjilest way with the brown series, but, where a wide space 
of the dark color is called for. several of the l;)rown strands are passed 
over at one step, as in the head and body, and in the wider inter- 
spaces the dark strands jaass under two or more of the opposing 
strands. In this way broad areas of color are obtained. It will be 
observed, however, that the construction is weakened by this modi- 
fication, and that to remedy the defect two additional extra construct- 
ive series of fillets are added. These are of much lighter weight 

|-l!e:H :-:f« 

■ -^ .V-.J ¥ 

f P:f-^^ 


1 ^Lsj-^i- 

W; L. ;q, ; \m^ ^ \^^^m M B i tr ^ ^-Ji^fei! « 

Fio. '^Vi. Conventional liunmn fi^^ires from an ancipnt Pernvian basket. 

than the main series, that they may not obscure the pattern. Over 
the dark series they run vertically and over the light obli(iuely. 

It will be seen that the resvilt, notwithstanding all this modification 
of procedure, is still remarkably like that of the preceding examples, 
the figui-es corresponding closely in kind and degree of geometricity. 

The fact is that in this coarse work refinement of drawing is abso- 
lutely unattainable. It appears that the sharjjly pronounced steps ex- 
hibited in the outlines are due t(.) the great width of the fillets used. 
With the finer threads employed by most nations of moderate cult- 
ure the stepped effect need not obtrude itself, for smooth outlines and 
graceful curves are easily attainable; yet, as a rule, even the finer 
fabrics continue to exhibit in their decorations the pronounced geo- 
metric character seen in ruder forms. I jiresent a striking examjde 
of this in Fig. 342. a superb piece of Incarian gobelins, in which 
a gaily costumed personage is workc(l ujimi a dark red ground dot- 


Fio. 343. Human fiKur'i' in Peruvian grjlH-lins. showing characteristic textile convontinn. Frnm chrn- 
molithOKi-aphs published by Ueiss and Sti'ibel in The Necropolis of Ancon. 


ted with syml)ols and strauge devices. The work is executed iu 
brilliant colors and in great detail. But with all the facility afforded 
for the expression of minutely modulated form the straight lines and 
sharp angles are still jn-esent. The traditions of the art were favoi'- 
able to great geometricity, and the tendencies of the warp and woof 
and the shape of the si^aces to be filled were decidedly in that di- 

Fig. 34'). Human flffures from a Peruvian vase, lione in free liand. Ki-apbic style. 

In order that the full force of my remarks may be appreciable tcj 
to the eye of the reader, I give an additional illustration (Fig. 343). 
The two figures here shown, although I am not able to say positively 
that the work is pre-Columbian, were executed Ijy a native artist of 
about the same stage of culture as was the work of the textile design. 
These figures are executed in color upon the smooth surface of an 
earthen vase and illustrate perfectly the peculiar characters of free 
hand, graphic delineation. Place this and the last figui-e side by side 
and we see how vastly ditt'erent is the work of two artists of equal 
capacity when executed in the two methods. This figure should also 
be compared with the embroidered figures shown in Fig. 348. 

The tendencies to uniformity in textile ornament here illustrated 
may be observed the world over. Every element enteiing the art 
must undergo a-.similar metamorphosis: hence the remarkaljle jtower 



of this almost imiversally practiced art upon the wliole body of deco- 
rative design. 

That the range of results produced by varying styles of weaving 
and of Avoven objects may be appreciated, I jjresent some additional 
examples. Coiled wares, for instance, present decorative jjlienomena 
strikingly at variance with those in which there is a rectangular 
disjjosition oi parts. Instead of the two or more interlacing series 
of parallel fillets exhibited in the latter style, we have one radiate 
and one concentric series. The effect of this arrangement upon the 

Fig. 844. Human fifcure modified by execution in concentric interlaced style of weaving — J. 

introduced human figure is very striking, as will be seen by reference 
to Fig. 34-1, which represents a large tray obtained from the Moki 
Indians. The figure probably represents one of the mythologic per- 
sonages of the Moki pantheon or some otherwise important priestly 
functionary, wearing the characteristic headdress of the ceremony 
in which the plaque was to be iised. The work is execiited in wicker, 
stained in such bright tints as were considered appropriate to the 
various features of the costume. Referring in detail to the shajie 
and arrangement of the jjarts of the tigui'e, it is a^jparent that many 



of the remarkable features are due to constructive iieculiarities. The 
round face, for exanijjle, does not refer to the sun or tlie moon, but 
results from the concentric weaving. Tlie oblique eyes have no re- 
ference to a Mongolian origin, as they only follow the direction of 
the ray ui^on which they are woven, and the headdress does not refer 
to the rainbow or the aurora because it is arched, but is arched be- 
cause the construction forced it into this shape. The proportion of 
the figure is not so very bad because the Moki artist did not know 
better, but becai;se the surface of the tray did not afford room to pro- 
ject the body and limbs 

Fig. 34."). Figure of a bird painted upon a Ziifii shield, free hand delineation. 

Now, it may be further observed that had the figure lieen i>laced 
at one side of the center, extending only from the border to the mid- 
dle of the tray, an entirely different result would have been readied; 
Imt this is better illustrated in a series of bird delineations presented 
in the following figures. With many tribes the bird is an object of 
sui:)erstitious interest and is introduced freely into all art products 
suitable for its delineation. It is drawn uptm walls, skins, pottery, 
and various utensils and weapons, especially those directly connected 
with ceremonies in which the mythical bird is an important factor. 
The bird form was probably in familiar use long before it was em- 
ployed in the decoration of basketry. In Fig. 345 I present an ordi- 



nary graphic representation. It is copied from a Zufii shield and is 
the device of an order or the totem of a clan. The style is quite con- 
ventional, as a resiilt of the various constraints si^i'rounding its i^ro- 
duction. But what a strange metamorphosis takes place when it is 
presented in the basketmaker's language. Observe the conventional 
pattern shown upon the surface of a Moki ti'ay (Fig. 34G). We have 
difficulty in recognizing the bird at all. although the conception is 
identical with the preceding. The positions of the head and legs and 

Fig. :Uf'i. Figure of a bird executed in a ooileil Molci tray, textile delineation. 

the <?xpanded wings and tail correspond as closely as possible, but 
delineation is hampered by technique. The peculiar construction 
barely permits the presentation of a recognizable life form, and jaer- 
mits it in a particular way, which will be understood by a compari- 
son with the treatment of the human figure in Fig. 3-l:-4. In that case 
the interlaced combination gives relievo results, characterized by wide, 
radiating ribs and narrow, inconsi)icuous, concentric lines, which 
cross the ribs in long steps. The power of expression lies almost 
wholly with the concentric series, and detail must in a great measure 
follow the concentric lines. In the present case (Fig. 3-iU) this is re- 
versed and lines employed in expressing forms are radiate. 
The precise effect of this diiference of constnu-tiou upon aparticu- 



lar reature may lie shown liy tlie iuti-ddiu-tiou of aiKjtlicr illustratiuii. 
In Fig. o47 we have a bird woven in a basket of the interlaced style. 
We see with what ease the long sharp bill and the slender t(jngue 
(shown by a red filament between the two dark mandibles) are ex- 
pressed. In the other case the construction is such that the bill, if 
extended in the normal direction, is broad and square at the end, and 
the tongue, instead of lying between the mandibles, must run across 
the bill, totally at variance with the truth ; in this case the tongue 
is so represented, the light vertical band seen in the cut being a yellow 
stripe. It ■will be seen that the two representations are very unlike 
each other, not because of differences in the conception and not wholly 
on account of the style oi weaving, but rather liecause the artist 
chose to extend one across the whole surface of the utensil and to 
confine the other to one side of the center. 

Fic:. -nr. Fiprure of a bird woven in interlaced wiclier at one side of the center. 

It is clear, therefore, from the preceding observations that the con- 
vention of woven life forins varies with the kind of weaving, with 
the shape of the object, with the position upon the object, and with 
the shape of the space occupied, as well as with the inherited style of 
t reatment and with the capacity of the artist concerned. These varied 
forces and influences iinite in the metamorphosis of all the incoming 
elements of textile embellishment. 

It will be of interest to examine somewhat closely the modifications 
G ETH 10 


produced in j'ictorial motives introduced through superstructiiral and 
adventitious agencies. 

We are accustomed, at tliis age of tlie world, to see needlework em- 
ployed successfully in the delineation of graphic forms and observe 
that even the Indian, under the tutelage of the European. re])roduces 
in a more or less realistic way the forms of vegetal and animal life. 
As a result Ave find it difficult to I'ealize the simplicity and conserva- 
tism of pi-imitive art. The intention of the jjrimitive artist was gen- 
erally not to deijict nature, but to express an idea or decorate a space, 
and there was no strong reason why the figures should not submit to 
the conventionalizing tendencies of the art. 

I have already shown that embroidered designs, althdugli not frum 
necessity confined to geometric outlines, tend to take a 2Jurely geo- 
metric character from the fabric upon which they are executed, as 
well as from the mechanical processes of stitching. This is well 
shown in Fig. o48, a fine specimen given by Wiener in liis work 
P^rou et Bolive. 

Fig. <M8, Eiiibroidery upon a cotton net in which the textile combinations are followed step by step. 
Ancient Peruvian work. 

A life form worked upon a net does not dift'ei' essentially from the 
same subject woven in w*ith the wel) and woof. The reason is found 
in the fact that in embroidery the workman w'as accustomed from 
the first to follow the geometric combination of the foundation fabric 
step by step, and later in life delination he pursued the same method. 

It would seem natural, however, that when the foundation fabric 
does not exhibit well marked geometric characters, as in compactly 
woven canvas, the needlework woidd assume free hand characters 


and follow the curve.s and irregularities of the natural object depicted; 
but such is not the case in purely aboriginal work. An example of 
embroidery obtained from an ancient grave at Ancon. Peru, is shown 

in Fig. 0-1:9. A piece of Ijrowu rotton ranvas is enibellished with a 

Fig. ;J49. Embroidery in which tht* fonudatittu i - i.-lIo\UiI a»iui-.Ufl\ . I.ut wlnuli exhibits 

the full textile geometricitj'. Ancient Peruvian work. 

border of bird figures in bright colored wool thread. The lines of the 
figures do not obey the web and wo(jf strictly, as the lines are diffi- 

FiG. 3.50. Design painted In up<.u a \\ii\i-u >ul■i;u-.^ extiiititiii;; the fidl degree of geometric con- 
vention. Ancient Peruvian work. Copied from The Necropolis of Ancon. 

cult to follow, but the geometric character is as perfectly ^jreserved 
as if the design wei'e woven in the goods. 


So liabit and association carry the geometric system into adven- 
titious decoration. When the ancient Peruvian execiited a design in 
cohjr upon a woven surface (Fig. 350), iising a pencil or hrusli, the 
result was hardly less subject to textile restraint. 

As a matter of course, since there are two distinct styles of decora- 
tive design — the textile and the free hand — there exist intermediate 
forms partaking of the character of both; but it is nevertheless clear 
that the textile system transforms or greatly modifies all nature 
motives associated with it, whether introduced into the fabric or ap- 
Ijlied to its surface. 

In countries where the textile art is unimportant and the textile 
system of decoration does not obtrude itself, free hand methods may 
i:)revail to such an extent that the geometric influence is but little 
felt. The Haidah Indians, for example, paint designs with great 
freedom and skill, and those ajjplied to woven surfaces are identical 
with those executed iipon skins, wood, and stone, but this art is doubt- 
less much modified by the means and methods of Eurojieans. Our 
studies should be confined wholly to piire indigenous art. 


I have now dwelt at sufficient length upnn the charactei- of the 
textile system of ornament and have laid especial stress ui)on the 
manner in which it is interwoven with the technical constitution of 
the art. I lia\'e illustrated the I'emarkalile power of the ai-t by which 
decorative elements from without, coming once within the magic 
influence, are seized iipon and remodeled in accordance with the laws 
of textile combinatif)n. Piirsuing the investigation still further it is 
found that the dominion of the textile system is not limited to the 
art, but extends to other arts. Like a st rong race of men it is not to 
be confined to its own original habitat, but spreads to otlier realms, 
stamping its own habits and character upon whatever happens to 
come within its reach. Its influence is felt throughout the whole 
range of those arts with which the esthetic sense of man seeks to 
associate ideas of beauty. It is necessary, before closing this papei-, 
to examine briefly th(> charactei- and extent of tliis influenci^ and to 
describe in some detail the agencies through which the i-esults are 
accomplished. First and most important are the results of direct 

Hr)use building, or architecture as it is called in the higher stages, 
is in primitive times to a great extent textile; as culture develops, 
other materials and other systems of construction are employed, and 
the resultant forms vary accordingly; but textile characters areesjie- 
cially strong and persistent in the matter of ornament, and survive 
all changes, howsoever complete. In a similar way other branches of 
art differentiated in material and function from the parent art in- 


herit many characters of form and ornament conceived in the textile 
stage. It may be difficult to say witli reference to any particular 
example of design that it had a textile origin, for there may be mul- 
tiple origins to the same or tf) closely corresponding forms; but we 
may assert iu a general way of tlie great body of geometric ornament 
that it owes something— if not its inspiration, its modes of expres- 
sion—to the teachings of the textile system. This appears rea- 
sonable when we consider that the weaver's art, as a medium of 
esthetic ideas, had precedence in time over nearly all competitors. 
Being first in the field it stood ready on the birth of iiew forms of 
art, whether directly related or not, to impose its characters upon 
them. What claim can architecture, sculpture, or ceramics have 
upon the decorative conceptions of the Digger Indians, or even 
upon those of the Zufii ov Moki? The former have no architect- 
ure, sculpture, or ceramics; l)ut their system of decoration, as we 
have seen, is highly developt^d. The Pueblo tribes at their best have 
barely reached the stage at wliich esthetic ideas are associated with 
building; yet classic art has not produced a set of geometric motives 
more chaste or varied. These examples of the development of high 
forms of decoration during the very early stages of the arts are not 
isolated. Others are observed in other countries, and it is probable 
that if we could lift the veil and peer into the far prehistoric stages 
of the world's greatest cultures the same condition and order would 
be revealed. It is no doubt true that all of the shaping arts in the 
fullness of their development have given rise to decorative features 
peculiar to themselves; for construction, whether in stone, clay, 
wood, or metal, in their rigid conditions, exhibits characters unknown 
before, many of which tend to give rise to ornament. But this orna- 
ment is generally only applicable to the art in which it develops, 
and is not transferable by natural processes — as of a parent to it.s 
offspring — as are the esthetic features of the weaver's art. 

Besides the direct transmission of characters and forms as suggested 
in a preceding paragraph, there are many less direct Ijut still 'Effica- 
cious methods of transfer by means of which various arts acquire 
textile decorative features, as will be seen by the following illustra- 

Japanese art is celebrated for its exquisite decorative design. Upon 
superb works of porcelain we have skillful representations of sub- 
jects taken from nature and from mythology, which are set with per- 
fect taste upon fields or within borders of elaborate geometric design. 
If we should ask how such motives came to be employed in ceramic 
decoration, the answer would be given that they were selected and 
employed because they were regarded as fitting and beautiful by a 
race of decorators whose taste is well nigh infallible. But this explan- 
ation, however satisfactory as applied to individual examples of 
modern art is not at all applicable to primitive art, for the mind of 



mau was not piiniaiily conscious of the beauty or fitness of decora- 
tive elements, nor did he think of using them indej^endently of the 
art to which they were indigenous. Now the cei'amic art gives rise 
to comparatively few elements of decoration, and must therefore ac- 
quire the great body of its decorative motives from other arts Ity 
some process not primarily dei^endent upon the exercise of jiidgmelit 
or taste, and yet not by direct inheritance, as the techniques of the 
two arts_ are wholly distinct. 

Textile and fictile arts are, in their earlier stages, to a large ex- 
tent, vessel making arts, the one being functionally the offshoot of 
the other. Tlie textile ai"t is the jiarent. and, as I have already 
shown, develops within itself a geometric system of ornament. The 
fictile art is the oft'shoot and has within itself no predilection for 
decoration. It is dependent and plastic. Its forms are to a great 
extent modeled and molded witliin the textile shapes and acquire 
automatically some of the decorative. surf ace characters of the mold. 
This is the beginning of the transfer, and as time goes on other 
methods are suggested by which elements indigenous to the one art 
are transferred to the other. Thus we explain the occurrence, the 
constant recurrence of certain j)rimary decorative motives in prim- 
itive ceramics. The herring bone, the checker, the guilloche. and the 
like are greatly the heritage of the textile art. Two forms derived 
from textile surfaces are illustrated in Figs. ;ir>l and oS'*. In the 

Fig. 3.">1. Herring h m^ aud checker patU^riis proitueed in textile ctiruhiiiations. 



Fig. 453. Herring bone and checker figures in fictile forms transferred from the textile. 

first example shown, herring bone patterns appear as the result of 
textile coinlnnation, and in the second a triangular checker is pro- 
duced in the same way. In Fig. 353 we see the result of copying 
these patterns in incised lines upon soft clay. 
Again, the ancient potter, who was in the habit of modeling his 



wares within baskets, seems to have conceived the idea of building 
his vessels by coiling just as he built his baskets. The surface ex- 
hibits coiled ridges like basketry, as shown in Fig. 353, and the 

Fig. 'ib'i. Kartben vase built by ooilinff, - 

\"e characters deriveii from Iiasketry. 

textile character was further imposed upon the clay by marking these 
coils with the thumb and with implements to give the effect of the 
transverse series of filaments, and the geometric color patterns of 
the basketry were reproduced in incised lines. When these peoples 
came to paint their wares it was natural that the colored patterns 
native to the ba.sketry should also be reproduced, and many more 
or less literal transfers by copying are to be found. A line examijle 
of these painted textile designs is shown in Fig. 354. It is executed 
in a masterly style upon a handsome vase of the white ware of ancient 
Tusayan. Not only are the details reproduced with all their geo- 
metric exactness, but the arrangement of the designs upon the ves- 
sel is the same as in the textile original. Nine-tenths of the more 
archaic, Pueblo, ceramic, ornamental designs are traceable to the 
textile art, ami all show the influence of textile convention. 



Ani)tliei' i^eciiliar class of transfers of a somewhat more indirect 
natnre may he noticed. All the more advanced American nations 
were very fond of modeling the Iniman form in clay, a large per- 

FiG. 3.M. Ceramic ornament copied literally from a textile original. 

centage of vessels having some trace of the human form or physiog- 
nomy. Now, in many cases the costume of the personage represented 
in the clay is also imitated, and generally in color, the details of the 
fabrics receiving their full share of attention. Such an example, 
from a sepulcher at Ancon, is shown in Fig. ."355. Here the ponclid 

Fig. aV). Textile patterns transferred to pottery through the cop.Wng of costume. From The Ne 
cropoHsof Ancon, by Reiss and StUbel, PI. 94. 

or mantle thrown across the shoulders falls down ujjon the body in 
front and behind and the stripes aiul conventional tishes arc accn- 
rately rejiroduced. In this way both style and matter of the textile 
decoration are introduced into the ceramic art. 

II will be si'cn by tliesc illnsti'al inns lliat tliore are many natural 


methods, automatic or semiautomatic in cliaracter. by wliich the one 
art receives aid from the other; that in tlie beginning of tlie transfer 
of textile ornament to fictile forms the process is purely mechanical, 
and that it is continued automatically without any very decided exer- 
cise of judgment or taste. As a result, these borrowed deecjrations are 
generally quite as consistent and appropriate as if developed within 
the art itself. Later in the course of progress the potter escapes in 
a measure from this narrow groove and elaborates his designs with 
more freedom, being governed still to a certain extent by the laws 
of instinctive an<l automatic procedure. When, finally, intellect as- 
sumes to carry on the work independently of these laws, decoration 
tends to become debased. 

Turning to other branches of art, what traces do we find of tin- 
transfer to them of textile features ? Take, for example, sculpture. 
In the wood carving of the Polynesians we observe a most elabm-ate 
system of decoration, more or less geometric in character. We do not 
need to look a second time to discover a striking likeness to the text- 
ile system, and we ask, Is it also derived from a textile source ? In the 
first place let us seek within the art a reason for the peculiar forms. 
In carving wood and in tracing figures upon it with pointed tools 
the tendency would certainly be towards straight lines and formal 
combinations; but in this work there would be a lack of uniform- 
ity in execution and of persistency in narrow lines of combination, 
such as result from the constant necessity of counting and spacing 
in the textile art. In the presentation of natural forms curved lines 
are called for. and there is nothing inherent in the carver's art to for- 
bid the turning of such lines with the graver or knife. Graphic art 
would be realistic to an extent regulated by the skill and habits of 
the artist. But, in reality, the geometric character of tliis work is 
very pronounced, and we turn naturally toward the textile art to ask 
whether in some way that art has not exercised an influence. The 
textile arts of these peoples are highly developed and were doubtless 
so in a degree from very early times, and must have had a close rela- 
tion with the various arts, and especially so in the matter of ornament. 
Specific examples may be cited showing the intimacy of wood car\'- 
ing to textilia. Bows, spears, arrows, &c. are bound with textile 
materials to increase their strength. Knives and other weapons are 
covered with textile sheaths and handles of certain utensils are 
lashed on with twisted cords. In ceremonial objects these textile 
features are elaborated for ornament and the characteristic features 
of this ornament are transferred to associated surfaces of wood and 
stone by the graver. A most instructive illustration is seen in the 
ceremonial adzes so numerous in museums (Fig. 356). The cords 
used primarily in attaching the haft are, after loss of function, elab- 
orately plaited and interwoven until they become an important fea- 
ture and assume the character of decioration. The heavy wooden 


handles are elaborately carved, and the suggestions of figures given 
by the interlaced cords are carried out in sucli detail that at a little 
distance it is impossible to say where the real textile surface ceases 
and the sculptured portion begins. 

All things considered, I regard it as highly probable that much of 
the geometric character exhibited in Polynesian decoration is due to 
textile dominance. That these peoples are in the habit of employing 

Frfi. 3^1. Ceremnnial adz, with carved ornament imitating textile wrapping. Polynesian work 

textile designs in non-textile arts is shown in articles of costume, such 
as the tapa cloths, made from the bark of the mulberry tree, which 
are painted or .stamped in elaborate geometric patterns. This trans- 
fer is also a jjerfectly natural one, as the ornament is applied to arti- 
cles having functions identical with the woven stuffs in which the 
patterns originate, and, besides, the transfer is accomplished by means 
of stamps themselves textile. Fig. 357 illustrates the construction of 
these stamps and indicates just how the textile character is acquired. 
Textile materials are very generally associated with the human 
figure in art, and thus sculptiire, which deals chiefiy with the human 
form, becomes familiar with geometric motives and acriuires them. 
Through sculpture these motives enter architecture. But textile 


decoratioia pervades architecture before the sci;lptor"s chisel begins 
to carve ornament in stone and before arcliitectTire has developed of 
itself the rudiments of a system of surface embellishment. Textile 

Fig. 857. Portion of a tapa stamp, showing its subtextile character. A palm leaf is cut to the desired 
shape and the patterns are sewed in or stitched on. 

art in mats, covers, shelters, and di'aperies is intimately associated 
witli floors and walls of houses, and the textile devices are in time 
transferred to the stone and plaster. The wall of an ancient Pueblo 
estufa, or ceremonial chamber, built in the pre-esthetic period of 
architecture, antedating, in stage of culture, the first known step in 
Egyptian art, is encircled by a band of painted figures, borrowed, 
like those of the pottery, from a textile source. The doorway or 
rather entrance to the rude hovel of a Navajo Indian is closed by a 
l)lanket of native make, unsurpassed in execution and exhibiting 
conventional designs of a high order. 

Fig. 358. Design in stucco, exhibiting textile characters. 

The ancient "hall of the arabes(iues"" at Cliimu. Peru, is decorated 
in elaborate designs that could nnly have arisen in the textile art 


(Fig. 358), and other equally striking examples are to be found in 
other American countries. The classic surface decorations known 
and used in Oriental coiintries from time immemorial pi'evailed in 
indigenous American architecture at a stage of culture lower than 
any known stage of classic art. 

It may appear tliat I have advocated too sti-ongly the claims of 
the textile art to the parentage of geometric ornament and that th(> 
conclusions reached are not entirely satisfactory, Imt I liave endeav- 
ored so to present tlie varied plieuomena of the art that the student 
may readily reach deductions f)f his own. A correspondingly cai-e- 
ful study of otlier branches of art will probably enable us finally to 
form a just estimate of the relative impoi'tance of the forces and 
tendencies concerned in the evolution of decoration. 









Introduction 259 

CliAP. I. The numerals in the Dresden Codex 261 

II. Conchisions y39 

III. Tlie writing ... : a4.5 

Signification of tlie characters 347 

Symbols of animals &c 348 

Symbols of deities 358 

Discussion as to phonetic f eatui'es of the chai'acters 365 



Fl(j. iV,). Line of ilay and iiuiiifial s\ iiiliols Iroiii I'lates •!(!(• and ■i7c. Dresden 

C( >de.\ 272 

MOU. Line of day and numeral eliaiaeters fnini Plates i5^i-3!l. Dresden 

('otlex -'71) 

361. Unusual synilidl for Akiial from I'late S of the Dresden Code.x .... 284 

363. Copy of Plate .")(». Dresden ( 'odex 297 

363. Copy of Plate ol . Dresden Codex 306 

364. Copy of Plate 32. Dre.sden Codex 307 

36.">. ( ■( >| ,y of Plate ")3, Diesden Codex 308 

366. ( opy of Plate .")4, Dresden Codex 309 

367. ( 'opy of Plate 55. Dresden Codex 310 

368. Copy of Plate 56, Dresden Codex 311 

369. Copy of Plate 57. Dresden Coilex 312 

370. Copy of Plate 58. Dresden Codex 313 

371. Specimens of ornamental loops from |)a,i;e 72. Dresden Codi'>; . . . 337 

372. Numeral character from the lower division of Plate XV. ilaiiuscriiil 

Troano 343 

373. Turtle from the Cortesian Codex. Plate 17 348 

374. Jar from the Cortesian Codex. Plate 27 349 

375. Worm and plant from Manuscript Troano. Plati- .\'X1X :'>5I 

376. Figure of a woman from the Dres<len Codex 351 

377. Copyof middle and lower divisions of Plate XIX. Manu.scripi Tiikmio 352 

378. CoiiT of lower division of Plate 65. Dresden Codex 353 

379. The moo or ara from Plate 16. Dresden Codex 355 

380. The god Ekchuah. after thi' Troano and Cortesian ( 'odices 3.58 

381. The nosed ^("1 (Kukulcan) or K<>d with the snaki-like lonijue. . 3.59 

382. Copy of head from the Bornian Codex iQuetzalcoatl '/) 360 

3S3. The sujijiosed god of death from the Dresden Coile.x 3(>1 

384. The sujiposed god of death from the Troano Codex 361 

385. The sod with the handed face from the Troano Coilex 362 

386. The god with the old man"s face 363 

387. The god with face crossed by lines 364 

388. AVooden idol in vessel with basket cover '. . 371 


(■> ETH 17 


By Cykus Thomas. 


The object of this paper is to present to students of American 
paleography a brief exi^lanation of some discoveries, made in regard 
to certain Maya codices, which are not mentioned in my previous 
papers relating to these aboriginal manuscripts. 

It is apparent to every one who has carefully studied these manu- 
scripts tliat any attemjjt to decipher them on the supposition that they 
contain true alphabetic characters must end in failure. Although 
enoiigh has been ascertained to render it more than jjrobable that 
some of the characters are phonetic symbols, yet repeated trials have 
shown beyond any reasonable doubt that Landa's alphabet furnishes 
little or no aid in deciphering them, as it is evidently based on a mis- 
conception of the Maya graphic system. If the manuscripts are ever 
deciphered it must be by long and laborious comparisons and happy 
guesses, thus gaining .point by point and proceeding slowly and cau- 
tiously step by step. Accepting this as true, it will be admitted that 
every real discovery in regard to the general signification or tenor of 
any of these codices, or of any of their symbols, characters, or figures, 
or even in reference to their proper order or relation to one another, 
will be one step gained toward the final interpretation. It is with 
this idea in view that the following images have been written and are 
now presented to the students of American paleograi^hy. 

It is impracticable to present fac simile copies of all the plates and 
figures referred to, ln;t it is taken for granted that those sufficiently 
interested in this study to examine this pajjer have access to the pub- 
lished fac similes of these aboriginal documents. 




Before entering upon the discussion of the topic indicatfil it may 
be well to give a brief notice of the historj' and character of this 
aboriginal maniiscript, quoting from Dr. Forstemaun"s introduction 
to the photolithographic copy of the codex, ' he having had an op- 
portunity to study the original for a numlier of years in the Royal 
Pul)lic Libraiy of Dresden, of which he is chief librarian: 

"Unfortunately, the history of the manuscript begins no further 
back than 1739. The man to whom we owe the discovery and per- 
haps the preservation of the codex was Johann Christian Gi'itze. son 
of an evangelical pastor, boi'n at Hohburg, near Wurzen. in the 
electorate of Saxony. He became a Catholic, and received his edu- 
cation first at Vienna, then in Rome; became first chaplain of the 
King of Poland and elector of Sax(jny; later on, papal prothonotary : 
presided over the Royal Library at Dresden from 1734. and died 
holding this position, greatly esteemed for learning and integrity, 
July 5, 17-19. This sketch is taken from his obitixary notice in Neue 
Zeitungen von gelehrten Sachen, Nr. 62, Leipzig, 1749. In his ca- 
pacity as librarian he went to Italy four times, and brought thence 
rich collections of books and manuscripts for the Di'esden library. 
One of these journeys took place in 1739, and concerning its literary 
results we have accurate information from a manuscript, in G6tze"s 
handwriting, which is found in the archives of the Royal Public 
Library, under A, Vol. II, No. 10, and bears the title: ' Books con- 
signed to me for the Roj'al Library in January, 1741).' Under No. 
300 we read: 'An invaluable Mexican hook with hieroglyphic 
figures," This is the same codex which we here reproduce. 

" Gotze also was the first to bring the existence of the manuscri^jt to 
pu1)lic notice. In 1744 he published at Dresden The Ciiriosities of 
the Royal Library at Dresden. First Collection. As .showing what 
value Gotze attributed to this manuscrijat, the very first page of the 
first volume of this work, which is of great- merit and still highly 
useful, begins as follows: "1. A Mexican book with unknown char- 
acters and hieroglyphic figures, written on both sides and painted 
in all sorts of colors, in long octavo, laid orderly in folds of 39 
leaves, which, when spread out lengthwise, make more than yards.' 

' The work here referred to is entitled Die Mayahandschrift der Koniglichen 

oflfentlichen Bibliothek zn Dresden, herausgegeben von Prof. Dr. E. Forstemann. 

Hofrat und Oberbibliotliekar. It contains, besides the ehromolithograiihs of the 

74 plates, an introduction published at Leipzig. ISSO. 4'. 



"Gotze continues speaking of this book from page 1 to 5, adding, 
however, little of moment, but expatiating on Mexican painting and 
hieroglypliic writing in general. On page -i lie says : 

" ' Our royal library lias this superioiity over all others, that it pos- 
sesses this rare treasure. It was obtained a few years ago at Vienna 
from a private j^erson, for nothing, as being an unknown thing. 
It is doubtless from the jjersonal effects of a Spaniai'd, who had either 
been in Mexico himself or whose ancestors had been there.' 

" On page 5 Gotze says : 

" 'In the Vatican library there are some leaves of similar Mexican 
writing, as stated by Mr. Joseph Sinionius Asseman, who saw our 
copy four years ago at Rome." 

'■ GiJtze therefore received the manuscript as a present on his jour- 
ney to Italy at Vienna and took it with him to Rome. Unfortunately 
we know nothing concerning its former possessor. A more accurate 
rejiort of the journey does not seem to exist; at least the j^rincipal 
state archives at Dresden contain nothing concerning it, nor does the 
General Directory of the Royal Collections. As appears from the 
above note, Gotze did not know that the Vatican Codex was of an en- 
tirely different nature from the Dresden Codex. 

" In spite of the high value which Gotze set upon the manuscript, 
it remained unnoticed and unmentioned far into our century. Even 
Johann Cliristoph Adelung, who as head librarian had it in his cus- 
tody and who died in 1806, does not mention it in his Mithridates, of 
which that part which treats of American languages (III, 3) was pub- 
lished only in 1810, after Adelung's death, by J. S. Vater. This would 
have been a fitting occasion to mention the Dresden Codex, because 
in this volume (pp. 13 et seq.) the Maya language is largely treated of, 
and further on the other languages of Anahuac. Of course it was not 
possible at that time to know that our manuscrij^t belongs to the former. 

"After Gotze, the first to mention our codex is C. A. Bottiger, in his 
Ideas on Archa?ology (Dresden, 1811, pp. 20. 21), without, however, 
saying anything that we did not already know from Gotze. Still 
Bottiger rendered great and twofold service: first, as we shall see 
presently, because through him Alexander von Humboldt obtained 
some notice of the manuscript, and, second, because Bottiger's note, as 
he himself explains in the Dresden Anzeiger, No. 133, p. 5. 1832, in- 
duced Lord Kingsborough to have the manuscript copied in Dresden. 

' ' We now come to A. von Humboldt. His Views of the Cordilleras 
and tlie Monuments of the Indigenous Peoisles of America bears on 
the title page the year 1810, which certainly means only the year in 
which the j^rinting was begun, the preface being dated 1813. To this 
work, which gave a mighty impulse to the study of Central American 
languages and literatures, belongs the Atlas pittoresque, and in this 
are found, on page 45, the reproductions of five pages of our manu- 
script. They are Nos. 47, 48. 50, 51, and 52 of Lord Kingsborough. 
In the volume of text belonging to this atlas Humboldt discusses our 


manuscrii^t on pp. 206, 267. When he began his work he knew noth- 
ing as yet of the existence of the manuscript. It was brought to his 
knowledge by Bottiger, whose aboA'e named work he cites. Here we 
learn for the first time that the material of the manuscript consists 
of the plant metl (Agave MexicanaJ like other manuscripts that 
Humboldt had brought from New Spain. Furthermore, he correctly 
states the length of leaf as 0.295 and the breadth 0.085 meter. On 
the other hand, he commits two mistakes in saying that there are 40 
leaves and that the whole folded table forming the codex has a length 
of almost 6 meters, for there are only 39 leaves and the length in 
question is only 3.5 meters, as calculation will approximately show, 
because the leaves are written on both sides. Humboldt's other re- 
marks do not immediately concern our problem. 

" In 1823 Fr. Ad. Ebert, then secretary and later head lil>rarian, 
published his History and Description of the Royal Public Library 
■ at Dresden. Here we find, as well in the history (p. 66) as in the de- 
scription (p. 161), some data concerning this 'treasure of highest 
value,' which indeed contain nothing new. but which certainly con- 
tributed to spread the knowledge of the subject among wider circles. 
We may remark right here that H. L. Fleischer, in his Catalogue of 
Oriental Manuscript Codices in the Royal Library of Dresden, \). 75, 
Leijizig. 1831, 4°, makes but brief mention of our codex, as ' a Mex- 
ican book of wood, illustrated with pictures, which awaits its CEdi- 
pus;' whereupon he cites the writing of Bottiger. The signature of 
the manuscript here noted. E 451, is the one still in use. 

" Between the above mentioned notices by Ebert and Fleischer falls 
the first and so far the only complete reproduction of the manuscript. 
Probably in 1826, there ajjpeared at Dresden the Italian Augustino 
Aglio, a master of the art of making fac similes by means of tracing 
through transparent substances. He visited the European libraries, 
very probably even at that time under orders from Lord Kingsborough, 
to co])y scattered manuscripts and pictures from Mexico or seemingly 
from Mexico. 

"Now there arises the question, all important for interpretation. 
In which shape did the manuscrijit lie before Aglio ? Was it a strip 
only 3.5 meters in length or did it consist of several pieces ? 

" To render clear the answer which we proceed to give, it is first 
necessary to remark that of the 39 leaves of the codex 35 are written 
on both sides and 4 on one side only, so that we can speak only of 
74 pages of manuscript, not of 78. These 74 pages we shall in the 
following always designate by the numbers which they bear in Lord 
Kingsborough. and it is advisable to abide by these numbers, for the 
sake of avoiding all error, until the manuscript can be read with per- 
fect certainty; the 4 empty pages I shall designate withO when' there 
is need of mentioning them expressly. 

" Fiirthermore it is necessary to state which of these pages so num- 


l)jji-e(l belimy togetlier in ^^lu•b way that tlipy are the front and back 
of the same leaf. Tliis condition is as foHows: One leaf is formed of 
pages 1 45. ■> U. ■■', 4;!. 4 4-*. o 41. 4(i. '. ■iH. S 38. li ;;:. lu 3(3. 11 35. 
1-? 34. 13 33. 14 3-^. 15 31, IC 30. ]', ■i'-.K IS 0, 19 0, •.'() (», n 28, 22 27. 
23 26,24 25. 4f. 74.47 73,48 72. 40 71.50 70,51 09,52 (38.53 67.54 66, 
55 65, 56 64, 57 63, 58 62, 59 61, 60 0. [That is to say. each laair of 
this series forms one leaf, one jiage on <>ne side and the other on the 
reverse side of the leaf. | 

•' Bnt now we are justified in the assumption, which at least is very 
]3rohable. that neither did Aglio change arbitrarily the order of the 
original, nor Lord Kingsliorongh the order of Aglio. Consequently 
Aglio must already have had the manuscrii)t hefore him in two pieces, 
be it that the thin pellicles hy which the single leaves are connected 
were loosened in one jilace or that the whole was separated only then 
in order not to be obliged to manipiilate the whole unwieldy strip in 
the operation of copying. A third possibility. t(,) which we shall pres- 
sently return, is that of assuming two separate pieces from the begin- 
ning: in this case GiUze and the others must be supposed to have seen 
it in this condition, but to have omitted the mention of the circum- 
stance, believing that i he original unity had been destroyed by tearing. 

•• (^f the two pieces one must have compi-ised 24. the other 15 leaves. 
But Aglio copied each of the two pieces in such way as to trace first 
tJu- whole of one side and then the other of the entire piece, always 
progressing from left to right, in European style. Therefore Aglio's 
model was as follows: 

'■ First piece : 

'• Front (from left to right): 1. 3, :^. 4, 5. (5. 7. 8. 9. 1(1. 11. 13. 13. 14. l."). 16, 17. IS, 
lit. 211, 21, 22. 2:^, 24. 

•• Back (from right to left): 4.-). 44. 43, 42. 41. 40. 39. 38. 37. 3(i. 3.1, 34. .33. 32. 31. 30, 
0. 0. 0. 28. 27. 26. 2.">. 

'■ Seeiiiiii i)iccc : 

'• Front (from left to right): 46, 47, 48. 49. '>(). 51. .^2. .W. 54, .55, .56, 57, .58. 59. 60. 

•• Back (from right to left): 74. 73. 72. 71, 70, 69. 68, 67, 66. 65, 64. 63. 62. 61. 0. 

•*In considering this, our attention is attracted by the position of 
the four blank pages, three of which are together, the fourth alone. 
It might be expected that the separate l)lank page began or concluded 
the second piece and was purposely left blank, because in the folding 
of the whole it would have lain otitside and thus been exposed to in- 
jury: the other three would be expected at the end of the first piece. 
The former, as is easily seen, w-as cpiite possible, but the latter was 
not, unless we assume that even at the time Aglio took his copy the 
original order had been entirely disturbed by cutting and .stitching 
together again. The foui- blank pages show no trace of ever having 
contained writing: the red brown spots which appear on them are to 
be found also on the sides that contain writing. Perhaps, therefore, 
those three continuous pages indicate a section in the representation: 
perhaps it was intended to fill then) later oti: in a siniilai- way also 


page thi'ee lias been Left uiiHnishfil. the lower half was only 
begun by the wi-iter. 

"I do not u'ish to conceal my view that the two pieces which Aglio 
found were separated from the beginning; th»t they belong even to 
two different manuscripts. th(jugh written in the same form; but, 
since it is human to err, I will hei'e and there follow custom in the 
succeeding pages in speaking of one codex. 

■■ My conviction rests esiiecially on the fact that the writer of man- 
uscript A (pp. 1-45) endeavors to divide each page l)y two horizontal 
lines into three parts, which the writer of manuscript B (pp. 40-74) 
rarely does. The more precise statement is as follows: In A, pp. 
1-23 and 29-43 always show two such Hues in red color; pp. 25-28 
have no red lines, but clearly show a division into three parts; p. 24 
is the only one of this manuscript that has only writing and no pict- 
, ures and where the greater continuity of the written speech forbids 
tripartition (here ends one side of the manuscript); finally, p. 45 
seems to be marked as the real end of the whole by the fact that it 
contains tln-ee very light lines, dividing it into four parts; moreover, 
everything on this page is more crowded, and the figures ai'e smaller 
than on the preceding pages, ji;st as in some modern books the last 
page is printed more closely or in smaller type for want of space. In 
the same manner I suspect that p. 1 is the real beginning of the 
manuscript. This is indicated by the bad condition of leaf 2 44, 
which has lost one corner and whose page 44 has lost its writing alto- 
gether. For, if in folding the codex leaf 1 45 was turned from within 
outward, somewhat against the rule, leaf 2 44 was the outer one, 
and p. 44 lay above or below, and was thus most exposed to injury. 
I will not omit mentioning that my attention has been called by Dr. 
Carl Schultz-Sellack, of Berlin, to the possibility of leaves 1 45 and 2 
44 having been fastened to the rest in a reversed position, so that 43. 1 
and 2 and on the other side 44, 45, 3 were adjoining; then the gods 
would here be grouped together, which follow each other also on 
pages 29 and 30. It cannot be denied that this supposition explains 
the bad condition of leaf 2 44 still l)etter. because then it must have 
been the outermost of the manuscript; 44 would be the real title ])age. 
so to say, and on p. 45 the writer began, not ended, his rei^reseuta- 
tion, with the closer writing of which I have spoken, and only after- 
ward passed on to a more splendid style; and this assumption tallies 
very well with some other facts. But all this can only be cleared up 
after further progress has been made in deciphering the manuscrijit. 

'• In two places, moreover, this first manuscript shows an extension 
of the drawings from one page over to the neighboring one, namely, 
from 4 to 5 and from 30 to 31. This is not found on the second 
manuscript. From continuity of contents, if we are allowed to 
assume it from similarity of pictures and i^artition, we may suppose 
this manuscript to lie divided into chapters in the following manner: 


pp. 1-2 (then follows the unfinished and disconnected page 3), 4-17, 
18-23 (here follows p. 24, without pictures), 25-28, 29-33, 34-35, 3(3-41. 

" Compared with this, manuscrijjt B rarely shows a tri^^artition, but 
on pp. C5-G8 and 51-57 a bipartition by one line. A further differ- 
ence is this, that A out of 45 pages has only one (p. 24) without pict- 
ures, while B out of 20 pages has !) without pictures (51, 52, 59, 03, 64, 
70, 71, 72. 73), nothing but writing being found on them. Page 74, 
differing from all others, forms the closing tableau of the whole; and, 
similarly, p. 00, the last of the front, shows a peculiar character. A 
closer connection of contents may be susj^ected between y>V- 40-50, 
53-58, 61-62, 65-68. 

''' The two manuscripts also differ greatly in the emiiloyment of the 
sign, or rather signs, dift'eriug little from each other, which resem- 
ble a representation of the human eye and consist of two curves, one 
opening above and the other below and joined at their right and left 
ends. These signs occur only on 5 out of the 45 pages of Codex A (1, 
2, 24, 31, 43), while they occur on 16 pages out of the 29 of Codex B 
(48, 51, 52, 53. 55, 57, 58, 59, 01, 62, 03, 64, 70, 71, 72, 73). 

"I believe that the differences above mentioned, to which others 
will probably be added, are sufficient to justify my hypothesis of the 
original independence of the two codices. Whoever looks over the 
whole series of leaves without preconcejition cannot escajse the feel- 
ing, on passing from leaf 45 to leaf 46, that something different be- 
gins here. 

"Thus the copy of Aglio has made it possible to venture a hypothe- 
sis bordering on certainty concerning the original form of this mon- 
ument. Five years after Aglio had finished the copying there ap- 
peared, in 1831, the first volumes of Lord Kingsborough's Mexican 
Antiquities. The work in the trade cost 175/.; the expense of publi- 
cation had been over 30,000/. The eighth and ninth volumes followed 
only in 1848. The ponderous work has undoubtedly great value 
from its many ilhistrations of old monuments of Central American 
art and literature, which in great part had never been jjublished. As 
regards the Spanish and English text, it is of much less value. We 
may pass in silence over the notes added by Lord Kingsborough him- 
self, in which he tries to give supjjort to his favorite hypothesis that 
the Jews were the first settlers of America. Whoever wishes to ob- 
tain exact information concerning the character and contents of the 
whole work and dreads the labor of lifting and opening the volumes, 
may find a comprehensive review of it in the Foreign Quarterly Re- 
view, No. 17. pp. 90-124, 8vo, London, January, 1832, where he will 
also find a lucid exposition of the history of the literature of Mexican 
antiquarian studies. 

" In the middle of the third volume of the Mexican Antiquities (side 
numbers are here absent) there is found the title ' Fac simile of an 
original Mexican painting preserved in the Royal Library at Dresden, 


74 pages.' These 74 pages are here arranged on 37 leaves in the fol- 
lowing manner: 

Codex A. 

Codex B. 

1, 2, 3, 

46, 47, 48, 

4, 5, 6, 

49, .50, 31, 

7; 8, 9, 

52, 53, 54, 

10, 11, 

55, .56, 57, 

12, 13, 14, 

58, 59, 60, 

15, 16, 17, 

61, 62, 63, 

18, 19, 

64, 65, 66, 


67, 68. 69, 

31, 23, 23, 

70, 71, 72, 

24, 25, 

73, 74. 

26, 27, 28, 

29, 30, 31, 

33, 33, 34, 

35, 36. 37, 

38, 39, 40, 

41, 42, 43, 


"On the V7hole, therefore, each leaf in Kingsborough comprises 
three pages of our manuscript. Why the publisher joined only two 
pages in the case of 10 and 11, 18 and 1!), 24 and 25, and left page 20 
entirely separate, I cannot say; but when he failed to add 4G to 44 
and 45 it was due to the fact that here there is indication of a differ- 
ent manuscript. 

"On January 27, 18.32, Lord Kingsborough wrote a letter from 
Mitchellstown, near Cork, in Ireland, to Fr. Ad. Ebert, then head 
librarian at Dresden, thanking him again for the permission to have 
the manuscript copied and telling him that he had ordered his pub- 
lisher in London to send to the Royal Public Library at Dresden one 
of the ten copies of the work in folio. The original of the letter is 
in Ebert's manuscript correspondence in the Dresden library. 

" On April 27, 1832, when the copy had not yet arrived at Dresden, 
an anonymous writer, in No. 101 of the Lei^jziger Zeitung, gave a 
notice of this donation, being unfortunate enough to confound Hum- 
boldt's copy with that of Lord Kingsborough, not having seen the 
w( )rk himself. Ebert, in the Dresden Anzeiger, May 5, made an angry 
rejoinder to this "hasty and obtrusive notice."' Bottiger. whom we 
mentioned above and who till then was a close friend of Ebert. on 
May 12, in the last named journal, defended the anonymous writer 
(who perhaps was liimself ) in an extremely violent tone. Eljert's re- 
plies in the same journal became more and more ferocious, till Botti- 
ger, in an article of May 25 (No. 1.50 of the same journal), Tn-oke off the 
dispute at this point. Thus the great Inbliographer and the great ar- 
chaeologist were made enemies for a long time by means of our codex. 

" From Kingsborough's work various specimens of the manuscript 
passed into other books; thus we find some in Silvestre. Pak'ographie 
universelle. Paris, 18.39-41, fol. ; in Rosny. Les (^critures figuratives 


et hieroglyphiqiies des peuples aiiciens et modernes, Paris, 18(30, 4to; 
and also in Madier de Montjon, Arcliives de la socif^te amc^ricaine de 
France, 2'''' serie. tome I, table V. 

■' In 1834 Ebert died, and was followed as head librarian by K. C. 
Falkenstein. He. nnlike his predecessor, strove especially to make 
the library as mnch as possible accessible to the public. Visits and 
examinations of the library became much more frequent, and our 
manuscript, being very liable to injury, on account of its material, 
had to be withdrawn from the hands of visitors, if it was desired to 
make it accessible to their sight. It was therefore laid between glass 
plates and thus hung up freely, so that both sides wei'e visible. In 
this position it still hangs in the hall of the library, protected from 
rude hands, it is true, Init at the same time exposed to another enemy, 
daylight, against which it has been protected only in recent time by 
green screens. Still it does not seem to have suffered much from 
light during these four decades; at least two former officers of the 
library, who were appointed one in 1828 and the other in 1834, affirm 
that at that time the colors were not nf)tal)ly fresher than now. This 
remark is important, because the coloring in Huml)f)ldt, as well as in 
Lord Kingsborough, by its freshness gives a wrong impression of the 
coloring of the original, which in fact is but feeble: it may have re- 
sembled these copies some 300 years ago. 

" In 1830, when the manuscript was being preserved in the manner 
indicated, the two unequal i^arts, which were considered as a Avhole 
and which no one seems to have thought susceptible of being de- 
ciphered, were divided into two apiiroximately equal jiarts from con- 
siderations of space and for esthetic reasons. 

" The first five leaves of Codex A, that is, pp. 1-5. with the backs con- 
taining pp. 41-4.5, were cut off and prefixed to Codex B in such way 
as to have p. 4(j and p. 5 adjoining; when I examined the codex more 
closely I found that between 5 and 4(5. and therefore also between 41 and 
74, there was no such pellicle as generally connects the other leaves. 
By this change one pai't was made to contain 20 leaves, the other lit. 

■ 'At the same time another change was made. Tlie thr^e blank pages 
between p]i. 28 and 20 had a marring efi'ect. and they were put at the 
end by cutting through between leaves 18 and 17 2ii and turning 
the severed leaves around, so that p. 24 joined on to p. 29 and 17 to 
2.5. The pellicle loosened on this occasion was fa.stened again. 

■' I must expressly state that I have no wi-itten or oral account of 
these two manipulations, but conclude they have taken place merely 
from a comparison of the present arrangement with that which Aglio 
must have had before him. 

'• Thus the arrangement in which 1 found the manuscript, which it 
may be best to preserve until my views are recognized, is the following: 

■' (1) The diminished Codex A (19 leaves): 

Front: 0. 7. S. 9. 10, tl, 12, 13, 14, 1.5, 16. 17. 2.1, 36. 27. 28, 0, 0. 0. 
Back: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 34, 29. :^0. 31. :!2, :!3, :«. :«. :H6, 37, 38, 39. 40. 


••Or, if wf enumerate the numbers on the back from i-ight lo left, so 
that tlie back of each leaf stands beneath its front: 

6, 7, S, y. 10, 11, 13, 13, W, 15, 16, 17125, 26, 37, 3«, li. 0. 0. 
40, 39, 38, 37. 36, 35. 34, 33, 33, 31, 30, 39124, •23,;32, 21. -20. 19. is. 

•• (2) The enlarged Codex B ("10 leaves J : 
Fi-ont: 1, 2, 8. 4. 5. 46. 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, .53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60. 
Back: 0. 61. 62. 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68. 69. 70. 71, 72. 73. 74, 41. 42. 43, 44, 45. 

•' Or. reversing, as in the preceding case, the numbers on the back: 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 146, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, ,55. 56, 57, 58, 59, 60. 

45, 44, 43. 43. 41 1 74, 73, 72, 71, 70, 69, 68, 67, 66. 65. 64. 63. 63. 61, 0." 

One of the most difficult things to account for in regard to this 
codex is the immense number of numeral characters it contains, many 
of which appear to have no reference to day or other time symbols. 

Although it is not claimed that the key which will fully unlock 
this mystery has been found, it is believed that the discoveries made 
will throw considerable light on this difficult subject and limit the 
field of investigation relating to the signiiication of the Maya codices. 

Before proceeding with the discussion of the subject proposed, it 
will not be amiss to state, for the benefit of those readers not familiar 
with these ancient American manuscripts, that the Maya method of 
designating numbers was by means of dots and lines, thus : . (one dot) 
signifying one ; . . (two dots) two, and so on up to four ; live was 
indicated by a single short straight line, thus, — ; ten. by two similar 
lines, z^ : and fifteen, by three sucli lines: ^. 

According t(j this system, a straight line and a dot. thus, ^, would 
denote 6; two straight lines and two dots,^, I'i; and three straight 
lines and four dots, -sss, 1"- But these symbols do not appear to 
have been used for any greater number than nineteen. They are 
found of two colors in all the Maya codices, one class Idack, the other 
red, though the latter (except in a few instances, Avhere the reason 
for the A'ariation from the rule is not ajjparent) are never used to 
denote a greater numbei- than thirteen, and refer chiefly to the num- 
bers of the days of the Maya week and the niimbers of the years of 
the "Indication" or •"week of years." On the other hand, the 
black numerals aj^pear to be used in all other cases where numbers 
not exceeding nineteen are introduced. As will ajipeai' in the course 
of this discussion, there are satisfactory reasons for believing that 
other symbols, quite different from these dots and lines, are used for 
certain other numbers, at least foi' -^0 and for (). 

In order that the reader may understand what folh)ws, it is necessary 
to explain the methods of counting the days, months, and years in the 
order in which they succeed one another. Much relating to this will 
be found in a pi'evious work,' but a particular point needs further 

'A Study of t\w Mauuscrijit Tinaim. liy Cyrna TIidiikis. pp. 7-15, 



According to the older and the more recent aiitliomties, the 
Maya years — there being 20 nam^s for days and 305 days in a year — 
commenced alternately on the first, sixth, eleventh, and sixteenth of 
the series, that is to say, on the days Kan, Muluc, Ix, and Cauac, fol- 
lowing one another in the order here given; hence they are spoken of 
as Kan years, Muluc years, Ix years, and Cauac years. 

Writing out in the form of an ordinary counting house calendar 
the 3(J5 days of the year, commencing with 1 Kan and numbering 
them according to the Maya custom (that is, u.]) to thirteen to form 
their week and then commencing again Avith one) they would be as 
shown in Table I. 

Table I. — Names and numbers of the montlis and days of the Maya system. 




































Names of the 



























































































Oc ... 























































































































































































































Intercalated days. 









Each of these eighteen columns forms one month, and the whole 
taken together, with the 5 days added at the end of the eighteenth 
month, form one continuous series, the second column following the 


first as though placed at the end of it, the third following the second, 
and so on to the end of the eighteenth. Whether or not it was the 
ancient custom to include the 5 added days in the year, as asserted 
by tlie old Spanish writers, is somewhat doubtful, at least in study- 
ing the Dresden Codex, we shall find but few occasions, if any, to use 
them, for there are few if any positive indications in this codex that 
they were added. 

As stated, each column of the table forms a month, though the 
numbering is carried to thirteen only; but at i^resent the chief object 
in view in presenting it is to use it in explaining the method of count- 
ing the days and the intervals of time. The table is in truth a con- 
tinuous series, and it is to be understood as though the 305 days were 
written in one column, thus: 

1. Kan. 

2. CWcchan. 

3. Cimi. 

4. Manik. 

5. Lamat. 

6. Muluc. 

7. Oc. 

8. Chuen. 

9. Eb. 

10. Been. 

11. Ix. 
13. Men. 
13. Cib. 

1. Caban. 

2. Ezanab, &c., 

the 20 days being repeated over and over in the order in which they 
stand in the table. This order is never changed; we may com- 
mence at whatever point in the series occasion may require, but 
the order here given must always be maintained, just as in our cal- 
endar the order of our days is always Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. &c. 
In otlier words, Chicchan must always follow Kan, Cimi must al- 
ways follow Chicchan, &c. 

The method of counting intervals in the Maya calendar is very 
simple, if these explanations are borne in mind, and may be illus- 
trated thus: Counting 14 days from 1 Kan — the first day of the year 
given in Table I — brings us to 2 Ezanab (the day we count from being 
excluded); Vi days more bring us to 1 Oc. in tlie second column of our 
table; 17 days more to 5 Manik, in the third column; and 17 days 
more to 9 Kan, in the fourth column. 

The number of the day required is readily ascertained by adding 
together the number of the day counted from and the number of 
days to be counted, casting out the thirteens when the sum exceeds 
this number (excejating where the remainder is thirteen); thus: l-H 
14 — 1.3 = 2, the number of the day Ezanab given above. So 1-|- 
14-1-12— l-S— 13 = 1, the number of the day Oc, second column. Table 
I; and i-fi4-f-12-f-17-|-17-13- 13-13-13=9, the number of the day 


Kan. fourth column. The reason foi- tliis is so apyurent that it is 
unnecessarj' to state it. 

Suppose the day counted from is 1 1 ]\Iuluc of tlie eleventh month, 
and the number of days to be counted (or the interval) is 19; by 
adding, together the numbers and casting out the thirteens the fol- 
h)\ving result is obtained: 1 1 + Hi — ].')-lo=-l. Counting forward on 
the table IH days froui 11 Muluc (the sixth number in the eleventh 
figure column), we reach 4 Lamat (the fourtJi day of the twelfth 
month). Wlien the sum of the numbers is- a multiple of 13 the 
number obtained is 13. as there can l^e no blanks, that is to say. no 
day without a number. 

As the plates of the codices are usually divided into two or three 
compartments by transverse lines, it is necessary to adopt some method 
of referring to these in order to avoid the constant repetition of 
"upper." "niiddle." and "lower" division. On the plan jjroposed 
1)y Dr. Forstenumn. in his late work on the Dresden Codex (Erlauter- 
ungen zur Mayahandschrift der Koniglichen (Iffentlichen Bildio- 
thek zu Dresden), these divisions are designated by the letters a. b, 
and c: this plan will be adopted in this paper. The letter a joined to 
the niiinber of a plate, therefore, will signify that the division referred 
to is the upper one, as Plate Via: tlie letter I) signifies the middle one 
where there are three divisions or the lower one where there are but 
two: and the letter c signifies the lowest i>r bottom division where 
tliere are three. 

Where reference is n\ade to the fac simile of the Dresden Codex. 
Kingsli(irough"s c(jlored edition is always to be understood, except 
where another is specially mentioned. 

Running through Plates 3Gc and 37c is a continuous line of day 
symbols and red and black numeral characters as foUow.s. the num- 
bers and names below the characters being explanatory and of course 
not (in the original: 

° ; O O O i Oqoo 


• • • > 


II VII Ot i 2.0 lOci 10 XlAhoM 

Fig. 3.59. Lines of day and uuiiieial sjiuboLs 

As colors are not used in these figures the red numerals are indi - 
cated by hollow or outline dots and lines and the lilack nunierals liy 
solid lines and dots. ' 

'This inetliod will he ■di\<^\<U-i\ tlin>ut;lir.nt this iinpcv whero fitruvi'S rontfiinin-i 
uumeials are introduced. 


In order further to assist those unacquainted with the symbols the 
same line is here given in another form, in which the names of the 
days are substituted for the symbols, Roman numerals for the red 
numbers, and Arabic for the black: 10, XI Men; la, XIII Oc; 9, IX 
Cauac; 11, VII Oc; S, I Oc; 10, XI Ahau. 

The S is introduced to represent a numeral symbol different from 
the lines and dots and will be explained when reached in the course 
of the illustration. 

Starting from 1 1 Men, found in the twelfth figure column of Table I, 
and counting forward fifteen days, we come to 13 Oc of the thirteenth 
figure column, the second day of the above quoted line. Counting 
nine days from 13 Oc' brings us to 9 Cauac, the third day of the line; 
eleven days more, to 7 Oc, the fourth day of the line. Following this 
day in the line, instead of a black numeral of the usual form, is this 
symbol: ffil^^\ represented by S in the second form, where the 
names rxixf^ I '"^'^ numbers are substituted for the symbols. 
Taking *^-i^ for granted, from the position it occupies in the 
line, that it is a numeral character, it must represent 20, as the day 
which follows is 1 Oc, and counting twenty days from 7 Oc brings us 
to 1 Oc. Counting ten days more we reach 11 Ahau, the last day of 
the line given above. 

In this example the black numerals appear to have been used sim- 
ply as counters, or as numbers indicating intervals; for example, 15 
is the interval between 11 Men and 13 Oc.'' 

This furnishes a clew which, if followed up, may lead to important 
results. That it explains the signification of one symbol undeter- 
mined until this relation of the numerals to one another was discov- 
ered, is now admitted. In the woi'k of Dr. Forstemann before alluded 
to the discovery of the symbol for 20 is announced. Although I 
was not aware of the signification of this symbol until after my sec- 
ond paper, "Notes on certain Maya and Mexican manuscripts," was 
written, I had made this discovery as early as 1881." 

As there will be occasion to refer to the days of the four different 
series of years (the Cauac, Kan, Muhic, and Ix years), a combined 
calendar, similar to an ordinary counting house calendar, is intro- 
duced here. For the Cauac years the left or Cauac column is to be 
used; for the Kan years, the Kan column, and so on. 

' In the representations of lines and columns of the codex Roman numl)ers are 
necessarily used to distinguish the class of numerals, yet in the text, as in this case, 
the Arabic numbers will be used as most convenient. 

■Strictly speaking, the interval between 11 Men and 18 Oc is foui'teen days, but 
throughout this paper, by "interval between" two days, is to be understood the 
numberof days to be counted //'om one /oo fid inclndingtheother. The one counted 
from is always excluded ami the one I'eached or with which the interval terminates 
is always included. 

3 Science, p. 459, April II, 1884. 
6 ETH 18 


Table II. — Xames and munbers of the four series of years of the Maya system. 




Ix column. 

14 16 16 17 18 

8 9 10 11 12 13^N^'fthf^ 
( months. 

Cauac . . . 
Ahau — 







Manik ... 
Lamat. .. 
Muluc . . . 


Chuen . . . 






Caban . . . 


Chicchan . 




Muluc — 









Ezanab . . . 





Akbal .... 

Muluc . . . 


Chuen . . . 






Caban . . . 
Ezanab . . 
Cauac . . . 




Akbal . . . 




Manik . . . 




Caban . . . 
Ezanab . . 
Cauac . . . 




Akbal ... 





Muluc ... 


Chuen . . . 



Days of 


As this table has been explained in my pi'evions papers it is only 
necessary to add here that the thirteen figure columns form a single 
series; therefore, when we reach the bottom of the thirteenth column 
we go back to the top of the first. The day reached will be the one 
directly opposite (that is, in the same horizontal line) in the day. 
column for the given year. 

For example, taking the fifth column of numbers (the one having 
3 for the top figure) and counting down nine days from tlie toj) num- 
ber we reach the number 12. This will be 12 Lamat if a Cauac year, 
12 Been if a Kan year, 12 Ezanab if a Muluc year, and 13 Akbal if 
an Ix year. Therefore it is necessary in counting to refer always to 
the year (year column) with which the count begins. So long as the 
particular year referred to is unknown (as is usually the case, the 
day series being apparently of general rather than of special appli- 
cation) it is immaterial which day column is selected, as the result 
will be the same with any. This will be apj^arent if we bear in 
mind that, when 260 days with their numbers attached have been 
written down in proper order as a series, we have therein all the pos- 
sible combinations of days and numbers. This, it is true, does not 
give us all the months and years (to include these it is necessary to 
write out fifty-two entire years). l)utthe same series of numerals will 
be applicable to each of the four year series (Kan, Muluc, Ix, and 
Cauac years). As any one of the thirteen figure columns of the table 
may be taken as the commencement of a year and any of the four 


day columns may be used, it is apparent that we have all the possible 
combinations (ix 13=52). 

I say above that "it is necessary in counting to refer always to 
the year (year column) with which the count begins." This I admit 
does not agree with the generally received idea of the Maya calen- 
dar, upon which Table II is constructed, as, according to this the- 
ory (which I have accepted in my previous papers), after passing 
through a year of one series (corresponding with one of the day col- 
umns of the table), we should enter upon a year of the next series; 
for example, when the year 1 Kan is completed we should enter u^jon 
the year 2 Muluc. 

Although this calendar system seems to have been in vogue at the 
time of the conquest and is indicated in one or two of the codices, 
and possil.)ly in the one now under consideration, the chronological 
series of the latter, as will hereafter appear, do not seem to be based 
upon it or to agi'ee with it. 

These explanations, with the further statement that the lines in 
the codex are to be read from left to right and the columns from the 
top downward, except where variations from this rule are noted, will 
enable the reader to follow the discussion. Another reason for using 
a table with only thirteen columns (though it would be difficult to 
devise a combined calendar of any other form) is that the 260 days 
they contain form one complete cycle, which, as will appear in the 
course of this discussion, was one of the chief periods in Maya time 

Examining Plates 3.3 to 39 of the codex the reader will observe 
that the line already alluded to extends continuously through divis- 
ion c, commencing with the two characters over the figure (picture) 
in the lower right hand corner of Plate 33. 

The first of these characters as given in Kingsborough's work is 
the symbol of the day Ezanab, with the red numeral 13 to the left of 
it and the black numeral 9 over it; but referring to Forstemann's 
photolithographic copy of the codex it is found to be the symbol of 

The entire line, with this correction (that is to say, as given by 
Forstemann), is represented in Fig. 360. In order to assist the reader, 
the names of the days and nvimbers of the symbols have been added 
immediately below the characters. 

As the year to which the line relates is unknown, we select the 
Muluc series, designated " • Muluc column " in Table II, and commence 
. with 13 Ahau, the twelfth number of the third figure column. Count- 
ing 9 days from this brings its to 9 Muluc, the top number of the 
fourtli figiire column and also the second day of the line above given 
(the symbol is a face in Kingsborough's copy, but is plainly the 
Muluc sign in Forstemann's photograph). Eleven days more bring 
us to 7 Ahau. the tliird day of the above line; 20 more to 1 Ahau, 
the fourth day (jf the line (the 20 here is the symbol represented 



XilfAhau iXMuliK. 

p, 34 ^0^®^ i^ °^ = 

■ II VII Ahauj 20 » Ahaii! lo XI Oc 1 is 



• • • • 




i\ Ix ' II VilChlcchdn 20 Idif(th«n 




XI Men 

OOP Oqoo 

• • •• 

15 Wh OC 

IX Couac 

Pi. 37. 

O ] 

VII ot ! to 



10 XiAhoM 

Pi. 38 

• • • • ol 

IS XIII W\ir\ I 5 

IX Kan 



f''-^^- 20 |]n«ti{?j 10 MCliiccyion 15 XIM Ahau 

Fig. 360. Liue of day and numeral characters. 

by S); 10 more to 11 Oc, the fifth day of the line; 15 more to 13 
Oticchan, the sixth day of the line; 9 more to 9 Ix, the seventh 
day of the line; 1 1 more to 7 Chicchan, the eighth day of the line; 
line; 3f) (S) more to 1 Chicchan, the ninth day of the line; 10 more 
to 1 1 Men, the tenth day of the liue, and so on to the end. 


That the order of the series may be clearly seen the numbers are 
given here as they stand in the line, omitting the days: XIII; 9, IX; 
11. VII; 20, 1; 10, XI; 15, XIII; !), IX; 11, VII; 20, I; 10, XI; 15. XIII; 
9, IX; 11, VII: 20, I: 10. XI; 15, XIII: 'J, IX: 11. VII; 20. I; 10, XI; 
15. XIII. 

By adding together a black numeral and the preceding red one 
and casting out thirteen (or thirteens, as the case may be), when the 
sum exceeds this niimber, we obtain the following red one. thus: 
XIII+9-13 = IX;IX+ll-i;3=VII;VII+20-i:5-13 = I:I+10=XI, 
and so on through the entire series. Attention is also called to the 
fact that the sum of the black (Arabic) numbers 9, 11, 20, 10. 15, 9, 
11, 20, 10, 15, 9, 11, 20, 10, 15, 9, 11, 20, 10, 15, is 260, a multiple 
of 13. 

If this relation of days and numerals holds good as a general thing 
throughout the codex, it is apparent that where the break is not too 
extensive it will enable the student to restore the missing and de- 
fective numerals and day symbols, to detect the errors of both copy- 
ists and original artists, and to determine the jii'oper relation of the 
plates to one another. By it he learns, as before stated, that the sym- 
bol (see page 273) denotes 20. and if phonetic probably stands for the 
Maya word Kal. 

Comparing Plates 42 and 43 with Plates 1 and 2, the resemblance 
is found to be so strong as to lead to the belief that they belong to- 
gether. It is apparent from the figures, numerals, and characters' 
in the middle division (b) of Plates 1 and 2 that they belong together, 
as they now stand in Kingsborough's work and Forstemann's copy; 
that Plates 43 and 43 are properly placed in regard to each other is 
also apparent from the figures and numerals in divisions a and b. 

Taking for granted that the lines are to be read from left to right 
and the plates to follow each other in the same order, our next step 
is to ascertain on which side of the pair (Plates 42 and 43) Plates 1 
and 2 should be placed. 

The series of days and of niunbers in Plate 436 and Plate 16, which 
evidently belong together, can only be brought into proper relation by 
placing the latter to the right of the former. Yet, strange as it may 
appear, the daj's and numerals in this division are to be read from right 
to left, while all the other numeral series of these four plates are to 
be read as usual, from left to right. This change in the order of the 
pages also brings together the similar figures in the upper division of 
these plates. That Plate 42 properly follows Plate 41 is apparent from 

' Throughout this paper when the words " figure" and "character " are used in 
reference to what appears in the codex, they are to be understood as follows: " fig- 
ure" refers to the picture, as of a person, animal, or other object in tlie spaces; 
'• character" refers to the hieroglyphics or written symbols. 


the line of altei'iiate red and black numerals in division b. As sho'R'n 
in a previous work' and as will appear hereafter, these horizontal lines 
of alternate red and black numerals without day symbols interspersed 
are usually, if not always, connected at the left with a column of 
days over which there is a red numeral, as in the Codex Troano. 
Running back along the line of numerals in the middle division of 
Plates 4r2 and 41, the day column with which it is connected is found 
at the left mai'gin of Plate 38. Unfortunately the red numeral over 
this column is obliterated, but can easily be restored. Starting with 
the first black numeral to the right of this, the entire line, which 
ends in the second column of the middle division of Plate 43 (I'epre- 
senting the black numerals by Arabic numbers and the red by Roman 
numbers), is as follows: lo" IX; 8. IV; 11, II; 10, XII; 1, XIII; 
13, XII; 0, VI(?); 13, IV; 11, II; 11, XIII; 6, VI; 13, V; 7, XII; G, 
V; S+1, XIII; G, VI. 

The number over the day column, Plate 38, must have been VI. as 
VI+ 16 — 13 = 9, a conclusion which is sustained by Forstemaun's 
copy, which shows here very jjlainly the red character for VI. 

By adding the black (Arabic) numeral to the preceding red (Ro- 
man) one and casting out the thirteens, as heretofore explained, we 
obtain the following red (Roman) numerals, thi;s: Vl + lii— 13 = IX; 
IX+8-13 = IV; IV+11-13 = II; II+10=XII; XII+1 = XIII; XIII 
-1-13-13 = XII; XII+6-13=V. 

Here the result differs from what is found at this point in the line, 
as we obtain V instead of VI. In this case the mistake, if one has 
been made, cannot be attributed to Lord Kingsborough's copyist; 
the Maya artist must have made a mistake or there miist be an er- 
ror in the theory here advanced. But let us continue according to 
our own figures: V-|-13-13=IV; IV + 11-13=II; II+11 = XIII; 
XIII+0-13=VI: VI-f-12-13=A"; V+T=:13; XII-F(;-13=V; Y + 
20-|-l-]3==XIII; XIII+(i-13=VI. 

There is no doubt, therefore, that the line forms one continuous 
series, and if so it links together pages 38 and 43 as they are now num- 
bered. It follows, then, that if Plates 1 and 3 and Plates 43 and 43 
belong together, the former pair must be placed to the right of 43. 
This is conceded by Dr. Forstemann," as he says that. Dr. Karl 
Schultz-Sellack having pointed out the error in his paging, he changed 
pages 1 and 2 to 44 and 45 and pages 44 and 45 to 1 and 3; that is to 
say, the two leaves containing these pages were loosened from the 
strip and reversed, so that page 1 would be 44 and page 3 would be 45. 

Having brought together these plates so that 1 and 3 stand to the 
right of 43, attention is called to the lines of day symbols running 

' Study of the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Tliomas, Chapters II and VII. 
- Erlauteiiuigen zur Mayaliandsclirift, p.- 2. 


through division c. Substituting names and numbers as heretofore, 
they are as follows: 

Plate 42: TV Aliau; Xn Lamat; vn Gib; O Kan; X Eb; V Ahau; Xm Lamat. 

17 8 8 8 8 8 8 

Plate 43: IV Chicchan; XII Been; vn Ymix; H Muluc; X Caban; V Chieehan; Xm Been. 

17 8 8 8 8 8 8 

Plate 1: I\' Oc; XH Ezanab: VII Cimi; U Ix; X Ik; V Oe; (?) Ezanab. 

17 8 8 8 8 8 8 

Plate 2: IV Men; XHI Akbal; VU Chuen; H Cauac; X Manik; V Men; Xm Akbal. 
17 8 8 8 S 8 8 

The chief objects in view at present in selecting this series are, as 
before indicated, to jM-ove the relation of the plates to one another and 
to determine the use of the black numerals wliich stand under the day 
symbols. These numerals consist of but two different numbers, the 
first on each page being 1 7, the rest 8's. 

As the particular year or years to which the series refers is unknown 
we turn to our calendar — Table II — and select the Kan column, as we 
find that i Ahau, the first day of the series, is the seventeenth day of 
the year 1 Kan. This corresijonds with the first black numeral. 
Counting 8 days from this we reach 13 Lamat. the second day of our 
series; 8 more bring us to 7 Cib, the third day of the series; 8 more 
to 3 Kan; 8 more to 10 Eb; 8 more to 5 Ahau; 8 more to 13 Lamat, 
and 17 more to 4 Chicchan. The red numeral at this point in some 
of the colored copies of Kingsborough's work is III, but a close in- 
spection shows the missing dot which has not been colored. IV Chic- 
chan is therefore correct. 

Continuing our count, 8 days more bring us to 13 Been; 8 more to 

7 Ymix; 8 more to 3 Muluc; 8 more to 10 Caban; 8 more to 5 Chic- 
chan; 8 more to 13 Been; 17 more to 4 Oc; 8 more to 13 Ezanab; 8 
more to 7 Cimi; 8 more to 3 Ix; 8 more to 10 Ik; 8 more to 5 Oc, and 

8 more to 13 Ezanab. Here the red numeral is wanting, but a com- 
jiarison of the numbers on the different plates and the order of the 
series make it evident that it should be XIII. 

Continuing our count, 17 more bring us to 4 Men (here a dot is 
missing in Kingsljorough's copy, but is i)resent in the photograph) ; 
8 more to 13 Akbal. Here there is one dot too many, which we may 
attribute to a mistake of the original artist. Assuming XII to be 
correct. 8 more bring us to 7 Chuen ; 8 more to 3 Cauac ; 8 more to 10 
Manik; 8 more to 5 Men; 8 more to 13 Akbal, and to the end of our 
table; thus, if we include the first seventeen days, completing the 
series of thirteen months or 300 days. 

These illustrations will probal)ly satisfy any one that the black 
numerals in these lines denote the intervals between the days indi- 
cated by the symbols and that the series so far examined are to be 
read from left to right. 

Although the succession of days and numbers in the lines of the 
last example would seem to furnish conclusive evidence that the 


whole is one continuous series, yet tlie peculiar combinations of 
numbers used by tlie Maya priests render these series very deceptive. 
There can be no doubt that the black numbers — 8"s — are iised to 
indicate the intervals between the days sijecified; but there is an- 
other possible way "of explaining the 17 with which the lines on the 
different plates begin. 

Here are four plates, evidently closely related to one another; the 
lines of days and numbers in the lowest division of each are precisely 
alike, except as to the days indicated; in the left hand column of 
characters of each is one of the cardinal point symbols. It is i:)OS- 
sible, therefore, that these four plates relate to the four different 
years or series of years; that is to say, one to the Kan years, one to 
the Muluc years, and so on. This view is somewhat strengthened 
by the fact that 4 Aliau, first of the line on Plate 4-^, is the seven- 
teenth day of the first month of the year 1 Kan; 4 Chicchan, first 
of the line on plate 43, the seventeenth day of the first month of the 
year 1 Muluc; 4 Oc, the seventeenth day of 1 Ix. and 4 Men the 
seventeenth day of 1 Cauac. The four figures in the middle division 
of Plates 1 and 2 seem also to favor this idea, not so much by the 
peculiar animals represented (of which we have no exi^lanation to 
give) as by the double symbols from which they are suspended, 
which I am quite confident denote the iiuion of years or the time at 
which two years meet — the close of one and the commencement 
of another— although fully aware that Dr. Forstemann has inter- 
preted them as symbols of the heavenly bodies. ' 

In the text above these figures are seen two characters or symbols 
of this type, which in all probability, as will hereafter appear, de- 
note or symbolize the "tying of the years." We may also add that 
the five days of each plate orgroup are the five assigned, as I have 
explained in "Notes on certain Maya and Mexican manuscrii^ts," to 
the cardinal points. For example, those on Plate 42 are Ahaii, Eb, 
Kan. Cib. Lamat." Still it must be admitted, on the other hand, that 
as the four lines form precisely one complete cycle of 13 months or 
260 days there is a very strong inference that they together form one 
continiious series and that the arrangement into four parts or divis- 
ions has reference to the four seasons or four cardinal i^oints. The 
final decision on this point therefore still remains in doi;bt. 

As it has been shown that Plates 33 to 39 and Plates 38 to 43 are 
properly placed as they stand in Kingsborough's copy and also in 
Forstemann's and that Plates 1 and 2 follow Plate 43. we have proof 
that the following plates succeed one another to the right, as here 
given: 33, 34. 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 1, 2. 

A slight inspection is siifficient to show that Plates 29 to 33 follow 
one another in the same order, ^a conclusion which is easily verified by 

' Erlauterungen zur Mayahandschrift, p. 16. 
'Bureau of Eth., Third Ann. Reii., jip. 10 et seq. 


testing the lines of numerals in the manner explained. It is appar- 
ent, therefore, that the following plates form one unbroken series, 
running from left to right: -iu. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 3G, 37, 38, 39, 40, 
41, 42, 43, 1, 2; a conclusion which Dr. Forstemann, who has had the 
opportunity of studying the original, has now reached. 

Having ascertained the object and use of at least one class of black 
numerals and the relation they bear to the days and day numbers, it 
may be well to test further the discovery by other examijles; in order 
to see how far it liolds good and what new facts it may bring out. 
In doing this it will be necessary to repeat in part what has already 
been shown by Dr. Forstemann in his late work; but as these dis- 
coveries were made independently and before this work came to hand, 
and as our conclusions differ in some respects from those reached by 
him, the plan and scope of this pajjer would be incomjjlete withoiit 
these illustrations. 

Commencing with tlie day C(jlumn in the middle of Plate 356 and 
extending through Plates 366 and 376 to the right margin of the lat- 
ter, is a line of alternate red and black numerals, wliich may be taken 
as an exami^le of the most common series found in the Dresden and 
other codices. It is selected because it is short, complete, and has 
no doubtful symbols or numerals in it. 

Using names and numbers in j^lace of the symbols, it is as follows: 

Caban, 11, XII; 6, V; 9, I; 4, V; 7, XII; 9, VIII; 6, I. 

In this case the red numeral over the day column is I. It is to be 
observed that the last number of the series is also I, a fact which it 
will be well to keep in mind, as it has an important bearing on what 
is now to be presented. But it is i^roper to show first that tliis series 
is continuous and is connected with the day column. 

Adding the I over the column to the 11, the first black numeral, 
gives XII, the red numeral following the 11. That this holds good in 
all cases of this kind will become apparent from the examples wliich 
will be given in the course of this discussion. Adding together the 
remaining pairs, as follows: XII-I-G— 13=V; V-|-9 — 13=1: l-f4=V; 
V-|-7=XII: XII-l-0-l3=VIII;VIII+(;- 13=1. we obtain proof that 
the line is one unbroken series. It is apparent that if the black 
numerals are simply counters used to indicate intervals, as has been 
suggested, then, by adding them and the red numerals over the col- 
umn togethei- and casting out the thirteens, we should obtain the last 
red number of the series. In this case the sum of the numbers I, 1 1 , G, 
9, 4, 7, 9, G, is 53; casting out the thirteens tlie remainder is I, the 
last of the series. If we take the sum of the black numbers, which 


in this case is 53, and count the number of days on our calendar 
(Table II) from 1 Caban, the fourteenth day of the first month of 
the year 1 Kan, we shall find that it Ijrings us to 1 Muluc, the sixth 
day of the fourth month; 5;i days more to 1 Ymix; 52 more to 1 
Been, and 53 more to 1 Chicchan, thus completing the day column 
in the example given. This proves, in this case at least, that tlie red 
minieral over the day column applies to all the days of the column 
and that the whole numeral series — that is to say, the sum of the 
counters — represents the interval between the siiccessive days of the 
column. The total number of days from 1 Caban, first of the col- 
umn, to 1 Chicchan, the last, is 308. Adding 53 more gives 3G0 and 
brings us back to 1 Caban. our starting point. 

It will be observed that the sum of the black numbers — which de- 
notes the interval between the days of the column — is 53, which is a 
multiple of 13, the number of days in a Maya week. It follows, there- 
fore, that so far as this rule holds good the last red niimeral of the 
series must be the same as that over the day column. In a former 
work' I explained the method of ascertaining the relations of the days 
of a column to one another by means of the intervals without reference 
to the numbers attached to them, a subject to which Chareucy had 
previously called attention ; ' by the explanation now given we ascer- 
tain the true intervals between the days as numbered. The two 
modes therefore form checks to each other and will aid very mate- 
rially in restoring obliterated and doubtful days. 

There is another point in regard to these series which may as well 
be ilkistrated by means of the example given as any other. What is 
the signification of the red numerals of the series? They are imneces- 
sary if the only object in view was to indicate the intervals between 
the days of the column. Nor will the supposition that the Mayas had 
not discovered a means of representing higlier nxmibers than 30 suffice, 
as the introduction of 13 would have lessened the labor and shortened 
the calculation. But one answer to this inquiry appears possible, viz, 
that tliese numbers are intended to denote certain intermediate days 
to which importance was for some reason attached. These interme- 
diate days can readily be determined from the data given, and in the 
present example are as follows: 

(1) Between 1 Caban and 1 Muluc they are 12 Laiuat. 5 Ix. 1 Akbal, T) Manik. 12 
Ix, and 8 Akbal. 

(2) Between 1 Muluc and 1 Ymix they are 12 Ahau, 5 Cimi. 1 Men, 5 Cauac, 12 
Cimi, and 8 Men. 

(3) Between 1 Ymix and 1 Been they are 12 Eb, .5 Ezanab, 1 Manik, 5 Chuen. 12 
Ezanab, and 8 Manik. 

(4) Between 1 Been and 1 Chicchan they are 12 Kau, 5 Oc, 1 Cauac, 5 Akbal, 12 
Oc, and 8 Cauac. 

' Study (jf the Manuscript Troano, by Cynis Thomas, pp. 15, 16. 
' Dechiffrement iles ecritures calculiformes ou Mayas, par M. le C" H. de Cha- 
rency, Alengon. 184!): also. Melanges, pp. IH.VIor). 


These, as will be readily ijerceived, are found by counting on the 
calendar from 1 Caban, 1 Muluc, &c., as heretofore explained." 

Our interpretation of the series of this particular class is now com- 
plete, except as to their application or the object in view in forming 
tliem and the determination of the particular years to which they 
apply. Possibly they may be of general application, so far as con- 
sistent with the calendar system. The conclusion on this point de- 
pends largely upon the conclusion as regards the system, a's it is evi- 
dent their location in time — if the year of 365 days and the four series 
of years formed the basis of the system — would not correspond with 
their position in a system based upon the year of 360 days, in which 
the four year series does not play any necessary part. 

Dr. Forstemann calls attention to the fact that the pairs of numerals 
representing the intermediate days are usually placed in separate com- 
partments, each containing a figure or a picture generally symbolic or 
of a priest dressed to indicate some particular god. It is therefore very 
probable that these intermediate days are to be devoted to ceremonies 
relating to the divinities or subjects indicated by these figures. 

In order to confirm the theory we are now discussing and at the same 
time show some of the difl'erent varieties of the series of the type now 
under consideration, the following additional examples are given. 

In the middle division of Plate 5 is a day column and a numeral 
series, as follows : 

Manik ) 

Cauac [ 16, IV: 9, XIII; S -f 5, XII: 3, I. 
Chuen) -r . . , 


This series terminates with I, as it should according to the theory. 
The sum of the black numerals — 16, 9, 20, 5, 3 — is 53, a multiple of 
thirteen, and the interval between the successive days, reading down- 
wards, is 52, agreeing in these particulars with the theory. It will 
also be observed that the symbol represented by S answers to the 
number 20. 

In the lowest division of the same plate is another similar series, 
as follows : 

Ezanab 1 

Akbal [ 30 -f 9, II ; 11, XIII : 18, V; 7, XII. 
Lamat ) 

This terminates with XII, the number over the column: the sum of 
the black numbers is 65, a multiple of thirteen and precisely the 
interval between the successive days of the column, taking the week 
numbers into consideration, which is always to be understood in 
speaking of these intervals unless the contrary is expressly stated. 

' For an explanation of the principle upon which these day columns were formed, 
see " Notes on certain Maya and Mexican maniisciii>ts." by Cyrus Thomas, published 
in the Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Etlmology. 














Ill the middle division of Plate 8 is a short series connected with a 

day column containing the following days, reading downwards, as 

usual : Manik, Cauac, Chuen, Akbal, Men. The symbol for Akbal 

(Fig. oGl), is a very unusual one. reminding us strongly of a 

d^J skiill, which may possibly have given origin to the symbol. 

The numerals of the series are as follows : 20+ 6, VIII; 20 + 

■ 6, VIII; the number over the column, VIII; and the interval 

between the days, 53. 

In Plate 15, division c, is the following series, which differs from 
those given in having two day columns instead of one: 

12, II; 14, III. 

The final number is the same as that over the columns; the sum of 
the black numbers is 20, which is a multiijle of lo: but in this case in 
counting the intei'vals the days are to be taken alternately from the 
two columns. 

Commencing with 3 Lamat on our calendar and counting 2(5 days 
brings us to 3 Ix; 26 more to 3 Ahau; 2G more to 3 Cimi, and so on 
to the end. 

In the lower division of Plate 9 is a series arranged as follows: 


Cauac Been 3 2 

j XI II 

( 3 4 


I 4 1 

Men Muluc I III 

Manik Ymix 7 3 

The sum of the black numerals is 36 and the final red number is III, 
the same as that over the columns. The interval between the days, 
taken alternately from the two columns, as ih the preceding example, 
is 2G. The numbers are also to be taken alternately from the two 
number columns. 

It is apparent that these examples sustain the theory advanced. 
This will also be found true in regard to all the series of this type 
in this and the other codices where the copy is correct. Brasseur's 
copy of the Manuscript Troano is so full of mistakes that no satis- 
factory examination of this codex can be made until a photographic 
copy is obtained; nevertheless a few examples are given as proof of 
the above statement. 

In the third division of Plate XI* is the following series: 


Eb S- 17, VIII; 13, VIII; 10 V; 12, IV. 


Chuen Chicchan 

Akbal Caban 


As will be readily seen, after the explanations given, this agrees 
with the theory advanced. 

The last red number is the same as that over the day column, the 
sum of the black numbers is 53, and the interval between the day's 52. 

Commencing in the right margin of the lowest division of Plate 
XXIII* and running through Plates XXII* and XXI*, is the series 
hei'e represented: 


Cib Cimi 1 

}^ Eb -7, I: 7, VIII; 7,11; 5, VII. 

Lamat Ezanab ) 

Ix Kan 

Ahau Oc 

An examination of this shows it to be of the type of the double 
column series of the other codex, except that here the days of one 
column are to be taken in the order in which they stand before pro- 
ceeding to the other column. The sum of the black numbers is 26 
and the interval between 7 Cib and 7 Ik 2G days. The interval be- 
tween 7 Ik and 7 Lamat, 7 Lamat and 7 Ix. and between 7 Ix and 7 
Ahau is, in each case, 2« days. The interval between 7 Ahau, last 
day of the left hand column, and 7 Cimi, the first day of the right 
hand column, is also 2G days. 

The order in which the days of these double column series of tliis 
manuscript. follow one another is not uniform, as in some cases (see 
Plate XXV*, division a) they are to be taken alternately from the 
two columns, as in the examples heretofore given from the Dresden 

In the middle division (Plate XXXIII*, same codex) is a series of 
the following form, but with the days so nearly obliterated that res- 
toration is necessary: 


Ymix (?) 
Cimi (?) 
Cib (?) 



5 8 


5 8 


5 8 


5 8 


15 8 

The symbol of the first day has only the upper circle of dots to 
indicate that it is Ymix. that of the second day is almost obliterated, 
the third is clearly Chuen, the lower half of the fourth is obliterated, 
and the interior of the fifth is a blank. 

Fortunately there are sufficient data by which to make the restora- 
tion. Chuen, we observe, is the middle of the column; that is, two 
days are above it and two days below it; the sum of the black nu- 
merals is G5; hence the interval between the days, considering the 
week numbers as attached, is G5. and the simple interval in the 
month series, without regard to tlie week numbers, is 5. Counting 


back on our calendar (Table II) 65 days from 1 Cliuen we reach 1 
Cimi. and 65 more bring us to 1 Ymix. In like manner we find the 
fourth day to be 1 Cib and the fifth 1 Ymix. The numbers in the 
figure cokimns are to be taken alternately, thus: 5, VI; 8, I; 5, VI; 
8. I, &c. 

These examples are sufiicient to show that the series of the Manu- 
script Troano are arranged upon the same plan and based upon the 
same system as those of the Dresden Codex. The following exam- 
ples from the Codex Cortesianus prove the same thing to be true in 
reference to the series found in it. 

The first is taken from the lower division of Plates 10 and 11, 

Rosny's reproduction: 


^,¥" I 11, XI: 5, III; 5, VIII; 5, XIII; 9, IX; 3, XII; 6, V; 1, VI; S, XIII. 

Chicchan ij ' ' ' ' 



The S in the line of numerals represents the usual symbol for 20. 
The sum of the black numbers is 65, the interval between the days 
65. and the last red numeral the same as that over the day column, 
thus agreeing in plan with those in the other codices. 

The following double column series is found in the middle division 

of Plate 30: 


Ahau Ymix ) • 

Eb Been - 20 + 6, XI; 30 -j- 6, XI. 

Kan Caban ) 

Cib Chicchan 

Lainat Mauik 

The number 20 is denoted by the usual symbol. The sum of the 
black numbers is 52 and the interval between the days in each 
column 52, but in this case there does not appear to be any connec- 
tion between the cokimns, there being, in fact, two distinct series. 
In the upper division of the same plate is this series: 

r- u i VI XI 

Ezanab < ^ r^ 

Oc jVI ^I 


Tl i VI XI 

^ 1 8 5 

T i VI XI 

I^ ] 8 5 

The order in which these numerals are to be read is as follows: 8, 
VI; 5, XI; 8, VI; 5, XI, &c., which gives, as the final red number 
of the series, XI, the same as that over the column. The sum of the 
black numbers is 52 and the interval lietween the days 52. 

Taking for granted that the correctness of the theory advanced is 
conceded, some attempts at its further application, especially its use 
in making restorations and corrections in defective series and in 
settling doubtful questions relating thereto, will now be presented. 


In the upper division of Plate 33, Dresden Codex, are the four day 
columns and lines of numerals ovor them here represented: 


































Connected with these numbers is a line of alternate black and red 
numbers running along over the figures of Plates 33 to 39, division a. 
There are several breaks and some partially obliterated characters 
in it which must be restored in order to use it. It has been selected 
partly on this account, that the method of filling such breaks and 
making such restorations may be seen. 

Representing the numerals and symbols as heretofore and substi- 
tuting a cipher where the numbers are wanting or are too much 
obliterated to be determined by inspection, the series will be as fol- 
lows : 11, XI; 8-1-20, 0; Vi (or 13). XIII; 0-1-20, XIII; 12. VII ( ?); ](] (?), 
V;5,X; 1,XI;20,V; 12, IV, 6, X; 0, V; 5, X; 7, IV; 12 (?), II; 5, VII; 
8, II; 11, 0. 

Commencing with the XIII over the day columns and counting as 
heretofore, we obtain the following result: XIII-|-11 — 13=XI; Xl-f- 
8-f-20-13-13=XIII. The first blank should therefore be filled with 
XIII. Continuing. XIII-M3-13 = XIII; the black numeral in this 
case should be 13, although apparently 12 in the codex; XIII-|-(j-f-20 
-13-13=XIII; XIII4-12-13=XII. Here the re.sult obtained dif- 
fers from the red numeral in the codex, which is apparently one line 
and two dots, or VII; but, by carefidly examining it or inspecting an 
uncolored copy, the two lines which have been covered in the colored 
copy by a single broad red line are readily detected. The next black 
numeral is partially oljliterated, the remaining portion indicating 
16, but it is aiDparent from the following red numeral that it should 
be 19. Making this correction we proceed with our count: XII+IO 
-13-13=V; V-f 5=X; X-I-I-^XI; XI+20-13-13=V; V-H2-13 = 
IV; IV-f (] = X. The next black numeral is obliterated, but is readily 
restored, as X-t-8-13=V; V-h5=X; X-|-7-13=IV. The next step 
presents a difficulty which we are unable to explain satisfactorily. 
The black numeral to be counted here, which stands over the animal 
figure in the upper division of Plate 30, is 12, both in Kingsborough's 
copy and in Forsteniann's photograph, and is clear and distinct in 
each, and the following red numeral is as distinctly II, whereas IV 
-1-12 — 13=111. Moreover it is evident from the remaining numbers 
in the line that this red numeral should be II. We may assume that 
the Maya artist has made a mistake and written 13 instead of 11, which 


is evidently the number to be used in the count; Ijut this arbitrary 
correction should not be resorted to so long as any other explanation 
is jjossible. From the fact that immediately under these numbers 
there are certain symbols which appear to have some reference to the 
termination of one year or cycle and the commencement of another, 
it is possible that a supplemental, unnumbered, but not imcounted 
day has been added. The fact that this interval of twelve days 
includes the day Ymix lends some probability to this suiijjosition. 
Using 11 instead of 12, we continue our count as follows: IV+11 — 13 
= 11; II + 5=VII; VII+8-i:]=II; II + 11=XIII. Thirteen is, there- 
fore, the last number of the series, which is wanting in the codex. 
The 8 and II next to the last pair of the series are ntit in line with 
the other numbers, but thrust into and near the bottom of the column 
of characters in tlie upper division of Plate 39. Adding together the 
black numbers as thus amended and restored, viz, 11, 8, 20, 13, 6, 20, 
12, 19, 5, 1, 20, 12, G, 8, 5, 7, 11, 5, 8, 11, the sum is found to be 208, 
which is a multiple of 13, and the final number of the series is 13. 
On the other hand, the sum of the series does not indicate the inter- 
val between the days of a column coimting downwards, nor between 
two consecutive days or the corresponding days of two adjoining 
columns in any direction. The number of days from 1.3 Mauik to 13 
Chuen is 101, but counting 208 days from 13 Manik brings us to 13 
Men, the tliird day of the first (left hand) column; 208 more to 13 
Akbal, the fifth; 208 more to 13 Chuen, the second; and 208 more to 
13 Cauac. the fourth, thus completing tlie column. 

As these columns do not appear to form a continuous series it is 
possible they pertain to four different series of years, though the fact 
that each includes more than one year would seem to forbid this idea. 
It is more probable that they pertain to four different series, to each 
of which the line of numerals is to be considered as belonging. 

The black numerals above the columns present a problem which I 
am unable to explain. The niunbers stand in the original as follows: 


4 13 9 4 

15 13 3 11 

If we suppose that the lowest line denotes days, the one next above, 
months, and the uppermost, in which there is but a single number, 
years, the series will appear tiibe ascending toward the left, with the 
difference i months and 11 days, as shown by addition, thus: 

y. M. D. 

4 11 Numbere over the fourth CI ilumn. 

4 II 

9 3 Numbers over the tliird column. 

4 n 

13 13 Numbers over the second column. 


Doubling the difference and adding we obtain tlie numbers over 
the first column: 

Y. M. D. 

13 13 

9 3 

1 4 13 

What adds to the difficulty is the fact that if the columns are taken 
in reverse order the interval between the corresponding days is 4 
months and 11 days; that is to say, counting from 13 Ix, iirst day 
of the fourth column, to 13 Chicchan, first day of the third column, 
we find the interval to be exactly i months and 11 days; and the 
same rule holds good throughout, so that reading across the upper 
line of days, from right to left, and following with the second line 
in the same way, ending with Akbal, the interval will be 4 months 
and 11 days between the consecutive days. Another significant fact 
is that by counting 4 mouths and 11 days from the first day of the year 
1 Kan we reach 13 Ix; counting 9 months and 2 daj^s from the same 
date brings us to 13 Chicchan; 13 months and 13 days, to 13 Cib; and 
1 year and 4 days, to 13 Manik, which corresponds with the regular 
interval; it is therefore probable that there is an error in the numerals 
over the first or left hand column. 

It is apparent from the illustrations given that in numeral series of 
the preceding type restorations can be made where not more than 
two numbers in succession are wanting. Even three can generally be 
restored if the numbers preceding and those following the break are 
distinct, but such restorations should be cautiously made. 

In the middle division of Plate 9 is a short series where the number 
over the day column is wanting; moreover, there is uncertainty as 
to the number of days in the column and as to the signification of 
the red numerals, which are in pairs in Kingsboroi;gh"s work instead 
of single as usual. Is it possible to explain these uncertainties and 
to reduce them to the usual simple form? Let us make the trial. 

The days in the column are apparently the following: Ahau, 
Muluc, Ix, Cauac, Kan. The symbols, except that for Cauac, are 
too plain to admit of doubt, and there is no difficulty in reference to 
Cauac, the question of doubt being with regard to the Ahau, which 
is partially surrounded by other characters and may, apjDarently, be 
as correctly considered a part of the hieroglyphic inscription as of 
the day column. 

Counting on the list of days in the calendar (Table II), as, for ex- 
ample, the Muluc cokimn, we find the interval from Muluc to Ix is 
5 days, from Ix to Cauac is 5 days, and from Cauac to Kan 5 days; 
but the interval from Ahau to Muluc is 9 days. From this fact we 
may reasonably infer that Ahau does not belong to the column. 
Moreover, the other 4 days are the four year bearers, and when they 
occur together the cohimn usually consists of but 4 days, as, for ex- 
ample, in the lowest division of Plate 39 of this codex and Plate 
G ETH 19 


XXXII * of the Manuscript Troano. The numerals are 20; XIII, X; 
20, XII. Ill: the number over the day column, as before stated, is want- 
ing. The interval from 1 Muluc (or 2 or 3 Muhic) to Ix of the same 
number is Go days. It is evident, therefore, that one of each pair of red 
numerals of the series given must be a counter and has been colored 
red by mistake. As the numbers in the last pair are III and XII, the 
number over the coliimn must be 3 or 12. Suppose it is 12 and that 
XIII of the first pair is a counter, then XII+ 20+ 13 - 13- 13- 13= VI. 
As the number in the series is X this will not do. Supposing the X 
of the first pair of red numerals to be the counter, colored by mistake, 
the result is as follows : XII+20 + 10-13- 13-13=111. This is also 
wrong, as the remainder should be XIII. Supposing the number 
over the column to be III and the XIII of the first pair and XII of 
the second to be the counters, the result agrees with the theory in 
every particiahir. Thus, III + 20+13-13-13 = X ; X+20+12-13- 
13—13=111: and 20+13 + 20+12 = 65, the interval between 3 Muluc 
and 3 Ix. In Forstemann's copy the XIII and XII are black, thus 
verifying the conclusion here reached. 

The series rimning through Plates 10c and llr presents some diffi- 
culties which I have, so far, been unable to solve. The day columns 
and numerals are as follows: 


Ymis Cimi ) 

Been Ezanab [ 1, I; 5, VI; 10, III; 13, III; 15, V; 9 (?), XIII. 

Chicchan Oc ) 

Caban Ik 
Muluc Ix' 

The numerals in this case are very distinct, especially in the photo- 
graphic copy, and there can be no doubt as to the days. Here the 
last black number, 9, is wrong; it should be 8, a fact noticed by 
Forstemann.' Making this correction, the series is regular and con- 
sistent, so far as it relates to the right hanrl column, which has the 
red thirteen over it. But there is no series for the left hand cohimn. 
Can it be that those who iised the manuscript were expected to find 
the proper numbers by the line given? Possibly this is the reason 
the other series is not written out. as hy adding one to each red num- 
ber we obtain the proper result, which, if written out, would be as 
follows: 1. II; 5, VII; 10, IV; 13. IV; 15. VI: 8, I. 

In Plate 30c are the four day columns here given, with the numeral 
eleven over each: 


Ahau Chicchan Oc Men 

Caban Ik Manik Eb 

Is Cauac Kan Muluc 

Cliuen Cib Ymix Cimi 

Laraat Been Ezanab Akbal. 

' The symbol for this day in Kingsborough resembles Laraat, but the photographic 
copy makes it Ix, as it should be. 
^ Forstemann, Erlauterungen zur Mayahandschrift, p. 42. 


Extending from the right of this group is a numeral series consist- 
ing of nine pairs of numbers, each pair the same, 13, XI. The sum 
of the black numbers (nine 13"s) is 117 and the interval between 
the successive days of each column is 117; thus, from 11 Ahau to 11 
Caban is 117 days, and so on down to Lamat. the last of the left hand 
column. From 11 Lamat to 11 Chicchan (first day of second column) 
is also 117, and so on to the end of the fourth column. These four 
columns, therefore, form one continuous series of 2.2'io days, com- 
mencing with 11 Ahau and ending with 11 Akbal; T)ut, by adding 117 
days more, so as to bring us back to 11 Ahau — which appears to be 
in accordance with the plan of these series — the sum is ^.ISK) days, or 
nine cycles of 260 days eacli.' 

The interval betAveen the days, without reference to the numbers 
attached to them, is 17. It may be well to notice here the relation of 
the intervals between the days when counted in the two ways: (1) the 
apjiarent interval, or that which indicates their position in the month ; 
(■i) the true interval between the days, indicated by the symbols and 
numbers. When the first is G the latter, as we have found, is ■ii\- when 
the first is 12 the latter is 52; when the first is 5 the latter is 05, and 
when it is 17 the latter is 117. 

Particular attention is also called here to the fact that so far no indi- 
cations of the use of the year period of 305 days have been observed; 
on the contrary the cycle of 200 days a.ppears to be the period to which 
reference is chiefly made. 

Attached to the day column in Plate 2nr and running into 30c is a 
series which presents a difficulty I am unable to explain. The daj^s 
and numerals in this case are as follows: 

Ka'Jf'^ (• 16, VI: 16. IX: Ifi, XII; 16, (?) 

The red niimeral over the day column is very distinctly III in 
Kingsborough's work, but is II, though somewhat blurred, in Forste- 
mann's i)hotograph. As III-I-IO— 13=VI, and the remaining nu- 
merals agree with this result. III must be correct. Adding together 
the pairs and casting out the thirteen^, thus. Ill -|- IG — 13=VI; VI -|- 
1G-13 = IX; IX-t-lG-13=XII; XII -|- 10-13-13 = 11, we find the 
last red number, which is wanting in both copies of the codex, to 
be II, whereas, according to the theory advanced, it should be III. 
The sum of the black numerals (four 16"s) is G-1, while the interval be- 
tween the days is 05. The only way of correcting the mistake, if one 
has been made, is by arbitrai'ily changing the last 10 to 17; but uni. 
formity in the black numerals apjiarently forbids this change and 
and indicates that the variation from the usual rule must be accoimted 
for in some other way. 

' Erlauterungen zur Mayahandschrift, p. 26. 


In reference to tliis series, Dr. Forsteniann' remarks: 

The column of the days has tlie difference 5; the fifth sign (in this case really 
superfluous), that of tlie tliirteenth day, appears in a remarkable form, apparently 
as an inscription on a vessel. Tlie black figures ought to give the sum 65, but we 
get only 4 x 16, or 64. But this appears to be merely an oversight by the copyist, 
for although in the Codex Troano, also, we find 64 several tunes instead of 65, still 
tliis lias always appeared to me merely as a sign of the great negligence of the 
copyist of that manuscript. 

Turning to the Manuscript Troano, Plate XXVIII*&. we find a 
cohtmn consisting of the four terminal days of the year, Been, 
Ezanab, Akbal, and Lamat, which of course have the same relation 
to one another as the first days. It is evident from the space that only 
four were intended to be given. The numerals in Brasseur's fac 
simile are XI ; 20, 12, IV; 9, XIII ; 10, X ; 13, XI. 

The red numeral over the column is XI, as is also the last of the 
series, but the sum of the black numbei's is only G4, which would give 
X as the final number, as is evident from the following operation ; 
XI+33-13-1.3-13=IV; IV+9=XIII; XIII+10-13=X ; X+13- 
13 = X. The interval between the days is G5. We have, therefore, 
precisely the same difficulty in this instance as in the case from the 
Dresden Codex under consideration. Moreover, the only method of 
correcting the mistake, if there is one, is by adding one to the last 
black number. It would be hazardous to assume that two mistakes, 
precisely the same in every respect, should have been made in regard to 
these exactly similar series. The probaljility that a mistake has been 
made is lessened by the fact that on Plate XXIX*6 of the manu- 
script is another four day column, the last days of the years, as the 
preceding. The ntimeral over the colitmn is XIII and the series is 
as follows : 13, XIII ; 20, 18, XII ; 13, XIII. Adding these and cast- 
ing out the thirteens, we have this result : XIII-l-13 — 13=Xin ; 
XIII-l-20-t-18-13-13-13=XII; XII-hl3- 13=XII. This gives XII 
as the last number when it should be XIII. If a mistake has been 
made the only method of correcting it is by increasing the last black 
number by one, as in the other two cases alluded to. 

It is proper to state that on the other hand there is another four 
day column on Plate XXXII*a of the last mentioned codex, the 
days of which are precisely the same as those on Plate 29c of the 
Dresden Codex, to wit, Ix, Cauac, Kan, Muluc. The numeral over it 
is XII and the series is as follows: 13, XII: 13. XII: 13, XII; 13, XII; 
13, XII. This presents no difficulty, as it conforms in every respect 
to the rules given, but only serves to deepen the mystery in the other 

Going back to the series on Plate 29c of the Dresden Codex, we 
observe not only that the days of the column are the four year bear- 
ers, but also that one of the four cardinal symbols is fotmd — in the 
superscription — in each of the four compartments through which 

' Erlauterungen zur Mayahandschrift, p. 60. 

^oM^s] SERIES ON PLATES 30 AND 31. 293 

the series extends. It is possible, therefore, that the series is in- 
tended to be ai^ijlied separately to each of the four years. Suppo.sing 
this to be the case, counting 04 days from 3 Ix would bring us to 
2 Ezanab; 64 days from 3 Cauac to 2 Akbal; 64 days from 3 Kan to 
2 Lamat; and 64 days from 3 Muluc to 2 Been. It is significant that 
in each case the day reached is that on which the given year termi- 
nates; for example, the Ix years (counting the five added days) ter- 
minate on Ezanab; the Cauac years on Akbal &c. If the intention 
was to have the series terminate with the end of the respective years, 
then these years must necessarily have been 2 Ix, 2 Cauac, 2 Kan,' 
and 2 Muluc. I must confess that this explanation is not satisfactory- 
it is thrown out simply as a suggestion. 

Eunning through the middle division of Plates 30 and 31 is this 

3, VIII. 3, VIII. 3, VIII 3, Vin 

5. Oo • 5, Men' 5, Ahau' 5, Chicchan. 

Commencing with 8 Oc (omitting for the present the 3 and 5 to 

the left) and counting thence 3 months and 5 days we reach 8 

Men; 3 months and 5 days more and we reach 8 Ahau; 3 months and 

5 days more bring us to 8 Chicchan. and 3 months and 5 days more 

bring us again to 8 Oc, thus comijleting a cycle of 260 days (13 

months) and also accounting for the first pair of numerals — 3 and 5 — 

in the series. It appears to be a pretty general rule to commence a 

series of this type with the difl:'erence between the numbers of the 

series. One reason for this is apparent: that is, to complete the cycle 

of 260 days, to which most, if not all, of these groups appear to refer. 

Dr. Forstemann says in regard to this line:' 

This is the place wliere I first discovered liow numbers of several figures are to be 
read; liere for the first time I understood that tlie figure 3 witii 5 below it is nothing 
but 3 X 20-1-5, or 65, and that they mean nothing else than tlie interval between 
the days, such as we have frequently met with so far; 4 X 65 is again the well 
known period of 360 days. 

Plate 3 appears to be isolated and unfinished; at least it presents 
nothing on its face by which it can be directly connected with any 
other plate of the codex, notwithstanding the change made by Dr. 
F("irstemann. by which 4.5 was brought next to it. The day column 
in this case is in the middle compartment of the upper division and 
consists of the following days: Ahau, Eb, Kan, Cib, Lamat; the red 
numeral over it is I. The numerals and days are arranged as follows : 
(•') (?) 4, V(?^ 15, XIII 


8, XIII Eb 


Cib 14(?) 


' Erlautei-ungen zur Mayahandschrift, p. 56. 


As nuinerals belonging to two different series are never found in 
the same compartment it is fair to assume tliat those of the middle 
and right compartments pertain to one series. But what shall we 
say in reference to those in the left compartment, the upper pair of 
which is almost entirely obliterated ? So far we have found no series 
extending to the left of the day column. Is this an exceptional case? 
I am inclined to believe it is, for the following reasons : 

Taking the 4, V over the bird as the first pair of the series, we have 
I4-4=V, which is so far correct; after this follows the pair in the 
lower left hand corner, 8, XIII, as V+8=XIII. It is probable that 
the obliterated pair in the upjaer left hand corner followed next, then 
the pair in the upper right hand corner, and last the partly obliterated 
one in the lower right hand corner. In this case the obliterated pair 
in the upper left hand corner should be 11, XI, as XIII+11— 13=XI, 
and XI+15— 13=XIII,, and XIII+14-13-1.3=I, which makes the 
terminal red number of the series the same as that over the day 
column. This restoration requires no change of any of the numbers 
which can be distinctly read. By adding together the black niim- 
bers 4, 8, 11, 15, 14, the sum is found to be 52, precisely the interval 
between the days of the column. These facts are sufficient to render 
it more than probable that the restoration and the order as here given 
are correct. The series as thus given, including the nuui1)er over the 
day column, is : I; 4, V; 8, XIII; 11, XI; 15, XIII; 14, I. 

This is rejieated, because on turning to Dr. Forstemann's comment 
on this series I find that he has restored and amended it so as to read 
thus: I; 10, XI; 4, V; 15, XIII; 1), XIII; 14, I; and he remarks that 
all would be plain sailing if, for the V before and the XIII after 15, 
we could read II and IV. This is true, but these numbers are too 
distinct to justify such change; moreover his "9" is not to be found 
on the page; it is true that the three dots over the line are not exactly 
si^aced, but there are no indications of a fourth ; the number is 8 and 
should, I think, be so read. His 10 is the obliterated black numeral; 
of course the value attributed to it depends upon the order given to 
the series. The fragments remaining of the red number of this pair 
I think warrant his making it XI. 

Plates 4G, 47, 48, 49, and 50 are peculiar and seemingly have no 
direct relation to any other part of the codex. In the upper left 
hand corner of each are four day cohimns, all more or less injured, 
but each column evidently contained, originally, thirteen days, or, 
more correctly speaking, the symbol for one day repeated thirteen 
times. In every case the day in the first (left hand) column and that 
in the third column are the same. As the numbers attached to them 
are absolutely unreadable in Kingsborough and much obliterated in 
the photograjih, I give here restorations for the benefit of those study- 
ing this codex. This restoration is easily made by finding the order 




of the series, wliich can be obtained from Plates 4-9 and 50 of the pho- 
tographic copy. 

Plate 4G: 

in Cib. 

II Cimi 

XI Cib. 

X Cimi 

VI Cib. 


I Cib. 

XIII Cimi 

IX Cib. 

VIII Cimi 

IV ab. 


Xn Cib. 

XI Cimi 

VII Cib. 


II Cib. 

I Cimi 


IX Cimi 


IV Cimi 

XIII Cib. 

XII Cimi 

VIII Cib. 

VII Cimi 

Plate 47: 

II Aliau. 


X Aliau. 

IX Oc. 

V Ahau. 

IV Oc. 

XIII Ahau. 

XII Oc. 

VIII Ahau. 

VII Oc. 

Ill Ahau. 

II Oc. 

XI Ahau. 


VI Ahau. 


I Ahau. 


IX Ahau. 


IV Ahau. 

Ill Oc. 

XII Ahau. 

XI Oc. 

VII Aiiau. 

VI Oc. 


XIII Cib. 

VIII Cib. 

ni Cib. 

XI Cib. 

VI ab. 

I Cib. 

IX Cib. 

I\^ Cib. 

XII Cib. 

VII Cib. 

II Cib. 


rv Ahau. 

XII Ahau. 

VII Alum. 

II Ahau. 

X Ahau. 

V Ahau. 

XIII Ahau. 

VIII Ahau. 

Ill Ahau. 

XI Ahau. 

VI Ahau. 

I Aliau. 

IX AJiau. 

Xni Kan. 
VIII Kan. 

III Kan. 
XI Kan. 
VI Kan. 

I Kan. 
IX Kan. 

IV Kan. 
XII Kan. 
VII Kan. 

II Kan. 
X Kan. 














As the arrangement and the order of the series are readily seen 
from the two examples given, only the top and bottom lines of the 
remaining series will be presented. 

Plate 48: 

I Kan. 


Ill Kan. 

XI Eb. 


* * 

» * 

* * 

VI Kan. 


VIII Kan. 

III Eb. 

Plate 49: 

XIII Lamat. 

XII Ezanab. 

II Lamat. 

X Cib. 

* » 

* » 

* * 

* .* 

V Lamat. 

IV Ezanab. 

VII Lamat. 

II Cib. 

Plate 50: 

XII Eb. 

XI Ik. 


IX Ahau 

* * 

* * 

» » 

* * 

IV Eb. 

III Ik. 

VI Eb. 

I Ahau 

A careful examination of these groups will bring to light the fol- 
lowing relations of the numbers, days, columns, and series to one 

The numerals of any one column, counting downwards, diger from 


one another by 8; that is to say, by adding 8 to any one and casting 
out 13 when the sum exceeds that number, the next lower number 
will be obtained; or, reversing the operation and counting upward, 
the difference is found to be 5. The triie interval between the days 
of the columns (counting downwards) is 3 months (60 days), a rule 
which holds good as to all the series and each column. Thus, from 
3 Cib to 11 Cib is 3 months, or 60 days; from 11 Cib to 6 Cib, 3 
months; from 2 Cimi to 10 Cimi, 3 months, and from 13 Kan to 8 Kan, 
3 months. 

Counting on tlie list of the days of the month, without reference 
to the week numbers attached to them, it will be found tliat from 
Cib to Cimi is an interval of 10 days, and from Cib to Kan is an in- 
terval of 8 days. This rule holds good as to all the series, showing 
that all are arranged upon precisely the same plan. The true interval 
between any day of the first column of either series (the week num- 
ber attached being considered) and the opposite or corresponding day 
in the second column, is 4 months and 10 daj's, that between the cor- 
responding days of the second and third columns is 12 months and 
10 daj's, that between the days of the third and fourth columns is 8 
days, and that between the corresponding days of the fourth or last 
column of one series or plate and the first column of the following 
series or plate (taking the plates in the order they are paged) is 1 1 
months and 16 days. 

In order to illustrate this we will run through the lowest line of 
each series, taking them in the order of the pages.' 

These are as follows: 

Plate 46: 

VIII Cib. 

VII Cimi. 


V Kan. 

Plate 47: 

VII Ahau. 

VI Oc. 

IX Ahau. 

IV Lamat. 

Plate 48: 

VI Kan. 


VIII Kan. 

Ill Eb. 

Plate 49: 

V Lamat. 

IV Ezanab. 

VII Lamat. 

II Cib. 

Plate 50: 

IV Eb. 

Ill Ik. 

VI Eb. 

I Ahau. 

By counting on the calendar (our Table II), as heretofore explained, 
the reader will observe that the interval from 8 Cib to 7 Cimi is 4 
months and 10 days; from 7 Cimi to 10 Cib is 13 months and 10 days; 
from 10 Cib to .5 Kan is 8 days; from 5 Kan to 7 Ahau is 11 months 
and 16 days; from 7 Ahau to 6 Oc, 4 months and 10 days; from 6 Oc 
to 9 Ahau, 12 months and 10 days; from 9 Ahau to 4 Lamat, 8 days; 
from 4 Lamat to 6 Kan, 11 months and 16 days, and so on to the end 
of the series on Plate SO. Referring to the codex the reader will 
observe at the bottom of each plate and directly under — that is to 
say, in the same vertical lines as the day columns — two lines of red 
numerals. It is impossible, to determine these in Kingsborough's 
copy (except on Plate 50), but they can readily be made out on the 

' The bottom lines are selected because they are less injured in the codex than the 
top hues, which are in most cases entirely obliterated. 





Fig 362. Copy of Plate 50, Dresden Codex. 


photographed plates. (See the copy of Plate 50, given in Fig. 362.) 
Those on a single plate are as follows: , 

( XI, IV, XII, 0, 
"( XVI, X, X, VIII. 

The here represents a red, diamond shaped symbol. 

If the upper line represents months and the lower line days, these 
numbers will indicate the intervals between the columns and are 
properly placed. For example, the XI and XVI signify 11 months 
and 16 days, the interval between the last column of the preceding 
plate and the first column of the plate on which they stand; the IV 
and X, the interval of 4 months and 10 days between the first and 
second columns; XII and X, the interval of 12 months and 10 days 
between the second and third columns; and 0, VIII, the interval of 
8 days between the third and fourth columns. It is apparent from 
this that the red, diamond shaped symbol represented by over the 
VIII denotes a cipher or nought, a conclusion reached independently 
by Forstemann. 

If this supposition as to the arrangement of the series and the signifi- 
cation of these numbers be correct, it is apparent that the plates are 
to be taken in the order in which they are paged, that is, from left 
to right, as the others so far noticed, an inference borne out by an- 
other fact now to be mentioned. 

Immediately below each of these four column day series are four 
lines of characters (hieroglyphics), and immediately under the latter 
three horizontal lines of black numerals, with here and there a I'ed, 
diamond shaped symbol inserted. As these numerals stand directly 
in the vertical lines of the day columns, it is possible the two have 
some connection with each other, a supposition somewhat strength- 
ened by what has been observed in regard to the red numerals at the 
bottom of the plates. To test this and also for the reason that we 
propose to discuss their I'elations and their use, we give here the bot- 
tom line of days of each of the five series (or plates), together with 
their week numliers attached; also, the numbers of the three lines of 
black numerals mentioned, taking them in the order of the paging as 
here shown: 

Plate 46 : 

VIII Cib. 

VII Cimi. 













Plate 47 : 

VII Ahau. 


IX Ahau. 

IV Lamat, 












VIII Kan. 

III Eb. 










IV Ezanab. 

VII Lamat. 

II Cib. 










III Ik. 

VI Eb. 

1 Aliau. 










flate 48 : 

VI Kan. 




Plate 49 : 

V Lamat. 

I'late oO : 

IV Eb. 


III considering tliese horizontal lines it is to be understood that the 
series runs through the five pages, 4G-50. 

Let us proceed upon the supposition that the figures of the lowest 
of the tliree lines denote days of the month, the numbers of the middle 
line months, and those of the upper line years. As already shown, 
the interval between 8 Cib and 7 Cimi is 4 months and 10 days; add- 
ing 4 months and 10 days to 11 months and 16 days (bearing in mind 
that 20 days make a month and 18 months a year), the sum is found 
to be 16 months and 6 days, precisely the figures under 7 Cimi. As 
already ascertained, the interval between 7 Cimi and 10 Cib is 12 
months and 10 days; this added to 16 months and 6 daj^s gives 1 year, 
10 months, 16 days, precisely the figures under 10 Cib. The interval 
between 10 Cib and 5 Kan is 8 days; this added to the 1 year. 10 months, 
and 16 days gives 1 year. 11 mouths, and 4 days, the figures under 5 
Kan. Tlie interval between 5 Kan and 7 Ahau is 11 months, 16 days, 
which, added to the preceding, gives 2 years, 5 months, day, agree- 
ing with the figures under 7 Ahau. if the symbol represented by 
signifies noiight. That this rule holds good throughout the entire 
series, by making one correction, is shown by the following additions: 

Yeais. Months. Days. 

11 16 Under \T^II Cib, Plate 46. 
4 10 

16 6 Under VII Cimi, Plate 46. 

12 10 

1 10 16 Under X Cib, Plate 46. 

1 11 4 Under V Kan, Plate 46. 

11 16 

2 5 Under VII Ahau, Plate 47 
4 10 

2 9 10 Under VI Oc, Plate 47. 

12 10 


Years. Months. Days. 

3 4 Under IX Aliau, Plate 47. 




Under IV Laraat, Plate 47. 






Under VI Kan, Plate 48. 






Under V Ix, Plate 48. 







Under VIII Kan, Plate 48. 




Under III Eb, Plate 48. 

11 16 

5 9 8 Under V Lamat, Plate 49. 

4 10 

5 13 18 Under IV Ezanab, Plate 49. 
13 10 

6 8 8 Under VII Lamat, Plate 49. 


6 8 16 Under II Cib, Plate 49. 
11 16 

7 2 13 Under IV Eb, Plate 50. 

4 10 

7 7 2 Under III Ik, Plate 50. 
13 10 

8 1 13 Under VI Eb, Plate 50. 


8 3 Under I Abau, Plate 50. 

The proof of the correctness of the theory advanced may, therefore, 
be considered conchisive, as it amounts, in fact, to a matliematical 

Dr. Forsteniann, who considers these lines of black numbers, stand- 
ing one above another, as representing different grades of units — 
thus, the lowest, single units; the second, units twenty-fold the lower; 
the third, eighteen-fold the second; the fourth, twenty-fold the third, 
&c. — has found the correct intervals of the series, which he states are 
236, 90, 350, and 8 days, agreeing with our 11 months, 10 days; 4 
months, 10 days; 13 months, 10 days, and 8 days. 

As all the discoveries mentioned herein were made previous to the 
receipt of Dr. Forstemann's work, I give them according to my own 
method, acknowledging any modification due to his work. Although 
I shall compare special results from time to time, an explanation of 

' 3 days in ms., should be 4. 


Dr. Forstemann's method is reserved for a future paper, as his work 
was not received until I was revising my notes for publication. 

The foregoing explanation of the series shows it to be very simple 
and makes it clear that it relates to the day columns at the top of 
the pages. Still, there is one point somewhat difficult to understand. 
Are the numbers of the third or lowest line intended to denote the 
positions in the month of the days in the columns above? If so, 
the month must have commenced with Ymix, as can readily be 
shown in the following manner: 

Table III. 

1. Ymix. 

2. Ik. 

3. Akbal. 

4. Kan. 

5. Chicchan. 

6. Cimi. 

7. Manik. 

8. Lamat. 

9. Muluc. 

10. Oc. 

11. Chuen. 

12. Eb. 

13. Been. 

14. Ix. 

15. Men. 

16. Cib. 

17. Caban. 

18. Ezanab. 

19. Cauac. 

20. Ahau. 

If we write in a column in proper order the 20 days of the Maya 
month, commencing witli Ymix, and number them consecutively 
as in Table III, we shall find by comparison that the numbers in 
the lower line indicate the position, in this column, of the days di- 
rectly over them. Take, for example, the lower line of black num- 
erals on Plate 40, writing over them the respective days of the col- 
umns, thus: 

Cib. Cimi. Cib. Kan. 

16 6 16 4 

Referring to Table III we see that Gib is the sixteenth day, Cimi 
the sixth, and Kan the fourth. 
The days and numbers of Plate 47 are: 

Ahau. Oc. Ahau. Lamat. 

10 8 

Ahau is the twentieth day — here is the diamond shaped symbol — 
Oc is the tenth, and Lamat the eighth, and so on to the end of the 
series on Plate 50. 


It maybe justly argued that such rekitiou to some given day of 
the month "would necessarily follow in any series of this kind made 
up by adding together intervals of days and months. Still it is not 
at all likely that these series were made up without reference to fitted 
and determinable dates. If so, the months given must be months of 
certain determinable years, and the days denoted must be days of 
particular months. In other words, if we had the projjer starting 
point we should be able to determine the position in the calendar of 
any day or month mentioned in the series. 

First. It is easily seen by reference to the calendar (Table II) that 
Cib is not the sixteenth day of the month of any of the four years, 
nor is Cimi the sixth nor Kan the fourth. The idea that the figures 
of this lower line repi'esent the days of the month must, therefore, be 
given vip imless we assume that the year commenced with Ymix. It 
may be worthy of notice at this point tliat the list of days on the so- 
called • ' title page " of the Manuscript Troano begins with Ymix. It 
is also true that the remarkable c^uadruple series in the Codex Cor- 
tesianus on Plates 13-18 commences with Ymix; as this is evidently 
some kind of a calendar table, its bearing on the question now before 
us is important. 

Second. It can easily be shown that the months referred to in the 
series, if the numbers given denote specific months, are not those of 
the Kan years. The first, S Cib, if in the eleventh month, must be in 
the year i Kan; counting forward from this i months and 10 days to 

7 Cimi brings us into the sixteenth month of the year 4 Kan; this 
agrees with our figures on Plate 46. Counting forward 12 months 
and 10 days to 10 Cib, we reach the tenth month of the next year; 

8 days more carry us to the eleventh month, which still agrees with 
the figures in the codex. Counting 11 months and 16 days more to 
7 Ahau, we reach but do not pass the fourth month of the next year ; 
hence the result does not correspond with the series, which has at 
this point a 5 in the middle line. The same will be found true in 
regard to the other years as given in our calendar (Table II). Tliis 
result, as a matter of course, must follow if the figures in the lower 
line of the series do not denote the month days of some one of the 
year series as usually given. 

Another fact also becomes apparent here, viz, that the 5 sup- 
plemental days of the year are not brought into the count, the year 
consisting throughout of 360 days. There is, in fact, nothing here 
indicating the four year series as given in the authorities and as rep- 
resented in our calendar table; yet this ought to appear wherever a 
series extends over more than one year. 

Dr. Forstemann says that this entire series of black numerals covers 
2,020 days, or 8 years of 305 days. This is true, but the concluding 
figures show that it is given by the writer of the codex as 8 years 
and 2 months, which would also be 2,920 days, counting the years at 




360 days eacli and the months 20 days each ; moreover, the members 
of the series are based throughout upon the year of 360 days. His 
theory that the intervals of the series relate to the movements of 
the planet Venus is, as yet, a mere hypothesis, which needs further 
pi'oof before it can demand acceptance; but his discovery of the 
methods of identifying the month symbols on the five plates now 
under consideration is important. Although I had noticed that most 
of the characters which he mentions are month symbols, I did not 
succeed m identifying all of them. 

According to his conclusion, which appears to be justified not only 
by the evidence he gives but by an additional fact that I shall pres- 
entlj' mention, there are four of these symbols in the upper row of 
the middle group of written characters on each plate and four in 
the upper and lower lines of the lower group on each plate (see, for 
example, Fig. 3G3). Each of these symbols (except three or four) 
has a black number attached to it which denotes the day of the month 
represented by the symbol. 

These months and days as given by Dr. Forstemann are as follows, 
the positions of the lines as here given corresponding with those of 
the plates: 

Table IV. — Table showing months and days. 

Plate 46 

Plate 47 

Plate 48. 

Plate 49. 

Plate 50. 







Month. Day. 







6 7 







10 12 







1 2 







17 6 







3 (not 2) 6 







9 16 







10 20 







14 5 







2 10 







2 14 







6 19 







13 9 







13 13 







17 18 







6 3 

An examination of the plates will show that Dr. Forstemann has 
filled out the following obliterated or wanting day numbers, to wit, 
the first of the upper line of Plate 46. the fourth of the upper line of 
Plate 47, and the second of the middle line and first of the lower line 
of Plate 50. He has also ventured to change the first day number of 
the lower line of Plate 46 from 16 to 14. Where the number 20 is 
found in his list there is no corresponding number in the codex, the 
month symbol only being given. It is evident he has proceeded in 
these cases upon the theory that the absence of a number indicated 



that the month was completed. Although probably correct in this 
conclusion, the question will arise, Does the symbol in such cases 
denote the month comjjleted or the mouth reached? 

The intervals between these dates are as follows, the left hand 
column being those between the first and second columns of Forste- 
mann's list (our Table IV), the second column those between the 
second and third columns of his list, the third column those between 
the third and fourth columns of his list, and the fourth column those 
between the last date of one plate and the first of the next: 

Table V. — Table showing intervals between dates. 

Month. Day. 

Month. Day. 

Month. Day. 

Month. Day. 

Plate 46 

4 10 
4 10 

13 5 
12 66 


11 16 

11 11 

4 10 

12 10 


9 M 

Plate 47 

4 5 

12 10 


11 11 

4 10 

12 5 


11 ICe 

4 13a 

12 5 


11 11 

Plate 48 

4 10 
4 5 

12 5 

12 10 


11 11 

11 11 

4 10 

12 5 


11 16 

Plate 49 

4 10 12 5 
4 10 12 5 


11 16 

11 16 

4 10 12 5 


11 11 

Plate 50 

4 10 12 5 
4 5 1 12 10 


11 11 

11 10 

4 10 12 5 


12 119 

Although it is apparent 

that the v 

ariations f 

rom the ii 

itervals of 

the black numeral and day series above them are too numerous and 
too uniform to be considered mistakes, yet there is little reason to 
doubt that these month numbers are connected with and depend upon 
the day series given in the columns above. 

That there are some errors is quite clear : for instance, the varia- 
tion at a arises from the fact that Dr. Forstemann gives the date 
here as 10 months, 10 days, whereas the codex has it 10 months, 13 
days. Making this correction the interval will be 4 months, 10 days. 
The correction will make the interval at d 9, 11, instead of 9, 8. Still 
there is a variation of two months from the usual interval, which, 
if corrected on the supposition that Dr. Forstemann has mistaken 
the month, would necessitate a change of the remainder of the series 
given in this line. The interval at c, according to the figure given 
by Dr. Forstemann, would be retrograde, that is, minus 12. This 
arises from the fact that he gives the last date in the middle line 
on Plate 47 as 2 months, 6 days, whereas the symbol is very dis- 
tinctly that of the third month, and the eight day series is unbroken 
if this correction is made. 

When these evident errors are corrected the series of intervals show 


very clearly a system and periodicity depending on the day column 
series in the upper part of the pages. In the first column (Table V) 
the interval is usually -i months, 10 days, precisely the same as be- 
tween the first and second day columns, but occasionally it is 4 
months, 5 days, which will still bring it to one of the four day series, 
including the day indicated liy the date — 4 months. 10 days. This 
will be understood by examining our calendar (Table II). The cor- 
responding days in the four year columns were, by the Maya system, 
necessarily brought together in the calendar; for example, they 
are arranged in the series jjictured on Plates 13-18 of the Cortesian 
Codex precisely as given in our Table II. This skip of five days is 
also apparent in the second and fourth columns of difi^erences (Table 
V). Whether Dr. Fch-stemann is correct in all his identifications of 
months among the symbols on the five plates now under considera- 
tion is a qxiestiou I feel unqualified to answer without a much more 
careful comparison and study of these characters than I have given 

Running through the upper division of Plates 53 to 58 and con- 
tinued through the lower division of Plates 51 to 58 — that is to say, 
commencing in the i;pper division of 53 and running into 58. then 
back to the lower division of 51 and ending in 58 — is a remarkable 
compound series. It consists, first, of a three line series of black 
nuniertils standing above; second, a middle series of .short, three day 
columns, or columns each of three day symbols, with red numerals 
attached ; and, third, below, a two line series of numerals, those of 
the upjier line red and of the lower black niimbers. 

As this series is a very imijortant one in the study of the relations 
of the numerals to one another and to the days indicated, an exact 
copy of it is given in Figs. 363-370, each figure representing a page 
and the whole standing in the same order as in the original. The 
red numerals and red symbols are, as usual, given in outline as an 
indication of their color. 
6 ETH 20 





a/ o 

: 3 r- 1 ( 7 C ^ f 1 , - 

Fici. 3(j;l Copy of Plate 51. Iiresden Codex. 



.£^ 0000 ^ 

O OqO 0000 

• ••• 


ocOq O 

o o 

o o 

Q C o 


^o o 00 ooco 

OOP •••• ••/^* 

o o y_ 



000 O O O 000 OOP 

Fig. 364. Copy of Plate .53. Di-psden Codex. 



Fig. 3G5. Copy of Plate 63, Dresden Codejc 




• •• 



Fio. 366. O qyjtit Plate 54, Dresden Codex. 



I o o o q o « o o OOP o C3 <':r> O OO O p O O Q . 

hiG, 3(i7. Cupy uf I'late j."i, Dresden L'udex. 



— ••• 

o o o .p_2_^. o o o o oo^ 

Fig. 3I)N. Ciipy ul I'late .5ij, lnvsdt-n CoJex. 




Fig. auy. Copy of Plate 57, Dresden Codex. 






• • 

Q \@ °^ §o(^ 

0-2^ OO O O o o o o o 

• ••• 



Fig. 370. Copy of Plate 58, Dresden Codex. 



In order to assist those not familiar with the numeral and day 
symbols, the entire series is given in the following tables in names 
and Arabic and Roman numerals, as usual. The obliterated symbols 
and numbers are restored. 

Table VI. — Tdble of luiiuoral dial daij ni/iiilxils. (Plate olb.) 



















IV Ik. 

XU Cauac. 

Vn Cib. 

II Been. 

X Uc-. 

11 Ezalial.). 

V Akbal. 

Xin Ahau. 

VIII Caban. 


XI C'liufn. 

Ill Cauac. 

VI Kan. 

I Yini.\. 

IX Ezaiiab. 

IV Men. 

XII Ell. 

IV Ahau.i 













' The symbol in this case is that of Been, but this is a manifest error, as Ahau 
follows Cauac. 

Table VII. 

—liable of numeral ui 

d day .symboU. (Plate 52 















XI Oil). 

VI Been. 

I ( )e. 

IX Manik. 

XII Caban. 

VII I.\-. 

II Chuell. 

X Laiuat. 

xm Ezanab. 

Vin Men. 

m Eb. 

XI Muluu. 









' The variation from the rule found here is explained .a little further on. 
Table VIII. — Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 53a.) 














U ? (19)' 



VI Kan. 

I Ymi.^. 

VI Muluc. 

[Picture. | 

1 Cimi. 

IX Akbal. 

IV .\han. 

VII Chieuhan. 


vn Of. 

II Manik. 

X Kan. 

V Yniix. 

VIII Cimi. 

Ill Akbal. 

VIII Chuen. 

Ill Lamat. 

XI ChiceUaii. 














' The 14 here is manifestly an error, one of tlie lines in the nniniier symbol having 
been omitted: it should be lit. 


\.BLE IX. — Tiiblc of iiiiinrnd iiiii 

' day xyinboh 

. ( Plate 536. ) 


















rV' Kan. 

IX Eb. 


IV Muluc. 

XII Cimi. 

VII Akbal. 

V Chicchan, 

X Been. 

V Oc. 

XIII Manik 

vni Kan. 

VI Cimi. 

XI Ix. 

VI Chuen. 

I Lamat. 

IX Cljicchan, 











Table X. — Table of numeral mid daij symbols. (Plate 54a.) 






















XIII Ezanab. 

VIII Men, 


XI Muluc. 

VI Cib. 

I Akbal. 

VI Cliuen. 

I C'auac. 

IX Cib. 

IV Been. 


Vn Caban. 

II Kan. 

vn Eb. 

1 1 Ahau. 

X Caban. 

V Ix 

Xin Chuen. 

\Tn Ezanab, 

Ill Chicehan 

VIII Been. 















Table XI. — Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 546.) 








■ 3- 













U Ahau. 

X Caban. 




V Cauac. 

m Ymix. 

XI Ezanab. 

VI Men. 

XI Akbal. 

VI Ahau. 

IV Ik. 

xn Cauac. 

Vn Cib. 

XU Kan. 

VII Yniix. 











' Tlie inserted at various points in these tables denotes as usual the red. diamond 
shaped symbol, which apparently signifies "nought." 

- The numeral symbol in this case, both in Kiiigsborough'.s copy and in the pho- 
tograph, is VII, one dot having been omitted by a mistake of the origuial artist. 

Table XII. — Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 55a.) 

















n Muluc. ' 

m oc. 

X Cimi. 
XI Manik. 

V Akbal. 
VI Kan. 

Xm Ahau. 
I Ymix. 

vm Caban. 
IX Ezanab. 

IV Chuen. 

Xn Lamat. 

VII Chicehan. 

n m. 

X Cauac. 











' In Kingsborough's work the symbol in tliis case is that of Been, but should be 
Muluc, as it is in the photograph. 

Table XIII.— ToWe of luimeral and day symbols. (Plate 556.) 































Xm Cib. 

L£ Ix. 

IV Chuen. 

XII Lamat. 

VII Chicchau. 

n Ik. 

X Cauac. 

11 Manik. 

I Caban, 

X Men. 


xm Muluc. 

VIII Cimi. 

m Akbal. 

XI Ahau. 

ni Lamat. 

n Ezanab. 

XI Cib. 

VI Been. 


IX Manik. 

rv Kan. 


IV Muluc. 










17 ? (18) 









Table XIV.- 

—Table of nutneral and day symbols. 

(Plate 56a.) 














Vin Ik. 

ni Ciuac. 

XI Cib. 

I Cimi. 


DC iVkbal. 

IV Ahau. 

Xn Caban. 


X Kan. 

V Ymlx. 

Xni Ezanab. 









Table XV.- 

-Table of numeral and day symbols. 

(Plate 566.) 

















X Kan, 

VI Ik. 

I Cauac. 

IX Cib. 

XI Chicchan. 

vn Akbal. 

n Aliau. 

X Caban, 

xn Cimi, 

vm Kan. 

m Ymix, 

XI Ezanab. 






17 ? C 8) 



Table XVI.— Table 

of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 57a. ) 












vn ix. 

n Chuen. 

X Lamat, 

U Cib, 


vm Men. 

m Eb. 

XI Muluc, 

m Caban. 

LX Cib. 

IV Been, 

xn Oe. 

R' Ezanab, 









' This sliould be VII. ^ This should be 8. 
Table XVll.— Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 576.) 




















IV Been. 

XII Oc. 

IV Ezanab. 


xn Men. 

VU Eb. 

V Ix. 

Xra Chuen. 

V Cauac. 

xm Cib. 

vm Been. 

VI Men. 

I Eb. 

VI Ahau. 

I Caban. 

IX Ix. 











Table XVIII. — Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 58a. ) 













X Been. 

V Oc. 

I Lamat, 

IX Chiechaa 

XI Ix, 

VI Chuen, 

n Muluc-, 

X Cimi, 

xn Men, 

vn Eb, 

m Oc, 

XI Manik, 









Table XIX. — Table of numeral and day symbols. (Plate 586.) 










n Muluc. 

X Cimi. 


m oc. 

XI Manik. 

IV Chuen. 

Xn Laniat. 





The spaces in the lists indicate the positions of the jnctures of 2)fr- 
sons and curtain-like ornaments inserted here and there, as seen in 
Figs. 363-370. 

In order to explain this series, we commence with that portion of 
it found in the lower division of Plate 51 (Fig. 3G3). 

(Jmitting any reference for the jjresent to the black numbers over 
the day columns, we call attention first to the days and to the red 
numerals attached to them. Those in the division selected as an 
illustration are as follows: 

IV Ik. 

XII Cauac. 

Vn Cib. 

II Been. 


II Ezanab 

V Akbal. 

XIII Ahau. 

\^II Caban. 

Ill Ix. 

XI Chuen. 

III Cauac. 

VI Kan. 

I Yinix. 

IX Ezanab. 

IV Men. 

XII Eb. 

rv Aliau. ' 

It will be observed that the week numbers of the days in each 
single column follow one another in regular arithmetical order, thus: 
in the first column, 4, 5, 6; in the second, 12, 13. 1; in the third, 7, 
8, 9; and so on throughout the entire series. The interval, there- 
fore, between the successive days of a column is 1; or, in other words, 
the days follow one another in regular order, as in the mouth series, 
so that having the first day of a column given we know at once the 
other two. It is apparent, therefore, that the intervals between the 
three corresijondingly opposite days of any two associate columns are 
the same; that is to say, the interval between 5 Akbal and 13 Ahau, 
in the first two columns given above is the same as that between 4 Ik 
and 12 Cauac, and also as that between 6 Kan and 1 Ymix. This is 
also true if the attached week numbers are omitted; for instance, 
the interval between Ik and Cauac. counting on the list of days form- 
ing the month, is 17 days, and it is the same between Kan and Ymix. 
Taking the second and third columns we find here the same interval. 
This holds good in that part of the series above given until we reach 
the last two columns; here the interval between Oc and Ezanab is 8 
days and it is the same between the other days of these two columns. 

' The tliird symbol in the last day column of Plate 516 is Been in the codex; but 
this is an evident mistake, as shown by the order of the days, since Ahau, which has 
been substituted above, always follows Cauac. Tliis may be seen by reference to 
the middle column of 576. 



This being ascertaiued, the next step is tu determine the true 
interval between the first days of these columns, taking the numbers 
attached to them into consideration. Referring to our calendar 
(Table li) and (for reasons which will be given hereaftei') using the 
Muluc column and counting from 4 Ik, as heretofoi-e explained, we 
find the interval between this and 12 Cauac to be S months and 17 
days; counting in the same way from 12 Cauac, S months and 1? 
days more bring lis to 7 Cib; 8 months and 17 days more to Id Oc. 
So far the intervals liave been the same: but at tliis point we find a 
variation from the rule, as the interval between 10 ()c and 2 Ezanab 
(first of the next column) is 7 months and 8 days. 

These intervals furnish the explanation of the red and black numer- 
als below the day columns. 

These numerals, as the reader will observe by reference to Fig. 3i)3 
or the written interpretation thereof in Table VI, ai'e 8 and 17 under 
the first five columns, but 7 and 8 under the sixth column, tlie red (8 
under the first five and 7 under the sixth) indicating the months and 
the black (17 under the five and 8 under the sixth) the days of 
the intervals. This liolds good throughout all that jjortion of the 
series riinning through the lower divisions of Plates 51 to 58, witli 
three exceptions, which will now be pointed out. 

In order to do this it will be necessary to repeat here a part of the 
series on Plate 5lb and part of that on Plate 52b: that is, the two 
right hand columns of the former and the two left hand columns of 
the latter, between which is the singular picture shown in the lotver 
left hand corner of our Fig. 36-1: 

Plate .-iH). 

Plate 526. 

X Oc. 

XI C'buen. 
XII Eh. 



n Ezanab.' 
ra Cauac. 
IV Ahau. 




XI Cib. 

XII Caban. 
XIU Ezanab. 



Yl Been, 
vn I.X. 
VIII Men. 



As before stated, the interval between 10 Oc and 2 Ezanab is 7 
months and 8 days, as indicated by the red and black numerals under 
the latter. According to the red and black numbers under the column 
commencing with 11 Cib. the interval between 2 Ezanab and 11 Cib 
should be S months and 17 days, tlie usual diiTerence, when, in fact, 
as we see by counting on the calendar, it is 8 months and 18 days. 
That this variation cannot be attributed to a mistake on the part of 
the author or of the artist is evident from the fact that the interval 
between 11 Cib and 6 Been (first of the next column) is 8 months and 
17 days and that the difference throughout the rest of the series fol- 
lows the rule given; that is to say, each is 8 months and 17 days, except 
at two other [loiuts where this variation is found and at the regular 


intervals where tlie (Utt'ereuce of 7 months and 8 days (iccius. ' Pre- 
cisely the same variation occnrs on Plate o5b in jjassiug from tlie first 
to the second column and on Plate 5<ib between columns 1 and 'i. 

Why these singular exceptions:-' It is difficult, if not impossible, 
for us, with our still imperfect knowledge of the calendar system 
formerly in vogiie among the Mayas, to give a satisfactory answer to 
this question. But we reserve further notice of it until other parts of 
the series have Tjeen exi)laineil. 

Reference will now be made to the three lines of lilack numerals 
immediately above the day columns. Still confining cmr examina- 
tions to the lower divisions, the reader's attention is dii'ected to these 
lines, as given in Tables VI. VII. IX. XI. XIII. XV. XVII. and 
XIX. As there are three numbers in each short column we take for 
granted, judging l)y wluit has been shown in regard to the series on 
Plates 4i>-.50. that the lowest of the three denotes days, the middle 
months, and the upper years, and that the intervals are the same be- 
tween these columns as between the day columns under them. TJie 
correctness of this supposition is shown by the following additions: 
Starting with the first or left hand column on Plate olb, we add suc- 
cessively the differences indicated by the corresponding red and black 
numbers under the day columns. If this gives in each case (save 
the two or three exceptions heretofore referred to) the numbers in 
the next column to the right throughoxit the series, the demonstra- 
tion will be complete. 

Years. Months. Day . 
14 16 14 First column on Plate 51(). 

8 17 












Second column on Plate 5H). 
Third column on Plate 51/). 
Fourth Column on Plate 516. 

16 16 -i Fif til column on Plate 5 U). 

7 s 

17 5 10 .Sixth column on Plate 'lib. 
S 18' 

17 14 S First column on Plate 'y^b. 

8 17 

18 5 5 .Second column on Plate 536. 

8 17 

' This is one of the exceptional cases. 






















Third column on Plato 536. 
Fourth column on Plate 526. column on Plate 536. 

Second column on Plate 536. 

At this point in the original, in.stead of 3() in tlie j^ear series, we 
find a diamond .shaped symboh rejjresented by in our tables, with 
one black dot over it. From this it would seem that when this codex 
was written the Maya method of counting years was by periods of 20 
each, as in the case of the month days. Whether there is any refer- 
ence here to the ahaues is uncertain. I am inclined to think with 
Dr. Forstemann that it was rather in consequence of the use of the 
vigesimal system in representing niimbers. It would have been very 
inconvenient and cumbersome to represent high numbers by means 
of dots and lines; hence a more practicable method was devised. It 
is evident, from the picture inserted at this point in the series, that 
some important chronological event is indicated. Here also in the 
written characters over this picture is the symbol for 20. The last 
number given in the above addition may therefore, in order to corre- 
si^ond with the method of the codex, be written as follows: 

Twenty year periods. Years. Months. Days. 
10 3 4 

Continuing the addition in this way the result is as follows : 

Twenty year jieriods. Years. Months. Days. 
10 3 4 

8 17 




Tliird column on Plate 536. 







Fourth column on Plate 536. 







Fifth coluuin on Plate 536. 




12 column on Plate 546. 

11 9 Second column on Plate 546. 

8 17 

2 6 Third column on Plate 546. 

14 Fourth column on Plate 546. 




Twenty year periods. Years. Months. Days 

1 4 


Fifth column on Plate Ub. 



1 4 



First column on Plate 556. 



1 5 


Second column on Plate 556. 



1 5 



Third column on Plate 556. 



1 6 

Fourth column on Plate 556. 



1 6 



Fifth column un Plate 556. 



1 6 



Sixth column on Plate 556. 



1 7 




Seventh column on Plate 556. 

1 1 



Eif;lith column on Plate 556. 



1 8 



First column on Plate 566. 



1 8 



Second column on Plate 566. 




1 9 



Third column on Plate 566. 



1 9 



Fourth I'olumn on Plate 566. 



1 10 



First column on Plate 576. 



1 10 



Second column on Plate 576. 

1 11 



Third column on Plate 576 



1 11 



Fourth column on Plate 576. 



1 13 



Fifth column o)i Plate 576. 



1 13 



First column on Plate 586. 



1 13 



Second column i in Plate 586. 

' Second exception. 

^ Third exception, 

6 ETH 23 



The proof, therefore, that the theory advanced in regard to the order 
and the plan of the series is correct seems to be conclusive. This 
probably would have been conceded without the re^^eated additions 
given, but these were deemed necessary becaiise of several irregular!, 
ties found in that portion running through Plates 53o-58a, which 
constitutes the first half of the series. 

Turning liack to our Taljle VIII, I'epresenting that part of the series 
on Plate 53a, we will consider the thi-ee lines of black numerals above 
the day columns, discussing the irregularities as we proceed. 

The numbers in the first column are i\, or, according to the expla- 
nation given, 7 months and 1? days. There is apparently a mistake 
here, the correct numbers being 8 months and 17 days, as it is 
the usual custom of the codex to commence numeral series with the 
prevailing interval; moreover this correction, which has also been 
made by Dr. Forstemann, is necessary in order to connect rightly 
with what follows; the counters under this first column require this 
correction, as they are 8 months, 17 days. Making this change we 
proceed with the addition. 

Yeai-s. Months. Days. 

8 17 Fii-st column. Plate o3rt (corrected). 

8 17 

17 14 Second column, Plate 53rt. 

Here the author of the codex has made another mistake or varied 
from the plan of the series. As several similar variations or errors 
occur in this j^art of the series, it will be as well to discuss the point 
here as elsewhere. Dr. F(")rstemann, in discussing the series, takes it 
for granted that these variati(»ns are errors of the aboriginal scrilie; 
he remarks that '"It is seen here tliat the writer has corrected several 
of his mistakes by compensation. For instance, the two first diff^er- 
ences should be 177 [8 months, 17 days] and 148 [7 months, 8 daysj, 
not 176 and Ui)," &c. 

This is a strained hypothesis which I hesitate to adopt so long as 
any other solution of the difficulty can be found. It is more likely 
that the writer would have corrected his mistakes, if observed, than 
that he would compensate them by corresponding errors. 

Going Ijack to that part of the series in the lower divisions which 
has already been examined and commencing with Plate 516 (see 
Table VI), we observe that the numbers in the lowest of the three 
lines of black numerals, immediately over the day columns, and the 
first day of these columns are as follows (omitting the week days at- 













Turning to the calendar (Table II) and using the Muluc column, 
we notice that the figures of this third line of black numerals denote 
respectively the month numbers of the days under them; that is to 


say, Ik is the fourteenth day of tlie month in Miiluc years, Cauac the 
eleventh, Cib' the eighth, Been the iifth, Oc the second, and Ezanab 
the tenth. This hohls good tlirough Plates 52/) to 586 without a single 
exception, provided the diamond shajjed syml)ol in the fourth column 
of Plate 55& is counted as 20. This test, therefore, presents fewer 
exceptions than are found in counting the intervals as before ex- 
plained; yet, after all, this would necessarily result from the fact 
that the day Muluc was selected as the commencement of the series, 
and hence may have no signification in reference to or bearing on 
the question of the year series, esi^ecially as the years counted are 
evidently of .300 days. 

Returning now to our Table VIII, representing Plate 53a, we ob- 
serve that the number immediately over Kan in the first column is 
17. whereas Kan is the sixteenth day of the month. Is it not possible 
that the intention was to designate as the ceremonial day Chicclian, 
standing immediately below, which is the seventeenth day of the 
month in Muluc years? Even though there is no reference to Muluc 
years, the intervals may be given upon the same idea, that of reach- 
ing, for some particular I'eason, the second or third day of the col- 
umn instead of the first. This would account for the compensation 
of which Dr. Forstemann speaks, without implying any mistake on 
the part of the writer. These irregularities would then be inten- 
tional variations from the order of the series, yet so as not to break 
the general plan. 

The interval between (J Kan of the first column (with the month 
number corrected) and 1 Ymix of the second is 8 months and 17 days, 
as it should be; between (5 Muluc and 1 Cimi, 8 mouths and 17 days; 
and between 1 Cimi and 9 Akbal, 8 months and 17 days, thus con- 
forming to the rule heretofore given, a fact which holds good as a 
general rule throughout that portion of the series in the upper divis- 

Continuing the addition as heretofore we note the variations. 






































' One line has been omitted in the numeral symbol. 
'' Here we have again tlie added day. 















































































































' The 8 at this point in the codex is an evident error. 

• Here is also an error in the original, tliis being 10. 

^Tlie symbols require an additional day here. 

^The 8 in the year line in the original is a manifest error, as 6 precedes and 7 fol- 

^The 18 in the day line at this point is also an errt>r, as the interval between 3 
Muluc and 10 Cimi is 8 months and 17 days. Moreover, the next day number being 
16 requires this to be 19. 


















■ >7a. 
































We have in what has thus far been given a satisfactory explana- 
tion of the meaning and use of the lines of numerals and also of their 
relation to the day columns, but we still fall short of a complete in- 
terpretation, inasmuch as we are unable to give the series a definite 
location in the Maya calendar or in actual time. It is apparent, how- 
ever, that the series cannot by any possible explanation be made to 
agree with the calendar system as usually accepted, as there is noth- 
ing in it indicating the four series of years or the year of 365 days. 
It may be safely assumed, I think, from what has been shown, that 
the year referred to in the series is one of .360 days, with probably a 
periodic addition of one day, but the reason of the addition is not yet 

If the numbers in the lowest line of numerals over the day columns 
indicate the days of the month, and those of the middle line the re- 
spective months of the year, it is evident, as before stated, that 
Muluc is the first day of the year throughout, a conclusion irrecon- 
cilable with the Maya calendar as hitherto understood. It is prob- 
able, however, that the month and day numbers do not refer to par- 
ticular months and days, but are used only as intervals of time counted 
from a certain day, which must in this case have been Muluc. 

The sum of the series as shown by the numbers over the second 
column of Plate 5Sb is 33 years, 3 months, and 18 days. As this in- 
cludes only the top day of this column (10 Cimi), we must add two 
days to complete the series, which ends with 13 Lamat. This makes 

' Tlie counters in the original at this point are certainly WTong, for here should be 
7 months and 8 days, whereas the symbols are those for 8 months and 17 days. 
■' Here we have again the additional day. 
'Added to show connection with the lower series. 


the sum of the entire series 33 years, -1 mouths, or 11,960 days, pre- 
cisely 46 cycles of 13 months, or 360 days each, the whole and also 
each cycle commencing with 13 Muluc and ending with Vi Laniat. 
It is also worthy of notice that in the right hand column of charac- 
ters (hieroglyphics) over the inverted figure in Plate 586 two num- 
bers, 13 and 12, are found attached to characters which appear to he 
abnormal forms of niontli symbols. 

On Plates 63 and 6-1 are three series of ten day cohimns each and 
three lines of numerals over each series. These are as follows, so 
far as they can be made out, the numbers over the upper series being 
mostly obliterated. The denotes the red, diamond shaped symbol 
which is here sometimes given in fanciful fnrnis. 

























Plate M. 

III Chicchan. 
Kan. . 
xni Akbal. 


111 Chicchan, 
xm Akbal. 


III Chicchan. 
xm Akbal. 

° » = 1 §■ ^ 1 1 

^ u; .2 o <! 
3 B ' 

« i 

m Chicchan. 
xm Akbal. 

1 .. 

a g j 

m Chicchan. 




xm Akbal, 


m Chicchan. 




xm Akbal, 



m Chicchan, 




xm Akbal 


m Chicchan. 




xm Akbal. 

Q o s a M 

° 2 ^ £ I g I 
o o o « g 

a a 

g 5 a 6 

' 2 8 3 S .g 

O H J ^ D 

:j tj a s 
a 3 Ji n 

a s 

,g 3 § 

as 3 d , a 

" 3 ,a u ■ a 

!x -< O e O 


JS ja 3 ai " 
H O r« m O 

<! a « « tx 

-• t^ =3 

:: -S ii ^ Is M 
^ S o o h3 

I -5 5 i 3 

a o o J S 

* .Q 3 d .c 


a a 

„ „ 3 s 2 =3 

^ "^ = 5 « .■ 2 

,-; d N C *D 

a J K c a 

i 2 3 -a § 
< o a fH H 

6 o q i a 


(- o <j 

PQ m i 

-J- ^ Cs 






O rH O 









-o < 



C< -rf. c: C ^ 


S .J S £ S 

a .d « o M 


By examining carefully the lines and columns of tlie middle and 
lower divisions of the plates — those represented in Tables XXI and 
XXII — we ascertain that the two together form one series; but, con- 
trary to the method which has prevailed in those examined, it is to be 
read from right to left, commencing with the right hand column of 
the lower and ending with the left hand column of the middle divis- 

As proof of this we have only to note the fact that the series of 
black numerals over the day columns ascends towards the left. As- 
suming the lowest of the three lines to be days, the middle one months, 
and the upper one years, the common difference is 4 months and 11 
days. Numbering the ten columns of each of our tables from left to 
right as usual and adding siiccessively the common difference, com- 
mencing with the tenth column of the lowest division, of which Cib 
is the first day, the result will be as follows: 






Over tenth oohimn. lower dirision. 




Over ninth column, lower (li\ision. 



























13 13 Over eighth column, lower division. 

4 11 

4 Over seventh column, lower division. 

4 11 

l.T Over sixth column, lower division. 

6 Over fifth column, lower divi.sion. 


IT Over fovirth column, lower division. 


8 Over third column, lower division. 

19 Over second column, lower division. 


10 Over first column, lower division. 

1 Over tenth column, middle division. 

12 Over ninth column, middle division. 

3 Over eighth column, middle division. 



Years. Months. Days. 

3 9 14 Over seventh column, middle division. 

4 11 

3 14 .') Over sixth column, middle division. 

4 11 

4 16 Over tifth column, middle division. 
4 11 

4 ■"> 7 Over fourth column, middle division. 

4 11 

4 9 18 Over third column, middle division. 

4 11 

4 14 9 Over second column, middle division. 

4 11 

5 10 Over first column, middle division. 

The red uumei-als over the first columu of the middle division, ex- 
cept the lowest diamond shaped one, are omitted, as they do not ap- 
pear to belong to the series. 

It must be borne in mind that the 4 months and 11 days form the 
common difference between the corresponding days of the columns 
counting from I'ight to left; tliat is to say, counting 4 months and 11 
days from the top day of any column will bring us to the first or 
top day of the next column to the left. The interval between the 
other corresponding days of the columns is also the same if the same 
week numbei's are assigned them. 

This question arises hei-e. Does the difference include the time em- 
braced in the entire column ? That is to say, Is this interval of 4 months 
and 11 days (referring, for examxile, to the tenth and ninth columns 
of the lower division, our table) the sum of the intervals between 
3 Cib and Men; Men and Chicchan; Chicchan and Caban; Caban 
and 13 Ix, and 1.'! Ix of the tenth column and 3 Manik of the nintli 
column!-' If not, the columns do not form a continuous series or must 
be taken in some other order. 

Although Dr. Forstemann discovered tlie order in which the series 
as a whole was to be i-ead, and also the common difference — given, as 
is his custom, in days — he failed to furnish further explanation of 
the group. 

In answer to the qitestion presented I call attention to the follow- 
ing facts: 

Commencing again with the uppermost day, 3 Cib, of the tenth 
column, lowest division, and counting on the calendar to 13 Ix of 
the same year, the interval is found to be 10 months and 18 days, 
which is much more than the interval between 3 Cib and 3 Manik 
(first of the ninth column), and of course cannot be included in it. 

Reversing the order in reading the columns, but counting forward 


ou the calendar as usual, we find the interval between 13 Ix and 3 
Cib to be 2 months and 2 days, and, what is another necessary condi- 
tion, the intermediate days of the column are included in this jjeriod 
in the order in which they stand, if read upwards. The interval be- 
tween 3 Cib, uppermost day of the tenth column, and 13 Chicchan. 
bottom day of the ninth column, is 2 months and 9 days. The sum 
of these two intervals is 4 months and 11 days, as it should be on the 
supposition that the entire columns follow one another in regular .suc- 
cession. This proves beyond question that the columns are to be 
read from bottom to top and that they follow one another from )-ight 
to left. This enables us to fix the week numbers to the intermediate 
days and to determine the day to which the entire series is referred 
as its starting point. The days and their numbers of the tenth and 
ninth columns of the lower division, writing them in reverse order, 
that is, from bottom to top, are as follows: 13 Ix; 3 Caban; 11 Chic- 
chan; 8 Men; 3 Cib; 13 Chicchan; 3 Lamat; 11 Cib; 8 Cimi; 3 Ma- 

These numbers hold good throughout the series. 

Commencing with 13 Ix, the lowest day of the tenth column, lower 
division, but first day of the series, and ending with 13 Akbal, the 
bottom of the first column, middle series, the time embraced is 5 
years, 1 month, day, less 4 months and 11 days — that is, 4 years, 
14 months, 9 days (years of 360 days being iinder.stood). This is 
easily proved by counting on the calendar 4 years, 14 months, and 9 
days from 13 Ix, as it brings us to 13 Akbal. If we add to this time 
2 months and 2 days — the interval between 13 Akbal and 3 Chicchan 
(top day of first column, middle division) — we have, as the entire 
period embraced in the series as it stands — from 13 Ix (first of the 
series) to 3 Chicchan (the last) — 4 years, 10 mouths, 11 days. Add 
to this 4 months and 11 days, in order to reach the day with which 
the count begins, and we have as the entire period 5 years, 3 months, 
2 days=5 years, 1 month, day -|- 2 months, 2 days. If we count 
back 4 months and 11 days from 13 Ix (first of the series), we reach 1 
Kan, the day to which the series is referred as its starting jjoint. 
Counting forward from this date 5 years, 3 months and 2 days brings 
us to 3 Chicchan, the last day of the series. 

It is worthy of notice that, although this series apjjears to be re- 
ferred to Kan years, it is at variance with the idea of passing from one 
to the other of the four year series, and is, moreover, based iipon the 
year of 360 days. The order in which it is to be read, which is triie 
also of some other pages, indicates that these extracts pertain to a 
different original codex than those to which we have heretofore 
alluded, a conclusion reached by Dr. Forstemann soon after he com- 
menced the study of the Di'esden manuscript. 

I was for a time inclined to believe there was a break between 
Plates 64 and 65, as there appeared to bo no day columns with which 

™oyi.Ks.] SERIES ON PLATES 65 TO 73. 331 

the lines of numerals running through Plates 65-69 could be connected, 
but the fact that the sum of the black numbers in each is 91, precisely 
the interval betAveen the corresponding days of the columns in Plates 
63 and 64, will probably warrant the conclusion that they are con- 
nected with them. This conclusion is strengthened, so far as those 
m the lower division are concerned, by the fact that by taking the 
XIII attached to the lowest days of the columns the iiumbers prop- 
erly succeed one another and the series conforms to the rule heretofore 
given. As proof of this I give here the lower line of the lower divis- 
ion, prefixing the XIII, thus: XIII; 9. IX; 5, I; 1. II- 10 XII- 6 V- 
2. VII; 11, V; 7, XII; 3, II; 12, I; 8, IX; 4, XIII; 13, XIII. ' ' ' 
Adding together the numbers and casting out the thirteens. thus, 
XIII-f9-13=IX; IX-|-5-13=I, &c.,the connection is seen" to be 
regular. The final red numeral is XIII. the same as that with which 
the series begins, and the sum of the black numbers, 9, 5, l, lO, 6, 
2. 11. 7. 3, 12, 8, 4, 13, is 91, a multiple of 13. The middle line of 
numerals also connects with the XIII attached to the bottom sym- 
bols of the day columns; and the upper line of numerals connects 
with the III attached to the top symbols of the day columns. 

Plates 70 to 73 present some peculiarities difficult to account for. 
That these pages belong to the same type as 62, 63, and 64 cannot be 
doubted, and that as a general rule they are to be read from right to 
left IS easily proved; but this method does not seem to be adopted 
throughout, the order being apparently reversed in a single series. 
The aboriginal artist has apparently made up these pages from 
two older manuscripts or changed and added to his original The 
last two columns of Plate 70 and first five of 71 appear to have been 
thrust in here as an afterthought or as a fragment from some other 
source, forming apparently no legitimate connection with the series 
to either the right or to the left of them. It is true, as will be shown 
that there is some connection with the lowest series on the right, but 
It would seem that advantage was here taken of accidental corre- 
spondence rather than that this correspondence was the result of a 
preconceived plan. 

Commencing in the lower part of the middle division of Plate 73 and 
running back (to the left) to the sixth column of 71 and returning to 
the lower part of the lower division of 73 and ending with the sixth 
column of 71. is the following series. The columns are given in the 
order m which they stand on the respective plates, but the plates are 
taken in reverse order: 


Table XXIII. — Table giving comparison between Plates 71, 72, and 73. 









IV Caban. 


IV Eb. 



rv Manik. 


IV a-. 



IV Caban. 

Plat*; 73. middle ) 
division. 1 














rV' Manik. 






IV Caban. 







IV Manik. 

Plate 73, middle J 



IV Ik. 






IV Ik. 


Plate 71 middle 




rv Caban. 







rv Manik. 




IV Ik. 




rv Caban. 



IV Eb. 




rv Manik. 

Plate 73, lower 










Plate 73, lower J 
division. I 






rv Caban. 





IV Manik. 



TV Ik. 




IV Caban. 








IV Eb. 


Plate 71 lower 




rv Manik. 

The interval between the successive days, counting to the left, is 
in each case 3 months and 5 days, corresponding with the num- 
bers over IV Caban, fifth column, middle division, Plate 73. Com- 

™o»us.] SERIES ON PLATES 71 TO 73. 333 

mencing with this number and adding it successively, we obtain the 
numbers over the various columns: 

Years. Months. Days. 

3 5 Over fifth column, middle division. Plate 73 

3 5 

6 10 Over fourth column, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 

9 1.5 Over third column, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 


3 .5 

Over second column, middle division, Plate 73. 

16 5 Over first column, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 

1' 10 

3 ,'5 

Over seventh column, middle division, Plate 72. 

4 1.5 Over sixth column, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 

8 Over fifth column, middle division, Plate 72 

3 5 

11 5 Over fourth column, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 

14 10 Over thml column, middle division, Plate 72 

3 .5 

17 15 Over second column, middle division, Plate 72. 

3 5 

2 3 Over first coliuun, middle division, Plate 73 

3 5 

2 6 5 Over seventh column, middle division, Plate 71 



2 9 10 

3 5 

Over sixth column, middle division, Plate 71. 

3 12 15 Over fifth column, lower division, Plate 73, 

3 5 

2 16 Over fourth column, lower division, Plate 73, 

3 5 

3 15 Over third column, lower division, Plate 73. 
3 5 

3 4 10 Over second column, lower division, Plate 73. 

3 5 

^ T io Over first column, lower division, Plate 73. 

3 5 

' Codex has 19, which is equivalent to 1 year and 1 month. 



Years. Months. Days. 

3 11 Over seventh column, lower division, Plate TZ. 

3 5 

Over sixth column, lower division, Plate 73. 
Over fifth column, lower division, Plate 72. 
Over fourth column, lower division. Plate 73. 
Over tliiru column, lower division, Plate 72. 



































Over second column, lower division, Plate 73. 

Over first column, lower division, Plate 73. 

15 Over seventh column, lower division, Plate 71. 

5 10 Over sixth column, lower division, Plate 71. 

It i.s worthy of notice that the sum of the series as expressed by 
the final numbers is precisely that of the series on the middle and 
lower divisions of Plates 63 and 64, heretofore given, and embraces 
seven coniijlete cycles of 13 months, or 360 days each. Counting back 
three months and five days from 4 Cabau (the day in the fifth column, 
middle division, of Plate 73) we reach 5 Been as the starting point 
of the series. 

As there can be no doubt that the lines and days of the two divis- 
ions form together one vmbroken series, it is evident there is no con- 
nection between that portion of it in the middle division and what 
lies to the left of it in Plate 71; but there does appear to be, as before 
indicated, some connection between the conclusion and what follows 
to the left in the lower portion of 71. The series which lies to the left 
at this point is as follows: 

Table XXIV.— Table showing 

relations o 

/ Plates 70 and 71. 

Plate 70. 

Piatt 71. 

5th column. 

6th column. 

1st column. 

2d column. 

3d column. 

4th column. 

5th column. 

6th column. 



















IV Eb. 



IV Eb. 


IV Eb. 

IV Eb. 

rv Eb. 

For the purpose of assisting the reader to see the relation more 
clearly, the last column of the jjreceding sei'ies — sixth of the lower 
division on Plate 71 — is added at the right as it stands in the original. 



It is apparent that tlie figures in the fifth column of 71 are exactly 
double those in the sixth column. This and the fact tliat the day 
IV Eb is the same as those following are the only indications that 
there is any connection between the series. Using the 5 years and 1 
month as the common difference and adding, the result is as follows: 

Years. Months. Days. 
.5 10 Sixth column, lower division, Plate 71. 

.5 1 



Fifth column, lower division. Plate 71. 

Fourth column, lower division, Plate 71. 

At this point another change occurs: the former difference is added 
to the last figures and the sum is doubled. 

Tnenty year periods. Years. 


Months. Days. 



Third column lower division. Plate 71. 
Second column, lower division, Plate 71. 
First column, lower division, Plate 71. 
Sixth column, lower division, Plate 70. 

Fifth column, lower division, Plate 70. 

This series does not end at this point, but is continued in the lines 
immediately above, which are as follows: 

Table XXV.— Table showing relations between Plates 70 and 71. 





















Plate 70. 


5th column. 

6th column. 

1st column. 

2d column. 

3d column, 

4th column. 

5th column. 
























TV Eb. 

rv' Eb. 

rv Eb. 

IV Eb. 

W Eb. 

IV Eb. 



Adding the difference, 1, 0, 4, 0, to the final result of the preceding 
addition we obtain the figures of the right hand column (fifth column, 
Plate 71) of this series: 

6 16 
10 4 

7 1 10 

To obtain the figures of the fourth column this difference must be 
doubled, thus: 

7 1 10 

2 8 

9 2 

To obtain the black numbers of the next (third) column, the lower 
cipher symbol of which is wanting, we add the former difference: 

9 2 

10 4 

10 2 4 

This decrease in the difference is unusual and indicates some error. 
This idea seems to be confirmed in the following way: In order to 
obtain the numbers of the next (second) column it is necessary to 
add three times the former difference, thus: 

10 2 4 

3 12 

13 2 16 Second column, Plate 71. 

If the increased difference. 2, 0, 8, 0, were retained after its appear- 
ance the result would be as follows: 

Fifth column, Plate 71. 

Fourth column, Plate 71. 

Third column, Plate 71. 

Second column, Plate 71. 

15 3 6 First column, Plate 71. 

Adding the difference, 3, 0, 8, 0, to the third column, Plate 71, thus: 

10 2 4 

2 8 

12 2 12 

we obtain the red numerals inserted in the third column. It is prob- 
able that the original or some subsequent scribe, observing an error at 























this point, inserted these figures as a correction. If so, he failed 
to remedy the confusion apparent in this portion of the series. The 
sum of the entire series is 303 years (360 days each) and six months, 
equal to 430 cycles of 260 days. 

I am strongly inclined to believe that this section and also pages 
24- and 59 are interjjolations by some aboriginal artist of a mathe- 
matical turn and advanced ability in this direction, who has given 
these high series more as curiosities than with reference to any sjje- 
cific dates or periods of time. 

Commencing in the sixth column of Plate 71a and running through 
72a to the second column of 73a. is a numeral series which presents 
some peculiarities that baffle all attempts at explanation. Contrary 
to the rule which prevails in these pages it ascends from left t(j right 
and has no day syml)ols connected with it. In addition to this, the 
numbers of its lowest line are inclosed in loops of the form here 
shown (Fig. 371) and have no apparent connection with the other 

Fig. 371. Specimens of ornamental loops from page 72, Dresden Codex. 

lines of the series, but, on the contrary, if taken from right to left, 
they present in the order usually given the numbers of the ahaues or 
katunes. ' It is as follows: 















































The last (thirteenth) column of tliis series is not in a line with the 
others, but is found in the lower part of the right hand column of 
Plate 73, and in connection with it we find the red numerals II and 

' While reading the final proof I fortunately discovered what may prove to be the 
correct explanation of the numbers in the loops. 

At the commencement of the series on Plate 71 and at its close on Plate 73 we 
observe tlie symbol of the day, 9 Ix. Starting from this date and counting forward 
on the calendar two months and fourteen days, we reach 11 Lamat. This gives the 
numl)er in the first loop of tlie series. Two months and fourteen days more bring 
UK to 13 Ik, tbe number in the second loop: two months and fourteen days to 3 Cib, 
tlie numl)er in the third loop, and so on to tlie end. It is therefore probable that 
the numerals in the loops indicate the week numbers of the days, though these are 
usually expressed in red symbols. 

ETH 33 


XIV, denoting tlie difference between the columns, as is apparent 
from the additions here given: 

Years. Months. Days. 

2 14 First or left hand column. 

2 14 



Second column. 





Third column. 





Fourth column. 





Fifth column. 





Sixth column 




Seventh column. 





Eighth column. 





Nmth column. 




Tenth column. 





Eleventh column. 





Twelfth column. 





Thirteenth column. 

' The 7 in the twelfth column is an error; it should be 8, as an inspection shows 

the place of the missing dot. The additions make it clear that the numbers of tlie 
second lii>e refer to months, those of the line below them to days, and those of the 
line above to years. The series is, therefore, apparently complete without the num- 
Ijers inclosed in the loops. 



The conclusions to be drawn from the foregoing discussion may be 
briefly stated as follows: 

First. That the codex in its present form is composite, being made 
up from two or more different original manuscripts, as Dr. Foi'ste- 
mann has suggested. 

Second. That a number of minor changes and additions have been 
made by a subsequent hand, possibly after it had assumed its i)resent 

Third. That the year referred to in the larger series is one of 360 
days; alst), that in instances of this kind the count is continuous, 
and hence not consistent with the generally received idea of the 
Maya calendar, in which the four year series forms a necessary part 
of the system, unless some other method of accounting for the five 
supplemental days can be discovered than that which has hitherto 
been accepted. 

Fourth. On the other hand, indications of the four year series are 
certainly found in all of the Maya manuscripts; for examjale, in Plates 
25-28 of the Dresden Codex and Plates XX-XXIII of the Manu- 
script Troano,' which seem to be based on this series; in fact, the 
numbers attached to the days in the latter can be accounted for in no 
other way. Plates 3-6 of the Cortesian Codex are apparently based 
ujion the same system. The numbers in the loops on Plates 71, 72, 
and 73, Dresden Codex, heretofore alluded to and represented in Fig. 
371, apparently defy explanation on any supposition except that they 
refer to the niimbers of the.ahaues, which are based upon the four 
year series." The frequent occurrence in connection and in jjroper 
order of both the first and the terminal days of the year apisarently 
refers to the same system. Many of the quadruple sei'ies no doubt 
relate to the four cardinal jioints and the four seasons; yet there are 
some which cannot be explained on this theory alone. 

It is impossible, therefore, to exclude this system from consideration 
in studying the chronology of the codices, although there are a num- 
ber of the numerical series of the Dresden manuscript which cannot 
be made to fit into it on any hypothesis so far suggested. The same 
thing is also found to be true in regard to some, in fact most, of the 
series found in the Mexican manuscripts. This confusion probably 
arises in part from the apparently well established fact that two 

' See Stiuly of the Manuscript Ti-oano, by Cyrus Thomas. 
■ See note on page 337. 



methods of counting time pi'evailed among both Mexicans and Mayas: 
one, the solar year in ordinary use among the people, which may he 
termed the vulgar or common calendar; the other, the religious calen- 
dar usetl by the priests alone in arranging their feasts and ceremonies, 
in which the cycle of 260 days was taken as the basis. But this sup- 
position will not suffice as an explanation of some of the lung series of 
the Dresden Codex, in which the year of 'MO days apjjears to have been 
taken as a unit of measure, unless we assume — as Forstemann seems 
ti) have done — that what have been taken as years are simi)ly high 
units and. counting the whole as so many days, refer the sum to the 
cycle of 260 days, which will in almost every case measure them evenly 
as a whole, or by its leading factor. 13. That the smaller series at- 
tached to day columns are all multii^les of 13 and referable to the 
cycle of 260 days has been shown by .Forstemann as well as in the 
preceding part of this paper. But it is woi-thy of note that the diffi- 
culty mentioned occurs only in reference to series found in that por- 
tion of the Dresden manuscrijjt which Forstemann has designated 
Codex B (page 24 being considered as belonging thereto). 

The red imit number symbol, with a cii-cle of dots amund it. seen 
occasionally in the Manuscript Troano, seems to have some connec- 
tion with the four year series. Take, for example, the one in the 
lowest division of Plate VII. 

The series commences in the lower riglit hand corner of Plate VIII, 
where the day column with which it is connected is found. The 
days of this column, reading downward, are as follows : Ahau, Eb, 
Kan, Cib, Lamat, and the number over them is I, but without any 
dots around it, while the terminal I of the series is inclosed in the cir- 
cle of dots. What is the meaning of this marked distinction ? It is 
evident that it is something which does not apply equally to all the 
days of the columns; yet, as it is the terminal number, it must relate 
to some one of them. If we examine the series carefully I tliink the 
reason for the distinction will be explained. Written out in full, it is 

as follows: 


^^ '- 10, XI; 10. VIII; 10, V; 10, II; 13[?]. (T;. 
Kan ) ' , , . , L J .^ 


Tlie last black number is 10 in Brasseur's fac simile, but should be 
12. Making this correction, the series is regular and of the usual 
form. The sum of the black numbers is 52, which is the interval be- 
tween the days, and the nuniljer over tlie column is the same as the 
final red number. 

If we turn now to the calendar (Table II) iiud select Ahau of the 
Kan column, and 1. the seventeentli number of the eighth figure 
column, and count 52 days, we reach 1 Eb, the second day of our 
column as given above; 52 days more l)ring us to 1 Kan. the 


day of the first month in the calendar and third day of our column. 
If the theory of the four year series be correct, then 1 Kan of the Kan 
series must be the first day of the first year of an Indication or week 
of years. This fact was probably considered by the aboriginal artist 
of sufficient importance to give this day a mark of distinction. As it 
is not possible for any of the other days of the column to be thus dis- 
tinguished, it is fair to presume tliis peculiar marking of the final 
number refers to Kan. Moreover, this distinction would not occur 
if any other than the Kan series were used. 

In the upper division of Plate IX of the same manuscript is the 
following series: 


Men ) 

Manik -20. VII: 20 T; 1. II; 4, VI: 7. XIII. 

Cauac ) ' • 



In this, I. the second red number of the series, has the circle of 
dots ai'ound it. The number over the column is partially oblit- 
erated, but is readily restored, and should be XIII. 

If we select, on our calendar, the Cauac column, or series, a reason 
for this distinction will a])pear. The sum of the black numbei-s is 
52, which is also the interval lietween the days. As has heretofore 
been shown, the red numbers of the series refer to certain days 
selected by the priests, for special reasons tmknown to us. which 
occur between the days of tlie column. 

In this case the intermediate days are as follows: 

Between 13 Manik and 13 Cauac: 7 Manik. 1 Manik. 2 Lamat. and 6 Eb. 
Between 13 Cauac and 13 C'luien: 7 Cauac, 1 Cauac. 2 Ahau, and 6 Kan. 

Here we find the explanation for which we are seeking, as in the 
interval between 1'6 Cauac and 13 Chuen is 1 Cauac, which, if the 
Cauac column of the calendar be selected, is the first day of the 
year 1 Cauac. tlie first year of an Indication. As this occurs only 
when a year commencing with Cauac is selected, we infer tliat tlie 
series is based upon the system with the four year series. 

The best illustration of this peculiarity and the strongest evidence 
of its signification is proliably found in the series contained in the 
middle division. Plate XI, same manuscript. This, when written out 
and the numbers properly arranged, is as follows: 

JX: 2. VI: 5. XI; 2. XIII: 4. IV; 9 (?) (l) . 

The last black number of the series is 9, but should be 10 to render 
the series complete. Making this correction, the series is of the usual 
type: the .sum of the black numerals is -26, the interval between the 




Ahau ) 

Cimi Vl.II: 2, 

Eb ) 








days of the columns is 2(3, and thf tinul n'(l inuneml is tlie same as 
that ovei' the columns. 

As the circle of dots is aroiind the final red number and also around 
each of those over the columns, the distinction indicated must refer 
to one or more days of each column. 

As the last days only of the columns are year bearers, the mark of 
distinction i^robably apijlies to them. Selecting for the left hand col- 
umn the Ix series of years and commencing with 1 Oc, the seven- 
teenth day of the eighth month, we count 30 days. This brings us to 
1 Cib, the third day of the tenth month, or tenth figure column of our 
calendar and second day of the first day column of the series; 20 days 
more to 1 Ik; 20 more to 1 Lamat, and 20 more to 1 Ix, the fii'st day 
of the year 1 Ix. which, according to the four year series, will be the 
first year of an Indication. Selecting the Kan series for the second 
column and counting in the same way from 1 Ahau, the seventeenth 
day of the eighth month, or eighth figure column of the calendar, the 
last day is found to be 1 Kan. the first day of tlie year 1 Kan, which 
must also be the first year of an Indication. 

Unit numerals marked in this manner are found in two or three 
places in the Cortesian Codex, but there is none in the Dresden Co- 
dex. The sei'ies with which they are connected in the former, except 
that in the middle division of Plate 24. are too much obliterated to 
be traced througlunrf. This, by making two slight and apparently 
aiithorized corrections, is as follows: 


Cimi ) 

Ezanab ■ 11, XII (?); 11, X: 6, III: S. XI: 7 (?). V: 9. I. 

Oc ) 



The first red numeral of the line is X in the original and the next to 
the last black number is 0. By changing the former to XII and the 
latter to 7 the sum of the series will be 52. which is the interval between 
tlie days of the column. 

Using the Ix column in the calendar and commencing with 1 Cinii, 
counting as heretofore, the last day of the column of the series is 
found to l)e 1 Ix. the first day of the year 1 Ix and the first year of an 
Indication, according to the four year system. 

A somewhat remarkable confirmation of the theory here advanced 
is presented in a series found in the middle division of Plate II of the 
Manuscrij)t Troano. 

The series, when written out with the substitutes heretofore used, 
is as follows: 

T; ® 

Manik Ymix ) 

Men (?) Been ■ 0, X: fi. Ill: 11. I. 

C'huen C'hicchan \ 

Akljal ('a)ian 

Men Muhic 


In Brasseur"s fac simile tlie second symbol of the left hand column 
is clearly that for Men. If this l3e accepted as correct, then no year 
bearer (Kan, Muluc, Ix. Cauac) would be found in either column and 
the theory we have advanced regarding the signification of the dots 
around the red unit (jver the column would fall to the ground. Nor 
is this the only difficulty we meet with in attempting to apply the 
theory to this series. The sum of the black numbers is 2(!, which 
should also be the interval between the days of the columns. Count- 
ing 2G days from 1 Manik brings uS to 1 Been instead of 1 Men; 36 
more to 1 Cauac, a day not f(jund in either column as given in the 
original. Taking the second column and counting 2ii days from 1 
Ymix, we reach 1 Manik, instead of 1 Been. This gives us the key 
to the series and solves the riddle. We must commence with 1 Ymix, 
then take 1 Manik, then 1 Been, and so on, going alternately from 
column to column. 

Adopting this method and using the Cauac column of our calendar, 
Table II, the result is as follows: Commencing with 1 Ymix, the third 
day of the tenth figure column, and counting 26 days, we reach 1 
Manik; 26 days more bring us to 1 Been, and 26 more to 1 Cauac, the 
first day of the first year of an Indicatitm. The 1 Men of the left 
hand column should therefore be 1 Cauac, which is also proved by 
counting the intervals, without regard to the week numbers. For 
example, from Ymix to Been is 12 days, from Been to Chicchan 13 
days, from Manik to Cauac 12 days, and so on through each column. 
Or, if we take the columns alternately, the interval is six days, thus: 
From Ymix to Manik, 6 days; from Manik to Been, 6 days; from Been 
to Cauac, 6 days; from Cauac to Chuen, days, and so on to the end. 

Although the proof is not absolutely conclusive that these red unit 
numerals have this mark of distinction for the reason given, it never- 
theless furnishes what would seem to be a satisfactory explanation, 
and, if so, affords proof that the calendar system, based' upon the four 
year series, was in vogue when the Manuscript Troano and the Co- 
dex Cortesiauus were written. 

This mark of distinction is found in a strange and unusual relation 
in the lower division of Plate XV, Manuscript Troano. T'he first red 
numeral of the series is given thus : 

Fig. 372. Numeral character from the lower division of Plate XV, Manuscript Troano. 

Most of the day and about half of the numeral symbols are olilit- 
erated, but all that are necessary for present purposes remain distinct 
and uninjured, as follows : 

III- } 

Ix '. 10. XI.IU. 

Cimi \ 


Judging by these and the few numbers remaining, the entire series 
was as follows : 

"'■. 1 

9"^^ , ho, XIII : 4, IV : 30, XI : 9, VII ; 9, III. 

Oc I 

Ik J 

The only doubt in reference to the restoration is whether the second 
and third pairs of numerals should be as given, or 3, II. and 22, XI. 
If we select the Kan column of our Table II and count from 3 Ix of 
the eleventh figure column, we reach i:i Kan. If the foi;r year series 
was the system used 13 Kan might be the first day of a year, but not 
the first day of an Indication. As this is the only day referred to by 
the XIII which could have been the first of a year we must seek an 
explanation in something else. Counting ten days from 3 Ezanab 
will bring us to 13 Lamat. which is the last day (counting the five 
added days) of an Indication, commencing with the year 1 Kan and 
ending with the year 13 Kan. 

According to my theory of theahaues,' the year 13 Kan would have 
corresponded with the Gregorian years 137G, 1428, 1480, and 1532. 
According to the theory advanced by Perez," it would have corre- 
sponded with 1385, 1437, 1489, and 1541. 

It is therefore possible that this mark of distinction may be of 
some value in determining the relation of the Maya to the Gregorian 

' See Table XVII, Study of the Manuscript Troano, by Cyi'us Thomas, p. 44. 
2 See Table XVIII. ibid., p. 45. 



It must be admitted that none of the attempts made at deeiphei- 
ing the writing in these manuscripts has proved entirely satisfactory: 
in fact there is still some doubt as to whether any of the characters 
are truly phonetic; nevertheless it is believed that what is here shown 
will tend to lessen this doubt. It must be conceded, however, notwith- 
standing these drawbacks and difficulties, that some material prog- 
ress has been made towards a better understanding of its type and of 
the nature of the characters. 

Tlie direction in which it is to be read must of course be deter- 
mined before any progress can be made in deciphering it. This was, 
until recently, a matter of speculation, but now may be considered 
settled. As this has been exi:)lained' it is unnecessary to repeat that 
explanation here. 

A certain parallelism in the sentences or groups of characters has 
also been discovered. Attention was first called to this by me in the 
work referred to, but is more fully ex^jlaiued by Dr. P. Schellhas in 
his paper entitled "Die Mayahandschrift der koniglichen Bibliothek 
zu Dresden." It will readily be understood from a single illustra- 
tion. Take for example the lower division of Plate XV of the Manu- 
scrijit Troano (see Study Ms. Troano). Omitting from consideration 
the numerals and the day column at the left, there are here two short 
columns on the left and two on the right over the animal figures, 
and thi'ee longer columns between. As explained in the work re- 
ferred to, the short columns are to be read as lines from left to right 
and the longer columns separately, from the top downward. There 
are, in all, five groups or sentences, each containing four compound 
characters. Representing these by letters, repeating those which in- 
dicate similar characters, and arranging as in the plate, the result is 
as follows: 


















In this case the characters represented by a and r are repeated in 
each group and in the same relation to the other characters. It is 

See Chapter VI, Study of the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Thomas. 



apparent, tli^'refore. that each group is U> lie read separately, and, as 
each repeats in part what is given in the otliers, it is more than prob- 
able that they are simply short formulas to be repeated in certain 
religious ceremonies. This parallelism, though not always so appar- 
ent as in the case presented, is nevertheless found running through 
all the codices. The advantage to the attempts at decipherment 
which results from this fact is evident, as it will often justify the 
restoration of blurred or obliterated characters, and, what is of still 
more importance, will enable the investigator to test his conclusions 
by comparing the different characters and pictures with which they 
are associated. 

Although it appears to be well settled that, as a rule, the writing, 
when in lines, is to be read frnm left to right — the lines following 
each other downward and the columns to be read from the toj) d(_)wn- 
ward, but the groiij^s, as before exjjlained, to be read separately — it 
does not follow that the groups succeed one another from left to 
right. This has generally been taken for granted, but there are 
some reasons to doubt the correctness of this conclusion as regards a 
number of lalates and possibly one entire codex. 

The facts that the lines of numerals attached to the day columns 
extend to the right and that the written characters, when in lines, 
follow one another in the same direction lead us to infer that the 
groups and pictures follow one another in the same order, but the 
apjjarent movement of the latter towards the left would seem to 
indicate that they follow one another in this direction. This infer- 
ence appears to l)e confirmed by the following evidence: As is well 
known, the plates of the Manuscript Troano are to be taken in re- 
verse order to the paging. Turning to Plate II, we observe in the mid- 
dle department of the middle division a bound captive or victim, on 
whose neck a machete is descending to sever the head from the 
trunk. Turning to Plate III, which properly stands to the left of 
Plate II, we see a headless trunk covered witli blood and the fatal 
machete near the neck. It is fair to presume that this is the .same 
individual that is figured in the preceding jilate, and, if so. that the 
pictures follow one another toward the left. 

Placing Plates XV* and XVI* of the same manuscript in the 
projter relation to each other and carefully examining the figures in 
the second division, we notice that the idol heads which the artisans 
are carving approach completion as we move toward the left, those 
in Plate XV* and the right hand one in XVJ-' being simply blocked 
out, while the middle one in the latter plate is comjjletely roumled 
and is receiving the second ornamental line and the one at the Irtt 
hand is receiving the third and final line. 

The female figures in the secoml dixisinn of Plate XIX* indicate 
the same order, as shown by llir inci-casing girth as we jirdcced 
toward the left. 


The same order appears to be indieateil in lunnerous places by the 
symbols of the cardinal points inserted in the text, as they (suppos- 
iua: the conclusion as to their assignment in my "Notes on certain 
Maya and Mexican manuscriiits," accepted by Drs. Forsteinann and 
Schellhas, to be correct) follow one another in the proper order if 
read towards the left, to wit, south, east, north, west. 

As the writing over each figure, consisting usually of four com- 
pound characters, appears to refer to that over which it is placed, it 
follows that these character groups must be taken in the same order 
as the pictures. The suggestions on this point are presented here 
more as proper subjects of investigation Ijy students of American 
paleograjihy than as fixed conclusions of the writer. If found to be 
justified by the facts, they will furnish some additional aid in tlie 
work of deciphering these manuscripts. 


As Landa's alphabet has so far proved useless as an aid in deci- 
phering these manuscripts, our only hope of accomjilishing this end 
is by long and careful study of these records and laborious compar- 
isons of characters and the relations in wliich they stand to one 
another and to the figures. 

Some discoveries made while preparing this pajjer for the press, 
which are mentioned further on, may possibly give us the key to the 
method used by Lauda in forming his alphabet, and, if so. will prob- 
ably furnish some slight additional aid in oiir investigations. 

Tlie direction in which the writing is to be read having been ascer- 
taineil, our next step is to determine by comparison the probable sig- 
nification of as many characters as possible before discussing the 
cjuestion of phoneticism. The relation of the characters to the pic- 
torial i-epresentations forms our chief reliance in this branch of the 

As a commencement in this work and as a basis for further at- 
tempts in the same direction, attention is now called to some char- 
acters, other than the day and month sj'mbols, whose signification 
seems to be satisfactorily determined. As there is still some difl'er- 
ence of opinion as to the assignment of the symbols of the cardinal 
points they are also omitted from the list. M. L^on de Rosuy has 
given, as a supplement to his edition of the Cortesian Codex, a list 
of characters with their supposed signification. It is not my inten- 
tif)n to discuss here the inerits of this vocabidary, althoiigli I shall 
avail myself of so much found therein as appears to warrant ac- 

The question of phoneticism will, not be considered in connection 
witli the list, as the suljject will be briefly discussed at the close, the 
only object in view in giving the list being to indicate the significa- 



tion of the characters alhided to. The Maya names appended are 
therefore to be understood simply as the supposed names applied to 
them or the objects they denote. 


Kdl. The symbol for the number 30. Found in all of the codices and 
explained in the preceding portion of this paper. 

The symbfil fur (nought), always red. 
dex anil always in the numeral series. 

Found onlv in the Dresden Co- 

Kiit. Sun, and probably day also. It is not known positively that it 
has this signification except in connection witli tlie eiiuatorial 
cardinal point symbols and the symbol of the month Ycwkin ; yet 
/" it is reasonable to suppose it has. 


Aac or Ac. A turtle. That this symbol as shown m a and 6 
denotes the turtle is conclusively jjroved by its resemblance to 
the head of that animal, as figured in the Cortesian Codex (see 
Fig. 373) and its relation to these figures. Found only in this 
codex, unless two doubtful symbols on Plate XXV*, Manu- 
script Troano. are to be consiilered as variants. 

Fig. 373. Turtle from the Cortesian Code.x. 

There can be no doubt that Landa's A, an exact copy 
No. 4. of which is given in the margin, in both varieties, c 

and d, is nothing more nor less than tlais symbol ; for, in addition to 
the very close general resemblance, we see in it the eye and the dot 
indicating the nostril. This fact is important, as it gives us some 
clew to the method adopted by Landa in forming his alphabet. 

Uech. Symbol or head of the armadillo of Yucatan. Appears but 
once or twice and in the Manuscript Tr(5ano only. (See Study of 
the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Thomas, pp. 98 and 14.")). 

Cht: Wood, 
p. 144). 

(See Study of the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Thomas, 



Cab. Eartli, soil; also honey. (See Study of the Manuscript 
Troano, by Cynis Thomas, p. 1.50.) 

Piz. Stone or stone heap. (See Study of the Manuscript Troano. 
by Cyi-us Thomas, p. 144). The Maya name of the thing indicated 
is uncertain, though I am inclined to beheve Piz, as given in the 
work alluded to, is correct. 

[". The left symbol of this figure appears to stand for vase, and 
is also used to indicate a pronoun or article when joined to an- 
other symbol, as here shown. (See op. cit., p. 14.5.) 



I I',', (il 

No. II. 
Xifiiii. The ear. Rosny, VocabuUiire hierati(iuc. No. 185, 

No. 111. 

Hon. The (juarter of a deer. Usually represented as an offering to 
the gods; in all the manuscripts. 

Ikik-ah. The bee. Although the figure bears a 
much stronger resemblance to a beetle than to a 
bee. there can be no longer any doubt that Bras- 
seur's supiiosition that it represents a bee is cor- 

No. I-.;. 

Ko. U. 

Honey in the comb. (See Study of the Manu.script Tioano. bv 
Cyrus Thomas, Fig. 20); in the Manuscript Troano only, and 
always in red. 

Xamaeli or Chiiiiix. A vessel. Thissymbol, found in all the codices, 
is apparently explained by its use in the upper division of Plate 
27, Cortesian Codex, where it stands over each of four vessels 
or jars of the form represented in Fig. 374. 

Fig. 3T4. Jai- from the Cortesiau Coder. 



This conclusion is greatly strengthened by the fact tliat the only 
other symbols in this connection are those of the cardinal points, one 
to each vessel. These iigures are probably intended to denote here 
the four sacred vessels or amphorae of the Bacab, thoiigh not sur- 
mounted, as Brasseur supjiosed, by human or animal figures. 

The symbol appears to be used . also in the ordinary sense, or at 
least to signify other vessels than the sacred four, if we may judge 
by its frequent repetition in Plate XIV, Manuscript Troano. But it 
is worthy of notice that here also, in both the middle and lower 
divisions, four of the symbols are connected with the cardinal point 
symbols ; there is also in the former the figure of a vessel. 

If this identification be correct it is important, as it has a strong 
lieai-ing on the question of phoneticism. It will be observed that, 
altliongh the right hand member resembles closely the symbol of the 
day Ymix, there are some differences, as may be seen by 
comparison. In the former the little figure at the toj) 
is divided as in Kan, and on each side of it there is a 
large dot, usually, and apparently by intention, circular 
These differences are permanent in the different codices. 
In the ujjijer division of Plates X and XI, Manuscript Troano, 
where this symbol appears in connection with each of the four cardi- 
nal symbols, that relating to the east jiresents this remarkable varia- 
tion : 

or lidllow. 

(?) A conventional figure of sproiitina; maize, never inserted in the 
text, but frequently in the 5Ianusiript Troano and in the Peresian 
Codex made a part of the head gear of fig-ures of deities, in which 
case the Kan symbol is generally omitted. 

The Kan symbol in this connection cannot be in- 
tended, as Dr. Schellhas supjaoses, to indicate the field 
or milpa in which the corn is growing, bitt the grain 
from which the plant is springing. (On this subject 
see Study of the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Thomas, 
pp. 105 and 107.) 

No. 15. 

(y) Symbol of a worm which gnawed the roots of the growing agave 
or maguey; appears but once, on Plate XXIXe of the Manuscript 

No. Id. 

The animal head and teetji show the erroneous idea the natives 
had of the gnawing apparatus of insects. The worm is shown on 
the next page in Fig. 375. 





Fm. 375. Worm and plant from ^lann- 
script Troano. 

Fig. 37G. Figure of a woman from the 
Dresden Codex. 

Chiipldl. AVoinaii nr female. This symbol is fouml in the Dresden 
and Troano Codiees, but most frequently in the former. T!ie ap- 
))endage at the right is sometimes wanting, and occasionally that 
at the left, but when this is the case some other inefix is generally 

If we examine carefully Plates lG-20 of the Dresden Codex, where 
thi.s symbol is most freqtieutly repeated, and compare it witli the 
heads of the females there fignred, it soon becomes apjiarent that the 
serolLs with the lieavy l)lack dot are intended to denote the locks of 
hair and that the symbol as a whole is, as nsual, a modified or con- 
ventional form of the head (see Fig. ."570). 

Otocli. A house or dwelling, or Tahay: a hut or hunting lodge. 
The symbol marked a is found in the C'ortesian Codex on Plate 
29: that marked b. on Plates 29, 32. and 34. same codex, and on 
Plates XVI* and XXII* of the Manuscript Troano. The one 
marked c is the usual form in the latter, a.s on Plates V*. VII*, 
and X*. It is also on Plate 28 of the Dresden Codex. 

The relation of these symbols to the conventional 
figures of houses or huts inserted at the points M-here 
they are found, together with the form, which shows 
an attempt to represent the thatched or leaf covered 
roof, leaves no doubt that they are used for the jjurpose indicated. 

No. 19. 

Bilk (?). There are good and. it is believed, satisfactory reasons for 
concluding that these symbols are intended to denote the action of 

" whirling a stick to produce fire or rolling a pestle in grinding paint. 
Tlie first, marked a. is found only on Plate XIX of the Manuscript 
Troano. and the second, on Plates 5 and 6 of the Dresden Codex. 

Acojiy of part of Plate XIX of the Manuscript Troano 
is introduced here (see Fig. 37?) to show the relation of 
the figures to the characters. If this interpretation be 
correct, we see here an evident attempt on the part of the 
aboriginal artist to indicate by the symbol the action uec- 



'? o 

-o : 

imm km 

'o/<;/*o-Co-i' ) 

Fig. 3rr. 




essary in tlie work to be performed, 
sign, and not a phonetic character. 

It is jjrobably a conventional 

(?) In all probability one of the symbols used to denote the act of 
walking or taking steps. Found but seldom in this particular form, 
though each portion occurs frequently alone or in other combina- 

No. 20. 

A remarkable series of figures and written characters ruus through 
the lower division of Plates 0.5 to GO of the Dresden Code.x, ajiparently 
devoted entirely to the representation of incidents in the life of the 
culture hero Kukulcan, or deity mentioned on a subsequent page as 
the "long nosed god"' or "god with the snake-like tongue,"' or to 
ceremonies to be performed in honor of this deity. Over the figure 
are three lines of written characters, as shown in Fig. 378, wliich 

Fib. 378. Copy of lower division of Plate 6.5, Dresden Codex. 

is a copy of the lower division of Plate 6.5. These, as is readily seen, 
are in groups, one group of six compound characters over each figure 
of the god. There are thirteen figures of the god and thirteen of 
these groups of characters in the series. The characters of a group, 
as may be seen by reference to the figure, are arranged in the follow- 
ing manner: 

6 ETH- 






on-i Aii>s TO thf: stlidv of the maya codices. 

to lir rt-'ucl (jire.smuably) in the alphabetic order of the letters given; 
though the order in which they are to be read is not essential at 
present. Examining the series carefully we find that tlie first char- 
acter of each gronj) corresponding with (( in the above diagram is the 
same throughout. The same thing is true in reference to the third, 
or that occupying the pluce of c in the diagram, which is the symbol 
of the deity. The sixth, or that corresponding with / in the diagram, 
is also the same throughout the series; the fifth, corresponding with 
e. is substantially the same throi;ghout, though subject to more varia- 
tions than any of the other characters. It follows, therefore, that the 
chief and almost the only differences in the readings of the groups 
are to be found in the second and fourth characters, or those rej^re- 
sented by b and d in the above diagram; the others (at least those rep- 
resented by a, c, and _/"), if referring at all to the figures, must relate 
to something found in or applicable to each. The third (c), as stated, 
is the symbol of the deity and corresponds in the text with the figure 
of the god in the pictures. As this deity figure is the only thing found 
in all of the representations, we must seek for the explanation of the 
other two ijermanent characters in something else than what is figured. 

Comparing the second character (h) of each grouj) with that ujjon 
which the god is seated or standing, we find sufficient evidence to sat- 
isfy us that this symbol is the one which is used throughout to indi- 
cate this object. For exanii)le, the second symbol in the groujj on 
Plate Gi.) is an exact cojjy of the object on which the deity is seated. 
The same thing is substantially true of that in the left hand group of 
Plate on, the middle group of (J7, and the right liand group of 68. 

Assuming, on account of the remarkable regularity of this series 
and the fact that the deity is in each case seated or standing on some- 
thing, tliat this rule holds good throughout, we have a clew to those 
corresponding symbols which are not simple copies of the things they 
are used to indicate. 

Turning to Fig. 378, we observe in the right hand department the 
marks of footsteps under the deity and the character shown in the 
margin (No. 20) as the second of the group above the deity. It is 
worthy of notice that in the two we find precisely Landa's two char- 
acters for the letter B. Is it possible that the two principal parts of 
this compound character denote th? Maya words oc be. "foot jour- 
ney" or ''enters upon the journey"!-' Attention will be called to tliis 
further on, but it is proper to state here that as the prefix is found in 
three other corresponding chai'acters it cannot be a necessary part of 
that which represents the footstei^s in this case. 

Assuiuint; the theory above given as to the charaiteis in the inscrip- 
tion vvliic li represent tlie things under the deity figures to be correct, the 
second character in the middle gronp of the lower division <if Plate 65, 
shown in Fig. 8TS. will be the symbol for the substance represented l)y 
scrolls under the figure of the deity.' 

' Unfortunately the scrolls were overlooked in preparing the cut. 





The prefix in this case is the same as that to the sj-mlx)! above de- 
scribed (No. 20), and of course has the same signification. The other 
portion of No. 21 must therefore represent the sub.stance in wliich the 
^od is walking. This apj^ears to be dust, sand, or mud. 

Cacauak or cacauche. The wild or cultivated cacao. Found a 
a number of times in the Dresden Codex, sometimes as represented 
in the marginal figure a and sometimes as in c, and always in 
connection with figures holding in the hand a fruit of some kind. 
It appears once in the Cortesian Codex (Plate 36), as shown in 
b. in connection with a fruit of precisely the same kind as that 
figured in the Dresden Codex. It is found also on Plate XVIII* 
of the Manusi-ript Troano, but is apparently used here to denote 
an action. 
No. 32, 

There can be little, if any, doubt, judging by the figures in connec- 
tion with which it is found, that this symbol is used in the Dresden 
and the Cortesian Codices to denote the cacao. Whethei' it refers to 
the tree or to the fruit is uncertain; possibly the diii'erent forms in 
which it is found are intended to denote these distinctions. In some 
of the figiiresthe caj^sule ajjpears to be indicated; in others the .seed. 
The ju'efix to figure c apparently indicates the heaj^ing or piling up 
of the fruit on the dish held in the hands of the individuals figured 
in the same connection, as, for example, on Plates 12 and 1.3 of the 
Dresden Codex. If this supi)Osition be correct it gives us a key to the 
signification of this prefix. Reference to its use in the upper divis- 
ion of Plate XVIII*, Manuscript Troano, will he made further on. 

In this symljol we find another of Landa's letters, and, if jjlionetic, 
agreeing precisely with his interpretation. 

Ekbdhiin according to Rosny. The variety marked a is found twice 
in the ^Manuscript Troano, Plates XVI and XVII, and that marked 

(( b once in the Dresden Codex, Plate 8, each time in connet'tion with a 
spotted, leopard-like animal. 

The black markings on the symbols render it probable 
/) that Rosny's interpretation is correct. The numeral be- 
fore the first form may possibly be explained by the fact 
that this symbol is used once (Manuscript Troano, Plate 
indicate the day Ix. 

.1/oo. The ara.a large species of parrot. This symbol is fouml but 
once, and that in Plate 16c, Dresden Codex, in connection with the 
bird sho'wn in Fig. 379. 

Fig. 8"9. The moo or ara from T^iate Ifi. Dresden Codex, 



The conclusion in this case is based on the following evidence: In 
this series there are six groups of characters, four compound charac- 
ters in each group, arranged as in tlie annexed diagram: 

a b 

e d 

9 h 



c d 

c f 

c d 










Similar characters in the different groups are represented by the 
same letter; for example, the symbol for woman, heretofore shown 
(No. 17), is represented by c, and an unknown character by d. Dif- 
ferent letters reiJi'esent different symbols. It is apparent that we 
have here the parallelism heretofore spoken of and are justified in 
basing conclusions on this fact. 

At 1, 2, and 3 are female figures with a Itird in each case perched 
on the back. At a is the head of a bird, evidently the symbol of 
the bird on the female below; at i, in the fourth group, is precisely 
the same symbol as the one found in the same relative position in the 
middle division of Plate 17 over another bird, and at m. in the fifth 
group, is another bird's head. From these facts we conclude that the 
first symbol in each of these groups denotes a bird, and, as no two are 
alike, that they refer to difi'erent species, the one at g corresponding 
with symbol No. 24. the bird beneath being the great jiarrot or ara. 
Other facts, derived from a careful study of the various groups of 
this portion of the codex, which would require much space and nu- 
merous illustrations to exi^lain, lead to the same belief. 

According to this conclusion, the following symbols also denote 
birds, probably of the sjjecies here indicated. 

Icun '/ The horned owl. This is represented by a in the first group 
in tlie above diagram. 

No. 3.5. The bird in the figure under the group, although 

horned, bears but slight resemblance to an owl; yet, comparing the 
marks on the tail with those of two of the birds on Plate XVIII * of 
the Manuscript Troano, I think the interpretation is justified. 

Kukiiitz? Tiie Quetzal. The symbol is apparently incomplete, but 
the bird figured under it justifies tliis conclusion. This symbol is 
represented by e in the above diagram. 
No. 26. 

If this interpretation be correct, we find in this symbol another of 
Landa's letters. 



Kuch. A Tulture or bird of prey much like the sopilote. Tl>ese 
two symbols {a and b) aiipeiir to refer to the same bird, evi- 
dently a vulture. (See Mauuscript Troano, Plates XVII a and 
XXVI* o.) The first form («) is found but once (Manuscript 
Troano, Plate XVII a), the other at several points, both in the 
Manuscript Troano and the Dresden Codes, and is represented 
by m in the preceding diagram. 

If this determination be correct, the first of these 
symbols (a) is probably phonetic and agrees with the iuterijretation 
of No. 26. 

So. «r. 

No. 28. 

Cfiom, Xchom, or Hcttom. The sopilote or vulture. Found only in 
Plates 16 and 17, Dresden Codex. The bird figure in Plate 17 ap- 
pears to be intended to represent a viilture. The symbol corresponds 
to i in the preceding diagram. 

If phonetic, the word indicated should, according to Landa's alpha- 
bet, be aspirated, which is found to be true of one of the forms given 
by Perez. 

In certain series of the Dresden Codex, which appear to relate to 
the four year series or to the four seasons, especially those on Plates 
20-:il. a certain class of food animals seems to be assigned to each. 
The four following symbols are those used to express this idea : 

^5^}~w Ceh? The symbol for game quadrupeds. Tlie same idea appears to be 
-^ ' indicated by the folded and tied quarter of a deer, as shown in No. 
11. The head shown in the symbol is probably intended for that 
of the deer, though more like that of the rabbit. 

Ciitz or Cax. The symbol for game birds, the head being probably that 
of the wild turkey (Cutz or Ahciitz). 

No. a!i. 

Huh. The symbol for food reptiles or the iguana. 

As the Kan figure is admitted to be a maize or bread sym- 
bol, it is readily seen that the object in view in connecting 
No. 31. it with the animal figures is to indicate that they are used 
for food, and hence are i^roper offerings to the gods, which is equiva- 
lent to saying, to the priests. 

Cay. The symbol for food fishes, or fishes in general, though as often 
on the Kan symbol or without any suffix. 

No. 33. 

Cutz or Ca.r. In one of the two series of these food symbols, in Plates 39-31 

of the Dresden Codex, in place of the bird symbol No. 30 is that shown 

in svmljol No. 33. It jirobably has. as Rosny supposes, the same signifi- 

No. .33. cation, a supposition which is strengthened by the fact that it is found 

in the bird series on Plates 16c and 17c, same codex, and is represented by o in the 

preceding diagram. 



EkvliKCih. The symbol or liieroglypli of thedeity named " Ekclm- 
ali " by the Mayas and considered the patron and protector of ped- 
dlers or traveling merchants (Fig. 380). 

Fio. 3ftn. The god Ekchuab, attfi- the Troano ami Cortesian Codices. 

The signification of the name of this deity is "The Black Cala- 
bash. " The form and the shading of the symbol render it more than 
probalile that it is a conventional representation of a divided or 
lialved black calabash or gourd, cut for the purpose of forming it 
into a cup <ir dijiper, which, in this form, is considered a symbol of 
this deity. 

The evidence upon which this determination is based is that the 
symbol constantly accompanies the red mouthed, black deity. It is 
found, with a single exception, only in the Manuscrii)t Troano. and 
chiefly in Plates II to V, relating to the traveling merchants. The 
single exception alluded to is on Plate 15 of the Cortesian Codex; 
here the god bears upon his back the traveling i^ack, indicating the 
vocation of which he is the special guardian. 

It occurs unconnected with the figure of the deity only on Plates 
IX*, XIV*, XV*, and XXV* of the Manuscript Troano. In the 
last the figure of the god is in the same division, but in the adjoining 
compartment. In Plate XV* it apparently refers to the idol the 
priest is carving, which is probably a lilack one intended to represent 
this god. Landa,' sjieaking of the artists carving idols from wood, 
says : 

They took also that which they used for scarifying their ears and ch'iuving blood 
from them, and also the instruments wliich (lipy needed for sculptuiing their black 

Its appearance in Plate XIV* is ai)p;u'cntly in connection witli tlic 
' Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan, p. 308. 




ceremonies relating to the manufacture of idols. Neither the sym- 
1)(il nor the god it i-epresents is to be found in the Dresden Codex. 

Knkiilcaii. (V) This is tlie s^-mbol of tlif long nosed gofl, which 
Dr. Hdiellhas designates " the god witli the snake-like tongue," 
of which representations appear so frequently in the ilitferent 
codices (see Fig. 381). 

The snake-like appendages hanging from the side 
of the mouth may possibly be intended to represejit 
a curved fang rather than part of a divided tongue. 
A remarkable figure on Plate 7-.> of the Borgian 
Codex deserves special notice here. This is the 
representation of a deity supposed by Kings])orough 
to be Quetzalcoatl, in which the head is as represented 

No. :«. 

and others 

Fic. 3S1. The long nosed goil iKukiilcani 

■ (jotl with the snake-Uke tongiie." 

in Fig. 382. Here we see both tongue and fang, and also an eye 
precisely of the form found in the Maya symbol. 

Whether Kukulcan is the god indicated is uncertain, unless he is 
identical with the long nosed god. or Maya Tlaloc. so frequently 
figured in the Manuscript Troano and the Cortesian Manuscript. It 
is only necessary to compare the figures on Plates 3 to 5 of the latter 
codex with the long nosed, green figures of Plates XXVI. XXVII. 
XXIX. XXX. and XXXI of the former to be convinced that they 
represent the same deity, and that this is the Maya Tlaloc or rain 
god. whatever may be the name by which he was known. 

As the symliol which accompanies these is the same as that fouml in 


connection witli tlie "snake tongued." long nosed god of the Dresden 
Codex, there is no doubt that the same deity is referred to. It is 
worthy of notice in this connection that Plates 29-41 of the Dresden 
C(jdex, which are devoted almost exclusively to this deity, refer very 
largely to water, the god being figured in connection with water no less 
than twenty-eight times. He is also twice colored black, probably to 
symbolize the dark rain cloud, and twice blue, denoting water. It 
is therefore fair to conclude that the author of this codex consid- 
ered him the giver of rain. 

Fio. 382. Copy of head from the Borgian Codex (Qiietzalcoatl). 

The following reasons given by Dr. Schellhas for supposing that 
the deity indicated is Kukulcan ai)j)arently justify his conclusion, 
though it is possible some other name may have been ajiplied to him: 

He is represented in all the manuscripts, and far more frequently than any other 
deity. His characteristic marks are always unmistakable. An entire section of the 
Dresden Code.x, pp. 29-43, and pp. 1 and 3, belonging thereto, treat almost e.vclu- 
sively of this god, and wherever he is pictured there we also find his name hiero- 
glyph. He is always characterized by the double, snake-like tongue hanging from 
his mouth and by the peculiar eye, two marks that are never absent, how nu- 
merous and varied soever may be his representations, his symbols, and attributes. 
We also find him with torches in his hands a.s symbols of fire; he sits on water; he 
stands or sits in water or in falling rain: he rides in a boat; he appears in company 
with a fisli as symbol of water or in company of a bird's head as symbol of the at- 
mosphere, upon the day sign Cab as syniliol of the earth, sitting, with the ax 




(machete) in liis hand, with arrows or spears, with a scepter, and finally, also, with 
the body of a snake. Considering tlie immense variety of this god's representa- 
tions and the numerous symbols (if power in the Tarious elements which the deity 
rules, we may well be justified in assuming that there are indications here of one of 
the most important figures in Ma_va mythology, with one of the principal deities of 
the people. The most important god of the Mayas was Kukulcaii, the creator of the 
country's civilization, who had come from the far, unknown east, the Mexican Quet- 
zalcohuatl, the Gucumatz of the Kiche, the Kukulcan of the Tzendals. All these 
names mean " feathered snake, " " bird snake." Now, in the above mentioned sec- 
tion of the Dresden manuscript, pp. 29^3, there is found on page 36. middle, the 
representation of a bird and a snake, the two symbols of the god Kukulcan. which, 
at the same time, denote his name in the manner of a rebus. That this represen- 
tation is to be referred to the god with the snake's tongue is rendered probable on 
the one hand by the fact that this whole section treats of him and is proved on the 
other hand by the circumstance that in the same place the same snake is found rep- 
resented with the head of the god: thus, page 3."). middle, and 36, above. In the 
same way this snake with the god's head is also found in the Codex Cortesianus, page 
10, middle, a passage which is rendered notable also by the fact that in the writing 
above the picture there is expressly found as a second sign the name hieroglyph of 
the god. 

Cimi (■/). Supposed symbols of the god of death. Occurring very 
frequently in all the codices, but with several variations (see Figs. 
383 and 384). 

These are given chiefly on the authority of Drs. Forste- 
niann and Schellhas, as I have some doubt in reference 
to this conclusion, for reasons whicli will here be given. 

Fig. 383. The supposed god of daath, 
from the Dresden Codex. 

Fio. ;384. The supposed god of death, from the 
Troano Codex. 

As Dr. Schellhas remarks, this is "the most characteristic and 
most easily recognized deity of the Maya Codices"; but this state- 
ment will not apply to the symbols, as the variations are such as to 
render it exceedingly doubtful whether precisely the same idea is 
embodied in each. Even the two forms here given, both of which 
are found in all the codices and often together, present variations too 
marked for us to believe, except upon strong evidence, that they rep- 
resent the same thing. Nor do the figures of this deity or supposed 
deity appear to embody throughout the same idea. In fact, they 



leave us in (loulit as to wliether any one recognized deity is tu be un- 
derstood. Was there in the Maya pantheon such a deity as the god 
of death? I liave so far been unable to find any satisfactory reason 
for answering this question in the affirmative. 

In the first part of the Dresden Codex, whicli is devoted, in part 
at least, if not chiefly, to the maladies of the country, the skeleton 
figm-es undoubtedly have reference to death, much like the skull and 
cross bones in our day. In other places, as Plates XXVII and XXII* 
of the Manuscript Troano and Plate 7 of the Cortesian Codex, the 
l),nrlied earth appears to be intended, but it must be conceded that 
liere also the idea of death is included. Sulistantially the same idea, 
or at least the relation of this god to the earth, appears to be indi- 
cated in Plate 8 of the Cortesian Codex, where he is rejjresented sis 
Iteuealh and holding up that u^jon which another deity, bearing tlie 
})read symbol, is seated. 

As before stated the two symbols frequently appear in connection, 
sometimes whei-e the god is figured and often where he is not. It 
is. therefore, unsafe to conclude as yet that either variety indicates a 
particndar deity known as the god of death. 

Symbol »f the god with the banded face; seen chiefly in the Manuscript • 

Troano; not fovmd in the Dresden Codex (Fig. 385). This is not the 

deity vvhicli Dr. Sehellhas designates as " the god with face crossed by 

No. 37. 

This deity evidently jiertains to the iinderworld and is closely allied 
to the so-called god of death. The syinbol and the figure are found 

Fig. -'JS.1. Tbe ^nd wiili ilie banded face, from the Codex Troano. 

together in but few instances, yet the peculiar markings are such as 
to leave no doul)t on the mind that the symbol is intended to denote 
what is represented by the figure, being simply the head of the deity 
as invariably figured. They apj^ear together in Plates IIIc, Va, and 
Yb. XXVIIPc. and XXIXc of the Manuscript Troano, in the first 
t_jvo as having some relation to the traveling merchants, liut in the 
last two in a very different role. The dotted lines with which the 
bodies of these figures are marked ami the jjeculiar anklets a]>i)earto 



have been introduced to signify relationship to tin- gml nf deatli. 
Perhaps tlie most direct evidence of this relation is found in Plate -ii 
of the Cortesian Codex, where the two deities are brought together 
at the sacrifice here indicated. Tlie tw(j ap])ear to be united in one 
in the lower division of. Plate XXVI* of the Manuscrijit Troano. 

Fig\ires of this god are also found in some of the Mexican codices, 
as on Plate 73 of the Borgian manuscrijit, where the relation to 
death and to the underworld is too apparent to be mistaken. ( )n 
Plate 10, same codex, the head of death is marked with the distiu- 
gxiishing black band. 

Unfortunately for investigations in this line, the earlj^ Spanish 
notices of the Maya mythology are so brief and confused that we can 
derive Init little aid from them in our efforts to identify the deities 
figured in these manuscripts. Possibly the (me with the banded face 
may represent Cuniahau or Hunliau, the jjrince of the lower regions: 
but the role he appears to play where figured, with the exception of 
Plate II, Manuscript Troano. and Plate T.'i of the Borgian Codex, 
would scarcely justify tlie name. 

(?) Symbol of the deity whiili Dr. Schelllias designates " the god with 
tlie iilil mail's face." Found m all the codices and almost invaiia- 
lily ill connection with the representation of the deity shown in 
38. our Fig. 386. 

Fio. ^Wi. The gud with the iild man's face. 

The deity denoted by this symbol and by the figure which it accom- 
panies is jiossibly Zamiia or Ytzamna, a deified Maya hero, but tlie 
various roles in wliich he is found make it difficult to decide on 
this point. He appears comparatively few times in the Dresden 
Codex, and only in the first few pages. In none of these is there any- 
thing to indicate his functions. In Plates Vic and 1.5c he holds a 
sun symbol in his hand, which might be supposed to refer to his at- 
trilmtes as " Kinich-Kakmo" but for the fact that the same thing is 
true of one or two other deities figured in the same codex. In the 
Manuscript Troano. where he is oftenest represented, his figure and 
his symbol appear most freqiiently in connection with the bee or 
honey industry; for example, on Plate Vc, the only place in the first 
jiart of tlie nianuscri])t where honey appears to be referred to, and 


twenty-two times in that sectioii of the second part, Phxtes I* to X*, 
relating to bees. He also appears to take an active part in the manu- 
facture of idols, engages in jiainting. aids in the culture or gather- 
ing of cacao, engages in predatory excursions, and acts in various 
other relations. In the left compartment of Plate XXIV*a he bears 
on his head the head of a bird. In the I'emai'kable double plate 
(41-43) of the Cortesian Codex he is twice figured, in the central area 
and at the east (top), and in each case is accompanied by a female 
deity. In the latter case both god and goddess are bearing in their 
hands the Kan or corn symbol. In Maya mythology Zamua was 
given a spouse named IxKan-Leox, which signifies the yellow frond 
or silk of maize. 

Symliol. accordina; to Dr. Schellhas, of the deity wliich lie names " the 
^^n\ with face crossed by lines," found in all the codices, but uioat 
frequently in the Manuscript Troano and the Cortesian manuscript. 
The deity is usually represented as in Fig. 387. 

Fig. :!S7. The god Him lace crossed by lines. 

This is introduced here on the authority of Dr. Schellhas. although 
I have considerable doubt as to the correctness of his conclusion. 

He remarks in regard to it as follows : 

Another characteristic and easily recognized deity, which, it is true, is compara- 
tively rare in the Dresden manuscript, but occurs with extraordinary frequency in 
other codices, and whose sign it is not hard to find, is the god whose face is crossed 
[surrounded] by peculiar parallel hues, representations of whom are given in the 
Cortesian Codex (p. 11, below) and Dresden Codex (p. 13, middle). The deity is al- 
ways male and is found in the Dresden Codex five times, Cortesian Codex eighteen 
times, Manuscript Troano twenty times, and Codex Peresianus five times. 

The sign of this god, as was the case with the others and as seems to be the gen- 
eral rule, consists merely of a representation of the god's head, combined with a 
sign which proliably represents an affix. The sign is found wherever the deity is 
represented and is an exact rendering of the god's head, so that there can be no 
doubt as to its being the name hieroglyph. True variations are not found, the hiero- 
glyi)h being perfectly alike in all the manuscripts. 

The nature of this deity is not easily determined, though it occurs in the Codices 
Troano and Cortesianus with extraordinary frequency, so that it would be seen that 
these two manuscripts, which evidently belong together, treat principally of this 
deity. No analogous deity is found in Aztec picture writing. * * * To all ap- ■ 
pearances we have here a momentous figure of Maya mythology, of which, unfor- 
tunately, we know nothing. 

It is true that this symbol is found in almost every instance where 
the figure of the god appears — in fact, with fewer exceptions than 


others in reference to which there is larobably little doubt. It is 
also true that the symbol is an exact copy of the god's head; but on 
the other hand there are strong reasons for doubting the correctness 
of Dr. Schellhas"s conclusion. 

The first is that the figure of the supposed deity seems to have 
more indications of being the conventional rejtresentation of an idol 
than of a deity. The lines of the head are precisely the same as 
those on the heads of the carved idols. ' 

We also find it in connection with the wood symbol (marginal 
No. 6) at the only points where the latter is found in the Cor- 
tesian Codex, and, what is significant, in wholly inappropriate places 
unless connected with an idol figure. These are found in the lower 
division of Plates 10 and 11, two on the top of thatched roofs and 
another on the head of the deity called the " " god with the old man's 
face,"' the head in the latter case being apparently carved from a 
block of wood. 

The second is to the same effect, the symbol being found over each 
of the figures of the lower division of Plates '-iG, 27, and :;8 of the Cor- 
tesian Codex and the middle division of Plates XXXI* and XXXII* 
of the Manuscript Troano, where there ajipear to be processions of 
the different deities. It is also significant that in the latter case each 
deity is bearing in his hands what seems to be a block of wood from 
which in all probability an idol is to be carved. 

Third, we find rows or lines comjiosed entirely of this symbol, as 
in the so-called title page of the Manuscript Troauo. 


It must be admitted, as heretofore intimated, that this question 
has not as yet been satisfactorily answered. Whether what is here 
presented will suffice to settle this point in the minds of students of 
American paleography is doubtful; nevertheless, it is believed that 
it will bring us one step nearer the goal for which we are so earnestly 
striving. Something is said on this subject in my former work," 
which need not be repeated here. 

As it is evident from the preceding list of characters that conven- 
tional signs and symbols, often nothing more than abbreviated picto- 
grajihs, were used in many cases to designate objects and persons, 
the inference to be drawn, unless other evidence is adduced, is, that 
this method prevailed throughout. Nevertheless there is some evi- 
dence that at the date when these manuscripts were written Maya 
culture was in a transition state ; that is to say, conventional symbols 

'See Plates XVI* 6 and XVII* p. Manuscript Troano. 
''Study of the Manuscript Troano, pp. 1-11-101. 


■were passing into trne ideographs ' and possibly into phcjnetic char- 

The lack of aiiy satisfactory key to assist us in decii^hering them 
makes it exceedingly difficult to decide how far this change had pi'o- 
gressed. We are therefore left wholly to deductions to be drawn 
from the facts obtained l)y laborious comparisons of the various rela- 
tions in which the characters are found and the uses which appear 
to be made of them in the manuscript. 

It will be admitted without question that a large numljer of these 
characters ai'e ideographs or conventional symbols, as distinguished 
from pictures, as, for example, most of those denoting the days, 
months, and cardinal points. I say most of these, as it is yet jjos- 
sible to learn from some of them the objects they were intendeil 
to represent, the characteristic features not being entirely lost, as 
the symbol for the day Cimi, the "death's head" or skull; that of 
the day Ymix, '"the grain of maize;" that of the month Moan, "the 
head of the moo or ara," a species of parrot, &c. 

It is also possible to show from the manuseri})ts themselves evi- 
dences of the changes from conventional pictograiihs to true or mne- 
monic symbols. 

Take, for instance, the bird symbols on Plates IG. 17, and IS of the 
Dresden Codex, i:)resented in the ])receding mai"ginal figures numbered 
a, 25, 26, 37, 28, and 3:J. If the determination be correct as given, it 
is apparent that, while one of the birds is indicated by the head as a 
symbol, the others are denoted by ideographs, or by phonetic charac- 
ters bearing no resemblance to their forms or peculiar features. That 
numeroias examples of this kind are to be found in these manuscripts 
will be admitted by all who have carefully studied them. 

Another fact bearing upon this jjoint is the difference between the 
Dresden Codex and the Manuscrijjt Troano in regard to marking with 
symbols the things represented in the pictures. We fail to find in 
the former (unless that on Plate 3D be a jiossible exception) the earth 
or soil represented by any symliol, though frequently occurring in 
the latter and also occasionally in the Cortesian Codex. The sym- 
bol for wood or that a]:>pearing so often on wooden articles in the 
latter, and occasionally in the Cortesian Codex, is wanting in the 
Dresden Codex, though wooden articles are several times represented. 
From this we infer that the Manuscript Troano is a more recent pro- 
duction than the Dresden Codex, notwitlistanding the evidences of 
greater skill in drawing and highei- mathematical attainments sin iwn 
in the latter. 

' As the term " ideograph " is somewliat liniad and comprehensive, it may be well 
enough to state that I use it as expressing that stage of symliolic writing where tlie 
picture characters have so changed that all resemblance to the objects they were 
originally intended to represent is lost, and therefore they can only be considered an 
mnemonic signs. 


Before discussing tlie question of iDhouograijliy we ask attention to 
one or two facts regarding Landa's alphabet which do not appear to 
have been previously noticed, yet have an important bearing on the 

The failure to reach any satisfactory results with this alphabet 
proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this autlior was mistaken as 
to the character of the Maya writing; yet the frequent occurrence in 
the manuscripts of most, if not all, of the elements he presents ren- 
ders it certain that there is a basis of truth on which it rests. It is 
probable, therefore, if we can find the key to his method, we may, 
after all, obtain some satisfactory results by means of his alphabet. 

I have already stated as my belief that — 

He has undertaken to pick out of their compound or syllabic characters the letter 
elenipnts: hence it is that, wliile we find it impossible to decipher the manuscripts 
by using them, yet we find such frequent resemblances as to compel us to admit a 
fundamental relationship.' 

This opinion I still believe to be correct, but was, until very re- 
cently, unable to get any i^ositive evidence as to his method of ob- 
taining elements. 

While examining the Cortesian Codex I came across (on Plate 1?) 
the symbol for a turtle (the different varieties of which are shown in 
marginal figure No. 4), which is nothing more or less than an attempt 
to represent the head of the animal. In the more abbreviated 
form (6) I at once recognized Landa"s A (compare with c and d. 
No. -t). As the Maj'a name of the turtle is Ac or Aac it is a23parent 
that in this instance the old Si^anish priest selected a symbol rep- 
resenting an object the name of which contains a single syllable 
having, as its chief letter element. A. As this symbol is simply a 
representation of the animal's head there is no reason to infer that 
it is phonetic ; on the contrary, it is more reasonable to assume that 
it was used only as a conventional sign. It is possible that after long 
usage it may have been adopted as a phonetic character, though its 
exceedingly rare occurrence in the manuscripts (being found only in 
the Cortesian Codex and with the turtle figure) and the fact that 
it is seldom, if ever, used as part of a comi^ouud character would 
seem to forbid this idea. 

Precisely the same method was adopted in obtaining his B, which 
is given in two forms, first as a foot print and second as a circle in- 
closing four cii-cular dots. The first, as all are aware, is only a con- 
ventional sign and presumably not ijhonetic. The second may be 
phonetic, though apparently but an abbreviation of the first. In 
Plate 0.5c (see marginal No. 20) and Plate 41c the two forms are 
brought into such relation to each other as to show that the latter is 
used as a symbol to represent the idea conveyed by the first. The 

' Study of the Manuscript Ti-oano, by Oyrus Thomas, pp. 142, 143. 


proof iu tliese cases is too strong to admit of doubt and explains 
Landa's method of obtaining his B, which, as before stated, was by 
selecting tlie symltol of that which is denoted by a Maya word of one 
syllable having B as its chief letter element, Be being the Maya word 
for "way," "journey," "walking," &c. 

The symbol for the cacao given above in marginal No. 22 con- 
tains his eleventh letter Ca twice and is probably that from which 
it was taken ; likewise that of the Kukuitz or Quetzal (marginal No. 
26) and of the Kuch or viilture (marginal No. 27o), each of which 
- contains his Ku. being double in the former and single in the latter. 
I am as yet unable to trace these two symbols to their origin; we 
might suppose, from Landa's figure of the latter, that it was in- 
tended to represent a bird's nest containing eggs, but an examination 
of the symbol as found in the manuscript renders this conclusion 

The evidences of jihonography are few and, as must be admitted, 
not entirely satisfactory; yet they are apparently sufficient to justify 
the somewhat general belief that the writing of the Mayas had 
reached that stage where characters are sometimes used to indicate 
sounds. That comparatively little advance had been made in this 
direction at the time of the conc[uest is possible; moreover there is 
nothing to justify the belief that they made use of true letters as 
Landa supposed. If they had a phonographic system of any kind 
it was very imperfect and was only in that primary stage in which 
syllables are represented by single characters and words of more 
than one syllable by compound characters. Jiidging by the changes 
observed in the relation of the parts of compound characters to one 
another, we conclude that the order of arranging these parts was not 
uniform or essential. It is also doubtful, if any of these characters 
are phonetic, whether the parts of the longer words were always 
written out in full. I am led to believe, from a few slight indica- 
tions, that, in forming words of more than one syllable, they often 
used only the leading phonetic elements of the single words of which 
they are composed; in other words, that they followed the rebus 
method of the Mexicans. 

Descending to particulars and examples, the following are. per- 
haps, the strongest proofs which can be presented on this ])oint: 

As there can no longer be any doubt that the symbols for the car- 
dinal points have been ascertained and that those relating to the 
polar points are distinguishable from those relating to the equatorial 
points, we are justified in referring to them in this discussion. As 
each of the two assigned to the equatorial points contains the sym- 
bol for "sun" or "day" and as the two Maya words for these points — 
Likia or Lakin and Chikin — contiim the Maya term for sun or day 
("kin"), there is some reason for believing that the characters are 
phonetic. There is to be added to this evidence the fact that the 


symbol of the month Yaxkin contains the same sun symbol. It 
would be somewhat remarkable to find the same single character in 
three different combinations, rejaresenting three different ideas ex- 
pressed by words containing the same sound, yet having no reference 
to the sound. 

It is now generally admitted by students of American paleogra- 
phy, on what appears to be satisfactory evidence, that symbol No. 
7 of the preceding list, Cab, is used to signify " earth" or "land" 
and "honey," both of which are designated by the same Maya term, 
Cab. As there is no similarity in the things denoted the character 
is probably phonetic. The "bee" appears also to be frequently in- 
dicated by the same character with an affix, as may be seen by refer- 
ence to the lower divisions of Plates UI* — X* of the Manuscript 

The symbol No. 9 (U) of the preceding list is found repeatedly on 
vases and also as a prefix to both simple and compound characters. 
As [7 in Maya signifies "moon," "vase," and certain pronouns and 
is also used as a eujihonic particle before vowels, we are jjerhaps justi- 
fied in concluding that the symbol is phonetic and denotes the word 
U. I am aware that neither Perez nor Dr. Brinton gives "vase" as 
one of the meanings of this word, yet its constant appearance on 
vessels seems to leave no doubt that Brasseur is correct. Even ad- 
mitting that he is mistaken and that we are in error as to the sig- 
nification of the symbol, its various uses justify the belief that it is 

The symbol No. 3-i of the preceding list, which is siipposed to be 
that of the god Ekchuah, is probably phonetic. The name of this 
deity is composed of two Maya words, ek, "black," and chu, "cala- 
bash," and hence signifies "the black calabash." and the form and 
coloring of the symbol are ajjparently intended to denote this signifi- 
cation. If this interpretation be correct it is phonetic, as there is 
nothing in or pertaining to the figure of the deity which corresjionds 
with it, except the color. 

If the interpretation given of the preceding symbols Nos. 33, 34, 
3G, 37a, and 33 be correct, there can be scarcely a doubt that they 
are phonetic. In the first — cacau, cacauak, or cacauche, the 
"cacao" — we see Landa's letter Ca, which is doubled in each of the 
three forins taken from, the different codices. In the twenty-sixth — 
Knkuitz, the Quetzal — Landa's Ku is duplicated, as it should be 
if phonetic, wliile in 37o. Kuch, it appears but once. There is here 
also an additional evidence of phoneticism in the fact that, while one 
of the symbols used to denote this bird shows simply its head, and 
is surely not phonetic, the other is entirely different and bears no 
resemblance whatever to any feature or characteristic of the bird. 
Moreover, both parts of it are used in other combinations referring 
to entirely different things. 
G ETH 34 


If uiy iuteri^retation of No. 1-i fXamach or ChimixJ he right, it is 
probably phonetic also. It is composed, as will be seen by reference 
to the figure, of two symbols closely resembling that for the day 
Ymix, except that the top portion of one is omitted. The resem- 
blance in sound to a duplication of Ymix is apparent. The slight 
but permanent variation of the right hand portion from the usual 
Ymix sjnnbol and the omission of the toi? jiortii n of the left hand 
one are scarcely explainable on the supposition that they form sim- 
ply a conventional sign; but if phonetic the reason is apparent, as 
tlie m soimd is not rejjeated in the Maya name. This conclusion is 
strengthened by the fact that the montli 3Iac, found in the last or 
bottom line of Plate 49, is precisely the same as the right poi'tion of 
No. 14, with Landa's symbol for Ca added. This probably justifies 
us in concluding that the true name of this month is Camach, "the 
jaw" or "jaws," and that Landa's figure is simply a rude represen- 
tation of the lips or mouth. 

I have expressed the opinion' that the chief f)honetic element of No. 
8 (the stone symbol), if used to represent sound, is p or pp. This 
opinion seems to be confirmed by the fact that this character is found 
as a part of the symbol for tlie month Pop on Plate 50 of the Dres- 
den Codex. (See the second character in the first transverse line 
below the day columns in the preceding Fig. 362. ) The method of 
determining the months referred to in these plates of the codex has 
been given in the preceding part of this paper. , 

The interpretation given above of symbol No. 34 (the moo or ara) 
will probably be accepted by all students of these manuscripts, and 
if so its phonetic character must be conceded. That it is used in the 
place above alluded to (Dresden Codex, Plate 16c) to denote this bird 
is proved by the parallelism of the groups and the figure of the par- 
rot under it. If we turn now to Plate 48 of this codex we observe 
that the second character of the first line below the day columns and 
the first character in the upper line of the lower groiip or square is, 
in each case, a bird's head. It is easily proved by means of the 
numeral series with which these are connected that they denote, in 
both cases, the month Moan (from the moo), proving that Brasseur's 
surmise was correct.''' If the same bird is represejited by two sym- 
bols, one pictorial and the other having no resemblance to any feat- 
ure or character of the thing denoted, it is probable the latter is 
phonetic. This conclusion is strengthened in this case by the strong 
resemblance of the first part of No. 24 to the symbol for the month 

I have shown above that the right portion of No. 30 of the list is 
Landa's letter B, and also that in the lower division of Plate 65, 

'Study of the Manuscript Troano, p. 147. 
« Landa's Relacion, pp. 382, 383, Note 1. 



Dresden Codex (see Fig. 378), it signifies '"footsteps"" or tlie act of 
walking. As tlie Maya word Be signifies "journey," '"wood," 
"' march," and also "journeying" and " marching," it is possible that 
this symbol is also phonetic, although apjjarently only a modified 
form of the footprint. This, supposition is strongly supported by 
the fact that it is fo\ind in numerous and varied relations, single and 
in combination. 

The symbol for 20 (Kal), No. 1 of the preceding list, is apparently 
phonetic. This view appears to be confirmed by its use otherwise 
than as a numeral symbol at several points in the text of the Manii- 
script Troano. For example, in the third division of Plate 

XVII* it appears in this form, M^^J while immediately below 
is the representation of an idol ^/^^Jp head in a vessel covered 
with a screen or basket, as shown in Fig. 388. The Maya verb 

Fig. 388. Wooden idol in vessel with basket cover. 

Kal signifies to "imprison" or "inclose," which is certainly appro- 
priate to what we see in the figure. As the symbol is over each of 
the three similar figures in the division, it is probable that it is 
intended to denote something relating to or observable in them. In 

^ the second division of Plates XV * and XVI *, same codex, 

/_L 1^^^^ is this symbol, several times repeated, and below each the 
1/ xIZZHIi fig^^i'e of a priest or deity at work, each carving, with a 
^ \ti5i5S"' machete or hatchet, the head of an idol. The probable 
signification is "Give twice twenty strokes with a machete," and 
hence is but partially phonetic. 

Other examples bearing on this question may be found, but these 
are believed to be sufficient to warrant the belief that at the time 
these codices were written Maya culture had reached that stage 
where the idea of phoueticism was being introduced into the writ- 
ing. Yet it is certain, and even susceptible of demonstration, that a 
large portion, perhaps the majority, of the characters are symbols. 
The more I study these characters the stronger becomes the con- 
viction that they have grown out of a pictographic system similar 
to that common among the Indians of North America. The first 
step in advance appears to have been to indicate, by characters, the 
gesture signs. 








Introduction 377 

Traditions of the elders ; 381 

Unu" uijia^e. Tsiou wactaJie itade (Ti-adition of the Tsiou wactasje gens) 381 

Translation 388 

Unii'' u(fa^e. QU(|:apasa" itade (Tradition of the Bald Eagle subgens). . . . 390 

Translation 394 

Concluding remaiks 396 


Fia. 389. Symbolic chart of the Osage 378 



By Rev. J. Owen Dorsey. 


When the author visited the Osage, in the Indian Tei'ritory, in 
January, 1883, he learned of the existence of a secret society of seven 
degrees, in which, it was alleged, the traditions of the people have been 
preserved to the present time. Owing to the shortness of his visit, 
one month and eleven days, he was unahle to gain more than frag- 
mentary accounts of the society, including parts of two traditions, 
from several Osage who had been initiated. 

The version of the first tradition was dictated to the author by 
Hada-oii^se (Red Corn), a half breed Osage of the Tsiou wactaiie 
gens. He obtained it from Sadeki^e. Hada-ou:^se was adopted in 
childhood by a white man named Matthews, who sent him to a Jesuit 
college in Missouri(?) to be educated for the priesthood. But the 
boy left the institution after he had been taught to read and write, as 
he did not wish to become a priest. He took the name of William P. 
Matthews, but among his white associates he is known as Bill Nix. 
He has tried several occupations and is now an Indian doctor. The 
author was inclined at first to underrate Mr. Matthews's accom- 
plishments and stock of information, but subsequently changed his 
opinion of him, as he obtained much that agreed with what had been 
furnished by members of other tribes in former years. Besides, the 
author obtained partial accoiints of similar traditions from other 
Osage, who used the same chant which Hada-oii-jse had sung. None 
of the yoiinger Osage men knew about these matters and the author 
was urged not to speak to them on this subject. He observed that 
several of the elder men, members of the secret order in which these 
traditions are preserved, had parts of the accompanying symbolic 
chart (Fig. 389) tattooed on their throats and chests. This chart is 
a fac simile of one that was drawn for the author by Hada-oii(^se. At 
the top we see a tree near a river. The tree is a cedar, called the tree 
of life. It has six roots, three on each side. Nothing is said about 
this tree till the speaker nearly reaches the end of the tradition. Then 




follows the " ceremony of the cedar." The tree is described vejy mi- 
nutely. Then follows a similar account of the river and its hi'anches. 






Fig. 389. Symbolic chart of the Osage. 

Just under the river, at the left, we see a large star, the Red or 
Morning Star. Next are six stars, Tafadfi". The Omaha know a 
similar group, which they call "Mi°xa si ^anga," or "Large foot of 
a goose." Next is the Evening Star; and last comes the small star, 
'•'Mikak'6-oinJ[a." Beneath these four we see the seven stars, or 
Pleiades (Mikak"6 udatse pt^^ti'da, the Seven Gentesof Stars), between 
the Moon (on the left) and the Sun (on the right). Beneath these 
are the peace pipe (on the left) and the hatchet (on the right). A 
bird is seen hovering over the four upper worlds. These worlds are 
represented by four parallel horizontal lines, each of which, except 
the lowest one, is supported by two pillars. The lowest world rests 
on a red oak tree. 

The journey of the people began at a i)oint below the lowest iipper 
world, on the left side of the chart. Then the people had neither hii- 
man bodies nor souls, thoiigh they existed in some unknown manner. 


They ascended from the lowest upper world, on the left, to the high- 
est. There they obtained human souls in the bodies of birds, accord- 
ing to Sadeki^e. 3;ahi5[e-wa^ayinJ[a said that there they met a male 
red bird, to whom they appealed for aid. (See ji. 383, line 18.) This 
was distinct from the female Red Bird, who gave them hiiman 
bodies. They descended to the first world, and from that they trav- 
eled until they alighted on the red oak tree. (See p. 383, line 30.) 
The ground was covered with grass and other kinds of vegetation. 
Then the paths of the people separated : some marched on the left, 
being the peace gentes that could not take life; they subsisted on 
roots &c. ; while those on the right killed animals. By and by the 
gentes exchanged commodities. 

The small figures on the left, in going from the tree (on the right 
when facing the tree), show the heavenly bodies or beings to whom 
the Black Bear went for help, and those on the right, in going from 
the tree (on the left when facing the top of the chart), show similar 
bodies or beings to whom the Waoaoe or war gentes applied for as- 
sistance. These are unknown to the members of the Tsiou gentes. 
After the female red bird gave bodies to the Tsiou people, the Black 
Bear found seven skins, which were used for tents. Subsequently 
the people discovered four kinds of rocks, which were the I°'q6 sade, 
or black rock; I°'q6 tuhu,' or blue (green?) rock; I"'q6 otiose, or red 
rock; and I°'q6 skft, or white rock. Therefore, when a child is named, 
four stones are heated for the sweat bath. After finding the rocks, 
according to 3;ahi5[e-wa'^ayiiai[a, four buffalo biills approached the 
people, as one of the men was returning to the company. When the 
first bull arose after rolling on the ground, an ear of red corn and a 
red pumpkin fell from his left hind leg. The leader of the Tsiou 
wacta5[e noticed them, and asked his younger brother to pick them iip 
and taste them. The leader of the Bald Eagle subgens did so. Then 
the elder brother said: "These will be good for the children to eat. 
Their limbs will stretch and increase in strength." When the second 
bull arose after rolling, an ear of spotted corn and a spotted pumpkin 
dropped from his left hind leg. These, too, were tasted and declared 
good for the children. "When the third bull arose after rolling, an 
ear of dark corn and a dark (black?) ijumjikin dropped from his left 
hind leg. From the left hind leg of the fourth buffalo dropped an 
ear of white corn and a white pumpkin. Therefore, when a child is 
named in the Tsiou gens (alone?) the headman of that gens (;sahiJie- 
wajayin^fa himself, according to his statement) takes a grain of each 
kind of corn and a slice of each variety of pumpkin, which he puts into 
the mouth of the infant. Hada-ou^se knew that the four kinds of 

' The sound of this inverted u, between o and u, as well as the sounds of other 
letters used in this article, except that of the inverted ij (which is a sound approxi 
mating ch in the German word ich), is to be found on page 306, Third Annual Re- 
port of the Bureau of Ethnology. 


rocks were found, but lie could not say in what part of the tradition 
the account belonged. He said that subsequently the Waoaoe and 
Tsiou gentes came to the village of the Haii'2ia-utti(f an^jse, a very war- 
like people, who then inhabited earth lodges. They subsisted on 
animals, and bodies of all kinds lay around their village, making the 
air very offensive. The Tsfou succeeded at last in making peace 
with the Han'j[a-utd,(fan(^se. After this followed the part of the ac- 
count given to the author by 3ahi3ie-wa^ayin2[a: 

"After the council between the Tslou, Waoaoe, and Hafi'i^a-utd.- 
(fan^se, two old men were sent off to seek a country in which all might 
dwell. One of these was a Tsiou wactd3[e and the other a Pa^qka- 
wact^j[e. Each man received a pipe from the council and was told 
to go for seven days without food or drink. He carried a staff to aid 
him in walking. Three times a day he wept, in the morning, at noon, 
and near sunset. They retiu-ned to the people at the end of the seven 
days, being very thin. The report of the Tsiou man was accepted, 
so the Tsiou gens is superior to the Pa''t[ka-wactaJ[e or Watsetsi. A 
Waoaoe man acted as crier and told all about the new home of the 
nation. All the old men decorated their faces with clay. The next 
morning the two old men who had gone in search of the new home 
led their respective sides of the nation, who marched in parallel roads. 
When they reached the land the policemen ran around in a circle, 
just as they do previous to starting to war. The Waoaoe man ran 
around from right to left and the <puqe man from left to right. At 
different stations the two old leaders addressed the people. Finally 
the men took sharp pointed sticks, which they stuck into the ground, 
each one saying 'I wish my lodge to be here.' The next day the 
Cxika, or messenger of the Tsiou old man went to summon the Elk 
crier. The latter was ordered to make a proclamation to all the 
people, as follows: 'They say that you must remove to-day! Wa- 
kanja has made good weather! They say that you must remove to- 
day to a good land!' In those days the Osage used dogs instead of 
horses. When the old Tsiou man made his speech, he went into de- 
tails about every part of a lodge, the fireplace, building materials, 
implements, &c. Four sticks were placed in the fireplace, the first 
pointing to the west. When this was laid down, the Tsiou leader 
spoke about the West Wind, and also about a young buffalo bull 
(Tse;u'-oiu>[a), repeating the name Wani'e-ska. When the stick 
at the north was laid down, he spoke of Tsehe qu;se (gray buffalo 
horns) or a buffalo bull. When the stick at the east was laid down 
he spoke of Tse^u^^a tan5[a (a large buffalo bull). On laying down 
the fourth stick at the south, he spoke of Tse mi''J[a (a buffalo cow). 
At the same time a similar ceremony was performed by the aged 
Pa''qka man on the right side of the tribe. ' 

' It is probable, however, that the Pa°tika (Ponka) man began with the stick at 
the east, as he must use the right hand and foot first. 


" In placing the stick to the east, Ta:^se 3;aqpa tsS, The East Wind, 
and Tahe cade, Dark-Horned Deer, were mentioned; to the north, 
Ta^se (jasa" ts6. The North Wind, and The Deer with gray horns were 
mentioned; to the west, Ta;se Ma" 'ha ts6. The West Wind, and an 
animal which makes a lodge and is with the Tahe pasi5[e were men- 
tioned ; to the south, Ta^jse Ak'a tsS, The South Wind, and Ta wafika he 
aJ[faoi skutaiiJ[a were mentioned." ' 

3;ahi5[e-wa;ayin5[a gave no further information, as a reported case 
of smallpox near the agency led the author to start for the East Feb- 
ruary 21, 1883. Since then he has learned of the existence of similar 
societies among the Kansa and the Ponka, and he suspects that there 
were formerly such societies among the Omaha." 


In presenting the accompanying traditions, the following abbre- 
viations are used in the interlinear translations: 

an., animate. in., inanimate. 

cv., curvilinear. mv., moving. 
du., dual. ob., object. 

pL, plural. I St., sitting. 

reel., reclining. std., standing. 

sing., singular. \ sub., subject. 

(Tradition of the Tsiou wactfcie gens.) 

1 oin'3[a wehaifife': c4di"tail, Tsika!' 

Child last he really O Krand- 

said father! 

Ha, wisun'5[a, oiil'5[a oui5[a wafiu'sfe, 4y\i anka": ^di"tau, Tsika! 

Ho younger child body they have he was say- he really O grand- 

brother none ingthat said father: 

' Meaning uncertain : it may refer to the female or doe. 

'See "Omaha Sociology," §§ 14-16, 19, 28, 33, 34, 36, 56, 143, 348-258, and passim, 
in Tliird Annual Report of the Director of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

^The literal rendering of the title is " Growth told. Tsiou Peacemaker theirs." 
This may be translated freely by " Revelations of the elders of the Red Eagle gens." 

•"Oiii'sia weha5[i(te, "The first end of the children " or " The beginning of the 
race." This reckoning was backward. The Ponka have a similar usage: uhaiige, oji 
end; uhaiige pahaflga te, the first end or beginning. Adi"tau, formed by crasis from 
ade and i°tau, may refer to the words of the old men who have handed down these 
ti'aditions. Tsika is unintelligible to the younger Osage of the present day. One 
man told the author that he thought it meant, " O grandfather," being addressed to 
tlie principal Wakanja. He said that it was substituted for another name of that 

' The chorus or refrain at the end of eacli hne is omitted in the free translation, 
as it would make confusion. If retained, the first four lines would read thus: 

The first of the race: he really said, O grandfather! 

He was saying, " Ho, younger brother! the cliildien have no bodies": he really 
said, O grandfather! 

" We shall seek bodies for our cliildren": he really said, O giandfather! 

" Ho, younger brother! you shall attend to it": he really said, O grandfather! 

* EJ[i anka refers to the preceding words, which were those of one of the mythic 
speakers. He was an ancestor of the Tsiou gens. Here he addressed his younger 
brother. At this time the brothers were destitute of hiunau souls and bodies, though 
they possessed conscious existence and could talk, as well as move about from place 
to place. 


3 Qin'i[a oui3[a aui[ii3[i^se tatse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ctiild body we shall seek ours he really O grand- 

said father ! 

Ha, ■wisun'j[a, li^a^defaf^ tatsd: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Ho yoiinger you shall attend to it he really O grand- 

brother said father! 

Maxe lisakida' wi"'qtsi 6' hi' naoi"': ^diHaxi, Tsika! , 

Parallel upper one to it came and he really O grand- 

worlds stood said father; 

6 E:^Slqtsi nikaciJia-daoi-': adiHaii, Tsika! 

Just there thev were not he really O grand- 

human beings said father! 

Ha wisiin'i[a! oin'3[a ouiifa wa^iu'j[e, ^5[i afika: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho younger child body they have he was say- he really O grand- 

brother none ing that said father! 

Oin'>[a ouiJ^a an3[iii[i^si? tatsd: ^di°tau, Tsika! 

Child body we shaU seeks ours he really O grand- 

said father! 

9 Maxe iisakida ^ii^'da 6'^si hi' naoi"': adi"tau, Tsik£! 

Parallel upper two to it came and he really O grand- 

worlds stood said father I 

E;siqtsi nikacii[a-daoi: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Just there they were not human he really O grand- 
beings said father! 

Ha, wisiin'i[a!oin'j[a ouii[awa<!;ifi'>[e, eJ[i aflka: adiHaii, Tsika! 

Ho younger child body they have he was saying he really O grand- 

brother none that said father! 

13 Qin'j[a oul3[a an3[u3[i:}s^ tatsd: adi°tail, Tsika! 

Child body we shall seek ours he really O grand- 

said fa'therl 

Md,xe;isakida(f^d(|;i''6';sihi' naoi"': adi°taii, Tsika! 

Parallel upper three there came and he really O grand- 

worlds stood said father 1 

E';siqtsi nikaciiia-daoi: adi^taii, Tsik^! 

Just there they were not human he really O grand- 
beings said father! 

15 Hil, wisun'5[a! oin'5[a oul5[a wafin'i[e, e5[i afika: ddi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho yoimger child body they have he was saying he really O grand- 

brother none that said father! 

Oin'j[a oui5[a an5[u5[i^se tats^: ddi°taii, Tsika! 

Child body we shall seek ours he really O grand- 

said father! 

Maxe lisakida ^lida e';si hi' naoi°': adi"taii, Tsika!" 

Parallel upper four there came and he really O grand- 

worlds stood said father! 

' See the lowest horizontal line on the left side of the chart. 

- Nikaci>[a-daoi. Another reading is nikaci^iaqtsi-daoi: they iveve not complete 
human beings. 
° A different reading of lines 17 to 35 is as follows: 

Maxe usakida ^iida nikaciJia<pade: adiifai'i, Tsika! 

Parallel upper four tbey were made he really O ^^raud- 

worlds human beings said father! 

Cu"u°cklta e e^adi"tau, Tsika! 
Awhile he indeed, he O grand- 

said really said father! 

Oifl'sja oiii3fa wa^in'i[ade, e ailka: adi"tau, Tsika! 
Child body they have he was he really O grand- 
none saying said father! 

Ha, wisiin'Jia! e e(''adi"tai'i, Tsika! 
Ho younger he indeed, he O grand- 
hrothej'! said really said father! - 

U'}a"de anijaxe tatse: adi»tau, Tsika! 
Attention we shall make he really O grand- 
said father ! 

Maxe usakida ^iad<fci" e'^jsi a"tsi naoi"': adi''taii, Tsika! 

Parallel upper three there they (?) came he really () grand 

worlds and stood said father! 


18 E:^siqtsi nikaciJ[a e': adi"tau, Tsika! 

Just there they were human he really O grand- 
beings said father! 

Cu"'u"ckita oin'j[a cuiJ^a wa^in'i[ade (Jianka: adi"tati, Tsika! 

Awhile longer child body they were without he really O grand- 

said father! 

Oiu'i[a ouii[a ani[uJii:jse a''ma"'^i'' tadetse: adi"tau, Tsika I 

ChUd body we seek ours we shall walk he really O grand- 

said father ! 

31 Maxe usakida (;;adf.''i e':^si tsi' naoi°': adi"taii. Tsika ! 

Parallel upper worlds three there came this way he really O grand- 

and stood said father ! 

Qiii'5[a oui3ia-dao! 4 e^adi^taii, Tsika ! 

Child had no bodies that indeed, he O grand- 
really said father ! 

H^, wisun'jia ! oiu'j[a ouiJ^a -wafin'jie, e>[i aiika: :idi°tavi. Tsika I 

Ho younger child body tbey have he was saying he really O grand 

brother none that said father : 

24 Oifi'i[a oui2[a afiJiuJii^se a''ma'"^i'' tadetse: ddi"tau, Tsika I 

Child body we seek ours we shall walk he really O grand- 

said father I 

Maxe iisakida fu°'da 6';si tsi' naoi"': adi"tau, Tsika ! 

Parallel upper worlds two there came this way he really O grand- 

and stood said father I 

Oin'i[a ouii[a kii((;a-ddal: adi"taii. Tsika I 

Child body they did not he really O grand- 
find for said father ! 

27 Ha, wisiln'jia! oifl'jia ouij^a wa^iii'5[e, ^-^i ailka: j(di"taii, TsikAI 

Ho yoimger child body they have he was sajing he really O grand- 

brother none that said father : 

Cu'''u''ckita u;a"de aiii[axe tadetse: adiHati, Tsika! 

Awhile longer examina^ we shall make he really O grand- 

tion said father ! 

Maxe usakida wi"'qtsi e%si tsi' naoi"': adi"taii. Tsika ! 

Parallel upper worlds one there came this way he really O grand- 

and stood ' said father ! 

30 Pii'siihii wi" atsi anaoi" aiika: adi''tau, Tsika! 

Eed oak one they came to and stood on he really O grand- 
said father ! 

Om'3(a ouijja-daci, e eAadi°tau, Tsika! 
Children had no he indeed, he O grand- 
botUes said really said father: 

Cu°u°ckita ina"de an5(axe tatse: adi°tau. Tsika! 
Awhile attention we shall make he really O grand- 
longer said father! 

Maxe usakida ^u"da ejsi a"tsi naoi" : iidi"tau, Tsikfi! 
Parallel upper two there they ( ?) came he really O grand- 
worlds and stood said father! 


At the fourth upper world they were made human beings. 

'■ Still," said he (the elder brother?), indeed lie really said, 

■■ The children have no bodies. 

'■ Ho, younger brother! 

' ■ We must give this matter our attention. " 

They came to the third upper world. 

" The children have no boilies." 

'• Still must we give this our attention," said one. 

They came to the second upper world. (From this line on there is no variation 

from what has been given above.) 
'Here they obtained human souls, though they were in the bodies of birds. See 
the bu-d hovering above the four upper worlds in the chart. Then began the de- 
scent to tills earth. 



31 Hii"'da ^ai[fi°qtsi 6':^si tsi' naai"': ^di"taii, Tsika ! 

Day very good there came and he really O grand- 

stood said father '. 

Kaxe-wtlMl-sa"' <f(^-na: adi"tau, TsiM ! 

Crow bone white he who he really O grand- 
was mv. said fattier : 
m the 

naoi°' 4 e(J!adi°tati, Tsika ! 

Came directly to he indeed, he O grand- 
him and stood ?aid really said father ! 

Ha, vnoi"<^6: adi"tati, Tsika I 

Ho elder he really O grand- 

brother I said father ! 

Ca5[e ^sii^sea"'fakci^6 ma"hiii"' tats^": adi"taii, Tsika! 

Paws you bum them for me you shall walk he really O grand- 

said father 1 

35 Ha, Kaxe-wahii-sa"! (Ji^i afika: i^idi^taii, Tsika! 

Ho crow bone white! he was saying he really Ogrand- 

that said father! 

Watse-jn:5[a-na' g'^^si hi' naoi"' anka: adi°taii, Tsika! 

Male animal who touched there he arrived and was he really O grand- 

a foe in the past standing said father! 

Ha, witsiJiue! 6^i anka: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Ho grandfather! hewassaymg he really O grand- 
that said father! 

39 Qin'5[a ouiJ[a wa(^i]i'j[e afika: adi°tau, Tsika! 

Cihild body they have none he really O grand- 

said father! 

Qin'5[a r>iaiJ[a miiikce ^an'tse': fi-di"tau, Tsika! 

Child body Iwhosit(?) apt he really O grand- 

said father! 

W^kan;^ il^na dfi"-md.oi', 4^i anJiii: adi°tau, Tsikd! 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 

one only ing that said father] 

42 Cu'"u°ckita ii^a^defafd tatsd: adintaii, Tsikii! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 
said father! 

Watse-mi-'na-na 6'^si hi' iiaoi"' aiika: adi°tail, Tsik^! 

Female animal who had there he arrived and he really O grand- 

touched a foe in the wasstd. said father! 


Ha, 1ti3[u^! ^Jfi anka: ^di°tau, Tsikii! 

Ho grand- he was saying he really O grand- 
mother! that said father! 

45 Qin'Ji^a ouiJ[a wafin'5[e aiika: adiHaii, Tsika! 

Child body they have none he really O grand- 

said father! 

Qm'^a oui5[a miSkc^ ^an'tse; adi"tan, Tsika! 

Child body I who sit apt he really O grand- 

said father 1 

' Why the Black Bear was called Kaxe-wahii-sa" was not explained to the author' 

' Ca5[e ^siijsea"' (fakcicfe &c. Youshall take me far your servant : literally, You 
shall walk, causing me to burn my feet ; that is, You shall make me go through fire 
and water for you. 

2Watse4UJta-na. X^^a shows that the star was regarded as a male animal, just 
as mi°'![a, in line 43, denotes that the next star was a female animal, not a female of 
the human race. As they were called "grandfather" and "grandmother," they 
were looked upon as supernatural beings or gods. So were all of the heavenly 
bodies to whom the Black Bear appUed. 

^Oin^ti oui^ia miiikce il'an'tse, a phrase that puzzles the writer, who suspects 
that an auxiliary verb has been omitted and that the whole should read: "Qinna 
ouijfa-wikci^eminkce^an'tse? CCa?i I giveyoubodies for tlie children ? ) No! You 
must still make attempts to obtain them elsewhere." 

' Wakan^a ^iina dfi"-maai, / am not the only mysterimis one (apply to some one 
of the rest). 


V, Wakan^a J^ana d(fi"-mcici. ('^i anka: adi''tati. Tsika! 

Mysterious that I am Inot she was say- he really O grand- 
one only iug that said father : 

Cu"'tl"ckita u|a"defa(|;e tatse: adi"tau. Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 

said father ; 

Ha"'da-|a° wakan:jd ^ifikc6';si M' uaoi"': adi^tau, Tsika! 

During the day mysterious to the ob. he arrived and he really O grand- 

one stood said father: 

Ha, witsique ! eJ[i ailka: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho grandfather : be was say- he really O Brand- 
ing that said rather 1 

51 3in'>[a oui5{a waf iu'j[ade, \vitsi>[ut', 4i[i aiika: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Child body they have none grandfather : he was say- he really O grand- 

ing that said father' 

Qin'ka oui}[a rainkce ^an'tse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Child body I who sit apt be really O grand- 

said father 

Wakan^a j[ana d^'i"-niaoi, e>[i aiika: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Mysterious that 1 am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 
one ing that said father: 

54 Cu"u°ckita u;a"de(fafe tatse: adi"taii, Tsikc4! 

Awhile you shall attend to it he really O grand- 

said father! 

Wakani4 lia"' ^iiikci 6'qisi hi' naoi"': adi"tau, Tsika! 

Mysterious night the st. there he arriveil he really O grand- 
one ob. and stood said father! 

[a, witsij[u^! adi"tau, Tsika! 

Ho grandfather! he really O grand- 
said father! 

57 Qinj[a cuiJ[a wafin'ifade. witsij{u^, e:5[i ailka: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Child body they have none grandfather: he was say- he really ogrand- 

ingthat said" father! 

Qiii'j[a ouiJ[a minkce ^au'tse: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Child body I who sit apt he really O grand - 

said father! 

Wakan:^a J[ana d^i^-maoi, 4^i anka: ;'idi"tau, Tsika! 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 
one only ing that said father! 

00 Cu"'ii"ckita im"defa<^^ tats(?: fidi"tau, Tsika ! 

Awhile longer you shall attend he really O grand- 

to it said father ! 

Mikak'e p^^u"da'^inkci 6'';si tsi'naoi"': adi"taii, Tsika! 

Star seven the cv. to it he came and he really O grand- 

ob. stood said father 1 

HA, witsiJiu(?! adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho grandfathers ! he really O grand- 
said father : 

03 Qinka ouiJ[a wafin'j[ade. witsi^^ue, e:5[i anka: adi"tai1, Tsikal 

Child bixly they have grandfathers: she was saying he really O grand - 

none that ' said ' father! 

3in'>[a oiii>[a minkce fan'tse: adi"tai1, Tsikal 

Child body I who sit apt he really O grand- 

said father 1 

Wakan:^^ 5[ana d<f*i"-maoi, e^i anka: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 
one only ing that said father 1 

66 Cu'"il"ckitaix;a"de((-aft:' tatse: adi"tau. Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend he really O grand- 

to it said father! 

' Mikak'e pe^fi"da. sometimes called " Mikak'e udatse pefu"da." the Seven Gentes 
of Stars. Could this have any connection with the use of the number 7 as the 
number of the Tsi.iu, Waoaoe, and Haii5[a gentes? 

C ETH 25 



07 Ta fadf-i" ^inkce'^si tsi' uaoi"' : adi"taii, Tsika! 

Deer three tothest. he came and he really O grand - 

an. object stood said father: 

Ha, mtsi>[iiel 

Ho graniifather: 

adi"taii, Tsika! 

he really 

O grand- 
father ! 

69 Qiii'^a oui>[a wa^in':>[ade, witsi5[ut^, ey[i anka: adi"tau, Tsik^! 

Child body they have grandfather he was saying he really O grand- 

none that said father! 

Qin'>[a oiii>[a miiikce fan'tse: adi"taii, Tsikal 

Child body I who apt he really O gi*and- 

said father ! 

Wakan^^d 2[aiia d^i"-maoi, d5[i anka: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 
one only iug that said father I 

72 Cfl"'Vckita ii^a"de(fate tatst': adi"taii, Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 




Mikak't^ tan'5[a ha"'da-;a"' finkci' e';sitsi'naoi"': 

star large dux'iug the the st. there he came and 

day ob. stood 

adi"taiu Tsikal 

he really 

O grand- 

Ha, witsi>[ue! 

Ho grandfather! 

adi"tai1, Tsika! 

he really O grand- 
said father! 

75 Qin'5{a oui:^a wafin'>[ade. witsi>[ut\ e?[i anka e: ;'idi"taii, Tsikii! 

Child body they havf none grandfather he was say- that he really ( > grand- 

ing that said father! 

Qifi'^a oui^a miukce <faii'tse: adi"taii, Tsikal 

Child body I who apt he really O grand- 

said father! 

Wdkai^a >[ana d<j'i"-maoi, e5[i afik^i: adi"taii. Tsika! 

Mysterious that I am luot he was say- he really O grand- 
one only ing that said father I 

78 Cu"'u"ckita u;a"defa^e tatse: adi"tan, Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 

said father ! 

Mik^k'6-oiH'^[a fiiikci' e';si tsi naoi"': ctdi"taii, Tsika! 

Star small the st. there he came and he really O grand- 

an. ob. stood said father! 

HA, witsi>tue: adi"tau. Tsikal 

Ho grandfather! he really O grand- 
said father! 

Qiii'>[a .nii>fa ^ya(j'ifl'>Iade. witsi^^iu'. e^i ank^i: adi"tau, Tsikdl 

child body they have none grandfather he was say- he really O grand- 

ing that said father! 

Qifi'>[a oiii:>[a miiikct^ ^an'tse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Child body I who apt he really O grand- 

said father! 

Wakaii;a j^aiia dfi"-m^a!, ^5[i ank^: tldi^taii, Tsikal 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was say- he really O grand- 


ing that 


84 Cti"'u"ckitaii;a"def'a<j;L< tatse: adi"ta\i, Tsik4! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 


father I 


Waoin'^ia oii';se (fe-na tsilie u>[i>[((-i" (•inkce: ;idi"tau. Tsik^i! 

Bird I'ed the one nest she was sitting in her he really O prand- 

mv. in the own said father; 


E'^ai hi' uaoi "'anka: adi"tau. Tsika! 

There he ariived and was he really O grand- 
standing said father : 

Ha. ii[>[ii! e aSk^: iidi'tau. Tsikal 

Ho grand- he was he really i ) grand- 
mother I saying said father! 


88 oiri'>[a oui>[a waf*ifi'>[ade, e:^[i aiika: adi"taii, Tsikal' 

Child body they bave none he was say- be really O grand- 

ing that said father! 

Qiri'>[a u>[a\vi>[ife <fan'tse, e fifikce: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Child Iciuseyouto apt she was say- he really O grand- 

have my ing as she said fattier ' 

body sat 

90 Ahu-sa5[i >[^(t*inkce oin'>[a ahu-sa5[i ma"fi"' tatse: c4di"taii, Tsikal 

Wing hard that one child wing hard shall walk he really O grand- 

said father 1 

Ahu-sa>ii aina (['inkce oin'>[a aliii-saki tatse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Wing hard the other one child wing hard shall (be) he really O grand- 
said father! 

Taqpii' :>[a(t'inkc^ oin'5[a taqpii' ma"4'i"' tatse: adi"taii. Tsikal 

Crown of that cv. ob. child crown of shall walk he really O grand- 

the head the head said father 1 

93 i(t*ets6 ^lact^inkce ain'>[a i(t?ets6 ma"(t'i''' tats^: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Mouth that cv. ob. child mouth shall walk he really O grand- 

said father! 

P^ (t^^cfinkce oin'>[a })e ma"(t^i"' tatse: adiHaii, Tsikal 

Fore- this cv. on. child fore- shall walk he really O grand- 

head head said father! 

Tahiitse 2[a(finkce' oiu'>[a tahiitse ma"<l-i"' tatst^: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Neck that cv. ob child neck shall walk he really O grand- 

said " father! 

96 W^ifahni" J[a(|*inkc^ oin'>[a w^(j;ahni" ina"(t!i"' tats^: adiHau, Tsika! 

Gullet that cv. ob. child • gullet shall walk he really O grand- 

said father! 

Man'5[e >[a(t!inkce ^oifi'^fa man'>[e tatse: adi"taii. Tsika! 

Chest fehat cv. ob. child chest shall he really O grand- 

(be) said father! 

(pa'we-iiq(j;iik'a ?[a(t^ifikc(^ oin'>[a fu'we-uq4'iik'a tats^: adi"tau. 

Bowels that cv. ob. child bowels shall he really 


O grand- 
father ! 

(be) said 

99 Q(^3|iitan'^a >[a4inkce oiu'2[a oe:^[utan'>[a tatse: adi"taii, Tsikc4! 

Thighs that cv. ob. child thighs .shall he really O grand- 

(be) said father! 

Cicfanise >[a4'inkc^ oin':^[a cifau^se tatse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Knee that cv. ob. child knee shall he really O grand- 

• ibe) said " father 1 

Naqpii 5^a(('inkce oin'?[a n^qpii tatse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Calf of leg that cv. ob. child calf of shall he really O grand- 

leg (be) said father: 

103 Si(|je!;se Jraifinkc^ oin'5[a siij'e^se tatse: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Heel that cv. ob. child heel shall he really O grand- 

ibe) said father! 

Sipa >[a(t'inkc(^ oin':^a sipa tatse: adi^taii, Tsika! 

Toe that cv. ob. child toe .shall he really O grand- 

(be) said father! 

Sipii-itaxe ?[a(j*inkce .')in':b[a sfpu-itaxe tatse: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Tip of toe that cv. ob. child tip of toe shall he really O grand- 

vbe) said father! 

105 oin':5ta its'e' (t-in^te'qtsi ma"hni"' tadetse: adi"taii, Tsikc4! 

C?hild cause ■nithout any ye shall walk lie really O grand- 

of at all " " said fath*^r' 


'X^i^hiJie-wa^aymjfa, of this gens, gave the following as another reading: 
Oin'jfa nikaciJfa <Jin3[e-eia" 

Child human none as 


As the children are not human beings. I go to you, O grandfather! 


eeaii, witsijpie! 


Tsika ! 

I fro to 

indeed O grand- 
father ! 

he really 



lOU Qin'jia 4'anikaciiia ma"hni"' tadetse: c4di"tau, Tsika! 

Children you are human you shall walk he really O grand- 

beings said father : 

Qin'j[a iinia" J[a(J!inkce oin'Jta iinia"'\vikci(|',?: adi"taii, Tsikal 

Child speech that child I cause you to he really O grand- 

(?) speak (?) said father ! 

The rest of this tradition was not obtained. 


The followinj^ translation is arranged in lines to correspond to the 

lines in the original text: 

1 The first of the race 
Was saying, " Ho. younger brother! the children have no bodies. 

8 •• We shall seek bodies for our children. 

" Ho, younger brother! you shall attend to it." 
They readied one upper world and stood. 
6 There they were not human beings. 
•• Ho, younger brother! the children have no bodies." he was saying. 
•■ We must seek bodies for our children." 

9 They reachetl the second upper world and stood. 
There they were not human l)eings. 

" Ho, younger brother! tlie children have no bodies," he was saying. 
13 ■• We must seek Ixxlies for our children." 

They reached the third uj)per world and stood. 

There they were not human beings. 
15 "Ho. younger bi-otherl the children have no bodies," he was saying. 

"We must seek bodies for our children." 

They reached the foiu-th upper world and stood. 
18 There they liecame human beings. 

Still, the children were without (liuman) bodies. 

" We must continue to seek bodies for our children." 
31 They returned to the tliird upjjer world and stood. 

The children were really without l)odies. ^ 

" Ho. younger brother! the children have no liodies," he was saying. 
34 " We must continue to seek bodies for our children." 

They returned to the second upper world and stood. 

The children did not find bodies for themselves. 
37 " Ho. younger brotlier! the children have no bodies," he was saying. 

"We must make an examination awhile longer." 

They returned to the first upper world and stood. 
;i(l They came to a red oak and were standing on it. 

On a very fine day they came hither and stood. 

Kaxe-waliii-sa" (tlie Black Bear), wlio was then moving, 
33 Came directly to them and stood. 

" Ho, elder brother!" (said the Black Bear.) 

"You shall continue to burn my feet for me." 
36 "Ho, Kaxe-wahii-sa" !" was he (the Tsion) saying. 

Kaxe-wAhii-sa" went to the star Watse-;uJia. 

"Ho, grandfather!" he was saying. 
39 "The children have no bodies." 

Watse-ju>ia re])lied, "Can I give the children bodies? 

" I am not the only mysterious one: 
42 " You shall attend to it awhile longer." 

Then Kaxe-wahi'i-sa" went to the star Watse-nii"!)a. 


44 " Ho, grandmother! '' he said; 
" Tlie children have no bodies." 
She repHed, " Can I give bodies to tlie children? 
" I am not the only mysterious one ; 
48 " You shall attend to it awhile longer." 
Then he went to the mysterious one of day. 
'■ Ho, gi-andfather! " said he; 
51 " The children have no bodies." 

Said he, " Can I give the children bodies? 
■' I am not the only mysterious one; 
54 •■ You shall attend to it awhile longer." 

Then he went to the mysterious one of night. 
" Ho, grandfather!" said he; 
57 "The children have no bodies, grandfather!" 

The Moon rephed, "Can I give bodies to the children? 
' ' I am not the only mysterious one ; 
CO " You shall attend to it awhile longer." 
Then he went to the Pleiades, saying, 
"Ho, gi-andfathers! 
63 "The children have no bodies." 

One of these replied, " Can I give bodies to the children? 
" I am not the only mysterious one ; 
66 " You shall attend to it awhile longer." 

Then he went to the constellation called Three Deer. 
"Ho, giandfather," said he; 
69 " The children have no bodies." 

The latter replied, " Can I give the children bodies? 
" I am not the only mysterious one; 
72 " You shall attend to it awhile longer." 
Then he went to the Jlorning Star, saying, 
" Ho, grandfather! 
75 "The children have no liodies." 

The star replied, " Can I give bodies to the cliildren? 
" I am not the only mysterious one; 
78 "You shall attend to it awhile longer." 
Then he went to the Small Star, saying, 
"Ho, grandfather! 
81 "The cliildren have no bodies." 

The star replied. " Can I give bodies to the children? 
"I am not the only mysterious one; 
84 "You shall attend to it awliile longer." 

The female Red Bird, who had been moving, was sitting on her nest. 
To her he cajne, saying, 
87 "Ho, grandmother! 

" The children have no bodies." 

She rephed, " I can cause your children to have (human) bodies from my own. 
90 "My left wing shall be a left arm for the children. 
"My right «-ing shall be a right arm for them. 
"My head shall be a head for them. 
93 "My mouth shall lie a mouth for them. 
" My forehead shall be a forehead for them. 
" My neck shall be a neck for them. 
96 " My throat shall be a throat for them. 
" My chest shall be a chest for them. 


98 "My bowels shall be bowels for them. 

" My thighs shall be thiglis for them. 

"My knees shall be knees for them. 

" The calves of my legs shall be calves of their legs. 
102 " My heels shall be their heels. 

■ ' My tf)es shall be their toes. 

'• My claws shall be their toenails. 
10.5 " You shall continue to exist without any cause of destruction for your race. 

" Your chilihen sliall live as human Ijeings. 

"The speech (or breath) of children will I bestow on your children." 

(Tradition of the Bald Eagle subgens.) 

1 oin'^ja niqk'aciJia tade^a" u;a"de an:5iaxe tatsc^, wisttfiJi^: 

Child human beings in order that (pi.) attention we shall make younger brother 

adi"taii, T.sika! 

he really O g:rand- 
said father! 

K^xe-walui-sa" tsi'naci"': adi"taii, Tsika! 

Kdxe-w&hU-sa"' carae and stood he really O grand- 
said father! 

3 Kaxe-wahii-sa"' ha"'da-;a" wakan''^a (finkc^^si hi'naoi"': adi"taii, 

K&xe-w&hii-sa" during the mysterious to the st. an. came and he really 

day one ob. stood said 


O grand- 

' This fragment of the tradition of the Bald Eagle subgens of the Tsi.iu wactasje 
gens was told by Pahti-ska, the chief, to Hada-oii^se. who related it to the writer on 
the following day. 

Hada-oujse told some of the tradition first in English, but on chanting it in Osage 
he did not give all; so the former account is now given in these notes: "When the 
ancestors of the Bald Eagle people came to this earth they aMghted on a sycamore 
tree, as all of the surrounding country was under water. This water was dried up 
by the ancestors of the Elk people, according to the tradition of the Upqa" or Elk 
gens; but this is disputed by the members of the Idats'e gens, who are Kansa or 
Wind peo|)le. They say that their ancestors blew on the water, drying it up an<l 
causing the growth of vegetation. As soon as the water was gone the Bald Eagle 
people alighted on the ground. Then they met the Black Bear, who offered to l)e- 
come the servant of tlie Tsiou w.actaije people. So he was sent to Watse-'jusja. who 
was a red star; then to M'^atse-mi°5[a, a star near the Morning Star; tlien to tlie Sun, 
Moon, and Seven Stars. As the people journeyed, the Black Bear said to the 
leader, ' Brotlier, I see a man's trail. Here is the man.' The stranger said, ' I am 
a young HanJfa. I am fit for work.' So they took him with them. Then they 
saw another trail, of which the Black Bear spoke to the Tsiou leader. They over, 
took the man. who was HaiiJ(aqtsi or Real Han5[a. By and by they reached the 
village of the HaiiJia utaij-an^fse. They entered the village and made peace with the 
inhabitants. Then the leader of the Han5[a utacl'an^se said, ' We have some i)eople 
come to us. anil we will make them our chiefs.' So the two wactasje were made 
chiefs. The wacta5(e were then sent to search for a land where they might dwell, 
as the village of the Han^ia utacjanise was filthy and f)ffensive on account of theilead 
bodies in and around it. Tliis council was the first one of the whole nation. The 
two wactasje went out as mourners for seven days. The Han3[a wactasie (Pa"iika= 
Ponka came back first, saying, 'I have found a place.' Afterwards the Tsi.iu 
wactaije returned and reported. The council was helil again to deciile to which 




4 Ha. "witsi5[uel oin'^a oiii>[a wacfin'i^ade, e5[i anka: adi"tai1, Tsikal 

Ho grandfather! child budy they have none he was saying he really O grand- 

that said father! 

Wakau'c^a iioan'5[e ts'e wats^qi d<j:i"' e(['aii: adi"tari, 

TiT..^^..;,^,,.. ..^n^ iQ (\iQ difficult I am indeed he really 




G Wakan'^a 5[ana dtfi^-m^oi, ^5[i5[ie anka: ad 

O mysterious that I am I-not he was saying to him 
'one only what precedes 

Cu"'u"ckita iija"de((*a(t'e tatse: adi"taii. Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he rea.Uy O grand- 


he really 


O grand- 
father ! 


O grand- 


father I 


sa"', cii"'ta. 


u;a"de afij[axe tadetse : 




'' awhile 
longer ( y) 

my yotmger 

attention we must make 

he really 

( > g:raiKl 


fiflkci e'jsi 

hi' naoi" 

': adi"tau. Tsik^! 

Male animal that 
tonche<l a foe 

the std. to it 
an, Ob. 

aiTived and 

he really grand- 
said father! 

Hit. witsi5[ue ! .:)in'?[a oui>[a wa<}*in':5^ade. )'>[i anka: adiHail. Tsikii I 

Ho grandfather! child body they have none he was saying he really u grand- 

that said father ! 

Wakan':ja iioan'5[e ts'e wats^qi dfi"' e^au: adi"tan, Tsiktl I 

Mysterious road to die difficult I am indeed he really O grand- 


Wakan';a >[iina d(f'i"-ina^i, t'>[i:?[ie ank^: adi"tau. Tsikd I 

Mysterious that I am I-not he was saying to him he really O grand- 

one oidy what precedes said father I 

Cu"'u"ckitaxi4a"de(fafe tatse: adi"tan, Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 
said * father! 

cu"'ta, wisun'^^a, ii;a"de an>[axe tadets^r fidi"taii, 

awhile my younger attention we must make he really 

longer brother said 


K&se-w^ii-sa" ' 


Tsika ! 

O grand- 
father ! 

Wadalia finke?';si lii' naoi"': adi"ta;i. Tsikd ! 

Biei- tij the st. an. arrived and he really O grand 




father ! 

() grand- 
father ! 

Ha.witsi5[u^! oin'^a oui5[a wa^in'>[ade, 4^i ailka: adi"tau. Tsikfll 

Ho grandfather ! child body they have none he was sajing he i-ea 

that ' said 

Wiikan'^a uoan':5[e ts'^ wats^qi dfi"' e^au: <4di"taii. Tsik^ ! 

Mysterious road to die difficult lam indeed he really O grand- 

one said ' father ! 

18 Wakau'^a 5[ana dfi"-maoi. e:>[i>[ie aiik^: adi"taii. Tsika I 

Mysterious that 1 am I-not he was saying to he really O grand- 
one only him what precedes said father ! 

Cfi'"u''ckita u;a"de(f'ai(;(? tatse: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 
father ! 

he really 

place they would go. They agreed to settle at the place visited by the Tsiou 
wacta3[e. Then four standards were made by members of the Waoaoe (wanii" 
gens, two for each side of the tribe. These were the standards made of mi"xa ha 
(swan or goose skins), and they were carried on the Imnting road as well as on the 
war path. But tlie otter skin standard.s were alwa.vs retained by the geus." 
On comparing this version with that of Sadeki(('e we notice that in one or the 
other a transposition of some parts has been made. In this latter tradition tlie ap- 
peals to the heavenly bodies and to the Red Bird were made before tlie journey to 
the four revolutions of the upper worlds. 


ao K^xe--w^M-sa°', cu"'ta, wisun'5[a, uia^de an>[axe tadets^: ^di''tai1. 

K4xe-w4hu-sa"' awhile my younger attention we must make he really 

longer brother said 


O grand- 

Xaxi'pa<|!inkce''|sihi'naci'": adi°taii, Tsika! 

Circle to the st. an. arrived and he really O grand- 
ob. stood said father! 

Hd,, witsij[m^I oin'j[aouiJia wafiu'^iade. e^ii ankii: adi^tau. Tsik^I 

Ho grandfather ! child body they have none he was say- he really O Brand- 

ing that said father ! 

Wakaii'cia uoan'i[e ts'e wats^qi dfi"' e(faii: adi"tai'i, Tsikd! 

Mysterious road to die difficult I am indeed he really O grand- 

one said father! 

24 Wakan'ja >iana d(('i"-maoi, ^iiijfie auka: adi''tai'i, TsikA! 

Mysterious that I am I-not be was saying to he really O grand- 

one only him what pre- said father ! 


Cu°'fi"ckita u'^a"de(|!a(j!(5 tats(^: ^di°tau, Tsik^! 

A while longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 
said father ! 

Kaxe-wAhii-sa"', cu°'ta. wisun'j{a. t1|a"de ani[^xe tadets^: 

K4xe-w&hU-sa"' awhile my younger attention we must make 

longer brother 

:idi"taii, Tsika! 

he really O grand- 
said father ! 

37 Miktlk'6 ha"'da-;a° (jsinkcf g'^jsi hi' naoi°': adi°tai1, Tsikd,! 

star by day the st. at it arrived and he really O grand- 

an. ob. stood said father! 

H^, witsij[ud! oin'j[aouij[a wa^ifi'5[ade. ej^i ankA: adi°taii, Tsik^! 

Ho grandfather! child body they have none he was say- he really O grand- 

ing that said father! 

Wakan'c^a uoan'i[e ts'd watsf^qi dfi"' e(faii: Mi"taii, Tsik^! 

Mysterious road to die difficult I am indeed he really O grand 

one said father ! 

30 Wakan'^a Jfana d(f!i"-md,oi, ^Jii^ie aiik^: ^di°ta\i. Tsika! 

Mysterious that 1 am I-not he was saying to he really O grand- 

one only him what pre- said father! 


Cu"'u"ckita ii;a"de(|!a«|;etatse: c4di"tau, Tsik^! 

Awhile longer you shall attend to it he really O grand- 

said father 1 

K^xe-wdhii-sa"', cu"'ta, wisfm'j[a, u;a"de afiJ[dxetadetse: adi"taii. 

K&xe-w&hii-sa"' awhile younger attention we must make he really 

longer brother said 

Tsika ! 

O grand- 
father ! 

33 Waoifi'Jia cii'^se (finkcg'^si hi' naoi"': adi"taii. Tsika; 

Bird red to the st. he arrived and he really O grand- 

an. ob. stood said father! 

Hii, iq>[u! adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho grand- he really O grand- 
mother! said father! 

niii'jfa ;iuika wa<fin'Jiade. e>[i aiik^: adiHaii. Tsik^! 

f 'bild body they have none he was sav- he really O grand- 

ing that said father ! 

(Here some lines are wanting. See the other version for the appeal 
to the Red Bird and her reply.) 
36 Ha"'da maoa"' infaj^fi" (j-inkcg'isi hi' naoi"': adi"tati, Tsikii! 

Day land good at the st an. he arrived and he really O grand- 

ob. stood said father! 

M^xe ilj[awi"'xe ^tida ((linked 6';si a"niqk'aci"'5ia: ddi"taii. Tsika! 

Upper gyration four the cv. ther^ we were people he really O grand- 

wOTld in. ob. said fathei-: 



c4di"taii Tsika! 


he reaUy 


O grand- 


he really 


O grand- 
father ! 



38 A"iiiqk'aci"'i{a ouii[a ankii(f.a-daoi 

We were people body we did not lind for he really O grand- 

ourselves said father ! 

Maxe u3[awi°'xe w(?(fu"da 6';si a"tsi' iiaoi"': adi"tau. Tsika! 

Upper gyration the second there they arrived and he reaUy O grand 

^'orfd stood said father' 

E';si a"uix{k'aci°J[a-daoi: adi"tau, Tsik^! 

There we were not human beings he really O grand- 
said father! 

M^xe U5[awi"'xe wd(fad(f.i" g%si a"tsi' naoi"': adi"taii, Tsika' 

Upper gyration the there they arrived and he really O grand- 

jvorld third stood ' ' - -■ 

43 E'';si a°nlqk-aci"'j[a-daoi; adi"tau, Tsikd! 

There we were not human beings he really O grand- 
said father! 

M^xe il5[awi°'xe wt^juda 6'}si a"tsi' naoi"': adi"taii. Tsika' 

Upper gyration the there they arrived 

world fourth and stood 

Oa-sa"' a-tsi' naoi"': adi"taii, Tsika! 

Sycamore they came and he really O grand- 
stood (on) said father! 

45 Maoa"' utan'j[a (finkce g'jsi a"tsi' naoi"' 

Harvest time the there they arrived and 


Ha, wisimjfae! nii[k'aci"'i[a wi"' si>[(fade ts4: adi"tau, Tsikii' 

Ho younger brother: person one has left a traU he really O grand 

said father ! 

Ha, wioi''(^6l nittk'aci'"j[a sijjcfiide tse ecadi'-na, 

Ho elder brother! person has left a trail you have said 

tiakqa: adi"tau, Tsika! 

this is lie he really O grand- 
said father ! 

48 Ha. wioi"(f,(^!' Han'^ia oin'ifa dfi"' efaii: {Cdi"tail, Tsikd! 

Ho elder Haii'j|a young I am indeed he really O grand- 

brother! said father! 

Ha, wisuniiai?! niqk'aci"'jia wi" sii[Mde tsf?: adi"tau, Tsika' 

Ho younger person one has left a trail he really O grand- 

brother! said " father! 

Ha, wioi"^^! niqk'aci"'j[a si^i^ade ts«3 ecadi'-na. nink'aci"jfa 

Ho elder brother! person has left a trail you have said jjerson 

fiakqa: adi"tan, Tsika! 

this is he he really said O grand- 

51 Ha, wioi"(|;(?! Waoaoe d^i"' ec^aii: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Ho elder brother! Osage lam indeed he really said O grand- 

Han'jta a"niqk'aci"'ka tatst^: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Haii'Jia we shall be people he reaUy said O grand- 


Niiik'aci"'ka ruda sij[fade tsf^: adi"taii, Tsikii! 

People some left a trail he really said O grand- 

father ; 

54 Han'5[a uta(f-an;se tsi iqtade, 6 efaii: adi-'taii, Tsika! 

Han'^ia apart from lodge theirs that indeed he really said O ei-and- 

therest father: 

Ha! niqk'aci"ka ^'ilda tsi' aiika: adi"taii, Tsika! 

Ho persons some have come he really said O grand- 

father I 

Tsfou Watsetsi tsi' anka: adi"tau, Tsika! 

Tsiou Witsetsi also have come he really said O grand- 

fattier ! 

57 Oin'j[a uwaqta ete'i^i ailka: adi"taii. Tsika! 

Child what is good they decided he really said O grand- 
for them (?) fattier; 

' Here is where the two roads begin. 


58 3iu'j[a :^Invatan'J^a ma"(fi" tatsi?. e^t'j[i ank:i: iidi"tavi. Tsika! 

Child beiu^ chiefs over they two shall walk they decided he really said O grand- 
thein (?) father! 

^^{^'^[a its'e (|'inj[(' ma^fi"' tatsi^, efeiji afika: adi"taii, Tsika! 

child without cause they two shall they decided (?) he really <!) ^rand- 
of death walk said ' father ! 

GO Qifi'Jia ii:5tistai e';si (fin>[ct' tatse: ;idi"taii. Tsiki^I 

Child assembly there it shall be he really O grand- 

said father ! 

Qin'5[a uniqk'ac"'jia tade maoa"' u(j-aJ[i;se tatst^; adi°tau. Tsika I 

Child to become men in in land you two shall seek he really < ) grand- 

order your said father: 


Oifi'>[a iinii[k'aci°'i[a tade-^a'" maoa"' e'^si Ainkce Jjaxe anka: 

Child to become men in in order land it is there they have 

that made 

AdiHaii, Tsikii! 

he really O grand- 
said father! 

G3 Oa<Je' nii"'>[a (f(?-na e'lsi ka'-'ha hi >ifi" afika: adi"ta\i. Tsika! 

Beaver feinale the mv. there border reached and was he really < ) grand- 
animal an. obs. sitting said ' father! 
in the 

Tsibe oifl'j[a 

Lodge small 

1 '• O younger brother! we must see wliat can be done to make human beings 
of the children." 
The Black Bear came to them and stood. 
3 He went to the mysterious one of day, saying, 
'■ Ho, grandfather! tlie children have no bodies." 
He replied. '■ I have an everlasting road (in which I must keep) ; 
6 I am not the only mysterious one ; 
You must still seek for help." 
(On reporting to the leader, the latter said,) 

" O Kaxe-wahtl-sa", my younger brother! we must still .see \\hat can be done." 
9 So the Black Bear went to the star Watse-;u5]a. saying. 
" Ho. grandfather! the children have no bodies." 
He replied, " I have an everlasting road (in which I must keep): 
13 " I am not the only mysterious one : 
" You must still seek for help." 
(On reporting to the leader, the lattei- said), 

'■ O Kaxe-wahii-sa", my younger brother! we must still see what can be done." 
15 So the Black Bear went to the Bowl of the Great Dipper, saying, 
" O grandfather! the children have no bodies!" 
He replied, " I have an everlasting road (in whirli I iiuist keep): 
18 " I am not the only mysterious one ; 
■' You must still seek for help." 
(On reporting to the leader, the latter said), 

" O Kaxe-wahii-sa", my younger brother! we must still see what can be done." 
21 Then he went to the Seven Stars, saying, 

■■ Ho. grandfather! the children have no bodies." 
He replied. " I have an everhisting road (in which I Tnust keep) ; 
34 " I am not the only mysterious one ; 
' • You must still seek for help. " 

'At this point begins the account of the Female Beaver. She was an ancestor of 
the Osage, according to a statement |)ublished in Long's Exiiedition to the Rocky 


(On reporting this to tlie leader, the latter said). 
36 • ■ O Kaxe-wahii-sa" , my younger brother ! we must still see what can be done. '' 

So he went to the Morning Star, saying, 

" Ho, grandfather! the children have no bodies." 

He replied, " I liave an everlasting road (in wliich I must keep) ; 
30 " I am not the only mysterious one : 

" You must still seek for help." 

(On reporting this to the leader, the latter said). 

" O Kaxe-wahli-sa", my younger brother ! we must still see what can be done." 
33 So he went to the Red Bird, who was sitting (on her nest), saying, 

" Ho, grandmother ! 

The children have no bodies." 

36 They went to the good land of day. 

In four revolutions or gyrations of the upper worlds, we became human beings. 

Though we were human beings, we did not find bodies. 
39 They arrived at tlie second revolution of the upper worlds. 

There we were not (complete) human beings. 

They arrived at the third revolution of the ui)per worlds. 
42 There we were not (complete) human beings. 

They arrived at the fourtli revolution of the upper workls 

They stood on a sycamore tree. 
45 They stood there at harvest time. 

'■ Ho, younger brother ! a man has left a trail." 

" Ho, elder brother ! " said the Black Bear : ■• you have said that a man has left a 

" This is the man." 
48 '■ Ho, elder brother !" (said the stranger) "I am Young HafiJia." 

[Tsiou.] '■ Ho. younger brother! a man has left a trail." 

[Black Bear.] " Ho. elder brother! you have said that a man has left a trail. 

"This is the man." 
51 " Ho, elder brotlier !" (said (he stranger) '• I am Osage. 

" We shall be Haii5[a people." 

Some people left a trail. 
54 Those were the lodges of the Hafi?[a uta<tan;se. 

(The HaiiJia uta(';an}se leader said) 

' ' Ho ! some persons have come. 

"Tsiou and Watsetsi have come." 
57 They thought of what was good for the children. 

They decided tliat the two should continue as chiefs for the children. 

Tliey decided that the two shoukl continue without anything that wtmld be fatal 
to the cliildren. (And they said) 
60 ■■ There shall be an asseml)ly of tlie children. 

" You two shall seek a land in which the children may become men." 

They two arranged for the location of a land in order that the children might 
become men in it. 
63 The Female Beaver, who had been traveling, came to the confines of the village 
(of the HafiJta utaifanjseV) 

(Slie made?) a small lodge (for herself?). 

Good Voice, of tlie Mi^k"!" gens, knew the liistovy of the Female 
Beaver, but he failed to keep his promise to dictate it to the author. 



An Osage said to the author : ' ' We do not believe that onr ances- 
tors were really animals, birds. &c.. as told in the traditions. These 
things are only wa-wi'-ku-ska'-ye [symbols] of something higher." 
On saying this he pointed to the sky. 

Apart fi-om such traditions or myths, it is foimd that even the 
taboos and the names of the gentes, suljgentes, ])liratries, and persons 
are objects of mysterious reverence among many, if not all, of the 
Siouan tribes. Such names are never used in ordinary conversation. 
This is especially the case in tribes where the secret society continues in 
all its power, as among the Osage, the Ponka, and the Kansa: When 
the author was questioning these Indians he was obliged to proceed 
very cautiously in order to obtain information of this character, which 
was not communicated till they learned about his acqi;aintance with 
some of the myths. When several Dakota delegations visited Wash- 
ington he called on them and had little trouble in learning the names of 
their gentes, their order in the camping circle, &c. , provided the in- 
terpreters were absent. During his visit to the Omaha, from 1878 
to 1880, he did not find them very reticent in furnishing him with 
such information, though he was generally referred to the principal 
chief of each gens as the best authority for the names in his own 
division. But he found it very difficult to indtice any of them to 
admit that the gentes had subdivisions, which were probably the 
original gentes. It was not till 1880. and after questioning many, 
that by the merest accident he obtained the clew from the keeper of 
a sacred pipe. 

The Iowa, who have these social divisions and personal names of 
mythic significance, also have sacred songs, but these are in the Win- 
nebago language. It is probable that they are the projDerty of a 
secret order, as they, too, show how some of the gentes descended as 
birds from the upper world. Tlie names of the Winnebago gentes 
and of some members of the tribe have been recorded by the author, 
who has also learned parts of their traditions. He infers that their 
secret society has not been abolished. 

When a man of thejiansa tribe observed that the aixthor had an 
inkling of the matter he related part of the tradition of that tribe, 
explaining the origin of the names and the taboos of several Kansa 
gentes. The ancestors of these gentes were spoken of as birds which 
descended from an iip^jer world. The phratries in that tribe, the 
" Wa-yii" mi"-'du°," or " (Those who) sing together." refer to mystic 
songs and strengthen the view that the secret society e.xists among 
these Indians. Several members of the tribe have positively stated 
its existence. 

As one phratry is composed of the two gentes. Large and Small 


Hanka, that have tlie sole right to sing the war songs, time may 
sliow that these songs, whieli. witli tlieir chart of pictograplis. are 
used by the Osage, are siibstantially those of the seventh degree in 
the Osage society. This is rendered the more probable by the fact 
tliat the Kansa have grouped their gentes in seven phratries. just 
the number of the degrees in tlie society. And this arrangement by 
sevens is the rule among Osage, Kansa, Ponka, Omaha, and Dakota, 
though there are apparent exceptions. 

Further investigation may tend to confirm the supposition that in 
any tribe which has mythic names for its members and its social di- 
visions (as among the Osage, Kansa, Quapaw, Omaha, Ponka. Iowa, 
Oto, Missouri, Tutelo, and Winnebago), or in one whicli has mythic 
names only for its members and local or other names for its social 
divisions (as among the Dakota, Assiniboin, Mandan, Hidatsa. and 
Crow), there are now or there have been secret societies or "The 

'See the author's paper in the American Naturalist for ISS."). entitled "Kansas 
mourning and war customs," with which was published part of the chart mentioned 








Introduction 409 

Authorities quoted 410 

Orthography ; 413 

Geography of Northeastern America 414 

Distribution of the tribes 419 

General observations 419 

Baffin Land 431 

The Sikosuilarmiut 421 

The Akuliarmiut 421 

The Qaumauangmiut 421 

The Nugumiut 422 

The Oqoniiut 434 

The Padlimiut and tlie Akudnirmiut 440 

The Aggomiut 442 

The Iglulirmiut 444 

The Pilingniiut 444 

The Sagdlirmiut 444 

Western shore of Hudson Bay 444 

The Ai-rillirmiut 445 

The Kinipetu or Agutit 450 

Tlie Sagdlirmiut of Southampton Island 451 

The Sinimiut 451 

Boothia Felix and Back River 452 

Tlie Netchillirmiut 453 

The Ugjul'irmiut 458 

The Ukusiksalirmiut 458 

Smith Sound 459 

The natives of Ellesmere Land 459 

The North Greenlanders 460 

Influence of geographical conditions upon the distribution of the settlements . 460 

Trade and intercourse between the tribes 462 

List of the Central Eskimo tribes 470 

Hunting and fishing 471 

Seal, walrus, and whale hunting 471 

Deer, musk ox. and bear hunting 501 

Hunting of small game 510 

Fisliing 513 

Manufactures 516 

Making leather and preparing skins 516 

Sundry implements 523 

Transportation by boats and sledges 527 

The boat ] 527 

The sledge and dogs 529 

6 ETH 26 401 



Habitations and dress .t ' 539 

The house 539 

Clothing, diessing of the hair, and tattooing 554 

Social and reUgious life 561 

Domestic occupations and amusements 561 

Visiting 574 

Social customs in summer 576 

Social order and laws 578 

Religious ideas and the angakunirn (priesthood) 583 

Sedna and the fulmar 583 

The tornait and tlie angakut 591 

The flight to the moon , 598 

Kadlu the thunderer 600 

Feasts, religious and secular 600 

Customs and regulations concerning birth, sickness, and death 609 

Tales and traditions 615 

Ititaujang 615 

The emigration of the Sagdlirmiut 618 

Kalopaling 630 

The Uissuit 621 

Kiviung 621 

Origin of the narwhal 625 

The visitor 627 

The fugitive women 638 

Qaudjaqdjuq 628 

I. Story of the three brothers 638 

II. Qaudjaqdjuq 630 

Igimarasugdjuqdjuaq the cannibal 633 

The Tornit 634 

The woman and the spirit of the singing house 636 

The constellation Udleqdjun 636 

Origin of the Adlet and of the Qadlunait 637 

The great flood 637 

Inugpaqdjuqdjualung ■. 638 

The bear story ". 638 

Sundry tales 639 

The owl and the raven 641 

Comparison between Baflin Land traditions and those of other tribes. . . . 641 

Science and the arts 643 

Geography and navigation 643 

Poetry and music 648 

Merrymaking among the Tornit 649 

The lemming's song 649 

Arlum pissinga (the killer's song) 650 

I. Summer song 653 

II. The returning hunter 653 

III. Song of the Tornit 653 

IV. Song of the Inuit traveling to Nettilling 653 

V. 0;t:aitoq's song 654 

VI. Utitiaq's song 654 

VII. Song 654 

VIII. Song 654 

IX. Song of the Tornit 654 


Science and the arts — Poetry and music — Continued. • 

X. The fox and the woman 655 

XI. The raven's song 655 

XII. Song of a Padlimio 655 

XIII. Ititaujang's song 655 

XIV. Playing at ball 656 

XV. Playing at ball 6.57 

XVI-XIX. Extracts 657-658 

Glossary 659 

Eskimo words used, with derivations and significations 659 

Eskimo geogra])liical names used, with English significations 663 

Appendix 667 


Plate II. Map showing in detail the geographical divisions of territory oc- 
cupied by the Eskimo tribes of Northeastern America. (*) 

1. Oqo and Akudiiii-n. 

2. Frobisher Bay. 

3. Eclipse Sound and Admiralty Inlet. 

4. Repulse Bay and Lyon Inlet. 

5. Boothia Isthmus and King William Land. 

III. Map of the territory occupied b}- the Eskimo tribes of North 

America, showing the boundaries (*) 

IV. Map of Cumberland Peninsula, drawn by Aianin, a Saiuningmio. 643 
v. Eskimo drawings 648 

VI. Eskimo drawings 650 

VII. Eskimo drawings 651 

VIII. Eskimo carvuig.s 653 

IX. Eskimo earrings 653 

X. Modern imjilements 654 

Fig. 39U. Harpoon from Alaska 472 

391. Modern unang or seaUng harpoon 473 

392. Old style naulang or harpoon head 473 

393. Modern naulang or harpoon head 473 

394. Qilertuang or leather sti'ap and clasps for holding coiled up harjjoon 

lines 474 

395. Siatko or harpoon head of the Iglulirmiut 475 

396. Siatko found at Exeter Sound 475 

397. Eskimo in the act of striking a seal 476 

398. Tutareang or buckle 477 

399. Eskimo awaiting return of seal to blowhole 478 

400. Tuputang or ivory plugs for closing wounds 479 

401. Wooden case for plugs 480 

402. Another form of plug 480 

403. Qanging for fastening thong to jaw of seal 480 

404. Qanging in f onn of a seal 481 

405. Qanging in form of a button 481 

.406. Qanging serving for both toggle and handle 481 

407. Qidjai-ung or whirl for harpoon line 481 

408. Simpler form of whirl 481 

409. Old pattern of hook for drawing out captux'ed seal 483 

410. Seal hook of bear's claw 483 

411. Modern form of seal hook 483 

413. Eskimo approaching seal 484 

413. Frame of a kayak or limiting boat 486 

414. Kayak with covering of skin 487 

* In pocket at epd of volume. 




Fig. 415. Model of a Repulse Bay kayak 487 

416. Sirmijaimg or scraper for kayak 488 

417. Large kayak harpoon for seal and wah^us 488 

418. Tikagung or support for the hand 488 

419. Qatirn or ivory head of haqjoon sliaft 489 

420. Manner of attaching the two princij^al parts of the harpoon 489 

431. Tokang or harpoon head in sheiUh 489 

422. Tokang or harpoon head taken from a whale in Cumberland Sound 490 

423. Ancient tokang or harpoon head 491 

424. Teliqbing, which is fastened to harpoon line 492 

425. Qatilik or spear 492 

426. Avautang or seaLskin float 492 

427. Different styles of poviiitang or pipe for inflating the float 493 

428. Agdliaq or spear for small seals 494 

429. Agdliaq points 494 

430. Spear heads 495 

431. Large spear head 495 

432. Anguvigang or lance 496 

433. Nuirn or bird spear 496 

434. Nuqsang or thxowing board 496 

435. Sealing at the edge of the ice 498 

436. Model of sakurpiing' or whaUng harpoon 500 

437. Niu tang, with floats 500 

438. Wooden bow from Iglulik 502 

439. Wooden bow from Cumberland Sound 502 

440. Bows of reindeer antler.s 503 

441. Bow of antlers, with central part cut off straight, from Pelly Bay. . 503 

442. Arrows with bone heads 504 

443. Airows with metal heads 504 

444. Arrowhead from Boothia 505 

445. Showing attacliment of arrowhead vertically and parallel to shank . 505 

446. "Various forms of arrowhead 506 

447. Socket of spear handle from Alaska 506 

448. Slate arrowhead 506 

449. Flint arrowheads from old graves 507 

450. Various styles of quiver 507 

451. Quiver handles 508 

452. Whalelione nooses for catching waterfowl 511 

453. Kakivang or salmon spear 512 

454. Ivory fish used as bait in spearing salmon 513 

455. Quqartaun for sti-inging fish 514 

456. Salmon hook 515 

457. Salmon hook 515 

458. Bait used in fishing with hooks 516 

459. Butcher's knife witli bone handle 516 

460. Pana or knife for dissecting game 517 

461. Form of ulo now in use 518 

463. Old ulo with top of handle broken off, from Cape Broughton, Davis 

Strait 518 

463. Fragment of an ulo blade of slate 518 

464. Ulo handle from recent gi-ave. 518 

465. Modern tesirqun or serajjer 519 

466. Old style of tesu-qun or scraper 519 



Fio. 467. Seligoung or scraper used for softening skins 520 

468. Old stone scrapers found in graves 521 

469. Sti-etcher for lines 523 

470. Ivory needle 523 

471. Ivory needle-case from Cumberland Sound 523 

472. Common pattern of needle-case 523 

473. Tikiq or tliimble 524 

474. Instrument for straightening bones 525 

475. Drill for working in ivory and bone 525 

476. Driftwood used in kindling fire 526 

477. Eskimo gi'aver's tool 526 

478. Framework of Eskimo boat 527 

479. Kiglo or post 527 

480. Umiaq or skin boat 528 

481. Umiaq or skin lioat 528 

482. Qamuting or sledge 529 

483. Sledge shoe 530 

484. Clasp for fastening traces to sledge 531 

485. Aitistic form of clasp for fastening traces to sledge 531 

486. Uqsu'n, for fastening traces to pibii 532 

487. Ano or dog harness 530 

488. Sadniriaq or clasp 530 

489. Tube for <lrinking 535 

490. Various styles of snow knife 539 

491. Ground plan of snow house of Davis Strait tribes 541 

492. Snow house of Davis Strait, sections 542 

493. Section and interior of snow house 543 

494. Ukusik or soapstone kettle 545 

495. Plan of double snow house 54(5 

496. Plan of Iglulik house 547 

497. Plan of Hudson Bay house 547 

498. Plan and sections of qarmang or stone house 548 

499. Plan of large tiarmang or stone house 549 

500. Plan of stone house in Anarnitimg, Cumb rland Sound ,549 

501. Plan of group of stone houses in Panguirtung, Cumberland Sound 550 

502. Plan and sections of qarmang or house made of whale ribs 550 

503. Storehouse in Ukiadliving 55I 

504. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of Cumberland Sound 551 

505. Plan and sections of tupiq or tent of Pond Bay 553 

506. Plan and sections of double winter tent, Cumberland Sound 553 

507. Qaturang or boot ornament 554 

508. Woman's jacket 555 

509. Ivory beads for women's jackets 555 

510. Gu-dle buckles ,556 

511. Infant's clothing 557 

512. Child's clothing 537 

513. Ivorj- combs 5,59 

514. Buckles 5g0 

515. Manner of tattooing face and wearing hair 561 

516. Manner of tattooing legs and hands .'}61 

517. Forks 563 

518. Ladle of musk ox horn 563 

519. Skull used in the game ajegaung 565 



Fig. 520. Ivory carving; representing head of fox, used in the game ajegaiing. 565 

521. Ivory carvings representing polar bear, used in the game ajegaung. 566 

522. Figures used in playing tingmiujaug, a game similar to dice 567 

523. Game of nuglutang ,568 

524. The siiketan or roulette 569 

525. Ajaroi-poq or cat's cradle 569 

526. BaU 570 

527. Dolls in dress of the Oqomiut 571 

528. Dolls in dress of the Akudnu-miut 571 

529. IModern snow goggles, of wood 576 

530. Old form of snow goggles, of ivory 576 

581 . Diagram showing interior of qaggi or singing house among east- 
ern tribes 600 

532. Plan of Hudson Bay qaggi or singing house .... 601 

533. Kilaut or dram 602 

53-4. Plans of remains of supposed qaggi or singing houses 608 

535. QaUertetaug, a masked figure 606 

536. Model of lamp from a grave in Cumberland Sound 613 

537. Qaudjaqdjuq is maltreated by his enemies 631 

538. The man in the moon comes down to help Qavidjaqdjuq 631 

539. The man in the moon whipping Qaudjaqdjuq 632 

540. Qaudjaqd juq has become Qaudjuqdjuaq 632 

541 . Qaudjufjdjuaq killing his enemies 633 

542. Tumiujang, or lamp of the Tornit 634 

543. Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio. . 644 

544. Cumberlind Sound and Fi-obisher Bay, drawn by Sunapignang, 

an Oqomio 645 

545. Cumberland Sound, drawn by Itu, a Nugumio 646 

546. Peninsula of Qivitung, drawn by Angutuqdjuaq, a PadUmio 647 


By Dr. Franz Boas 


The following account of the Central Eskimo contains chiefly the 
results of the author's own observations and collections made during 
a journey to Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait, supplemented by 
extracts from the reports of other travelers. The geograj^hical re- 
sults of this journey have been published in a separate volume.' 
A few traditions which were considered unsuitable for publication 
by the Bureau of Ethnology may be found in the Verhandlungen 
der Berliner Gesellschaft fiir Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urge- 
schichte, 1887. The linguistic material collected during the journey 
will be published separately. 

Owing to unfortunate circumstances, the larger portion of the 
author's collections could not be brought home, and it has therefore 
been necessary, in preparing this paper, to make use of those made 
byC. F. Hall, 1860-1863 and 1865-1869; W. Miutzer, 1873-74, and L. 
Kumlien. 1877-78. Through the kindness of Professor Otis T. Mason, 
I was allowed to make ample use of the collections of the National 
Museum and have attached its numbers to the sj^ecimens figured. 
The author's collection is deposited in the Museum fiir Volkerkunde 
at Berlin. I am indebted to the American Museum of Natural 
History; to Mr. Aj^pleton Sturgis, of New York; to Captain John 
O. Spicer, of Groton. Conn. ; and to Mrs. Adams, of Washington, 
D. C, for several iigures drawn from specimens in their possession. 

' BafBn-Land. Geographische Ergebnisse einer in den Ja}iren 1883 und 1884 
ausgefiiln-ten Forsohungsreise. Von Dr. Fi'anz Boas. (Erganzuugsheft No. 80 zu 
j.Petermanns Mitteilungen".) Gotha; 1885. 




In citing the various authorities, I have used abbreviations as in- 
dicated at the end of titles in the following list of works consulted : 

De I Martini | Forbisseri | Angli navigati | one in regiones occi | dentis et septen | 
trionis | Narratio historica , | Ex Oallico sermone in La | tinum trauslata | per | 
D. Joan. Tho. Freigivm. | [Design.] | Cum gratia & privilegio Imperiali. cia. 
io. xxc. [Colophon :] Noriberga- | Iniprimebatiu', in officina Ca | tharinaj Ger- 
lachin, & Haere | dum Iolianni.s Mon | tani. Anno cio io xxc. (Cited, Frob- 

A I voyage of discovery, | made under the orders of the Admu-alty 1 in | His Maj- 
esty's sliips I Isabella and Alexander, | for the purpose of | explormg Baffin's 
Bay, I and inquu-ing into the probability of a | north-west passage. 1 By John 
Ross, K. S. Captain Royal Na\'7. | London: | Jolm Murray, Albemarle-street. | 
1819. {Cited, Ross I.) 

Journal | of a voyage for the discovery of a | north-west passage | from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific; | performed in the years 1819-30, | in His Majesty's ships | Hecla 
and Griper, | imder the orders of | William Edward Parry, R.N. , F.R.S., | and 
commander of the e.vjjedition. | With an ai)pendix, containing the scientific | 
and other observations. | Published by autliority of the lords commissioners | 
of the admiralty. | London: | John Murray, | publisher to the admiralty, and 
board of longitude. | 1821. (Cited, Parry I.) 

Journal | of a | second voyage for the discovery of a | nortli-west passage | from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific; | performed in the years 1821-33-2;^, | in His Majesty's 
ships I Fury and Hecla, | under tlie orders of | Captain William Edward Parry, 
R.N., F.R.S., I and commander of the expedition. | Illusti'ated by numerous 
plates. I Published by authority of the lords commissioners | of the admu-alty. | 
London : | John Murray, | publisher to the admiralty, and board of longi- 
tude. I 1824. (Cited, Parry II.) 

The I private journal | of | Captain G. F. Lyon, | of H. M. S. Hecla, | during | the 
recent voyage of discovery under | Captain Parry. | With a map and plates. | 
London: | John MiUTay, Albemarle-Street. | 1824. (Cited, Lyon.) 

A I brief naiTative | of | an unsuccessful attempt j to reach | Repulse Bay, | 
through I Sh- Thomas Rowe's "Welcome," | in | His Majesty's ship Griper, | in 
the year | 1824. | By Captain G. F. Lj'on, R. N. | With a chart and engravings. | 
London: | John Murray, Albemarle street. | 1825. (Cited, Lyon, Attempt to 
reach Repulse Bay.) 

NaiTative | of a | second voyage in search of | a | north-west passage, | and of a ] 
residence in the Arctic regions | during the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833. | 
By I Su- John Ross, C. B., K. S. A., K. C. S., &c. &c. | captain in the Royal 
Navy. I Including the reports of | Commander, now Captain, James Clark Ross, 
R. N., F. R. S., F. L. S., &c. | and | The Discovery of the Northern Magnetic 
Pole. I London: | A.W.Webster, 156, Regent sU-eet. | 1835. (Cited, Ross II.) 

A narrative | of some passages in the history of | Eenoolooapik, | a young Estjui- 
maux who was brought to Britain m 1839, m the ship " Neptune" | of Aber- 
deen. I An account of the | discovery of Hogarth's Sound : | remarks on the 
northern whale fishery, | and suggestions for its improvement, &c. &c. | By 
Alexander M'Donald, L. R. C. S. E. | Member of Cuvieran Natural History 
Society of Edinburgh. | Edinburgh : Eraser & Co. | And J. Hogg, 116 Nicolson 
Street, | 1841. (Cited, Eenoolooapik.) 

Narrative | of | the discoveries | on | the north coast of America; | effected by the | 
oflficers of the Hudson's Bay Company | during the years 1836-39. | By Thomas 
Simpson, esip | London: | Richard Bentley, New Burlington Stx'eet. | Publisher 
in Ordinary to Her Majesty | 1843. | (Cited, Dease and Simpson.) 


Narrative | of an | expedition to the shores | of | the Arctic sea | in 1846 and 1847. | 
By John Rae, | Hudson Bay Company's service, commander of the expedi- 
tion. I With maps. | London: | T. & W. Boone, 29, New Pond Street, i 1850. 
(Cited, Rae I.) 

Furtlier papers | relative to the Recent Arctic exiieditions | in searcli of | Dr. Jolm 
Franlilin, | and the crews of | H. M. S. "Erebus" and "Terror." | Presented 
to both houses of Parliament liy command of Her Slajesty. | January, 1855. | 
London: | Printed by George Edward Eyre and WilMam Spottiswoode, | Printers 
to the Queen's most excellent Majesty. | For Her Majesty's stationery office. | 
1855. (Cited, Rae II.) 

Same volume: Observations on the Western Esquimaux and the country they in- 
habit; from Notes taken during two years at Point Barrow, by Mr. John Simp- 
son, Surgeon R. N., Her Majesty's Discovery Ship " Plover." (Cited, Simpson. 

The voyage of the • Fox ' in the Aictic seas. | A narrative | of tlie | discovery of 
the fate | of | Sir Jolin Franklin | and | his companions. | By Captam M'Clin- 
tock, R. N., LL.D. | honorary member Royal Dublin Society. | [Portrait.] | With 
maps and illustrations. | Loudon: | John Murray, Albemarle street, | publisher 
to the admiralty. | 1859. (Cited, M'Clintock.) 

Life with the Esquimaux: | a narrative of Arctic experience in search of | survivors 
of Sir John Franklin's | Expedition. | By | Captain Charles Francis Hall, | of 
the whaling barque "George Henry," | From May 39, 1860, to September 13, 
1862. I Popular Edition. | With Maps, | Coloured illustrations, and one hundred 
wood cuts. I London: | Sampson Low, son, and Marston, | Milton House, Lud- 
gate HiU. | 1865. (Cited, Hall I.) 

Tales and traditions | of the | Eskimo | with a sketch of | their habits, religion, lan- 
guage I and other pecuUarities | by | Dr Henry Rink | knight of Dannebrog | 
Director of the Royal Greenland board of trade, and | formerly Royal Inspector 
of South Greenland | author of ' Gronland geographik og | statistiek beckrevest, 
etc. I Translated from the Danish by the author | Edited by | Dr Robert Bro\vn | 
F. L. S., F. R. G. S. I author of ' The races of mankind,' etc. | With numerous 
illustrations, drawn and | engi-aved by Eskimo | William Blackwood and Sons | 
Edinburgh and London | 1875. | All rights reserved. (Cited, Rink.) 

Eskimoiske | Eventp- og Sagn | oversatte | efter de indfyidte fortjeUeres opskrifter 
I og meddelelser | af | H. Rink. | inspekti^r i Sydgrymland. | Kj^ibenliavn. | C. 
A. Reitzels Boghandel. | Louis Kleins Bogtrykkeri. | 1866. (Cited, Rink, Even- 
tyr og Sagn.) 

Eskimoiske | Eventyi- og Sagn. | Supplement | indeholdende 1 et TiUasg om Eski- 
moerne | af | H. Rink. | Kjv')benhavn. | C. A. Reitzels Boghandel. | Louis 
Kleins Bogtrykkeri. | 1871. (Cited. Rink. Eventyi- og Sagn. Supplement.) 

Narrative | of the | second Arctic expedition | made by | Charles F. Hall: | his voy- 
age to Repulse Bay, sledge journeys to the Straits [.sic] of Fury | and Hecla and 
to King William's Land, | and | residence among the Eskimos during the years 
1864-"69. I Edited under the orders of the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, | by | 
Prof. J. E. Nourse, U. S. N. | U. S. Naval Observatory. | 1879. | Ti-ubner & Co., 
I Nos. 57 and 59 Ludgate HiU. | London. (Cited. Hall II.) 

Als Eskimo imter den Eskimos. | Elne Schilderung der Erlebnisse | der | Schwat- 
ka'schen Franklin-Aufsuchungs-Expedition I in den Jahren 1878-80. | Von | 
Heinrich W. Klutschak. | Zeichner und Geometer der Expedition. | Mit 3 Kar- 
ten, 12 VoUbildem und zahlreichen in den Text gedruckten lUustrationen | 
nach den Skizzen des Verfassers. | Wien. Pest. Leipzig. | A. Hartleben's Ver 
lag. I 1881. I Alle Rechte vorbehalten. (Cited. Klutschak.) 

Schwatka's Search | sledging in the Arctic in quest of | the FrankUn records | By | 
William H. Gilder | second in command | with maps and illustrations | Lon- 
don I Sampson Low, Marston. Searle, and Rivington | Ci-own Buildings, 188; 
Fleet Sti-eet. | AU rights reserved. (Cited, Gilder.) 


Eskimoisches Worterbuch, | gesammelt | von den Missionaren | in | Labrador, | re- 
vidirt und herausgegeben | von | Friedrich Erdmann. | Budissin, | gedruokt bei 
Ernst Moritz Monse. | 1864. (Cited, Worterbucii des Labradordialectes.) 

David Cranz | Historie | von ] Gr6nland | enthaltend | Die Beschreibung des Landea 
und I der Einwohner &c. | Lnsbesondere | die | Geschiehte | der dortigen | Mis- 
sion I der I Evangelischen | Bruder | zu | Neu-Herrnhut | und | Lichtenfels. | 
Mit acht Kupfertafebi und einem Register. | Barby bey Heinrich Detlef Ebers, 
und in Leipzig | in Commission bey Weidmanns Erben und Reich. | 1765. 
(Cited, Cranz.) 

Bruclistukke | ernes Tagebuches, | gehalten in | Gronland | in den Jahren 1770 bis 
1778 I von I Hans Egede Saabye, | vormaligem ordinierten Missionar in den 
Destrikten Claushavn | und Cliristianshaab, jetzigem Prediger zu Udbye | im 
Sttfte Filhnen. | Aus dem D^nischen ubersetzt | von | tj. FVies, | beabschiedig- 
teni konigUoh diVnischen Capitaine. | Mit elner Vorrede des Uebersetzers, | 
enthaltend einige Nacluichten von der Lebensvreise der | Gronl&nder, der 
Mission in Gronland, samt andern damit | verwandten Gegenst^nden, und 
einer Karte | uber Gronland. | Hamburg. | Bey Perthes und Besser. | 1817. 
(Cited, Egede.) 

Baffin-Land. | Geograpliisehe Ergebnisse 1 einer | in den Jahren 1883 und 1884 aus- 
gefiihrten Forsohungsreise. | Von | Dr. Fi-anz Boas. | Mit zwei Karten und neun 
Skizzen un Text. | (Erganzungsheft No. 80 zu ,,Petermanns Mitteilungen".) | 
Gotha: Justus Perthes. | 1885. (Cited, Bartin-Land.) 

Die Amerikanische | Nordpol-Expedition | von | Emil Bessels. | Mit zahlreiche lUus- 
ti'ationen in Holzschnitt, Diagrammen und | einer Karte in Farbendi-uck. | 
Leipzig. I Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann. | 1879. (Cited, Bessels.) 

Contributions | to the | Natural History | of | Arctic America, | made in connec- 
tion witli I the Howgate Polar expedition, 1877-'78, | by | Ludwig Kumlien, | 
Naturalist of the expedition. | Washington: | Government Printing Office. | 

Report I of the | Hudson's Bay expedition, | under the command of | Lieut. A. R. 
Gordon, R. N., | 1884. 

Traditions iudiennes | du | Canada nord-ouest | par Emile Petitot 1 Ancien mission- 
naire. | Paris | Maisonneuve freres et Ch. Leclerc, | 25, Quai Voltaire, | 1886. 

The following is a list of the papei's publisheil by the author on 
the results of his journey to Baffin Land and of studies connected 
with it. The ethnological remarks contained in these brief commu- 
nications have been embodied in the present paper. The method of 
spelling in the first publications differs from that applied in the 
present paper. It was decided to use the latter after a conference 
with Dr. H. Rink. 

" Reiseberichte aus Baffin-Land." Berliner Tageblatt, August 4, October 28. No- 
vember 4, November 25, 1883: September 28, October 19, November 3, November 9, 
November 16, November 23, December 28, 1884: January 4, April 3, April 27, 1885. 

" Unterdem Polarkreise." New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung, February 1, February 23, 
March 2, 1885. 

" The configuration of Ellesmere Land." Science, February 27, 1885. 

" A journey in Cuinlierland Sound and on the west shore of Davis Strait in 1883 
and 1884, with map." Bull. Am. Geogr. Soc. pp. 241-272. 1884. 

" Die WoliiLsitze und Wanderungen der BatHn-Land Eskimos." Deutsche geogr. 
Blatter, p. 31, 1885. 

"Cumberland Sound and its Esuuimaux." Popular Science Monthly, p. 768, May, 


"Die Eskimos des BaflSn-Landes." Verb, des V.deutschen Geographentags zu 
Hamburg. Berlin, 1885. 

" Reise im Baffinlande, 1883 und 1884." Verh. der Ges. fur Erdkunde zu Berlin. 
1885, No.?. 5, 6. 

" Die Sagen der Baffin-Land Eskimos." Verh. der Berlin, anthrop. Gesellschaft. 
1885, p. 161. 

" The Eskimo of Baffin Land." Transactions of the Anthropological Society of 
Washington, Vol. 3, pp. 95-102. 

"Sammlungaus Baffin-Land." Original MittheUungen aus derethnol. Abtheilung 
der Kgl. Museen zu BerUn, 1886, p. 131. 


In tlie spelling of Eskimo words the author has adhered as closely 
as possible to Kleinschmidt's orthography, as he did not deem it 
proper to introduce a linguistic alphabet after so much has been 
published in another and almost sufficient one. 

Accents and lengths have been marked where it seemed to be de- 
sirable. In quotations Eskimo words are spelled according to this 
system where it is possible to recognize their meaning and deriva- 
tion. In other cases the original spelling of the authors has been 
retained. The alphabet used in this paper is as follows: 

Vowels: a — a in father. Consonants: q — a hard, guttural sound 

e — ey in they. (Kleinschmidt's k). 

i — ee in feel. r — ^the German guttural r. 

o — o in nose. m — a guttural and nasal r. 

u — oo in pool. X — the German ch in Buch; 

au — ow in how. Scotch ch in loch, 

ai — iinhide. g — EngUsh g in go. 

k — English k. 
ng — English ng in during, 
b — English b. 
p — English p. 
V — pronounced with the 

Lips only. 
f — pronounced with the 
lips only, 
m — English m. 
d — English d. 
t — English t. 
s — English s in soul, 
n — English n. 
(g)dl — d of Lepsius's standard 

(g)dtl — t of Lepsius's standard 
1 — English 1. 

j — German j in jung; En- 
glish y. 
ss — s of Lepsius's standard 
alphabet, sounding be- 
tween s and sh. 



The Eskimo inhabit almost the whole extent of the coast of Arctic 
America. A large part of this country is occupied by tlie Central 
Eskimo, one of the great groups into wliich that people is divided. 
They live in the northeastern part of the continent and on the east- 
ern islands of the Arctic- American Archipelago. In Smith Soiind 
they inhabit the most northern countries visited by man and their 
remains are even found at its northern oiitlet. The southern and 
western boundaries of this district are the countries about Fort 
Churchill, the middle part of Back River, and the coast west of Ade- 
laide Peninsula. Along the whole extent of this line they are the 
neighbors of Indian tribes, with whom they are generally on very bad 
terms, a mutual distrust existing between the two races. 

The geography of the whole country is known only in outline, and 
a great portion of it awaits its explorer. Following is a sketch of 
what is known about it, so far as it is of importance to the ethnologist. 

The vast basin of Hiidson Bay separates two large portions of the 
American continent: Labrador and the region of the large Arctic 
rivers. The southern shore of the bay is inhabited by Indian tribes 
who interrupt the communication between the Eskimo of both re- 
gions. Hudson Bay, however, has the character of a true medite'r- 
ranean sea, the northern parts of its opposite shores being connected 
by a number of islands and peninsulas. The low and narrow Rae 
Isthmus, wliich presents an easy passage to the Arctic Ocean, unites 
Melville Peninsula to the main body of the continent. From this 
peninsula Baffin Land stretches out toward the north of Labrador, 
with only two narrow channels intervening: Fury and Hecla Strait 
and Hudson Strait. Another chain of islands, formed by the jjarts 
of Southampton Island and Mansfield Island, stretches from Repulse 
Bay to the northwest point of Labrador, but the distances between 
the islands and the roughness of the sea prevent communication. 

On the western part of the continent the great bays, Chesterfield 
Inlet and Wager River, are of importance, as they allow the Eskimo, 
though they are a coast jDeople, to penetrate into the interior of the 
continent. A narrow isthmus separates the head of the bays from 
the lakes of Back River. At Coronation Bay the latter approaches 
the Arctic Ocean very closely, and it is probable that the coast Avest 
of Adelaide Peninsula, which is skirted by innumerable islands, is 
indented by deep inlets extending towards the lakes of Back River. 
Thus communication between the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay is 
facilitated by this large river, which yields an abundant supply of 
fish. From Wager River an isthmus leads to its estuary. 

Boothia Felix, the most northern peninsula of the continent, is 
united to it by two narrow isthmuses, tlie former extending from 

' A glossary of Eskimo geographic terms will be found on p. 662 


Pelly Bay to Sliepherd Bay, tlie latter from Lord Mayor Bay to 
Spence Bay. It is separated from North Somerset by the narrow 
Ballot Strait. Farther west Adelaide Peninsula and King William 
Land form the continuation of the continent toward the western 
extremity of Boothia, thus outlining a spacious bay sheltered from 
the currents and the pack ice of Melville Sound and the adjoining 
bays. The eastern sides of Boothia and North Somerset and the 
western coasts of Melville Peninsula and Baffin Land form a gulf 
similar to Fox Basin. 

Farther north, between Baffin Land and Greenland, North Devon 
and Ellesniere Land are situated. Thus Baffin Laud forms a con- 
necting link for three regions inhabited by Eskimo: the Hudson Bay 
Territory, Labrador, and Greenland. 

The orography of the western coast of Hiidson Bay is little known. 
Most of this coast seems to form a hilly land, consisting generally of 
granite. Between "Wager River and Chesterfield Inlet it rises to a 
chain of hills of aboiit one thousand feet in height, extending to a 
plateau farther noi'th. Another chain seems to stretch in a north- 
easterly direction from Back River to the source of Hayes River. 
West of Back River Silurian strata prevail. The granite hills form 
a favorite haunt for the musk ox and reindeer. 

Melville Peninsula consists chiefly of a chain of granite hills, sloping 
down to a Silurian plain in the eastern part of the peninsula. The 
northeastern i^art of Baffin Land is formed by a high chain of mount- 
ains stretching from Lancaster Sound to Cape Mercy. Long fjords 
and deep valleys divide them into many groups. Bylot Island, which 
stands high out of the sea, is separated from the mainland by Pond 
Bay and EclijDse Sound. The next grouja stretches from Pond Bay 
to the fjord of Anauleree'ling. Farther to the southeast the grouj^s 
are smaller, and in Home Bay they are separated by wide valleys, 
particularly near Ejalualuin, a large fjord on the southern side of 
that bay. 

From this fjord an enormous highland, which I named Penny 
Highland, extends as far as Cumberland Sound, being terminated 
by the narrow valley of Pangnirtuug. The eastern boundary runs 
through the fjords Maktartudjennaq and Narpaing to Nedluqseaq 
and Nudlung. In the interior it may extend to about fifteen miles 
east of Issortuqdjuaq, the most northern fjord of Cumberland Sound. 
The whole of the vast highland is covered by an ice cap sending forth 
numerous glaciers in every direction. In Pangnirtuug and on Davis 
Strait they reach the level of the sea. 

Penny Highland, which forms the main body of Cumberland Pen- 
insula, has attached to it a few mountain groups of moderate ex- 
tent: the peninsula of Nudlung and the highland of E^alualuin and 
that of Qivitung. 

Farther southeast, between the valleys of Pangnirtuug and King- 


nait-Padli, is situated the highland of Kingnait, with sharji peaks 
emerging from the ice cap which covers the lower parts of the plateau. 
The rest of Cumberland Peninsula is formed by the highland of 
Saumia, which much resembles that of Kingnait. Near Cape Mercy 
the ice covered highland slopes down to a hilly region, which falls 
abruptly to the sea. 

The southern parts of this range of mountains are composed of 
gneiss and granite. It may be that Silurian strata occur in some 
places, but they have not yet been found anywhere in situ. The 
northern parts are too imperfectly known to enable us to form an 
idea of their geological character. 

The mountains just described slope down to a hilly region, which 
farther to the west levels off to a plain. The hills are composed of 
granite, the plains of Silurian limestone, which extends from Prince 
Eegent Inlet to the head of Frobisher Bay. 

The peninsula between Cumberland Sound and Frobisher Bay is 
formed by a jjlateau, which sloijes down gradually to the northwest. 
It is drained by a great river flowing into Auqardneling, a fjord on 
the western shore of Cumberland Sound. Near Lake Nettilling the 
country is very low, the level of the lake being only forty feet above 
that of the sea. Here the watershed between Cumberland Sound and 
Fox Basin closely approaches the eastern shore, coming within five 
miles of the head of Nettilling Fjord. It is formed by a narrow neck 
of land about a quarter of a mile wide and sixty-five feet above the 
level of the sea. 

From Eskimo reports I conclude that the plateau of Nugumiut, as 
we may call the peninsula between Frobisher Bay and Cumberland 
Sound, is comparatively ^level. Only a single mountain south of 
Qasigidjeu (Bear Sound) rises into the region of eternal snow. 

The peninsula between Frobisher Bay and Hudson Strait is formed 
by a granite highland, the Meta Incognita of Queen Elizabeth. It is 
covered with ice and sends a few glaciers into the sea. Farther west, 
near Lesseps Bay and White Bear Sound, the country becomes lower. 
The narrow isthmus leading from Hudson Strait to Amaqdjuaq can- 
not be very liigh, as the Eskimo carry their kayaks to the lake, which 
I believe is about two hundred feet above the level of the sea. 

Last of all I have to mention the highlands of King Cape. The 
rest of the land is taken up by a vast i^lain in which two large lakes 
are situated ; the southern, Amaqdjuaq, empties by a short river into 
Lake Nettilling, whence the long and wide Koukdjuaq runs to the 
shallow sea. From observations made by Captain Spicer, of Groton, 
Conn., and information obtained from the Eskimo, we learn that the 
whole of the eastern part of Fox Basin is extremely shallow and that 
there are many low islands scattered about in those parts of the sea. 
The plains of Baffin Land, Fox Basin, and the eastern half of Mel- 


ville Peninsula may be considered a wide basin of Silurian strata 
bordered by granitic elevations on every side. 

Besides tlie configuration of the land, the extent of the land ice 
formed during the winter is of vital importance to the inhabitants 
of the Arctic region, because during the greater jaart of the year it 
affords the only means of communication between the tribes, and 
because in winter the seal, which constitutes the principal food of the 
Eskimo, takes to those parts of the coast where extensive floes are 
formed. Therefore the state of the ice regulates the distribution of 
the natives during the greater part of the year and miist be consid- 
ered in studying the habits of the Eskimo. The extent of the land 
ice princiijally dejjends on the configuration of the land and the 
strength of the currents. On a shore exposed to a strong current 
an extensive floe can only be formed where projecting points of land 
form deep bays. We find the <listribution of ice regulated in accord- 
ance wi,tli this fact all around the shore.s of the Arctic Ocean. 

The strong current setting out of Lancaster Sound and Smith 
Sound generally prevents ice from forming under the steejj cliffs of 
the land. Sometimes the pack ice of the sounds is stopjjed and 
freezes together into rough floes; a smooth plain is never formed. 
By far the largest land floe is formed from Bylot Island to Cape Dyer 
(Okan). In Home Bay it extends to a distance of about eighty miles 
from the mainland. The formation of this floe is favored by a num- 
ber of shoals which extend from the peninsulas of Cape Eglinton 
(Aqojaug), Cape Aston (Niaqonaujang), and Qivitung, for the large 
floes drifting soutli are stopped by the icebergs aground on these 
banks. The greater part of the floe is very rough, smooth ice jjre- 
vailing only in the bays. 

The strong southei'ly current passing through the narrowest part 
of Davis Strait between Cupe Walsingham (Idjuk) and Holsteinborg 
breaks up the ice all along the shore from Cape Dyer to Cape Wal- 
singham, Exeter Sound alone being covered by a larger floe. The 
bay between Cape Mickleham (Xuviiktirpang) and Cape Mercy is 
well covered with ice, which extends to the islands farthest out 
toward the sea. 

Near Cape Mercy the strong tides caused by Cumberland Sound 
prevent the ice from consolidating in the entrance of the gulf. As 
the sound widens greatly behind the narrow jjassage formed by 
Nuvukdjuaq and Qa^odhiiu, the tide sets in with great force. For 
this reason the floe never extends beyond that narrow entrance. 
Often the head of the open water runs from Qeqerten to Nuvujen, 
and instances are known where it even reaches the line of Pujetung- 

The southwestern shore of Cumberland Sound from Qajodluin to 
Cape Brevoort (Qeqertuqdjuaq) is always washed by water, because 
6 ETH 27 


a strong current, which, often breaks np the ice of Field and Grinnell 
Bay (the bays of Ukadliq and Niigumiiit), sets along the coast. 

The floe seldom extends to Lady Franklin and Monumental Islands 
(Kitigtiing and Ta^'olicy'-^in)^ but usually runs from point to point, 
compelling the natives to pass across the land in order to reach the 
floe of the neighljoring bay. Most of the time the edge of the floe 
covering Frobisher Bay extends to a line from Countess of Warwick 
Soiind (Tuarpukdjuaq) to aboiit fifteen miles southeast of Gabriel 
Island (Qeqevtuqdjuaq), whence it runs south to Kingnait. Some- 
times Aqbirsiarbiiig (Cape True) is the most eastern point inclosed 
by the ice. A dangerous current sets through the strait between 
Resolution Island (Tudjaqdjuaq) and the mainland, forming whirl- 
pools which menace every sliii? that attempts the passage. 

Hiidson Strait never freezes over. The greater part of the year it 
is filled with an immense x^ack which never consolidates into a con- 
tinuous floe. As there are no large liays along the northern shore of 
that strait, no land floes of great importance are formed. Only the 
Bay of Qaumauang. North Bay. and Behm Bay (the bay of Quaiir- 
nang and that east of Akulia(i) are covei-ed with floes which are of 
importance to the natives. The bays east of Aknliaq and the large 
fjords of that region form a comparatively large body of ice. 

Probably no land ice is formed between King Cape ^Nuvukdjuaq) 
and the northern parts of Fox Basin. According to Parry and the 
reports of the natives, Fury and Hecla Strait and the bay which 
forms its eastern outlet are covered by land ice which is connected 
with the floe of the bays of Fox Basin as far as Piling. 

In Hudson Bay there are very few places in which the land ice 
extends to a considerable distance from the shore. Neither Frozen 
Strait nor Rowe's Welcome freezes over, each being kept open by 
the swiftly running tides. The most extensive floes are formed in 
Repulse Bay, Wager Bay, and Chesterfield Inlet. 

The drifting ice of the Gulf of Boothia never consolidates and 
even Committee Bay is rarely covered by a smooth land floe. Pelly 
Bay and the sea on the east coast of Boothia as far as Victoria Har- 
bor (Tikeraqdjuq) freeze over, since they are sheltered by numerous 
islands. Still larger is the sheet of ice which covers the bay formed 
by the estuary of Back River, King William Land, and Boothia. 
The western shore of this peninsula farther north is skirted by a 
border of land ice the extent of which is unknown. 

It is a remarkable fact that, although the extreme western and 
eastern i^arts of the country abound with extensive floes, the Hudson 
Bay region and the Gulf of Boothia are almost devoid of them. 

This brief sketch will enable one to understand the geographical 
distribution and the migrations of the Eskimo tribes who inhabit, 
this country. 



The mode of life of all the Eskimo tribes of Northeastern America 
is very uniform ; therefoi'e it is desirable to make a few general ob- 
servations on the subject before entering into a detailed description 
of each tribe. All depends upon the distril)ution of food at the dif- 
ferent seasons. The migrations or the accessibility of the game com- 
pel the natives to move their habitations from time to time, and 
hence the distribution of the villages depends, to a great extent, upon 
that of the animals which sujjply them with food. 

As the inhospitable country does not produce vegetation to an 
extent sufficient to sustain life in its human inhabitants, they are 
forced to depend entirely upon animal food. In Arctic America the 
abundance of seals found in all jiarts of the sea enables man to with- 
stand the inclemency of the climate and the sterility of the soil. 
The skins of seals furnish the material for summer garments and for 
the tent ; their flesh is almost the only food, and their blubber the 
indispensable fuel during the long dark winter. Scarcely less im- 
portant is the deer, of whose heavy skin the winter garments are 
made, and these enable the Eskimo to brave the storms and the cold 
of winter. 

That the mode of life of the Eskimo depends wholly on the dis- 
tribution of these animals will therefore be apjjarent, for. as already 
observed, they regulate their dwelling places in accordance with the 
migrations of the latter from place to place in search of food. 

When the constraint of winter is broken the natives leave their old 
habitations. The warm rays of the sun melt the roofs of their snow 
houses, the strong vaults which afforded shelter and comfortable 
warmth during the long cold winter begin to break down, and new 
houses must be built. They therefore exchange the solid snow houses 
for light tents, which are very small and poor, until a sufficient num- 
ber of sealskins for better structures is secured. 

As at this time seals are found in abundance everywhere, basking 
in the warm sunshine and enjoying the beginning of the spring, a 
great supply is easily secured. As the season advances food becomes 
more plentiful, and with the breaking up of the rivers and ponds 
the salmon leave the latter and descend to the sea. About this time 
the Eskimo establish their settlements at the head of the fjords, 
where salmon are easily caiight in the shallow rivers. In July the 
snow, which has covered the land for nine months, has melted away 
and the natives undertake hunting trips inland, in order to obtain 
the precious skins of the reindeer and the meat of the fawns, which 
is always highly prized. With the breaking up of the ice the variety 


of food is further increased by the arrival of the walrus aud the 
ground and harp seals, which leave the country during the winter. 
Birds are also found in abundance, and no cares afflict the natives. 

Before the sea begins to freeze over again the Eskimo I'eturu from 
deer hunting and gather at places where there are the best chances 
for obtaining food in the autumn. A few weeks are spent in mak- 
ing short excursions near the settlements, as longer journeys would 
be too dangerous during this tempestuous season. The colder it 
grows the more the natives are confined to their huts and the more 
they become dependent on the seal. While in summer shrubs of 
various kinds are available for cooking purj^oses, in winter blubber 
aifords the only fuel for cooking and for heating their hixts. 

At last the smaller bays are sufficiently frozen to permit a new way 
of pursuing the game. The hunters visit the edge of the newly formed 
floe in order to shoot the seals, which ai'e secured by the harpoon. 

The process of freezing goes on quickly and the floating pieces of 
ice begin to consolidate. Only a few holes are now found, in places 
where icebergs, moved by the tides or the strong currents, prevent 
the sea from freezing. During a short time these openings form the 
favorite hunting ground of the natives. Though the walri;s and the 
ground seal migrate to the edge of the floe as soon as the ice begins 
to form, the common seal {Pagomys foetidus) remains, and this is 
always the princii3al food of the natives. In the autumn the fjords 
aud the narrow channels between the islands are its favorite haunt; 
later in the season it resprts to the sea, frequently appearing at the 
surface through breathing holes, which it scratches in the ice. As 
winter comes on it is hunted by the Eskimo at these holes. 

The foregoing observations will serve as a jjreliminary to the de- 
scription of the distribution of the tribes of Northeastern America. 
Tlie object of this section is to treat of the immediate relations be- 
tween the country and its inhabitants, and a detailed account of their 
habits will be fouird in subsequent pages. 

According to Dr. H. Rink, the Inuit race may be divided into 
five groiips : the Greenlanders ; the central tribes of Smith Sound, 
Baffin Land, the west shore of Hudson Bay, the Back River region, 
and Boothia; the Labradorians. on the shores of that peninsula; the 
Mackenzie tribes of the central jjarts of the north shore of America; 
and the tribes of Alaska. I am somewhat in doubt whether the cen- 
tral tribes and those of Labrador differ enough to justify a separate 
classification, as the natives of both shores of Hudson Strait seem 
to be closely related. A decisive answer on the division of these 
trilies maybe postponed imtil the publication of Lucien M. Turner's 
excellent observations and collections, which were made at Fort 



The Sil-osuUarmiid. — I shall liegin with the enumeration of the 
trilips in the southwestern part of Batfin Land. This country is in- 
habited by the Sikosuilarmint, i. e., the inhabitants of the shore 
without an ice floe. They are settled in two places: Nurata, east of 
King Cape, and Sikosuilaq, within the peninsiila (or island ';) which 
projects east of King Cape. The large fjords Sarbaq and Sarbau- 
sirn, which belong to their territory, are known to me only by a de- 
scrijjtion wliich I received in Cumberland Sound. In summer they 
visit the upper parts of this long fjord to hunt deer on the plains 
which reach to the shore of Fox Basin. Probably they do not ex- 
tend their migrations very far to the north or northeast; otherwise, 
they would reach Lakes Amaqdjuaq and Nettilling, the region about 
the latter being the hunting ground of the natives of Cumberland 

I know of only a single meeting between the Eskimo visiting Lake 
Nettilling and others who are suiijiosed to have come from Hudson 
Strait. It occurred in 1883 south of the lake. 

The Akuliarmiut. — This trile is settled on the northern shore of 
Hudson Strait. Their winter resort lies west of Qeqertuqd juaq (Par- 
ry's North Bluff). In summer they travel through White Bear 
Sound or Lesseps Bay to Lake Amaqdjuaq. which they reach after 
crossing a neck of land about ten miles in width. The exact direction 
of the road cannot be ascertained, as the position of their stai'ting 
point, which is called Tuniqten, is doubtful. Crossing a short port- 
age they ascend to Lake Amitoq, whence on a second portage they 
pass the watershed between Lake Amaqdjuaq and Hudson Strait. 
From the small Lake Mingong a brook runs into Sioi'eliug and thence 
into Lake Amaqdjuaq (Baffin-Land, p. 6?). On the southern shore 
of the lai'ge lake they erect their summer tents. Farther east, in 
North Bay, there is another winter residence of the same tribe. Un- 
fortunately, I cannot specif }• the place of this settlement, which is 
called Quaiirnang. 

The Quiunuiuuujuiiuf. — East of the Akuliarmiut live the Eskimo 
so frequently met near Middle Savage Islands. Their principal resi- 
dence is near Lake Qaumauang, from which they take their name 
Qaumauangmiut. ]\Iy investigaticjns concerning these tribes were 
much embarrassed by the want of trustworthy charts. If charts 
are tolerably well delineated, the Eskimo understand the meaning of 
every point and island and can give detailed accounts of the situa- 
tion of the settlements and the migrations of the inhabitants. 

Between Sikosuilaq and Akuliaq biit a moderate amount of inter- 
course is kept up, as the settlements are separated by a wide and 
uninhabited stretch of land. Notwithstanding tliis many members 
of one tribe are found to have settled amono- the other. An Ameri- 


can whaling station which was established in Akuliaq a few years ago 
may have had some influence upon the distribution and the life of 
these tribes. The greater importance of Akuliaq, however, cannot be 
ascribed to the presence of the whalers alone, as a few harbors near 
Sikosuilaq are also frequently visited by them. The whalers report 
that there are about fifty inhabitants in Sikosuilaq, abo\it two htin- 
dred in Akuliaq, and farther east fifty more. Thus the pojiulation of 
the north shore of Hudson Strait probably amounts to three hundred 
in all. 

The Qaumauangmiut are probably closely related to the Nugumiut 
of Frobisher Bay. 

The Nugnmiut. — lean give a somewhat more detailed description 
of this tribe, among the families of which Hall jDassed the winters 
of 1860-'61 and 1861-'62 (Hall I). Unfortunately, he does not give 
any coherent account of their life, only meager information being 
furnished in the record of his journeys. Besides, generalizations 
cannot be made from his two years' experience. My own observa- 
tions in Cumberland Sound may serve as a complement to those of 
Hall. As he gives only a few native names of places, it is sometimes 
difficult to ascertain the exact position of the localities to Avhich he 

According to Hall and my own inquiries four places are inhabited 
by this tribe almost every winter: Tornait (Jones Cape of Hall), about 
thirty-five miles above Bear Sound, in Frobisher Bay; Operdniving 
and Tuarpukdjuaq, in Countess of Warwick Sound; Nugumiut, in 
(Cyrus W.) Field Bay; and Ukadliq, in (Cornell) Grinnell Bay. As 
these bays ojjen into Davis Strait the formation of the ice is retarded 
and its extent diminished, and consequently some peculiarities in the 
arrangement of the life of the Eskimo are observed here. The only 
occupation of the Nugumiut and the inhabitants of Ukadliq is sealing 
with the harpoon on the floe of the inner parts of the bay. Near Ukad- 
liq the tide holes east and west of Allen Island abound with seals. In 
winter, when the seals take to the open ice, the village of this group 
of families is established near Roger's Island, where the floe of the 
bay forms the hunting ground of the natives. 

During the autumn the Nugumiut stay in Field Bay. The women 
are then busy preparing the deerskins; for, on account of the re- 
quirements of their religion, the walrus hunt cannot be begun until 
the deerskins which were taken in summer have been worked ujj for 
use. As soon as this is done they travel across Bayard Taylor Pass 
(so called by Hall) to Frobisher Bay, and in the latter half of De- 
cember or in the beginning of January settle on Operdniving or on 
Tuarpukdjuaq in company with the natives who stay here during 
the fall. In Cumberland Sound I learned that this changing of the 
habitations takes place almost regularly and that sometimes the set- 
tlement is moved to Aqbirsiarbing (Cape Ti'ue) if the bay is frozen 


over beyond Operdniving. lu traveling to Aqbirsiarbing the tide 
holes of Ikerassaqdjuaq (Lupton Channel) are avoided by using the 
pass of Chappell Inlet. Here and in Tornait the natives go sealing 
on the ice or walrusing at the edge of the floe, which in most cases is 
not very far off. 

Abont the latter half of March ])art of the Eskimo begin to travel 
up Frobisher Bay. In the middle of April, 1802, Hall found a settle- 
ment on Qeqertucj[djuaq (Gabriel Island), frora which island the floe 
edge was visited and young seals were caught in the narrow chan- 
nels between the numerous islands. Towards the end of the month 
a portion of the natives went farther to the northwest in pursuit of 
the basking seals (I, p. 470), intending to reach the head of the bay 
in July. Hall found summer habitations at Ukadliq (I, p. 408); on 
Field Bay (p. WG); and on Frobisher Bay at Agdlinartung (p. 308), 
Opera Glass Point (p. 341), Waddell Bay (p. 341), and Nuvuktualung, 
on the southern point of Beecher Peninsula (p. 348). 

A very important hunting ground of the inhabitants of Tiniq- 
djuarbiusirn (Frobisher Bay), of which I receiA'ed some detailed ac- 
counts, is Lake Aniaqdjuaq. In the foregoing remarks on the Aku- 
liaq tribe I described the course which leads from Hudson Strait to 
the lake. Another route is followed in traveling from the head of 
Frobisher Bay to Lake Amaqdjuaq, a distance of about fifty miles. 
Probably the men leave Sylvia Grinnell River and ascend to Lake 
Amartung, from which lake a brook runs westward to Lake Amaq- 
djuacx (Baffin-Land, p. 08). The women take a different route and 
arrive at Aqbeniling after a tramp of six days, near a small bay 
called Metja. Here the summer huts are erected and birds and deer 
are killed in abundance. 

The facility in reaching the lake from Hudson Strait and Frob- 
isher Bay is a very important consideration, as the Akuliarmiut and 
the Nugumiut meet here, and thus an immediate intercourse between 
the tribes is opened. The inhabitants of Hudson Strait leave Tuniq- 
ten in spring, arrive at the head of Frobisher Bay in the fall, and 
after the formation of the ice reach the Nugumiut settlements by 
means of sledges. When Hall wintered in Field Bay a traveling 
party of Sikosuilarmiut which had accomplished the distance from 
King Cape in one year arrived there (I, p. 207). 

Another route, wJiich is practicable only for boats, connects Qau- 
mauang with Nugumiut. It leads along the shore of Hudson Strait. 
The traveler sails through the dangerous passage between Tudjaq- 
djuaq (Resolution Island) and the mainland and crosses Frobisher 
Bay either at its entrance or in the shelter of the group of islands 
farther up the bay. 

In their intercourse with the Nugumiut. the inhabitants of Cum- 
berland Sound generally follow the long coast between Ukadlici and 
Naujateling, passing through the numeroiis sounds formed by long, 


narrow islands. I can describe this region from personal observa- 

The Oqo7ni>if.— The Eskimo of Davis Strait call the tribes of 
Cumberland Sound and Saumia by the name of Oqomiut. Tlie 
whole of the land from Prince Regent Inlet to the plateau of Nugu- 
vaint is divided by the Eskimo into three parts, Aggo, Akudnirn. 
and ()([o — i. e., the weather side, the center, and the lee side — and 
accordingly the tribes are called the Aggomiut, Akudnirmiut. and 

Unquestionably the whole of Ciimberland Sound and the coast of 
Davis Strait from Cape Mercy to Exeter Sound belong to the Oqo of 
the Northern Eskimo. Farther north, the inhabitants of Padli ex- 
tend their migrations from Qarmaqdjuin to Qivitung. These i^eople 
occiipy an intermediate position between the Akudnirmiut and the 
Oqomiut, having easy communication with both, and consequently 
it is doubtful to which they belong, so that the determination of the 
boundary between Oqo and Akudnirn remains arbitrary. In regard 
to their customs and fi'om the position of the land, however, they 
may be more properly joined to the Akudnirmiut, of whom they 
would form a subdivision. 

The names Oqo, Akudnirn, and Aggo must not be understood as 
respectively meaning a region strictly limited: they denote rather 
directions and the intervals between the localities situated in these 
directions. In asking for the position of Oqo one would be directed 
southeast, as this is considered the lee side; in the same way, if 
asking for Aggo. erne would be directed to the shore of Prince Regent 
Inlet, the farthest land in the northwest, the weather side. In Cum- 
berland Sound the natives of Iglulik are considered Aggomiut, 
while in Pond Bay they are known as a separate tribe. In the 
southern parts the whole of the northern region is comjjrised in the 
name Aggo; in the north Oqo means the whole of the southeastern 

Formerly, the Oqomiut were divided into four subtribes: the Ta- 
lir])ingmiut. on the west shore of Cumberland Sound; the Qingua- 
miut, at the head of it; the Kingnaitmiut, on the east shore; and the 
Saumingmiut, on the southeastern slope of the highland of Saiimia. 
The names are derived from the distx'icts which they inhaliit, I'espect- 
ively. As the head of every fjord is called "qingua" (its head), the 
upper part of the large Cumberland Sound is also so named. The 
Qingua region may be limited by Imigen on the western shore and 
Ussualung on the eastern shore, though the name is apjdied to a re- 
gion farther north; indeed, the name covers the whole district at the 
head of the sound. In looking fi-om the head to the entrance of the 
sound the coasts are called acc(n-ding to their position: the south- 
western Talirpia. i. e., its right one, and the northeastern Saumia, 
i. e., its left one; between Saumia and Qingua the highland King- 


nait, i. e., the higher land as compared to the opposite shore, is 

Although at the present time this division is hardly justifiable, the 
names of these four tribes are often mentioned on the shore of Davis 
Strait. Their old settlements are still inhabited, but their separate 
tribal identity is gone, a fact which is due as well to the diminution 
in their numbers as to the influence of the whalers visiting them. 

In my opinion a great difference between these tribes never existed. 
Undoubtedly they were groups of families confined to a certain 
district and connected by a common life. Such a community could 
more easily develop as long as the number of individuals was a large 
one. When the wlialers first wintered in Cumberland Sound the 
population may have amounted to about l,50u. In 1840, when Penny 
discovered the sound, he met 40 Eskimo in Anarnitung (Eenoolooaisik, 
p. 91). The greater number of the inhabitants were at the head of 
the fjords fishing for salmon, others were whaling in Issortuc^djuaq, 
and some were inland on a deer hunting expedition. The whole 
number at that tinie probably amounted to 200. A few years later 
the Kingnaitmiut of Qeqerten were able to man eighteen whaleboats. 
Assuming five oarsmen and one harpooner to each boat, the steers- 
man being furnished by the whalers, and for each man one wife and 
two children, we have in all about 400 individuals. The inhabitants 
of Nettilling Fjord may have numbered as many, and 100 are said to 
have lived in Imigen. Penny found in Ugjuktung about 30 indi- 
viduals who belonged to the Saumingmiut and had come thither 
from Davis Strait. Accordingly I estimate the whole tribe at 150 in- 
dividuals. On the southwestern coast of the sound between Nuvujen 
and Naujateling a large number of natives were reported. They lived 
in three settlements and niimbered about GOO. These estimates are 
not absolutely reliable, as they are compiled largely from hearsay and 
conjecture. Many of the natives being away in the summer, at the 
time when these estimates were made, accuracy in their pre^Daration 
was impossible. From inqiiiries which wei-e made among American 
whalers who had visited this sound since 1851, the population of 
Qeqerten must have been larger than that of any of the settlements 
contiguous to the sound. The estimation is the more difficult as a 
few settlements were sometimes deserted; for instance, Ukiadliving, 
in Saumia, and Qarmaqdjuin (Exeter Bay). Probably eight settle- 
ments, with a population of 200 inhabitants each — i. e., 1,(500 in the 
sound — would be about the true number in 1840. At first I was in- 
clined to believe in the existence of a larger number, but from later 
reports I should consider this number too large rather than too small. 
Since that time the population has diminished at a terrible rate. 
In 1857 Warmow, a Moravian missionary who accompanied Penny, 
estimated it at 300. If this was correct, the rapid diminiition must 
have occurred during the first years after tlie rediscovery of the 



sound. In December. 1883, tlie Taliriiingmint numbered 8G indi- 
viduals, tlie Qinguamiut 00, the Kingnaitmint 8'i, tlie Saumiugmiut 
17; total, 245. These were distributed in eight settlements. Begin- 
ning with the most soiithern settlement, the Talirpingmiut lived in 
Umanaqtuaq, Idjorituaqtuin, Nuvujen, and Qarussuit; the Qingua- 
miut, in Imigen and Anarnitiing; the Kingnaitmint, in Qeqerten; the 
Saumiugmiut, in Ukiadliving. Accordingly the population of the 
settlements numbered as follows: 

Name of the set- 













Naujatelinp . - . . 
Idjorituaqtuin . . 



















































I have included in the foregoing table the inhabitants of Davis 
Strait and may add that the Nugumiut number about 80, the Eskimo 
of Pond Bay about 50 (?), those of Admiralty Inlet 200, and of Iglulik 
about 150. The total number of inhabitants of Baffin Land thus 
ranges between 1,000 and 1,100. 

The reason for the rapid diminution in the population of this 
country is undoubtedly to be found in the diseases which have been 
taken thither by the whalers. Of all these, syphilis has made the 
greatest ravages among the natives. Of other diseases I am unable 
to give a full account and can only refer to those which came under 
my observation during the year that I passed in this region. In Qe- 
qerten a man died of cancer of the rectum, two Avomen of pneumo- 
nia, and five children of diphtheria, this disease lieing first brought 
into the country in 188.3. In Anarnituug I knew of the death of 
two women and one child. On the west shore a number of children 
died of diphtheria, while the health of the adults was good. In 
the year 1883-84 I heard of two births, one occurring in Qeqerten, 
the other in Padli. At Qarussuit and Anarnitung there were two 

The opinion that the Eskimo are dying out on account of an insuf- 
ficient supply of food is erroneous, for, even though the natives 
slaughter the seals without discrimination or forethought, they do 


iKjt kill enough to cause any considerable diminution in niimbers. 
The whalers do not hunt the seal to any extent, and when one realizes 
how small the population of the country is and how vast the territory 
in which the seal lives it is easy to understand that famine or want 
cannot arise, as a rule, from the cutting off of the natural food sup- 
ply. In fact, in the spring enormous numbers of seals may be seen 
together basking in the sun or swimming in the water. 

The causes of the famines which occur somewhat frequently among 
the Eskimo must be sought in another direction. Pressing need 
often prevails if in tha latter part of the autumn the formation of 
the floe is retarded; for in that case hunters are not able either to go 
hunting in boats or to procure the necessary food at the edge of the 
floe, as new ice is attached to its more solid parts and the seals do 
not yet open their breathing holes. Such was the case at Niaqonau- 
jang, on Davis Strait, in the fall of 188.3. Gales of wind following in 
quick succession broke the floe. The new ice which had formed im- 
mediately prevented the natives from sealing, and in November and 
December a famine visited the settlement. Very soon the supply 
of blubber was exhausted, and being unable to feed the dogs the 
inhabitants were obliged to kill them one after another and to live 
upon their frozen carcasses. Only two dogs survived these months 
of need and starvation. Consequently the hunting season was a 
very poor one, since the natives missed the services of their dogs, 
which scent the breathing holes, and could not leave their settle- 
ment for any great distance. 

In winter a long spell of bad weather occasions ijrivation, since the 
hunters are then prevented from leaving the huts. If by chance 
some one should happen to die during this time, famine is inevitable, 
for a strict law forbids the performance of any kind of work during 
the days of mourning. When this time is over, however, or at the 
beginning of good weather, an ample supply is quickly secured. I 
do not know of any cases of famine arising from the absolute want 
of game, but only from the impossibility of reaching it. 

Sometimes traveling parties that are not acquainted with the nat- 
ure of the country Avliich they visit are in want of food. For in- 
stance, a large comj^any, consisting of three boat crews, were starved 
on the eastern shore of Fox Basin, their boats being crushed by the 
heavy ice and the game they expected to find in abundance having 
left the region altogether. On one of the numerous islands of Net- 
tilling a number of women and children perished, as the men, who 
had been deer hunting, were unable to find their way back to the 
place in which they had erected their huts. 

Another case of starvation is frequently mentioned by the Eskimo. 
Some families who were traveling from Akuliaq to Nugumiut jjassed 
the isthmus between Hudson Strait and Frobisher Bay. When, after 
■a long and tedious journey, they had reached the sea, the men left 


their families near Qairoliktung and descended with their kayaks to 
Nugumiut in order to borrow some boats in which they could bring 
their families to the settlements. On the way they were detained 
by stormy weather, and meanwhile the families were starved and re- 
sorted to cannibalism. One woman especially, by the name of Me- 
gaujang, who ate all her children, was always mentioned with horror. 

Generally food is plentiful between the months of April and Octo- 
ber and an ample sujiply may be secured without exti'aordinary ex- 
ertion. During the winter sealing is more difficult, but sufficiently 
successful to prevent any want, except in the case of continuous bad 

I sliall now proceed to a description of the single settlements of 
Cumberland Sound. Separated from the Nugumiut by a long and 
uninhabited stretch of land we find the settlement of Naujateling, 
the most southern one of the Talir])ingmiut. In the fall the natives 
erect their huts on the mainland or on an island near it, as the seal, 
at this season, resort to the narrow channels and to the fjords. Be- 
sides, the shelter which is afforded by the islands against the frequent 
gales is an important consideration, and in these protected waters the 
natives can manage their frail boats, which would not live for a 
moment in the tempestuous open sea. Later in the season the ice 
consolidates in the shelter of the i.slands, while beyond the bays and 
channels drifting floes fill the sea. 

After the consolidation of the pack ice the natives move their huts 
to the sea. They leave Naujateling about December and move to 
Umanaqtuaq. I do not know exactly where they live if the water 
reaches that island. Should this happen, the floe between Qajo- 
dluin, Umanaqtuaq, and Idjorituaqtuin would offer a productive 
hunting ground. 

About the middle of March the season for hunting the young seal 
opens. The hunt is prosecuted with much energy over the entire 
extent of Cumberland Sound, because the white coat of the young 
animal is of prime importance for the inner garments. The preg- 
nant females take to the rough ice, where deep snowbanks have been 
formed by the winter gales, and dig large excavations, in which par- 
turition takes place. Another favorite place is the ground ice on 
gradually declining shores, where large caves are found between the 
broken pieces of ice. Therefore the fjords and islands which offer a 
long coast line furnish a good hunting ground, and in the latter part 
of March and in April the Eskimo either visit these regions or the 
floes of rough ice. At such times they sometimes live for a long 
period on the ice of the open sea in order to be nearer to their hunting 
ground. As the success of the hunt depends on the extent of ice 
visited, the Eskimo scatter over a large area, almost every one trav- 
eling over a separate tract. 

At this time the winter settlements are almost totally broken up. 


Some of the natives of Naujateling go bear hunting instead of '' young 
sealing." but only a few polar bears lose their way into Cumberland 
Sound. They are generally found within a few miles of the floe edge, 
and even if the water reaches pretty far up the .sound they do not travel 
beyond Qaji:)dluin and Miliqdjuaq, nor does the pack ice carry them 
far up the sound in summer. On one occasion, in the year 1880. three 
bears were seen near Qeqerten, about five years earlier one was killed 
in Qingua, and almost twenty years earlier another one near Anarni- 
tung. Every occurrence of this kind is considered an event of such 
importance that it is talked about for j'ears afterwards. I myself saw 
bear tracks in Kouaqdjuaq in March, ISSi, and also at Miliqdjuaq. 
In February a bear was killed between Kautaq and Naujateling. 

If the water washes the foot of the cliffs between Kautaq and Su- 
lung. the Eskimo cross the isthmus which lies between Ijelirtung, 
the eastern branch of Qasigidjen, and Qajodluin Bay on a sledge road 
and hunt among the islands that are scattered along the shore south 
of Qajodluiu. In summer they visit the same region on their hiinting 

The principal summer settlements are at the head of Qasigidjen 
and Kangertlung Fjords, which are situated near Idjorituaqtuin and 

From here they ascend the plateau of Nugumiut and hunt on the 
level highlands. I think it takes them but a day to travel to the top 
of the plateau. They travel from Qasigidjen to Agdlinartung, a 
fjord of Frobisher Bay, whence the Nugumiut ascend the highland. 
Another route leads from Kangertlung to Ejaluin, near the head of 
Frobisher Bay. 

Farther up the sound we find the winter settlement of Idjorituaq- 
tuin. The same relation exists between this i:)lace and Qimissung as 
between Umanaqtuaq and Naujateling. On Qimissung, which lies 
near the mainland, the natives gather in the fall after returning from 
deer hunting, and only move to Idjoritiiaqtuin after the freezing up 
of the sea. Deer are hunted inland, the summer settlements being 
at the head of one of the numerous fjords of the west shore. Favorite 
places are Kangertlung, which is also visited by the Naujateling 
Eskimo: E^aluin, which can be reached from Kaiigertlung by a short 
overland road; Auqardneling; and Utiqimitung, at the entrance of 
Nettilling Fjord. A large river, which, according to Eskimo repoi-ts, 
runs through the greater part of the peninsula, empties into Auqard- 
neling. As it is very deep and wide it cannot be crossed withoiit a 
vessel of some character, and thus it puts a stop to the migrations 
from Kangertlung and Ejaluin. In traveling from Kangertlung to 
Frobisher Bay the river must be ci'ossed. To accomplish this the 
natives fill a deerskin with shrubs, sew it up. and float themselves 
across. Only the road leading from Qasigidjen to Frobisher Bay 
avoids the river. 


North of Idjorituaqtuin we find the winter settlement of Niivujen 
■with the fall settlement. Nuvujalung. a high cliff at the entrance of 
Nettilling Fjord, belonging to it. 

By far the most interesting branch of the Talirpingmiut are the 
inhabitants of Nettilling Fjord. Among all the tribes of Baffin Land 
this one claims jiarticular attention, as it is the only one whose resi- 
dence is not limited to the seashore. From Greenland to the mouth 
of the Mackenzie only two Eskimo tribes are known who do not live 
all the year roitnd on the coast of the sea. These are the Talirping- 
miut and the Kinipetu of Chesterfield Inlet. Back and Anderson and 
Stewart say that the latter tribe spend a great part of the year at 
the lakes of Back River. 

Formerly the Talirpingmiut had three or four settlements on Lake 
Nettilling: at Tikeraqdjung, near the south point of the lake; at the 
outlet of Koukdjuaq. on the left bank of the river, opposite to Niko- 
siving Island; at Qarmang ; and probably a fourth one, on the north 
shore. As the lake abounds with seals, they could live here at all 
seasons. Its western part seems to have been particularly fitted for 
winter stations. In the winter of 1877-'78, three families staid near 
Koukdjuaq without encountering any considerable difficulty in pro- 
curing food. This was the last time that natives passed the winter 
at the lake: the greater portion of the tribe may have retreated to 
Nettilling Fjord about twenty years ago. 

Though the Eskimo assert that the discovery of Lake Nettilling is 
of recent date, naming two men, Kadlu and Sagmu, as those who first 
reached it, this assertion is not trustworthy, for with them almost 
every historical tradition is supposed to have originated a compara. 
tively short time ago. I was told, for instance, that an event which 
is the subject of the tale Iginiarasugdjiuidjuaq the cannibal occurred 
at the beginning of this century, and yet the tradition is told almost 
word for word in Greenland and in Labrador. 

Just so with Kadlu and Sagmu. According to the assertion of the 
natives the lake was dis("overed by the generation before the last — i. 
e., about 1810 — and yet an old woman about seventy-five years of age 
told me that her grandfather when a young man, starting from Net- 
tilling, had visited Iglulik and that he had lived on the lake. The 
customs and habits of the Eskimo would have led to the discovery of 
the lake very soon after the first visit to Cumberland Sound, and no 
doubt their attention was then called to the abundance of game in 
this region. 

The greater part of the natives spent the winter in Nettilling Fjord, 
starting on their way inland aboiit the beginning of May, and return- 
ing to the sea about December. I suppose that cases in which men 
spent their whole life on the lake were exceptional, for they are re- 
ferred to by the natives as remarkable events. For instance, a man 
called Neq.siang, who had two wives, lived on a small island near 


Koukdjuaq and never descended to Cumberland Sound. A few times 
only lie is said to have sent his son to barter witli the Talirpingmiiit of 
Nettilling Fjord. He came to Qarussuit in the spring, but returned 
after a short stay. It may be remarked here that the total absence 
of salt does not prevent the natives from staying on Lake Nettilling. 

About 1850 the mode of life of the Talir^nngmiut was as follows: 
In November they gathered in Isoa, the easternmost bay of the lake, 
descended toward the sea, and lived during the following months 
at the entrance of Nettilling Fjord. There they lived in the same 
manner as the other Oqomiut, pursuing the seals at their breathing 
holes. In the spring they hunted young seals; but, when the other 
natives began to prepare for whaling, they traveled on sledges west- 
ward. They avoided the large tide holes of the long fjord by mak- 
ing use of a few passes. Although the fjord is impassable in spring, 
a safe road leads along its northern shore to its northern branch, 
Kangertlukdjuaq, where the water hole Sarbaqdualung may be 
avoided by crossing the land at Tunukutang. In the spring large 
water holes are formed near Neqemiarbing and at the entrance of 
Audnerbing, compelling travelers to jjass over the island which sepa- 
rates the two passages of Sarbaqdualung. The pass Tunukutang, 
which is used in winter, consists of a steep and narrow neck of land, 
which separates a small lake from Kangertlukdjuaq, and a short and 
winding river, the outlet of the lake. The second tide hole of the 
fjord may be i^assed by the branches Qasigidjen and Sarbaqdjukulu 
and the adjoining flat isthmus. The holes of Qognung, yet farther 
up the fjord, do not hinder the natives, as they do not occuj^y the 
whole width of the floe. 

At length they reached Kangia, and from here a chain of small 
lakes was ascended, the watershed Ujaraqdjuin was crossed, and 
linally they arrived at Amitoq. Cairns are everywhere erected on 
prominent jjoints for way marks. After they had come to Lake 
Nettilling, they rested a short time at Isoa, where the skin boats 
and the necessary household goods had been left the preceding fall. 
These were lashed upon the sledges and then they traveled as quickly 
as possible to the west. After following the southeastern shore to 
Tikeraqdjuaq they crossed the lake to a point near Tikeraqdjung, 
whence they went along the soiithern shore of the lake, reaching 
Koukdjuaq in about a fortnight. Here their tents were established 
on the left bank of the river, opposite to Nikosiving, where they 
staid until the breaking up of the ice. Then the men descended the 
river in their kayaks. Four days they followed the coast, passing 
the bay of Aggirtijung before they reached Qudjitariaq, a long and 
deep river, which they ascended. For a few weeks they hunted deer 
among the lakes of this region, which is called Majoraridjen, and 
then slowly turned southward. At last, about the latter half of An- 


gust, tliey reached Qarmang, where at the beginning of summer the 
women and oki men had arrived in their large boats. Here the 
whole party stopiDed until the lake was frozen up. Then they re- 
turned on sledges to Isoa and to the sea. 

It would be very interesting to learn how far the natives formerly 
extended their migrations along the shore of Fox Basin and whether 
a regular intercourse existed between Iglulik and Cumberland Sound. 
According to rejjorts of some old Eskimo, who had themselves passed 
the winter on the lake, there was always a small settlement at Qar- 
mang. From here the shore of Fox Basin was reached with great 
ease. If, however, the route through Koukdjuaq had to be taken, a 
long, roundabout way was necessary. According to all reports, even 
in olden times expeditions to Iglulik were very rare. It is said that 
one was made about 1750 by a party under the leadership of an 
Eskimo, Makulu. About 1800 another part}- left, in which Kotuko 
assumed the leadei'ship. About these a more detailed account exists. 
With a few boats and four kayaks they left Nettilling and followed 
the coast. Alone in his kayak, Kotuko visited Sagdlirn, an island 
east of Iglulik, but he did not see any people, as they were on a hunt- 
ing excursion. He found one hut and a large dog. There were a 
great number of deerskins and walrus tusks, which proved the ex- 
istence of an abundance of game. He returned, but on account of 
the prevailing fog could scarcely find his kayak. The absence of the 
party is said to have lasted three years. 

About 1820 another party left for Iglulik, among whom two women, 
Amarocj and Sigjeriaq, were the most prominent. When they re- 
turned, after an absence of three years, they praised the country (Pi- 
ling), where they had s^^ent some time, as a laud of i^lenty and abun- 
dance, and by these tales, in 1835, induced three boat crews to leave 
Nettilling in order to visit this happy land. They were grievou.sly 
disai)pointed and after many misfortunes they jjerished on the nar- 
row isthmus of Ipiuting. Their bodies were found by the Iglulik 
Eskimo, who related that the poor fellows had resorted to cannibal- 
ism. Among those who perished was a sister of the famous Hannah 
(Taqulitu), the companion of Hall in his travels in the Arctic. I 
must mention here that Hall, in 18(38, met a native at Iglulik who 
was said to belong to Cumberland Sound. As, however, in Iglulik 
Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait are often confounded, I am 
inclined to think he was a native of the latter region. 

From these facts it appears that a regular intercourse between the 
tribes along the shore of Fox Basin never existed, though formerly 
interviews were more frequent than they are at present. Since the 
last mentioned expedition no Eskimo has visited Piling, nor have any 
gone bythe wayof Lake Nettilling to Iglulik. Accordingly the ideas 
of the Oqomiut about that region are very indefinite. An old man 


was the onlj- person whom I could liud who knew Iglulik by name 
and remembered Ingnirn and Piling, two places which had been in- 
habited by many Eskimo. He mentioned another inhal)ited region 
beyond Iglulik, Augpalugtijung, which I was not able to identify. 
It was described as a large peninsula. 

It is worth remarking that the Talirpingmiut seem never to have 
traveled over the country south of Koukdjuaq. I have not even 
heard mentioned a single hunting excursion made in this direction. 

In the foregoing paragrajihs I have described the mode of life of 
the greater part of the Talirijingmiut. Still another part staid in 
Cumberland Sound until the ice had gone and went away in the 
latter half of July. The passage through the rapids of the fjords 
was very dangerous, as in the whirlpools and overfalls the bulky 
boats were easily capsized. Therefore the changing of the tides had 
to be considered in order to effect a safe passage. The men preferred 
carrying the kayaks over the passes in order to avoid the dangers 
imminent to their frail crafts. Even up to this day tradition tells 
of a disaster which hapjjened when the stubborn owner of a boat, 
against the warning of his friends, tried to pass Sarbaqdualung when 
the spring tide was running swiftly. The boat was upset and the 
crew were drowned, with the exce25tion of one woman, who was saved 
on a bundle of deerskins. 

From Kangia boats had to be carried over the portages Igpirto, 
Igpirtousirn, and Ujaraqdjuin. The rapids of Angmartung were 
also avoided by a portage over the level bottom of the valley. After 
passing Taquirljing, Lake Nettilling was reached, on the shore of 
which the huts were erected. In the fall the party returned before 
the beginning of the cold season. It has been already mentioned that 
ouly a few of the natives staid at the lake during the entire year, and 
even among these there were some who descended to the sea in March 
to take part in the young sealing, for the skins of the young seal 
cannot be altogether rejDlaced by deerskins. 

At the present time it is exceptional for any one to remain inland 
during the entire year. There may be seals enough in the lake to 
prevent hunger or starvation, but they are taken much more easily 
from the sea. In case of alack of blubber, deer's marrow may be 
used for fuel. It is probable that the high mortality of recent years 
has induced the Eskimo to band together more closely than they 
formerly did and to adopt the plan of returning to Nettilling Fjord 
at the beginning of winter. In the fall the boats and other articles 
Avhich are of jio use in winter are left in Isoa, and some time is spent 
in Kangia, where snow houses are built. Here the kayaks are left, and 
in December, when the sealing begins to be more successful near the 
sound, the Eskimo turn to the entrance of Nettilling Fjord, where 
Tininiqdjuaq and Neqemiarbing are favorite places. Seals are hunted 
there with the hari^oon in the same way as in the other settlements 

(J ETH 28 


or Sarbaqdualuug is visited for the piiri^ose of shooting seals which 
frequent the tide holes. This, however, is not a favorite way of 
hunting, as the ice near the tide holes is very rough and treacherous. 

In March and Ajjril young seals are caught on the shores of the nu- 
merous islands between Tininiqdjuaci and Nuvujalung, and at the 
same time the old settlements are left, as large water holes begin to 
ap23ear. Qarussuit and Qingaseareang are the favorite places about 
this time of the year. 

As soon as the young sealing is finished the hunt of the basking 
seal is opened, which is very successful here. Nowhere else did I see 
such large numbers of animals enjoying the warmth of the stm as in 
Nettilling Fjord. In April, when on the east shore scarcely any dared 
to leave the water, hundreds might be seen here. By the first of May 
all the natives have procured a sufficient number of sealskins for 
their summer dress, the skins being then in the best condition, as the 
first moulting has just occurred. This done, they eagerly prepare for 
the journey to the lake. 

The natives start in the first week of May, and in two or three days 
arrive at Kangia, whence they reach Isoa in one day's joiirney. Fol- 
lowing the soitthern shore of Lake Nettilling they sleej) the first night 
on Tikeraqdjuausirn, the second on the island Manirigttmg, near 
Tikeraqdjuaq, and five days after leaving Qarussuit arrive at Tikeraq- 
djung, where they settle for the summer. As numerotis deer are found 
intliis region, they live without any care or trouble. Very soon after 
their arrival the birds return. While moulting great quantities of 
these are caught. The geese are so abundant here that they are fed 
to the dogs. Many deer are caught while passing the deeiJ river 
which runs from Lake Amaqdjuaq to Lake Nettilling. Frequently 
they visit the southern plains, which are filled with lakes and lake- 
lets. Sometimes they go as far as Amac^djuaq, which, as the older 
natives report, was formerly a summer settlement. 

In the river whose outlet is near Padli salmon are caught in alnm- 
dance. In this district the Talirpingmiut stay until the eastern part 
of the lake is frozen over. 

In the shelter of the islands the floe is more quickly formed than 
in the open water of the western part, and in November the natives 
return by sledges to Isoa. 

As they take with them heavy loads of deerskins they make very 
slow progress and generally arrive at their place of destination after 
six days of traveling. Sometimes they make a short trip to Isoa in 
March or April to hunt deer or to look for the things which were left 
behind in Kangia and Isoa at the time of their last departure. 

Besides the Talirpingmiut quite a number of Cumberland Sound 
natives visit the lake by means of boats. They cross the sound after 
the breaking up of the ice and go to Nettilling, carrying tlie boats 
over the portages between Kangia and Isoa. As the Talirpingmiut 


have 110 boats they stay atTikeraqdjuaq; the other natives, however, 
sometimes change their habitations and even visit Qarniang and tlie 
north shore of the lake. These journeys, however, are rare, for in the 
eastern part an inexhaustible supply of food may be obtained; there- 
fore long excursions are quite unnecessary. At the beginning of 
October the boats leave the lake and the natives return to tlie fall 
settlements in the sound. 

Nettilliiig Fjord, with its numerous islands, forms the northern 
boundary of Taliri^ia. Farther north we come to Qingua, the head 
of Tiniqdjuarbing (Cumberland Sound). It extends from Imigen 
to Ussualung. The winter settlement on the island of Imigen is 
situated in the midst of one of the best winter hunting grounds, for 
the southern portion of the island, on which the huts are erected, 
projects far out into the sea. Tlie hunt is often rendered somewhat 
difficult by the rough ice which is due to the strong currents between 
Pujetung, Imigen, and Nettilling Fjord. Towards spring the natives 
sometimes resort to a place yet nearer the o^jen sea, the largest island 
of the Pujetung group. Young seals are caught near Imigen, at the 
Kilauting Islands, and in Qaggilortung. This district, however, can- 
not be visited every year, as almost every spi'ing the whole area west 
of a line from Imigen to Anarnitung is covered with very deep and 
soft snow, which prevents the Eskimo from using their dog sledges. 
When this condition prevails the natives settle on the sea ice between 
Augpalugtungand Imigen, or a little farther north, and remain there 
from the middle of March until the latter part of April. 

These natives go deer hunting either to Issortuqdjuaq — where they 
live at Ejaluaqdjuin, Sirniiling, or Midlurieling — ortoE^valuqdjuaq, 
near Ussualung, where they hunt in the hilly land adjoining the ice- 
covered Penny Plateau. As the land farther northwest is said to 
consist of irregular hills and disconnected valleys, the skins and the 
meat of the killed deer would have to be carried up aaid down liills 
before the settlement was reached. Therefore the natives dislike 
hunting in this part of the country. 

Ejaluaqdjuin and E/alui^djuaq, as is denoted by the names, are 
productive salmon rivers. In starting frojn the former and ascend- 
ing a narrow valley, Lake Ejoleaqdjuin is reached, whence a pass 
^ leads to the valley adjoining Ejaluaqdjuin. Taking another road 
the long Lake Imeraqdjuaq is reached, which borders upon the 
glaciers of the highland. From here, after a four days' tramp fol- 
lowing a large river, the traveler comes to Midlurieling. From 
Issortuqdjuati a narrow istlimus offering a good sledging road is 
used in visiting the head of Qaggilortung. Another route, which 
is suitable only for foot passengers, leads by a chain of lakes to the 
head of Kangertlukdjuaq. It is not necessary to enumerate the 
overland routes in this district, as numerous valleys permit the 
traveler to pass from the east to the west and from the south to the 


north. In tlie fall the natives resort to Sauuirtuug or to Saiinir- 
tuqdjuaq, two islands northwest of Imigen, where they .^^tay until 
January, when they return to the sea. 

The second settlement of the Qinguamiut is Anarnitung, at the 
northern entrance of Qaggilortung. The snaall island and the neigh- 
boring point of Igdlungajung are, next to Qeqerten, the seat of the 
most important settlement of Cumberland Sound. On the southern 
and eastern declivity of the low hills which form this island are a 
number of very old stone foundations (see ]). 549), such as are found 
every where on the Arctic shores of North America(Baffin-Land, 13.77). 

If the ice in the ui^jier parts of the sound is smooth, families be- 
longing to this community settle on Kilauting, the largest island of 
a group running from northwest to southeast a few miles north 
of Imigen. Here they go sealing with the harjioon. If the ice, how- 
ever, is rough (as it happened to be during my stay in Cuml)erland 
Sound), they remain in Anarnitung, whence some go to the water 
holes at the entrance of Issortuqdjuaq and shoot the blowing seals, 
while others go hunting on the ice near Anarnitung. 

During the young sealing season they almost always leave the 
island. The favorite resort at this season is Sakiaqdjuag, near Mani- 
tuling, in Qaggilortung, but heavy snowfalls often comj^el them to 
exchange this region for the oj^en sea. If they insist upon stopping 
there, snowshoes are used as the only means of traveling in the deep 
and soft snow. In 1878, when the Florence wintered in Anarnitung 
Harbor, the greater i^art of the natives I'emained near the ship; biit 
her presence is accountable for this exception, as some of the families 
were in her service and others staid near her in order to barter seals, 
skins, &c. 

Of some importance are the passes leading arotiud the numerous 
water holes at the head of Cumberland Sound. ^ The narrow island of 
Niidnirn, which separates Sarbuqdjuaq from Putukin, offers a good 
passage by way of a deep valley. Should the passage be made in a 
mild winter or in spring, when the water holes of Sarbuqdjuaq have 
enlarged, they must avoid the latter by passing over the inconvenient 
isthmus of Itidliaping, west of the steep cliff Naujan. 

In spring the tide holes of Kangidliuta extend over the passage 
between that island and Surosirn, jjreventing sledges from jjassing ^ 
to Issortuqdjuaq or to Tessiujang. Then Qa^i'odlualung is crossed by 
the way of Naqoreang or the more southerly Tappitariaq, which leads 
into the sound near Siegtung. Both passes are very inconvenient. 
From Tessiujang, Issortuqdjuaq may be reached by the fjords Ugjuk- 
tung and Itijareling and by the adjoining passes. 

Lastly, I have to mention the road formerly used by the natives 
of Anarnitiing in traveling to Nettilling. They crossed the entrance 
of Qaggilortung and ascended Tarrionitung, whence they came by 
the Lakes Qamusiojodlang and Ii-tiujang to Missirtung, in Nettilling 


Fjord, thus avoiding a mucli longer journey around the large penin- 
sula projecting to the eastward. A similar pass farther east connects 
Tornait and Kangertlukjuaq. 

The ruins of a third settlement of the Qinguamiut are found at 
Tulukan on Qeqertelung. 

The next subtribe to be treated is the Kingnaitmiut. wlio are now 
located exclusively upon Qeqerten. Formerly they lived in several 
places — for instance, near Pangnirtung and on Miliaqdjuin — but 
for a long time they have gathered on Qeqerten, as two whaling 
stations are estaldished here, many natives Ijeing in the service of 
the whalers. The island is the largest settlement of the sound. It 
is a favorite resort during the fall and the first part of winter. In 
November and December, before the ice of the sound consolidates, 
the ice east of the islands is the best hunting gi'ound. Later that 
west of the islands is preferred. There is one disadvantage pecul- 
iar to Qeqerten which is not shared by the other settlements, namely, 
the fohn-like winds which often lilow for jnany days from Kingnait 
Fjord with irresistible violence. These confine the natives to their 
hi;ts. though a few miles north or south calm weather 23revails. 
Should fair weather ensue, the snow, which has been firmly jjacked 
by these gales, afl^ords a good hunting ground ; but if, on the other 
hand, long spells of bad weather follow, want and hunger may be the 
result. The young seals are eagerly jjursued all about Qet[erten. 

In Pangnirtung and in the little valley Niutang, in Kingnait, well 
up in these fjords, are the ruins of two large, ancient settlements. 
The conditions which formerly enabled the natives to live here will 
be mentioned later. 

The Kingnaitmiut go deer hunting to Kitingujang, at the head of 
Kingnait Fjord; to Nirdlirn, in the bay behind Augpalugtung and 
Sednirun:to Pangnirtung; or to the more southern fjords Ejaluaq- 
djuin and Kangertlukdjuaq. 

I shall describe the districts occupied by the Kingnaitmiut, Sau- 
mingmiut, and Padlimiut together, as they all bear a uniform char- 

From Nirdlirn the mountains of Ussualung or the highland near 
Ukiuqdji;aq are visited. The same country is traveled over from 
Pangnirtung, where the settlement is established either above Qor- 
dlubing or opposite Aulitiving. The deep valley, with its numei ous 
glaciers, adjoining Pangnirtung and connecting Crrmberland Sound 
and Davis Strait is rarely visited. 

The favorite place for the settlement is Kitingujang in Kingnait. 
In the river which empties here many salmon are cauglit, and the 
declivities of the neighboring highlands, which are less steejD than 
those of Pangnirtung, afford ample ojiportunity for long hirnting 
excursions. Deer are found on the mountains, for here they escape 


the mosquitoes which, swarm in the valleys. The natives do not go 
beyond Padli, but most of them liave been there. They often travel 
through the valleys of Nerseqdjuaq and Tunussuug to Pangnirtung, 
of Davis Strait, down the eastern shore of which they go a consid- 
erable distance. Sometimes they make boat excursions during the 
summer from Kitingujang, visiting the brooks which emjity into 
Kingnait Fjord, or they settle in Tornait, whence Tuiairbikdjuin in 
Pangnirtung is accessible by the wide valleys surrounding Angiu- 

I may omit the description of the separate summer habitations 
farther soutli, foi' the head of every fjord and every valley that is a 
means of reaching the interior are used for erecting the tents. The 
interior of the region, which is covered with ice, remains uuAisited, 
no game being found there. Therefore it may be said in general that 
the Eskimo are limited to the peninsulas formed by the numerous 

The Saumingmiut visit the soiithern fjords of Cumberland Penin- 
sula, where I have marked the settlements on the chart. Hei'e they 
pursue deer and polar bears, which frequently come down to Cajje 
Mercy during the summer. 

An important summer settlement of the Saumingmiut is Touaq- 
djuaq, from which place they visit the peninsula limited by Exeter 
Sound and Touaqdjuaq. An important summer station of both 
Saumingmiut and Padlimiut is Qai-maqdjuin, while E^'aloaping 
(Durban Harbor of the whalers), near the entrance of Padli, is A-isited 
only by the latter tribe. 

The number of deer on Cumberland Peninsula is so variable that 
the result of the hunt is often unsatisfactory. Although in some 
seasons numerous herds are met, in others scarcely enough animals 
are killed to afford a sufficient stock of skins for the winter clothing. 
Early in the spring the deer pass quite regularly through Itidlirn 
(the lower part of Padli Valley, between Ikaroling and Padli). in 
their migrations from Narj^aing to Qarmaqdjuin. I was told that 
in both the latter districts many deer can be found at all times. 

Lastly. I have to describe the winter settlements of the Sauming- 
miut. They ai-e in the habit of separating in the fall, part of them 
stayiug during winter on Qeqertaujang, in Ugjuktung, and the re- 
mainder at Ukiadliving. on Davis Strait. 

Strange as it may seem, walrus are not found in the iipper part of 
the soiiud, while farther south they are abundant. Akuliajatiug, 
east of Qeqerten, is the most northern point that they visit. It is 
said that in former times they were met with everywhere in the 
sound, and indeed some of the local names give evidence of the truth 
of these traditions; for instance, the name of Ugliru (which is always 
applied to walrus islands), in the fjord Qaggilortung, and that of 
Anarnitung (a place having a bad smell from walrus excrement), at 
the head of the sound. 


Before Ciimherland Sound begins to freeze up, the Eskimo of Ug- 
juktung take walrus on the islands Uglirn, south of Qeqertaujang, 
and at Qeqertaq in Anartuajuin. The animals killed during the 
fall are buried under stones, and with this stock of provisions the 
Saumiugmiut do not suii'er want during the winter. In addition, 
however, they go sealing at the entrance of Ugjuktung, or travel 
overland to Kangertloaping, a branch of, as Nuvukdjuaq 
is almost always washed by water and cannot be passed in winter. 
The young sealing is here of little importance, as the bears visit the 
fjords aljout this season and frighten the animals away. In March 
the natives go l^ear hunting or move up the sound to join the King- 
haitmiut during the time of yonug sealing. In the spring the settle- 
ment is always abandoned, as most of them go to Davis Strait and join 
the other part of the tril>e. Crossing the country. the_y ti'avel over a 
pass leading from Anartuajuin to Ujaradjiraaitjung. 

The favorite settlement on the east coast is Ukiadliving. There 
are several stone foundations in this place which are frequently 
reconstructed and used as dwellings. Here walrus are hunted in the 
summer and in the fall and a great stock of jjroWsions is laid uj). 
In winter the floe offers a good hunting ground for sealing and in 
the sjaring the bears visit the laud and the islands to pursue the 
puj^ping (i. e., pregnant or ijarturient) seals. At the same time the 
she bear brings forth her young, the meat and skin of which are 
highly prized. Many old bears and cubs are killed at tliis season 
and the precious skins are prepared for sale. 

Besides the beforementioned route another and longer one leads 
to Cumberland Sound. In taking this course the sledges start from 
Nedhiqseaq, west of Ukiadliving, and follow a river which rises in a 
small lake whence the inland ice is ascended. Farther on the valley 
leading to E^valuaqdjuin and Kangertlukdjuaq is reached. This is 
the only overland route on which the inland ice is crossed. Cape 
Mercy can be passed by a number of short isthmuses. In the shelter 
of the bay formed by the cape and Muingmang a floe is formed reach- 
ing to the foot of Uibarun (Cape Mercy). The pass Tappitaridjen, 
which cuts off two peninsulas, leads into the sound. The bays 
farther west are frozen ui3 and the ijrojecting points are avoided by 
short passes. Unfortunately this road was unknown to me during 
my stay in Sanmia. else I could have easily visited Cape Mercy. At 
last Anarti''.aj iiin is reached. The water rarely extends to Nuvuk- 
djuaraqdjung, the point between Anartuajuin and Ugjuktung. It 
may be passed by a difficidt road leading across the peninsula. If 
the water extends to Iliqimisarbing a pass is iised which is ascended 
from E;tfalualuin. in the bay of Naujaqdjuaq. 

On Davis Strait a few important isthmuses must be mentioned. 
One is used by the inhabitants of Ukiadliving in traveling to Exeter 
Sound. They leave the sea at the head of Touaqdjuaq and by a 


difficult overland route cross to tlie southern shore of Exeter Sound. 
Much of the time the ice and snow near Udlimaulitelling make the 
route almost imi^assable in that direction. If, thei'efore, this route 
is impracticable or that through Touaqdjuaq is too difficult on ac- 
count of the absence of snow, the journey is postponed until late 
in spring, when the hummocks begin to be leveled off and the snow 
becomes harder as it settles; then the rough ice can be passed, and 
after reaching Itiiatukan. a fjord near Caj^e Walsingham, the Eskimo 
ascend it. so as to avoid the cape, which is always washed by water. 
If snow and ice are in a suitable condition the passage by way of Itu- 
atukan is always preferred. 

From Exeter Sound Kangertlukdjuaq, in Padli Fjord, may be 
reached by a pass of short extent; but the snow is always so deep 
here that the passage cannot be effected until June. The peninsulas 
between Padli Fjord and Exeter Sound, which have no ice foot, can 
be crossed by narrow isthmuses near the head of the bays. 

Before leaving Ciiinberland Soiind and its inhabitants, the Oqomiut, 
altogether, I wish to add a few remarks on the whale fishery, which 
the Eskimo formerly carried on in their bulky skin boats. They pur- 
sued the monstrous animal in all waters with their imjDerfect weap- 
ons, for a single capture supplied them with food and fuel for a 
long time. I do not know with certainty whether the natives used 
to bring their boats to the floe edge in the spring in order to await 
the arrival of the whales, as the Scotch and American whalers do 
nowadays, or whether the animals were caught only in siimmer. On 
Davis Strait the Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut used to erect their 
tents in June near the floe edge, whence they went whaling, sending 
the meat, bluTjliei', and whalebone to the main settlement. In Cum- 
berland Sound whales were caught in all the fjords, jjarticularly in 
Kingnait, Issortuqdjuaq, and the narrow channels of the west shore. 
Therefore the Eskimo could live in the fjords during the winter, as 
the provisions laid up in the fall lasted until sjjring. If, therefore, 
there is a percejatible diminution in the supply of their food it is due 
to the fact that the whale fishery has Ijeen abandoned by them or 
rather has been yielded up to Europeans and Americans. It is not 
probable, however, that a sufficient number of whales were ever 
caught to support the entire population during the whole of the 
winter. The whaling is still kejit up Ijy the Eskimo of Hudson 
Strait and Hitdson Bay, though only to a limited extent, owing to the 
visits of whaling ships and the establishment of whaling stations. 

The Pddlitniitf (incl the Akiiduirnn'itf. — The next tribes to be de- 
scribed are the Padlimiut and the Akudnirmiut, but this may be done 
very briefly, as tlie nature of this region is similar to that of Saumia. 
A peculiarity of the Akudnirmiut is their more decided migratory 
character as compared with the Oqomiut. They do not spend every 
winter at the same place, as we observed that the Oqomiut do, but 


are more inclined to visit, in turn, the different winter stations of 
their country. 

In summer the following places are almost always inhabited : Qar- 
maqdjuin, E^aloapiug in Padli Fjoi'd, Qivitung, and Niaqonanjaug. 
The deer hunting season opens here at the same time as farther south, 
but it is miich facilitated from the fact that the ice breaks up later. 
The deer visit the numerous islands scattered along the mainland and 
thus their pasturing ground is easily reached. As the islands of 
Home Bay constitute a good hunting ground the Eskimo sometimes 
settle there for a few weeks. 

The long, low peninsula Pamiujang, near Nedluqseaq, and the head 
of Nudluug ai'ethe favorite summer settlements of the Padlimiut. 
Nudlung, E^alualuin, Ijelirtung, and Iniigsuin are visited by the 
Akudnirmiut. An abundance of deer is found along the southern 
part of Home Bay, where the j)lains extend to the sea. It is remark- 
able that all along this shore there is no island on which birds build 
their nests. Though fowls do not form an important constituent of 
the food of the Oqomiutand the more southern tribes, the egg islands 
are frequently \4sited. On Davis Strait it is only by chance that 
ducks &c. are caught, and eggs can scarcelv be obtained. The only 
island which is visited by birds is Avaudjelling. in Home Bay. In 
July, however, large flocks of eider ducks descend Itirbilung Fjord 
and many are caught near its head. From this fjord an overland 
route, which is practicable only in summer, leads to Piling, a district on 
the shore of Fox Basin, which may be reached in three days. Though 
the route is well known, it seems to be passing into disuse; at least I 
do not know any natives who have crossed the land by it. Another 
interesting road leading overland must be mentioned, namely, the 
one which leads from Nudlung and Exalualuin to Majoraridjen and 
Nettilling. The former region is still visited by the Akudnirmiut, 
but I know of but one family who went to Nettilling and wintered 

As a rule, about the beginning of August the Akudnirmiut move 
to Niaqonaujang in order to have an oppo tunity of meeting the 
whalers on their way south. For the same reason the southern fam- 
ilies gather at Qivitung. 

As soon as the sea is frozen up, part of the natives of Qivitung 
move southward and settle on Qeqei-tuqdjuaq. where they stay until 
February, while in spring some stay here or move farther up the bay, 
where they establish their huts on Qeqertaq; the rest travel to Padli 
Fjord and live with the families who had passed the winter there on 
Padloping. As the floe edge ajJiiroaches the land here, the country 
is favorable for bear hunting, which is jjursued in March and April. 
In June the natives move up Padli Fjord to catch salmon, which are 
found in enormous numbers at Padli. A few visit Agjian, where 
flocks of loons nest. The natives who intend to return to Qivitung in 
summer leave about the eml of May or the beginning of June. 


Those who remain at Qivituiig during the winter go sealing in 
the bay east of the peninsula and subsist upon the j^roduct of this 
occupation, as well as on the walrus meat which was stored up in the 
summer and autumn. A few leave Qivitung after the consolidation 
of the floe and settle on Nanuqtaqdjung, an island in Home Bay, near 
the northern point of Qeqertalukdjuaq. 

In the winter the Akudnirmiut of Niaqonaujang generally remove 
to Ii)iutelling, on the southern shore of Koukteling. and in May go 
farther south, to the island Avaudjelliug. In the s^n-ing they go bear 
hunting on Koukteling and the peninsula of Niaqonaujang, where the 
she bears dig holes in the snow banks, in which they whelp. 

Though the isthmuses are of great value in facilitating the inter- 
course between the separate settlements of Cumberland Sound and 
Davis Strait, as their headlands are washed by water, they are not 
indispensable for the tribes of Davis Strait, for the ice is passable at 
all points. The low peninsulas are crossed by the natives in their 
travels in ^jreference to rounding their headlands. Thus they not 
only shorten their journey, but they avoid the rough ice often found 
off the points. 

For example, a pass leads from the western bay of Padli Fjord to 
Kangertloaping, and another from Tessiujang, near Qivitung, across 
the narrow and low isthmus into Home Bay. Similar passes are 
used in crossing Koukteling, the peninsulas of Niaqonaujang, Aqo- 
jang, and Aqojartung. 

At Niaqonaujang I reached the limit of my travels and have only 
to add reports which I obtained from other tribes and in other set- 
tlements. Eiver Clyde and Aqbirtijung are not always inhabited, 
but are visited at irregular intervals by the Akvidnirmiiit, the same 
who usually stay at Niaqonaujang. It is probable that Aqbirtijung 
and Kangertlualung are sometijnes visited by the Tununirmiut of 
Pond Bay. 

The Aggomiui. — I can say biit littleabout the two subtribesof the 
Aggomiut (the Tununirmiut and the Tununirusirmiut), as the re- 
ports are scanty and the chart of the region is too incorrect to convey 
any exact information. A few statements may be derived from the 
Eskimo charts published by Hall (II, pp. 35G and 370). It appears 
that the natives winter near the entrance of Navy Board Inlet and 
in the back of Eclipse Sound. Settlements of the Tununirusirmiut 
at the western entrance of Admiralty Inlet and near its head are 
mentioned by Hall. Besides seals these natives also pursue the 
white whales and narwhals which frequent the sound. In summer 
the Tununirmiut live at the entrance of Pond Bay. 

Although I am not informed as to the position of the settlements, 
and for this reason am unable to judge of the details of the life of 
the Aggomiut, I can give the more general facts of their relations to 
the neighboring tribes. Of the greatest importance is their counec- 


tion with the Iglulirmiut, for through them a regular intercourse 
is kept up between the continent of America and tlie eastern shore of 
Baffin Land. One road leads through Kangertlukdjnaq. a fjord east 
of Parry's Murray Maxwell Inlet, to the head of Anaulereeling. I 
received a detailed description of this road from a native whom I met 
at Niaqonaujang. Hall's statement that this way leads to Pond 
Bay is very likely erroneous, as the natives probably said that it led 
to Tununirn, which comprises the whole district of Eclipse Sound 
and the region east of it. It is possible that another road leads to 
E^aluin, a fjord of Eclipse Sound. Another route which is often used 
leads from Kangertluug, Parry's Gilford River, to Angmang, and 
farther west to Tununirusirn. This route has already been described 
by Parry, who attempted to reach the north shore of Baffin Land by 
it (II, p. 449). Parry's description was confirmed in ISOD by Hall 
(II, p. 356). I am somewhat doubtful whether Fury and Hecla Strait, 
which is often filled with rough ice, can be passed regularly, and 
whether a route leading to Tununirusirn follows the shore of the Gulf 
of Boothia, as stated by some of the natives of Davis Sti'ait. This 
uncertainty did not occur to me until after I had read Parry's de- 
scription. Communication between Timunirn and Tununirusirn is 
by way of -the isthmus between Kangertlung and Navy Board Inlet. 

The joiirneys of the Aggomiiit are not at all confined to Baffin Land. 
In favorable winters they cross Lancaster Sound, passing the small 
island Uglirn, and winter on the eastern half of Tud jan (North Devon). 
AVhile here they keep up some intercourse with the inhabitants of 
Umingman Nxina (Ellesmere Land). 

It is said that they cross the ice covered island on sledges. In four 
days they reach the northern shore, whence a long, narrow peninsula. 
Nedlung. stretches toward Ellesmere Lanil. Through the narrow 
passage which sej^arates Tudjan from Nedlung runs a very swift tide 
which keeps open a water hole throughout the winter. All around 
this place the ice wastes quickly in the spring and a large basin is 
formed which abounds with seals. Only that part of the peninsula 
which lies nearest North Devon is high and steep, presenting a bold 
face. Farther north it is rather low. 

Having reached Umingman Nuna, the Eskimo who gave me this 
information affirm that they fell in with a small tribe who resided 
on this shore. Here they lived for some time, as there was an abun- 
dance of seals during the whole year. Farther northwest is a large 
fjord, Kangertluksiaq, off which an island is found, Qeqertakadli- 
nang by name. The Eskimo do not visit the land on the other side 
of this fjord, as bears are said to be very niimerous and large there. 
Though these migrations to Jones Sound do not occur very fre- 
quently, they have by no means been discontinued. For instance, 
a family which was well known to me has visited Smith Soiind. and 


the father of some friends of a resident of Cumberland Sound returned 
about fifteen years ago from a long stay on Tudjan and Nedlung. 

The Iglulirmiiif. — The last group of natives belonging to Baffin 
Land are those of Iglulik. Our knowledge of this tribe is due to 
Parry and Hall. As soon as the sea begins to freeze up, the natives 
gather on Iglulik, where they hunt the walriis throughoiit the win- 
ter. According to the position of the floe edge, Iglulik, Pingitkalik, 
or Uglit Islands are the favorite settlements. Later in the winter, 
when new ice is frequently attached to the floe, part of the families 
move to the ice northeast of Igluling, where seals are caught with 
the harpoon. Another winter settlement seems to be near Amitoq. 
In Ai^ril young seals are hunted in the bays and fjords, particularly 
in Hooper Inlet. According to Hall the western coast of Melville 
Peninsula is sometimes visited during the winter for walrusing and 
bear hunting (II, p. '-'A'i). An overland route leads to this district, 
crossing the long Grinnell Lake and Brevoort River, thus named by 
Hall (II, p. 342). As soon as the warm season approaches the na- 
tives go deer hunting on Melville Peninsula or more frequently on 
Baffin Land. From the reports of Parry and Hall and from my own 
inquiries, there can be no doubt that they visit the eastern shore of 
Fox Basin. 

The PUingmiut. — Two tribes were settled on the eastern coast of 
Fox Basin, the Piliugmiut and the Sagdlirmii;t, who had biit slight 
intercourse with the Iglulirmiut. I heard both mentioned at times 
when traveling along Davis Strait. According to my information 
I should say that Piling is about 74° west and 69° north. From 
Parry's reports it appears that the intercourse between these tribes 
and Iglulik was not very active: for, although he had staid two 
years at Aivillik and Iglulik, the Pilingmiut when visiting the latter 
tribe did not know anything about this fact, which was one of the 
greatest importance to all the natives (II, p. 430). Sometimes the 
Talirpingmiut of Cumberland Sound meet the Pilingmiut, for lioth 
tribes go deer hunting northwest of Nettilling. I heard of one such 
meeting between hunting parties in that district. 

The Sagdlirniinf. — The information as to the Sagdlirmii;t is yet 
more scanty than that relating to the inhabitants of Piling. Parry 
learned that Sagdlirn is about east-northeast of Iglulik (II, p. 549). 
The description which I received on Davis Strait confirms this opin- 
ion, for the direction was denoted as qaningnang, i. e., east-north- 
east; besides, Sagdlirn was described as a long and narrow island. 


A remarkable difference exists between the customs of the western 
tribes who live on the continent of America and those of the tribes 
that inhabit Baffin Land and Melville Peninsula. This is chiefly 


due to the difference in tlie nature of tlieir territorial surroundings 
and to the i^resence of the musk ox, which they frequently hunt. 
In addition, the tribes of the continent do not hunt the seal in the 
winter, laying uja instead their supply of meat and blubber in the 
fall. The information in regard to two of these tribes is quite com- 
plete, as they have been visited by explorers frequently and at all 
seasons. The two tribes referred to are the Aivillirmiut, of the 
northwestern jmrt of Hudson Bay, and the Netchillirmiiit of Boothia 
Felix. Unfortunately the information in respect to the others, the 
Kinipetu or Agutit, the Sinimiut, Ugjulirmiut, and Ukusiksalir- 
niiut, is less complete. 

The Airilliviniui. — In order to describe the mode of life of the 
Aivillirmiut I shall give an abstract of Dr. John Rae's observations in 
18-t(;-'47 and 1854-'55, of C. F. Hall's life with these natives from 1864 
to 1809, and of Lieut. F. Schwatka"s residence among them from 1877 
to 1879. A pretty correct idea of the migrations and favorite resorts 
of this tribe at the different seasons may be obtained from the jour- 
nals of these travelers. 

When Rae arrived in Repulse Bay in the latter part of July, 181C, 
he met with twenty-six natives who were deer hunting among the 
numerous lakes of Rae Isthmiis (I. pp. 35, 40, 48). Another part of 
the tribe had resorted to Akugdlit, where they hunted the musk os. 
near Point Hargrave (I, p. 49). Committee Bay (Akugdlit) was filled 
with a heavy pack about that time, and the natives hunted walrus 
in their kayaks (I, p. 58). Wherever they killed a deer or musk ox 
they made deposits of the meat and carefully put up the walrus 
blubber in sealskin bags for use during the winter. When, about 
the end of September, the deer were migrating southward and new 
ice was forming on the lakes, the natives settled in the center of that 
I^art of the coiintry which had been their hunting ground during 
the Slimmer, in order to be near their depots. For this reason they 
were well scattered all over the country, some establishing their 
tents on the lakes of the isthmus, others staying on the shore of Re- 
pulse Bay, where large deposits of deer meat and blubber had been 
made. During the winter most of the natives gathered iii one set- 
tlement east of Fort Hoi^e (near Aivillik), whence they started to 
bring in their deposits. About the 20th of February they scattered 
all over the bay (I, p. 91), but it is doubtful whether they did this in 
order to be nearer their depots or to go sealing. In Mai'cli the first 
deer of the season were seen (I, p. 93), but it was not until Apiil that 
larger herds passed Repulse Bay on their migration northward (I, jj. 
99). At this time a small sujiply of trout was procured from Chris- 
tie Lake, but it was not sufficient for the support of the natives 
(I. p. 99). Caches of venison were made and frequently visited until 
late in June (p. 106). The sealing had begun in the beginning of May 
(p. 135), when the first animals were seen basking on the ice. But 


the Eskimo were now almost independent of their old food supply. 
When the salmon left the lakes and the deer were roaming among 
the hills the time of plenty was at hand. The salmon creeks were 
visited, deer wei'e caught, and seals pursued on the ice (p. 170). Al- 
though the first deer were caught in traps in May, the principal sea- 
son for deer hunting opened after the breaking up of the ice, when 
they were easily taken while crossing the lakes. 

When Rae wintered the second time in Repulse Bay (ISS'^'SS) he 
was much surprised to find no natives there. They had wintered 
farther south, and did not come to the bay until May, 1855, when 
they could catch seals on the land ice. In 18G4, when Hall arrived 
at Wager River, Repulse Bay was again deserted. This year of 
Hall's stay in Hudson Bay is very instructive, as we learn from his 
account the particulars of the migration of the Aivillirmiut from Nu- 
vung to Repulse Bay. The following facts are taken from his 
journal : 

In June, 1865, a traveling party arrived in Repulse Bay (Hall II, 
p. 177), where numerous deer were met with. Their tents were 
erected on Uglariaq, whence seals were pursued, and they began at 
once to make blubber deposits (p. 179). They were very eager to 
store as much provision as possible, as there was no chance of ob- 
taining a fresh stock at Repulse Bay during the winter. Some of 
the party brought their boats to the floe edge in order to follow the 
seal and walrus, which were swimming in the water or lying on the 
drifting ice in great numbers, while others preferred sledging on the 
land floe and shooting the basking seals (p. 181). After the break- 
ing up of the ice, whales were seen, and kayaks and boats were made 
ready for their pursuit. In September most of the natives returned 
to North Pole Lake to hunt deer at the lower narrows (p. 202), where 
the meat was deposited for winter use (p. 204). 

On the 19th of October the last deer was killed (p. 205), and most 
of the natives returned to the bay. They located at Naujan, the men 
in the party numbering 4.3 (p. 21G). During the winter no kind of 
hunt was kept up, only a few salmon and trout being caught in the 
lakes (p. 210). Towards the latter part of March the settlement was 
broken up and its members scattered for the purpose of hunting and 
fishing (p. 237). Salmon were caught in North Pole Lake and deer 
shot in the narrow passes (p. 227). The sealing did not begin until 
the first of April (p. 239). In the summer, deer, seal, walrus, and sal- 
mon were caught in great alnmdance. In the following years the 
mode of life was about the same, but it may be remarked that in Au- 
gust the natives lived at Pitiktaujang and afterwards went to Lyon 
Inlet (Maluksilaq) to hunt deer (p. .■32.3). Part of them returned to 
Repulse Bay. where walrus were caught on the drifting ice during 
September. In the ensuing winter (1807-'(i8) 55 natives had gathered 
in a village about twenty miles east of Fort Hope (p. 333), where they 


lived on the stores deposited during the preceding summer. After the 
breaking up of the ice they succeeded in killing several whales, which 
afforded an amjile supply of meat and bhibber (jj. 363). Subsequently, 
they hunted deer west of Repulse Bay (p. 364) and near Lyon Inlet, 
where probably the greater part of the families had staid since the 
previous year. 

In November. Hall found near the head of this inlet a number 
of natives who came to Repiilse Bay towards the end of the year, 
having heard that a whale had been taken there. By this addition 
the village of Repulse Bay suddenly increased in population to 120 
inhabitants (p. 3G0). This was the only winter in which the natives 
began sealing in January (yj. 371). In March they built their huts 
upon the ice and scattered early in the spring for sealing and catch- 
ing salmon. 

From these reports and some more general accounts of these trav- 
elers, an idea can be formed of the mode of life of this jjart of the 
Aivillirmiut diiring the different seasons. In the spring, when the 
seals commence to bask ujjon the ice, the tents are established on the 
floe of Repulse Bay, the large winter settlements being broken up 
into a number of smaller ones. During this season they begin to 
store away blubber, which is carefully put into sealskin bags. Be- 
sides, reindeer are killed in the deer passes. In July a great number 
of the natives leave the ice and resort to the salmon rivers, where an 
abundant supply of food is secured, but the sealing is also continued 
until the breaking iip of the ice. At this time of the year (i. e., in 
August), walrus and seal are taken in large numbers, and thus an 
ample stock of provisions for winter i;se is collected. In some sea- 
sons a few whales are caiight and stored away at once. In Sej)tem- 
ber, most of the natives move to the lakes or rivers, particularly 
North Pole Lake, to hunt deer as well as the musk ox on the hills. 
Other favorite localities for deer hunting are west of Repiilse Bay 
or near Lyon Inlet. Large deposits of venison are made, and when 
the deer go south the natives settle in the center of their summer's 
hunting ground, building their snow houses on the lakes in order to 
have a suj^ply of water near at hand. About January most of them 
gather in one settlement, which is established at Uglariaq. Naujan, 
or Inugsulik. Those who come from Lyon Inlet do not always join 
the Repulse Bay tribe, but may be ' identical with Parry's Winter 
Island Eskimo, who move to the bay south of Lyon Inlet in winter. 
They go sealing in winter only in case of need, for the hunt seems 
to be unproductive, and they subsist on the stores deposited during 
the preceding summer. Towards the latter half of March the settle- 
ments are broken up and some of the natives go to the lakes to fish 
for trout and salmon, while others begin the sealing. 

Another winter station of the Aivillirmii^t is Akugdlit. which, 
however, has never been as important as Aivillik itself. Rae found 


some families here in Aiigust, 18-46. They liunted the musk ox on 
the western shore of the bay. and later in the season, upon the pack 
ice which filled the sea, they hunted the walrus (Rae I, p. 08). They 
rejiorted that the bay was very unfa^'orable for any kind of cliase, 
as it is usually filled with closely packed ice, which prevents the 
visits of animals and endangers the boats of the natives (p. 49). In 
July the salmon creeks of Akugdlit (Committee Bay) were visited 
by these families, who extended their hunting ground from Colville 
Bay to the most northern parts of Melville Peninsula (p. 145). Ac- 
cording to Hall a number of families live here at times. They were 
in the habit of staying at Repulse Bay during the early part of the 
summer and went to Akiigdlit in the autumn to hunt the musk ox 
and deer. In the winter they transferred their deposits of blubber 
from Aivillik across the lakes to their settlement. Probably these 
families retui-ned to Rej^ulse Bay about the first of March, at wliich 
timetheir deposits were always exhausted (Hall II, p. 383). In some 
seasons the natives journey much farther south, that is, to the coim- 
try between C&pe Fullerton and Wager River. Klutschak's report 
upon this subject, wliich is extracted from his observations during 
Schwatka"s search for the Franklin records, will be found tolerably 
correct (Deutsche Rundschau fiir Geographie und Statistik, III, 1881, 
p. 422). The report contains the following statement: 

In the spring of every year these Eskimo live on the land floe of Hudson Bay, at 
some distance from the point where the tides and winds carry the pack ice past the 
shore. Here is the favorite feeding place of the walrus, and the Eskimo confine 
themselves to the pursuit of this animal. They settle near one of the numerous 
islands situated near th