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Full text of "On the remains of later prehistoric man obtained from caves in the Catherina Archipelago, Alaska Territory, and especially from the caves of the Aleutian Islands"

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SMITHSONIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE. 

318 



ON THE 



REMAINS OF LATER PRE-HISTORIC MAN 



OBTAINED FROM 



CAVES IN THE CATHERINA ARCHIPELAGO, ALASKA TERRITORY, 



AND ESPECIALLY FKOM THE 



CAVES OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 



BY 

W. H. DALL. 

LI B K A li V 

UN I V Ki:s I TV OF 

( Ai.it* !i> X- 



WASHINGTON CITY: 

PUBLISHED BY THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. 

1878. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



THE following description of the contents of a burial cave, discovered in the 
Aleutian Islands, and generously presented to the National Museum by the 
Alaska Commercial Company of California, has been prepared by the author at 
the request of the Smithsonian Institution. It is believed that the record of all 
the facts in regard to this collection will have an especial value, from the proba 
bility that these remains are not likely to be duplicated, and, even in the region 
from which they come, were, at the time of their collection, unique in the 
excellent state of their preservation. With this account of them the author has 
incorporated such notes, derived from his observation and experience among the 
Aleuts and other people of kindred stock, as might serve to explain doubtful 
questions in regard to the objects collected, or their uses or modes of manu 
facture ; much of which he believes to be now recorded for the first time, and 
which may prove of value to ethnological science. 

JOSEPH HENRY, 

Secretary S. I. 
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, 

Washington, D. ., January, 1876. 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 



THAT great series of islands extending from the mouth of Cook s Inlet to the 
end of the Aleutian chain, and perhaps properly including the Commander s 
Islands, was named by Forster, in 1786, the Catherina Archipelago, in honor of 
Catherine the Great, Empress of all the Russias, to whose enlightenment and 
liberality the explorations in that quarter were largely due. 

The chain between Lon. 163 and 188 W. of Greenwich bears the general 
name of the Aleutian Islands, from the term Aleuts, applied by the Russians 
to their original inhabitants. 

East of Lon. 103 the various groups have local names, of which the more 
important are the Shumagin Islands, the Semidi Islands, the Kadiak group, and 
the Barren Islands. 

The entire Archipelago is, or has been, inhabited by tribes of the Eskimo 
stock. These are naturally divided into two groups : I, the Kaniag muts, or 
typical Eskimo tribes, and, II, the Aleiits, or Aleutian Islanders. 

The Kaniag muts, in language and physique, in implements and weapons, and 
in manners, arc hardly distinguishable from those of the Western Eskimo, who 
inhabit the coast lands of the continent, from the Kusilvak mouth of the Yukon 
River to Cook s Inlet. The differences now existing are due to original local 
peculiarities, common to each individual assemblage of settlements of any 
aboriginal stock ; and to the greater pressure of civilization which circumstances 
have brought to bear on them during the last three quarters of a century. 

They are described by the earliest voyagers as independent in character, long 
resisting the efforts of traders to subdue them and of missionaries to christianize 
them ; as sharing with the other Eskimo of that region, uncleanly habits, sensual 
practices, a belief in Shamanism, extreme facility in the use of the skin canoe or 
kyak, and great powers of endurance. To these they united certain peculiar 
superstitions, which indicate a passage from typical Eskimo animism toward the 
more differentiated and still more peculiar notions entertained by the Aleutians. 
The intercourse of the Kaniag muts with the latter people was greatly interfered 
with by the hostilities usual to adjacent and dissimilar aborigines in all parts of 
the world, and especially by the differences in their dialects. There is reason to 

i 



2 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

believe, however, that a certain amount of inter-tribal commerce always existed 
between them. After the advent of the Russians, hostilities were put a stop to ; 
the extensive transportation of both Aleiits and Kaniag muts from place to place 
within the territory previously divided between them, and the effects of civiliza 
tion on both, have done much to efface early differences, except those of language. 

We are obliged to follow general usage in applying the name Aleut* (pro 
nounced Aly-oot ) to the tribes inhabiting the region west of the Kaniag muts ; 
although it is a word foreign to their language, and of uncertain origin. It was 
applied to them by the early Russian explorers, and is perhaps an opprobrious 
epithet from some one of the Eastern Siberian dialects. Their own name for 
themselves appears to be UnungTm, but they often follow the Russians in 
styling themselves Aleuts, while asserting that it is not their original name. 
While the comparison of even a limited number of elementary words from their 
vocabulary shows unmistakable evidences of their Eskimo derivation, yet, in 
construction, prefixes and suffixes, and in the majority of ordinary words in their 
language, they differ in a very marked manner from their neighbors and nearest 
relations, the Kaniag miits. The Aleutian language is much richer, and they 
count from one to one hundred thousand by the decimal system, while the 
Kaniag muts reach their limit of numbers at one or two hundred, using five as a 
basis. 

The evidences of the shell heaps are conclusive as to the identity with the con 
tinental Eskimo of the early inhabitants of the islands, as far as implements and 
weapons go ; but their insular habitat, and the changed fauna and climatic con 
ditions under which they existed, gradually modified their habits, and their 
manufactures, of every kind. With these changes, it is probable, the language 
changed. 

Their physiognomy differs somewhat from that of the typical Eskimo, though 
individuals are often seen who could not be distinguished from ordinary Innuit, 
in a crowd of the latter. It is probable that the climate, and almost uninter 
rupted canoe-life, may have much to do with this, and there is no impossibility 
in the hypothesis that occasional shipwrecked Japanese may have contributed to 
modify the Aleutian physique ; though leaving no traces of their language or 

* In a volume entitled Mcmoires ct Obs. Geographiques, etc., by Samuel Engel, (Lausanne, 17G5, 4to,) and con 
taining little else of value, I find some notes, which may perhaps afford a cluo to the dcriviation of this much 
disputed word " Aleut." He gives an extract of a letter from St. Petersburg, which appeared in the Gazette de 
Lcydcn, February 26, 17G5, in which it is stated that the Russian fur traders, east of Asia, had discovered 
inhabited islands in 64 N. Lat. which they called Aleyut. He calls attention to the statement of Muller, to the 
effect that the people of the Diomedes Islands were called by the Chukchi "Achjuch-Aliat," and the adjacent 
coast of America " Kitchin-Aeliat," and suggests that Aliat, or Aoliat, and Aleyut are identical terms. The 
Chukchi word for island is known to be i lQ-fl or co-ltt-S; " kit-chin " meaning great or extensive; hence it would 
seem as if the Russians, after forcing their way into Kamchatka, subsequently to their hostilities with the 
Chukchi, brought with them as a proper name tho general Chukchi term for island, and subsequently applied it to 
the Aleutian Chain and its inhabitants when they were discovered. Much tho same has happened to tho Aleut 
word for continent, now corrupted into Alaska. 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 3 

handicraft among the Islanders. The common notion of the derivation of these 
people from the Japanese by emigration, owes its popularity chiefly to its super 
ficiality, and cannot for a moment be maintained by any one conversant with the 
characteristics of both races. I assign very slight value to traditions, but such 
as they have, imply an Eastern and continental origin. 

In character and mental attributes the Aleiit differs from the Kaniag mut, even 
more than in physique and language. 

Uniting a greater intellectual capacity, with equal (if not superior) facility in 
canoe-navigation and the chase ; the Aleiit in personal independence of character 
is far inferior to his neighbors. How much this has been due to the comparative 
security of their island homes, and how far to the merciless persecution and 
numberless outrages to which they were subjected by the early Russian traders, 
cannot now be determined. It is very evident however that the Russians found 
a great difference at the outset between the Aleuts and Kaniag muts, in this 
respect. 

A perusal of the chronicles of the early trading voyages sufficiently attests 
this. 

There were numerous petty conflicts between the different groups of Aleutian 
Islanders, chiefly arising from disputes in regard to the limits of their hunting 
grounds, and traces of this feeling exist even to the present day, though it is 
many years since any troubles have occurred. But the vindictive and energetic 
conflicts which characterize the disputes between continental Eskimo tribes and 
the Indians, do not appear to have ever been paralleled among the people under 
consideration. 

A discussion of all the characteristics of the two peoples is not within the 
scope of this paper, but some reference to such differences is necessary to a com 
plete comprehension of what follows. 

The Aleuts possessed great endurance, especially in regard to cold ; hospitality 
was one of their prominent traits, as were love of children and deference to the 
aged. They were not uncleanly compared with other wild tribes, and the activity 
of their lives doubtless had something to do with their being less sensual than 
most of the Eskimo. Their form of Shamanism was in many respects peculiar, 
and their rites more complicated and mysterious, than those practiced by any 
other tribes of the same stock as far as we know. It is a matter of constant 
regret that in their earnest propagandism, the early missionaries took every 
means, secular as well as spiritual, of destroying all vestiges of the native beliefs 
and the rites which were practiced in connection with them. No record of them 
is any where preserved with the exception of a few casual allusions scattered 
through various works, relating to the exploration of that region. The little 
that we do know is so interesting that it renders our ignorance of the rest the 
more provoking. During the last eighty years so thoroughly have the natives 



4: CAVE KELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

been drilled into the idea that the ancient rites were wholly infamous and dam 
nable, that it is at present impossible to obtain any information ; even from 
those whose age renders it almost certain that they must know a good deal 
respecting the ancient customs. They have even come to regard their ancestors 
as Pagans, and to attach no reprobation to the ethnologist who may rifle their 
burial places. It is probable that after the Russian rule became tolerably well 
established, some of the more independent spirits among them left the settle 
ments and took to the mountains, or the less frequented portions of the shores of 
the larger islands, and for a time secured a precarious existence. At least I 
refer to some such origin as this, a singular superstition, still current, and firmly 
believed, even by the best educated and most intelligent among them. This is to 
the effect that there are still living among the mountains or on the less fre 
quented coasts, bands of unchristianized people whom they denominate Vay geli. 
These are supposed to be capable of any crime, and to nourish great hostility to 
the Christian natives. 

Very intelligent natives firmly assert that they have seen them. In hard 
seasons they are asserted to visit villages in the night and steal food. If a raven 
carries off an Aleut s fish, hung up to dry, it is referred at once to the Vay geli ; 
and if a native disappears perhaps lost in his kyak in crossing a tide-rip in one 
of the straits he is often supposed to have joined one of the bands of spectral 
outlaws. 

It is almost needless to say that there is no reasonable ground for any such 
belief at present. 

Like most of the Innuit tribes they were fond of dances and festivals, which, 
like those of Norton Sound, were chiefly celebrated in December. Food was 
then plenty, and the other hunting season did not commence till a little later. 
Whole villages entertained other villages, receiving the guests with songs and 
tambourines. Successive dances of children, naked men beating their rude 
drums, and women curiously attired, were followed by incantations from the 
Shamans. If a whale was cast ashore, the natives assembled with joyous and 
remarkable ceremonies. They advanced and beat drums of different sizes. The 
carcass was then cut up and a feast held on the spot. The dances had a 
mystic significance. Some of the men were dressed in their most showy attire 
and others danced naked in large wooden masks which came down to their 
shoulders and represented various sea animals. 

They had religious dances and festivals in December. During these, tempo 
rary images, made of wood or stuffed skins, were carried from island to island 
and strange ceremonies, of which we have only dim traditions, were performed 
in the night. Hundreds of women, wearing masks, were said to have danced 
naked in the moonlight ; men being rigidly excluded, and punished even with 
death on intrusion. The men had similar dances. An idea prevailed, that while 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 5 

these mystic rites were going on a spirit or power descended into the idol. To see 
it, when thus occupied, entailed death or misfortune, hence they wore large masks 
carved from drift-wood, supported by a band behind the head and a crpssjbar held 
in the teeth. These had holes so cut, generally in the nostrils of the mask, that 
they could not see anything before or above them, but only the ground about 
their feet. After the dances were over, images and masks alike were destroyed. 
In further illustration of the same idea, the dead, supposed to have gone to meet 
the spirits in another sphere, had one of these placed over the face for requisite 
protection beyond the grave. 

The methods of burial among the Aleiits, at the advent of the Russians, were 
as follows : 

Poor persons were wrapped in their clothes, or in mats, and laid under some 
over-hanging rock, with a mask over their faces. A little drift-wood was some 
times placed under the body, but very rarely any weapons or implements. 
Often, to enclose the bodies, a sort of artificial cave was made by building up a 
wall of rough stones outside the bodies, until the face of the over-hanging rock 
was reached ; when the wall was closed over with earth and turf. 

This sort of burial was noticed by me in several localities. On the island of 
Amakna k, close to Iliuliuk Harbor, Unalashka, a number of places were dis 
covered where such burials had been made. No implements were found in them, 
except one bone arrow with its shaft and some fragments of masks. There was 
usually some coarse matting, or sea-lion skin, about the bones, the remains of the 
original wrapper. The bodies appeared to have lain at full length on their backs. 
The bones were usually much injured by falling fragments of stone from above, 
and the percolation of moisture through the crevices of the rocks. They had 
also been gnawed in many cases by the lemmings indigenous to the islands. 

The same method was also noticed in the islands to the westward, especially at 
the island of Atka, where, on one of the small islets in Nazan Bay, under an 
over-hanging rock, fourteen or fifteen crania were obtained in good condition. 
The other bones were much decayed, and appeared to have been disturbed. A 
pair of ribs were found coossified from the capitulum to the distal extremity, but 
without any sign of disease by which this peculiarity might have been induced. 
The only implement found was a celt, or stone axe of a chisel shape, of a greenish 
slaty stone ; which is remarkable as the only celt found in all the Aleutian 
Islands during four years exploration ; during which time other implements 
were collected by hundreds. 

The crania in this locality were huddled together on the surface and were visi 
ble from a little distance. The natives of the adjacent village believed that these 
skeletons held feasts and festivals, and that on returning to their original shelter 
they did not always take up the position that they had previously occupied. 

The remains of those whom the early inhabitants held in honor, especially 



6 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

wealthy persons having large families, or distinguished by their ability and suc 
cess in the chase, were differently disposed of. 

They were said to eviscerate the bodies through the pelvis ; and then, to 
remove fatty matters, they were placed for some time in running water, and 
afterward taken out and lashed into as compact a form as possible. The knees 
were drawn up to the chin, and the bones were sometimes fractured to facilitate 
the consolidation of the remains, which then were carefully dried. They were 
placed in a sort of wooden frame, with their best clothing and most valuable furs, 
and secured with seal skin or other material so that the package should be as 
nearly water-proof as possible. This frame or coffin was then slung to a hori 
zontal bar supported by two or more uprights, and left hanging in the open air or 
in some rock-shelter. Much grief and continued lamentations occurred after a 
death. These were often evinced by songs composed for the occasion, and the 
natives usually attended the body to its final resting place, in an irregular pro 
cession, beating drums or tambourines, and uttering loud cries. It is related that 
the mothers sometimes placed the body of a deceased infant in a carefully carved 
wooden box. This was often kept for a long time near them in the yourt, where 
the mother would watch it with the greatest tenderness, wiping away the mould 
and adorning it with such ornaments as she could procure. Implements or 
weapons were rarely or never placed in the case with the body, though occasion 
ally a wooden dish or kantag 7 containing food, was inserted. But about the 
bodies, or their envelopes, utensils, and carvings were often deposited in large 
numbers. The cases containing the remains of infants were suspended from 
wooden arches, of which the ends were inserted in the ground, and these were 
usually placed under some rock-shelter. 

It will be observed that in this paper I refer only to the methods in use among 
these people about the time of their discovery, a century and a quarter ago, and 
not to the more ancient usages which preceded them, of which we obtained many 
evidences which may properly find a place with the records of our observations 
on the shell heaps, in another paper. These included other forms of burial 
beside those now mentioned, though the caves were frequently used for the pur 
pose. It is proper to remark also that the civilized form of burial, in the earth, 
has obtained among them since their conversion to Christianity, a period of some 
eighty years. 

Still another method of disposing of the dead is noticed by the early voyagers. 

The natives, especially in their winter villages, were used to construct large, 
half under-ground habitations, often of extraordinary size. These were so 
arranged by internal partitions as to afford shelter to as even as many as one 
hundred families. No fires were built in the central undivided portion, which 
was entered through a hole in the roof, provided with a notched log by way of 
ladder. In the small compartments each family had its own oil lamp, which, 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 7 

with the closely-fitting door of skins, and the heat of numerous bodies in a very 
small space, sufficed to keep them warm. We learn that the bodies, while being 
prepared for encasement, as above described, were sometimes kept in the com 
partment which they had occupied during life until ready for deposition else 
where. We also know from early accounts, proved true by our own excavations, 
that the bodies of the dead, in the compressed position before mentioned, were 
sometimes placed in the compartment, laid on their sides, and covered with earth 
with which the whole compartment was filled and then walled up. It is stated 
that others in the same yourt continued to occupy their several compartments 
after this, as usual, a proceeding very different from that of the majority of the 
Innuit, who usually abandon at once a house in which a death has occurred. 

This is only one of several facts which show that the Aleuts did not feel that 
repugnance to, or fear of, the dead which is generally characteristic of tribes of 
that stock. In our excavations at the head of Uhlakhta Spit, Amaknak Id, 
Unalashka, we found in the remains of an old yourt several skeletons so 
interred. 

It is an interesting and pregnant fact that, as we examine the prehistoric 
deposits in the order of their age, among the Aleutian Islands we invariably find 
that the older they are, the more the relics and evidences of customs approxi 
mate to the typical continental Eskimo type ; and also that in the earliest historic 
times, customs were still in vogue among the Kaniag rnuts that had already 
passed away among the Aleuts, (though formerly practiced, as evinced by the 
remains in early deposits in caves and shell heaps,) and that those customs, or 
some of them, still obtain among the northern and western Innuit, though now 
extinct among the Kaniag muts. The gradual differentiation, from the typical 
Eskimo to the Aleutian type, is thus clearly set forth in an unmistakable 
manner. 

Another modification of the cave burial, appertaining more particularly to the 
Kaniag muts, but also practiced by the Eastern Aleuts adjacent to the Kaniag 1 - 
mut tribes, will be more properly considered with the usages of the latter people 
further on. 

From the present priest of Unalashka, a tolerably well educated and very 
intelligent man, himself a native Aleiit, many details in regard to localities and 
customs were obtained in 1871. 

He informed us that in the Island of Adakh, caves and rock-shelters were in 
use by the early natives for burial purposes, and that the reports of hunters con 
firmed the existence at the present day of some of these remains, with masks 
and other articles in their proximity. 

During my visit to Adakh in 1873, I was unable, for want of a guide, to con 
firm this ; though I have no doubt of its truth. We found evidences, however, 
of an earlier and different form of burial. 



8 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

We discovered in that year at Constantino Harbor, Amchitka Island, a skele 
ton interred in the earth, together with the remains of a small iron celt and some 
old fashioned beads, showing that this interment was subsequent to the Russian 
advent ; though at the time of our visit the island had been uninhabited for 
nearly forty years. 

On the island of Unalashka, at Chernoffsky Harbor, some years ago there still 
existed remains accompanied by masks and carvings in rock-shelters near the 
village. There was also a unique wooden tomb, constructed and carved with the 
ancient stone implements, in a very careful and elaborate manner, with the door 
so hung on wooden pins that it might be raised and the contents viewed, and by 
its own gravity would close itself on being released. In this tomb were the 
remains of a noted hunter, a toyon of eminence among the natives, surrounded 
by an enormous store of sea otter skins, garments, &c., all then in good preser 
vation. 

Since that time this tomb is said to have been rifled by an agent of one of the 
trading companies, and to have fallen into complete decay. 

The most celebrated of these burial caves was situated on the island of 
Kaga mil, one of the group known as the Islands of the Four Mountains, or 
Four Craters. This group is not at present inhabited, except for a short period 
during the hunting season of each year. 

I visited these islands in 1873, but as the shores are precipitous, and there are 
no harbors, the weather was too boisterous to permit us to remain in the vicinity. 
Even if we had landed, it is probable that we could have done little without a 
guide. 

The traders in the islands were aware of the existence of this cave and its con 
tents, and one of them, Capt. E. Hennig, of the Alaska Commercial Company s 
service, had several times attempted to reach it unsuccessfully. 

In 1874, however, the weather being quite calm, and the presence of a hunting 
party, which he was taking away from the island, enabling him to find the cave 
without delay, he visited it and removed all the contents, so far as is known. 
On their arrival at San Francisco, the company, (who had instructed their agents 
to procure such material for scientific purposes when compatible with the execu 
tion of their regular employment,) with commendable liberality, forwarded them 
to the National Museum at Washington. Two of the mummies were given to the 
California Academy of Sciences, but all the rest were received by the Smithsonian 
Institution. It is unfortunate that but few details were obtained as to the exact 
disposition of the bodies, or mummies, in the cave; the situation and form of the 
latter, and other particulars which would have had great interest. From accounts 
received from Father Innokcnti Shayesnikoff, previously, I am led to infer that 
the cave is situated near the shore at a point where the coast is precipitous 
and without a beach, the landing being on large, irregularly broken fragments of 
rock, the talus from the cliffs above. 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 9 

The island contains active volcanoes, as I am informed, and in the immediate 
vicinity of the cave arc solfataras, from which steam constantly arises, and the 
soil is said to be warm to the touch. The rock is of a whitish and ferruginous 
color and sharp grain. Specimens examined by Dr. Endlich, of the Smithsonian 
Institution, prove to be a siliceous sinter, containing a little alumina and soda, 
and some hydrous scsquioxide of iron. In the spectroscope traces of lithium 
and potassium and, possibly, a trace of lime were seen. 

From this, and from the fact that the atmosphere of the cave is said to have 
been quite hot, rendering it uncomfortable to remain in, it is possible that the 
cave itself may be the crater of a small extinct solfatara. 

With regard to the age of these mummies, as they may be styled, I was 
informed, in 1871, by several of the more intelligent natives, that they fixed the 
date of the earliest interment in the following manner : It occurred in the 
autumn or winter. During the following spring the first Russians ever seen by 
the natives of the Four Craters, arrived in the vicinity. These may have been 
Trapesnikoff s party, which left Kamchatka in 1758, but did not reach Umnak 
until 1760 ; or they may have been that of the infamous Pushkareff ; or possibly 
of Maxim Lazeroff ; but, in any case, they can hardly have been the expedition 
of Bering. In 1757 Ivan Nikifcroff sailed as far east as Umnak, being the first 
Russian to do so ; except those of Bering s Expedition, who did not land on any 
of the Andreanoff group ; though in 1741 they saw the shores of numerous 
indeterminate islands from a distance. The earliest date therefore which we can 
assign to these remains would be 1756, making the oldest of them about one 
hundred and twenty years old. 

At all events they possess great interest as the best preserved relics of the 
state of things as they existed immediately prior to the Russian occupation, and 
when their pursuits and handiwork had not been modified by the introduction of 
any of the adjuncts of civilization. 

The tradition regarding these particular remains was noted by me from the 
account of the Rev. Father Innokenti, and the same account was reduced to 
writing by him, and forwarded with the mummies to the Smithsonian Insti 
tution. 

A translation of it is herewith given : 

" On the island of Kagamil lived a distinguished toyon, a rich man, by name 
Kat-haya-Koochak. He was a very small man, but very active ahd enterpris 
ing, and hence much respected, and even feared by the natives of the adjacent 
region. He had a son 13 or 14 years old, whom he fondly loved. He built him 
a little bidarka (or skin canoe) and painted it handsomely. When the bidarka 
was done the son begged earnestly to be allowed to try the boat on the sea. 
After much urging the father permitted him to go with the injunction not to go 
far from the shore. The father himself assisted the son, and saw him safely 
launched from the beach into the water, and then went to his yourt or barra- 

2318 



10 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

bora and watched the boy lest he should go too far from the shore. The boy 
saw on the sea a diving bird, (diver,) followed it, and shot at it with his arrow. 
The diver retreated further and further from the shore. The father saw him 
(the boy) getting farther away, and shouted to him, but the child could not hear 
him ; and as it was getting dark the father presently could not distinguish the 
boy any longer, and returned home. The boy went further and further until 
finally he perceived that he could not distinguish the island from which he came, 
and that he was far from home. He turned toward the shore, paddling slowly, 
admiring his boat as he went, until he was not far from the beach, when he 
heard some one coming after him. He increased his speed, but did not gain on 
the pursuer who began to throw arrows at him. The boy did not know who the 
person was. On another island lived an Aleut, whose wife was the boy s sister; 
but as the Aleutian custom was, this Aleiit did not take her to his own island, 
but often visited her. This evening, as usual, he was going to his wife, he saw a 
little bidarka with a child in it, and pursued it to find out who it was, and dis 
covered that it was his wife s little brother. He admired the swiftness of the 
boat and the skill of the boy, but continued to throw arrows at him with the 
intention of frightening him, and threw one so carelessly that it struck the boy s 
paddle, and he, losing his balance, was overturned. The brother-in-law soon 
came up with the boy, and endeavored to right the canoe, but without success, 
and so the little brother was drowned. The Aleiit wept over him, and thought 
at first of abandoning the boy s body where it was, but finally towed the boat to 
the shore near the boy s own island, and left it in a mass of kelp so that it might 
not drift to sea ; but fearing the anger of the father, he went away without hav 
ing seen his beloved wife. This was in October or November. Morning came, 
and the boat was discovered in the kelp ; and they told the father, Kat-haya- 
koochak, who sent out to see what it was, and they went and brought it back. 
The father recognized his son s canoe, which he had built in the previous winter 
and summer. 

"What could be done? He wept and lamented over the boy, remembering 
the love and care he had bestowed upon him, and directed the body to be brought 
into the casime, (largest house of the village,) called Ulagamak, and dressed in 
his handsomest parka and placed in the place of honor. He ordered that no one 
should make any festivity, no tambourines were to be beaten or singing done. 
He sent out to all his friends to say that he, his son, had been drowned, and that 
they should come to the funeral. On hearing this, the people of the Four Craters 
immediately repaired to the island of Kagamil. When they had arrived, Kat- 
hay-a-koochak commenced to prepare for the funeral of his son. When all was 
ready, and the day began, he ordered him to be taken to the old burying place, 
according to the Aleiit custom, with songs, lamentations, and beating of (the 
Aleiit) tambourines, in company with all the assembled natives, which was done. 
Among the people was also the sister of the dead boy, who was about to have a 
child. A stone lay across the path, which all had to pass in going to the burying 
place. There was a good deal of snow on the ground, partly melted by the 
warm weather. The sister, who was walking with the father behind the corpse 
with her face covered and constantly weeping, and was barefooted, in carelessly 
stepping on the stone, slipped, and fell on her back, bringing on a premature 
delivery and fatally injuring herself; dying very soon afterward. What could 
Kat-hay-a-koochak do ? He went out to bury one, and, instead, had three to 
bury his son, daughter, and grandson. He stopped the procession and had his 
son brought back to the house (barrabora) and gave orders for the funeral of his 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 11 

daughter and grandson, but did not know Avhcre to put them, for the season was 
late, snowy, and very cold. So he gave orders to the people to clear out his 
" cache " (or receptacle for provisions) which was in a cave near the village. He 
had all his property brought out of it, had the bodies covered with wooden 
boards, which he ornamented with colors, and then placed son, daughter, and 
grandson in the cave, with lamentations, singing, and beating tambourines, as he 
had at first intended. He had also the little bidarka placed with his son, and 
everything belonging to it paddles, arrows, &c., and many sea-otter and fur-seal 
skins, and other articles. He then brought out all that he had, and told the 
assembled people to cat and drink as much as they liked, while he, Kat-hay-a- 
koochak, without ceasing, wept and lamented for his family. 

"After the ceremonies he told the people that he intended to make a mausoleum 
of this cave for his whole family, and that he wished to be placed there himself, 
and desired that his wishes be exactly complied with. 

." Soon after Kat-hay-a-koochak himself died of grief for his family, and was 
placed in this cave according to his desires ; with all his wealth, such as sea otter 
and fur seal skins, household goods, wooden dishes, arrows, spears, and other 
weapons. All of his family that were left behind him were buried in the same 
cave. And this is the end of the recitation of the name and accomplishments of 
the distinguished chief, Kat-hay-a-koochak. 

" Since then the island of Kagamil has became uninhabited by Alciits, and the 
bodies have been undisturbed until this year (1874.) And these bodies, probably, 
according to the saying of the older Alciits, were placed there about 1720 to 
1730, so that those first buried in the cave must have lain there 144-154 years."* 



CONTENTS OF THE CAVE. 

The case (17478) on which the most care and work had evidently been spent, 
was naturally supposed to be that of the old chief or his son. It was opened 
with great care and careful notes of the disposition of the envelopes, were taken 
on the spot. In describing the manner in which the body was encased, I have 
preferred to follow the operation in the manner in which it was originally per 
formed, rather than the reverse order in which the unpacking was done. 

The body was placed in a sitting posture with the knees drawn up, slightly 
inclined toward the right side. The major portion of the tissues and muscles 
had crumbled into fine dust. The skin, however, remained intact, to some 
extent, over the limbs, with the exception of the hands and feet. We did not 
uncover the remains sufficiently to determine whether anything had been 
inserted into the visceral cavity, as to do so would have risked destroying the 
continuity of the body entirely. The cranium was still covered with the parch 
ment-like remains of the scalp, to which black coarse hair, about six inches long, 
still adhered. No signs of the tonsure were visible. The bones of the face were 
quite uncovered, and somewhat separated. The lower jaw was separated at the 
symphysis, and the frontal bone had sustained an apparently post-mortem 



* See previous remarks in relation to the probable ago of tho deposit. 



12 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

fracture. The sutures were tolerably well closed, except those of the lower part 
*-"-of the face, the supra-orbital ridges were very slightly marked, the forehead was 
high and not sloping ; the styloid processes were remarkably long and slender, 
and the whole skull exhibited a remarkable tenuity, being quite translucent, and 
thinner, on the whole, than any other adult cranium I have ever examined. The 
skull exhibited the usual Eskimo characteristics, of a well marked longitudinal 
median ridge, and somewhat pyramidal form, but was unusually well shaped, 
though not of as great capacity as many crania of the same race which have 
passed through my hands. The teeth were but little worn, and the whole 
appearance of the remains indicated that they were those of a nearly adult 
male ; from which we may reasonably infer that they could not have been those 
of the old chief or his son, as related in the tradition, unless the boy was older 
than the story states. 

Passing up from behind the shoulders over the head and down upon the breast 
was a strip (17469) of very fine grass matting which must have taken many 
months to manufacture. The mesh is one peculiar, so far as I have observed, to 
the western Eskimo and Aleiits, which, when compactly woven, gives a twilled 
appearance to the fabric, and will be more fully described further on. The 
pattern consisted in transverse stripes, somewhat raised above the general level, 
and which comprised two or three stitches only in width. This matting, it should 
be observed, is made of the fibre of an Elymus (which is treated as we treat hemp 
or flax to obtain the fibre) and not of the crude grass itself. The raised stripes 
are made of the outer coat of the straw, instead of the macerated fibre which 
forms the body of the fabric, and were originally colored red, while it may be 
supposed that the rest was of the normal straw color. The stripes are about 
three-eighths of an inch apart in the middle of the mat, the interspaces gradually 
widening to an inch and a quarter toward the edges. At intervals of an inch 
and a half, transversely to the stripes, are inserted rows of small tufts, composed 
of feathers (perhaps of the Leucosticte, as they appear red) and of fine deer 
hairs, which are much used by the Eskimo for ornamental purposes. These are 
taken from between the hoofs of the reindeer, and are of a different texture from 
the hair of the rest of the animal. They appear to issue from the scent or oil 
glands which are situated there. I have often noticed the natives saving these 
small tufts, which are articles of trade among them. The tufts of the puffin 
(Mormon cirrhata) or the light white feathers which appear on the cormorants 
during the breeding season are also used for the same purpose, but are less 
highly valued, being much more easily worn out. 

The edges of the mat were woven to make a selvage border and further sewed 
over and over with a twisted thread of two strands of sinew, which had origi 
nally fastened on a narrow strip of parchment, made from the oesophagus of the 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 13 

seal, colored red. Fragments of this still adhered to the border. In this mat 
there were about thirty strands to the inch of weft and twenty-five of warp. 

The whole body was next wrapped up in another mat of coarser texture, but 
more intricate pattern, which was strongly stitched together in front with finely 
divided whalebone or baleen. (17470.) 

This mat had both longitudinal and transverse stripes. The central trans 
verse stripe was composed of a single series of one black and two straw-colored 
stitches or threads, on each side of which were four rows of red stitches, and out 
side of these, on each side, another row like the central one, and lastly, a single 
row of red stitches -sewed into the fabric, which last kind were in all cases of the 
external portion of the grass, somewhat elevated above the rest of the fabric. 
On each then followed an interspace of plain matting about an inch wide, then 
three lines of red stitches separated from the interspace by a single row on each 
side of alternate black and white stitches, then another interspace divided from 
the next by another variation of the pattern of the stripe, composed of the same 
kinds of stitch, and so on to the border, where there was a chequered selvage 
edge, with tails or strips of seal skin sewed on at the end of the stripes. 
Longitudinally, the stripes are crossed by wide bands, in which the ordinary 
threads are more or less chequered with black, and this chequered band is 
bordered with a pair of stout black threads on each side. Where these last cross 
the transverse red stripes, the red is replaced by ordinary yellow fibre disposed 
in the form of a cross in some cases, but the pattern is varied at different inter 
sections. In this mat there were eleven double woof-threads to sixteen the other 
way. The package which had been thus formed was then put into a fine parka, 
(17471,) or long shirt, of bird skins ; the neck and lower portion and arms being 
tightly tied up so that the contents were enclosed in a close sack. The feathers 
were innermost, as they are usually worn, and the outer side (being the inner 
side of the skins) was painted red with red oxide of iron. The skins were those 
of the puffin (M. cirrhata,) which is, with the murre, almost the only species used 
for the purpose. The feathers of these birds are less liable to come out than 
those of other species, hence the preference. There is also, as a rule, less fat on 
the inner side of the skins, by reason of which they are more easily dressed. In 
this case the feathers were still firmly attached and the skins still in good 
condition. 

The outer side of this parka was ornamcntqcl by a band or yoke passing over 
the shoulders and completely across in front. The lower edge of this was orna 
mented with a fine long fringe, and, at intervals, long slender strips of sea otter 
fur were inserted as pendants. The seams, also, were all quadruple, the edges 
of the skin turned back and fine strips of hair seal skin inserted, three-sixteenths 
of an inch wide, with the hair cut evenly, as short as possible. 

To describe in detail the wonderfully fine work contained in the ornamental 



14 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

yoke, above mentioned, would take a very large amount of space, and, I fear, 
give but a very inadequate idea of it even then. It needs to be carefully studied 
to be appreciated. In order to give some notion of it it is necessary to describe 
the materials used in similar but less delicate work by the Innuit of Norton 
Sound. These ornamental bands are commonly used by all tribes of the Eskimo 
stock, though none approach in perfection that work done by the early Aleuts. 
Something similar, but of a totally different style, is used by the Tinneh Indians, 
whose material is restricted to deer skin, moose hair, and porcupine quills. The 
Innuit girl, for her work bag, requires the skin of the cod, or other smooth- 
skinned fish, stretched and dried, which presents somewhat such an appearance 
as grey marbled paper. Next, the skin of the young hair-seal, scraped and 
dressed very thin, and made as white as possible. Part of this has the hair cut 
evenly and closely till it is not longer than the pile of silk velvet. Another part 
is entirely deprived of the hair, and is as white as fine kid. Then of the gullet 
of the same seal is made a stout parchment, either white or yellow, or frequently 
colored red, black, or green with native pigments : oxide of iron, charcoal and 
oil, and a green mould found in decaying birch wood (Peziza.) Then the skin of 
fur animals is taken, and, while the soft fur is untouched, the inside, after being 
dressed, is colored as above ; a narrow strip thus forming a pretty fringe. The 
white belly, throat, and leg patches of the reindeer, in summer, are carefully 
selected for those parts with the whitest and finest hair, which is cut to a uniform 
shortness. With these, and plenty of whale or deer sinew for making thread, 
and with needles, her repertory is nearly complete. These articles are cut in 
narrow strips ; the finer the work the narrower must be the strip, or they may be 
made, by cutting into little squares, into a chequered pattern ; and even here the 
ornamentation does not stop, for in the seam itself are frequently inserted 
feathers or deer hairs, such as have been previously described. Very few 
civilized work-women could rival the finer kinds of this work, even with the 
most delicate needles, and when we recollect that the ancient Aleiit women 
worked with awls formed of bird s bones, ground on a stone, the delicacy and 
minuteness of their stitches becomes more wonderful still. In the present 
case the yoke is an inch wide, exclusive of the fringe, and one of the strips is a 
quarter of an inch in width, leaving for the twelve other strips, of which it is 
composed, (and which are to be distinguished only by the aid of a glass,) scarcely 
more than six-hundredths of an inch each. Two of these strips are further 
ornamented, one being black with white reindeer hair stitches so intersected as 
to form a succession of small white crosses on a black ground ; the other with 
the intersections of the white stitches at the upper edge, instead of the middle, 
forming a continuous zigzag line on a red base. The order of the strips, 
reckoning from above, is as follows : 1, finely trimmed hair-seal with the hair on, 
but cut to five-hundredths of an inch in length ; 2, red colored parchment ; 3, 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 15 

like No. 1 ; 4, like No. 2 ; 5, black, with white crosses ; 6, red parchment ; 7, like 
No. 1 ; 8, like No. 2 ; 9, quarter inch strip of dark red parchment ; 10, parchment 
of a lighter red ; 11, parchment blackened with something containing shining 
grains, like micaceous oxide of iron ; 12, zigzag line, in white, on red parchment; 
13, strip of hair-seal skin with the hair trimmed as before on its lower half, but 
removed from its upper half, which is colored red. In the seam between these 
last two strips are inserted the filaments of which the fringe is formed. These 
are of young hair-seal skin cut seven inches long and one thirty-second of an 
inch wide. The hair is cut as close as possible, and, at short intervals, removed 
entirely, giving the filament a jointed appearance, like an insect s antenna. At 
the free end a minute portion of the hair is left uncut, forming a little tuft. 
These filaments are inserted in pairs (eighteen to the inch) in the seam, or thirty- 
six in all to the inch. The strips of sea otter skin, with which the neck of the 
parka was trimmed, and also those inserted into the fringe, &c., still retained a 
bright glossy appearance. 

Outside of the bird-skin parka was next placed a strip of tolerably fine 
matting, (17472,) extending from under the back, up over the head, and down 
over the face. A small and exquisitely fine mat, (17474,) about twelve by four 
teen inches, was laid over the breast, and then, from side to side, it was rolled in 
a larger and much coarser mat than any yet mentioned (17473.) 

The face cloth was ornamented with longitudinal black stripes of two or three 
threads each, chequered by the normal straw colored threads of the warp. The 
black stripes were about six inches apart, These were crossed by transverse 
stripes composed of six threads, the two outer pairs red, and the inner pair 
chequered black and white ; and of four threads, the two inner red and the two 
outer chequered alternately, at intervals of two and three-fourths inches. In 
the middle line short tufts of black fibre, on each side of the transverse stripe, 
were introduced, and here, as in other cases, the red threads were replaced by 
white, varying the pattern. It is evident, from careful inspection, that these red 
threads were sewed in after the mat was finished, and not originally woven in. 
They also are not of the fibre of the grass alone, but retain the outer surface of 
the polished straw. The black threads, on the contrary, form part of the 
primitive fabric. Here we have fifteen warp threads and six pairs of woof 
threads to the inch. 

The breast mat is another marvellous specimen of grass weaving. The stripes 
are all transverse to the fabric. There are six principal stripes across the middle 
portion, composed of three inner red, two outer yellow, and two outermost black 
threads of woof. Between each pair of primary stripes is a secondary stripe of 
two red threads enclosing one chequered, with one black and two white stitches, 
alternately. Between the primary and secondary stripes is a tertiary stripe of 
two chequered threads, alternately black and white single stitches, enclosing a 



16 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

single red thread. The six primary and intercalated stripes, with the body of 
the fabric, cover a space of eight inches, arranged at exact intervals. Outside of 
this series, at each end, are three more of the tertiary stripes about an inch 
apart. Longitudinal to the fabric are ten rows of tufts of the crimson-tipped 
feathers from the breast of the gray-necked finch, (Leucosticte griseinucha,) 
mingled with the fine soft deer hairs before mentioned, inserted at the edge of 
the stripes. The middle (secondary) stripe has tufts on each side, pointing 
respectivelytoward the top and bottom of the mat. All the tufts to the stripes 
above it are inserted on the upper side and point to the top of the mat ; and all 
below it are inserted on the lower sides of the stripes and point to the bottom of 
the mat. The lateral edges of the mat have a selvage edge, but, in addition to 
this, to obviate fraying out, the whole was bound with a dark colored strip of 
parchment. Where the tufts join the stripes white threads are inserted into the 
red lines, as in previous cases. There are eighteen threads to the inch longitudi 
nally and twenty-four transversely. 

The outer mat of all is of much coarser texture and of a different mesh from 
the others. Previously the warp-threads have been composed of bundles of 
fibre crossed by similar double woof- threads. The two threads of the woof 
alternately passed above and below the warp-threads, which, in weaving, were 
separated in halves. In one line the adjacent halves of adjacent threads of the 
warp were caught in the twist of the two woof-threads, and in the next the sepa 
rate halves were caught together again, and, this alternation being constant, the 
spaces between the threads, if stretched apart, would be of a lozenge shape. 
The woof-threads, as they crossed each other between the threads of the warp, 
received a single twist. 

In the outer mat, however, the bundles of fibre composing the warp are kept 
constantly intact, and the apertures, therefore, would be rectangular. 

In this mat the only pattern consists of large squares, formed by two or three 
black threads of warp about seven inches apart, and cross lines, of which one of 
the pairs of woof-threads is black ; the other pair, one black and one white ; 
forming a line, one half of which is chequered as the black or white thread 
alternately comes to the top. In this mat there are ten threads of warp and 
three pairs of woof-threads to the inch. 

The body, as now encased, formed an oblong, somewhat irregularly, shaped 
bundle. The case into which it was placed must now be described. 

A stout bar of wood sixteen inches long and about two and a half inches thick, 
with the ane;les rounded off, formed the basis of the structure. Into holes in 

O 

this bar, near each end, were inserted two staves, one of each pair two feet long 
and the other three and a half feet long. 

The long and short rod at each end were put in and lashed with baleen strips 
at an angle of 30 with each other, and also diverging somewhat outward. An 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 17 

clastic strip of wood was then bent so as to make a hoop of somewhat oval 
shape, which was securely lashed with baleen thongs to the four staves, at the 
points where they intersected it. Then to form a sort of bottom to this recep 
tacle, inside the staves and just above the transverse bar, a large kantag or 
wooden dish, of the kind made by the Eskimo of the mainland, was securely 
lashed, by passing thongs through holes cut in it for the purpose. Over that 
portion of this frame which was above the kantag, hair-seal skin with the hair 
turned to the outside was securely sewed. It is at once evident that this frame 
could not stand alone, except by resting on the side, but it was not intended to 
rest on the ground, but to be suspended in the air ; for which purpose two very 
stout and strong loops of sinew braided in square sennit, repeatedly doubled and 
served over and over, were attached to the sides of the oval rim. The interior 
was then lined with dry grass, and in the bottom another, smaller, kantag was 
placed, which, when examined, was full of something resembling ashes. The 
bundle containing the remains (which had, as was their custom, been thoroughly 
dried beforehand, though whether the viscera had been replaced by dry grass, as 
is said to have been the practice, we did not determine by inspection) was then 
inserted, the end in which the feet were situated being placed in the kantag. 
Then all around the bundle dry grass was firmly packed. Over the body were 
laid, first, three large fine sea-otter skins, which still retained the hair in tolerably 
perfect condition. Over these was laid another parka of bird skins, folded up, 
and much less elaborate than the one previously described. Then over this a 
number of seal skin loops attached to the rim of the frame were securely laced 
together with a cord made of sinew. The top was then covered with hair-seal 
skin sewed on to the edge of that which covered the sides of the frame ; over 
this was laid a piece of water-proof stuff liked that used for kamlaykas or gut 
shirts. This was in a very much injured condition. 

In order that the lower portion, which was only confined by the seal skin 
sewed over the frame, should not burst open with the weight, the following 
precaution was taken : A broad strip of thin wood (one-fourth to three-fouiihs 
inches thick by seven and one-fourth inches wide) was steamed until pliable and 
bent into a somewhat rudely rectangular ring, and the two ends, which over 
lapped about four inches, were pegged together with wooden pegs. To give an 
ornamental finish to the whole it was painted red, and four pegs shaped like a 
horseshoe nail, with rather large heads were inserted at the edge of the over 
lapping end. These pegs were made of walrus ivory, and blunt at the point. 
As they could exert no tension on the wood, toward holding it together, it is 
probable that they were intended solely for ornament. Through four holes cut 
for the pin-pose, strong cords, made of sinew, were lashed and laced through 
holes made in the seal-skin cover to the wooden rim of the frame. The whole 
wooden band was then drawn up tightly and encircled the lower portion of the 

3318 



18 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

case, adding greatly to its strength. Over all this was wound a net, which 
appeared to have seen previous service. It was made of sinew twisted in two 
strands, and with a mesh of about four inches diameter. The lower edges of the 
net appear to have been hitched over wooden pegs, which project from the inner 
lower edge of the wooden band above described. Over the first net, a new net 
composed also of sinew, but of three braided strands, and of six-inch mesh, was 
again wound and secured with strong cords of sinew, braided in what seamen 
call " square sennit." The braiding was most evenly and beautifully done, equal 
to any modern work of the kind, and, in most places, the cord still retained much 
of its original strength. Under the net was inserted a piece of wooden body- 
armor, (17249,) composed of small round rods of proper size, united by sinew 
cords, and with nicely carved wooden pieces about the arm holes. This is the 
only piece of this aboriginal armor known to be in existence. It was fastened 
behind with two loops of sinew, into which wooden buttons were inserted. The 
small rods of which it is composed were about three-fourths of an inch in 
diameter, and painted red. 

This armor, slight as it was, must have been a tolerably good protection 
against the bone and stone arrow heads of the natives. There was also found, 
stuck in the netting of this mummy case, when received at the Institution, a 
short crutch-handled stick, with the point a good deal worn ; evidently one of 
those which the natives still use to push their bidarkas about with in shallow 
water. (17443.) 

Whether it was originally where we found it, is not certain, as the mummies 
had been subject to much handling and inspection in San Francisco before they 
were forwarded to Washington. No information of consequence was received 
with them in regard to whether any of them were still suspended when found, 
and the absence of any statement in regard to the matter, renders it likely that 
they were not. The cords by which they were hung up, in the course of years, 
would be likely, and would be the first portion, to give way. Yet that they were 
originally so elevated is beyond doubt, as all of the packages are provided with 
loops for the purpose, and we know by the accounts of the early voyagers, that 
the natives were particularly careful to suspend the bodies of those for whom 
they had special regard, in such a manner as to prevent their touching the 
ground. 

Of the packages containing remains, two were given to the California Academy 
of Sciences, and two others were so much injured that only the crania (which will 
subsequently be referred to) were collected. Of those remaining, three were of 
infants and the others of comparatively mature individuals. 

I. (17482.) Rolled up very compactly in tanned sea-lion skin and lashed with 
" square sennit " of large caliber. The viscera had evidently been removed, but 
the muscular and cutaneous tissues were in tolerable preservation. Under the 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 19 

lashings, which were not disturbed, were tucked feathers of some raptorial bird. 
These had been trimmed off, and colored red with some pigment. The indi 
vidual was apparently adult. 

II. (17481.) Wrapped in a coarse but neatly made grass mat striped with 
black strands, and lashed with a cord half an inch wide, made of sinew braided 
in three strands. The cord for suspension was made of similar braids of dry 
grass, exactly similar to that now in use among the Alciits for various purposes. 
It was three-quarters of an inch in width. The body, of an adult individual, 
probably a male, was wrapped in a common bird-skin parka, and another mat 
similar to the external one. 

III. (17479.) This one was in a first-rate state of preservation, even the nails 
of the fingers and toes being in situ. The viscera had evidently been removed 
through the pelvis, as the cutaneous tissue of the abdomen was intact, while the 
pubic region showed signs of having been opened. There were no evidences of 
any substance having been introduced into the interior of the body. There were 
no incisions for labrets nor for earrings. The hair was black, and about seven 
inches long well preserved. Traces of a light moustache and beard were 
visible. The bones of the left fore arm had been broken in order to force the 
hand into a position by which the package might be made more compact. No 
other injuries were noticed. The individual was a male of middle age, and had 
lost several teeth. The coverings were in every respect like those of Nos. V and 
VI, but were in bad condition, so that it was judged advisable to remove them 
entirely. It was wrapped in a plain bird-skin parka, rolled in a rough mat, 
lashed with sinew braided in three strands. Over this was a cover of sea-lion 
skins deprived of the hair, and sewed together with rough untwisted sinew. 

IV. (17480.) A child of four to six years of age. Inner covering the usual 
bird-skin parka, surrounded by a pretty good piece of matting ; the whole 
covered with dressed seal skin. The cover was made of a number of pieces 
sewed together, but the edges did not quite meet in front, where the matting was 
exposed. The whole was lashed with strips of raw, untwisted whale sinew, and 
a little very large " square sennit." 

V and VI. (17485-6.) These two were adults, and had evidently been laying, 
one upon the other, for a long time, with only a coarse mat between the packages. 
They did not present any evidences of having been suspended. The coverings 
were bird-skin parkas covered with a coarse mat, enclosed in seal hide, lashed 
with " square sennit." That one which had lain lowest, was not so well pre 
served as the other. They were apparently females. 

VII. (17487.) Was covered with sea otter skins, sewed up very strongly in 
seal hide and lashed with "square sennit" of the largest size, made of whale 
sinew. The coverings were not removed sufficiently to admit of examining the 
remains, which appeared to be those of a youthful person. 



20 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

VIII. (17484.) Contained the remains of a small infant, of which the tissues 
were reduced to dust. About the bones were traces of bird skins. Outside of 
this were sea-otter skins, repeatedly doubled and lashed on with seal hide thongs. 
Outside of this was a covering, apparently of fox skin, but the skin had become 
so much injured that only a mass of matted fur remained. This had been 
secured with " round sennit " of four strands and braided sinew of three strands. 
The outer case, if there had ever been any, had been removed. 

IX. (17483.) Contained the remains of an infant of two or three years of age, 
and was originally very carefully prepared. The case consisted of a wooden 
hoop forming the front, two parallel short sticks at the bottom, and two longer 
ones at the back, severally lashed to the hoop at one of their extremities, and to a 
short transverse stick (forming the posterior edge of the bottom of the frame) at 
the other. Over the back, sides, and bottom of the frame was sewed hair-seal 
skin, with the hair turned inward. The sewing was done with thread twisted of 
two fine strands of sinew. The body had been wrapped carefully in matting, 
covered with sea-otter skins, then packed, with twisted hanks of dry grass, firmly 
into the case, and the front of the latter covered with a piece of exceedingly fine 
matting. This was ornamented with longitudinal and transverse stripes similar 
to those described in the large mummy case, and with white crosses worked into 
the fabric at the intersections of the stripes. The lashings were of square and 
round sennit. 

X. (17475.) Contained the well-preserved remains of a child about a year old, 
wrapped in a piece of the material of which the gut shirts or kamlaykas are 
made. This consists of the entrails of sea-lions or seals, washed, split, and dried 
into a glistening kind of parchment. These strips are then sewed together with 
double seams, and, usually, narrow strips of red parchment are sewed in the 
alternate seams or parts of them by way of ornament. This forms a light, 
translucent water-proof material, very tough when damp, but rather brittle if 
very dry. 

Over the upper part of the body a fine, small mat was laid resembling 
one already described, and like it, ornamented with the red feathers of the 
Leucosticte, and the light hair from between the reindeer s hoofs. The head of 
this specimen was gone, but the tissues were well preserved, and from certain 
impressions in the dry skin of the back, it would seem to have been laid on a 
coarse piece of matting or basket work. It did not seem to have ever been tied 
up, or, if it had, no traces of the envelope or lashings remained. 

The two skulls referred to had evidently been taken from bodies of more 
recent date than any of the others. This is confirmed by the state of the tissues 
which did not resemble the others, in color or consistency, being fresh and firm 
and still retaining somewhat the fresh color of recently dried animal matter. 
The skull of one, (17477,) a female, bore other testimony to its later date, as the 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 21 

frontal and nasal bones were much affected by a species of caries, evidently the 
result of syphilitic or scrofulous disease. If the former, it was the result of 
intercourse with the Russians, and the individual may have belonged to a period 
twenty or thirty years later than those previously described. The hair, origi 
nally black, had faded to a light brown, and was very short. 

The other skull (17476) was that of a male, and chiefly remarkable for its 
great breadth as compared with its height, and for possessing, in addition to the 
usual coronal ridge, a well-marked transverse ridge across the skull from side to 
side, somewhat behind the ears. Some of the hair still remained, and was long 
and black. The teeth of both were much worn down, and in the female skull 
the anterior molars had been worn until the nerve cavity was fully exposed, and 
signs of ulccration were exhibited about the fangs of the two first molar teeth. 
The cylindrical shape and soft character of the enamel, which rapidly wears 
away, is a characteristic of the Innuit teeth. It is due, not so much to the 
mixture of gritty substances with the food, which does not often occur, as to the 
peculiar character of the teeth themselves, and the great use that is made of 
them by most of the Eskimo in chewing sinew, seal-skin line, &c., to prepare 
them for various purposes. In skinning an animal, stretching or hauling taut a 
line, or twisting or braiding a cord, the Eskimo takes it in his teeth. 

With these human remains were various articles, which were also forwarded, 
and are here briefly catalogued. 

1. (17443.) A pushing stick with a crutch handle, carved and painted red on 
the top of the handle and on a broad groove around it. On the side of this was 
engraved an oval, with short lines perpendicular to the circumference, extending 
outward from it. This was probably a mark of ownership, such as most natives 
put on their weapons and utensils. A string of two-thread twisted sinew was 
pegged into a hole in the border of the oval to secure the implement to the 
bidarka at sea. 

2. (17444.) A portion of the keel of a bidarka. 

3. (17454-17459.) Two small and four large kantags of the usual character, 
with internally concave bottoms and perpendicular sides, bent into an oval or 
rounded rectangular shape by steaming, and secured by wooden pegs. Also one 
high square kantag, (17453,) with very thin light sides, such as the natives use 
for picking berries in. These arc precisely such as the continental Innuit use 
to-day, except where the traders have introduced tin pails and dishes. They 
were probably derived from the mainland, and obtained by barter, as the inhabi 
tants of the Island of St. Lawrence and the Diomedes obtain their kantags from 
the continental Innuit at the present day. 

4. (17445.) Remains of a common wooden visor, such as the Innuit use at 
present to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun on the water when in their 



22 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

kyaks. It had been smeared with, black paint, and an oval pattern, bordered 
with two lines, had been scratched through the black paint into the white wood. 

5. (17464.) A fine and carefully made basket about six inches deep and twelve 
inches across, made exactly like the modern ones. It had three red stripes 
around the upper border, to which was sewed a strip of fur-seal skin. It was 
laced up with a thin strip of baleen, and had a short piece of square sennit, 
rudely knotted, attached to it. 

6. (17461.) A little coarse grass basket, with the straws at the upper edge 
turned and woven in so as to form a selvage border. It was about three inches 
high and two in diameter. It contained some shreds of dry sinew ; a dried 
orchis root, such as the natives still eat ; a piece of bird skin, with a strip of fur- 
seal skin sewed to it, and a bracelet of rings made of bird s claws, (17264.) 
This last is exactly similar to one seen by me among the Magemut Eskimo of 
the north end of Nunivak Island, in 1874. I purchased a little carved box, and 
in it were several of these rings, as well as the yellow granulated portion of the 
bill of Mormon corniculata, the horned puffin. I could not then imagine what 
they were for, nor do I yet know the use of the pieces of the bill. Doubtless 
they are used in some way for purposes of ornament. The rings are made by 
pulling off the horny portion of the sharply curved claw, and inserting the point 
of one into the core of another, until a ring is formed ; as children are wont to 
make rings of honeysuckle and larkspur flowers. When a sufficient number of 
these rings are collected, they are strung into a bracelet. 

7. A number of loose articles which had formerly been in one of the baskets. 
These included several loose pieces of red pine bark, (17267,) some of them with 
resin adherent to them. This may have been used in lieu of wax on their 
threads. The bark had been whittled, and I found by wetting it and rubbing it 
on a clean piece of pine wood that it communicated a red stain to the wood. It 
may have been used for this purpose also, and perhaps as tinder besides, as one 
of the pieces was burnt in several places. It is almost needless to say, as no 
timber exists on the islands, that this must have been derived from drift-wood, 
carried from the coast about Sitka. The Yukon and Kuskoquim regions possess 
only spruce trees which have not this kind of bark. 

A small roll of birch bark, (17268,) also derived from drift-wood, but probably 
from the Yukon region. What they did with birch bark I am unable to fully 
explain, but they preserved it very carefully. It is almost indestructible by 
decay, on account of a resinous principle which it contains. I found a little case 
made of this bark containing metallic pigments, red clay-ironstone, and 
graphite, in a very old pre-historic deposit in the Amaknak cave. This deposit 
is not considered in the present paper, as it belongs to another, and much older 
era ; but in this case also, the birch was in close proximity to a lot of awls and 
women s sewing tools which lay by a female skeleton. 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 23 

Four sea-lion teeth, (17256.) I think the hard ivory which these afford was 
used for some kinds of sewing awls which were affixed to a handle. I have 
found these teeth chipped in such a way as to make it evident that something 
was about to be made of them when the work was interrupted. They split 
rather easily. The teeth of the Orca or killer-whale, the small teeth of the 
walrus, and the teeth of the sperm whale were all formerly used by the islanders 
for various purposes, especially for carving little images or toys. 

Four pieces of gypsum (17263.) This comes from near Nunivak Island, at 
least that is the only locality where the natives have it in any quantity. They 
use it for labrets and other ornaments, and inlay their kantags very prettily with 
lozenge-shaped pieces of it. These pieces were all quite small, and intended for 
beads. These were usually bored before the surface was shaped, and, in the 
present case, one of the pieces had been bored nearly through, a funnel-shaped 
pit being made on each side. 

One stone arrow or lance point, (17265,) about an inch and a half long, with 
short barbs and broad haft. It was made of a black siliceous stone. This was 
the only portion of a weapon found, but the Rev. Father Innokenti told me that 
there were formerly many seal lances in this cave. The Atka men, who princi 
pally hunt on this island, from time to time losing arrows which they could not 
replace in any other way, and being in no fear of ghosts, were used to replenish 
their stock from the cave, until the supply was exhausted. 

Two beads or bugles (17261) made of the metacarpal bone of a bird s wing, 
and about half an inch long ; also one of the bones from which they were made, 
(17262.) Two rough pieces of bone, one of which had been sawed longitudi 
nally, (17252-3.) A small ivory pendant (17259) of a figure-of-eight shape with 
one lobe half an inch in diameter and the other an eighth of an inch ; quite flat, 
and with a small piece of sinew thread tied round the narrow part evidently an 
ornament, such as the natives attach to the ends of the strings by which they tie 
up tobacco and other small bags. 

An ivory figure of a spotted hair-seal, (17257,) in a life-like attitude, about an 
inch and three-quarters long. This was found, so the captain told me, in a little 
child s seal-skin boot, on which the hair was perfectly preserved. The boot has 
not come to hand. Another rough figure of some four-footed animal (17258) 
with a forked tail, perhaps used for smoothing down the asperities of their sinew 
thread by drawing it through the sharp furrow in the tail. The natives on the 
mainland use a similar instrument for this purpose. Three curious implements, 
(17260,) two of them an inch long, and the other two and a half inches long, 
made of ivory. I have never seen anything like these elsewhere. They are 
shaped like a small arrow head with the point curved to one side, with one or 
two deep notches on the concave side, and three or more much smaller ones on 
the convex edge ; a sharp point ; a square haft with a noteh or two on the convex 



24 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

evidently for aiding in making it fast to a handle. I think they might have been 
used in some way connected with sewing work. I believe that the last four ivory 
articles were found in the boot along with the seal image. 

A wooden doll (17446) very rudely made, without arms or legs, and which, by 
the resin adhering to it, might have once been inserted at the base into some 
thing else, perhaps a model of a bidarka. Such toys are frequently seen among 
the native children. Where the left arm might have been, some one had cut on 
the figure a rude pair of eyes, a nose, and mouth. On the face of the doll two 
lines extend backward and upward from the corners of the mouth, which may be 
intended to represent some form of tattooing. 

One rude amber bead, (17270a,) evidently of native make, on a sinew thread. 
The amber Avas obtained from the lignite beds, which are reported on the islands 
of Amchitka, Atka, and Unalashka, and may exist elsewhere. We know that 
amber was held in great esteem by the early natives, and extraordinary value set 
upon it. This bead, therefore, may have represented in value a good many sea- 
otter skins. 

A piece of parchment made from the oesophagus or stomach of the seal, 
colored red. Eight strips of hair-seal skin with the hair on. The purple-blue 
throat of a merganser. Two pieces of puffin skin with the feathers on. The 
skin of a little auk (Phaleris.) The scalp of a tufted puffin and one of an eider 
duck. Another puffin scalp, reddened inside. The skin of a gray-necked 
finch (Leucosticte,) which furnishes the red feathers for the embroidery. A strip 
of fur-seal skin. Half a dozen pieces of parchment or tanned sea-lion skin. 
In short, the odds and ends of the work bag of an Aleiit woman. (17271.) 

8. A little square piece of grass matting (17468,) rolled up, and containing a 
little roll of birch bark ; three little pieces of hair-seal skin ; a little bunch of 
the hairs from the reindeer s hoofs ; another, of the feathers from the tufts of the 
puffin ; a little bit of skin from the belly of the winter reindeer, with the hair of 
pure white ; and, lastly, a bunch of brown and gray hair, quite fine, and appar 
ently human ; all these tied up neatly with a sinew thread. 

9. A little grass fold, (17466,) like those the natives use for carrying needles 
and thread ; measuring when folded, five and a half by two inches. Neatly 
woven and empty. 

10. A comb (17251) formed by lashing by the middle, thirteen pegs of wood, 
sharpened at each end, to a tolerably stout stick with sinew thread of two 
strands. 

11. A miniature grass basket ; a toy, an inch and a half long. (17462.) 

12. A rather coarse grass basket, (17460,) woven with loops about the circum 
ference of the edge, one black stripe around near the top, and two parallel rows 
of black tufts inserted into the fabric a little lower down. 

13. A shallow, but well and closely woven, woman s work-bag or basket of 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 25 

grass, (17463,) with brown puffin-feathers woven into the centre of the bottom. 
It contained two chipped sea-lion teeth, many loose shreds of sinew, parchment, 
birch bark, some old twisted sinew threads and loose feathers ; two rough bits of 
stick tied to the ends of a sinew braid about a foot long ; a clipping of gut-shirt 
stuff, with a red stripe in it ; a neat sinew thread, attached at one end to a little 
piece of hair-seal skin with the hair on, cut into two tails, and, at the other, to a 
narrow strip of embroidery (17488) about three and one-eighth inches long and 
a quarter of an inch wide, with one or two small Lcucosticte feathers inserted 
into the edge. In this quarter of an inch are ten longitudinal rows of stitches. 
The white stitches are made with deer hair, of the white winter coat. The 
stripes are red parchment, with distant white stitches in the form of triangles ; 
then three rows, the middle largest, of white stitches on a yellowish ground ; 
lastly, the middle stripe is black, with white triangles stitched in on each side, 
alternating so as to give the black ground the appearance of a zigzag line. The 
string is about a foot long, and was probably intended as a fastener for some 
choice little work-bag. On the strings of such bags the Eskimo invariably have 
a pendant of some kind, at the very least at one end. The specimen is a lasting 
testimony to the taste and skill of the unknown workwoman. 

14. A fillet, (17465,) made of black human hair, woven at one edge with 
sinew thread. I have seen similar fillets at Nunivak and on Norton Sound. 
They are worn with the selvage edge turned downward, and are usually bound 
around the head. The attraction consists in the gentle waving of the hair during 
the motions of the dance. 

15. A very rough bone knife (17254) and equally primitive handle, another 
still less finished, but without any handle, and a piece of roughly hewn bone, 
apparently intended to be made into an awl. 

16. Four pieces of pumice for dressing skins. (17266.) 

17. A dice-box-shaped piece of fine-grained hard wood, (17250,) apparently 
Alaska cedar. This is used for cutting the hair to an even length, on strips of 
skin used for trimming. The strip is wound spirally around the nearly cylind 
rical bit of wood, fastened, and then, with a sharp knife (stone or iron,) the hair 
is evenly trimmed. A flat board, on which the same might be done, and with 
the same amount of available surface, would be inconveniently large and 
awkward to carry about. The dimensions of this substitute are five inches long 
by one and a half in diameter. 

18. A gut bag, (17467,) about fourteen by twelve inches, ornamented with 
stripes of red parchment and a border of hair-seal skin with deer-foot hairs inserted 
into it. This is precisely similar to work bags now in use. It only contained 
a strip of trimming, as bright as the day it was made. This was an inch and 
three quarters long, composed of red and white parchment and a purple duck 
scalp. 

5318 



26 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

19. Five toy kantags, (17448-52,) varying in dimensions from two by one and 
one half inches to three by four inches, evidently the table service of some child, 
rudely carved out of single pieces of wood. Also a nearly oval dish (17447) 
about three inches long, with flat up-turned handles. 

20. A bit of wood, (17255,) curiously carved, and resembling pieces which are 
used on bidarkas under the seal-skin lines which extend across the top of the 
canoe. By moving these about, the lines are lifted so that a paddle or an 
arrow can be pushed under them and thus secured at sea. If this is the same 
thing, it is only a miniature child s toy. I can think of no other explanation 
of it. 

21. A curious kind of narrow fillet or braid, (17269,) consisting of a twisted 
thread of some animal substance resembling wool or the under fur of a dog or 
fox, wound alternately over each of two parallel cords of sinew, and crossed 
between them, so as to resemble, externally, a braid of three strands, though 
only one thread is actually employed. 

This completes the list of the articles found in the cave. It is hardly to be 
expected that the discoveries should in all respects confirm the literal accuracy of 
the tradition which has doubtless grown in precision with the lapse of time, as it 
was passed from one to another. The identification of the individuals mentioned 
in it was hardly to be hoped for. If the large case, which has been described in 
detail, was that of the old toyon s son, he must have been older than the tradi 
tion asserts. It must be borne in mind also that two of the packages were not 
forwarded to the National Museum, and one of these may have been that of the 
child in question. Nor do either of the young children mentioned appear to be 
of sufficiently immature development to justify the assumption that they repre 
sented the prematurely-born infant mentioned in the story. 

Apart from all this, the fact that all the contents of the cave examined show 
no trace of any influence arising from civilization (if we except the diseased 
cranium mentioned) is sufficient to put it beyond a reasonable question that the 
interments were of at least as early a date as that I have assigned to them. 

I may now consider the material which has accumulated relative to the 
Kaniag miit cave-burials. We learn from Lisiansky and others that the whale 
men of the tribe were considered a peculiar caste among their countrymen. 
Although held in high esteem for their courage and skill, and for the important 
contributions to the sustenance of the communitv which were due to their 

v 

efforts, it is related that, during the whaling season, they were considered 
unclean and did not mingle with the rest. 

The profession was hereditary, and the bodies of the whalers were preserved 
in the same manner as previously described among the Aleuts, and placed in 
caves the locality of which was kept secret, and was known only to those of the 
same family who were interested in the remains. This precaution was necessary, 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 27 

as a certain luck or success in the profession was attributed to the possession of 
the bodies ; which increased in direct ratio to the number of such articles 
possessed by the particular individual. Hence the hunters did not hesitate, if 
they could without detection, to steal the remains belonging to another whaler, 
thus hoping to diminish his success and increase their own. It is known or 
asserted by the natives that such bodies still remain intact in some of these 
caves, though their precise locality is known to few. M. Alphonse Pinart, while 
in Kadiak, attempted to discover the retreat of one which was particularly 
spoken of, but was not successful. Afterward the United States Deputy 
Collector of Customs for the port of Kadiak, Mr. L. Sheeran, and another person 
succeeded in discovering and carrying to St. Paul s the mummy in question. It 
was discovered, through a peculiar superstition, the existence of which is a 
curious commentary on the orthodoxy of these nominal Christian converts of the 
Greek Church. 

It appears that the natives of Ugamuk Strait, Kadiak Island, near the 
situation of the cave, were accustomed to take the first berries, oil, and fish of 
the season, into the cave where this mummy was placed, and to leave them there; 
declaring that, when they returned a few days after, the mummy had eaten the 
food, for the dish was invariably empty. In order to propitiate the spirit of the 
ancient whaler they unconsciously furnished the marmots and spermophiles with 
an acceptable meal. 

By watching in the shrubbery when the offering was being carried to the cave 
its locality was discovered. Beside the well-preserved body to whom the offer 
ings were made, another, much decayed, was found, of which the skull only was 
brought away. 

While at Kadiak, in June, 1874, Mr. Sheeran was kind enough to show the 
remains to me, and to present, to the National Museum, the skull above 
mentioned. (17489.) 

The mummy had been dried in a squatting posture, with the knees drawn 
toward the breast. It was well preserved, and, when found, only dressed in the 
remains of an old gut shirt or kamlayka. The hair was black and tolerably long. 
In the hand was held a slender stick, to which was attached a narrow slate lance- 
head about an inch wide, sharpened on both edges, without barbs, and simply 
pointed. It was five or six inches long. On the point of this lance-head was 
transfixed a rude figure, cut out of tanned seal skin deprived of the hair ; this 
was said by the natives, according to Mr. Sheeran s account, to represent the 
evil spirit, whose enmity the dead man averted on being propitiated with the 
offerings of food. The natives of St. Paul s were in wholesome awe of the 
deceased ; would avoid passing at night the out-house in which it was kept, and, 
on one ocasion, complained to Mr. Sheeran that he did not feed the dead man 



28 CAVE KELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

sufficiently, as he had been noticed by the town watchman (a native) prowling 
around, on a stormy night, through the town ! presumably in search of food. 

The Kadiak natives made great use of masks in their dances and festivals, 
especially those in which the Shamans took part. They are said to be deposited 
in many places with the dead. The localities were not stated, and our short stay 
at Kadiak precluded any attempt at a search. 

It is stated by some of the half breeds, who pretend to be acquainted with the 
native traditions, that it was a not uncommon practice to dry the bodies of the 
dead in some natural attitude, and to place them in a cave or rock-shelter dressed 
in gay attire, and arranged as if in some occupation characteristic of the indi 
vidual s pursuits in life. Thus, women were placed as if sewing, or nursing 
children ; noted hunters, in bidarkas engaged in transfixing the effigy of a seal 
or otter ; or old men as occupied in beating the tambourine, their recognized 
occupation in the dances and festivals of all the Innuit. By them were placed 
the masks which they wore in life, or sometimes the individual was dressed in 
his wooden armor, arrayed in his mask, and supplied with wooden models of 
his implements or the game or fur animals which were his favorite pursuit. For 
some reason or other, actual weapons or implements were rarely placed with the 
dead, but were represented only by wooden models. 

While we had no opportunity of examining any Kaniag mut caves of this kind, 
an opportunity was offered at Unga, one of the Shumagin Islands, to examine a 
noted locality for these remains. The present inhabitants of the Shumagins are 
true Aleuts, and have been reported as such since the Russian occupation. 
Hence I ascribe the agreement of what we discovered in the Unga rock-shelters 
with the descriptions of the Kaniag mut modes of interment, to the close .prox 
imity and greater intercourse of the Shumagin Aleuts with the former people. 

The locality mentioned is near Delaroff Harbor, Unga Island ; and the cave, 
so-called, consists of a series of rock-shelters formed by the breaking down of 
the perpendicular basaltic bluffs into a huge talus of immense broken rocks. 
Between these exist an interminable series of crevices, sometimes forming 
chambers of some magnitude, but more often narrow and intricate. In some 
places the shelter was sufficiently good to ward off any rain or snow, and in the 
largest of these, covered by an immense block of basalt, we found the greatest 
number of remains. Others were scattered singly or in small groups in various 
other suitable crevices or nooks under the rocks. The remains had been visited 
by several persons at different intervals before our visit, and had been consider 
ably disturbed. M. Pinart, especially, had secured the cream of what was 
contained there, though much that was valuable remained behind. It seemed 
also, as if the frequent earthquakes common to the region had had their share 
in disturbing the deposits, especially from the position of some of the crania, 
which took several hours of hard labor to extract from the crannies in which they 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 29 

were wedged. Large numbers of fragments of rock had also fallen from above, 
which aggregated several tons in weight, and had to be removed piece by piece ; 
a work of no little magnitude. 

The materials, after they were removed, and the debris carefully searched for 
anything remaining, were hardly of a character to afford a basis for a general 
description of the method employed in treating the dead. Indeed we would 
have been able to comprehend the purport of but little of what we collected, 
without the assistance of the information we had received from the natives on 
the spot, and those at Kadiak, and elsewhere. 

The collection comprised only a single implement, a sharp-pointed piece of 
bone, which looked as if it might have been used in making some of the more 
delicate portions of the carving. 

The remainder consisted entirely of wooden carvings (14941 et seq.) and 
human bones, particularly crania, of which thirteen of various ages were 
collected. Several mummies wrapped in matting and seal skin, similar to those 
described from Kagamil, were observed in another crevice. The crania only 
were taken, as the rest of the remains presented nothing very remarkable and 
were very much decayed. The remains of the cases of several mummies of 
children were found in the same place and some bits of fine matting. 

The wooden carvings presented a great variety of forms, of which it seems 
desirable to make only a general enumeration. Most of them were of a cork-like 
consistency from great age ; nearly all were injured or broken ; some crumbled 
under the brush used to remove loose dirt from them. The best preserved 
specimens, as previously related, had been removed by others. In 1868 Captain 
Chas. Iliedell gave me a perfect mask which had been obtained from this locality 
and is now in the National Museum. In 1873 I obtained a few more in good 
condition and a very large number of fragments, of which I collected only the 
better preserved pieces. The nose, being the thickest portion, is longest pre 
served ; and there must have been fifty noses among the debris which deeply 
covered the floor of the crevice. 

These masks were all different from one another, but made on one general 
type. They would average twenty inches in height and sixteen in width if the 
convexity be taken into account. They were nearly all similar in having a 
broad thick but not flattened nose, straight and not projecting eyebrows, thin 
lips and a wide mouth, into which little wooden teeth were inserted. They also 
agreed in being painted in various colors, usually black and red ; in having 
bunches of hair pegged in to indicate a beard ; sometimes hair across the upper 
edge of the forehead ; in being pierced only in the nostrils ; and in having the 
ears large, flat, and usually pegged on, much above the normal plane in human 
beings, generally at the upper posterior corners of the mask. 

Varied patterns were lightly chiselled or painted on the cheeks in many cases. 



30 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

A small round bar extended from corner to corner of the mouth, inside. This 
was held in the teeth, as the marks of biting testify, and a further security was 
provided in the shape of a band passing behind the head. These masks exhibit 
great ingenuity and skill in carving, especially when we consider that they were 
made with only stone and bone implements. Various holes about the edges of 
the mask were used for inserting stiff feathers, trimmed and painted, with little 
flat wooden pendants, gaily painted, attached to them. Of these we obtained a 
great number and variety, and could not determine their purpose, as they were 
all detached, until after seeing a model of a mask made by an old man at 
Kadiak, and presented to the National Museum by - Mr. Sheeran, (16268,) to 
which similar pendants were attached in their proper places. They were of all 
shapes, crescents, disks, lozenges, leaf-shaped, and formed like lance and arrow 
points. They were painted with red, blue, green, black, and white native pig 
ments, often nearly as bright as the day they were put on. 

Beside these things which we could determine as having appertained to the 
masks, there were a great variety of which we were unable to determine the use, 
unless they were parts of wooden armor or of some mimic pageant designed in 
wood. 

We also found a piece of a bow, an article not in use among the Aleiits, who 
throw all their lances with a hand-board. This is the only portion of a bow yet 
discovered in our researches in the islands, though the Kaniag miits now use 
them commonly in hunting birds. They are made of drift-wood, strengthened 
with numerous cords of sinew. 

Among the other carvings were several effigies, mostly of small size, approxi 
mating to the human form ; some of birds, seals, and one, nearly life size, of an 
otter. These were mostly painted in a singular manner. There were also long 
cylinders, painted and carved like truncheons, which had once contained small 
stones, and been used as rattles by the Shamans. Many of the small sticks, 
used, both in the construction of wooden armor and also for little gratings to be 
placed under the person in the bidarka to avoid contact with the wet seal-skin, 
were found, but always separated. A carving representing a human arm and 
hand of life size, but nearly flat, was found, but afterward unfortunately lost. 

Many nondescript pieces of carving, which had once been attached to some 
thing, and several pieces of wood full of holes, to which something had once 
been pegged, were found, but our knowledge was not sufficient to refer the 
isolated pieces to their proper connections.* 

* Since the above was written, a short article, by M. Pinart, has appeared in the Comptcs Rendus, April 19, 
1875, No. 15, in which he speaks of this cave and its contents. He states that the bodies were lying at full length 
on beds of moss ; that they were few in number ; and that he believes, from the fact that none of them were 
wrapped up in the squatting posture usually adopted, that this rock-shelter was devoted to the remains of whalers 
or fishermen, such as I have described among the Kaniagmuts. 

If M. Pinart had been able to devote as long a tirno to the examination of the cave as our party did, it is 



CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 31 

We were informed that rumors were current among the natives that one or 
more caves never, so far, disturbed existed in the southern part of the island 
near the site of an old settlement, now abandoned. Our time was too much 
taken up with other and imperative duties to permit us to attempt a search, 
which would probably have been fruitless in the lack of a guide. 

There are statements in some of the old voyages to the effect that the Kaniag - 
muts sometimes interred their dead in the ground, covered them with stones, 
and erected poles in the vicinity. We have seen no traces of such a practice, 
though it may have been in vogue among them. The custom, common enough 
among the Innuit, of erecting poles, streamers, &c., about the dead, now grown 
to be a matter of superstition, I have no doubt originated in a desire to scare 
away wild animals. The custom of huddling the body up in a squatting posture, 
had probably its origin in the desire to save space and labor in making the box 
or case, or in digging the grave. How much these practices depend upon 
surrounding circumstances may be seen by comparing the modes" in different 



regions. 



In the Chukchi Peninsula, the Innuit expose their dead where wild animals, 
as well as their own dogs, may devour them. There is no soil in which to inter 
them, no wood with which to burn them, nor poles to use as scarecrows against 
bears and foxes. 

In the Yukon region where the soil at a certain depth is frozen, but there is 
plenty of wood, the body is usually placed in a wooden box erected on four short 
posts. 

In the Aleutian region where the soil offers no obstacle to grave dis^inc:, and 

O O OO O" 

drift-wood is tolerably abundant, the absence of wild animals, and the readiness 
with which animal matter dries without putrefying, rendered it an easier task to 
lay the dead away in the rock-shelters which may be found near almost every 
camping place. 

All these methods (except the first) were originally adopted with a con 
scious or unconscious relation first to the convenience of the survivors, and 
then to the security of the dead. Yet they have been modified, or so loaded 
with other performances indicative of respect or affection, that the question of 
convenience no longer arises to conflict with hereditary customs which have 
grown by slow degrees. In this we may trace somewhat of the growth of senti- 

probablo that he would have found sufficient reason for modifying or rejecting his first impressions. The fact 
that the remains of women and children, some still retaining portions of their original wrappers, were found in 
this place by us, is proof that it could not have been one of the caves devoted to the preservation of the remains 
of whalers or fishermen, from which women and children were, by the nature of tho case, excluded. After Mr. 
Pinart had collected what he chose to take away, wo obtained more than a dozen crania of different sexes and 
ages, showing that the number of interments was larger than he had supposed, and it is certain that nearly all 
those we found which were sufficiently well preserved to show the method of interment, had been preserved in a 
equalling posture. Of the identity of the cave or shelter with that visited by M. Pinart there can bo no doubt, 
as we hud the same individual, as n guide, who had accompanied him in his examinations. 



32 CAVE RELICS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. 

ment, (as opposed to savage utilitarianism,) which is characteristic of the human 



mind in all ages. 



Since the above was written the National Museum has received from the 
Alaska Commercial Company a mummy, and a large number of masks collected 
by their agents at some locality on Chugach or Prince William Sound, Alaska 
Territory. 

The mummy was stripped of its coverings, if it had ever had any ; and was 
that of an adult male. It had been eviscerated through the pelvis and bore 
marks of the incisions (made by most of the Innuit) for labrets. These were 
below the corners of the mouth, one on each side. The hair was long and black 
with no indications of the tonsure. A string around the neck with a few old- 
fashioned Russian beads upon it, fixed the date as subsequent to the advent of 
traders. There were no other articles of use or ornament with the remains, 
which were well preserved. 

The masks were flat, rude and heavy, of a different type from those of Kadiak 
and the Alexitian region, showing much less facility in carving, and less taste and 
artistic skill. They had been ornamented with rude figures or patterns in red 
iron-stone pigment, which, however, at some recent period had been retouched 
with A^ermillion paint. No information came with the specimens ; and it is 
possible that the finder, thinking to enhance the value of his prize, employed 
some native to restore the faded ornamentation. They were worn by help of a 
cross-bar held in the teeth and a wooden lattice at the back of the head. A few 
stumps of feathers around the edges indicate that they were originally bordered 
with a row of plumes. 

A special article on the masks of this region of America is in preparation. 

The specimens just mentioned are interesting, as showing an eastward exten 
sion, greater than before supposed, of customs which are only well known in 
connection with the natives of the Aleutian region ; and, as adding one more 
link to the chain which binds in close relationship the Aleut and adjacent 
continental Eskimo. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PLATE I. 

17480. Aleut mummy from Kagamil cave. (See page 19.) 

This specimen, for the purpose of maintaining it in an erect position while being photographed, 
was placed in one of the wooden kantags from the same cave, (17459,) which is fourteen and one-half 
inches long. 

17481. Alciit mummy from Kagamil cave. (See page 19.) 

This is of un adult person, the other being that of a youthful person. The lashings have been 
removed from the upper portion to inspect the contents, but the general condition is hardly disturbed 
otherwise. The lashings are of rope made of grass. 

PLATE II. 
17478. Large mummy case from the Kagamil cave. (See pages 11-18.) 

The case is raised to give a partial view of the upper surface ; (here facing downward ;) one of the 
loops by which it was originally suspended is visible (about the center of the figure) attached to the rim 
of the top. Two kantngs from tho cave were used to support it while being photographed. 

PLATE in. 
17478. Large mummy case from the Kagamil cave. (See pages 11-18.) 

The case is viewed from the side, resting on the surface which was uppermost when it was suspended. 
The sinew of the two nets with which it is covered was originally taut, but from absorption of atmos 
pheric moisture has become loose and slack. Between tho nets and the seal-skin cover of the case are 
seen the remains of an old gut-shirt or kamlayka. The feet of the contained mummy were situated in 
that part of the case which in the plate is uppermost. 

PLATE IV. 
17474. Breast mat of grass-cloth from the large Kagamil mummy case. (See page 15.) 

This is somewhat magnified to show tho mesh of the fabric. 

PLATE V. 



17482. Alciit mummy wrapped in seal hide. (See page 18.) 

The wrappings have not been disturbed, but do not moot below, where tho pelvic foramen is visible. 

17483. Aleiit child s mummy case. (See page 20.) 

This is covered with fine grass-cloth. Tho loops for suspending the case in tho air are visible on each 
side. One of them has given way. 
5318 



34 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

PLATE VI. 

17249. Ancient Aleut wooden armor. (See page 18.) 

This was fastened behind by loops of cord and the buttons which aro still in place. 

PLATE VII. 

17250. Wooden implement for making fur trimming. (See page 25.) 

17254. Bone knife and handle from Kagamil cave. (See page 25.) 

17255. Piece of carved wood from Kagamil cave. (See page 26.) 
17264. Pumice for dressing skins. (See page 25.) 

17446. Wooden doll from Kagamil cave. (See page 24.) 

17447. Toy dish from Kagamil cave. (See page 26.) 

17448. Toy kantag from Kagamil cave. (See page 2fi.) 

17461. Toy grass basket from Kagamil cave. (See page 24.) 

17462. Toy grass basket from Kagamil cave. (See page 24.) 

17466. Fold for needles, &c., of grass-cloth, from Kagamil cave. (See page 25.) 

17468. Grass matting, of the coarse common kind, with rectangular mesh, made from 

the grass itself and not from prepared fibre. (See page 16.) 
17472. Piece of face cloth, showing the pattern, made of grass fibre, and found in the 

large mummy case from Kagamil cave. (See page 15.) 

17474. Breast mat from the large mummy case, a portion of which, magnified, is shown 
on plate IV. (See page 15.) 

PLATE VIII. 

17443. Pushing stick found with the large mummy case in Kagamil cave. (See pages 

18, 21.) 

The lashing near the point is extraneous. 

17444. Part of the keel of a bidarka from Kagamil cave. (See page 21.) 
17453. Berry kantag, laid on its side. (See page 21.) 

17457. Wooden kantag from Kagamil cave. (See page 21.) 

17458. Wooden kantag from Kagamil cave. (See page 21.) 

17459. Wooden kantag from Kagamil cave. (See page 21.) 

PLATE IX. 
17479. Aleut mummy stripped of its wrappings. (See page 19.) 

Note that the left fore arm is broken to make the package more compact. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 35 

PLATE X. 

17251. Wooden comb from Kagd.mil cave. (See page 24.) 

17254. Ivory image of seal from Kagdmil cave. (See page 23.) 

17255. Ivory image of fork-tailed beast from Kagdmil cave. (See page 23.) 

17259. Ivory pendant from Kagdmil cave. (See page 23.) 

17260. Three ivory implements, not weapons, perhaps used in sewing or netting, from 

woman s work-bag found in Kagamil cave. (See pages 23-4.) 

17261. Two beads or bugles mad^e of bird s bones. (See page 23.) 

17263. An unfinished gypsum bead showing the beginning of the perforation. (See 

page 23.) 

17264. Bracelet of beads made of bird s claws, from Kagdmil cave. (See page 22.) 

17265. Stone dart-head from Kagdmil cave. (See page 23.) 

17270a. Atnber bead, on sinew string, found in Kagdmil cave. (See page 24.) 



INDEX. 



Adakh Island ; burial caves in, 7. 

Alaska Commercial Company ; its contributions to 
tho National Museum, 8, 32. 

Aleuts,!; (et passim.) 

Aleuts ; characteristics of the, 3 ; early conflicts of 
the, 3 ; felt no repugnance to tho bodies of 
the dead, 7 ; festivals and dances of the, 4 ; 
identity of the continental Eskimo stock with 
thut of the, 2, 7 ; Japanese origin erroneously 
assigned to the, 3. 

Aleut; language, 2; origin of the name, 2; physiog 
nomy, 2 ; religious beliefs ; destruction of 
vestiges of, 3 ; superstitions, 4, 6. 

Aleutian Islands, 1. 

Amber ; bead from Kagamil cave, 24 ; highly valued 
by Aleuts, 24. 

Amchitka Island ; skeleton discovered at, 8. 

Armor ; wooden, from large mummy case, 18 ; from 
Unga cave, 30. 

Arrow-head ; of stone, from Kagamil cave, 23. 

Auk ; little, skin preserved, 24. 

Awls for sewing ; of bird s bones, 14. 

Baleen ; used for lashings, 16, 22. 

Barrabora, (seo Winter house, Yourt.) 

Barren Islands, 1. 

Burk, (see Pine, Birch.) 

Basket; of grass, from Kagamil cave (17460), 24 ; 
ditto (17463), 24-5; contents of, 25; (17401), 
22. 

Beads ; of amber, 24 ; of bone, 23 ; of gypsum, 23 ; 
of bird s claws, 22; of Russian manufacture, 
32. 

Bering s Expedition, 9. 

Bidarku ; made by Kat-haya-koochak, 9 ; keel of, 
from Kagamil cave, 21 ; models of, used as 
toys for children by Aleuts, 24. 

Birch bark ; from Kagamil cave, 22 ; from Amak- 
nak cave, 22; derived from Yukon region, 22. 

Birds ; bones used for beads, 23 ; claws used for 
bead.", 22; bones used for needles, 14; scalps 
used for ornaments and in embroidery, 24, 25; 
skins used for garments, 13 ; feathers used for 
ornamenting embroidery, 12, 24, 25 ; for orna 
menting masks, 80, 32 ; for ornamenting 
mummy case, 19 ; colored cartilage from 



beak of puffin collected by Nunivak Eskimo, 
22 ; puffin, 12 ; little auk, 24 ; cormorant, 12 ; 
gray-necked finch, 12, 24 ; duck, 25 ; murre, 
13; eider, 24 ; merganser, 24 ; horned puffin. 
22 ; raptorial bird, 19. 

Bodies of tho dead ; preparation of, for burial, 6 ; 
evisceration of, 6 ; encasement of, 6 ; encase 
ment of infants, 6; food placed with, 6; 
utensils and carvings deposited with, 6; (seo 
Mummies.) 

Bone implement from Unga cave, 29, 

Bone knives from Kagamil cave, 25. 

Boot ; seal-skin, found in Kagamil cave, containing 

ivory articles, 23. 
Bow ; piece of a, found in Unga cave, 30 ; not used 

by Aleuts, 80. 
Bracelet of bird s claws, 22. 
Braid of wool or under fur of fox, from Kagamil 

cave, 26. 

Breast-mat ; of grass fibre, in largo mummy case, 15. 
Brown hair ; the result of fading, 21. 

Burials ; methods of tho Aleuts, 5, 81 ; of tho 
Chttkchi, 31 ; in tho Yukon region, 31 ; for 
honorable persons, 5, 6 ; for poor persons, 5 ; 
in artificial caves and rock shelters, at Amuk- 
nak Island, 5; at Atka Island, 5; in caves, 
at Unga Island, 28 ; among tho KaniagmQts, 
27 ; in tho earth, by KaniagmQts, 31 ; by tho 
Aleuts, since Christianized, 6; of pro-historic 
natives, 6 ; in compartments of tho winter 
houses or yourts, 7 ; origin of diverse kinds 
of burial, 31. 

Bugles, (seo Sends.) 

Carved wooden implement from Kagamil cave, 26. 

Carvings ; wooden, from Unga cave, 29, 30. 

Catherina Archipelago, 1. 

Cavn on Kagamil Island, (see Kagamil Island,) 8. 

Celt ; stone, unique, from the Aleutian Islands, 5. 

Charcoal and oil ; used as black pigment, 14. 

Chernofisky Harbor, Unalashka ; burial caves and 

carved wooden tomb ut, 8. 
Chugach Bay, 28. 

Comb ; of wood, from Kagumil cavo, 24. 
Contents of Kagamil burial cave, 11 et seg. 
37 



38 



INDEX. 



Cormorant ; white feathers from, used in emhroidery, 

12. 
Crania ; from Atka rock-shelter, 5 ; from Kagamil 

cave, 20; from Kadiak, 27; from Unga rock- 

sheltcr, 29. 

Crutch-handled stick, (see Pushing stick.} 
Deer, synonymous always with Reindeer. 
Deer-hair ; the white, used in embroidery, 14. 
Deer-skin ; white patches of, used in embroidery, 14. 
Deer-sinew ; used for making thread, 14. 
Delaroif Harbor, Unga Island, 28. 
Dish ; oval wooden, from Kagamil cave, 26. 
Doll ; Aleut, from Kagamil cave, 24. 
Duck, 25. 
Eider, 24. 
Elymus ; a grass used for making matting, 12. 

Embroidered pendant from woman s work-basket 
Kagamil cave, 25. 

Embroidery; Eskimo, materials used in, 14 j of 
Tinneh Indians, materials ured in, 14. 

Engel ; Samuel ; his Memoires, 2. 

Eskimo tribes of the Cathcrina Archipelago, 1. 

Exposure of the dead, practiced by Chukchi, 30. 

Pace cloth ; of grass matting, in largo mummy 
case, 15. 

Feathers used in embroidery ; (see Leucosticte, Cor 
morant, Puffin, etc.) 

Fillet of human hair, from Kagamil cave, 25. 

Fish-skin ; used in embroidery by Eskimo, 14. 

Fox skins ; placed with mummied infant, 20. 

Fur-seal, (see Seal.) 

Grass ; used for weaving matting, 12 ; used for 
making baskets or work bags, needle eases, 
etc., 22, 24, 25 ; used for making rope or cord, 
19. 

Grass baskets, (see Basket, Work-bag.) 

Grass fibre ; preparation of, for use in weaving, 12. 

Grass matting from Unga cave, 29. 

Grass matting, (see Matting.) 

Grass rope or braid, made by Aleuts, 19. 

Gray-necked finch, 12, 24. 

Gullet of the seal : made into parchment and used in 

embroidery, 14, 24. 
Gut bag, 25. 
Gut parchment; bag made of, from Kagamil cave, 25. 

Gypsum ; used for inlaying wooden ware and making 
beads, 23; found near Nunivak, 23; unfin 
ished beads of, found in Kagamil cave, 23. 

Hair ; human, from Kagamil cave, 24; of reindeer, 
24. 

Hairs, used in embroidery ; from the hoof glands or 
hoof tufts of the reindeer, 12; from the white 
patches on the skin of the deer, 14. 



Hair-seal skin ; used in embroidery by Eskimo, 14 ; 
different methods of preparation, 14. 

Hair-seal ; ivory model of, 23. 

Hair-seal, (see Seal.) 

Hoof tufts of the reindeer ; the hairs used in em 
broidery, 12. 

Horned puffin, 22. 

Identification of Kagamil mummies, 26. 

Implements of ivory ; use unknown, found in Kagd- 
mil cave, 23 ; probably used in sewing or net 
ting, 24. 

Ivory figures from Kagamil cave, 23 ; used for 
smoothing thread, 23. 

Kadiak group, 1. 

Kagamil Island ; celebrated burial cave on, 8 ; visit 
to, 8 ; reached by Capt. Hennig in 1874, 8 ; 
Father Shayesnikoff s account of, 8 ; charac 
ter of the rock composing the cave, 9 ; atmos 
phere of the cave hot, 9 ; mummies from this 
cave, 9 et passim. 

Kaniag muts, 1 ; 26 et scy. 

Kaniag mflt cave burials considered, 26. 

Kantags ; placed in mummy case, 17 ; from Knga 
mil cave, 21 ; miniature, from Kagamil cave, 
26; obtained by Aleuts and others through 
barter with the Continental Innuit. 21. 

Kat-hay-a-koochdk, the toyon, 9; tradition of, 9; 
death of his son, 10 ; funeral ceremonies, 10. 

Keel of bidarka, from Kagamil cave, 21. 

Killer-whale, (see Oca.) 

Knives, of bone, from Kagamil cave, 25. 

Kyak, (see Bidarka.) 

Labrets, incisions for, present in mummy from 
Prince William Sound, 32. 

Lance-head ; of stone from Kagamil cave, 23 ; with 
Kadiak mummy, 27. 

Lazeroff; Maxim, 9. 

Leucosticte griseinucha ; feathers of, used in embroi 
dery, 12. 

Lisiansky s account of Kaniag mut customs, 26. 

Masks; Aleut, 4; used as protection against spiri 
tual emanations, during religious rites, 5; 
placed over the faces of the dead, 5 ; from 
Unga cave, 29 ; ornamented with hair, and 
colors, 29 ; with feathers and painted wooden 
pendants, 30. 

Masks, used by Kaniag muts, 28. 

Masks from Prince William Sound, 32 ; painting on, 
retouched, 32; how fastened on, 32; orna 
mented with feathers and colored designs, 32. 

Matting ; grass, from large mummy case, (174C9,) 12; 
ditto, (17470,; 13; (17472,) 15; (17473,) 15. 

Merganser, 24. 

Micaceous oxide of iron; used as a pigment in cm- 
broidery, 15. 



INDEX. 



30 



Models of weapons or implements made of wood and 

placed with mummies, 28. 
Mormon cirrhaia, (see Puffin.) 
Mormon corniculata, 22. 
Mummies of whalers, (see Whalers.) 

Mummies from Kagamil Island cave, 9 et seg. ; age 
of the oldest, 9, 26 ; tradition in regard to, 9 
et seq. ; (I-X) described, 18-20; two given to 
California Academy of Sciences, 18; of Kan- 
iag muts, 26, 28 ; dressed and placed in char 
acteristic attitudes, 28. 

Mummy case ; principal, from Kagamil cave (17478), 
11; contents of, described, 11-18; human 
remains in, 11, 12; wrappings about the 
remains, 12-16. 

Mummy from Prince William Sound, 32 ; age of, 
determined by beads, 32. 

Murre, 13. 

Nails ; ornamental, of walrus ivory, 17. 
Needle case, of grass, from Kagamil cave, (17460,) 
24. 

Nets ; of sinew on large mummy case, 18. 
Nikiferoff; Ivan, his voyage, 9. 
Orca teeth ; used for carving, 23. 
Orchis root ; used as food by Aleuts, 22. 

Origin of the Aleuts, 2 ; of burial customs among 
savages, 31. 

Oxide of iron ; used as red pigment, 14. 

Parchment ; made from gullets of seal, 14, 24 ; made 
from intestines of seal, 20, 25; made from 
seal skin, 24; used for embroidery, 24, etc.; 
used for kamlaykas, 20, 27 ; used for work- 
bags, 25. 

Parka; bird-skin, from largo mummy case (17471), 
13 ; embroidery of, 13, 14 ; made of puffin 
and murre skins, 13. 

Pendant ; of ivory, from Kagamil cave, 23 ; of 
needle work, 25. 

Peziza ; a blue-green mould found in decayed birch- 
wood ; used as a green pigment, 14. 

Phaleris (little auk), 24. 

Pigments for coloring materials used in embroider} , 
14. 

Pinart ; M. Alphonsc, collections by, at Unga, 28 ; 
account of Unga cave, (note,) 30. 

Pino bark ; from Kagamil cave, 22 ; resinous part 
used as wax, 22 ; affords red pigment, 22 ; 
used as tinder, 22; derived from Sitkan re 
gion, 22. 

Poles about graves, their use, 31. 

Prince William Sound, 32. 

Puffin skins ; used for making clothing, 13. 

Pumice used for dressing skins ; found in Kagamil 
cave, 25. 



Pushing stick for bidarka in shallow water, 18, 21 ; 
ornamentation on, 21 ; attached to bidarka by 
string, 21. 

Rattles used by Shamans, from Unga cave, 30. 

Reindeer, (see also Deer;) white belly-patches of 
winter skin used in trimming garments, 14; 
white hairs used in embroidery, 14, 25 ; hairs 
from between the hoofs inserted in embroidery, 
12; hair found in work basket in Kagiimil 
cave, 24; sinew used for making thread, 14. 
This animal is not found westward of Unimak 
Island in the Aleutian chain. 

Rings, (see Beads.) 

Rock-shelters ; used as burial caves at Unalashka 
and Atka, 5 ; at Unga, 28. 

Scalps of birds, used in ornamenting embroidery 

and pendants, 24, 25. 
Sea-lion teeth ; from Kagamil cave, 23, 25 ; used 

for carving, 23. 

Seal skin ; cut into fringes for embroidery, 15. 
Sea-otter skin; used in embroidery, 13, 15; placed 

with mummies, 11, 19. 
Semidi Islands, 1. 

Sennit; round, square, etc., (see Whale sinew.) 
Sentiment ; growth of, traced among savages, 31. 
Shnmagin Islands, 1, 28. 
Sinew ; (see Deer sinew, Whale sinew, etc.) 
Skeletons, mythical feasts and festivals of, 5. 
Sperm whale teeth ; used for carving and making 

implements, 23. 
Steaming process for bending wood, 17 ; for making 

kantags, 21. 

Stitches, different kinds used in embroidery, 14. 
Streamers about graves ; to repel wild animals and 

birds, 31. 

Strips of fur skins used in embroidery, 14. 
Syphilitic caries ; shown on cranium, 21. 
Tambourines ; used by Aleuts at festivals, dunces, 

and funerals, 10 ; uso of, forbidden during 

time of mourning, 10 ; beaten by the old men 

at dances, 28. 
Teeth ; peculiarities of, among the Eskimo, 21 ; 

causes of wearing down, 21 ; uses of teeth by 

Eskimo, 21. 

Teeth, (see Sea-lion, Orca, Walrus, Sperm whale.) 
Toys, 23. 

Toy basket; of grass, from Kagamil cave, 24. 
Tradition in regard to the Kagamil cave burials, 9. 
Trapcsnikoff s party, 9. 
Trimming ; made of duck s scalp, 25. 
Tufts; of deer, (see Hoof tufts;) of puffin, (son 

Puffin, Feathers, Embroidery, etc.) 
Tufts of feathers from the head of the puffin ( Mormon 

cirrhata) used in embroidery, 12. 



40 



INDEX. 



Unga burial cave ; contents of, 29 ; mummies found 
in, 29 ; wooden carvings found in, 29 ; bone 
implement from, 29. 

Unga burial caves, 26 ; explored, 29 ; unexplored, 
31. 

TJnung un ; real name of Aleuts, 2. 

Vay geli ; mythical people called, 4. 

Visor ; wooden ; used by Aleuts, 21 ; ornamentation 
of, 22. 

"Walrus ; teeth and ivory used for carving by Aleuts, 
23. 

Weapons rarely placed with the dead, but repre 
sented by models in wood, 28. 

"Weaving ; methods of, 16. 

"Whale sinew ; used for making cord, 18 ; nets of, 
18; braided into square sennit, 18,19; braided 
into round sennit, 18, 19. 

Whalers, among the Kaniag muts, 26 ; reckoned 
unclean during the whaling season, 26; pro 
fession hereditary, 26 ; customs with regard to 



dead bodies of, 26 ; superstition in regard to 
the possession of the dead bodies of, 27 ; dis 
covery of whaler s mummy by Mr. Sheeran, 
27 ; oiferings made to mummy by natives, 27 ; 
manner of preservation of whaler s mummy 
by Kaniag muts, 27. 

Whaler s mummy from Kadiak ; complaints by 
natives in regard to his starvation, 27-8; ob 
served by town watchman promenading in 
search of food at night, 28. 

Winter houses or yourts, 6. 

Wooden armor, (see Armor.) 

Wooden carvings, (see Carvings.) 

Wooden implement for trimming the hair on strips 
of skin used in embroidery ; from Kagamil 
cave (17250), 25. 

Work-bags, 24, 25. 

Yoke ; embroidered, on parka, 14. 

Yourts or winter houses, 6. 



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