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Use Of Tobacco Among North American Indians

Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.

One Offense of the Pueblos

On the 30th of June, 1846, the advance of the “Army of the West,” under Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, inarched from Fort Leavenworth for New Mexico. Two troops of dragoons followed in July, and overtook the first division at Bent’s Fort. The remainder...

Zuñi Pueblo

Zuñi lies in a great plain, or valley, through which the Zuñi River flows. On account of the severe storm that had prevailed for a number of days the streets of the town were in a horrible condition, and looked as if they were never cleaned. They are now higher than...

Acoma Pueblo

Reaching the open plain, we came within view of the rock of Acoma, and were in a little while watering our horses at the reservoir over which the pueblos are quarreling. The water was very low and there wore evidences of recent neglect. The rock of Acoma, bears the...

Laguna Pueblo

The night of October 17, 1890, found me a lodger in the railroad station at Laguna. The day after my arrival I went to the pueblo, which is but a few minutes walk west of the station, and was introduced to the Principal men of Laguna, who, learning the nature of my...

The Tablita or Corn Dance

The question of physical condition is one less dependent upon diet than the mode of life which renders general development a result, No better test of a high grade of physique could be found than the prolonged and fatiguing dances, lasting for the greater part of as...
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