Topic: Burials

Stone Lined Graves – Important Person

It must have been the tomb of an important person, the burial place of some great man, highly esteemed by his companions. The mound is, as shown in the plan, surrounded by a ditch and embankment. “The mound, which covers the entire area, save a narrow strip here and there, is 115 feet long and 96 feet wide at base, with a height of 23 feet. . . . The surrounding wall and ditch are interrupted only by the gateway at the east, which is about 30 feet wide. The ditch is 3 feet deep and varies in width from 20 to 23 feet. The wall averages 20 feet in breadth and is from 1 foot to 3 feet high.” The upper 5 feet of the mound was of yellow clay, the balance of the work being formed of dark surface soil. “At the base, 30 feet front the south margin, was a bed of burnt clay, on which were coals and ashes. In the center, also at the base, were the remains of a square wooden vault. The logs of which it was built were completely decayed, but the molds and impressions were still very distinct, so that they could be easily traced. This was about 10 feet square, and the logs were of considerable size, most of them nearly or quite a foot in diameter. At each...

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Various Types of Iroquoian Burials

Many burials of special interest, either by reason of their rather unusual form or the material which they revealed, have been discovered in different parts of the present State of New York. These may be attributed to the people of the Five Nations, and seem to prove that all followed various methods of disposing of their dead. The quotations are made from Beauchamp, by whom the information was gathered from several sources. In Genesee County, the home of the Seneca, a cemetery encountered in a gravel bank some 6 miles southeast of Bergen ” has skeletons in a sitting posture, with and without early relics.” These were undoubtedly flexed, the bodies closely wrapped and then placed in pits-the early form of inhumation. Eastward from the preceding, in Seneca County, once occupied by the Cayuga, the ancient village of Kendaia stood about 4 miles southwest of the present settlement of Romulus. It was destroyed in 1779. One of the graves then standing was thus described: “The body was laid on the surface of the earth in a shroud or garment ; then a large casement made very neat with boards something larger than the body and about four foot high put over the body as it lay on the earth; and the outside and top were painted very curious with a great many colors. In each end of the casement...

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Delaware Ceremony, 1762

“I was present in the year 1762, at the funeral of a woman of the highest rank and respectability, the wife of the valiant Delaware chief Shingask; . . . all the honours were paid to her at her interment that are usual on such occasions. . . . At the moment that she died, her death was announced through the village by women especially appointed for that purpose, who went through the streets crying, ‘She is no more! She is no more!’ The place on a sudden exhibited a scene of universal mourning; cries and lamentations were heard from all quarters.” The following day the body was placed in a coffin which had been made by a carpenter employed by the Indian trader. The remains had been ” dressed and painted in the most superb Indian style. Her garments, all new, were set off with rows of silver broaches, one row joining the other. Over the sleeves of her new ruffled shirt were broad silver arm spangles from her shoulder down to her wrist, on which were bands, forming a kind of mittens, worked together of wampum, in the same manner as the belts which they use when they deliver speeches. Her long plaited hair was confined by broad bands of silver, one band joining the other, yet not of the same size, but tapering from the head...

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Burial Customs of the Caddo Tribe

Before the corpse is taken out from the house, those present pass their hands over it, from head to feet, and then over their own person. Messages are sent through the deceased to other dead relatives. 1Shawnee funeral guests send gifts via the deceased, to their dead kin (Voegelin). Anybody arriving too late to see the deceased will go to the grave, to the east side, and, making a pass over the grave, will pass his hands down his own person. This rite is repeated at the other sides of the grave, south, west, north. Graves are made near dwelling houses, 2Cp. Harrington, 285. nowadays on your own land. At the time of the land allotment White Moon’s grandmother selected as her land the place where her daughter and grandson, White Moon’s mother and little brother, were buried. The daughter of a neighbor 3This woman White Moon’s grandmother called dahaiĀ’’, younger sister; but White Moon insists that between the two women there was no kinship. is buried here, too. During the period of my inquiry Hanoshi’ (Gen. II, 25) died. She was to be buried, according to White Moon, near her sister, Sadie (Gen. II, 23) whose grave was near their mother’s house where both women had continued to live. House and burial place are at Kudadosa where White Moon’s mother and brother lived and were buried. But the...

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