The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville By Washington Irving

























































































































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This custom of promulgating everything by criers, is not confined
to the Nez Perces, but prevails among many other tribes - Page 290
The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville By Washington Irving - Page 290 of 442 - First - Home

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This Custom Of Promulgating Everything By Criers, Is Not Confined To The Nez Perces, But Prevails Among Many Other Tribes.

It has its advantage where there are no gazettes to publish the news of the day, or to report the proceedings of important meetings.

And in fact, reports of this kind, viva voce, made in the hearing of all parties, and liable to be contradicted or corrected on the spot, are more likely to convey accurate information to the public mind than those circulated through the press. The office of crier is generally filled by some old man, who is good for little else. A village has generally several of these walking newspapers, as they are termed by the whites, who go about proclaiming the news of the day, giving notice of public councils, expeditions, dances, feasts, and other ceremonials, and advertising anything lost. While Captain Bonneville remained among the Nez Perces, if a glove, handkerchief, or anything of similar value, was lost or mislaid, it was carried by the finder to the lodge of the chief, and proclamation was made by one of their criers, for the owner to come and claim his property.

How difficult it is to get at the true character of these wandering tribes of the wilderness! In a recent work, we have had to speak of this tribe of Indians from the experience of other traders who had casually been among them, and who represented them as selfish, inhospitable, exorbitant in their dealings, and much addicted to thieving; Captain Bonneville, on the contrary, who resided much among them, and had repeated opportunities of ascertaining their real character, invariably speaks of them as kind and hospitable, scrupulously honest, and remarkable, above all other Indians that he had met with, for a strong feeling of religion.

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