My Address Was Listened To In Perfect Silence,
And The Nodding Heads Showed That Some, At Least, Understood It.
I finished speaking, a poor woman, thinking she must offer something,
gave me her baby - a naked little creature that had never been washed
in its life.
I took it up and kissed it, and the poor woman smiled.
Yes, a savage woman can smile.
As already stated, many different tribes of Indians dwell in the
Chaco, and each have their different customs. In the Suhin tribe the
rite of burial may be thus described. "The digger of the grave and
the performer of the ceremony was the chief, who is also a witch-
doctor, and I was told that he was about to destroy the witch-doctor
who had caused the man's death. A fire was lit, and whilst the
digging was in progress a stone and two pieces of iron were being
heated. Two bones of a horse, a large bird's nest built of sticks,
and various twigs were collected. The skin of a jaguar's head, a
tooth, and the pads of the same animal were laid out. A piece of wax
and a stone were also heated; and in a heap lay a hide, some skins
for bedding, and a quantity of sheep's wool. The grave being
finished, the ceremony began by a wooden arrow being notched in the
middle and waxed, then plunged into the right breast of the corpse,
when it was snapped in two at the notch, and the remaining half was
flung into the air, accompanied with a vengeful cry, in the direction
of the Toothli tribe, one of whose doctors, it was supposed, had
caused the man's death.
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