Slike strani
PDF
ePub

they had immigrated into Arizona from New Mexico three or four generations back. Their camps were located on the highlands in winter, that they might catch the warm rays of the sun, and in summer near the water among stunted trees that sheltered them from its scorching glare. Their bands or clans were named from the nature of the ground about their chosen territory. Both men and women were fond of wearing necklaces and ear pendants of beads. The hair was worn long and flowing, with a turban, to which was attached a flap hanging down behind; they plucked out the hairs of the beard with tweezers of tin, and wore suspended from their necks a small round mirror which they used in painting their faces with stripes of brilliant colors. Strings of pieces of shell were highly prized. Their customary dwelling was a rude brush hut, circular or oval, with the earth scooped out to enlarge its capacity. In winter they huddled together for warmth and, if the hut was large, built a fire in the center. When they changed camps they burned their huts, which were always built close together. They subsisted on berries, nuts, and the fruits of various trees, mesquite beans, and acorns, of which they were particularly fond, and they ground the seeds of different grasses on a large flat stone and made a paste with water, drying it afterward in the sun. In common with other Apache tribes they relished the fruit of the giant cacti and of the yucca, and made mescal from the root of the agave. Fish they would not eat, or pork, but an unborn calf and the entrails of animals they regarded as delicacies, and horse and mule flesh

was considered the best meat. Though selfish in most things, they were hospitable with food which was free to anyone who was hungry. They were scrupulous in keeping accounts and paying debts. Like many other Indians they would never speak their own names or on any account speak of a dead member of the tribe. They tilled the ground a little with wooden implements, obtaining corn and melon seeds from the Mexicans. In their clans all were equal. Bands, according to White, were formed of clans, and chiefs were chosen for their ability and courage, although there is evidence that chieftainship was sometimes hereditary, as in the case of Cochise, who appointed his oldest son his successor, which was confirmed or ratified by the tribe. Chiefs and old men were usually deferred to in council. They used the brain of the deer in dressing buckskin. It is said that they charged their arrows with a quick, deadly poison, obtained by irritating a rattlesnake with a forked stick, causing it to bite into a deer's liver, which, when saturated with the venom, was allowed to putrefy. They stalked the deer and the antelope by covering their heads with the skull of the animal and imitating with their crouching bodies the movements of one grazing; and it was their custom to approach an enemy's camp at night in a similar manner, covering their heads with brush. They signaled in war or peace by a great blaze or smoke made by burning cedar boughs or the inflammable spines of the giant cactus. Of their social organization very little is definitely known, and the statements of the two chief authorities are widely at

variance. According to White, the children belong to the gens of the father, while Bourke asserts that the true clan system prevails. They married usually outside of the gens, according to White, and never relatives nearer than a second cousin. A young warrior seeking a wife would first bargain with her parents and then take a horse to her dwelling. If she viewed his suit with favor she would feed and water the horse, and, seeing that, he would come and fetch his bride, and after going on a hunt for the honeymoon they would return to his people. When he took two horses to the camp of the bride and killed one of them, it signified that her parents had given her over to him without regard to her consent. Youth was the quality most desired in a bride. After she became a mother the husband might take a second wife, and some had as many as five, two or more of them often being sisters. Married women were usually faithful and terribly jealous, so that single girls did not care to incur their rage. A woman in confinement went off to a hut by herself, attended by her women relatives. Children received their earliest names from something particularly noticeable at the time of their birth. As among the Navahos, a man never spoke to his mother-in-law, and treated his wife's father with distant respect; and his brothers were never familiar with his wife nor he with her sisters and brothers. Faithless wives were punished by whipping and cutting off a portion of the nose, after which they were cast off. Little girls were often purchased or adopted by men who kept them until they were old enough for them

to marry. Frequently girls were married when only 10 or 11 years of age. Children of both sexes had perfect freedom, were not required to obey, and never were punished. The men engaged in pastimes every day, and boys in mock combats, hurling stones at one another with slings. Young wives and maidens did only light work; the heavy tasks were performed by the older women. People met and parted without any form of salute. Kissing was unknown. Except mineral vermilion, the colors with which they painted their faces and dyed grasses for baskets were of vegetable origin-yellow from beech and willow bark, red from the cactus. They would not kill the golden eagle, but would pluck its feathers, which they prized, and for the hawk and the bear they had a superstitious regard in lesser degree. They made tizwin, an intoxicating drink, from corn, burying it until it sprouted, grinding it, and then allowing the mash diluted with water to ferment. The women carried heavy burdens on their backs, held by a strap passed over the forehead. Their basket work was impervious to water and ornamented with designs similar to those of the Pima, except that human figures frequently entered into the decorative motive. Baskets 21/2 feet in length and 18 inches wide at the mouth were used in collecting food, which was frequently brought from a great distance. When one of the tribe died, men carried the corpse, wrapped in the blankets of the deceased, with other trifling personal effects, to an obscure place in low ground and there buried it at once, piling stones over the grave to protected it from coyotes and other prowl

ing beasts. No women were allowed to follow, and no Apache ever revisited the spot. Female relatives kept up their lamentations for a month, uttering loud wails at sunset. The hut in which a person died was always burned and often the camp was removed. Widows used to cut off their hair and paint their faces black for a year, during which time the mourner lived in the family of the husband's brother, whose wife she became at the expiration of the time for mourning. They had a number of dances, notably the “devil dance,” with clowns, masks, headdresses, etc., in which the participants jumped over a fire, and a spirited war dance, with weapons and shooting in time to a song. When anybody fell sick several fires were built in the camp, and while the others lay around on the ground with solemn visages, the young men, their faces covered with paint, seized firebrands and ran around and through the fires and about the lodge of the sick person, whooping continually and flourishing the brands to drive away the evil spirit. They had a custom, when a girl arrived at puberty, of having the other girls tread lightly on her back as she lay face downward, the ceremony being followed by a dance.

The Tartar Chinese speak the dialect of the Apaches. The Apaches bear a striking resemblance to the Tartar. About the year 1885, , W. B. Horton, who had served as County Superintendent of Schools, at Tucson, was appointed Post Trader at Camp Apache, and went to San Francisco to purchase his stock, where he hired a Chinese cook. His kitchen adjoined his sleeping apartment, and one evening while in his

« PrejšnjaNaprej »