« PrejšnjaNaprej »
wood shaped like a spade. The hills were three feet apart, and in each one were placed three or four kernels of corn and as many beans, and the earth heaped up with the shell of the horseshoe crab.1 Hoes of wood and clam-shell are also recorded, and Williams says stone hoes were formerly used. The Stockbridge Indians employed for this purpose an implement made of the shoulder-blade of a bear, moose, or deer, fastened to a wooden handle.3 Sometimes two or three herring or shad (alewives ?) were placed in the hill as a fertilizer. It was the women's work to plant and cultivate the gardens and gather the crops, "yet sometimes the man himself (either out of love for his Wife or care for his Children, or being an old man)" will assist.
Great care was exercised to keep the ground free from weeds and to protect the young plants from the depredations of birds. As before noted, watch-houses were erected for the latter purpose. Williams says that hawks were kept tame about the cabins to keep small birds from the fields, and although the crows did the corn some injury, not one native in a hundred would kill one because of the tradition that a crow brought them their first grain of corn in one of its ears and a bean in the other from the field of the great god Kautántouwit in the southwest.
The corn (Zea mays) grown in the gardens of the New England Indians was of several varieties, the colors being red, blue, yellow, and white. The modern improved varieties differ but little from these earlier kinds. The bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) was also of different colors and varieties. Josselyn writes: "They are variegated much, some being bigger a great deal than others; some white, black, red, yellow, blew, spotted." This is the common field and garden bean of the New England farmer.
The pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) and the squash (asqutasquash or isquontersquash; Cucurbita polymorphia) were probably
1 Champlain, op. cit., p. 64.
2 Williams, op. cit., p. 51.
Extracts from an Indian History, Mass. Hist. Coll., Ist s., vol. 1x, p. 101.
Higgeson, op. cit., p. 118. Williams, op. cit., p. 91.
5 Mourt, op. cit., p. 34.
6 Champlain, op. cit., p. 64.
7 Josselyn, op. cit., p. 60.
raised throughout New England. In nearly all of the old-fashioned fields in these states these vegetables are grown in the same hill with the corn, and it is probable that they were thus planted in the Indian gardens. Josselyn in his quaint book, New England's Rarities, writes as follows concerning the squashes grown by the natives:
"Squashes, but more truly Squontersquashes, a kind of melon, or rather gourd, for they often degenerate into gourds; some of them are green, some yellow, some longish like a gourd, others round like an apple; all of them pleasant food . . . but the yellow squash because like an apple, and about the bigness of a pome-water is of the best kind."
The well-known modern improved varieties of this vegetable are the descendants of those found growing in the Indian gardens.
The cultivation of the artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) was adopted from the Indians by the colonists as far north as Canada.1 Its roots were used by the natives as an ingredient in stews. Champlain found it cultivated at Nauset Harbor in 1605, and at Gloucester in 1606. Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) was raised as far north in New England as the central Kennebec valley. It was a smaller and more hardy species than that now grown in warmer climates. This was commonly the only plant cultivated by the men.1
The corn was harvested by the women and thoroughly dried on mats, care being taken to cover it at night with other mats and to uncover it when the sun was shining. When thoroughly dry it was usually stored in caches, although it was sometimes placed in wooden receptacles about three feet high, made by cutting hollow logs into sections, or in baskets, and stored in the wigwam. Mor
"Their barnes are holes made in the earth, that will hold a Hogshead of corne a peece in them. In these (when their corne is out of the huske and well dried they lay their store in greate baskets which they
1 Charles Pickering, History of Plants, p. 749.
2 Champlain, op. cit., pp. 82, 112.
3 Strachey, History of Travel into Virginia, Coll. Maine Hist. Soc., vol. 111, p. 306 Williams, op. cit., p. 35.
5 Ibid., p. 92.
make of Sparke1) with mats under about the sides, and on the top; and putting it into the place made for it, they cover it with earth.
According to Wood the holes were sometimes lined with bark. Champlain saw "trenches in the sand on the slope of the hills, some five or six feet deep more or less. Putting their corn and other grains into large grass sacks they throw them into these trenches and cover them with sand three or four feet above the surface of the earth, taking it out as their needs require.”
The Pilgrims opened a cache at Cape Cod, being attracted by the heap of sand. In it they found
"a little old Basket full of faire Indian Corne, and digged further & found a fine great new Basket full of very faire corne of this yeare, with some 36 goodly eares of corne, some yellow and some red, and others mixt with blew which was a very goodly sight; the Basket was round, and narrow at the top, it held about three or four Bushels, which was as much as two of us could lift up from the ground, and was very handsomely and cunningly made."
These old cache holes are still found in many sections of New England where the land has not been cultivated. The writer has counted more than thirty-five in an area of less than half an acre on the side of a sand hill in the Kennebec valley.
1 According to Trumbull probably the same as spart, a northern English name for the dwarf rush and for osiers.
2 Morton, op. cit., p. 160.
3 Champlain, op. cit., p. 121.
Mourt, op. cit., p. 34.
PEABODY MUSEUM, HARVARD UNIVERSITY,
SOME UNSOLVED PROBLEMS IN MEXICAN
BY ZELIA NUTTALL
The admirably clear and comprehensive address on the History of Anthropology, read by Prof. Franz Boas at the International Congress of Arts and Sciences held at St Louis in September, 1904, could not but be of special interest to Americanists, for during its course he traced their different methods and theories, their struggles and points of view, past and present, and with rare impartiality touched as follows on the long-continued and still active "controversy as to the independent origin of transmission of certain widespread cultural traits, from one part of the world to another."
"To those investigators who advocate the theory of independent origin, the sameness of cultural traits was assumed as a proof of a regular, uniform evolution of culture; as representing the elementary idea which arises from necessity in the mind of man and which cannot be analyzed as the earliest surviving form of human thought. They would exclude the consideration of transmissions altogether, believe it to be unlikely, deem the alleged proof irrelevant and ascribe sameness of cultural traits wholly to the psychic unit of mankind and to the uniform reaction of the human mind upon the same stimulus.
"On the other hand, Friedrich Ratzel, whose recent loss we lament, inclined decidedly to the opinion that all sameness of cultural traits must be accounted for by transmission, no matter how distant the regions in which they are found.
"Side by side with these two views exists a third, represented by Gerland and a minority of investigators, namely, that such cultural traits are vestiges or survivals of the earliest stages of a generalized human culture."
After recording the above conflicting views, Professor Boas justly observes:
"It is evident that this fundamental question cannot be settled by any amount of discussion of general facts, since the various explanations are logically equally probable. It requires actual investigation into the individual history of such customs to discover the causes of their present distribution.”
It was doubtless intentional on the part of the organizers of the Congress that the two addresses by foreign speakers which followed that of Professor Boas were by equally distinguished extremists holding radically opposed views concerning the origin of ancient Mexican and Central American civilizations, viz., Sr Alfredo Chavero, of Mexico, who assumes transmission, and Prof. Eduard Seler, of Berlin, who upholds autochthony.
The presentation, at a single session, of the problem as seen from two different standpoints, naturally raised, in the minds of unbiased investigators (with which I venture to class myself), the question whether it is not premature to so positively deny or affirm the autochthony of these ancient civilizations.
As far as ancient Mexico is concerned, it is my experience, for instance, that even after twenty years of study I have barely penetrated its vast field of investigation, and that the more I explore its untrodden paths and discern its multifarious contradictory and perplexing features the less I am inclined to formulate definite conclusions concerning the point at issue. Frequently the discovery of unknown or unworked material, or the unexpected results obtained by the pursuit of a fresh line of research, oblige students in our comparatively unexplored field to alter or at all events to readjust their views or working hypotheses.
It has thus happened that my recent reëxamination of certain correlated facts by the light of fresh knowledge has confirmed me in my desertion from the comfortable autochthonistic point of view. While I can understand the attractions and advantages of the latter, I cannot understand how any one acquainted with the said group of facts can assert off-hand, as some extremists do, that no authentic evidence has been met with in Mexico or Central America which, even remotely, seriously suggests ancient foreign influence or contact. While it is inevitable that radical differences of opinion will be evoked concerning the interpretation to be placed upon them, I