Sunday, June 23, 2019

Apache Indian's Medicine and Charms

Apache Indian's Medicine and Charms

Apache Fetishes
Among the Athapascan Indians the Apaches, both male and female, wear fetishes which they call tzi-daltai, manufactured from lightning-riven wood, generally pine or cedar, or fir from the mountains. These are highly valued, and are never sold. They are shaved very thin, rudely carved in the semblance of the human form, and decorated with incised lines representing the lightning. They are small in size, and few of them are painted. 
Bourke describes one that an Apache chief carried about with him, which was made of a piece of lath, unpainted, having a figure in yellow drawn upon it, with a narrow black band and three snake's heads with white eyes. It was further decorated with pearl buttons and small eagle-down feathers. The reverse and obverse were identical.
Many of the Apaches attached a piece of malachite to their guns and bows to make them shoot accurately. Bourke mentions a class of fetishes which he terms 'phylacteries.' These are pieces of buckskin or other material upon which are inscribed certain characters or symbols of a religious or 'medicine' nature, and they are worn attached to the person who seeks benefit from them. They differ from the ordinary fetish in that they are concealed from the public gaze. These 'phylacteries,' Bourke says, "themselves medicine," may be employed to enwrap other 'medicine,' and "thus augment their own potentialities." He describes several of these objects. One worn by an Indian named Ta-ul-tzu-je "was tightly rolled in at least half a mile of saddler's silk, and when brought to light was found to consist of a small piece of buckskin two inches square, upon which were drawn red and yellow crooked lines, which represented the red and yellow snake. Inside were a piece of malachite and a small cross of lightning-riven pine, and two very small perforated shells. The cross they designated 'the black mind.'" Another 'phylactery' consisted of a tiny bag of hoddentin, holding a small quartz crystal and four feathers of eagle-down. This charm, it was explained by an Indian, contained not merely the 'medicine' of the crystal and the eagle, but also that of the black bear, the white lion, and the yellow snake.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sioux Indians Creation Myth

Sioux Indians Creation Myth

Siouan Cosmology
The Mandan tribes of the Sioux possess a type of creation-myth which is common to several American peoples. They suppose that their nation lived in a subterranean village near a vast lake. Hard by the roots of a great grape-vine penetrated from the earth above, and, clambering up these, several of them got a sight of the upper world, which they found to be rich and well stocked with both animal and vegetable food. Those of them who had seen the new-found world above returned to their home bringing such glowing accounts of its wealth and pleasantness that the others resolved to forsake their dreary underground dwelling for the delights of the sunny sphere above. The entire population set out, and started to climb up the roots of the vine, but no more than half the tribe had ascended when the plant broke owing to the weight of a corpulent woman. The Mandans imagine that after death they will return to the underground world in which they originally dwelt, the worthy reaching the village by way of the lake, the bad having to abandon the passage by reason of the weight of their sins.
The Minnetarees believed that their original ancestor emerged from the waters of a lake bearing in his hand an ear of corn, and the Mandans possessed a myth very similar to that of the Muskhogees concerning the origin of the world.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Native American Houses and Lodges

Native American Houses and Lodges

Ojibwa Indian house made of mats and bark  Details about Native American Houses Constructed of Bark or Mats Here

Ojibwa Indians matt house or lodge.  Ojibwa Indian Houses Detailed Here

Ojibwa Indians Matt house sometimes called  a wigwam

Kansa Sioux Indian bark lodge or house

Ioway Indian Matt Lodge or House

Iroquois Indian House and Village Described Here

Descriptions of the Powhatan Indian Houses and Village

Creek Indian Houses Described Here

Arapaho Indians Inside their Lodge or House

Omaha Indians Earth Lodge

Mandan Sioux Earthen Lodge Mandan Indian Villiage Described Here

Indian houses of the Northwest.  Historical descriptions of the Indian houses of the Northwest here

Shoshoni Indian Tipi made of skins  Native American Skin Lodges and Tents Are Detailed Here