Thursday, December 8, 2016

Beothuk Indian Method of Burials


The Boeothicks appear to have shown great respect for their dead, and the most remarkable remains of them commonly observed by Europeans at the sea coasts are their burial places. They had several modes of interment—one was when the body of the deceased had been wrapped in birch rind, it was then, with his property, placed on a sort of scaffold about four feet from the ground—the scaffold supported a flooring of small squared beams laid close together, on which the body and property rested.
A second method was, when the body bent together and wrapped in birch rinds was enclosed in a sort of box on the ground—this box was made of small square posts laid on each other horizontally and notched at the corners to make them meet close—it was about four feet high, three feet broad, and two-feet-and-a-half deep, well lined with birch rind, so as to exclude the weather from the inside—the body was always laid on its right side.
A third, and the most common method of burying among this people, was to wrap the body in birch rind, and then cover it over with a heap of stones on the surface of the earth; but occasionally in sandy places, or where the earth was soft and easily removed, the body was sunk lower in the earth and the stones omitted.