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fall upon and kill their guests; or, taking advantage of the absence of the warriors from their villages, massacre the remaining men, old women, and small children, and carry off as prisoners the more youthful women and larger children. They look upon this kind of warfare as right and honorable. They follow their war expeditions on foot, possessing only a few horses.
Their hunting as well as war weapons are bows and arrows, clubs and knives. I have not seen a rifle or gun of any kind among them. The bow is made of willow; the arrows are of reed, part of the shaft of arrow-wood—the point tipped with a head of hard stone, either jasper or agate, small, but neatly and sharply edged; they are winged with the gay feathers of the various birds of this country. Their clubs are of mezquite wood, three or four feet long. On one occasion, as Major Fitzgerald was escorting a train up the river, he discovered them moving their families ; pressing them too hard, they turned upon his command, and, in defiance of powder and ball, attacked it with clubs at the very bayonet's point and forced the soldiers to retire.
An instance of the stratagem and bad faith practised by these different tribes upon each other, was told me by the officers at the post. The Cocopas planned the massacre of all the captains of the Cuchanos in 1851, to accomplish which they intended inviting them to a feast and slaying them. The plan was overheard and told the Cuchanos; the latter fell upon the former the same night, killing several men, and carrying off women and children. To repay them, the Cocopas made a visit to the Cuchanos to recover their prisoners, and again invited the latter to a feast, who unsuspectingly accepted ; during their absence, the Cocopas fell upon their villages and reciprocated the treatment they had previously received. Macedon, the principal chief of the Cuchanos, was killed on this occasion ; he was much beloved by his tribe, and is spoken of as an intelligent and high-minded Indian ; his death is said to have occasioned much grief. This was the time of the outbreak of Antonio Garras, who had leagued all the tribes of Indians of South California against the whites, intending by a simultaneous and well-concerted attack, to annihilate the Americans and drive them from the country. He was afterwards taken and shot by the military at San Diego, where his grave is pointed out to the passer-by.
On several occasions, the officers commanding at Fort Yuma have been instrumental in securing peace; but the Indians being naturally suspicious of each other, it does not continue long. A treaty was made between them whilst we were encamped on the Colorado. The Cuchanos were anxious for, and had often sent down their women to propose one. Owing to the number of intermarriages among the tribes, this is the usual mode of proceeding. At last, through the influence of Major Thomas, a day was appointed for both parties to meet at the post. Francisco, an intelligent, splendid-looking young Indian, and brother to the murdered Macedon, was sent down the river to bring up the Cocopas chiefs. Four of them and their women arrived on board the steamboat. José, Jepita, Coyote, and Colorado, representing the Cocopas, and Pasqual, an immense man, near six feet four inches in height, Caballo-enpelo, and Vincente, figured on the part of the Cuchanos. All made speeches; and when assenting to any particular view advanced, on either side, they commenced with the principal chief,
his approval by the monosyllable, "good.” After the words of the treaty had been agreed upon, the Major asked each one to make a sign or mark opposite his name. Before having time to explain its purport Jepita jumped up, and, with very energetic language and appropriate
gesture, stated that their word was as good as their mark; but that they would make any of their signs, such as “kneeling upon one knee,” “ raising the hand to heaven," or "embracing.” Immediately putting his words into effect, he walked up to Pasqual, and taking his large frame in his arms, gave him a long and tight embrace. After the ceremony was over, rations were issued to them, which they devoured with right good will. They then went about begging for old clothes, and in the evening celebrated one of their games.
The association of the Indian with the white tends to cause a rapid decrease by the introduction of diseases among them heretofore unknown; war, too, among themselves is a great exterminator, but has the advantage of making them more dependent upon the whites. Thinking the military will protect all, they draw near to the posts, and from presents learn the use of various articles of clothing and food ; these, now regarded as luxuries, will, in time, become to them necessities. They, too, learn and see the advantages which the whites possess over them in every respect, and are not slow either to admit or account for it. They say that whites and Indians at one time were all one tribe, equally well informed, and acquainted with the use of implements of husbandry and of all useful articles. Differing upon the choice of a chief, they quarrelled, and during the night the whites stole a march upon them, carrying away everything, and leaving the poor Indian in the dark. These Indians are of a dark brown color; during the cold weather, of dull and dirty appearance, but in summer bright and glossy from bathing in the river. They are most expert swimmers. They are of the medium height, well formed, and slender ; not muscular, the deltoid muscles alone being largely developed, arising from the peculiar mode of throwing the arms while swimming; active and clean-limbed; their features not disagreeable, although they have large noses, thick lips, and high cheek-bones; their chests are well developed and figures manly, indicating activity but not strength. The women are under the medium height: their figures are fine and plump; the bust is well developed, the mamma firm; the arms finely moulded; the hands small and pretty ; the legs beautifully formed and well rounded, and nicely-turned ankles; the feet are natually small, but become much enlarged by not being protected. Altogether they present a very voluptuous appearance. Their deportment is modest, and their carriage and bearing erect and graceful. They all travel on foot, and when going long distances, at a slow trot.
An essential article of dress worn by the men is a piece of coarse cotton cloth, three or four feet long, passed between the legs, the ends drawn over a cord tied around the waist, and then allowed to fall loosely down. The women wear a very becoming and a very pretty dress. They take the inner bark of willow, cut into strips about an inch wide and sufficiently long to extend from the waist to the knee. A number of these pieces are woven together at one end and selvedged, the edge long enough to go half-way round the body; two of these pieces—the one called the a-be-hike, and the other the al-ter-dick-are secured in front and behind by means of a girdle of strips composed of the same material, and covering the body from the hips to the knees. The front portion is woven plain, but the back into an angular shape, with a lump at each side, answering the same purpose and appearing like a bustle. On this protuberance the women carry their children of two or three years of age, a rope passing around the groins of the child and the ends tied together in front of the mother; as she approaches you, nothing is seen but a little foot dangling down on each side. The belles of the tribe, however, when they can obtain the material, make the front of white woolen cord; they take a white blanket, pick the wool loose, and twist it into cords of some thickness, and use this in place of
the willow-bark; they tip the ends of the cords with bits of red flannel; the girdle is then made of cords of the same kind, only variegated with different colors, red, white, and blue. When they lie down to sleep, they strip and cover themselves with their clothes, having nothing beneath them ; in winter they keep warm by lying near a fire. The hair of both females is cut square across the forehead above the eyes, the sides and back left long; the men wear it very long, as it is considered a great ornament, and braid it in rolls; the latter are used for the purpose of securing their bows, arrows, and clothes above water when swimming a river. The women do not wear it as long as the men. They speak of one of their celebrities, now dead, with great respect, as the warrior with the very long hair. Both sexes paint; the usual colors are vermilion, black, and blue. A very few are tattooed ; this operation is performed by pricking the skin with the sharp point of a flint, and sprinkling in the wound the dust of charcoal. Very few ornaments are used. The chiefs of the various bands seem to have a distinct official badge, consisting of pearl-shells suspended by rings from the nose. Both men and women are passionately fond of glass beads.
Although their language is not sweet, the sounds being guttural and harsh, still their names are very pretty. Three of the belles of the tribe were named Ma-vah, He-pa, and Le-och. There appears to be no marriage ceremony. If a man and woman like each other, they live together; if they afterwards disagree they can separate, provided there be no children, and even then they can marry again should both parties consent. Unmarried women are taken care of by the tribes ; children can go from one hut or family to another, and will be fed and cared for as belonging to the tribe. Nor do they have any funeral ceremonies. When a death occurs they move their villages, although sometimes only a short distance, but never occupying exactly the same locality. The dead is burned ; the body, dressed and surrounded with all the personal effects, is placed upon a funeral pile and consumed. No disposition is ever made of the ashes. A feast is celebrated, and if the deceased is possessed of any horses they are killed and eaten ; his possessions are said to be bad, and are burnt or destroyed. The female relations of the departed mourn for many days, manifesting their grief by tearing out their hair, cutting their bodies, and destroying everything they possess, not even saving a vestige of their garments. If any member of the tribe should kill another, whether in the heat of battle or in cold blood, he returns to his home and atones for the necessity of having been compelled to commit the deed by keeping a fast for one moon; on such occasions he eats no meat--only vegetables-drinks only water, knows no woman, and bathes frequently during the day to purify the flesh. . Among these tribes they have a ceremony for celebrating the arrival of a virgin to the age of puberty. When the old women ascertain the fact, the whole tribe collect together and celebrate the occasion with a feast. The applicant for womanhood is placed in an oven or closely covered hut; this is made by digging a hole, in which they lay heated stones, covering them with twigs and bushes, upon which the novice is placed ; hot water is then thrown upon the stones, and when completely steamed and saturated with profuse perspiration, she plunges into the river and takes a bath. This process is kept up for three days, maintaining a fast all the time. The feast celebrated, the girl is considered a woman, and is ready for marriage; maidens, however, do not generally, marry early. They become fully developed at about twelve or fourteen, and grow so rapidly that in a few years they look coarse and fat. Previous to a birth, the mother leaves her village for some short distance and lives by herself until a month after the child is born; the band to which she belongs then assembles and selects a name for