Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NYC Area (1916)

"Above the grave they place a large pile of wood, stone or earth..."
    "Next we have a detailed account by Van der Donck, written in 1656…
      "Whenever an Indian departs this life, all the residents of the place assemble at the funeral. To a distant stranger, who has not a friend or relative in the place, they pay the like respect. They are equally careful to commit the body to the earth, without neglecting any of the usual ceremonies, according to the standing of the deceased. In deadly diseases they are faithful to sustain and take care of each other. Whenever a soul has departed, the nearest relatives extend the limbs and close the eyes of the dead; and after the body has been watched and wept over several days and nights, they bring it to the grave, wherein they do not lay it down, but place it in a sitting posture upon a stone or a block of wood, as if the body were sitting upon a stool; then they place a pot, kettle, platter, spoon, with some provision and money, near the body in the grave; this they say is necessary for the journey to the other world. Then they place as much wood around the body as will keep the earth from it. Above the grave they place a large pile of wood, stone or earth, and around and above the same, they place palisades resembling a small dwelling. All their burial places are secluded and preserved with a religious veneration and care, and they consider it wicked and infamous to disturb or injure their burial places…(114)"
      In a description of the first settlement of New Netherland by the Dutch, taken from VVassenaer's Historie van Europa, published in Amsterdam in 1621, we read:
    “It appears that the Sickanamers, before mentioned, make a sort of sacrifice. They have a hole in a hill in which they place a kettle full of all sorts of articles that they have, either by them, or procured. When there is a great quantity collected a snake comes in, then they all depart, and the Manittou, that is the Devil, comes in the night and takes the kettle away, according to the statement of the Koutsinacka, or Devil hunter, who presides over the ceremony."
    This statement may account for the occurrence, often noted on other sites, of the dog-burial in Pit 14, since dogs were and are still commonly sacrificed to the gods by the forest Indians, most of whom still recognize a monster snake manitu. Pit 55 held the entire skeleton of a small sturgeon, about four feet long, neatly curled around its inner edge. This fish may also have been an offering...(122)"

  I was really looking for "burnt quartz" ref's but came upon the above, stone piles over graves and then the Snake Manitou reference, leaving me wondering about the stone walls that surround the stone heaps sometimes - could they be Serpent Petroforms??? - Tim
Post Script: Maybe this is similar?

1 comment :

pwax said...