Page:Life and journals of Kah-ke-wa-quo-na-by.djvu/23

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Although quite young I recollect accompanying a large hunting party to the Genesee River, State of New York. At this time there were no inhabitants where the beautiful city of Rochester now stands. Our party killed a number of bears, and I had the pleasure of attending a sacred bear-oil feast, at which each guest had to drink about a gill of what was not any more palatable than castor oil.

Sometime after this I was present at a dog-feast. The animal was killed, the hair singed off, and the carcass cooked, and dealt out to all the company; after that a portion was laid on the fire as a burnt offering. I recollect also being present on one occasion when a number of birch bark canoes were on their way to York, now Toronto, and a black dog was offered as a sacrifice to the god of waters, in order that there might be smooth water and fair winds. A stone was tied around the neck of the animal, and then he was thrown into the lake. Besides the above I have attended the following religious feasts, viz: Sturgeon, Salmon, Deer, Wild Goose, Offerings to the Dead, &c., &c.

At a very early age I was taught to handle the bow and arrow with which I used to kill small game. As I grew older I became very fond of the gun, and was considered a great hunter. I was also thought expert at using the canoe, and the spear, and frequently brought home a large supply of fish.

To illustrate the customs of the Indians I will here relate an incident in the history of my early life. When about the age of nine years my mother gave me away to an Indian Chief by the name of Captain Jim, who adopted me as his son. This Chief had lately lost a son bearing my Indian name, and taking a fancy to me, he applied to my mother to allow me to be placed in the room of his deceased boy. The application was successful, and I was accordingly received into the family, and treated as one of their children.