Page:American Indian Freemasonry.djvu/21

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fraternities existed. In other regions, especially in the area of the great plains, the dwellings were more simple. On the east coast and extending well into the Mississippi valley on the eastern side many of the Indian nations were village and town dwellers living in bark covered houses, some of them large and roomy. The Iroquoian peoples, for example, had "long houses" built of poles, tree trunks and bark. Their towns were surrounded by stockades of tree trunks, sometimes three rows being used. Unlike the Indians of the plains who must move as the buffalo herds moved, the east coast Indians were more or less sedentary. They were thus able to build up a compact form of government and to evolve a well knit system of social organization.

In digging into the earth where once arose these ancient towns of the red men we discover the durable artifacts made by their craftsmen. Working only with tools of stone and bone they made many beautiful objects, the form and symmetry of which excites the admiration and applause of modern observers. The archeological museums of America contain numerous examples of the Indian's handiwork. From these things we learn that the native American of old had a keen eye, a skillful hand and a sense of balance and harmony of form that is scarcely equalled today. Take any well made and polished hatchet-head of stone (sometimes called celts, and often erroneously "skinning stones"), and by placing it on a smooth, level surface you will discover that it can be spun on one side, the axis being plainly visible and the balance perfect. Here is a demonstration of a studied attempt to perfect the art of balance and of symmetry.

The Indian's knowledge of form is proven by an in-