Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/108

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his book. At no period did he appear ruffled or concerned. His equanimity won respect, and his influence with the Pimos became all powerful. In a subsequent chapter will be found detailed another and no less curious incident among those Indians.

The Pimos and Maricopas both pretend to trace their descent from Moctezuma, whoever that renowned gentle man may be, but they have entirely different ideas about the matter. The Pimos believe Moctezuma to have been a god, who resided on earth for a time, and became the founder of their race, but was treacherously and basely murdered. Before yielding up the ghost, he threatened his slayers with future punishment, foretold the scattering of the various tribes he had created and organized, and promised to come again and assume control of their affairs when all his children should be reunited under his rule.

The Pimos invariably resort to the ceremony of cremation when any of their tribe dies. The body is placed upon a funeral pyre and rapidly consumed. No effort is made to collect the ashes of the dead, but all his friends and relatives take a portion, and, mixing them with the dissolved gum of the mesquit tree (which is a species of the acacia, and yields a concrete juice similar to gum arabic), they daub their faces with the odious compound, and permit it to remain until it is worn away. The chastity of their women is proverbial, but this is probably more the result of the fear of detection than from any natural virtue. Among themselves loose women are tolerated, but the Pimo girl who may be caught in carnal intercourse with any other than a Pimo man, runs nine chances out of ten to be stoned to death. If a white man be a trader among them, and has been there for a long time, and has acquired something of their