Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/256

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ally emasculate and destroy the independence of his tribe. This was Nah-tanh, and his views were fully seconded by Klo-sen, and several others, but they could not hold their own against the practices of Gian-nah-tah, Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and other prominent and more licentious men. These recitals will serve to show that the Apaches, although the most nomadic, savage and untamed of all races, have nevertheless pondered over some of the most abstruse and perplexing social problems of the highest civilized races.

In respect to burials I could never succeed in discovering but very little, and that little not at all of a satisfactory character. On this point they are absolutely unapproachable, and invariably succeeded in foiling any scheme I planned for a more thorough knowledge on the subject. It is certain that they abhor cremation, and resort to interment, and their burials are all performed at night only by a few selected warriors. I have reason to believe that their dead are conveyed to the most convenient height, and deposited in the ground, care being taken to so shroud their bodies with stones as to prevent the wolves and coyotes from digging them up and mutilating their remains. Everything of which the defunct died possessed is scrupulously placed in the grave, but with what ceremonies, and under what observances, I have never been able to discover. The demise of a warrior provokes an excessive demonstration of woe and general sense of serious loss; the death of a squaw is almost unnoticed, except by her intimate friends and personal female relatives. Whatever external signs of grief they may practice among themselves when in a state of absolute independence and freedom, were never exhibited in presence of others while under the restraints of subjection and obedience to our dictates, and opportu-