Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/291

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CHAPTER XXV.


Religious Ceremonies.—Lack of Veneration.—Evidences of Mineral Wealth.—An Apache "Rough."—Tats-ah-das-ay-go.—Remarkable Order.—Another Scout.—Apache "Hide and Seek."—Prairie Dogs and their Guests.—Apache Customs concerning Murder.—Sons-in-jah.—His Career.—His Recitals.—Former Condition of the New Mexicans.—How the Difficulties Commenced.—Reflections.—Articles of Apache Food.—Native Potatoes.—Apache Estimate of Dead Women.—Navajo Dread of Corpses.


Of religious ceremonies the Apaches have very few, and these are limited to the immediate concerns of life. The occasional scalp dance and its accompanying purification of weapons, the feasts made at marriages, and when the girls attain the age of puberty, and the ceremonials observed at the sepulture of noted warriors, comprise the whole among a people not overburdened with reverential ideas, or prone to self-humiliation. Their prayers for success, if any such are ever made, are addressed to the Evil Spirit, who is supposed to rule entirely over the apportionment of fortuitous or prejudicial results to the people of this world. It is greatly to be doubted whether the bump of reverence was ever discoverable in an Apache skull. It would be, as it has always proved, a sheer waste of time and labor to make any effort at inculcating sentiments which have been abjured by them from the earliest periods, and to which they have become wedded. The teachings of Christianity are so diametrically opposed to all their received opinions and crystallized ideas, that they regard them with abhorrence. To tell an Apache warrior that when he is smitten on one cheek it is his duty to receive a