Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/607

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THE DELAWARE INDIAN AS AN ARTIST.

and many an interment was without any object of stone, bone, or clay. On the other hand, in some lonely spot, some little knoll in a forest, or prominent ridge of earth extending out upon a level meadow tract, a single grave has been found, where objects of a high grade of workmanship and suggesting a distinct advance over the historic Indian occurred. The whole character of the interment was different from that of the average or ordinary Indian grave. There is obvious danger, it is true, from drawing too broad a conclusion from a few such graves. Doubtless the Indian "king" would be interred with greater pomp and with finer possessions than the Indian warrior; but in such instances as I have mentioned, the objects found have been different in character as well as of superior workmanship. In such a matter the best that can be done, with our present stock of knowledge, is to express, tentatively of course, that this or that condition was probably true; and surveying the whole valley, after twenty years of tramping

PSM V41 D607 Modern chippewa handle of a wooden spoon.jpg
Fig. 5.—Handle of Wooden Spoon. Modern Chippewa.

about it from the mountains to the sea, I have been forcibly impressed with the evidence, first, of man's antiquity in this region, of his gradual progress from a very primitive to a more cultured condition, and of retrogression at the dawn of the historic period.

Much might be said of the skill of the Delaware Indian in all of the many phases of his industry, but I propose only to speak of him as an artist. A love of bright colors was always, and is, a prominent characteristic, and probably the first attempt at personal adornment was the attachment to the person of feathers and small stones of bright hues. Mica and quartz crystals are common in graves. The glitter and glistening of these would be sure to attract. But what of the next step, that of shaping from formless masses objects that strike the fancy of the wearer? To