Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/193

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181
THE CEREMONIAL USE OF TOBACCO.

humaço que los indios usan chupar; y amagavan con cada imo dellos iiiieve vezes a cado mochacho, y despues davanle a oler las flores y a chupar el humaço." That this is not an isolated instance of the use of tobacco in religious practices in these regions is shown by the pipes and cigars pictured in some of the ancient manuscripts. Bancroft states that after some of the hideous human sacrifices made by the people of Central America, great fires were built, into which the men threw pipes, among other offerings. Among the remarkable sculptures of the "Palace of the Sun," at Palenque, occurs the figure of a priest dressed in a leopard's skin, a complicated head dress, and ruffles around his wrists and ankles. In his mouth, supported by both hands, is a tubular pipe, similar in shape and decoration to many that have been found in California and in other parts of the United States. In this figure the learned Dr. Hamy sees, and doubtless correctly, the performance of an act of worship. He says: "Le pontife souffle en l'honneur du Dieu dont l'image est sculptée au fond de la chapelle une large bouffée de tabac," and proceeds to trace the analogies which exist between this practice of the builders of Palenque and the rites of the mound-builders and California Indians, of whose tubular pipes he says: "Elles servent à souffler une fumée consacrée, dans certaines cérémonies religieuses, et le medicine-man sait, suivant les besoins, les transformer soit en tubes à ventouse, soit en porte-moxa."

The treatment of disease by means of tobacco and tobacco pipes, which is here suggested, may now claim attention. The "sucking cure," in which the medicine-man or sorcerer applies to the patient's body a tube of stone or bone and pretends to extract through it some small object, such as a stick or stone, is of worldwide distribution. In America the tube used is frequently the tobacco pipe, sometimes empty, and sometimes filled with burning tobacco. Vanegas, an early historian of California, asserts that stone tubes sometimes filled with lighted tobacco were often applied to the suffering part of the patient's body. Forbes states that in the same region, in 1728, Father Luyanto, of the Loreto Mission, "as a preliminary to baptism insisted on the abjuration of faith in the native jugglers or priests, and demanded the breaking and burning of their smoking tubes and other instruments and tokens of superstition in proof of this." Among the modern Apaches the medicine-man's diagnosis of a case is made by the pretended swallowing of a pipe filled with burning tobacco. It works out of his arm or leg, and if white the patient will recover; if colored, he is likely to die. Tubular pipes occur in many parts of the United States, and in California they are numerous. While they were designed primarily as smoking implements, they were no doubt often used, as here indicated, in the treatment of disease.