Page:The History of the American Indians.djvu/143

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r alftainingfrom things deemed unck&n. \ + c

fear of contracting pollution, which me called the " accurfed ficknefs,'* fuppofing difeafe woulcj be the necefiary effect of fuch an impurity. Eagles of every kind they efteem unclean food ; likewife ravens (though the name of a tribe with them) crows, buzzards, fwallows, bats, and every fpecies of owls : and they believe that fwallowing flies, mufketoes, or gnats, always breeds ficknefs, or worms, according to the quantity that goes into them , which though it may not imply extraordinary fkill in phyfic, mews their retention of the ancient law, which prohibited the fwallowing of flies : for to this that divine farcafm alludes, " fwallowing a camel, and {training at a gnat." Such infects were deemed unclean, as well as vexatious and hurtful. The God of Ekron was Btelzebub, or the God and ruler of flies.

None of them will eat of any animal whatfoever, if they either know, or fufpect that it died of itfelf. I lately afked one of the women the reafon of throwing a dung-hiikfowl out of doors, on the corn-houfe j fhe faid, that ihe was afraid, Oophe Abeeka Hakfet llkh, " it died with the diftemper of the mad dogs," and that if fhe had eaten it, it would have affected her in the very fame manner. I faid, if fo, me did well to fave herfelf from danger, but at the fame time, it feemed me had forgotten the cats. She replied, " that fuch impure animals would not contract the accurfed ficknefs, on account of any evil thing they eat - t but thac the people who ate of the flefh of the fwine that fed on fuch polluting food, would certainly become mad."

In the year 1766, a madnefs feized the^wild beads in the remote woods of Weft-Florida, and about the fame time the domeftic dogs were attacked with the like diftemper ; the deer were equally infected. The Indians in their winter's hunt, found feveral lying dead, fome in a helplefs condition^ and others fierce and mad. But though they are all fond of increafing their number of deer-fkins, both from emulation and for profit, yet none of them durft venture to flay them, left they Ihould pollute themfelves, and thereby incur bodily evils. The head-man of the camp told me, he cautioned one of the Hottuk Hakfe^ who had refidcd a long time at Savannah, from touching fuch deer, faying to him Cbsbakjinna^ " Do not become vicious and mad," for Jffe Hakfet Illebtabab, " the deer were mad, and are dead ;" adding, that if he acted the part of Hakfe, he would caufe both him-

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