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Titre : Annual report of the Bureau of American ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian institution

Auteur : Bureau of American ethnology (Washington, D.C.)

Éditeur : Government printing office (Washington)

Date d'édition : 1903

Contributeur : Powell, John Wesley (1834-1902). Directeur de publication

Type : texte

Type : publication en série imprimée

Langue : anglais

Format : application/pdf

Description : 1903 (N25)-1904.

Description : Note : Index.

Droits : domaine public

Identifiant : ark:/12148/bpt6k276372

Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France

Relation : http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb37575968z

Relation : http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb37575968z/date

Provenance : Bibliothèque nationale de France

Date de mise en ligne : 15/10/2007

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older writings. Doctor Cronau figures two Lucayan clay pipe bowls of a bird form identical with certain mound pipes that are now in the Nassau library, New Providence island, Bahamas. As similar forms have not been recorded from the more southerly West Indies and little is known of the history of those from Bahama, it is desirable to détermine their antiquity and to know definitely the locality in which they were found.

In aboriginal secular smoking it was customary to roll the tobacco

leaf in much the same way that cigars are now made, and a cigar is even now called a "tobacco" in the West Indies. The companions of Columbus noticed the Cuban Indians smoking tobacco in this form. Gômara says that the islanders ate tobacco, but it is more probable that theysimply chewed the herb for ils narcotic influences, the object being to obtain psycho-religious suggestions.

A beverage made from the root of the manioc was used in dances,

· many of which closed with a general debauch in which all the participants became intoxicated. There is every reason to suppose that this drink was prepared in the same way as the intoxicant employed by the Guiana Indians described by im Thurn.


For our knowledge of thé ceremonies of -the prehistoric Porto

Ricans we must rely wholly on early authors whose accounts relate to the Indians of Haiti rather than to those of Porto Rico.. As all agree that there was close similarity in the inhabitants of the two islands we are justified in the belief that the descriptions given hold good also for the Indians of Borinquen, or Porto Rico. There is, besides, a certain parallelism in the ceremonies of all primitive peoples, a knowledge of which may be used in interpreting the ritual of any individual tribe.

The most important communal ceremonies among the Haitians were

performed for rain and the growth of the crops, but there were ceremonies for success in war and for curing the sick, commemoration rites over the dead, initiation rites, and various others. In some instances these rites took the form of elaborate dances, accompanied by prayers, songs, and other performances. Dramatization played an important part in all ceremonies and was especially prominent in war dances, in which were represented the motive of the war, the departure of the warriors, ambuscades, surprise of the enemy, combat, celebration of the victory, and return of the war party, accompanied with mortuary rites of a commemorative nature, for the fallen (plate ix). These dramatizations were called by the same name as other ceremonial dances celebrated on important occasions. A dance, or <M'6~o, accompanied the birth of a child and the death of a cacique. In medicinal practice it was regarded as a means of augmenting the