By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Picture-Writing of the American Indians - Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1888-89, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1893, pages 3-822
Author: Mallery, Garrick
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Picture-Writing of the American Indians - Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1888-89, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1893, pages 3-822" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Archive (American Libraries) and the Online Distributed
produced from images generously made available by the
Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at

Transcriber’s note:

Bold text is indicated by ~swung dashes~, italics by _underscores_, and
superscript by caret signs, e. g. 38^{mm}.


Series title.

Smithsonian institution. _Bureau of ethnology._

Tenth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the |
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1888-’89 | by | J. W.
Powell | director | [Vignette] |

Washington | government printing office | 1893

8^o. xxx, 742 pp. 54 pl.

Author title.

Powell (John Wesley).

Tenth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the |
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1888-’89 | by | J. W.
Powell | director | [Vignette] |

Washington | government printing office | 1893

8^o. xxx, 742 pp. 54 pl.

[SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. _Bureau of ethnology._]

Title for subject entry.

Tenth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the |
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1888-’89 | by | J. W.
Powell | director | [Vignette] |

Washington | government printing office | 1893

8^o. xxx, 742 pp. 54 pl.

[SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. _Bureau of ethnology._]

    OF THE

    TO THE


    J. W. POWELL






  Letter of transmittal                                               VII

  Introduction                                                         IX

  Publications                                                          X

  Field work                                                            X
    Mound explorations                                                  X
      Work of Mr. Cyrus Thomas                                          X
      Work of Mr. Gerard Fowke                                         XI
      Work of Mr. J. D. Middleton                                      XI
      Work of Mr. H. L. Reynolds                                       XI
      Work of Mr. J. W. Emmert                                        XII
    General field studies                                             XII
      Work of Col. Garrick Mallery                                    XII
      Work of Mr. W. J. Hoffman                                      XIII
      Work of Mr. H. W. Henshaw                                       XIV
      Work of Mr. James Mooney                                         XV
      Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curtin                                     XVI
      Work of Mr. A. S. Gatschet                                     XVII
      Work of Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt                                    XVII
      Work of Mr. Victor Mindeleff                                   XVII
      Work of Mr. A. M. Stephen                                      XVII

  Office work                                                       XVIII
      Work of Major J. W. Powell                                    XVIII
      Work of Mr. H. W. Henshaw                                     XVIII
      Work of Col. Garrick Mallery                                  XVIII
      Work of Mr. J. Owen Dorsey                                    XVIII
      Work of Mr. A. S. Gatschet                                      XIX
      Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curtin                                     XIX
      Work of Mr. James Mooney                                        XIX
      Work of Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt                                      XX
      Work of Mr. J. C. Pilling                                        XX
      Work of Mr. W. H. Holmes                                        XXI
      Work of Mr. Cyrus Thomas                                       XXII
      Work of Mr. H. L. Reynolds                                     XXII
      Work of Mr. Victor Mindeleff                                   XXII
      Work of Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff                                   XXII
      Work of Mr. J. K. Hillers                                     XXIII
      Work of Mr. Franz Boas                                        XXIII
      Work of Mr. Lucien M. Turner                                   XXIV

  Necrology                                                          XXIV
    Mr. James Stevenson                                              XXIV

  Accompanying paper                                                  XXV
    Picture-writing of the American Indians, by Garrick Mallery      XXVI

  Financial statement                                                 XXX


                  _Washington, D. C., October 1, 1889_.

SIR: I have the honor to submit my Tenth Annual Report as Director of
the Bureau of Ethnology.

The first part of it presents an exposition of the operations of the
Bureau during the fiscal year 1888-’89; the second part consists of a
work on the Picture-writing of the American Indians, which has been in
preparation for several years.

I desire to express my thanks for your earnest support and your valuable
counsel relating to the work under my charge.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

[Illustration: signature]


    Prof. S. P. LANGLEY,
          _Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution_.

    OF THE



Research among the North American Indians, in obedience to acts of
Congress, was continued during the fiscal year 1888-’89.

The explanation presented in several former annual reports of the
general plan upon which the work of the Bureau has been performed
renders a detailed repetition superfluous. The lines of investigation
which from time to time have appeared to be the most useful or the
most pressing have been confided to persons trained in or known to be
specially adapted to their pursuit. The results of their labors are
presented in the three series of publications of the Bureau which are
provided for by law. A brief statement of the work upon which each one
of the special students was actively engaged during the fiscal year is
furnished below; but it should be noted that this statement does not
specify all the studies made or services rendered by them.

The assistance of explorers, writers, and students who are not and may
not desire to be officially connected with the Bureau is again invited.
Their contributions, whether in suggestions or extended communications,
will always be gratefully acknowledged and will receive proper credit.
They may be published as Congress will allow, either in the series of
annual reports or in monographs or bulletins. Several valuable papers of
this class have already been contributed and published.

The report now submitted consists of three principal divisions. The
first relates to the publications made during the fiscal year; the
second, to the work prosecuted in the field; the third, to the office
work, which chiefly consists of the preparation for publication of the
results of field work, with the corrections and additions obtained from
exhaustive researches into the literature of the subjects discussed and
by correspondence relative to them.


The publications actually issued and distributed during the year were as
follows, all octavo:

Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, by James C. Pilling; pages i-vi
+ 1-208. Facsimile reproductions, at pages 44 and 56, of title pages of
early publications relating to Indian languages, and, at page 72, of the
Cherokee alphabet.

Textile Fabrics of Ancient Peru, by William H. Holmes; pages 1-17, Figs.

The Problem of the Ohio Mounds, by Cyrus Thomas; pages 1-54, Figs. 1-8.


The field work of the year is divided into (1) mound explorations
and (2) general field studies, the latter being directed chiefly to
archeology, linguistics, and pictography.



The work of exploring the mounds of the eastern United States was, as in
former years, under the superintendence of Mr. Cyrus Thomas. The efforts
of the division were chiefly confined to the examination of material
already collected and to the arrangement and preparation for publication
of the data on hand. Field work received less attention, therefore,
than in previous years, and was mainly directed to such investigations
as were necessary to elucidate doubtful points and to the examination
and surveys of important works which had not before received adequate

The only assistants to Mr. Thomas whose engagements embraced the entire
year were Mr. James D. Middleton and Mr. Henry L. Reynolds. Mr. Gerard
Fowke, one of the assistants, ceased his connection with the Bureau
at the end of the second month. Mr. John W. Emmert was engaged as a
temporary assistant for a few months.


During the short time in which he remained with the division, Mr. Fowke
was engaged in exploring certain mounds in the Sciota valley, Ohio, a
field to which Messrs. Squier and Davis had devoted much attention.
Its reexamination was for the purpose of investigating certain typical
mounds which had not been thoroughly examined by those explorers.


Mr. Middleton was employed from July to the latter part of October in
the exploration of mounds and other ancient works in Calhoun county,
Illinois, a territory to which special interest attaches because it
seems to be on the border line of different archeologic districts. From
October until December he was engaged at Washington in preparing plats
of Ohio earthworks. During the next month he made resurveys of some of
the more important inclosures in Ohio, after which he resumed work in
the office at Washington until the latter part of March, when he was
sent to Tennessee to examine several mound groups and to determine, so
far as possible, the exact locations of the old Cherokee “over-hill
towns.” The result of the last-mentioned investigation was valuable, as
it indicated that each of these “over-hill towns” was, with possibly one
unimportant exception, in the locality of a mound group.


Near the close of October Mr. Reynolds, having already examined the
inclosures of the northern, eastern, and western sections of the mound
region, went to Ohio and West Virginia to study the different types
found there, with reference to the chapters he was preparing on the
various forms of ancient inclosures in the United States. While thus
engaged he explored a large mound connected with one of the typical
works in Paint creek valley, obtaining unexpected and important results.
The construction of this tumulus was found to be quite different from
most of those in the same section examined by Messrs. Squier and Davis.


Mr. Emmert devoted the few months in which he was employed to the
successful exploration of mounds in eastern Tennessee. Some important
discoveries were made and additional interesting facts were ascertained
in regard to the mounds of that section.



Early in the month of July Col. Garrick Mallery proceeded to Maine, Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick to continue investigation into the pictographs
of the Abnaki and Micmac Indians, which had been commenced in 1887. He
first visited rocks in Maine, on the shore near Machiasport, and on Hog
island, in Holmes bay, a part of Machias bay. In both localities pecked
petroglyphs were found, accurate copies of which were taken. Some of
them had not before been reported. They are probably of Abnaki origin,
of either the Penobscot or the Passamaquoddy division, the rocks lying
on the line of water communication between the territories of those
divisions. From Maine he proceeded to Kejemkoojik lake, on the border
of Queens and Annapolis counties, Nova Scotia, and resumed the work
of drawing and tracing the large number of petroglyphs found during
the previous summer. Perfect copies were obtained of so many of them
as to be amply sufficient for study and comparison. These are incised
petroglyphs, and were made by Micmacs. The country of the Malecites, on
the St. Johns river, New Brunswick, was next visited. No petroglyphs
were discovered, but a considerable amount of information was obtained
upon the old system of pictographs on birch bark and its use.
Illustrative specimens were gathered, together with myths and legends,
which assisted in the elucidation of some of the pictographs observed


Mr. W. J. Hoffman proceeded in July to visit the Red Lake and White
Earth Indian reservations in Minnesota. At Red lake he obtained copies
of birch bark records pertaining to the Midē'wiwin or Grand Medicine
Society of the Ojibwa, an order of shamans professing the power to
prophesy, to cure disease, and to confer success in the chase. The
introductory portion of the ritual of this society pertains particularly
to the Ojibwa cosmogony. At the same place he secured several birch
bark records of hunting expeditions, battles with neighboring tribes of
Indians, maps, and songs. He also investigated the former and present
practice of tattooing, and the Ojibwa works of art in colors, beads, and

At White Earth Reservation two distinct charts of the Grand Medicine
Society were obtained, together with full explanations by two of the
chief midé or shamans, one of whom was the only fourth-degree priest in
either of the reservations. Although a considerable difference between
these three charts is apparent, their principles and the general course
of the initiation of the candidates are similar. The survival of archaic
forms in the charts and ritual indicates a considerable antiquity. Some
mnemonic songs were also obtained at this reservation. In addition to
the ritual, secured directly from the priests, in the Ojibwa language,
translations of the songs were also recorded, with musical notation.
On leaving the above reservations, Mr. Hoffman proceeded to Pipestone,
Minnesota, to copy the petroglyphs upon the cliffs of that historic

He then returned to St. Paul, Minnesota, to search the records of the
library of the Minnesota Historical Society for copies of pictographs
reported to have been made near La Pointe, Wisconsin. Little information
was obtained, although it is known that such pictographs, now nearly
obliterated, existed upon conspicuous cliffs and rocks near Lake
Superior, at and in the vicinity of Bayfield and Ashland.

Mr. Hoffman afterward made an examination of the “pictured cave,”
eight miles northeast of La Crosse, Wisconsin, to obtain copies of the
characters appearing there. These are rapidly being destroyed by the
disintegration of the rock. The colors employed in delineating the
various figures were dark red and black. The figures represent human
beings, deer, and other forms not now distinguishable.


Mr. H. W. Henshaw spent the months of August, September, and October on
the Pacific coast, engaged in the collection of vocabularies of several
Indian languages, with a view to their study and classification. The
Umatilla Reservation in Oregon was first visited with the object of
obtaining a comprehensive vocabulary of the Cayuse. Though there are
about four hundred of these Indians on the reservation, probably not
more than six speak the Cayuse tongue. The Cayuse have extensively
intermarried with the Umatilla, and now speak the language of the
latter, or that of the Nez Percé. An excellent Cayuse vocabulary was
obtained, and at the same time the opportunity was embraced to secure
vocabularies of the Umatilla and the Nez Percé languages. His next
objective point was the neighborhood of the San Rafael Mission, Marin
county, California, the hope being entertained that some of the Indians
formerly gathered at the mission would be found there. He learned that
there were no Indians at or near San Rafael, but subsequently found a
few on the shores of Tomales bay, to the north. A good vocabulary was
collected from one of these, which, as was expected, was subsequently
found to be related to the Moquelumnan family of the interior, to the
southeast of San Francisco bay. Later the missions of Santa Cruz and
Monterey were visited. At these points there still remain a few old
Indians who retain a certain command of their own language, though
Spanish forms their ordinary means of intercourse. The vocabularies
obtained are sufficient to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that
there are two linguistic families instead of one, as had been formerly
supposed, in the country above referred to. A still more important
discovery was made by Mr. Henshaw at Monterey, where an old woman was
found who succeeded in calling to mind more than one hundred words and
short phrases of the Esselen language, formerly spoken near Monterey,
but less than forty words of which had been previously known. Near the
town of Cayucas, to the south, an aged and blind Indian was visited
who was able to add somewhat to the stock of Esselen words obtained at
Monterey, and to give valuable information concerning the original home
of that tribe. As a result of the study of this material Mr. Henshaw
determines the Esselen to be a distinct linguistic family, a conclusion
first drawn by Mr. Curtin from a study of the vocabularies collected by
Galiano and Lamanon in the eighteenth century. The territory occupied by
the tribe and linguistic family lies coastwise, south of Monterey bay,
as far as the Santa Lucia mountains.


On July 5 Mr. James Mooney started on a second trip to the territory
of the Cherokee in North Carolina, returning after an absence of
about four months. During this time he made considerable additions
to the linguistic material already obtained by him, and was able to
demonstrate the former existence of a fourth, and perhaps even of a
fifth, well-marked Cherokee dialect in addition to the upper, lower, and
middle dialects already known. The invention of a Cherokee syllabary
which was adapted to the sounds of the upper dialect has tended to make
that dialect universal. A number of myths were collected, together with
a large amount of miscellaneous material relating to the Cherokee tribe,
and the great tribal game of ball play, with its attendant ceremonies
of dancing, conjuring, scratching the bodies of the players, and going
to water, was witnessed. A camera was utilized to secure characteristic
pictures of the players. Special attention was given to the subject
of Indian medicine, theoretic, ceremonial, and therapeutic. The most
noted doctors of the tribe were employed as informants, and nearly
five hundred specimens of medicinal and food plants were collected
and their Indian names and uses ascertained. The general result of
this investigation shows that the medical and botanical knowledge of
the Indians has been greatly overrated. A study was made of Cherokee
personal names, about five hundred of which were translated, being
all the names of Indian origin now remaining in that region. The most
important results of Mr. Mooney’s investigations were the discovery of a
large number of manuscripts containing the sacred formulas of the tribe,
written in Cherokee characters by the shamans for their own secret use,
and jealously guarded from the knowledge of all but the initiated. The
existence of such manuscripts had been ascertained during a visit in
1887, and several of them had been procured. This discovery of genuine
aboriginal material, written in an Indian language by shamans for
their own use, is believed to be unique in the history of aboriginal
investigation, and was only made possible through the invention of
the Cherokee syllabary by Sequoia in 1821. Every effort was made by
Mr. Mooney to obtain all the existing manuscripts, with the result of
securing all of that material which was in the possession of the tribe.
The whole number of formulas obtained is about six hundred. They consist
of prayers and sacred songs, explanations of ceremonies, directions for
medical treatment, and underlying theories. They relate to medicine,
love, war, hunting, fishing, self-protection, witchcraft, agriculture,
the ball play, and other similar subjects, thus forming a complete
exposition of an aboriginal religion as set forth by its priests in
their own language.


Early in October Mr. Jeremiah Curtin left Washington for the Pacific
coast. During the remainder of the year he was occupied in Shasta and
Humboldt counties, California, in collecting vocabularies and data
connected with the Indian system of medicine. This work was continued in
different parts of Humboldt and Siskiyou counties until June 30, 1889.
Large collections of linguistic and other data were gathered and myths
were secured which show that the whole system of medicine of these
Indians and the ministration of remedies originated in and are limited
to sorcery practices.


The field work of Mr. Albert S. Gatschet during the year was short.
It had been ascertained that Mrs. Alice M. Oliver, now in Lynn,
Massachusetts, formerly lived on Trespalacios bay, Texas, near the homes
of the Karánkawa, and Mr. Gatschet visited Lynn with a view of securing
as complete a vocabulary as possible of their extinct language. Mrs.
Oliver was able to recall about one hundred and sixty terms of the
language, together with some phrases and sentences. She also furnished
many valuable details regarding the ethnography of the tribe. Ten days
were spent in this work.


Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt was occupied in field work from August 1 to November
8, as follows: From the first of August to September 20 he was on the
Tuscarora reserve, in Niagara county, New York, in which locality
fifty-five legends and myths were collected. A Penobscot vocabulary
was also obtained here, together with other linguistic material. From
September 20 to November 8 Mr. Hewitt visited the Grand River reserve,
Canada, where a large amount of text was obtained, together with notes
and other linguistic material.


Mr. Victor Mindeleff left Washington on October 23 for St. John’s,
Arizona, where he examined the Hubbell collection of ancient pottery
and secured a series of photographs and colored drawings of the more
important specimens. Thence he went to Zuñi and obtained drawings
of interior details of dwellings and other data necessary for the
completion of his studies of the architecture of this pueblo. He
returned to Washington December 7.


Mr. A. M. Stephen continued work among the Tusayan pueblos under the
direction of Mr. Victor Mindeleff. He added much to the knowledge
of the traditionary history of Tusayan, and made an extensive study
of the house lore and records of house-building ceremonials. He
also reported a full nomenclature of Tusayan architectural terms as
applied to the various details of terraced-house construction, with
etymologies. He secured from the Navajo much useful information of the
ceremonial connected with the construction of their conical lodges or
“hogans,” supplementing the more purely architectural records of their
construction previously collected by Mr. Mindeleff. As opportunity
occurred he gathered typical collections of baskets and other textile
fabrics illustrative of the successive stages of their manufacture,
including specimens of raw materials and detailed descriptions of the
dyes used. These collections are intended to include also the principal
patterns in use at the present time, with the Indian explanations of
their significance.


Major J. W. POWELL, the Director, devoted much time during the year
to the preparation of the paper to accompany a map of the linguistic
families of America north of Mexico, the scope of which has been alluded
to in previous reports. This report and map appear in the Seventh Annual
Report of the Bureau.

Mr. HENSHAW was chiefly occupied with the administrative duties of the
office, which have been placed in his charge by the Director, and with
the completion of the linguistic map.

Col. MALLERY, after his return from the field work elsewhere mentioned,
was engaged in the elaboration of the new information obtained and
in further continued study of and correspondence relating to sign
language and pictography. In this work he was assisted by Mr. HOFFMAN,
particularly in the sketches made by the latter during previous field
seasons, and in preparing a large number of the illustrations for the
paper on Picture-writing of the American Indians which appears in the
present volume.

Mr. J. OWEN DORSEY did no field work during the year, but devoted much
of the time to original investigations. Samuel Fremont, an Omaha
Indian, came to Washington in October, 1888, and until February,
1889, assisted Mr. Dorsey in the revision of the entries for the
Ȼegiha-English Dictionary. Similar assistance was rendered by Little
Standing Buffalo, a Ponka Indian from the Indian Territory, in April and
May, 1889. Mr. Dorsey also completed the entries for the Ȼegiha-English
Dictionary, and a list of Ponka, Omaha, and Winnebago personal names. He
translated from the Teton dialect of the Dakota all the material of the
Bushotter collection in the Bureau of Ethnology, and prepared therefrom
a paper on Teton folklore. He also prepared a brief paper on the camping
circles of Siouan tribes, and in addition furnished an article on the
modes of predication in the Athapascan dialects of Oregon and in several
dialects of the Siouan family. He also edited the manuscript of the
Dakota grammar, texts, and ethnography, written by the late Rev. Dr. S.
R. Riggs, which has been published as Volume VII, Contributions to North
American Ethnology. In May, 1889, he began an extensive paper on Indian
personal names, based on material obtained by himself in the field, to
contain names of the following tribes, viz: Omaha and Ponka, Kansa,
Osage, Kwapa, Iowa, Oto and Missouri, and Winnebago.

Mr. ALBERT S. GATSCHET’S office work was almost entirely restricted to
the composition and completion of his Ethnographic Sketch, Grammar,
and Dictionary of the Klamath Language of Oregon, with the necessary
appendices. These works have been published as Parts 1 and 2, Vol. II,
of Contributions to North American Ethnology.

Mr. JEREMIAH CURTIN during the year arranged and copied myths of various
Indian families, and also transcribed Wasco, Sahaptin, and Yanan
vocabularies previously collected.

Mr. JAMES MOONEY, on his return from the Cherokee reservation in 1888,
began at once to translate a number of the prayers and sacred songs
obtained from the shamans during his visit. The result of this work has
appeared in a paper in the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau entitled
“Sacred formulas of the Cherokees.” Considerable time was devoted also
to the elaboration of the botanic and linguistic notes obtained in
the field. In the spring of 1889 he began the collection of material
for a monograph on the aborigines of the Middle Atlantic slope, with
special reference to the Powhatan tribes of Virginia. As a preliminary,
about one thousand circulars, requesting information in regard to local
names, antiquities, and surviving Indians, were distributed throughout
Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and northeastern Carolina. Sufficient
information was obtained in responses to afford an excellent basis for
future work in this direction.

Mr. JOHN N. B. HEWITT, from July 1 to August 1, was engaged in arranging
alphabetically the recorded words of the Tuscarora-English dictionary
mentioned in former reports, and in the study of adjective word forms
to determine the variety and kind of the Tuscarora moods and tenses.
After his return from the field Mr. Hewitt classified and tabulated all
the forms of the personal pronouns employed in the Tuscarora language.
Studies were also prosecuted to develop the predicative function in
the Tuscarora speech. All the terms of consanguinity and affinity as
now used among the Tuscarora were recorded and tabulated. Literal
translations of many myths collected in the field were made, and free
translations added to four of them. In all appropriate instances
linguistic notes were added relating to etymology, phonesis, and verbal

Mr. JAMES C. PILLING gave much time to bibliographies of North American
languages. The bibliography of the Iroquoian languages was completed
early in the fiscal year, and the edition was issued in February. In the
meantime a bibliography of the Muskhogean languages was compiled, the
manuscript of which was sent to the Public Printer in January, 1889,
though the edition was not delivered during the fiscal year. Early in
March, 1889, Mr. Pilling went to Philadelphia to inspect the manuscripts
belonging to the American Philosophical Society, the authorities of
which gave him every facility, and much new material was secured. In
June he visited the Astor, Lenox, and Historical Society libraries in
New York; the libraries of the Boston Athenæum, Massachusetts Historical
Society, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and
the Boston Public Library, in Boston; that of Harvard University, in
Cambridge; of the American Antiquarian Society, in Worcester; and the
private library of Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, in Hartford. In Canada he
visited the library of Laval University, and the private library of Mr.
P. Gagnon, in Quebec, of St. Mary’s College and Jacques Cartier School
in Montreal, and various missions along the St. Lawrence river, to
inspect the manuscripts left by the early missionaries. The result was
the accumulation of much new material for insertion in the Algonquian

Mr. WILLIAM H. HOLMES continued to edit the illustrations for the
publications of the Bureau, and besides was engaged actively in his
studies of aboriginal archeology. He completed papers upon the pottery
of the Potomac valley, and upon the objects of shell collected by the
Bureau during the last eight years, and he has others in preparation.
As curator of Bureau collections he makes the following statement of
accessions for the year: From Mr. Thomas and his immediate assistants,
working in the mound region of the Mississippi valley and contiguous
portions of the Atlantic slope, the Bureau has received one hundred and
forty-six specimens, including articles of clay, stone, shell, and bone.
Mr. Victor Mindeleff obtained sixteen specimens of pottery from the
Pueblo country. Other collections by members of the Bureau and the U. S.
Geological Survey are as follows: Shell beads and pendants (modern) from
San Buenaventura, California, by Mr. Henshaw; fragments of pottery and
other articles from the vicinity of the Cheroki agency, North Carolina,
by Mr. Mooney; a large grooved hammer from the bluff at Three Forks,
Montana, by Mr. A. C. Peale; a large series of rude stone implements
from the District of Columbia, by Mr. De Lancey W. Gill. Donations have
been received as follows: An important series of earthen vases from a
mound on Perdido bay, Alabama, given by F. H. Parsons; ancient pueblo
vases from southwestern Colorado, by William M. Davidson; a series of
spurious earthen vessels, manufactured by unknown persons in eastern
Iowa, from C. C. Jones, of Augusta, Georgia; fragments of pottery,
etc., from Romney, West Virginia, given by G. H. Johnson; fragments
of a steatite pot from Ledyard, Connecticut, by G. L. Fancher; an
interesting series of stone tools, earthen vessels, etc., from a mound
on Lake Apopka, Florida, by Thomas Featherstonhaugh; fragments of gilded
earthenware and photographs of antiquities from Mexico, by F. Plancarte;
fragments of gold ornaments from Costa Rica, by Anastasio Alfaro.
Important specimens have been received as follows: Articles of clay from
a mound on Perdido bay, Alabama, loaned by Mrs. A. T. Mosman; articles
of clay from the last mentioned locality, by A. B. Simons; pottery from
the Potomac valley, by W. Hallett Phillips, by S. V. Proudfit, and by H.
L. Reynolds; articles of gold and gold-copper alloy from Costa Rica, by
Anastasio Alfaro, Secretary of the National Museum at San Jose.

Mr. THOMAS was chiefly occupied during the year in the preparation of
the second and third volumes of his reports upon the mounds. He also
prepared a bulletin on the Circular, Square, and Octagonal Earthworks
of Ohio, with a view of giving a summary of the recent survey by the
mound division of the principal works of the above character in southern
Ohio. A second bulletin was completed, entitled “The Problem of the Ohio
Mounds,” in which he presented evidence to show that the ancient works
of the state are due to Indians of several different tribes, and that
some, at least, of the typical works were built by the ancestors of the
modern Cherokees.

Mr. REYNOLDS after his return from the field was engaged in the
preparation of a general map of the United States, showing the area
of the mounds and the relative frequency of their occurrence. He also
assisted Mr. Thomas in the preparation of the monograph upon the

Mr. VICTOR MINDELEFF, assisted by Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff, was engaged
in preparing for publication a “Study of Pueblo Architecture” as
illustrated in the provinces of Tusayan and Cibola, material for which
he had been collecting for a number of years. This report has appeared
in the Eighth Annual Report of the Bureau.

Mr. COSMOS MINDELEFF with the force of the modeling room at the
beginning of the fiscal year completed the exhibit of the Bureau for the
Cincinnati Exposition, and during the early part of the year he was at
Cincinnati in charge of that exhibit. Owing to restricted space it was
limited to the Pueblo culture group, but this was illustrated as fully
as the time would permit. The exhibit covered about 1,200 feet of floor
space, as well as a large amount of wall space, and consisted of models
of pueblo and cliff ruins, models of inhabited pueblos, ancient and
modern pottery, examples of weaving, basketry, etc.; a representative
series of implements of war, the chase, agriculture, and the household;
manikins illustrating costumes, and a series of large photographs
illustrative of aboriginal architecture of the pueblo region, and of
many phases of pueblo life. Upon Mr. Mindeleff’s return from Cincinnati
he resumed assistance to Mr. Victor Mindeleff upon the report on pueblo
architecture, and by the close of the fiscal year the two chapters which
had been assigned to him were completed. They consist of a review of
the literature on the pueblo region and a summary of the traditions of
the Tusayan group from material collected by Mr. A. M. Stephen. Work
was also continued on the duplicate series of models, and twelve were
advanced to various stages of completion. Some time was devoted to
repairing original models which had been exhibited at Cincinnati and
other exhibitions, and also to experiments in casting in paper, in order
in find a suitable paper for use in large models. The experiments were

Mr. J. K. HILLERS has continued the collection of photographs of
prominent Indians in both full-face and profile, by which method all
the facial characteristics are exhibited to the best advantage. In
nearly every instance a record has been preserved of the sitter’s status
in the tribe, his age, biographic notes of interest, and in cases of
mixed bloods, the degree of intermixture of blood. The total number
of photographs obtained during the year is 27, distributed among the
following tribes, viz: Sac and Fox, 5; Dakota, 6; Omaha, 6, and mixed
bloods (Creeks), 10.

Mr. FRANZ BOAS was employed from February to April in preparing for
convenient use a series of vocabularies of the several Salish divisions,
previously collected by him in British Columbia.

Mr. LUCIEN M. TURNER was for two years stationed at the Hudson Bay
Company’s post, Fort Chimo, near the northern end of the peninsula of
Labrador, as a civilian observer in the employ of the Signal Service, U.
S. Army. He was appointed to that position at the request of the late
Prof. Baird, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in order that
his skill might be made available in a complete investigation of the
ethnology and natural history of the region. Mr. Turner left Washington
in June, 1882, and returned in the autumn of 1884. During the last year
he was engaged in the preparation of a report which will appear in one
of the forthcoming annual reports of the Bureau.



The officers of the Bureau of Ethnology and all persons interested in
researches concerning the North American Indians were this year called
to lament the death of Mr. James Stevenson, who had made regular and
valuable contributions to the publications and collections of the Bureau.

Mr. Stevenson was born in Maysville, Kentucky, on the 24th of December,
1840. When but a boy of 16 he became associated with Prof. F. V.
Hayden, and accompanied him upon expeditions into the regions of the
upper Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. Although the main objects of
these expeditions were geological, his tastes led him chiefly to
the observation of the customs and dialects of the Indians, and the
facilities for such study afforded him by the winters spent among the
Blackfoot and Dakota Indians excited and confirmed the anthropologic
zeal which absorbed the greater part of his life.

After military service during the civil war he resumed, in 1866, the
studies which had been interrupted by it, and accompanied Prof. Hayden
to the Bad Lands of Dakota. From this expedition and the action of the
Congress of the United States in 1866-’67, sprang the Hayden survey, and
during its existence Mr. Stevenson was its executive officer. In one
of the explorations from 1868 to 1878, which are too many to be here
enumerated, he climbed the Great Teton, and was the first white man
known to have reached the ancient Indian altar on its summit.

In 1879 the Hayden survey was discontinued, the Bureau of Ethnology
was organized, and the U. S. Geological Survey was established. Mr.
Stevenson, in addition to his duties as the executive officer of the
new survey, was detailed for research in connection with the Bureau of
Ethnology. In the subsequent years he devoted the winters--from the
incoming of the field parties to their outgoing in the spring--chiefly
to business of the survey; his summers to his favorite researches.
He explored the cliff and cave dwellings of Arizona and New Mexico;
he unearthed in the Canyon de Chelly two perfect skeletons of its
prehistoric inhabitants; he investigated the religious mythology of the
Zuñi, and secured a complete collection of fetich-gods, never before
allowed out of their possession; he studied the history and religions
of the Navajo and the Tusayan, and made an invaluable collection of
pottery, costumes, and ceremonial objects, which are now prominent in
the U. S. National Museum. But in the high mesas which were the field
of his explorations in 1885 he was attacked by the “mountain fever” in
its worst form. It was his first serious illness, and his regular and
temperate life saved him for the time. But a visit to the same region
in 1887 brought on a second attack of this peculiar and distressing
disease. He came home prostrated, with symptoms of serious heart failure.

He died at the Gilsey House, in New York city, on the 25th of July,
1888, and was buried in the cemetery of Rock Creek church, near


For the first time in the series of the Annual Reports of this Bureau a
single paper is submitted to exhibit the character of the investigations
undertaken and the facts collected by its officers, with the results
of their studies upon such collections. But while the paper is single
in form and in title, it includes, in its illustrations and the text
relating to them, nearly all topics into which anthropology can properly
be divided, and therefore shows more diversity than would often be
contained in a volume composed of separate papers by several authors.
Its subject-matter being essentially pictorial, it required a large
number of illustrations, twelve hundred and ninety-five figures being
furnished in the text, besides fifty-four full-page plates, which, with
their explanation and discussion, expanded the volume to such size as to
exclude other papers.


The papers accompanying the Fourth Annual Report of this Bureau,
which was for the fiscal year 1882-’83, included one under the title
“Pictographs of the North American Indians, a Preliminary Paper,
by Garrick Mallery.” Although that work was of considerable length
and the result of much research and study, it was in fact as well
as in title preliminary. The substance and general character of the
information obtained at that time on the subject was published not
only for the benefit of students already interested in it, but also
to excite interest in that branch of study among active explorers in
the field and, indeed, among all persons engaged in anthropologic
researches. For the convenience of such workers as were invited in
general terms to become collaborators, suggestions were offered for
the examination, description, and study of the objects connected with
this branch of investigation which might be noticed or discovered by
them. The result of this preliminary publication has shown the wisdom
of the plan adopted. Since the distribution of the Fourth Annual Report
pictography in its various branches has become, far more than ever
before, a prominent feature in the publications of learned societies, in
the separate works of anthropologists, and in the notes of scientific
explorers. The present paper includes, with proper credit to the authors
quoted or cited, many contributions to this branch of study which
obviously have been induced by the preliminary paper before mentioned.

The interest thus excited has continued to be manifested by the
publication of new information of importance, in diverse shapes and in
many languages, some of which has been received too late for proper
attention in this paper.

Col. Mallery’s studies in pictography commenced in the field. He was
stationed with his military command at Fort Rice, on the upper Missouri
river, in the autumn of 1876, and obtained a copy of the remarkable
pictograph which he then called “A Calendar of the Dakota Nation,” and
published under that title, with interpretation and explanation, in
Vol. III, No. 1, of the series of bulletins of the U. S. Geological
and Geographical Survey of the Territories, issued April 9, 1877. This
work attracted attention, and at the request of the Secretary of the
Interior he was ordered by the Secretary of War, on June 13, 1877,
to report for duty, in connection with the ethnology of the North
American Indians, to the present Director of this Bureau, then in
charge of the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain
Region. Upon the organization of the Bureau of Ethnology, in 1879,
Col. Mallery was appointed ethnologist, and has continued in that duty
without intermission, supplementing field explorations by study of all
accessible anthropologic literature and by extensive correspondence.
His attention has been steadily directed to pictography and to
sign-language, which branches of study are so closely connected that
neither can be successfully pursued to the exclusion of the other, but
his researches have by no means been confined to those related subjects.

The plan and scope of the present work may be very briefly stated as

After some introductory definitions and explanations general remarks
are submitted upon the grand division of petroglyphs or pictures upon
rocks as distinct from other exhibitions of pictography. This division
is less susceptible of interpretation than others, but it claims special
interest and attention because the locality of production is fixed, and
also because the antiquity of workmanship may often be determined with
more certainty than can that of pictures on less enduring and readily
transportable objects. Descriptions, with illustrations, are presented
of petroglyphs in North America, including those in several provinces of
Canada, in many of the states and territories of the United States, in
Mexico, and in the West Indies. A large number from Central and South
America also appear, followed by examples from Australia, Oceanica,
Europe, Africa, and Asia, inserted chiefly for comparison with the
picture-writings in America, to which the work is specially devoted, and
therefore styled extra-limital petroglyphs. The curious forms called
cup sculptures are next discussed, followed by a chapter on pictographs
considered generally, which condenses the results of much thought. The
substances, apart from rocks, on which picture-writing is found are next
considered, and afterwards the instruments and materials by which they
are made. The subjects of pictography and the practices which elucidate
it are classified under several headings, viz: _Mnemonic_, subdivided
into (1) Knotted cords and objects tied, (2) Notched or marked sticks,
(3) Wampum, (4) Order of songs, (5) Traditions, (6) Treaties, (7)
Appointment, (8) Numeration, (9) Accounting; _Chronology_, in which the
charts at first called calendars, but now, in correct translation of
the Indian terms, styled winter-counts, are discussed and illustrated
with the care required by their remarkable characteristics; _Notices_,
which chapter embraces (1) Notice of visit, departure, and direction,
(2) Direction by drawing topographic features, (3) Notice of condition,
(4) Warning and guidance; _Communications_, including (1) Declaration
of war, (2) Profession of peace and friendship, (3) Challenge, (4)
Social and religious missives, (5) Claim or demand; _Totems, titles,
and names_, divided into (1) Pictorial tribal designations, (2) Gentile
and clan designation, (3) Significance of tattoo marks, which topic is
discussed at length, with ample illustration, and (4) Designations of
individuals, subdivided into insignia or tokens of authority, signs of
individual achievements, property marks, and personal names. Some of the
facts presented are to be correlated with the antique forms of heraldry
and others with proper names in modern civilization.

The topic _Religion_, considered in the popular significance of that
term, is divided into (1) Symbols of the supernatural, (2) Myths and
mythic animals, (3) Shamanism, (4) Charms and amulets, (5) Religious
ceremonies, and (6) Mortuary practices. _Customs_ are divided into (1)
Cult associations, (2) Daily life and habits, (3) Games. The chapter
entitled _Historic_ presents (1) Record of expeditions, (2) Record of
battle, which includes a highly interesting Indian pictured account
of the battle of the Little Big Horn, commonly called the “Custer
massacre,” (3) Record of migration, (4) Record of notable events. The
_Biographic_ chapter gives too many minutiæ for particularization here,
but is divided into (1) Continuous record of events in life and (2)
Particular exploits or events. _Ideography_ permeates and infuses all
the matter under the other headings, but is discussed distinctively and
with evidential illustrations in the sections of (1) abstract ideas
expressed objectively, and (2) symbols and emblems. In the latter
section the author suggests that the proper mode of interpretation of
pictographs whose origin and significance are unknown is that they are
to be primarily supposed to be objective representations, but may be,
and often are, ideographic, and in a limited number of cases may have
become symbolic, but that the strong presumption without extrinsic
evidence is against the occult or esoteric symbolism often attributed to
the markings under discussion. The significance of colors is connected
with ideography and examples are given of the colors used in many parts
of the world for mere decoration, in ceremonies, for death and mourning,
for war and peace, and to designate social status. The depiction of
gesture and posture signs is next discussed, showing the intimate
relation between a thought as expressed without words by signs, and a
thought expressed without words by pictures corresponding to those signs.

_Conventionalizing_ is divided into conventional devices, which were the
precursors of writing, and the syllabaries and alphabets evolved. The
pictographic origin of all the current alphabets of the world, often
before discussed, receives further explanation.

While comparison by the reader between all the illustrations and the
facts recorded and the suggestions submitted about them is essential
to the utility of the work, the author gives, as representing his own
mode of study, found to be advantageous in use, a chapter on _Special
Comparison_, divided into (1) Typical style, (2) Homomorphs and
symmorphs, (3) Composite forms, (4) Artistic skill and methods. This
chapter is followed by one with which it is closely connected, styled
_Means of Interpretation_, divided into (1) Marked characters of known
significance, (2) Distinctive costumes, weapons, and ornaments, (3)
Ambiguous characters with known meanings, the latter being chiefly a
collection of separate figures which would not be readily recognized
without labels, but which are understood through reliable authority.
Finally, under the rather noncommittal title of _Controverted
Pictographs_, the subjects of fraud and error are discussed with
striking examples and useful cautions.

From this brief paraphrase of the table of contents, it is obvious
that nearly all branches of anthropology are touched upon. It is also
to be remarked that the work is unique because it presents the several
anthropologic topics recorded by the Indians themselves according to
their unbiased conceptions, and in their own mode of writing. From this
point of view the anonymous and generally unknown pictographers may be
considered to be the primary authors of the treatise and Col. Mallery a
discoverer, compiler, and editor. But such depreciative limitation of
his functions would ignore the originality of treatment pervading the
work and the systematic classification and skillful analysis shown in it
which enhance its value and interest.


_Classification of expenditures made from the appropriation for North
American ethnology for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889._

  Amount of appropriation 1888-’89                            $40,000.00

  Services                                                    $29,546.20
  Traveling expenses                                            3,243.45
  Transportation of property                                      128.05
  Field supplies                                                   47.00
  Instruments                                                      16.00
  Laboratory material                                              95.60
  Photographic material                                            44.20
  Books for library                                               202.39
  Stationery and drawing material                                  59.36
  Illustrations for report                                        114.00
  Office furniture                                                 92.50
  Office supplies and repairs                                     218.75
  Correspondence                                                    4.17
  Specimens                                                       500.00
  Bonded railroad accounts forwarded to Treasury for settlement    61.19
  Balance on hand to meet outstanding liabilities               5,627.14
      Total                                                    40,000.00








  Introduction                                                        25
  Chapter I. Petroglyphs                                              31
  Chapter II. Petroglyphs in North America                            37
    Section 1. Petroglyphs in Canada                                  37
      Nova Scotia                                                     37
      Ontario                                                         42
      Manitoba                                                        43
      British Columbia                                                44
    Section 2. Petroglyphs in the United States                       45
      Alaska                                                          47
      Arizona                                                         48
      California                                                      52
        Owens Valley                                                  56
      Colorado                                                        72
      Connecticut                                                     75
      Georgia                                                         76
      Idaho                                                           77
      Illinois                                                        77
      Iowa                                                            80
      Kansas                                                          80
      Kentucky                                                        81
      Maine                                                           81
      Maryland                                                        83
      Massachusetts                                                   86
      Minnesota                                                       87
      Montana                                                         90
      Nebraska                                                        90
      Nevada                                                          92
      New Mexico                                                      96
      New York                                                        98
      North Carolina                                                  99
      Ohio                                                           101
      Oregon                                                         104
      Pennsylvania                                                   106
      Rhode Island                                                   113
      South Dakota                                                   114
      Tennessee                                                      114
      Texas                                                          115
      Utah                                                           116
      Virginia                                                       121
      Washington                                                     122
      West Virginia                                                  124
      Wisconsin                                                      126
      Wyoming                                                        128
    Section 3. Petroglyphs in Mexico                                 131
    Section 4. Petroglyphs in the West Indies                        136
      Puerto Rico                                                    136
      The Bahama islands                                             137
      Guadeloupe                                                     139
      Aruba                                                          139
  Chapter III. Petroglyphs in Central and South America              141
    Section 1. Petroglyphs in Central America                        141
      Nicaragua                                                      141
      Guatemala                                                      142
    Section 2. Petroglyphs in South America                          142
      United States of Colombia                                      143
      Guiana                                                         144
      Venezuela                                                      147
      Brazil                                                         150
      Argentine Republic                                             157
      Peru                                                           157
      Chile                                                          159
  Chapter IV. Extra-limital petroglyphs                              161
    Section 1. Petroglyphs in Australia                              161
    Section 2. Petroglyphs in Oceanica                               165
      New Zealand                                                    165
      Kei islands                                                    167
      Easter island                                                  169
    Section 3. Petroglyphs in Europe                                 171
      Great Britain and Ireland                                      171
      Sweden                                                         173
      France                                                         175
      Spain                                                          177
      Italy                                                          178
    Section 4. Petroglyphs in Africa                                 178
      Algeria                                                        178
      Egypt                                                          179
      South Africa                                                   180
      Canary islands                                                 183
    Section 5. Petroglyphs in Asia                                   185
      China                                                          185
      Japan                                                          185
      India                                                          186
      Siberia                                                        186
  Chapter V. Cup sculptures                                          189
  Chapter VI. Pictographs generally                                  201
  Chapter VII. Substances on which pictographs are made              205
    Section 1. The human body                                        205
    Section 2. Natural objects other than the human body             205
      Stone                                                          205
      Bone                                                           206
      Skins                                                          206
      Feathers and quills                                            207
      Gourds                                                         208
      Shells                                                         209
      Earth and sand                                                 210
      Copper                                                         212
      Wood                                                           213
    Section 3. Artificial objects                                    215
      Fictile fabrics                                                215
      Textile fabrics                                                215
  Chapter VIII. Instruments and materials by which pictographs
  are made                                                           218
    Section 1. Instruments for carving                               218
    Section 2. Instruments for drawing                               219
    Section 3. Coloring matter and its application                   219
  Chapter IX. Mnemonic                                               223
    Section 1. Knotted cords and objects tied                        223
    Section 2. Notched or marked sticks                              227
    Section 3. Wampum                                                228
    Section 4. Order of songs                                        231
    Section 5. Traditions                                            250
      The origin of the Indians                                      255
    Section 6. Treaties                                              256
    Section 7. Appointment                                           257
    Section 8. Numeration                                            258
    Section 9. Accounting                                            259
  Chapter X. Chronology                                              265
    Section 1. Time                                                  265
    Section 2. Winter counts                                         266
      Lone-Dog’s winter count                                        273
      Battiste Good’s winter count                                   287
  Chapter XI. Notices                                                329
    Section 1. Notice of visit, departure and direction              329
    Section 2. Direction by drawing topographic features             341
    Section 3. Notice of condition                                   347
    Section 4. Warning and guidance                                  353
  Chapter XII. Communications                                        358
    Section 1. Declaration of war                                    358
    Section 2. Profession of peace and friendship                    359
    Section 3. Challenge                                             362
    Section 4. Social and religious missives                         362
      Australian message sticks                                      369
      West African aroko                                             371
    Section 5. Claim or demand                                       374
  Chapter XIII. Totems, titles, and names                            376
    Section 1. Pictorial tribal designations                         377
      Iroquoian                                                      377
      Eastern Algonquian                                             378
      Siouan and other designations                                  379
        Absaroka, or Crow                                            380
        Arapaho                                                      381
        Arikara, or Ree                                              381
        Assiniboin                                                   381
        Brulé                                                        382
        Cheyenne                                                     382
        Dakota, or Sioux                                             383
        Hidatsa, Gros Ventre or Minitari                             384
        Kaiowa                                                       384
        Mandan                                                       385
        Mandan and Arikara                                           385
        Ojibwa                                                       385
        Omaha                                                        385
        Pawnee                                                       386
        Ponka                                                        386
        Shoshoni                                                     387
    Section 2. Gentile and clan designations                         388
    Section 3. Significance of tattoo                                391
      Tattoo in North America                                        392
        On the Pacific coast                                         396
      Tattoo in South America                                        407
      Extra-limital tattoo                                           407
      Scarification                                                  416
      Summary of studies on tattooing                                418
    Section 4. Designations of individuals                           419
      Insignia, or tokens of authority                               419
      Signs of individual achievements                               433
      Property marks                                                 441
      Personal names                                                 442
        Objective                                                    447
        Metaphoric                                                   453
        Animal                                                       455
        Vegetable                                                    458
  Chapter XIV. Religion                                              461
    Section 1. Symbols of the supernatural                           462
    Section 2. Myths and mythic animals                              468
      Thunder birds                                                  483
    Section 3. Shamanism                                             490
    Section 4. Charms and amulets                                    501
    Section 5. Religious ceremonies                                  505
    Section 6. Mortuary practices                                    517
  Chapter XV. Customs                                                528
    Section 1. Cult societies                                        528
    Section 2. Daily life and habits                                 530
    Section 3. Games                                                 547
  Chapter XVI. History                                               551
    Section 1. Record of expedition                                  552
    Section 2. Record of battle                                      554
      Battle of the Little Bighorn                                   563
    Section 3. Record of migration                                   566
    Section 4. Record of notable events                              567
  Chapter XVII. Biography                                            571
    Section 1. Continuous record of events in life                   571
    Section 2. Particular exploits or events                         575
  Chapter XVIII. Ideography                                          583
    Section 1. Abstract ideas expressed pictorially                  584
      After; age--old and young; bad; before; big; center;
      deaf; direction; disease; fast; fear; freshet; good; high;
      lean; little; lone; many, much; obscure; opposition;
      possession; prisoner; short; sight; slow; tall; trade;
      union; whirlwind; winter, cold, snow                       585-606
    Section 2. Signs, symbols, and emblems                           607
    Section 3. Significance of colors                                618
      Decorative use of color                                        619
      Ideocrasy of colors                                            622
      Color in ceremonies                                            623
      Color relative to death and mourning                           629
      Colors for war and peace                                       631
      Color designating social status                                633
    Section 4. Gesture and posture signs depicted                    637
      Water                                                          642
      Child                                                          643
      Negation                                                       644
  Chapter XIX. Conventionalizing                                     649
    Section 1. Conventional devices                                  650
      Peace; war; chief; council; plenty of food; famine;
      starvation; horses; horse stealing; kill and death;
      shot; coming rain                                          650-662
      Hittite emblems                                                662
    Section 2. Syllabaries and alphabets                             664
      The Micmac “hieroglyphics”                                     666
      Pictographs in alphabets                                       674
  Chapter XX. Special comparison                                     676
    Section 1. Typical style                                         676
    Section 2. Homomorphs and symmorphs                              692
      Sky; sun and light; moon; day; night; cloud; rain;
      lightning; human form; human head and face; hand;
      feet and tracks; broken leg; voice and speech; dwellings;
      eclipse of the sun; meteors; the cross                     694-733
    Section 3. Composite forms                                       735
    Section 4. Artistic skill and methods                            738
  Chapter XXI. Means of interpretation                               745
    Section 1. Marked characters of known significance               745
    Section 2. Distinctive costumes, weapons, and ornaments          749
    Section 3. Ambiguous characters with ascertained meaning         755
  Chapter XXII. Controverted pictographs                             759
    Section 1. The Grave creek stone                                 761
    Section 2. The Dighton rock                                      762
    Section 3. Imitations and forced interpretations                 764
  Chapter XXIII. General conclusions                                 768
  List of works and authors cited                                    777



  PL. I-XI. Petroglyphs in Owens Valley, California                56-76
  XII. Petroglyph in Maine                                            82
  XIII. Petroglyphs in Nebraska                                       92
  XIV. The Stone of the Giants. Mexico                               134
  XV. Powhatan’s mantle                                              210
  XVI. Peruvian quipu and birch-bark drawings                        226
  XVII. Order of songs. Ojibwa                                       232
  XVIII. Mnemonic songs. Ojibwa                                      236
  XIX. Mnemonic songs. Ojibwa                                        244
  XX. Lone-Dog’s winter count                                        266
  XXI. Battiste Good’s cycles. A. D. 901-1000                        290
  XXII. Battiste Good’s cycles. A. D. 1141-1280                      292
  XXIII. Battiste Good’s cycles. A. D. 1421-1700                     294
  XXIV. Haida double thunder-bird                                    400
  XXV. Haida dog-fish                                                402
  XXVI. Oglala chiefs                                                420
  XXVII. Oglala subchiefs                                            422
  XXVIII. Mexican military insignia                                  432
  XXIX. Mexican military insignia                                    434
  XXX. Hidatsa dancers, bearing exploit marks                        440
  XXXI. Petroglyph in rock shelter, West Virginia                    476
  XXXII. Wasko and mythic raven, Haida                               480
  XXXIII. Mantle of invisibility                                     504
  XXXIV. Mexican treatment of new-born children                      542
  XXXV. Education of Mexican children. Three to six years            544
  XXXVI. Education of Mexican children. Seven to ten years           546
  XXXVII. Education of Mexican children. Eleven to fourteen years    548
  XXXVIII. Adoption of profession and marriage. Mexican              550
  XXXIX. Map of Little Bighorn battlefield                           564
  XL. Battle of Little Bighorn. Indian camp                          566
  XLI. Battle of Little Bighorn. Soldiers charging Indian camp       568
  XLII. Battle of Little Bighorn. Sioux charging soldiers            570
  XLIII. Battle of Little Bighorn. Sioux fighting Custer’s battalion 572
  XLIV. Battle of Little Bighorn. The dead Sioux                     574
  XLV. Battle of Little Bighorn. The dead Sioux                      576
  XLVI. Battle of Little Bighorn. Custer’s dead cavalry              578
  XLVII. Battle of Little Bighorn. Indians leaving battle-ground     580
  XLVIII. Battle of Little Bighorn. Indians leaving battle-ground    582
  XLIX. Mexican symbols                                              614
  L. Tablets at Ancon, Peru                                          706
  LI. Thruston tablet, Tennessee                                     734
  LII. Pictures on Dōtaku, Japan                                 736
  LIII. German knights and Apache warriors                           740
  LIV. Dighton rock                                                  762
  FIG. 1-2. Palimpsests on Fairy rocks, Nova Scotia                40-41
  3. Petroglyph on Vancouver island                                   44
  4. Petroglyphs in Alaska                                            47
  5-8. Petroglyphs in Arizona                                      48-50
  9. Petroglyph in Shinumo canyon, Arizona                            51
  10. Petroglyph in Mound canyon, Arizona                             52
  11. Petroglyphs near Visalia, California                            53
  12-16. Petroglyphs at Tule river, California                     54-57
  17. View of Chalk grade petroglyphs, Owens valley, California       59
  18. Petroglyphs in Death valley, California                         60
  19. Rattlesnake rock, Mojave desert, California                     61
  20. Petroglyph near San Marcos pass, California                     62
  21-22. Petroglyphs near San Marcos pass, California              62-63
  23-28. Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California                  63-67
  29-30. Petroglyphs near Santa Barbara, California                67-68
  31. Petroglyphs in Azuza canyon, California                         69
  32-33. Petroglyphs in Santa Barbara county, California           70-71
  34-35. Petroglyphs on the Rio Mancos, Colorado                      73
  36-37. Petroglyphs on the Rio San Juan                           74-75
  38. Petroglyphs in Georgia                                          76
  39. Petroglyphs in Idaho, Shoshonean                                77
  40-41. The Piasa Petroglyph                                      78-79
  42. Petroglyph on the Illinois river                                79
  43. Petroglyph near Alton, Illinois                                 80
  44. Petroglyphs in Kansas                                           81
  45. Bald Friar rock, Maryland                                       84
  46. Slab from Bald Friar rock                                       85
  47. Top of Bald Friar rock                                          85
  48. Characters from Bald Friar rock                                 86
  49. Dighton rock, Massachusetts                                     86
  50. Petroglyphs at Pipestone, Minnesota                             88
  51. Petroglyphs in Brown’s valley, Minnesota                        89
  52-53. Characters from Nebraska petroglyphs                      91-92
  54. Petroglyphs on Carson river, Nevada                             92
  55. Petroglyphs at Reveillé, Nevada                                 94
  56. Petroglyphs at Dead mountain, Nevada                            95
  57. Inscription rock, New Mexico                                    96
  58-59. Petroglyphs at Ojo de Benado, New Mexico                  97-98
  60. Petroglyph at Esopus, New York                                  98
  61. Paint rock, North Carolina                                     100
  62. Petroglyphs on Paint rock, North Carolina                      100
  63. Newark Track rock, Ohio                                        101
  64. Independence stone, Ohio                                       102
  65. Barnesville Track rock, Ohio                                   103
  66. Characters from Barnesville Track rock                         103
  67. Barnesville Track rock, No. 2                                  104
  68. Petroglyphs, Wellsville, Ohio                                  104
  69. Petroglyphs in Lake county, Oregon                             106
  70. Big Indian rock, Pennsylvania                                  107
  71. Little Indian rock, Pennsylvania                               108
  72. Petroglyph at McCalls ferry, Pennsylvania                      108
  73. Petroglyph near Washington, Pennsylvania                       109
  74. Petroglyphs on “Indian God Rock,” Pennsylvania                 110
  75. Petroglyph at Millsboro, Pennsylvania                          111
  76. Petroglyphs near Layton, Pennsylvania                          112
  77-78. Glyphs in Fayette county, Pennsylvania                  112-113
  79. Petroglyphs in Roberts county, South Dakota                    114
  80. Petroglyphs near El Paso, Texas                                116
  81. Petroglyphs near Manti, Utah                                   118
  82-85. Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah                     118-120
  86. Petroglyphs at Pipe Spring, Utah                               120
  87-88. Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah                         120
  89. Petroglyphs in Shinumo canyon, Utah                            121
  90. Petroglyphs in Tazewell county, Virginia                       121
  91. Petroglyphs in Browns cave, Wisconsin                          126
  92. Petroglyphs at Trempealeau, Wisconsin                          127
  93-95. Petroglyphs in Wind river valley, Wyoming               128-129
  96-97. Petroglyphs near Sage creek, Wyoming                        130
  98. Petroglyphs in Mexico                                          132
  99. The emperor Ahuitzotzin                                        134
  100-102. Petroglyphs in the Bahamas                            138-139
  103. Petroglyph in Guadeloupe                                      140
  104. Petroglyphs in Nicaragua                                      141
  105. Petroglyphs in Colombia                                       144
  106. Shallow carvings in Guiana                                    145
  107. Sculptured rock in Venezuela                                  147
  108. Rock near Caïcara, Venezuela                                  148
  109. Petroglyphs of Chicagua rapids, Venezuela                     149
  110. Petroglyphs on the Cachoeira do Ribeirão, Brazil              151
  111. The rock Itamaraca, Brazil                                    151
  112. Petroglyphs on the Rio Negro, Brazil                          152
  113. Petroglyphs at Caldierão do Inferno, Brazil                   152
  114. Petroglyphs at the falls of Girão, Brazil                     153
  115. Petroglyphs at Pederneira, Brazil                             153
  116. Petroglyphs at Araras rapids, Brazil                          154
  117. Petroglyphs at Ribeirão, Brazil                               154
  118. Character at Madeira rapid, Brazil                            155
  119. Petroglyphs at Pao Grande, Brazil                             155
  120. Petroglyph in Ceará, Brazil                                   156
  121-122. Petroglyphs in Morcego, Brazil                            156
  123. Petroglyphs in Inhamun, Brazil                                157
  124. Petroglyphs Pedra Lavrada, Brazil                             158
  125. Inscribed rock at Bajo de Canota, Argentine Republic          158
  126. Petroglyphs near Araquipa, Peru                               159
  127. Petroglyph in Huaytara, Peru                                  159
  128. Sculptured boulder in Chile                                   160
  129. Petroglyph in Cajon de los Cipreses, Chile                    160
  130. Petroglyph on Finke river, Australia                          162
  131. Petroglyph in Depuch island, Australia                        163
  132. Petroglyph at Bantry bay, Australia                           164
  133. Petroglyph in New Zealand                                     166
  134. Petroglyphs in Kei islands                                    168
  135. Petroglyphs in Easter island                                  169
  136. Tablet from Easter island                                     170
  137-138. Petroglyph in Bohuslän, Sweden                        174-175
  139. Petroglyph in Épone, France                                   176
  140. Petroglyphs at Tyout, Algeria                                 179
  141. Petroglyphs at Moghar, Algeria                                180
  142. Petroglyph in Léribé, South Africa                            182
  143. Petroglyphs in Basutoland, South Africa                       183
  144-145. Petroglyphs in the Canary islands                     183-184
  145_a_. Petroglyph in Yezo, Japan                                  185
  146. Petroglyphs at Chandeshwar, India                             187
  147. Types of cup sculptures                                       190
  148. Variants of cup sculptures                                    191
  149. Cup sculptures at Auchnabreach, Scotland                      192
  150. Cup sculptures at Ballymenach, Scotland                       193
  151. Cup sculptures in Chiriqui                                    194
  152-153. Cup sculptures in Venezuela                               195
  154-155. Cup sculptures in Brazil                              195-196
  156. Cup sculptures in India                                       197
  157. Comanche drawing on shoulder blade                            206
  158. Quill pictograph                                              208
  159. Pictograph on gourd                                           208
  160. Pictographs on wood, Washington                               214
  161. Haida basketry hat                                            216
  162. Tshimshian blanket                                            217
  163. Wampum strings                                                228
  164. Penn wampum belt                                              230
  165. Song for medicine hunting                                     247
  166. Song for beaver hunting                                       249
  167. Osage chart                                                   251
  168. Midē' record                                                  252
  169. Midē' records                                                 253
  170. Minabō'zho                                                    254
  171. Midē' practicing incantation                                  254
  172. Jĕssakkī'd curing a woman                                     254
  173. The origin of the Indians                                     256
  174. Record of treaty                                              257
  175-177. Shop account                                          259-261
  178-180. Book account                                              262
  181. Notched sticks                                                263
  182. Device denoting the succession of time. Dakota                265
  183-196. Lone-Dog’s Winter Count                               273-276
  197. Whooping-cough. The-Flame’s Winter Count, 1813-’14            276
  198. Whooping-cough. The-Swan’s Winter Count, 1813-’14             276
  199-255. Lone-Dog’s Winter Count                               276-286
  256. Battiste Good’s Revelation                                    289
  257-436. Battiste Good’s Winter Count                          293-328
  437. Petroglyphs at Oakley Springs, Arizona                        329
  438. Hunting notices                                               331
  439. Alaskan notice of hunt                                        332
  440. Alaskan notice of departure                                   332
  441. Alaskan notice of hunt                                        333
  442-444. Alaskan notice of direction                           333-334
  445. Abnaki notice of direction                                    335
  446. Amalecite notice of trip                                      336
  447-448. Ojibwa notice of direction                            337-338
  449. Penobscot notice of direction                                 338
  450. Passamaquoddy notice of direction                             339
  451. Micmac notice of direction                                    341
  452. Lean-Wolf’s map. Hidatsa                                      342
  453. Chart of battlefield                                          343
  454. Topographic features                                          344
  455. Greenland map                                                 345
  456-458. Passamaquoddy wikhegan                                348-350
  459. Alaskan notice of distress                                    351
  460. Alaskan notice of departure and refuge                        351
  461. Alaskan notice of departure to relieve distress               351
  462. Ammunition wanted. Alaskan                                    352
  463. Assistance wanted in the hunt. Alaskan                        352
  464-465. Starving hunters. Alaskan                             352-353
  466. No thoroughfare                                               354
  467. Rock paintings in Azuza canyon, California                    354
  468. Site of paintings in Azuza canyon, California                 355
  469. Sketches from Azuza canyon                                    355
  470. West African message                                          361
  471. Ojibwa love letter                                            363
  472. Cheyenne letter                                               364
  473. Ojibwa invitations                                            365
  474. Ojibwa invitation sticks                                      366
  475. Summons to Midé ceremony                                      367
  476. Passamaquoddy wikhegan                                        367
  477. Australian message sticks                                     370
  478-479. West African aroko                                        371
  480-481. Jebu complaint                                            375
  482. Samoyed requisition                                           375
  483. Eastern Algonquian tribal designations                        379
  484-487. Absaroka tribal designations                          380-381
  488. Arapaho tribal designation                                    381
  489-490. Arikara tribal designations                               381
  491. Assiniboin tribal designation                                 381
  492-493. Brulé tribal designations                                 382
  494-497. Cheyenne tribal designations                          382-383
  498. Dakota tribal designation                                     383
  499. Hidatsa tribal designation                                    384
  500-501. Kaiowa tribal designations                                384
  502. Mandan tribal designation                                     385
  503. Mandan and Arikara tribal designations                        385
  504-506. Omaha tribal designations                                 385
  507-509. Pawnee tribal designations                                386
  510-512. Ponka tribal designations                             386-387
  513. Tamga of Kirghise tribes                                      387
  514. Dakota gentile designations                                   389
  515. Kwakiutl carvings                                             390
  516. Virginia tattoo designs                                       393
  517. Haida tattooing. Sculpin and dragon-fly                       397
  518. Haida tattooing. Thunder-bird                                 398
  519. Haida tattooing. Thunder-bird and tshimos                     399
  520. Haida tattooing. Bear                                         399
  521. Haida tattooing. Mountain goat                                400
  522. Haida tattooing. Double thunder-bird                          401
  523. Haida tattooing. Double raven                                 401
  524. Haida tattooing. Dog-fish                                     400
  525-526. Tattooed Haidas                                       402-403
  527. Two forms of skulpin. Haida                                   404
  528. Frog. Haida                                                   405
  529. Cod. Haida                                                    405
  530. Squid. Haida                                                  405
  531. Wolf. Haida                                                   405
  532. Australian grave and carved trees                             408
  533. New Zealand tattooed head and chin mark                       409
  534. Tattoo design on bone. New Zealand                            409
  535. Tattooed woman. New Zealand                                   410
  536. Tattoo on Papuan chief                                        411
  537. Tattooed Papuan woman                                         412
  538. Badaga tattoo marks                                           413
  539. Chukchi tattoo marks                                          414
  540. Big-Road                                                      421
  541. Charging-Hawk                                                 422
  542. Feather-on-his-head                                           422
  543. White-Tail                                                    423
  544. White-Bear                                                    423
  545. Standing-Bear                                                 423
  546. Four horn calumet                                             424
  547. Two-Strike as partisan                                        424
  548. Lean-Wolf as partisan                                         425
  549. Micmac headdress in pictograph                                425
  550. Micmac chieftainess in pictograph                             426
  551. Insignia traced on rocks, Nova Scotia                         427
  552. Chilkat ceremonial shirt                                      428
  553. Chilkat ceremonial cloak                                      429
  554. Chilkat ceremonial blanket                                    430
  555. Chilkat ceremonial coat                                       430
  556. Bella Coola Indians                                           431
  557. Guatemala priest                                              431
  558. Mark of exploit. Dakota                                       433
  559. Killed with fist. Dakota                                      433
  560. Killed an enemy. Dakota                                       434
  561. Cut throat and scalped. Dakota                                434
  562. Cut enemy’s throat. Dakota                                    434
  563. Third to strike. Dakota                                       434
  564. Fourth to strike. Dakota                                      434
  565. Fifth to strike. Dakota                                       434
  566. Many wounds. Dakota                                           434
  567-568. Marks of exploits. Hidatsa                                437
  569. Successful defense. Hidatsa                                   438
  570. Two successful defenses. Hidatsa                              438
  571. Captured a horse. Hidatsa                                     438
  572. Exploit marks. Hidatsa                                        438
  573. Record of exploits                                            439
  574. Record of exploits                                            439
  575. Exploit marks as worn                                         439
  576. Scalp taken                                                   440
  577. Scalp and gun taken                                           440
  578. Boat paddle. Arikara                                          442
  579. African property mark                                         442
  580. Owner’s marks. Slesvick                                       442
  581. Signature of Running Antelope. Dakota                         445
  582. Solinger sword makers’ marks                                  445
  583-613. Personal names. Objective                             447-453
  614-621. Personal names. Metaphoric                            453-454
  622-634. Personal names. Animal                                455-458
  635-637. Personal names. Vegetable                                 458
  638. Loud-Talker                                                   459
  639. Mexican names                                                 460
  640-651. Symbols of the supernatural                           462-466
  652. Dream. Ojibwa                                                 466
  653. Religious symbols                                             467
  654. Myth of Pokinsquss                                            469
  655. Myth of Atosis                                                470
  656. Myth of the Weasel girls                                      471
  657. The giant bird Kaloo                                          472
  658. Kiwach, the strong blower                                     473
  659. Story of Glooscap                                             474
  660. Ojibwa shamanistic symbols                                    474
  661. Baho-li-kong-ya. Arizona                                      476
  662. Mythic serpents. Innuit                                       476
  663. Haida wind-spirit                                             477
  664. Orca. Haida                                                   477
  665. Bear mother. Haida                                            478
  666. Thunder-bird grasping whale                                   479
  667. Haokah. Dakota giant                                          480
  668. Ojibwa mánidō                                                 480
  669. Menomoni white bear mánidō                                    481
  670. Mythic wild cats. Ojibwa                                      482
  671. Winnebago magic animal                                        482
  672. Mythic buffalo                                                482
  673-674. Thunder-birds. Dakota                                     483
  675. Wingless thunder-bird. Dakota                                 483
  676-677. Thunder-birds. Dakota                                     484
  678. Thunder-bird. Haida                                           485
  679. Thunder-bird. Twana                                           485
  680. Medicine-bird. Dakota                                         486
  681. Five-Thunders. Dakota                                         486
  682. Thunder-pipe. Dakota                                          486
  683. Micmac thunder-bird                                           487
  684. Venezuelan thunder-bird                                       487
  685. Ojibwa thunder-birds                                          487
  686. Moki rain-bird                                                488
  687. Ahuitzotl                                                     488
  688. Peruvian fabulous animals                                     488
  689. Australian mythic personages                                  489
  690. Ojibwa Midē' wigwam                                           493
  691. Lodge of a Midē'                                              493
  692. Lodge of a Jĕssakkī'd                                         493
  693-697. Making medicine. Dakota                                   494
  698. Magic killing                                                 495
  699. Held-a-ghost-lodge                                            495
  700-701. Muzzin-ne-neence. Ojibwa                              495-496
  702. Ojibwa divination. Ojibwa                                     497
  703. Shaman exorcising demon. Alaska                               497
  704. Supplication for success. Alaska                              499
  705. Skokomish tamahous                                            498
  706. Mdewakantawan fetich                                          500
  707. Medicine bag, as worn                                         501
  708. Medicine bag, hung up                                         502
  709-711. Magic arrows                                              503
  712. Hunter’s charm. Australia                                     504
  713. Moki masks traced on rocks. Arizona                           506
  714. Shaman’s lodge. Alaska                                        507
  715. Ah-tón-we-tuck                                                509
  716. On-sáw-kie                                                    510
  717. Medicine lodge. Micmac                                        510
  718. Juggler lodge. Micmac                                         511
  719. Moki ceremonial                                               511
  720. Peruvian ceremony                                             513
  721-723. Tartar and Mongol drums                               515-517
  724. Votive offering. Alaska                                       519
  725-726. Grave posts. Alaska                                       520
  727. Village and burial ground. Alaska                             520
  728. Menomoni grave post                                           521
  729. Incised lines on Menomoni grave post                          522
  730. Grave boxes and posts                                         523
  731. Commemoration of dead. Dakota                                 523
  732. Ossuary ceremonial. Dakota                                    523
  733. Kalosh grave boxes                                            524
  734. New Zealand grave effigy                                      525
  735. New Zealand grave post                                        526
  736. Nicobarese mortuary tablet                                    526
  737. The policeman                                                 529
  738. Ottawa pipestem                                               530
  739-740. Shooting fish. Micmac                                     531
  741. Lancing fish. Micmac                                          531
  742. Whale hunting. Innuit                                         531
  743. Hunting in canoe. Ojibwa                                      532
  744. Record of hunting. Ojibwa                                     532
  745. Fruit gatherers. Hidatsa                                      533
  746. Hunting antelope. Hidatsa                                     533
  747. Hunting buffalo. Hidatsa                                      534
  748. Counting coups. Dakota                                        534
  749-750. Counting coup. Dakota                                     535
  751-752. Scalp displayed. Dakota                               535-536
  753. Scalped head. Dakota                                          536
  754. Scalp taken. Dakota                                           536
  755-757. Antelope hunting. Dakota                              536-537
  758. Wife’s punishment. Dakota                                     537
  759. Decorated horse. Dakota                                       537
  760. Suicide. Dakota                                               537
  761. Eagle hunting. Arikara                                        537
  762. Eagle hunting. Ojibwa                                         538
  763. Gathering pomme blanche                                       538
  764. Moving tipi                                                   538
  765. Claiming sanctuary                                            538
  766-769. Raising war party. Dakota                                 540
  770. Walrus hunting. Alaska                                        541
  771. Records carved on ivory. Alaska                               541
  772-773. Haka game. Dakota                                         547
  774. Haida gambling sticks                                         548
  775. Pebbles from Mas d’Azil                                       549
  776-781. Records of expeditions. Dakota                        553-554
  782-783. Records of battles                                        556
  784. Battle of 1797. Ojibwa                                        557
  785. Battle of Hard river. Winnebago                               559
  786. Battle between Ojibwa and Sioux                               559
  787. Megaque’s last battle                                         560
  788-795. Records of battles. Dakota                            561-563
  796. Record of Ojibwa migration                                    566
  797. Origin of Brulé. Dakota                                       567
  798. Kiyuksas                                                      568
  799-802. First coming of traders                                   568
  803. Boy scalped                                                   568
  804. Boy scalped alive                                             569
  805. Horses killed                                                 569
  806-808. Annuities received                                        569
  809. Mexican blankets bought                                       569
  810. Wagon captured                                                570
  811. Clerk killed                                                  570
  812. Flagstaff cut down                                            570
  813. Horses taken                                                  570
  814. Killed two Arikara                                            571
  815. Shot and scalped an Arikara                                   572
  816. Killed ten men and three women                                572
  817. Killed two chiefs                                             573
  818. Killed one Arikara                                            573
  819. Killed two Arikara hunters                                    574
  820. Killed five Arikara                                           574
  821. Peruvian biography                                            575
  822. Hunting record. Iroquois                                      575
  823. Martial exploits. Iroquois                                    576
  824. Cross-Bear’s death                                            576
  825. A dangerous trading trip                                      577
  826. Shoshoni raid for horses                                      578
  827. Life risked for water                                         578
  828. Runs by the enemy                                             579
  829. Runs around                                                   579
  830. Goes through the camp                                         579
  831. Cut through                                                   579
  832. Killed in tipi                                                579
  833. Killed in tipi                                                579
  834. Took the warpath                                              579
  835. White-Bull killed                                             580
  836. Brave-Bear killed                                             580
  837. Brave-man killed                                              580
  838. Crazy Horse killed                                            580
  839. Killed for whipping wife                                      580
  840. Killed for whipping wife                                      580
  841-842. Close shooting                                            581
  843. Lean-Wolf’s exploits. Hidatsa                                 581
  844. Record of hunt. Alaska                                        581
  845. Charge after                                                  585
  846. Killed after                                                  585
  847. Old-Horse                                                     585
  848. Old-Mexican                                                   585
  849. Young-Rabbit                                                  585
  850. Bad-Boy                                                       585
  851. Bad-Horn                                                      585
  852. Bad-Face                                                      586
  853. Bad. Ojibwa                                                   586
  854. Got-there-first                                               586
  855-860. Big                                                   586-587
  861. Center-Feather                                                587
  862. Deaf Woman                                                    587
  863-867. Direction                                                 588
  868. Whooping cough                                                588
  869. Measles                                                       589
  870. Measles or smallpox                                           589
  871. Ate buffalo and died                                          589
  872. Died of “whistle”                                             589
  873-874. Smallpox                                                  589
  875. Smallpox. Mexican                                             589
  876. Died of cramps                                                589
  877-878. Died in childbirth                                        590
  879. Sickness. Ojibwa                                              590
  880. Sickness. Chinese                                             590
  881. Fast-Horse                                                    590
  882. Fast-Elk                                                      590
  883-887. Fear                                                      591
  888-890. River freshet                                         591-592
  891. Good-Weasel                                                   592
  892-897. High                                                  592-593
  898-903. Lean                                                  593-594
  904-915. Little                                                594-595
  916. Lone-Woman                                                    595
  917. Lone-Bear                                                     596
  918. Many shells                                                   596
  919. Many deer                                                     596
  920. Much snow                                                     596
  921. Great, much                                                   596
  922. Ring-Cloud                                                    597
  923. Cloud-Ring                                                    597
  924. Fog                                                           597
  925. Kills-Back                                                    597
  926. Keeps-the-Battle                                              597
  927. Keeps-the-Battle                                              597
  928. His-Fight                                                     597
  929. River fight                                                   598
  930. Owns-the-arrows                                               598
  931. Has-something-sharp                                           598
  932. Prisoner. Dakota                                              598
  933. Takes enemy                                                   598
  934. Iroquois triumph                                              599
  935. Prisoners. Dakota                                             599
  936. Prisoners. Iroquois                                           600
  937. Prisoners. Mexico                                             600
  938. Short bull                                                    600
  939-944. Sight                                                 600-601
  945. Slow bear                                                     601
  946-954. Tall                                                  601-602
  955-956. Trade                                                     603
  957. Brothers                                                      603
  958. Same tribe                                                    603
  959. Husband and wife                                              604
  960. Same tribe                                                    604
  961. Same tribe                                                    604
  962-966. Whirlwind                                             604-605
  967-975. Winter, cold, snow                                    605-606
  976. Peruvian garrison                                             607
  977. Comet. Mexican                                                613
  978. Robbery. Mexican                                              613
  979. Guatemalan symbols                                            614
  980. Chibcha symbols                                               616
  981. Syrian symbols                                                616
  982. Piaroa color stamps                                           621
  983. Rock painting. Tule river, California                         638
  984-998. Gesture signs in pictographs                          639-641
  999. Water symbols                                                 642
  1000. Gesture sign for drink                                       642
  1001. Water. Egyptian                                              642
  1002. Gesture for rain                                             643
  1003. Water signs. Moki                                            643
  1004. Symbols for child and man                                    644
  1005. Gestures for birth                                           644
  1006. Negation                                                     645
  1007. Hand                                                         645
  1008. Signal of discovery                                          645
  1009. Pictured gestures. Maya                                      646
  1010. Pictured gestures. Guatemala                                 647
  1011-1019. Peace                                               650-651
  1020-1022. War                                                 651-652
  1023. Chief-Boy                                                    652
  1024. War chief. Passamaquoddy                                     652
  1025-1029. Council                                             653-654
  1030-1037. Plenty of food                                      654-655
  1038-1043. Famine                                              655-656
  1044-1046. Starvation                                              656
  1047-1051. Horses                                              656-657
  1052-1060. Horse stealing                                      657-658
  1061-1069. Kill and death                                      658-660
  1070. Killed. Dakota                                               660
  1071. Life and death. Ojibwa                                       660
  1072. Dead. Iroquois                                               660
  1073. Dead man. Arikara                                            660
  1074-1078. Shot                                                    661
  1079. Coming rain                                                  662
  1080. Hittite emblems of known sound                               663
  1081. Hittite emblems of uncertain sound                           664
  1082. Title page of Kauder’s Micmac Catechism                      668
  1083. Lord’s Prayer in Micmac “hieroglyphics”                      669
  1084-1085. Religious story. Sicasica                               672
  1086. Mo-so MS. Desgodins                                          673
  1087. Pictographs in alphabets                                     675
  1088. Algonquian petroglyph, Hamilton farm, West Virginia          677
  1089. Algonquian petroglyphs, Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania            677
  1090. Algonquian petroglyphs, Cunningham’s Island, Lake Erie       679
  1091. Algonquian petroglyphs, Wyoming                              680
  1092. Shoshonean petroglyphs, Idaho                                680
  1093. Shoshonean petroglyphs, Utah                                 681
  1094. Shoshonean rock painting, Utah                               681
  1095-1096. Arizona petroglyphs                                 682-683
  1097-1098. Petroglyphs in Lower California                         683
  1099. Haida totem post                                             684
  1100. New Zealand house posts                                      685
  1101. New Zealand tiki                                             686
  1102-1103. Nicaraguan petroglyphs                                  686
  1104. Deep carvings in Guiana                                      687
  1105-1106. Venezuelan petroglyphs                                  688
  1107. Brazilian petroglyphs                                        689
  1108. Spanish and Brazilian petroglyphs                            690
  1109-1111. Brazilian petroglyphs                               690-691
  1112. Brazilian pictograph                                         691
  1113-1114. Brazilian petroglyphs                                   692
  1115. Tree                                                         693
  1116. Grow                                                         693
  1117. Sky                                                          694
  1118. Sun. Oakley Springs                                          694
  1119. Sun. Gesture sign                                            695
  1120. Devices for sun                                              695
  1121. Sun and light                                                695
  1122. Light                                                        695
  1123. Light and sun                                                696
  1124. Sun. Kwakiutl                                                696
  1125. Sun mask. Kwakiutl                                           696
  1126. Suns                                                         696
  1127. Gesture for moon                                             696
  1128. Moon                                                         697
  1129. Stars                                                        697
  1130. Day. Ojibwa                                                  697
  1131. Morning. Arizona                                             698
  1132. Day                                                          698
  1133. Days. Apache                                                 698
  1134. Clear, stormy. Ojibwa                                        699
  1135-1139. Night                                                   699
  1140. Night. Ojibwa                                                699
  1141. Sign for night                                               700
  1142. Night. Egyptian                                              700
  1143. Night. Mexican                                               700
  1144. Cloud shield                                                 700
  1145. Clouds. Moki                                                 700
  1146. Cloud. Ojibwa                                                700
  1147. Rain. Ojibwa                                                 701
  1148. Rain. Pueblo                                                 701
  1149. Rain. Moki                                                   701
  1150. Rain. Chinese                                                701
  1151-1153. Lightning. Moki                                     701-702
  1154. Lightning. Pueblo                                            702
  1155-1158. Human form                                              703
  1159. Human form. Alaska                                           704
  1160. Bird man. Siberia                                            704
  1161. American. Ojibwa                                             704
  1162. Man. Yakut                                                   704
  1163. Human forms. Moki                                            704
  1164. Human form. Navajo                                           705
  1165. Man and woman. Moki                                          705
  1166. Human form. Colombia                                         705
  1167. Human form. Peru                                             707
  1168. Human face. Brazil                                           708
  1169-1170. Human faces. Brazil                                     708
  1171. Double-faced head. Brazil                                    708
  1172. Funeral urn. Marajo                                          709
  1173. Marajo vase                                                  709
  1174. Marajo vases                                                 710
  1175. Human heads                                                  711
  1176. Hand. Ojibwa                                                 711
  1177. Joined hands. Moki                                           712
  1178. Cave-painting. Australia                                     713
  1179. Irish cross                                                  715
  1180. Roman standard                                               715
  1181-1185. Tracks                                                  716
  1186. Feet                                                         716
  1187-1192. Broken leg. Dakota                                  716-717
  1193. Broken leg. Chinese                                          717
  1194-1198. Voice                                               717-718
  1199. Speech. Ojibwa                                               719
  1200. Talk. Mexican                                                719
  1201. Talk. Maya                                                   719
  1202. Talk. Guatemala                                              720
  1203. Dwellings                                                    720
  1204-1210. Dwellings. Dakota                                       721
  1211. Dwellings. Moki                                              721
  1212. Dwelling. Maya                                               722
  1213. House. Egyptian                                              722
  1214. Eclipse of the sun                                           722
  1215-1223. Meteors                                             722-723
  1224. Meteors. Mexican                                             724
  1225. Cross. Dakota                                                725
  1226. Cross. Ohio mound                                            725
  1227. Dragon fly                                                   725
  1228. Crosses. Eskimo                                              727
  1229. Cross. Tulare valley, California                             727
  1230. Crosses. Owens valley, California                            728
  1231. Cross. Innuit                                                729
  1232. Crosses. Moki                                                729
  1233. Crosses. Maya                                                729
  1234. Crosses. Nicaragua                                           730
  1235-1236. Crosses. Guatemala                                  730-731
  1237. Crosses. Sword-makers’ marks                                 732
  1238. Cross. Golasecca                                             733
  1239-1251. Composite forms                                     735-736
  1252. Wolf-man. Haida                                              737
  1253. Panther-man. Haida                                           737
  1254. Moose. Kejimkoojik                                           739
  1255. Hand. Kejimkoojik                                            740
  1256. Engravings on bamboo. New Caledonia                          743
  1257. Typical character. Guiana                                    745
  1258. Moki devices                                                 746
  1259. Frames and arrows. Moki                                      746
  1260. Blossoms. Moki                                               746
  1261. Moki characters                                              748
  1262. Mantis. Kejimkoojik                                          749
  1263. Animal forms. Sonora                                         749
  1264-1278. Weapons and ornaments. Dakota                       750-752
  1279. Weapons                                                      753
  1280. Australian wommera and clubs                                 754
  1281. Turtle. Maya                                                 756
  1282. Armadillo. Yucatan                                           756
  1283. Dakota drawings                                              756
  1284. Ojibwa drawings                                              757
  1285-1287. Grave creek stone                                   761-762
  1288. Imitated pictograph                                          765
  1289. Fraudulent pictograph                                        767
  1290. Chinese characters                                           767




An essay entitled “Pictographs of the North American Indians: A
Preliminary Paper,” appeared in the Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau
of Ethnology. The present work is not a second edition of that essay,
but is a continuation and elaboration of the same subject. Of the
eighty-three plates in that paper not one is here reproduced, although
three are presented with amendments; thus fifty-one of the fifty-four
plates in this volume are new. Many of the text figures, however, are
used again, as being necessary to the symmetry of the present work, but
they are now arranged and correlated so as to be much more useful than
when unmethodically disposed as before, and the number of text figures
now given is twelve hundred and ninety-five as against two hundred and
nine, the total number in the former paper. The text itself has been
rewritten and much enlarged. The publication of the “Preliminary Paper”
has been of great value in the preparation of the present work, as it
stimulated investigation and report on the subject to such an extent
that it is now impossible to publish within reasonable limits of space
all the material on hand. Indeed, after the present work had been
entirely written and sent to the Public Printer, new information came to
hand which ought to be published, but can not now be inserted.

It is also possible to give more attention than before to the
picture-writing of the aboriginal inhabitants of America beyond the
limits of the United States. While the requirements of the acts of
Congress establishing the Bureau of Ethnology have been observed by
directing main attention to the Indians of North America, there is
sufficient notice of Central and South America to justify the present
title, in which also the simpler term “picture-writing” is used instead
of “pictographs.”

Picture-writing is a mode of expressing thoughts or noting facts by
marks which at first were confined to the portrayal of natural or
artificial objects. It is one distinctive form of thought-writing
without reference to sound, gesture language being the other and
probably earlier form. Whether remaining purely ideographic, or
having become conventional, picture-writing is the direct and durable
expression of ideas of which gesture language gives the transient
expression. Originally it was not connected with the words of any
language. When adopted for syllabaries or alphabets, which is the
historical course of its evolution, it ceased to be the immediate
and became the secondary expression of the ideas framed in oral
speech. The writing common in civilization may properly be styled
sound-writing, as it does not directly record thoughts, but presents
them indirectly, after they have passed through the phase of sound. The
trace of pictographs in alphabets and syllabaries is discussed in the
present work under its proper heading so far as is necessary after the
voluminous treatises on the topic, and new illustrations are presented.
It is sufficient for the present to note that all the varied characters
of script and print now current are derived directly or mediately from
pictorial representations of objects. Bacon well said that “pictures are
dumb histories,” and he might have added that in the crude pictures of
antiquity were contained the germs of written words.

The importance of the study of picture-writing depends partly upon the
result of its examination as a phase in the evolution of human culture.
As the invention of alphabetic writing is admitted to be the great
step marking the change from barbarism to civilization, the history
of its earlier development must be valuable. It is inferred from
internal evidence, though not specifically reported in history, that
picture-writing preceded and generated the graphic systems of Egypt,
Assyria, and China, but in America, especially in North America, its
use is still current. It can be studied here without any requirement
of inference or hypothesis, in actual existence as applied to records
and communications. Furthermore, the commencement of its evolution
into signs of sound is apparent in the Aztec and the Maya characters,
in which transition stage it was arrested by foreign conquest. The
earliest lessons of the genesis and growth of culture in this important
branch of investigation may, therefore, be best learned from the
western hemisphere. In this connection it should be noticed that
picture-writing is found in sustained vigor on the same continent where
sign language has prevailed and has continued in active operation to an
extent historically unknown in other parts of the world. These modes
of expression, i. e., transient and permanent thought-writing, are so
correlated in their origin and development that neither can be studied
to the best advantage without including the other. Unacquainted with
these facts, but influenced by an assumption that America must have
been populated from the eastern hemisphere, some enterprising persons
have found or manufactured American inscriptions composed of characters
which may be tortured into identity with some of the Eurasian alphabets
or syllabaries, but which sometimes suggest letters of indigenous
invention. This topic is discussed in its place.

For the purposes of the present work there is no need to decide whether
sign-language, which is closely connected with picture-writing, preceded
articulate speech. It is sufficient to admit the high antiquity of
thought-writing in both its forms, and yet it is proper to notice a
strong current of recent opinions as indicated by Prof. Sayce (_a_) in
his address to the anthropologic section of the British Association for
the Advancement of Science, as follows:

    I see no escape from the conclusions that the chief distinctions
    of race were established long before man acquired language. If the
    statement made by M. de Mortillet is true, that the absence of
    the mental tubercle, or bony excrescence in which the tongue is
    inserted, in a skull of the Neanderthal type found at La Naulette,
    indicates an absence of the faculty of speech, one race at least of
    palæolithic man would have existed in Europe before it had as yet
    invented an articulate language. Indeed it is difficult to believe
    that man has known how to speak for any very great length of time.
    * * * We can still trace through the thin disguise of subsequent
    modifications and growth the elements, both lexical and grammatical,
    out of which language must have arisen. * * * The beginnings of
    articulate language are still too transparent to allow us to refer
    them to a very remote era. * * * In fact the evidence that he is a
    drawing animal * * * mounts back to a much earlier epoch than the
    evidence that he is a speaking animal.

When a system of ideographic gesture signs prevailed and at the same
time any form of artistic representation, however rude, existed, it
would be expected that the delineations of the former would appear in
the latter. It was but one more and an easy step to fasten upon bark,
skins, or rocks the evanescent air pictures that still in pigments or
carvings preserve their ideography or conventionalism in their original
outlines. A transition stage between gestures and pictographs, in which
the left hand is used as a supposed drafting surface, upon which the
index draws lines, is exhibited in the Dialogue between Alaskan Indians
in the First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (_a_). This device
is common among deaf-mutes, without equal archeologic importance, as it
may have been suggested by the art of writing, with which, even when not
instructed in it, they are generally acquainted.

The execution of the drawings, of which the several forms of
picture-writing are composed, often exhibits the first crude efforts of
graphic art, and their study in that relation is of value.

When pictures are employed for the same purpose as writing, the
conception intended to be presented is generally analyzed and only its
most essential points are indicated, with the result that the characters
when frequently repeated become conventional, and in their later form
cease to be recognizable as objective portraitures. This exhibition of
conventionalizing has its own historic import.

It is not probable that much valuable information will ever be obtained
from ancient rock carvings or paintings, but they are important as
indications of the grades of culture reached by their authors, and
of the subjects which interested those authors, as is shown in the
appropriate chapters following. Some portions of these pictures can
be interpreted. With regard to others, which are not yet interpreted
and perhaps never can be, it is nevertheless useful to gather together
for synoptic study and comparison a large number of their forms from
many parts of the world. The present collection shows the interesting
psychologic fact that primitive or at least very ancient man made the
same figures in widely separated regions, though it is not established
that the same figures had a common significance. Indications of priscan
habitat and migrations may sometimes be gained from the general style or
type of the drawings and sculptures, which may be divided into groups,
although the influence of the environing materials must always be

The more modern specimens of picture-writing displayed on skins, bark,
and pottery are far more readily interpreted than those on rocks, and
have already afforded information and verification as to points of
tribal history, religion, customs, and other ethnologic details.

A criticism has been made on the whole subject of picture-writing by the
eminent anthropologist, Dr. Andree, who, in Ethnographische Parallelen
und Vergleiche (_a_), has described and figured a large number of
examples of petroglyphs, a name given by him to rock-drawings and now
generally adopted. His views are translated as follows:

    But if we take a connected view of the petroglyphs to which the
    rock pictures, generally made with red paint, are equivalent, and
    make a comparison of both, it becomes evident that they are usually
    made for mere pastime and are the first artistic efforts of rude
    nations. Nevertheless, we find in them the beginnings of writing,
    and in some instances their transition to pictography as developed
    among North American Indians becomes evident.

It appears, therefore, that Dr. Andree carefully excludes the
picture-writings of the North American Indians from his general censure,
his conclusion being that those found in other parts of the world
usually occupy a lower stage. It is possible that significance may yet
be ascertained in many of the characters found in other regions, and
perhaps this may be aided by the study of those in America; but no doubt
should exist that the latter have purpose and meaning. The relegation to
a trivial origin of such pictographs as are described and illustrated
in the present work will be abandoned after a thorough knowledge of the
labor and thought which frequently were necessary for their production.
American pictographs are not to be regarded as mere curiosities. In some
localities they represent the only intellectual remains of the ancient
inhabitants. Wherever found, they bear significantly upon the evolution
of the human mind.

Distrust concerning the actual significance of the ancient American
petroglyphs may be dispelled by considering the practical use of similar
devices by historic and living Indians for purposes as important to them
as those of alphabetic writing, these serving to a surprising extent the
same ends. This paper presents a large number of conclusive examples.
The old devices are substantially the same as the modern, though
improved and established in the course of evolution. The ideography
and symbolism displayed in these devices present suggestive studies in
psychology more interesting than the mere information or text contained
in the pictures. It must also be observed that when Indians now make
pictographs it is with intention and care--seldom for mere amusement.
Even when the labor is undertaken merely to supply the trade demand
for painted robes or engraved pipes or bark records, it is a serious
manufacture, though sometimes only imitative and not intrinsically
significant. In all other known instances in which pictures are made
without such specific intent as is indicated under the several headings
of this work, they are purely ornamental; but in such cases they are
often elaborate and artistic, not idle scrawls.

This paper is limited in its terms to the presentation of the most
important known pictographs of the American Indians, but examples
from other parts of the world are added for comparison. The proper
classification and correlation of the matter collected has required more
labor and thought than is apparent. The scheme of the work has been
to give in an arrangement of chapters and sections some examples with
illustrations in connection with each heading in the classification.
This plan has involved a large amount of cross reference, because in
many cases a character or a group of characters could be considered
with reference to a number of different characteristics, and it was
necessary to choose under which one of the headings it should be
presented, involving reference to that from the other divisions of the
work. Sometimes the decision was determined by taste or judgment, and
sometimes required by mechanical considerations.

It may be mentioned that the limitation of the size of the present
volume required that the space occupied by the text should be
subordinated to the large amount of illustration. It is obvious that a
work on picture-writing should be composed largely of pictures, and to
allow room for them many pages of the present writer’s views have been
omitted. Whatever may be the disadvantage of this omission it leaves to
students of the work the opportunity to form their own judgments without
bias. Indeed, this writer confesses that although he has examined and
studied in their crude shape, as they went to the printer, all the
illustrations and descriptions now presented, he expects that after
the volume shall be delivered to him in printed form with its synoptic
arrangement he will be better able than now to make appropriate remarks
on its subject-matter. Therefore he anticipates that careful readers
will judiciously correct errors in the details of the work which may
have escaped him and that they will extend and expand what is yet
limited and partial. It may be proper to note that when the writer’s
observation has resulted in agreement with published authorities or
contributors, the statements that could have been made on his own
personal knowledge have been cited, when possible, from the printed or
manuscript works of others. Quotation is still more requisite when there
is disagreement with the authorities.

Thanks for valuable assistance are due and rendered to correspondents
and to officers of the Bureau of Ethnology and of the United States
Geological Survey, whose names are generally mentioned in connection
with their several contributions. Acknowledgment is also made now and
throughout the work to Dr. W. J. Hoffman, who has officially assisted
in its preparation during several years, by researches in the field, in
which his familiarity with Indians and his artistic skill have been of
great value. Similar recognition is due to Mr. De Lancey W. Gill, in
charge of the art department of the Bureau of Ethnology and the U. S.
Geological Survey, and to Mr. Wells M. Sawyer, his assistant, specially
detailed on the duty, for their work on the illustrations presented.
While mentioning the illustrations, it may be noted that the omission
to furnish the scale on which some of them are produced is not from
neglect, but because it was impossible to ascertain the dimensions of
the originals in the few cases where no scale or measurement is stated.
This omission is most frequently noticeable in the illustrations of
petroglyphs which have not been procured directly by the officers of
the Bureau of Ethnology. The rule in that Bureau is to copy petroglyphs
on the scale of one-sixteenth actual size. Most of the other classes of
pictographs are presented without substantial reduction, and in those
cases the scale is of little importance.

It remains to give special notice to the reader regarding the mode
adopted to designate the authors and works cited. A decision was
formed that no footnotes should appear in the work. A difficulty in
observing that rule arose from the fact that in the repeated citation of
published works the text would be cumbered with many words and numbers
to specify titles, pages and editions. The experiment was tried of
printing in the text only the most abbreviated mention, generally by the
author’s name alone, of the several works cited, and to present a list
of them arranged in alphabetic order with cross references and catch
titles. This list appears at the end of the work with further details
and examples of its use. It is not a bibliography of the subject of
picture-writing, nor even a list of authorities read and studied in the
preparation of the work, but it is simply a special list, prepared for
the convenience of readers, of the works and authors cited in the text,
and gives the page and volume, when there is more than one volume in the
edition, from which the quotation is taken.



In the plan of this work a distinction has been made between a
petroglyph, as Andree names the class, or rock-writing, as Ewbank called
it, and all other descriptions of picture-writing. The criterion for
the former is that the picture, whether carved or pecked, or otherwise
incised, and whether figured only by coloration or by coloration and
incision together, is upon a rock either in situ or sufficiently large
for inference that the picture was imposed upon it where it was found.
This criterion allows geographic classification. In presenting the
geographic distribution, prominence is necessarily (because of the
laws authorizing this work) given to the territory occupied by the
United States of America, but examples are added from various parts
of the globe, not only for comparison of the several designs, but to
exhibit the prevalence of the pictographic practice in an ancient form,
though probably not the earliest form. The rocks have preserved archaic
figures, while designs which probably were made still earlier on less
enduring substances are lost.

Throughout the world in places where rocks of a suitable character
appear, and notably in South America, markings on them have been found
similar to those in North America, though until lately they have seldom
been reported with distinct description or with illustration. They are
not understood by the inhabitants of their vicinity, who generally
hold them in superstitious regard, and many of them appear to have
been executed from religious motives. They are now most commonly found
remaining where the population has continued to be sparse, or where
civilization has not been of recent introduction, with exceptions such
as appear in high development on the Nile.

The superstitions concerning petroglyphs are in accord with all
other instances where peoples in all ages and climes, when observing
some phenomenon which they did not understand, accounted for it by
supernatural action. The following examples are selected as of interest
in the present connection.

It must be premised with reference to the whole character of the
mythology and folk-lore of the Indians that, even when professed
converts to Christianity, they seem to have taken little interest in the
stories of the Christian church, whether the biblical narratives or the
lives and adventures of the saints, which are so constantly dwelt upon
throughout the Christian world that they have become folk-lore. The
general character of the Christian legends does not seem to have suited
the taste of Indians and has not at all impaired their affection for or
their belief in the aboriginal traditions.

Among the gods or demigods of the Abnaki are those who particularly
preside over the making of petroglyphs. Their name in the plural, for
there are several personages, is Oonagamessok. They lived in caves
by the shore and were never seen, but manifested their existence by
inscriptions on the rocks. The fact that these inscribed rocks are
now very seldom found is accounted for by the statement that the
Oonagamessok have become angry at the want of attention paid to them
since the arrival of the white people and have caused the pictures to
disappear. There is no evidence to determine whether this tradition
should be explained by the fact that the ingenious shamans of the last
century would sometimes produce a miracle, carving the rocks themselves
and interpreting the marks in their own way, or by the fact that the
rock inscriptions were so old that their origin was not remembered and
an explanation was, as usual, made by ascription to a special divinity,
perhaps a chieftain famous in the old stage of mythology, or perhaps one
invented for the occasion by the class of priests who from immemorial
antiquity have explained whatever was inexplicable.

At a rock near the mouth of the Magiguadavic river, at the time
immediately before the Passamaquoddy Indians chose their first governor
after the manner of the whites, the old Indians say there suddenly
appeared a white man’s flag carved on the rocks. The old Indians
interpreted this as a prophecy that the people would soon be abandoned
to the white man’s methods, and this came to pass shortly after.
Formerly they had a “Mayouett” or chief. Many other rock carvings are
said to have foretold what has since come to pass. Strange noises have
also been heard near them.

The Omaha superstition is mentioned on pages 91-92 infra.

The Mandans had an oracle stone on which figures appeared on the morning
after a night of public fasting. They were deciphered by the shaman, who
doubtless had made them.

Mr. T. H. Lewis (_a_) gives the following tradition relating to the
incised bowlders in the upper Minnesota valley:

    In olden times there used to be an object that marked the
    bowlders at night. It could be seen, but its exact shape was
    indistinct. It would work making sounds like hammering, and
    occasionally emit a light similar to that of a firefly. After
    finishing its work it would give one hearty laugh like a woman
    laughing and then disappear. The next morning the Indians would find
    another pictured bowlder in the vicinity where the object had been
    seen the night previous.

Mr. J. W. Lynd (_a_) says of the Dakotas:

    The deities upon which the most worship is bestowed, if, indeed,
    any particular one is nameable, are Tunkan (Inyan) the Stone God and
    Wakinyan, the Thunder Bird. The latter, as being the main god of
    war, receives constant worship and sacrifices; whilst the adoration
    of the former is an every-day affair. The Tunkan, the Dakotas say,
    is the god that dwells in stones or rocks, and is the oldest god. If
    asked why it is considered the oldest, they will tell you because it
    is the hardest.

Mr. Charles Hallock, on the authority of Capt. Ed. Hunter, First
Cavalry, U. S. A., furnishes the following information respecting the
Assiniboin, Montana, rock pictures, which shows the reverence of these
Indians for the petroglyphs even when in ruins:

    Some of the rocks of the sculptured cliff cleaved off and
    tumbled to the ground, whereupon the Indians assembled in force,
    stuck up a pole, hung up some buffalo heads and dried meat, had a
    song and dance, and carefully covered the detached fragments (which
    were sculptured or painted) with cotton cloth and blankets. Jim
    Brown, a scout, told Capt. Hunter that the Indians assembled at this
    station at stated times to hold religious ceremonies. The pictures
    are drawn on the smooth face of an outcrop or rocky projection.

Marcano (_a_) gives an account in which superstition is mixed with
historic tradition. It is translated as follows:

    The legend of the Tamanaques, transmitted by Father Gili, has
    also been invoked in favor of an ancient civilization. According
    to the beliefs of this nation, there took place in days of old a
    general inundation, which recalls the age of the great waters of
    the Mexicans, during which the scattered waves beat against the
    Encaramada. All the Tamanaques were drowned except one man and one
    woman, who fled to the mountain of Tamacu or Tamanácu, situated
    on the banks of Asiveru (Cuchivero). They threw above their heads
    the fruits of the palm tree, Mauritia, and saw arising from their
    kernels the men and women who repeopled the earth. It was during
    this inundation that Amalavica, the creator of mankind, arrived on
    a bark and carved the inscription of Tepumereme. Amalavica remained
    long among the Tamanaques, and dwelt in Amalavica-Jeutitpe (house).
    After putting everything in order he set sail and returned “to
    the other shore,” whence he had come. “Did you perchance meet him
    there?” said an Indian to Father Gili, after relating to him this
    story. In this connection Humboldt recalls that in Mexico, too, the
    monk Sahagun was asked whether he came from the other shore, whither
    Quetzalcoatl had retired.

    The same traveler adds: “When you ask the natives how the
    hieroglyphic characters carved on the mountains of Urbana and
    Encaramada could have been traced, they reply that this was done in
    the age of the great waters, at the time when their fathers were
    able to reach the heights in their canoes.”

    If these legends and these petroglyphs are proof of an extinct
    civilization, it is astonishing that their authors should have
    left no other traces of their culture. To come to the point, is it
    admissible that they were replaced by savage tribes without leaving
    a trace of what they had been, and can we understand this retrograde
    march of civilization when progress everywhere follows an ascending
    course? These destructions of American tribes in place are very
    convenient to prop up theories, but they are contrary to ethnologic

The remarkable height of some petroglyphs has misled authors of good
repute as well as savages. Petroglyphs frequently appear on the face
of rocks at heights and under conditions which seemed to render their
production impossible without the appliances of advanced civilization,
a large outlay, and the exercise of unusual skill. An instance among
many of the same general character is in the petroglyphs at Lake Chelan,
Washington, where they are about 30 feet above the present water level,
on a perpendicular cliff, the base of which is in the lake. On simple
examination the execution of the pictographic work would seem to
involve details of wharfing, staging, and ladders if operated from the
base, and no less elaborate machinery if approached from the summit.
Strahlenberg suggests that such elevated drawings were made by the
ingenious use of stone wedges driven into the rock, thus affording
support for ascent or descent, and reports that he actually saw such
stone wedges in position on the Yenesei river. A very rough geological
theory has been presented by others to account for the phenomena by the
rise of the rocks to a height far above the adjacent surface at a time
later than their carving.

But in the many cases observed in America it is not necessary to propose
either the hypothesis involving such elaborate work as is suggested or
one postulating enormous geological changes. The escarpment of cliffs
is from time to time broken down by the action of the elements and the
fragments fall to the base, frequently forming a talus of considerable
height, on which it is easy to mount and incise or paint on the
remaining perpendicular face of the cliff. When the latter adjoins a
lake or large stream, the disintegrated débris is almost immediately
carried off, leaving the drawings or paintings at an apparently
inaccessible altitude. When the cliff is on dry land, the rain, which
is driven against the face of the cliff and thereby increased in volume
and force at the point in question, also sweeps away the talus, though
more slowly. The talus is ephemeral in all cases, and the face of the
cliff may change in a week or a century, as it may happen, so its aspect
gives but a slight evidence of age. The presence, therefore, of the
pictures on the heights described proves neither extraordinary skill
in their maker nor the great antiquity which would be indicated by
the emergence of the pictured rocks through volcanic or other dynamic
agency. The age of the paintings and sculptures must be inferred from
other considerations.

Pictures are sometimes found on the parts of rocks which at present
are always, or nearly always, covered with water. On the sea shore at
Machias bay, Maine, the peckings have been continued below the line of
the lowest tides as known during the present generation. In such cases
subsidence of the rocky formation may be indicated. At Kejimkoojik
lake, Nova Scotia, incisions of the same character as those on the
bare surface of the slate rocks can now be seen only by the aid of a
water glass, and then only when the lake is at its lowest. This may be
caused by subsidence of the rocks or by rise of the water through the
substantial damming of the outlet. Some rocks on the shores of rivers,
e. g., those on the Kanahwa, in West Virginia, show the same general
result of the covering and concealment of petroglyphs by water, except
in an unusual drought, which may more reasonably be attributed to the
gradual elevation of the river through the rise of the surface near its
mouth than to the subsidence of the earth’s crust at the locality of the
pictured rocks.

It must be admitted that no hermeneutic key has been discovered
applicable to American pictographs, whether ancient on stone or modern
on bark, skins, linen, or paper. Nor has any such key been found
which unlocks the petroglyphs of any other people. Symbolism was of
individual origin and was soon variously obscured by conventionalizing;
therefore it requires separate study in every region. No interpreting
laws of general application to petroglyphs so far appear, although
types and tendencies can be classified. It was hoped that in some lands
petroglyphs might tell of the characters and histories of extinct
or emigrated peoples, but it now seems that knowledge of the people
who were the makers of the petroglyphs is necessary to any clear
understanding of their work. The fanciful hypotheses which have been
formed without corroboration, wholly from such works as remain, are now
generally discarded.

There is a material reason why the interpretation of petroglyphs is
attended with special difficulty. They have often become so blurred by
the elements and so much defaced where civilized man has penetrated that
they cease to have any distinct or at least incontrovertible features.
The remarks relating to Dighton rock, infra, Chap. XXII, are in point.

Rock-carving or picture-writing on rocks is so old among the American
tribes as to have acquired a nomenclature. The following general remarks
of Schoolcraft (_a_) are of some value, though they apply with any
accuracy only to the Ojibwa and are tinctured with a fondness for the

    For their pictographic devices the North American Indians have
    two terms, namely, _Kekeewin_, or such things as are generally
    understood by the tribe, and _Kekeenowin_, or teachings of the
    _medas_ or priests and _jossakeeds_ or prophets. The knowledge of
    the latter is chiefly confined to persons who are versed in their
    system of magic medicine, or their religion, and may be deemed
    hieratic. The former consists of the common figurative signs, such
    as are employed at places of sepulture or by hunting or traveling
    parties. It is also employed in the _muzzinabiks_, or rock-writings.
    Many of the figures are common to both and are seen in the drawings
    generally; but it is to be understood that this results from the
    figure alphabet being precisely the same in both, while the devices
    of the nugamoons or medicine, wabino, hunting, and war songs are
    known solely to the initiates who have learned them, and who always
    pay high to the native professors for this knowledge.

In the Oglala Roster mentioned in Chapter XIII, Section 4, infra, one of
the heads of families is called Inyanowapi, translated as Painted (or
inscribed) rock. A blue object in the shape of a bowlder is connected
with the man’s head by the usual line, and characters too minute for
useful reproduction appear on the bowlder. The name is interesting as
giving the current Dakota term for rock-inscriptions. The designation
may have been given to this Indian because he was an authority on
the subject and skilled either in the making or interpretation of

The name “Wikhegan” was and still is used by the Abnaki to signify
portable communications made in daily life, as distinct from the rock
carvings mentioned above, which are regarded by them as mystic.

One of the curious facts in connection with petroglyphs is the meager
notice taken of them by explorers and even by residents other than the
Indians, who are generally reticent concerning them. The present writer
has sometimes been annoyed and sometimes amused by this indifference.
The resident nearest to the many inscribed rocks at Kejimkoojik Lake,
Nova Scotia, described in Chapter II, Section 1, was a middle-aged
farmer of respectable intelligence who had lived all his life about 3
miles from those rocks, but had only a vague notion of their character,
and with difficulty found them. A learned and industrious priest, who
had been working for many years on the shores of Lake Superior preparing
not only a dictionary and grammar of the Ojibwa language, but an account
of Ojibwa religion and customs, denied the present existence of any
objects in the nature of petroglyphs in that region. Yet he had lived
for a year within a mile of a very important and conspicuous pictured
rock, and, on being convinced of his error by sketches shown him, called
in his Ojibwa assistant and for the first time learned the common use of
a large group of words which bore upon the system of picture-writing,
and which he thereupon inserted in his dictionary, thus gaining from the
visitor, who had come from afar to study at the feet of this supposed
Gamaliel, much more than the visitor gained from him.





The information thus far obtained about petroglyphs in Canada is meager.
This may be partly due to the fact that through the region of the
Dominion now most thoroughly known the tribes have generally resorted
for their pictographic work to the bark of birch trees, which material
is plentiful and well adapted for the purpose. Indeed the same fact
affords an explanation of the paucity of rock-carvings or paintings
in the lands immediately south of the boundary line separating the
United States from the British possessions. It must also be considered
that the country on both sides of that boundary was in general heavily
timbered, and that even if petroglyphs are there they may not even yet
have been noticed. But that the mere plenty of birch bark does not
evince the actual absence of rock-pictures in regions where there was
also an abundance of suitable rocks, and where the native inhabitants
were known to be pictographers, is shown by the account given below of
the multitudes of such pictures lately discovered in a single district
of Nova Scotia. It is confidently believed that many petroglyphs will
yet be found in the Dominion. Others may be locally known and possibly
already described in publications which have escaped the researches of
the present writer. In fact, from correspondence and oral narrations,
there are indications of petroglyphs in several parts of the Dominion
besides those mentioned below, but their descriptions are too vague for
presentation here. For instance, Dr. Boas says that he has seen a large
number of petroglyphs in British Columbia, of which neither he nor any
other traveler has made distinct report.


The only petroglyphs yet found in the peninsula of Nova Scotia are
in large numbers within a small district in Queens county, and they
comprise objects unique in execution and in interest. They were
examined by the present writer in the field seasons of 1887 and 1888,
and some were copied by him, but many more copies were taken in the
last-mentioned year by Mr. George Creed, of South Rawdon, Nova Scotia,
who had guided the writer to the locality. Attention was at first
confined to Fairy lake and its rocks. This lake is really a bay of
a larger lake which is almost exactly on the boundary line between
Annapolis and Queens counties, one of those forming the chain through
which the Liverpool river runs, and called Cegemacaga in More’s History
of Queens County (_a_), but according to Dr. Silas Rand in his Reading
Book in the Micmac Language (_a_), Kejimkoojik, translated by him as
“swelled parts,” doubtless referring to the expansion of the Maitland
river at its confluence with the Liverpool river.

The Fairy rocks, as distinct from others in the lake, are three in
number, and are situated on the east side of Kejimkoojik lake and south
of the entrance to Fairy lake. The northernmost of the three rocks is
immediately at the entrance, the westernmost and central rock showing
but a small surface at high water and at the highest stage of the water
being entirely submerged. Three other inscribed rocks are about 2 miles
south of these, at Piels (a corruption of Pierre’s) point, opposite an
island called Glodes or Gload island, so named from a well-known Micmac
family. These rocks are virtually a continuation of the same formation
with depressions between them. Two other localities in the vicinity
where the rocks are engraved, as hereafter described, are at Fort Medway
river and Georges lake. As they are all of the same character, on the
same material, and were obviously made by the same people, they are all
classed together, when referred to in this paper, as at Kejimkoojik
lake. All of these rocks are of schistose slate of the Silurian
formation, and they lie with so gentle a dip that their magnitudes vary
greatly with a slight change in the height of the water. On August 27,
1887, when, according to the reports of the nearest residents, the water
was one foot above the average summer level, the unsubmerged portion of
the central rock then surrounded by water was an irregular oval, the
dimensions of which were 47 by 60 feet. The highest points of the Fairy
rocks at that date were no more than three and few were more than two
feet above the surface of the water. The inclination near the surface is
so small that a falling of the water of one foot would double the extent
of that part of the surface which, by its smoothness and softness,
is adapted to engraving. The inclination at Piels point is steeper,
but still allows a great variation of exposed surface in the manner

Mr. Creed first visited the Fairy rocks in July, 1881. His attention
was directed exclusively to the northernmost rock, which was then more
exposed than it was in September, 1887, and much of the inscribed
portion seen by him in 1881 was under water in 1887. The submerged
parts of the rocks adjoining those exposed are covered with incisions.
Many inscriptions were seen in 1881 by Mr. Creed through the water, and
others became visible through a water glass in 1887. His recollection of
the inscribed dates seen in 1881 is that some with French names attached
were of years near 1700, and that the worn appearance of the figures and
names corresponded with the lapse of time indicated by those dates. A
number of markings were noticed by him which are not found in the parts
now exposed, and were evidently more ancient than most of the engravings
on the latter. From other sources of information it is evident that
either from a permanent rise in the water of the lake or from the
sinking of the rocks, they formerly showed, within the period of the
recollection of people now living, a much larger exposed surface than
of late years, and that the parts long since permanently submerged were
covered with engravings. The inference is that those engravings were
made before Europeans had visited the locality.

It is to be specially remarked that the exposed surfaces where the rocks
were especially smooth were completely marked over, no space of 3 inches
square being unmarked, and over nearly all of those choice parts there
were two, and in many cases three, sets of markings, above one another,
recognizable by their differing distinctness. It also seemed that the
second or third marking was upon plane surfaces where the earlier
markings had been nearly obliterated by time. With pains and skill the
earlier markings can be traced, and these are the outlines which from
intrinsic evidence are Indian, whereas the later and more sharply marked
outlines are obviously made by civilized men or boys, the latest being
mere initials or full names of persons, with dates attached. Warning
must be given that the ancient markings, which doubtless were made by
the Micmacs, will probably not only escape the attention of the casual
visitor, but even that an intelligent expert observer who travels to the
scene with some information on the subject, and for the express purpose
of finding the incisions, may fail to see anything but names, ships,
houses, and similar figures of obviously modern design. This actually
occurred within the week when the present writer was taking copies of
the drawings by a mode of printing which left no room for fancy or
deception. Indeed, frequently the marks were not distinctly apparent
until after they had been examined in the printed copies.

The mode in which the copies were taken was by running over and through
their outlines a blue aniline pencil, and then pressing a wetted sheet
of ordinary printing paper upon them, so that the impression was
actually taken by the process of printing. During the two field seasons
mentioned, with the aid of Mr. Creed, three hundred and fifty different
engravings and groups of engravings were thus printed. Some of these
prints were of large dimensions, and included from ten to fifty separate
characters and designs.

On the parts exposed in 1887 there were dates from 1800 to the current
year, the number for the last year being much the greatest, which was
explained by the fact that the wonderfully beautiful lake had been
selected for a Sunday-school excursion. Over the greater part of the
surface visible in 1887 there were few levels specially favorable for
marking, and when these were found the double or treble use was in some
instances noticed.

After the writer had inspected the rocks and discovered their
characteristics, and learned how to distinguish and copy their markings,
it seemed that, with the exception of a few designs recently dug or
chipped out by lumbermen or visitors, almost always initials, the only
interesting or ancient portions were scratchings which could be made
on the soft slate by any sharp instrument. The faces of the rocks were
immense soft and polished drawing-slates, presenting to any person who
had ever drawn or written before an irresistible temptation to draw or
write. The writer, happening to have with him an Indian stone arrow
which had been picked up in the neighborhood, used its point upon the
surface, and it would make as good scratches as any found upon the rocks
except the very latest, which were obviously cut by the whites with
metal knives.

As is above suggested, the peculiar multiplication of the characters
upon the most attractive of the slates affords evidence as to their
relative antiquity superior to that generally found in petroglyphs.
The existence of two or three different sets of markings, all visible
and of different degrees of obliteration or distinctness, is in itself
important; but, in addition to that, it is frequently the case that the
second and third in the order of time have associated with them dates,
from which the relative antiquity of the faintest, the dateless, can be
to some extent estimated. Dates of the third and most recent class are
attached to English names and are associated with the forms of English
letters; those of the second class accompany French names, and in some
cases have French designs. Figs. 1 and 2, about one-fourth original
size, are presented to give an idea of these peculiar palimpsests.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--Palimpsest on Fairy rocks, Nova Scotia.]

For examples of other copies printed from the rocks at Kejimkoojik
lake, see Figs. 549, 550, 654, 655, 656, 657, 658, 717, 718, 739, 740,
741, 1254, 1255, and 1262. These offer intrinsic evidence of the Micmac
origin of the early class of engravings.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--Palimpsest on Fairy rocks, Nova Scotia.]

The presence of French names and styles of art in the drawings is
explained by a story which was communicated by Louis Labrador, whose
great-grandfather, old Ledore, according to his account, guided a body
of French Acadians who, at the time of the expulsion, were not shipped
off with the majority. They escaped the English in 1756 and traveled
from the valley of Annapolis to Shelbourne, at the extreme southeast
of the peninsula. During that passage they halted for a considerable
time to recruit in the beautiful valley along the Kejimkoojik lake,
on the very ground where these markings appear, which also was on the
ancient Indian trail. Another local tradition, told by a resident of the
neighborhood, gives a still earlier date for the French work. He says
that after the capture of Port Royal, now Annapolis, in 1710, a party of
the defeated Frenchmen, with a number of Indians as guides, went with
their cattle to the wide meadows upon Kejimkoojik lake and remained
there for a long time. It is exceedingly probable that the French would
have been attracted to scratch on this fascinating smooth slate surface
whether they had observed previous markings or not, but it seems evident
that they did scratch over such previous markings. The latter, at least,
antedated the beginning of the eighteenth century.

A general remark may be made regarding the Kejimkoojik drawings, that
the aboriginal art displayed in them did not differ in any important
degree from that shown in other drawings of the Micmacs and the Abnaki
in the possession of the Bureau of Ethnology. Also that the rocks there
reveal pictographic tendencies and practices which suggest explanations
of similar work in other regions where less evidence remains of intent
and significance. The attractive material of the slates and their
convenient situation tempted past generations of Indians to record
upon them the images of their current thoughts and daily actions.
Hence the pictographic practice went into operation at this locality
with unusual vigor and continuity. Although at Kejimkoojik lake there
is an exceptional facility for determining the relative dates of the
several horizons of scratchings, the suggestion there evoked may help to
ascertain similar data elsewhere.


Mr. Charles Hallock kindly communicates information concerning
pictographs on Nipigon bay, which is a large lake in the province of
Ontario, 30 miles northwest of Lake Superior, with which it is connected
by Nipigon river. He says:

    The pictographs, which are principally of men and animals,
    occupy a zone some 60 feet long and 5 feet broad, about midway of
    the face of the rock; they are painted in blood-red characters, much
    darker than the color of the cliff itself.

He also, later, incloses a letter received by himself from Mr. Newton
Flanagan, of the Hudson Bay Company, an extract from which is as follows:

    About the dimensions of the red rock in Nipigon bay, upon which
    appear the Indian painted pictures, as near as I can give you at
    present, the face of the rock fronting the water is about 60 feet,
    rising to a greater height as it runs inland. The width along the
    water is something like 900 yards, depth quite a distance inland.
    The pictures are from 10 to 15 or perhaps 20 feet above the water;
    the pictures are representations of human figures, Indians in
    canoes, and of wild animals. They are supposed to have been painted
    ages ago, by what process or for what reason I am unable to tell
    you, nor do I know how the paint is made indelible.

    As far as I can gather, the Indians here have no traditions
    in regard to those paintings, which I understand occur in several
    places throughout the country, and none of the Indians hereabouts
    nowadays practice any such painting.


Mr. Hallock also furnishes information regarding a petroglyph, the
locality of which he gives as follows: Roche Percée, on the Souris
river, in Manitoba, near the international boundary, 270 miles west of
Dufferin, and nearly due north from Bismarck. This is an isolated rock
in the middle of a plain, covered with pictographs of memorable events.
It stands back from the river a half mile.

Mr. A. C. Lawson (_a_) gives an illustrated account of petroglyphs
on the large peninsula extending into the Lake of the Woods and on
an island adjacent to it. Strictly speaking this peninsula is in the
district of Keewatin, but it is very near the boundary line of Manitoba,
to which it is attached for administrative purposes. The account is
condensed as follows:

    On the north side of this peninsula, i. e., on the south shore
    of the northern half of the lake, about midway between the east and
    west shores, occurs one of the two sets of hieroglyphic markings.
    Lying off shore at a distance of a quarter to a half a mile, and
    making with it a long sheltered channel, is a chain of islands,
    trending east and west. On the south side of one of these islands,
    less than a mile to the west of the first locality, is to be seen
    the other set of inscriptions. The first set occurs on the top of
    a low, glaciated, projecting point of rock, which presents the
    characters of an ordinary roche moutonnée. The rock is a very soft,
    foliated, green, chloritic schist, into which the characters are
    more or less deeply carved. The top of the rounded point is only a
    few feet above the high-water mark of the lake, whose waters rise
    and fall in different seasons through a range of ten feet. The
    antiquity of the inscriptions is at once forced upon the observer
    upon a careful comparison of their weathering with that of the
    glacial grooves and striæ, which are very distinctly seen upon the
    same rock surface. Both the ice grooves and carved inscriptions are,
    so far as the eye can judge, identical in extent of weathering,
    though there was doubtless a considerable lapse of time between the
    disappearance of the glaciers and the date of the carving.

    The island on which were found the other inscriptions is
    one of the many steep rocky islands known among the Indians as
    Ka-ka-ki-wa-bic min-nis, or Crow-rock island. The rock is a hard
    greenstone, not easily cut, and the inscriptions are not cut into
    the rock, but are painted with ochre, which is much faded in places.
    The surface upon which the characters are inscribed forms an
    overhanging wall protected from the rain, part of which has fallen

    The Indians of the present day have no traditions about these
    inscriptions beyond the supposition that they must have been made by
    the “old people” long ago.

The sketches published as copies of these glyphs show spirals,
concentric circles, crosses, horseshoe forms, arrow shapes, and other
characters similar to those found on rocks in the southwestern part of
the United States, and also to petroglyphs in Brazil, examples from both
of which regions are presented in this work, under their appropriate


Dr. Franz Boas (_a_) published an account of a petroglyph on Vancouver
island (now presented as Fig. 3) which, slightly condensed, is
translated as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--Petroglyph on Vancouver island.]

The accompanying rock picture is found on the eastern shore of Sproat
lake, near its southern outlet. Sproat lake lies about 10 kilometers
north of the upper end of the Alberni fiord, which cuts deep into the
interior of Vancouver island. In former times this region was the
territory of the Hōpetschisāth, a tribe of the Nootka or Aht, who even
now have a village some miles below the lake, at the entrance of Stamp
river into the main river. That tribe, according to the statement of
some of its older members, was a branch of the Kowitchin, who occupy
the east side of Vancouver island, some kilometers northeast of the
upper end of Alberni fiord. At that time the Ts’ēschāáth, another
tribe of the Nootka, are said to have ascended the fiord and mixed
with the Hōpetschisāth. The present inhabitants of the region know
nothing concerning the origin of the rock picture. According to their
legend, the rock on which it is carved was once the house of Kwótiath.
Kwótiath is the wandering divinity in Nootka mythology, and corresponds
approximately to the raven of the Tlinkit and Haida, the Qäls of the
Kowitchin. The picture is found on a perpendicular rock wall about
7 meters high, which drops directly into the lake, so that it was
necessary to make the copy while standing in the water. The rock is
traversed in the middle by a broad cleft, narrowing below, from which
blocks have fallen out which bore part of the drawing. To the north and
south of the rock wall the shore rises gently, but rocky portions are
found everywhere. The lines of the drawing are flat grooves, about two
or three fingers’ breadth, and in many places are so weathered as to be
hardly recognizable. They have been scraped into the rock probably by
the points of sticks rubbing moist sand against it. No marks of blows
of any kind are found. The figures are here given in the same relative
position in which they are found on the rock, except that the upper one
on the right hand is at a distance from all the others, at the southern
end of the rock. The objects represented are evidently fishes or marine
monsters. The middle figure to the left of the cleft may be a manned
boat, the fore part of which is probably destroyed.

Dr. Boas says that the copy as found in the Verhandlungen is incorrect.
The design on the right hand is reversed and is now corrected.

Mr. G. M. Sproat (_a_) mentions this petroglyph:

    It is rudely done and apparently not of an old date. There are
    half a dozen figures intended to represent fishes or birds--no
    one can say which. The natives affirm that Quawteaht made them.
    In their general character these figures correspond to the rude
    paintings sometimes seen on wooden boards among the Ahts, or on the
    seal-skin buoys that are attached to the whale and halibut harpoons
    and lances. The meaning of these figures is not understood by the
    people; and I dare say if the truth were known, they are nothing but
    feeble attempts on the part of individual artists to imitate some
    visible objects which they had strongly in their minds.



Drawings or paintings on rocks are distributed generally over the
greater part of the territory of the United States.

They are found on bowlders formed by the sea waves or polished by ice
of glacial epochs; on the faces of rock ledges adjoining lakes and
streams; on the high walls of canyons and cliffs; on the sides and roofs
of caves; in short, wherever smooth surfaces of rock appear. Yet, while
they are so frequent, there are localities to be distinguished in which
they are especially abundant and noticeable. They differ markedly in
character of execution and apparent subject-matter.

An obvious division can be made between the glyphs bearing characters
carved or pecked and those painted without incision. There is also a
third, though small, class in which the characters are both incised
and painted. This division seems to coincide to a certain extent
with geographic areas and is not fully explained by the influence of
materials; it may, therefore, have some relation to the idiosyncrasy or
development of the several authors, and consequently to tribal habitat
and migrations.

In examining a chart of the United States in use by the Bureau of
Ethnology, upon which the distribution of the several varieties of
petroglyphs is marked, two facts are noticeable: First, the pecked and
incised characters are more numerous in the northern and those expressed
in colors more numerous in the southern areas. Second, there are two
general groupings, distinguished by typical styles, one in the north
Atlantic states and the other in the south Pacific states.

The north Atlantic group is in the priscan habitat of the tribes of the
Algonquian linguistic family, and extends from Nova Scotia southward to
Pennsylvania, where the sculpturings are frequent, especially on the
Susquehanna, Monongahela, and Alleghany rivers, and across Ohio from
Lake Erie to the Kanawha river, in West Virginia. Isolated localities
bearing the same type are found westward on the Mississippi river and
a few of its western tributaries, to and including the Wind river
mountains, in Wyoming, the former habitat of the Blackfeet Indians. All
of these petroglyphs present typical characters, sometimes undefined
and complicated. From their presumed authors, they have been termed the
Algonquian type. Upon close study and comparison they show many features
in common which are absent in extra-limital areas.

Immediately south of the Kanawha river, in West Virginia, and extending
southward into Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, the pecked
or sculptured petroglyphs are replaced by painted figures of a style
differing from the Algonquian. These are in the area usually designated
as Cherokee territory, but there is no evidence that they are the work
of that tribe; indeed, there is no indication of their authorship. The
absence of pecked characters in this area is certainly not due to an
absence of convenient material upon which to record them as the country
is as well adapted to the mode of incision as is the northern Atlantic

Upon the Pacific slope a few pecked as well as colored petroglyphs occur
scattered irregularly throughout the extreme northern area west of
the Sierra Nevada, but on the eastern side of that range of mountains
petroglyphs appear in Idaho, which have analogues extending south to
New Mexico and Arizona, with remarkable groups at intervals between
these extremes. All of these show sufficient similarity of form to be
considered as belonging to a type which is here designated “Shoshonean.”
Tribes of that linguistic family still occupy, and for a long time have
occupied, that territory. Most of this Shoshonean group consists of
pecked or incised characters, though in the southern area unsculptured
paintings predominate.

On the western side of the Sierra Nevada, from Visalia southward,
at Tulare agency, and thence westward and southward along the Santa
Barbara coast, are other groups of colored petroglyphs showing typical
features resembling the Shoshonean. This resemblance may be merely
accidental, but it is well known that there was intercourse between the
tribes on the two sides of the Sierra Nevada, and the Shoshonean family
is also represented on the Pacific slope south of the mountain range
extending from San Bernardino west to Point Conception. In this manner
the artistic delineation of the Santa Barbara tribes may have been
influenced by contact with others.

Petroglyphs have seldom been found in the central area of the United
States. In the wooded region of the Great lakes characters have been
depicted upon birch bark for at least a century, while in the area
between the Mississippi river and the Rocky mountains the skins of
buffalo and deer have been used. Large rocks and cliffs favorably
situated are not common in that country, which to a great extent is

In the general area of these typical groups characters are frequently
found which appear intrusive, i. e., they have a strong resemblance not
only to those found in other American groups, but are nearly identical
with characters in other parts of the world. This fact, clearly
established, prevents the adoption of any theory as to the authorship
of many of the petroglyphs and thwarts attempts to ascertain their


Ensign Albert P. Niblack, U. S. Navy, (_a_) gives a brief account, with
sketches, reproduced here as Fig. 4, of petroglyphs in Alaska, which
were taken from rocks from the ancient village of Stikine, near Fort
Wrangell. Others were found on rocks just above high-water mark around
the sites of ruined and abandoned villages.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--Petroglyphs in Alaska.]

In the upper character the Alaskan typical style of human faces is
noticeable. The lower gives a representation of the orca or whale
killer, which the Haida believe to be a demon called Skana, about which
there are many mythic tales. Mr. Niblack remarks:

    In their paintings the favorite colors used are black, light
    green, and dark red. Whether produced in painting, tattooing, or
    relief carving, the designs are somewhat conventional. However rude
    the outline, there are for some animals certain conventional signs
    that clearly indicate to the initiated what figure is meant. With
    the brown bear it is the protruding tongue; with the beaver and wolf
    it is the character of the teeth; with the orca, the fin; with the
    raven, the sharp beak; with the eagle, the curved beak, etc.


Mr. G. K. Gilbert, of the U. S. Geological Survey, gives the following
information concerning petroglyphs observed by him in the vicinity of
San Francisco mountain, Arizona:

    The localities of the sketches Figs. 5, 6, and 7 are about 35
    miles east and southeast of San Francisco mountain, the material
    being a red sandstone, which stands in low buttes upon the plain.
    About these are mealing stones, fragments of pottery and chipped
    flints, giving evidence of the residence of sedentary Indians.
    So many localities of petroglyphs were seen that I regard it as
    probable that a large number could be found by search. The drawings
    in every case but one were produced by blows upon the surface of the
    rocks, breaking through the film of rock discolored by weathering
    so as to reveal (originally) the color of the interior of the rock.
    The single exception is the first pattern in Fig. 6, similar to the
    patterns on pottery and blankets, produced by painting with a white
    pigment on red rock. The original arrangement of the drawings upon
    the rock was not as a rule preserved, but they have approximately
    the original arrangement. I neglected to record the scale of the
    drawings, but the several pictures are drawn on approximately the
    same scale.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--Petroglyph in Arizona.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--Petroglyph in Arizona.]

All of these figures partake of the general type designated as the
Shoshonean, and it is notable that close repetitions of some of the
characters appear in petroglyphs in Tulare valley and Owens valley,
California, which are described and illustrated in this section.

The object resembling a centipede, in Fig. 6, is a common form in
various localities in Santa Barbara county, California, as will be
observed by comparing the illustrations given in connection with that
locality. In other of the Arizona and New Mexican petroglyphs similar
outlines are sometimes engraved to signify the maize stalk.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--Petroglyph in Arizona.]

Mr. Paul Holman, of the U. S. Geological Survey, reports that eight
miles below Powers butte, on a mesa bordering on the Gila river and
rising abruptly to the height of 150 feet, are pictographs covering
the entire vertical face. Also on the summit of a spur of Oatman
mountain, 200 yards from the Gila and 300 feet above it, are numbers
of pictographs. Many of them are almost obliterated where they are on
exposed surfaces.

Lieut. Col. Emory (_a_) reports that on a table-land near the Gila
bend is a mound of granite bowlders, blackened by augite and covered
with unknown characters, the work of human hands. On the ground near
by were also traces of some of the figures, showing that some of the
pictographs, at least, were the work of modern Indians. Others were
of undoubted antiquity. He also reports in the same volume (_b_) that
characters upon rocks of questionable antiquity occur on the Gila river
at 32° 38′ 13″ N. lat. and 190° 7′ 30″ long. According to the plate,
the figures are found upon bowlders and on the face of the cliff to the
height of 30 feet.

Lieut. Whipple (_a_) remarks upon petroglyphs at Yampais spring,
Williams river, as follows:

    The spot is a secluded glen among the mountains. A high shelving
    rock forms a cave, within which is a pool of water and a crystal
    stream flowing from it. The lower surface of the rock is covered
    with pictographs. None of the devices seem to be of recent date.

Many of the country rocks lying on the Colorado plateau of northern
Arizona, east of Peach springs, bear petroglyphs of considerable
artistic workmanship. Some figures, observed by Dr. W. J. Hoffman in
1872, were rather elaborate and represented the sun, human beings in
various styles approaching the grotesque, and other characters not
understood. All of those observed were made by pecking the surface of
basalt with a harder variety of stone.

Mr. Gilbert also obtained sketches of etchings in November, 1878, on
Partridge creek, northern Arizona, at the point where the Beale wagon
road comes to it from the east. He says: “The rock is cross-laminated
Aubrey sandstone and the surfaces used are faces of the laminæ. All
the work is done by blows with a sharp point. (Obsidian is abundant
in the vicinity.) Some inscriptions are so fresh as to indicate that
the locality is still resorted to. No Indians live in the immediate
vicinity, but the region is a hunting ground of the Wallapais and
Avasupais (Cosninos).”

Notwithstanding the occasional visits of the above named tribes, the
characters submitted more nearly resemble those of other localities
known to have been made by the Moki Pueblos.

Rock drawings are of frequent occurrence along the entire extent of the
valley of the Rio Verde, from a short distance below Camp Verde to the
Gila river.

Mr. Thomas V. Keam reports drawings on the rocks in Canyon Segy, and in
Keam’s canyon, northeastern Arizona. Some forms occurring at the latter
locality are found also upon Moki pottery.

Petroglyphs are reported by Lieut. Theodore Mosher, Twenty-second
Infantry, U. S. Army, to have been discovered by Lieut. Casey’s party
in December, 1887, on the Chiulee (or Chilalí) creek, 30 or 40 miles
from its confluence with San Juan river, Arizona. A photograph made by
the officer in charge of the party shows the characters to have been
outlined by pecking, the designs resembling the Shoshonean type of
pictographs, and those in Owens valley, California, a description of
which is given below.

A figure, consisting of two concentric circles with a straight line
running out from the larger circle, occurs, among other carvings, on one
of the many sculptured bowlders seen by Mr. J. R. Bartlett (_a_) in the
valley of the Gila river in Arizona. His representation of this bowlder
is here copied as Fig. 8. His language is as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--Petroglyph in Arizona.]

    I found hundreds of these bowlders covered with rude figures of
    men, animals, and other objects of grotesque forms, all pecked in
    with a sharp instrument. Many of them, however, were so much defaced
    by long exposure to the weather and by subsequent markings, that it
    was impossible to make them out. Among these rocks I found several
    which contained sculptures on the lower side, in such a position
    that it would be impossible to cut them where they then lay. Some
    weighed many tons each and would have required immense labor to
    place them there, and that, too, without an apparent object. The
    natural inference was that they had fallen down from the summit of
    the mountain after the sculptures were made on them. A few only
    seemed recent; the others bore the marks of great antiquity.

In the collections of the Bureau of Ethnology is an album or sketch
book, which contains many drawings made by Mr. F. S. Dellenbaugh, from
which the following sketches of petroglyphs in Arizona are selected,
together with the brief references attached to each sheet.

Fig. 9 is a copy of characters appearing in Shinumo canyon, Arizona.
They are painted, the middle and right hand figures being red, the human
form having a white mark upon the abdomen; the left-hand figure of a man
is painted yellow, the two plumes being red.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--Petroglyph in Shinumo canyon, Arizona.]

The petroglyphs in Fig. 10 are rather indistinct and were copied from
the vertical wall of Mound canyon. The most conspicuous forms appear to
be serpents.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--Petroglyph in Mound canyon, Arizona.]


In the foothills of California, wherever overhanging and rain-protected
rocks occur, they are covered with paintings of various kinds made
by Indians. Those on Rocky hill, some 15 miles east of Visalia, are
especially interesting. The sheltered rocks are here covered with images
of men, animals, and various inanimate objects, as well as curious
figures. The paint used is red, black, and white, and wherever protected
it has stood the ravages of time remarkably well. In many places the
paintings are as vivid as the day they were laid on. Deer, antelope,
coyotes, birds, and turtles are figured quite frequently, and may
indicate either names of chiefs or tribes, or animals slain in the hunt.
Here are also circles, spirals, crowns or bars, etc., signs the meaning
of which is yet doubtful.

Mr. H. W. Turner, in a letter dated June 3, 1891, furnishes sketches
(Fig. 11) from this locality, and a description of them as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--Petroglyphs near Visalia, California.]

    I send herewith a rough sheet of drawings of figures on the
    sheltered face of a huge granite cropping in Tulare county,
    California. One-half of the cropping had split off, leaving a nearly
    plane surface, on which the figures were drawn in red, white, and
    black pigments. The locality is known as Rocky point. They are now
    quarrying granite at the place. It lies about 12 miles nearly due
    east of Visalia, in the first foothills and south of Yokall creek.
    The figures appear to have been drawn many years ago, and numbers of
    them are now indistinct.

During the summer of 1882 Dr. Hoffman visited the Tule river agency,
California, where he found a large rock painting, of which Fig. 983,
infra, is a copy made by him. His description of it is as follows:

“The agency is upon the western side of the Sierra Nevada, in the
headwater canyons of the branches of the south fork of Tule river.
The country is at present occupied by several tribes of the Mariposan
linguistic stock, and the only answer made to inquiries respecting the
age or origin of the painting was that it was found there when the
ancestors of the present tribes arrived. The local migrations of the
various Indian tribes of this part of California are not yet known with
sufficient certainty to determine to whom the records may be credited,
but all appearances with respect to the weathering and disintegration
of the rock upon which the record is engraved, the appearance of the
coloring matter subsequently applied, and the condition of the small
depressions made at the time for mixing the pigments with a viscous
substance, indicate that the work was performed about a century ago.

“The Indians now at Tule river have occupied that part of the state for
at least one hundred years, and the oldest now living state that the
records were found by their ancestors, though whether more than two
generations ago could not be ascertained.

“The drawings were outlined by pecking with a piece of quartz or other
siliceous rock, the depth varying from a mere visible depression to
a third of an inch. Having thus satisfactorily depicted the several
ideas, colors were applied which appear to have penetrated the slight
interstices between the crystalline particles of the rock, which had
been bruised and slightly fractured by hammering with a piece of stone.
It appears probable, too, that to insure better results the hammering
was repeated after application of the colors.

“Upon a small bowlder, under the natural archway formed by the breaking
of the large rock, small depressions were found which had been used as
mortars for grinding and mixing the colors. These depressions average
2 inches in diameter and about 1 inch in depth. Traces of color still
remain, mixed with a thin layer of a shining substance resembling a
coating of varnish and of flinty hardness. This coating is so thin that
it can not be removed with a steel instrument, and appears to have
become a part of the rock itself.

“From the animals depicted upon the ceiling it seems that both beaver
and deer were found in the country, and as the beaver tail and the hoofs
of deer and antelope are boiled to procure glue, it is probable that the
tribe which made these pictographs was as far advanced in respect to the
making of glue and preparing of paints as most other tribes throughout
the United States.

“Examination shows that the dull red color is red ocher, found in
various places in the valley, while the yellow was an ocherous clay,
also found there. The white color was probably obtained there, and
is evidently earthy, though of what nature can only be surmised, not
sufficient being obtainable from the rock picture to make satisfactory
analysis with the blow-pipe. The composition of the black is not known,
unless it was made by mixing clay and powdered charcoal. The latter is a
preparation common at this day among other tribes.

“An immense granite bowlder, about 20 feet in thickness and 30 in
length, is so broken that a lower quarter is removed, leaving a large
square passageway through its entire diameter almost northwest and
southeast. Upon the western wall of this passageway is a collection of
the colored sketches of which Fig. 983 is a reduced copy. The entire
face of the rock upon which the pictograph occurs measures about 12 or
15 feet in width and 8 in height. The largest human figure measures 6
feet in height, from the end of the toes to the top of the head, the
others being in proportion as represented.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--Petroglyph at Tule river, California.]

“Upon the ceiling are a number of well executed drawings of the beaver,
bear, centipede (Fig. 12), and bald eagle (Fig. 13). Many of the other
forms indicated appear to represent some variety of insects, several of
which are drawn with exaggerated antennæ, as in Fig. 14. It is curious
to note the gradual blending of forms, as, for instance, that of the
bear with those resembling the human figure, often found among the
Shoshonean types in Arizona and New Mexico, some of which are described
and figured infra.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--Petroglyph at Tule river, California.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--Petroglyph at Tule river, California.]

“Fig. 15 embraces a number of characters on the ceiling. The left hand
upper figure is in black, with a narrow line of red surrounding it. The
drawing is executed neatly and measures about 18 inches in length. The
remaining characters are in dull red, probably ocher, though the two on
the left hand, beneath the one just mentioned, are more yellowish.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--Petroglyph at Tule river, California.]

“The first three forms in Fig. 16 are copies of human-like figures
painted on the ceiling. They are each about 12 inches in length. The
other form in Fig. 16 is white and is on the southern vertical wall of
the passageway facing the north. It resembles some of the human forms
occurring elsewhere in the same series of petroglyphs.”

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--Petroglyph at Tule river, California.]


In the range of mountains forming the northwestern boundary of Owens
valley are extensive groups of petroglyphs, apparently dissimilar to
those found west of the Sierra Nevada. Dr. Hoffman, of the Bureau of
Ethnology, hastily examined them in 1871 and more thoroughly in the
autumn of 1884. They are now represented in Pls. I to XI. So large
a space is given to these illustrations because of their intrinsic
interest, and also because it is desirable to show for one locality what
is true of some others, viz, the very large number of petroglyphs still
to be found in groups and series. Even with the present illustrations,
the petroglyphs in Owens valley are by no means exhaustively shown.

Dr. Hoffman’s report is as follows:

    One of the most important series of groups is that in the
    northern portion of Owens valley, between the White mountains on the
    east and the Benton range on the west. On the western slope of the
    latter, at Watterson’s ranch, is a detached low butte or mesa, upon
    the blackened basaltic bowlders and cliffs of which are numerous
    deeply cut characters, the most interesting of which are reproduced
    in Pls. I and II. The illustrations are, approximately, one-twelfth
    real size. The designs of footprints, in the lower left-hand corner
    of Pl. I, vary in depth from half an inch to 1-1/2 inches. They
    appear to have been pecked and finally worked down to a uniform and
    smooth surface by rubbing, as if with a piece of stone or with wood
    and sand.

    In almost all, if not all, instances throughout the entire
    series referred to in this description the sculptured surfaces
    have assumed the same shining blackened luster as the original and
    undisturbed surface of the bowlder, caused by gradual oxidation of
    the iron present. This would seem to indicate considerable antiquity
    of the petroglyphs.

    On the northeast angle of the mesa referred to were found the
    remains of an old camp, over which were scattered large quantities
    of arrowheads, knives, and flakes of obsidian. This in itself would
    be insignificant, but the fact that many of the specimens of this
    material have been lying exposed to the elements until the upper
    surface has undergone change in color, so as to become bleached
    and friable, in some instances to the depth of from one-tenth to
    one-fourth of an inch, warrants the inference that the relics may
    have been made by the same people who made the petroglyphs, as the
    worked relics generally differ from those of the present Indians by
    being larger and less elaborately finished.

    At the lower end of the southeastern slope of the mesa are a
    number of flat rocks bearing mortar holes, which have no doubt been
    used in grinding grass seed and other grains.

    In general type these petroglyphs correspond very closely to
    those of other areas, in which the so-called Shoshonian types
    occur, the most common, apart from those presented in Pls. I and
    II, consisting of concentric circles, rings, footprints of the bear
    and of man, and various outlines of the human form, beside numerous
    unintelligible forms.





    Southeastward of this locality there is a low divide leading
    across the Benton range into the broad, arid, sloping sand desert
    of Owens valley proper, but it is not until a point 12 miles
    south of Benton, along the line of the old stage road, is reached
    that petroglyphs of any consequence are met with. From this
    point southward, for a distance of 6 miles, large exposures and
    bowlders of basalt are scattered, upon which are great numbers of
    petroglyphs, pecked into the rock to depths of from half an inch to
    1-1/2 inches, and representing circles, footprints, human forms, etc.

    The first series of illustrations, selected from numerous
    closely-connected bowlders, are here presented on Pls. III to VII.
    The designs marked _a_ on Pl. III resemble serpents, while that at
    _d_ is obviously such. This device is on the horizontal surface, and
    is pecked to the depth of about 1 inch. The scale of the drawing is
    one-thirtieth of the original petroglyph. The characters indicating
    the human form in _e_, _g_, and _h_ resemble the ordinary Shoshonian
    type, and are like those from various localities in Arizona and
    southern Utah and Colorado.



    The upper characters in A on Pl. IV represent the trail of a
    grizzly bear--as indicated by the immense claws--followed by a
    human footprint. The original sculpturings are clearly cut, the
    toes of the man’s foot being cup-like, as if drilled with a blunt
    piece of wood and sand. The tracks average 15 inches in length and
    vary in depth from half an inch to more than an inch. The course of
    direction of the tracks, which are cut upon a horizontal surface, is
    from north-northeast to south-southwest.



    In E is the semblance of an apparently two-headed snake, as also
    in _a_ on Pl. VII. It is possible that this was pecked into the
    rock to record the finding of such an anomaly. The occurrence of
    double-headed serpents is not unique, five or six instances having
    been recorded, one of which is from California, and a specimen may
    be seen in the collection of the U. S. National Museum.

    In Pl. V, _c_, _e_, _g_ are characters resembling some from
    the Canary islands [see Figs. 144 and 145], as well as many of the
    cupstones and dumb-bell forms from Scotland [see Figs. 149 and 150].



    An interesting specimen is presented in _d_, on Pl. VI,
    resembling the Ojibwa thunder bird, as well as etchings of Innuit
    workmanship to denote man [as shown in Fig. 1159]. The figures
    presented in Pl. III are the northernmost of the series, of which
    those on Pl. VII form the southernmost examples, the distance
    between these two points being about 2 miles.





    For the space of 4 miles southward there are a few scattered
    petroglyphs, to which reference will be made below, and the greatest
    number of characters are not found until the southernmost extremity
    of the entire series is reached. These are over the surface of
    immense bowlders lying on the east side of the road where it passes
    through a little valley known locally as the Chalk grade, probably
    on account of the whitened appearance of the sand and of some
    of the embankments. A general view of the faces of the bowlders upon
    which the chief sculpturings occur is presented in Fig. 17. The
    petroglyphs are represented in Pls. VIII to XI.

    [Illustration: FIG. 17.--View of Chalk grade petroglyphs, Owens

    The figures presented in Pl. VIII are, with one exception, each
    about one-thirtieth the size of the original. The animal character
    in _e_ is upon the top of the largest bowlder shown on Fig. 17,
    and is pecked to the depth of from one-fourth to one-half an inch.
    Portions of it are much defaced through erosion by sand blown by the
    strong summer winds. The characters in _g_ are only one-tenth of the
    original size, but of depth similar to the preceding.



    On Pl. IX, _a_ is one-twentieth the size of the original, while
    the remaining sculpturings are about one-tenth size. The cross in
    _a_ is singularly interesting because of the elaborateness of its
    execution. The surface within the circle is pecked out so as to have
    the cross stand out bold and level with the original surface. This
    is true also of _f_ on Pl. VIII. Pl. IX, _b_, contains some animal
    forms like those reported from New Mexico and Arizona, and Brazil
    [and presented in this work], especially that character to the right
    resembling a guanaco couchant, although, from its relationship
    to the figure of an antelope, in the same group, it no doubt is
    intended to represent one of the latter species.



    On Pl. X, as well as on others of this collection, are found
    many forms of circles with interior decoration, such as lines
    arranged by pairs, threes, etc., zigzag and cross lines, and other
    seemingly endless arrangements. They are interesting from the fact
    of the occurrence of almost identical forms in remote localities,
    as in the Canary islands and in Brazil. [These are figured and
    described infra.]



    It is probable that they are not meaningless, because the
    disposition of the Indian, as he is to-day, is such that no time
    would be spent upon such laborious work without an object, and only
    motives of a religious or ceremonial nature would induce him to
    expend the time and labor necessary to accomplish such results as
    are still presented. On Pl. XI, _a_, are more footprints and animal
    forms of the genus _cervus_ or _antelocapra_. The figures in _b_ and
    _d_, having an upright line with two crossing it at right angles,
    may signify either a lizard or man, the latter signification being
    probably the true one, as similar forms are drawn in petroglyphs of
    a Shoshonian type, as in Arizona. [See supra.]



    The country over which these records are scattered is arid
    beyond description and destitute of vegetation. Watterson’s ranch
    group is more favorably located, there being an abundance of springs
    and a stream running northward toward Black lake.

    The only Indians found in this vicinity are Pai Utes, but they
    are unacquainted with the significance of the characters, and
    declare that they have no knowledge of the authors.

    As to the age of the sculpturings nothing can be learned. The
    external surface of all the bowlders, as well as the surface of the
    deepest figures, is a glistening brownish black, due, possibly, to
    the presence of iron. The color of a freshly broken surface becomes
    lighter in tint as depth is attained, until at about one-half or
    three-fourths of an inch from the surface the rock is chocolate
    brown. How long it would take the freshly broken surface of this
    variety of rock to become thoroughly oxidized and blackened it
    is impossible even to conjecture, taking into consideration the
    physical conditions of the region and the almost entire absence of

    Upon following the most convenient course across the Benton
    range to reach Owen valley proper drawings are also found, though in
    limited numbers, and seem to partake of the character of indicators
    as to course of travel. By this trail the northernmost of the
    several groups of drawings above mentioned is the nearest and most
    easily reached.

    The pictures upon the bowlders at Watterson’s are somewhat
    different from those found elsewhere. The number of specific designs
    is limited, many of them being reproduced from two to six or seven
    times, thus seeming to partake of the character of personal names.

In a communication dated Saratoga Springs, at the lower part of Death
valley, California, February 5, 1891, Mr. E. W. Nelson says that about
200 yards from the springs, and on the side of a hill, he found several
petroglyphs. He also furnished a sketch as an example of their general
type, now presented as Fig. 18. The locality is in the lower end of
Death valley. Mr. Nelson says:

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--Petroglyphs in Death valley, California.]

    The spring here is in a basin some 60 to 80 acres in extent in
    which are ponds and tule marsh. Close by is an extensive ancient
    Indian camping ground, over which are scattered very many “chips”
    made from manufacturing arrow points from quartz crystal, chert,
    chalcedony, flint, and other similar material.

    The figures in the sketch inclosed are situated relatively,
    as to size and location, as they occur on the rock. The latter is
    cracked and slopes at different angles, but the figures are all
    visible from a single point of view. There are several other figures
    in this group that are too indistinct to copy owing to age, or
    weather wearing. The group copied is the most extensive one seen,
    but many smaller groups and single figures are to be found on the
    rocks near by.

    The Shoshoni inhabit this region and a few families of Shoshoni
    live about the Panamint mountains at present.

Dr. C. Hart Merriam, of the Department of Agriculture, on his return
from the exploration of Death valley, kindly furnished a photograph of
a ledge in Emigrant canyon, Panamint mountains, which was received too
late for insertion in this work. This is much regretted, as a large
number of petroglyphs are represented in groups. The characters are of
the Shoshonean type. Among them are “Moki goats,” tridents, the Greek Φ,
many crosses, and other figures shown in this chapter as found in the
same general region.

In the Mojave desert, about 2 miles north of Daggett station, according
to the Mining and Scientific Press (_a_) is a small porphyritic butte
known as “Rattlesnake rock,” “so named by reason of the immense
number of these reptiles that find shelter in this mass of rock.” The
accompanying Fig. 19 is a reproduction of that given in the paper
quoted. The author states that “the implement used in making these
characters was evidently a dull-pointed stone, as the lines are not
sharp, and the sides of the indentation show marks of striation.”

[Illustration: FIG. 19.--Rattlesnake rock, Mojave desert, California.]

Lieut. Whipple reports the discovery of pictographs at Piute creek,
about 30 miles west of the Mojave villages. These are carved upon a
rock, “are numerous, appear old, and are too confusedly obscured to
be easily traceable.” They bear great general resemblance to drawings
scattered over northeast Arizona, southern Utah, and western New Mexico.

From information received from Mr. Alphonse Pinart, pictographic records
exist in the hills east of San Bernardino, somewhat resembling those at
Tule river in the southern spurs of the Sierra Nevada, Kern county.

Mr. Willard J. Whitney, of Elmhurst, Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania,
gives information regarding nearly obliterated pecked petroglyphs upon
two flat granite rocks, or bowlders, on the summit of a mountain 4 miles
directly west of Escondido, San Diego county, California. The designs
are not colored, and are not more than one-eighth or one-fourth of an
inch in depth. There is a good lookout from the eminence, but there are
no indications of either trails or burials in the vicinity.

This may be the locality mentioned by Mr. Barnes, of San Diego, who
furnished information relating to petroglyphs in San Diego county.

Dr. Hoffman reports the following additional localities in Santa Barbara
and Los Angeles counties. Fifteen miles west of Santa Barbara, on the
northern summit of the Santa Ynez range, and near the San Marcos pass,
is a group of paintings in red and black. Fig. 20 resembles a portion of
a checker-board in the arrangement of squares.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--Petroglyph near San Marcos pass,

Serpentine and zigzag lines occur, as also curved lines with serrations
on the concave sides; figures of the sun; short lines and groups of
short parallel lines, and figures representing types of insect forms
also appear, as shown in Figs. 21 and 22.

[Illustration: FIG. 21.--Petroglyphs near San Marcos pass, California.]

[Illustration: FIG. 22.--Petroglyphs near San Marcos pass, California.]

These paintings are in a cavity near the base of an immense bowlder,
over 20 feet in height. A short distance from this is a flat granitic
bowlder, containing twenty-one mortar holes, which had evidently
been used by visiting Indians during the acorn season. Oaks are very
abundant, and their fruit formed one of the sources of subsistence.

Three miles west-northwest of this locality, in the valley near the base
of the mountain, are indistinct figures in faded red, painted upon a
large rock. The characters appear similar, in general, to those above

Forty-three miles west of Santa Barbara, in the Najowe valley, is a
promontory, at the base of which is a large shallow cavern, the opening
being smaller than the interior, upon the roof and back of which are
many designs, some of which are reproduced in Fig. 23, of forms similar
to those observed at San Marcos pass. Several characters appear to have
been drawn at a later date than others, such as horned cattle, etc. The
black used was a manganese compound, while the red pigments consist
of ferruginous clays, abundant at numerous localities in the mountain

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California.]

Some of the human figures are drawn with the hands and arms in the
attitude of making the gestures for _surprise_ or _astonishment_, and
_negation_, as in Fig. 24.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California.]

The characters in Fig. 25 resemble forms which occur at Tulare valley,
and in Owens valley, respectively, and insect forms also occur as in
Fig. 26.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--Petroglyphs, Najowe valley, California.]

[Illustration: FIG. 26.--Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California.]

Other designs abounding at this locality are shown in Figs. 27 and 28.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.--Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California.]

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--Petroglyphs in Najowe valley, California.]

One of the most extensive groupings, and probably the most elaborately
drawn, is in the Carisa plain, near Mr. Oreña’s ranch, 60 or 70 miles
due north of Santa Barbara. The most conspicuous figure is that of
the sun, resembling a human face, with ornamental appendages at the
cardinal points, and bearing striking resemblance to some Moki masks and
pictographic work. Serpentine lines and anomalous forms also abound.

Four miles northeast of Santa Barbara, near the residence of Mr.
Stevens, is an isolated sandstone bowlder measuring about 20 feet high
and 30 feet in diameter, upon the western side of which is a slight
cavity bearing designs shown in Fig. 29, which correspond in general
form to others in Santa Barbara county. The gesture for negation appears
in the attitude of the human figures.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--Petroglyphs near Santa Barbara, California.]

Half a mile farther east, on Dr. Coe’s farm, is another smaller bowlder,
in a cavity of which various engravings appear shown in Fig. 30. Parts
of the drawings have disappeared through disintegration of the rock,
which is called “Pulpit rock,” on account of the shape of the cavity,
its position at the side of the narrow valley, and the echo observed
upon speaking a little above the ordinary tone of voice.

[Illustration: FIG. 30.--Petroglyphs near Santa Barbara, California.]

Painted rocks also occur in the Azuza canyon, about 30 miles northeast
of Los Angeles, of which Fig. 31 gives copies.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.--Petroglyphs in Azuza canyon, California.]

Just before his departure from the Santa Barbara region, Dr. Hoffman
was informed of the existence of eight or nine painted records in that
neighborhood, which up to that time had been observed only by a few
sheep-herders and hunters.

Mr. L. L. Frost, of Susanville, California, reports the occurrence of
pictographs (undoubtedly petroglyphs) 15 miles south of that town, on
Willow creek, and at Milford, in the lower end of the valley. No details
were furnished as to their general type and condition.

On Porter creek, 9 miles southwest of Healdsburg, on a large bowlder of
hornblende syenite, petroglyphs similar to those found in Arizona and
Nevada are to be seen. They are generally oblong circles or ovals, some
of which contain crosses.

Figs. 32 and 33 are reduced copies 1/32 of original size of colored
petroglyphs found by Dr. Hoffman in September, 1884, 12 miles
west-northwest of the city of Santa Barbara, California. The locality
is almost at the summit of the Santa Ynez range of mountains; the gray
sandstone rock on which they are painted is about 30 feet high and
projects from a ridge so as to form a very marked promontory extending
into a narrow mountain canyon. At the base of the western side of this
bowlder is a rounded cavity, measuring on the inside about 15 feet in
width and 8 feet in height. The floor ascends rapidly toward the back
of the cave, and the entrance is rather smaller in dimensions than the
above measurements of the interior. About 40 yards west of this rock
is a fine spring of water. One of the four old Indian trails leading
northward across the mountains passes by this locality, and it is
probable that this was one of the camping places of the tribe which
came south to trade, and that some of its members were the authors of
the paintings. The three trails beside the one just mentioned cross the
mountains at several points east of this, the most distant being about
15 miles. Other trails were known, but these four were most direct to
the immediate vicinity of the Spanish settlement which sprang up shortly
after the establishment of the Santa Barbara mission in 1786. The
appearance and position of these and other pictographs in the vicinity
appear to be connected with the several trails. The colors used in the
paintings are red and black.

[Illustration: FIG. 32.--Petroglyph in Santa Barbara county, California.]

The circles figured in _b_ and _d_ of Fig. 32, and _c_, _r_, and _w_
of Fig. 33, together with other similar circular marks bearing cross
lines upon the interior, were at first unintelligible, as their forms
among various tribes have very different signification. The character
in Fig. 32, above and projecting from _d_, resembles the human form,
with curious lateral bands of black and white, alternately. Two similar
characters appear, also, in Fig. 33, _a_, _b_. In _a_ the lines from the
head would seem to indicate a superior rank or condition of the person

At the private ethnologic collection of Mr. A. F. Coronel, of Los
Angeles, California, Dr. Hoffman discovered a clue to the general import
of the above petroglyphs, as well as the signification of some of their
characters. In a collection of colored illustrations of old Mexican
costumes he found blankets bearing borders and colors nearly identical
with those shown in the circles in Fig. 32, _d_, and Fig. 33, _c_, _r_,
_w_. It is probable that the circles represent bales of blankets which
early became articles of trade at the Santa Barbara mission. If this
supposition is correct, the cross lines would seem to represent the
cords used in tying the blankets into bales, which same cross lines
appear as cords in _l_, Fig. 33. Mr. Coronel also possesses small
figures of Mexicans, of various conditions of life, costumes, trades,
and professions, one of which, a painted statuette, is a representation
of a Mexican lying down flat upon an outspread serape, similar in
color and form to the black and white bands shown in the upper figure
of _d_, Fig. 32, and _a_, _b_, of Fig. 33, and instantly suggesting
the explanation of those figures. Upon the latter the continuity of
the black and white bands is broken, as the human figures are probably
intended to be in front, or on top, of the drawings of the blankets.

[Illustration: FIG. 33.--Petroglyph in Santa Barbara county, California.]

The small statuette above mentioned is that of a Mexican trader, and
if the circles in the petroglyphs are considered to represent bales of
blankets, the character in Fig. 32, _d_, is still more interesting,
from the union of one of these circles with a character representing
the trader, i. e., the man possessing the bales. Bales, or what appear
to be bales, are represented to the top and right of the circle in
_d_, in that figure. In Fig. 33, _l_, a bale is upon the back of what
appears to be a horse, led in an upward direction by an Indian whose
headdress and ends of the breechcloth are visible. To the right of the
bale are three short lines, evidently showing the knot or ends of the
cords used in tying a bale of blankets without colors, therefore of less
importance, or of other goods. Other human forms appear in the attitude
of making gestures, one also in _j_, Fig. 33, probably carrying a bale
of goods. In the same figure _u_ represents a centipede, an insect found
occasionally south of the mountains, but reported as extremely rare in
the immediate northern regions. For remarks upon _x_ in the same figure
see Chapter XX, Section 2, under the heading The Cross.

Mr. Coronel stated that when he first settled in Los Angeles, in 1843,
the Indians living north of the San Fernando mountains manufactured
blankets of the fur and hair of animals, showing transverse bands of
black and white similar to those depicted, which were sold to the
inhabitants of the valley of Los Angeles and to Indians who transported
them to other tribes.

It is probable that the pictographs are intended to represent the
salient features of a trading expedition from the north. The ceiling of
the cavity found between the paintings represented in the two figures
has disappeared, owing to disintegration, thus leaving a blank about 4
feet long, and 6 feet from the top to the bottom between the paintings
as now presented.


Petroglyphs are reported by Mr. Cyrus F. Newcomb as found upon cliffs
on Rock creek, 15 miles from Rio Del Norte, Colorado. Three small
photographs, submitted with this statement, indicate the characters to
have been pecked; they consist of men on horseback, cross-shaped human
figures, animals, and other designs greatly resembling those found in
the country of the Shoshonean tribes, examples of which are given infra.

Another notice of the same general locality is made by Capt. E. L.
Berthoud (_a_) as follows:

    The place is 20 miles southeast of Rio Del Norte, at the
    entrance of the canyon of the Piedra Pintada (Painted rock) creek.
    The carvings are found on the right of the canyon or valley and
    upon volcanic rocks. They bear the marks of age and are cut in, not
    painted, as is still done by the Utes everywhere. They are found
    for a quarter of a mile along the north wall of the canyon, on
    the ranches of W. M. Maguire and F. T. Hudson, and consist of all
    manner of pictures, symbols, and hieroglyphics done by artists whose
    memory even tradition does not now preserve. The fact that these
    are carvings done upon such hard rock invests them with additional
    interest, as they are quite distinct from the carvings I saw in
    New Mexico and Arizona on soft sandstone. Though some of them
    are evidently of much greater antiquity than others, yet all are
    ancient, the Utes admitting them to have been old when their fathers
    conquered the country.

Mr. Charles D. Wright, of Durango, Colorado, in a communication dated
February 20, 1885, gives an account of some “hieroglyphs” on rocks and
upon the walls of cliff houses near the boundary line between Colorado
and New Mexico. He says:

    The following were painted in red and black paints on the wall
    (apparently the natural rock wall) of a cliff house: At the head
    was a chief on his horse, armed with spear and lance and wearing
    a pointed hat and robe; behind this character were some twenty
    characters representing people on horses lassoing horses, etc. In
    fact the whole scene represented breaking camp and leaving in a
    hurry. The whole painting measured about 12 by 16 feet.

Mr. Wright further reports characters on rocks near the San Juan river.
Four characters represent men as if in the act of taking an obligation,
hands extended, and wearing a “kind of monogram on breast, and at their
right are some hieroglyphics written in black paint covering a space 3
by 4 feet.”

The best discussed and probably the most interesting of the petroglyphs
in the region are described and illustrated by Mr. W. H. Holmes (_a_),
of the Bureau of Ethnology. The illustrations are here reproduced in
Figs. 34 to 37, and the remarks of Mr. Holmes, slightly condensed, are
as follows:

    The forms reproduced in Fig. 34 occur on the Rio Mancos, near
    the group of cliff houses. They are chipped into the rock evidently
    by some very hard implement and rudely represent the human figure.
    They are certainly not attempts to represent nature, but have the
    appearance rather of arbitrary forms, designed to symbolize some
    imaginary being.

    [Illustration: FIG. 34.--Petroglyphs on the Rio Mancos,

    The forms shown in Fig. 35 were found in the same locality, not
    engraved, but painted in red and white clay upon the smooth rocks.
    These were certainly done by the cliff-builders, and probably while
    the houses were in process of construction, since the material used
    is identical with the plaster of the houses. The sketches and
    notes were made by Mr. Brandegee. The reproduction is approximately
    one-twelfth the size of the original.

    [Illustration: FIG. 35.--Petroglyphs on the Rio Mancos,

    The examples shown in Fig. 36 occur on the Rio San Juan about
    10 miles below the mouth of the Rio La Plata and are actually in
    New Mexico. A low line of bluffs, composed of light-colored massive
    sandstones that break down in great smooth-faced blocks, rises from
    the river level and sweeps around toward the north. Each of these
    great blocks has offered a very tempting tablet to the graver of the
    primitive artist, and many of them contain curious and interesting
    inscriptions. Drawings were made of such of these as the limited
    time at my disposal would permit. They are all engraved or cut
    into the face of the rock, and the whole body of each figure has
    generally been chipped out, frequently to the depth of one-fourth or
    one-half of an inch.

    [Illustration: FIG. 36.--Petroglyphs on the Rio San Juan, New

    The work on some of the larger groups has been one of immense
    labor, and must owe its completion to strong and enduring motives.
    With a very few exceptions the engraving bears undoubted evidence
    of age. Such new figures as occur are quite easily distinguished
    both by the freshness of the chipped surfaces and by the designs
    themselves. The curious designs given in the final group have a
    very perceptible resemblance to many of the figures used in the
    embellishment of pottery.

    The most striking group observed is given in Fig. 37 A, same
    locality. It consists of a great procession of men, birds, beasts,
    and fanciful figures. The whole picture as placed upon a rock is
    highly spirited and the idea of a general movement toward the right,
    skillfully portrayed. A pair of winged figures hover about the train
    as if to watch, or direct its movements; behind these are a number
    of odd figures, followed by an antlered animal resembling a deer,
    which seems to be drawing a notched sledge containing two figures
    of men. The figures forming the main body of the procession appear
    to be tied together in a continuous line, and in form resemble one
    living creature about as little as another. Many of the smaller
    figures above and below are certainly intended to represent dogs,
    while a number of men are stationed about here and there as if to
    keep the procession in order.

    [Illustration: FIG. 37.--Petroglyphs on the Rio San Juan, New

    As to the importance of the event recorded in this picture,
    no conclusions can be drawn; it may represent the migration of a
    tribe or family or the trophies of a victory. A number of figures
    are wanting in the drawing at the left, while some of those at the
    right may not belong properly to the main group. The reduction is,
    approximately, to one-twelfth.

    Designs B and C of the same figure represent only the more
    distinct portions of two other groups. The complication of figures
    is so great that a number of hours would have been necessary for
    their delineation, and an attempt to analyze them here would be

It will be noticed that the last two petroglyphs are in New Mexico, but
they are so near the border of Colorado and so connected with the series
in that state that they are presented under the same heading.


The following account is extracted from Rafn’s Antiquitates Americanæ

    In the year 1789 Doctor Ezra Stiles, D. D., visited a rock
    situated in the Township of Kent in the State of Connecticut, at a
    place called Scaticook, by the Indians. He thus describes it: “Over
    against Scaticook and about one hundred rods East of Housatonic
    River, is an eminence or elevation which is called Cobble Hill.
    On the top of this stands the rock charged with antique unknown
    characters. This rock is by itself and not a portion of the
    Mountains; it is of White Flint; ranges North and South; is from
    twelve to fourteen feet long; and from eight to ten wide at base and
    top; and of an uneven surface. On the top I did not perceive any
    characters; but the sides all around are irregularly charged with
    unknown characters, made not indeed with the incision of a chisel,
    yet most certainly with an iron tool, and that by pecks or picking,
    after the manner of the Dighton Rock. The Lacunae or excavations are
    from a quarter to an inch wide; and from one tenth to two tenths of
    an inch deep. The engraving did not appear to be recent or new, but
    very old.”


Charles C. Jones, jr., (_a_) describes a petroglyph in Georgia as

    In Forsyth county, Georgia, is a carved or incised bowlder of
    fine grained granite, about 9 feet long, 4 feet 6 inches high, and 3
    feet broad at its widest point. The figures are cut in the bowlder
    from one-half to three-fourths of an inch deep. It is generally
    believed that they are the work of the Cherokees.

The illustration given by him is here reproduced in Fig. 38. It will
be noted that the characters in it are chiefly circles, including
plain, nucleated, and concentric, sometimes two or more being joined
by straight lines, forming what is now known as the “spectacle shaped”
figure. The illustrations should be compared with the many others
presented in this paper under the heading of Cup Sculptures, see Chapter
V, infra.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.--Petroglyphs in Georgia.]

Dr. M. F. Stephenson (_a_) mentions sculptures of human feet, various
animals, bear tracks, etc., in Enchanted mountain, Union county,
Georgia. The whole number of sculptures is reported as one hundred and

Mr. Jones (_b_) gives a different résumé of the objects depicted, as

    Upon the Enchanted mountain, in Union county, cut in plutonic
    rock, are the tracks of men, women, children, deer, bears, bisons,
    turkeys, and terrapins, and the outlines of a snake, of two deer,
    and of a human hand. These sculptures--so far as they have been
    ascertained and counted--number one hundred and thirty-six. The
    most extravagant among them is that known as the footprint of the
    “Great Warrior.” It measures 18 inches in length and has six toes.
    The other human tracks and those of the animals are delineated with
    commendable fidelity.


Mr. G. K. Gilbert, of the U. S. Geological Survey, has furnished a small
collection of drawings of Shoshonean petroglyphs from Oneida, Idaho,
shown in Fig. 39. Some of them appear to be totemic characters, and
possibly were made to record the names of visitors to the locality.

[Illustration: FIG. 39.--Petroglyphs in Idaho (Shoshonean).]

Mr. Willard D. Johnson, of the U. S. Geological Survey, reports
pictographic remains observed by him near Oneida, Idaho, in 1879. The
figures represent human beings and were on a rock of basalt.

A copy of another petroglyph found in Idaho appears in Fig. 1092, infra.


Petroglyphs are reported by Mr. John Criley as occurring near Ava,
Jackson county, Illinois. The outlines of the characters observed by him
were drawn from memory and submitted to Mr. Charles S. Mason, of Toledo,
Ohio, through whom they were furnished to the Bureau of Ethnology.
Little reliance can be placed upon the accuracy of such drawing, but
from the general appearance of the sketches the originals of which they
are copies were probably made by one of the middle Algonquian tribes of

The “Piasa” rock, as it is generally designated, was referred to by the
missionary explorer Marquette in 1675. Its situation was immediately
above the city of Alton, Illinois.

Marquette’s remarks are translated by Dr. Francis Parkman (_a_) as

    On the flat face of a high rock were painted, in red, black, and
    green, a pair of monsters, each “as large as a calf, with horns like
    a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger, and a frightful expression
    of countenance. The face is something like that of a man, the body
    covered with scales; and the tail so long that it passes entirely
    round the body, over the head, and between the legs, ending like
    that of a fish.”

Another version, by Davidson and Struvé (_a_), of the discovery of the
petroglyph is as follows:

    Again they (Joliet and Marquette) were floating on the broad
    bosom of the unknown stream. Passing the mouth of the Illinois,
    they soon fell into the shadow of a tall promontory, and with great
    astonishment beheld the representation of two monsters painted on
    its lofty limestone front. According to Marquette, each of these
    frightful figures had the face of a man, the horns of a deer, the
    beard of a tiger, and the tail of a fish so long that it passed
    around the body, over the head, and between the legs. It was an
    object of Indian worship and greatly impressed the mind of the pious
    missionary with the necessity of substituting for this monstrous
    idolatry the worship of the true God.

A footnote connected with the foregoing quotation gives the following
description of the same rock:

    Near the mouth of the Piasa creek, on the bluff, there is a
    smooth rock in a cavernous cleft, under an overhanging cliff, on
    whose face, 50 feet from the base, are painted some ancient pictures
    or hieroglyphics, of great interest to the curious. They are placed
    in a horizontal line from east to west, representing men, plants,
    and animals. The paintings, though protected from dampness and
    storms, are in great part destroyed, marred by portions of the rock
    becoming detached and falling down.

Mr. McAdams (_a_), of Alton, Illinois, says “The name Piasa is Indian
and signifies, in the Illini, ‘The bird which devours men.’” He
furnishes a spirited pen-and-ink sketch, 12 by 15 inches in size and
purporting to represent the ancient painting described by Marquette.
On the picture is inscribed the following in ink: “Made by Wm. Dennis,
April 3d, 1825.” The date is in both letters and figures. On the top of
the picture in large letters are the two words, “FLYING DRAGON.” This
picture, which has been kept in the old Gilham family of Madison county
and bears the evidence of its age, is reproduced as Fig. 40.

[Illustration: FIG. 40.--The Piasa petroglyph.]

He also publishes another representation (Fig. 41) with the following

    One of the most satisfactory pictures of the Piasa we have
    ever seen is in an old German publication entitled “The Valley of
    the Mississippi Illustrated. Eighty illustrations from nature, by
    H. Lewis, from the Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf of Mexico,”
    published about the year 1839 by Arenz & Co., Düsseldorf, Germany.
    One of the large full-page plates in this work gives a fine view of
    the bluff at Alton, with the figure of the Piasa on the face of the
    rock. It is represented to have been taken on the spot by artists
    from Germany. We reproduce that part of the bluff (the whole picture
    being too large for this work) which shows the pictographs. In the
    German picture there is shown just behind the rather dim outlines of
    the second face a ragged crevice, as though of a fracture. Part of
    the bluff’s face might have fallen and thus nearly destroyed one of
    the monsters, for in later years writers speak of but one figure.
    The whole face of the bluff was quarried away in 1846-’47.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.--The Piasa petroglyph.]

Under Myths and Mythic Animals, Chapter XIV, Section 2, are
illustrations and descriptions which should be compared with these
accounts, and Chapter XXII gives other examples of errors and
discrepancies in the description and copying of petroglyphs.

Mr. A. D. Jones (_a_) says of the same petroglyph:

    After the distribution of firearms among the Indians, bullets
    were substituted for arrows, and even to this day no savage presumes
    to pass the spot without discharging his rifle and raising his shout
    of triumph. I visited the spot in June (1838) and examined the image
    and the ten thousand bullet marks on the cliff seemed to corroborate
    the tradition related to me in the neighborhood.

Mr. McAdams, loc. cit., also reports regarding Fig. 42:

[Illustration: FIG. 42.--Petroglyph on the Illinois river.]

    Some twenty-five or thirty miles above the mouth of the Illinois
    river, on the west bank of that stream, high up on the smooth
    face of an overhanging cliff, is another interesting pictograph
    sculptured deeply in the hard rock. It remains to-day probably in
    nearly the same condition it was when the French voyagers first
    descended the river and got their first view of the Mississippi.
    The animal-like body, with the human head, is carved in the rock in
    outline. The huge eyes are depressions like saucers, an inch or more
    in depth, and the outline of the body has been scooped out in the
    same way; also the mouth.

    The figure of the archer with the drawn bow, however, is
    painted, or rather stained with a reddish brown pigment, over the
    sculptured outline of the monster’s face.

Mr. McAdams suggests that the painted figure of the human form with the
bow and arrows was made later than the sculpture.

The same author (_b_) says, describing Fig. 43:

[Illustration: FIG. 43.--Petroglyph near Alton, Illinois.]

    Some 3 or 4 miles above Alton, high up beneath the overhanging
    cliff, which forms a sort of cave shelter on the smooth face of a
    thick ledge of rock, is a series of paintings, twelve in number.
    They are painted or rather stained in the rock with a reddish brown
    pigment that seems to defy the tooth of time. It may be said,
    however, that their position is so sheltered that they remain almost
    perfectly dry. We made sketches of them some thirty years ago and on
    a recent visit could see that they had changed but little, although
    their appearance denotes great age.

    These pictographs are situated on the cliff more than a hundred
    feet above the river. A protruding ledge, which is easily reached
    from a hollow in the bluff, leads to the cavernous place in the rock.

Mr. James D. Middleton, formerly of the Bureau of Ethnology, mentions
the occurrence of petroglyphs on the bluffs of the Mississippi river, in
Jackson county, about 12 miles below Rockwood. Also of others about 4 or
5 miles from Prairie du Rocher, near the Mississippi river.


Mr. P. W. Norris, of the Bureau of Ethnology, found numerous caves on
the banks of the Mississippi river, in northeastern Iowa, 4 miles south
of New Albion, containing incised petroglyphs. Fifteen miles south of
this locality paintings occur on the cliffs. He also discovered painted
characters upon the cliffs on the Mississippi river, 19 miles below New


Mr. Edward Miller reports in Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society, vol. X, 1869, p. 383, the discovery of a petroglyph near the
line of the Union Pacific railroad, 15 miles southeast of Fort Harker,
formerly known as Fort Ellsworth, Kansas. The petroglyph is upon a
formation belonging to No. 1, Lower Cretaceous group, according to the
classification of Meek and Hayden.

The parts of the two plates VII and VIII of the work cited, which bear
the inscriptions, are now presented as Fig. 44, being from two views of
the same rock.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.--Petroglyphs in Kansas.]


Mr. James D. Middleton, formerly of the Bureau of Ethnology, in a
letter dated August 14, 1886, reports that at a point in Union county,
Kentucky, nearly opposite Shawneetown, Illinois, petroglyphs are found,
and from the description given by him they appear to resemble those in
Jackson county, Illinois, mentioned above.

Mr. W. E. Barton, of Wellington, Ohio, in a communication dated October
4, 1890, writes as follows:

    At Clover Bottom, Kentucky, on a spur of the Big Hill, in
    Jackson county, about 13 miles from Berea, is a large rock which
    old settlers say was covered with soil and vegetation within their
    memory. Upon it are representations of human tracks, with what
    appear to be those of a bear, a horse, and a dog. These are all in
    the same direction, as though a man leading a horse, followed the
    dog upon the bear’s track. Crossing these is a series of tracks of
    another and larger sort which I can not attempt to identify. The
    stone is a sandstone in the subcarboniferous. As I remember, the
    strata are nearly horizontal, but erosion has made the surface a
    slope of about 20°. The tracks ascending the slope cross the strata.
    I have not seen them for some years.

    The crossing of the strata shows that the tracks are the work of
    human hands, if indeed it were not preposterous to think of anything
    else in rocks of that period. Still the tracks are so well made that
    one is tempted to ask if they can be real. They alternate right and
    left, though the erosion and travel have worn out some of the left
    tracks. A wagon road passes over the rock and was the cause of the
    present exposure of the stone. It can be readily found a fourth of a
    mile or less from the Pine Grove schoolhouse.


A number of inscribed rocks have been found in Maine and information of
others has been obtained. The most interesting of them and the largest
group series yet discovered in New England is shown in Pl. XII.



The rock upon which the glyphs appear is in the town of Machiasport,
Maine, at Clarks point, on the northwestern side of Machias bay, 2
miles below the mouth of Machias river. The rock or ledge is about 50
feet long from east to west and about fifteen feet in width, nearly
horizontal for two-thirds its length, from the bank or western end at
high water, thence inclining at an angle of 15° to low-water mark.
Its southern face is inclined about 40°. The formation is schistose
slate, having a transverse vein of trap dike extending nearly across
its section. Nearly the entire ledge is of blue-black color, very dense
and hard except at the upper or western end, where the periodical
formation of ice has scaled off thin layers of surface and destroyed
many figures which are remembered by persons now living. The ebb and
flow of tides, the abrasion of moving beach stones or pebble wash and
of ice-worn bowlders, have also effaced many figures along the southern
side, until now but one or two indentations are discernible. Visitors,
in seeking to remove some portion of the rock as a curiosity or in
striving to perpetuate their initials, have obscured several of the
most interesting, and until recently the best defined figures. It was
also evident to the present writer, who carefully examined the rock in
1888, that it lay much deeper in the water than once had been the case.
At the lowest tides there were markings seen still lower, which could
not readily have been made if that part of the surface had not been
continuously exposed. The depression of a rock of such great size, which
was so gradual that it had not been observed by the inhabitants of the
neighboring settlement, is an evidence of the antiquity of the peckings.

The intaglio carving of all the figures was apparently made by repeated
blows of a pointed instrument--doubtless of hard stone; not held as
a chisel, but working by a repetition of hammerings or peckings.
The deepest now seen is about three-eighths of an inch. The amount
of patient labor bestowed upon these figures must have been great,
considering the hardness of the rock and the rude implement with which
they were wrought.

There is no extrinsic evidence of their age. The place was known to
traders early in the seventeenth century, and much earlier was visited
by Basque fishermen, and perhaps by the unfortunate Cortereals in 1500
and 1503. The descendants of the Mechises Indians, a tribal branch of
the Abnaki, who once occupied the territory between the St. Croix and
Narraguagus rivers, when questioned many years ago, would reply in
substance that “all their old men knew of them,” either by having seen
them or by traditions handed down through many generations.

Several years ago Mr. H. R. Taylor, of Machias, who made the original
sketch in 1868 and kindly furnished it to the Bureau of Ethnology,
applied to a resident Indian there (Peter Benoit, then nearly 80 years
old) for assistance in deciphering the characters. He gave little
information, but pointed out that the figures must not all be read “from
one side only,” thus, the one near the center of the sketch, which seen
from the south was without significance, became from the opposite
point a squaw with sea fowl on her head, denoting, as he said, “that
squaw had smashed canoe, saved beaver-skin, walked one-half moon all
alone toward east, just same as heron wading alongshore.” Also that
the three lines below the figure mentioned, which together resemble a
bird track or a trident, represent the three rivers, the East, West,
and Middle rivers of Machias, which join not far above the locality.
The mark having a rough resemblance to a feather, next on the right of
this river-sign, is a fissure in the rock. Most of the figures of human
beings and other animals are easily recognizable.

Peckings of a character similar to those on the Picture rock at Clarks
point, above described, were found and copied 600 feet south of it at
high-water mark on a rock near Birch point. Others were discovered and
traced on a rock on Hog island, in Holmes bay, a part of Machias bay.
All these petroglyphs were without doubt of Abnaki origin, either of
the Penobscot or the Passamaquoddy divisions of that body of Indians.
The rocks lay on the common line of water communication between those
divisions and were convenient as halting places.


In the Susquehanna river, about half a mile south of the state line,
is a group of rocks, several of the most conspicuous being designated
as the “Bald Friars.” Near by are several mound-shaped bowlders of the
so-called “nigger-head” rock, which is reported as a dark-greenish
chlorite schist. Upon the several bowlders are deep sculpturings,
apparently finished by rubbing the depression with stone, or wood and
sand, thus leaving sharp and distinct edges to the outlines. Some of
these figures are an inch in depth, though the greater number are
becoming more and more eroded by the frequent freshets, and by the
running ice during the breaking up in early spring of the frozen river.

The following account is given by Prof. P. Frazer (_a_):

    Passing the Pennsylvania state line one reaches the southern
    barren serpentine rocks, which are in general tolerably level for a
    considerable distance.

    About 700 yards, or 640 meters, south of the line, on the river
    shore, are rocks which have been named the Bald Friars. French’s
    tavern is here, at the mouth of a small stream which empties into
    the Susquehanna. About 874 yards (800 meters) south of this tavern
    are a number of islands which have local names, but which are
    curious as containing inscriptions of the aborigines.

    The material of which most of these islands are composed is
    chlorite schist, but as this rock is almost always distinguished by
    the quartz veins which intersect it, so in this case some of the
    islands are composed of this material almost exclusively, which
    gives them a very striking white appearance.

    One of these, containing the principal inscriptions, is called
    Miles island.

    The figures, which covered every part of the rocks that were
    exposed, were apparently of historical or at least narrative
    purport, since they seemed to be connected. Doubtless the larger
    portion of the inscription has been carried away by the successive
    vicissitudes which have broken up and defaced, and in some instances
    obliterated, parts of which we find evidence of the previous
    existence on the islands.

    Every large bowlder seems to contain some traces of previous
    inscription, and in many instances the pictured side of the bowlder
    is on its under side, showing that it has been detached from its
    original place. The natural agencies are quite sufficient to account
    for any amount of this kind of displacement, for the rocks in their
    present condition are not refractory and offer no great resistance
    to the wear of weather and ice; but in addition to this must be
    added human agencies.

    Amongst other things, they represent the conventional Indian
    serpent’s head, with varying numbers of lines.

    Some of the signs next frequently recurring were concentric
    circles, in some cases four and in other cases a lesser number.

[Illustration: FIG. 45.--Bald Friar rock, Maryland.]

Fig. 45 is a reproduction of Prof. Frazer’s illustration.

This region was also referred to by Dr. Charles Rau (_a_), his cut from
the specimen in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution (Mus. No.
39010) being here reproduced as Fig. 46.

[Illustration: FIG. 46.--Slab from Bald Friar rock, Maryland.]

During the autumn of the years 1888 and 1889 Dr. Hoffman visited these
rocks, securing sketches and measurements, the former of which are
reproduced in Figs. 47 and 48. The figures are deeply cut, as if rubbed
down with sand and a round stick of green wood. The deepest channels,
varying from three-fourths to 1-1/4 inches across and almost as deep
as they are wide, appear as if cut out with a gouge, and for this
reason bear a strong resemblance to the petroglyphs in Owens valley,
California. In whatever manner these sculpturings were made, it is
evident that much time and great labor were expended upon them, as this
variety of rock, locally termed “Nigger-head,” is extremely hard.

[Illustration: FIG. 47.--Top of Bald Friar rock, Maryland.]

Fig. 45 represents a bird’s-eye view of the top of the rock, bearing the
greater amount of workmanship. The petroglyphs cover a surface measuring
about 5 feet by 4 feet 6 inches. The extreme ends of the figures extend
beyond the irregular horizontal surface and project over the rounded
edge of the rock, so that the line, at the left-hand lower part of the
illustration, dips at an angle of about 45°. The two short lines at the
extreme right are upon the side of the upper edge of the rock, where the
surface inclines at an angle of 30°.

Some of the figures are indefinite, which is readily accounted for by
the fact that the rock is in the river, a considerable distance from
shore, and annually subjected to freshets and to erosion by floating
logs and drift material. The characters at the right end of the upper
row resemble those near Washington, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. (See
Fig. 73.)

Fig. 48 presents three characters, selected from other portions of the
rock, to illustrate the variety of designs found. They are like some
found at Owens valley, California, as will be observed by comparing them
with the descriptions and plates under that heading in this section. The
left-hand figure is 4 inches in diameter, the middle one 6 inches wide
and about 15 inches in height, and the third, or right-hand, is composed
of concentric rings, measuring about 10 inches across.

[Illustration: FIG. 48.--Characters from Bald Friar rock, Maryland.]


The following description of the much-discussed Dighton rock is taken
from Schoolcraft (_b_), where it is accompanied with a plate, now
reproduced as Fig. 49:

[Illustration: FIG. 49.--Dighton rock, Massachusetts.]

    The ancient inscription on a bowlder of greenstone rock lying in
    the margin of the Assonet or Taunton river, in the area of ancient
    Vinland, was noticed by the New England colonists so early as 1680,
    when Dr. Danforth made a drawing of it. This outline, together with
    several subsequent copies of it, at different eras, reaching to
    1830, all differing considerably in their details, but preserving
    a certain general resemblance, is presented in the Antiquatés
    Americanes [_sic_] (Tables XI, XII), and referred to the same
    era of Scandinavian discovery. The imperfections of the drawings
    (including that executed under the auspices of the Rhode Island
    Historical Society in 1839, Table XII), and the recognition of some
    characters bearing more or less resemblance to antique Roman letters
    and figures, may be considered to have misled Mr. Magnusen in his
    interpretation of it. From whatever cause, nothing could, it would
    seem, have been wider from the purport and true interpretation of
    it. It is of purely Indian origin, and is executed in the peculiar
    symbolic character of the Kekeewin.

A number of copies of the inscriptions on this rock, taken at different
times by different persons, are given below in Chapter XXII, sec. 2,
with remarks upon them.

Dr. Hoffman visited the locality in 1886, and found that the surface was
becoming rapidly destroyed from the frequent use of scrubbing with broom
and water to remove the film of sand and dirt which is daily deposited
by every tide, the rock being situated at a short distance inshore.
Visitors are frequent, and the guide or ferryman does not interfere with
them so long as he can show his passengers the famous inscription.

The resemblance between the characters on this rock and those found in
western Pennsylvania, near Millsboro, Fig. 75, and south of Franklin, on
the “Indian God rock,” Fig. 74, will be noted.

In Rafn’s Antiq. Amer. (_b_) is the following account:

    A large stone, on which is a line of considerable length in
    unknown characters, has been recently found in Rutland, Worcester
    county, Massachusetts; they are regularly placed, and the strokes
    are filled with a black composition nearly as hard as the rock
    itself. The Committee also adds that a similar rock is to be found
    in Swanzy, county of Bristol and Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
    perhaps ten miles from the Dighton Rock.


The late Mr. P. W. Norris, who was connected with the Bureau of
Ethnology, reported large numbers of pecked totemic characters on the
horizontal faces of the ledges of rock at Pipestone quarry in Minnesota,
and presented some imitations of the peckings. There is a tradition
that it was formerly the custom for each Indian who gathered stone
(catlinite) for pipes, to inscribe his totem (whether clan or tribal
or personal totem is not specified) upon the rock before venturing to
quarry upon this ground. Some of the cliffs in the immediate vicinity
were of too hard a nature to admit of pecking or scratching, and upon
these the characters were placed in colors. Mr. Norris distinguished
bird tracks, the outline of a bird resembling a pelican, deer, turtle, a
circle with an interior cross, and a human figure.

Examples of so-called totemic designs from this locality are given in
Fig. 50, which are reproduced from the work of R. Cronau (_a_):

[Illustration: FIG. 50.--Petroglyphs at Pipestone, Minn.]

The same petroglyphs and also others at the Pipestone quarry are
described and illustrated by Prof. N. H. Winchell (_a_). A part of his
remarks is as follows:

    On the glaciated surface of the quartzite about the “Three
    Maidens,” which is kept clean by the rebound of the winds, are a
    great many rude inscriptions, which were made by pecking out the
    rock with some sharp-pointed instrument or by the use of other
    pieces of quartzite. They are of different sizes and dates, the
    latter being evinced by their manner of crossing and interfering
    and by the evident difference in the weight of the instruments
    used. They generally represent some animal, such as the turtle,
    bear, wolf, buffalo, elk, and the human form. The “crane’s foot”
    is the most common; next is the image of men; next the turtle. It
    would seem as if any warrior or hunter who had been successful and
    happened to pass here left his tribute of thanks to the great spirit
    in a rude representation of his game and perhaps a figure of himself
    on the rocks about these bowlders, or perhaps had in a similar way
    invoked the good offices of the spirits of his clan when about to
    enter on some expedition. In some cases there is a connection of
    several figures by a continuous line, chipped in the surface of the
    rock in such a manner as if some legend or adventure were narrated,
    but for the most part the figures are isolated. This is the “sacred
    ground” of the locality. Such markings can be seen at no other
    place, though there is abundance of bare, smooth rock. (Similar
    inscriptions are found on the red quartzite in Cottonwood county).
    The excavation of the surface of the rock is very slight, generally
    not exceeding a sixteenth of an inch, and sometimes only enough to
    leave a tracing of the designed form. The hardness of the rock was
    a barrier to deep sculpturing with the imperfect instruments of the
    aborigines; but it has effectually preserved the rude forms that
    were made. The fine glacial scratches that are abundantly scattered
    over this quartzite indicate the tenacity with which it retains all
    such impressions, and will warrant the assignment of any date to
    these inscriptions that may be called for within the human period.
    Yet it is probable that they date back to no very great antiquity.
    They pertain, at least, to the dynasty of the present Indian tribes.
    The totems of the turtle and the bear, which are known to have been
    powerful among the clans of the native races in America at the time
    of the earliest European knowledge of them, and which exist to this
    day, are the most frequent objects represented. The “crane’s foot,”
    or “turkey foot,” or “bird track,” terms which refer perhaps to the
    same totem sign--the snipe--is not only common on these rocks, but
    is seen among the rock inscriptions of Ohio, and was one of the
    totems of the Iroquois, of New York.

In June, 1892, Mr. W. H. Holmes, of the Bureau of Ethnology, visited the
Pipestone quarry and took a number of tracings of the petroglyphs, which
unfortunately were received too late for insertion in the present work.
Some of his remarks are as follows:

    The trouble with the figures copied and published by Prof.
    Winchell is that they are not arranged in the original order. It
    will now be impossible to correct this entirely, as most of the
    stones have been taken up and removed. * * * The Winchell drawings
    were evidently drawn by eye and have a very large personal equation;
    besides, they are mixed up while appearing to be in some order.
    The few groups that I was able to get are, it seems to me, of more
    interest than all the single figures you could put in a book. There
    can be little doubt that in the main this great group of pictures
    was arranged in definite order, agreeing with the arrangements
    of mythical personages and positions usual in the aboriginal
    ceremonials of the region. It is a great pity that the original
    order has been destroyed, but the inroads of relic hunters and
    inscription cranks made it necessary to take up the stones. One
    large stone was taken to Minneapolis by Prof. Winchell. There are
    a few pieces still in place. All were near the base of one of the
    great granite bowlders, and it is said here that formerly, within
    the memory of the living, the place was visited by Indians who
    wished to consult the gods.

The following description is extracted from the account of Mr. James W.
Lynd (_b_):

    Numerous high bluffs and cliffs surround it; the Pipestone
    quarry and the alluvial flat below these, in which the quarry is
    situated, contains a huge bowlder that rests upon a flat rock of
    glistening, smooth appearance, the level of which is but a few
    inches above the surface of the ground. Upon the portions of this
    rock not covered by the bowlder above and upon bowlder itself are
    carved sundry wonderful figures--lizards, snakes, otters, Indian
    gods, rabbits with cloven feet, muskrats with human feet, and other
    strange and incomprehensible things--all cut into the solid granite,
    and not without a great deal of time and labor expended in the
    performance. * * *

    A large party of Ehanktonwanna and Teetonwan Dakotas, says
    the legend, had gathered together at the quarry to dig the stone.
    Upon a sultry evening, just before sunset, the heavens suddenly
    became overclouded by a heavy rumbling thunder and every sign of an
    approaching storm, such as frequently arises on the prairie without
    much warning. Each one hurried to his lodge, expecting a storm, when
    a vivid flash of lightning, followed immediately by a crashing peal
    of thunder, broke over them, and, looking towards the huge bowlder
    beyond their camp, they saw a pillar or column of smoke standing
    upon it, which moved to and fro, and gradually settled down into the
    outline of a huge giant, seated upon the bowlder, with one long arm
    extended to heaven and the other pointing down to his feet. Peal
    after peal of thunder, and flashes of lightning in quick succession
    followed, and this figure then suddenly disappeared. The next
    morning the Sioux went to this bowlder and found these figures and
    images upon it, where before there had been nothing, and ever since
    that the place has been regarded as wakan or sacred.

Mr. T. H. Lewis (_b_) gives a description of Fig. 51.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.--Petroglyphs in Brown’s valley, Minnesota.]

    This bowlder is in the edge of the public park, on the north
    end of the plateau at Brown’s valley, Minnesota. The bowlder has a
    flat surface with a western exposure, is irregular in outline, and
    is about 5 feet 8 inches in diameter, and firmly imbedded in the

    The central figure, _a_, undoubtedly represents a man, although
    the form is somewhat conventional; _b_ represents a bird; _c_
    represents a tortoise; _d_ is a cross and circle combined, but the
    circle has a groove extending from it; _e_, _f_, and _g_, although
    somewhat in the shape of crosses, probably represent bird tracks;
    _h_ and _i_ are nondescript in character, although there must be
    some meaning attached to them; _k_ and _l_ are small dots or cups
    cut into the bowlder.

    The figures as illustrated are one-eighth of their natural size,
    and are also correct in their relative positions one to the other.
    The work is neatly done although the depth of the incisions is very


Mr. Charles Hallock, of Washington, D. C., reports the occurrence of
pictured rocks near Fort Assiniboin, Montana, but does not mention
whether they are colored or incised, and also fails to describe the
general type of the characters found.


The following (condensed) description of petroglyphs found in Dakota
county, Nebraska, is furnished by Mr. J. H. Quick, of Sioux City, Iowa:

    The petroglyphs are found upon the face of a sandstone cliff in
    a deep ravine at a point where two watercourses (dry for the most
    part), meet about 20 miles south of Sioux City, Iowa, but in Dakota
    county, in the State of Nebraska. At this point the range of bluffs
    which bounds the Missouri river bottom is deeply cut through by the
    above-mentioned ravine, which runs in a northerly direction towards
    the Missouri. Another ravine coming from the southwest leaves this
    narrow point of land between the two ravines, rising to a height of
    50 to 75 feet above the bottom of the ravines. For some distance
    from the point this cape, if I may so term it, shows ledges of
    sandstone cropping out on both sides. And exactly at the point and
    for some rods back on the east side are found the pictographs under

    The rocks are of two kinds, a few feet of hard jasperous
    sandstone superimposed on about the same thickness of sandstone so
    soft that it can be crumbled to pieces in the fingers. The lower
    soft strata have been worn away, leaving the upper harder layers
    jutting out to a distance of several feet over and completely
    sheltering them. And on the smooth surface of these lower soft
    strata, protected by the overhanging ledge above, shut in by bluffs
    200 feet high on the east and sheltered from the winds by dense
    underwood and scrubby forest trees, are carved these pictographs.
    These safeguards, combined with the advantage of a very secluded
    situation, have combined to preserve them, very little marred by
    careless and mischievous hands.

    The eagle or “thunder-bird” figures are quite numerous. There
    are also many of the “buffalo track” and of the “turkey track”
    figures. I call them “turkey tracks” because they all show a spur
    and seem to represent some of the large _gallinaciæ_.

    In one of the groups, which I will call the “bear-fight group,”
    we are at a loss to determine whether the figure of the small animal
    was a part of the original design or a subsequent interpolation. It
    seemed genuine, but was not so deeply carved as the other figures.
    The same may be said of the diagonal bars across the figure of the

    In the other group, which I will term the “turkey-track group,”
    there are some figures of which we could not even imagine the
    meaning. But they are undoubtedly genuine, and seem to belong to the
    same design as the other figure.

    The “bear-track” figures are very numerous and of several
    different sizes. A cat-like figure, which we call a panther, shows
    faintly. It is about effaced by time. Other figures reminded us of a
    crab or crawfish, but we were unable to determine whether the line
    running back just below belongs to it or not.

    I am informed by the same gentleman who saw these petroglyphs in
    1857 that there were at one time many more some 3 or 4 miles from
    this place, near Homer, Nebraska, in the vicinity of a large spring,
    but he also said that as it is a favorite picnic ground for the
    country people the carvings are probably destroyed. I presume others
    may be found in these bluffs.

    I surmise that the almost cave-like nature of the place where
    the carvings I have above attempted to describe are situated
    rendered it a favorite camping ground and resting place; and also
    that the ravines above mentioned made easy trails from the Missouri
    bottom up to the higher grounds farther from the river, because it
    obviated the ascent of the very steep bluffs.

    The Winnebago Indian reservation is a few miles south of this
    locality, but they were placed here by the Government as late as
    from 1860 to 1865. Previous to that time I think this ground was
    occupied by the Omahas. I have been unable to gain any information
    as to the Indians who carved these figures or as to their meaning.



The most instructive of the petroglyphs, copies of which are kindly
furnished by Mr. Quick, is presented as Pl. XIII, and selected sketches
from that and the other petroglyphs copied are shown as Figs. 52 and 53.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.--Characters from Nebraska petroglyphs.]

Frank La Flèche, of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in February, 1886,
communicated the following:

    Ingna^nχe gikáχa-ina is the Omaha name of a rock ledge on the
    banks of the Missouri river, near the Santee agency, Nebraska.
    This ledge contains pictographs of men who passed to the happy
    hunting grounds, of life size, the sandstone being so soft that the
    engravings would be made with a piece of wood. They are represented
    with the special cause (arrow, gun, etc.), which sped them to hades.
    The souls themselves are said to make these pictographs before
    repairing “to the spirits.”

[Illustration: FIG. 53.--Characters from Nebraska petroglyphs.]

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, of the Bureau of Ethnology, says that the probable
rendering of the term when corrected is, “Spirit(s) they-made-themselves
the (place where).”


Petroglyphs have been found by members of the U. S. Geological Survey
at the lower extremity of Pyramid lake, Nevada, though no accurate
reproductions are available. These characters are mentioned as incised
upon the surface of basalt rocks.

Petroglyphs also occur in considerable numbers on the western slope
of Lone Butte, in the Carson desert. All of these appear to have been
produced on the faces of bowlders and rocks by pecking and scratching
with some hard mineral material like quartz.

A communication from Mr. R. L. Fulton, of Reno, Nevada, tells that
the drawing now reproduced as Fig. 54 is a pencil sketch of curious
petroglyphs on a rock on the Carson river, about 8 miles below old
Fort Churchill. It is the largest and most important one of a group of
similar characters. It is basaltic, about 4 feet high and equally broad.

[Illustration: FIG. 54.--Petroglyphs on Carson river, Nevada.]

Mr. Fulton gives the following description:

    The rock spoken of has an oblong hole about 2 inches by 4 and 16
    inches deep at the left end, which has been chipped out before the
    lines were drawn, if it was not some form of the ancient mill which
    is so common, as it seems to be the starting point for the whole
    scheme of the artist. The rock lies with a broad, smooth top face
    at an angle towards the south, and its top and southeast side are
    covered with lines and marks that convey to the present generation
    no intelligence whatever, so far as I can learn.

    A line half an inch wide starts at the hole on the left and
    sweeping downward forms a sort of border for the work until it
    reaches midway of the rock, when it suddenly turns up and mingles
    with the hieroglyphics above. Two or three similar lines cross at
    the top of the stone, and one runs across and turns along the north
    side, losing itself in a coating of moss that seems as hard and
    dry and old as the stone itself. From the line at the bottom a few
    scallopy looking marks hang that may be a part of the picture, or
    it may be a fringe or ornament. The figures are not pictures of any
    animal, bird, or reptile, but seem to be made up of all known forms
    and are connected by wavy, snake-like lines. Something which might
    be taken for a dog with a round and characterless head at each end
    of the body, looking towards you, occupies a place near the lower
    line. The features are all plain enough. A deer’s head is joined
    to a patchwork that has something that might be taken for 4 legs
    beneath it. Bird’s claws show up in two or three places, but no bird
    is near them. Snaky figures run promiscuously through the whole
    thing. A circle at the right end has spokes joining at the center
    which run out and lose themselves in the maze outside.

    The best known and largest collection of marks that I know of
    covers a large smooth ledge at Hopkins Soda Springs, 12 miles south
    of the summit on the Central Pacific railroad. The rock is much the
    same in character as those I have described, but the groundwork in
    this case is a solid ledge 10 feet one way and perhaps 40 the other,
    all closely covered with rude characters, many of which seem to
    point to human figures, animals, reptiles, etc. The ledge lies at an
    angle of 45°, and must have been a tempting place for a lazy artist
    who chanced that way.

    Many other places on the Truckee river have such rocks all very
    much alike, and yet each bearing its own distinct features in the
    marking. Near a rock half a mile east of Verdi, a station on the
    Central Pacific railroad, 10 miles east of Reno, lie two others,
    the larger of which has lines originating in a hole at the upper
    right-hand corner, all running in tangents and angles, making a
    double-ended kind of an arrangement of many-headed arrows, pointing
    three ways. A snail-like scroll lies between the two arms, but does
    not touch them. Below are blotches, as if the artist had tried his

    This region has been roamed over by the Washoe Indians from a
    remote period, but none of them know anything of these works. One
    who has gray hair and more wrinkles than hairs, who is bent with
    age and who is said to be a hundred years old, was led to the spot.
    He said he saw them a heap long time ago, when he was only a few
    summers old, and they looked then just as they do now.

    Mr. Lovejoy, a well-known newspaper man, took up, in 1854, the
    ranche where the rocks lie, and said just before his death that they
    were in exactly the same condition when he first saw them as they
    are to-day. Others say the same, and they are certainly of a date
    prior to the settlement of this coast by Americans and probably by
    the Spanish.

    They are very peculiar in many respects, and the rock is
    wonderfully adapted to the uses to which it has been put. Wherever
    the surface has been broken the color has changed to gray, and no
    amount of wear or weather seems to turn it back. The indentation is
    so shallow as to be imperceptible to sight or touch, and yet the
    marks are as plain as they could be made, and can be seen as far as
    the rock can be distinguished from its fellows.

    It is hardly likely that the work was done without some motive
    besides the simple love of doing it, and it was well and carefully
    done, too, showing much patience and doubtless consumed a good deal
    of time, as the tools were poor.

    A large ledge is marked near Meadow lake in Nevada county, and
    in the state of Nevada the petroglyphs cover a route extending
    from the southeast to the northwest corner of the state, crossing
    the line into California in Modoc county, and leaving a string of
    samples clear across the Madeline plains.

    Eight miles below Belmont, in Nye county, Nevada, an immense
    rock which at some time has fallen into the canyon from the porphyry
    ledge above it has a patch of marks nearly 20 feet square. It is so
    high that a man on horseback can not reach the top.

    A number at Reveillé, in the same county, are also marked. On
    the road to Tybo every large rock is marked, one of the figures
    being a semicircle with a short vertical spoke within the curve.
    At Reno a heavy black rock a couple of feet across is beautifully
    engraved to represent a bull’s eye of 4 rings, an arrow with a very
    large feather, and one which may mean a man. In a steep canyon 15
    miles northeast of Reno, in Spanish Spring mountains, several cliffs
    are well marked, and an exposed ledge, where the Carson river has
    cut off the point of a hill below Big Bend, is covered with rings
    and snakes by the hundred. Several triangles, a well-formed square
    and compass, a woman with outstretched arms holding an olive branch,
    etc., are there.

    Humboldt county has its share, the best being on a bluff below
    the old Sheba mine. Ten miles south of Pioche are about 50 figures
    cut into the rock, many of them designed to represent mountain
    sheep. Eighty miles farther south, near Kane’s Spring, the most
    numerous and perfect specimens of this prehistoric art are found.
    Men on horseback engaged in the pursuit of animals are among the
    most numerous, best preserved, and carefully executed.

    The region I have gone over is of immense size, and must impress
    everyone with the importance of a set of symbols which extends in
    broken lines from Arizona far into Oregon.

Fig. 55 exhibits engravings at Reveillé, Nevada. Great numbers of
incised characters of various kinds are also reported from the walls of
rocks flanking Walker river, near Walker lake, Nevada. Waving lines,
rings, and what appear to be vegetable forms are of frequent occurrence.
The human form and footprints are also depicted.

[Illustration: FIG. 55.--Petroglyphs at Reveillé, Nevada.]

Fig. 56 is a copy of a drawing made by Lieut. A. G. Tassin, Twelfth U.
S. Infantry, in 1877, of an ancient rock-carving at the base and in the
recesses of Dead mountain and the abode of dead bad Indians according
to the Mohave mythology. This drawing and its description is from a
manuscript report on the Mohave Indians, in the library of the Bureau of
Ethnology, prepared by Lieut. Tassin.

[Illustration: FIG. 56.--Petroglyphs at Dead mountain, Nevada.]

He explains some of the characters as follows:

    (_a_) Evidently the two different species of mesquite bean.

    (_b_) Would seem to refer to the bite of the cidatus, and to the
    use of a certain herb for its cure.

    (_c_) Presumably the olla or water cooler of the Mohaves.

The whole of this series of petroglyphs is regarded as being Shinumo or
Moki. They show a general resemblance to drawings in Arizona, known to
have been made by the Moki Indians. The locality is within the territory
of the Shoshonean linguistic division, and the drawings are in all
probability the work of one or more of the numerous tribes comprised
within that division.


On the north wall of Canyon de Chelly, one-fourth of a mile east of
its mouth, are several groups of petroglyphs, consisting chiefly of
various grotesque forms of the human figure, and also numbers of
animals, circles, etc. A few of them are painted black, the greater
portion consisting of rather shallow lines, which are in some places
considerably weathered. Further up the canyon, in the vicinity of the
cliff dwellings, are numerous small groups of pictographic characters,
consisting of men and animals, waving or zigzag lines, and other odd

Lieut. James H. Simpson (_a_), in his Journal of a Military
Reconnoissance, etc., presents a number of plates bearing copies of
inscriptions on rocks in the northwestern part of New Mexico, among
which are those on the so-called “Inscription rock” at El Moro, here
reproduced as Fig. 57. The petroglyphs are selected from the south face
of the rock. Lieut. Simpson states that most of the characters are no
higher than a man’s head, and that some of them are undoubtedly of
Indian origin.

[Illustration: FIG. 57.--Inscription rock, New Mexico.]

Among the many colored etchings and paintings on rock discovered by the
Pacific railroad expedition in 1853-’54, Lieut. Whipple (_c_) notes
those at Rocky dell creek, New Mexico, which were found between the edge
of the Llano Estacado and the Canadian river. The stream flows through
a gorge, upon one side of which a shelving sandstone rock forms a sort
of cave. The roof is covered with paintings, some evidently ancient, and
beneath are innumerable carvings of footprints, animals, and symmetrical
lines. He also remarks (_d_) that figures cut upon a rock at Arch
spring, near Zuñi, present some faint similarity to those at Rocky dell

Near Ojo Pescado, in the vicinity of the ruins, are petroglyphs, also
reported by Lieut. Whipple (_d_), which are very much weather-worn and
have “no trace of a modern hand about them.”

Mr. Edwin A. Hill, of Indianapolis, in a letter, notes petroglyphs on
the Denver and Rio Grande railroad, between Antonite and Espanola. Below
Tres Piedras and near Espanola are rude sculptures, lining the valley
on both sides of the road for a long distance, at least several miles.
The canyon has a slope of about 45° and contains many bowlders, and on
every available face pictographs are cut. Figures of arrows, hatchets,
circles, triangles, bows, spears, turtles, etc., are outlined as if with
some cutting-tool. The country had two years before been occupied by
Apaches, but far greater age is attributed to the petroglyphs.

Other petroglyphs actually within the geographical area of New Mexico
are so near the border that they are treated of in connection with those
of Colorado.

Prof. E. D. Cope (_a_) gives a copy of figures which he found on the
side of a ravine near Abiquiu, on the river Chama. They are cut in
Jurassic sandstone of medium hardness, and are quite worn and overgrown
with the small lichen which is abundant on the face of the rock.

Mr. Gilbert Thompson, of the U. S. Geological Survey, reports his
observation of petroglyphs at San Antonio springs, 30 miles east of
Fort Wingate, New Mexico. The human figure, in various forms, occurs,
as well as numerous other characters, strikingly similar to those
frequent in the country farther west occupied by the Moki Indians. The
peculiarity of these figures is that the outlines are incised and that
the depressions thus formed are filled with red, blue or white pigments.
The interior of the figures is simply painted with one or more of the
same colors.

Figs. 58 and 59 are reproductions of drawings of petroglyphs from
Ojo de Benado, south of Zuñi, New Mexico. The manuscripts which once
accompanied them, and which were forwarded to the Bureau of Ethnology
in the usual official manner, have become separated from the sketches,
and on those there are no indications of the collectors’ names.

[Illustration: FIG. 58.--Petroglyphs at Ojo de Benado, New Mexico.]

The characters are very like others from several localities in the
territory and in the adjacent region. The type is that of the Pueblos

Mr. Bandelier, in conversation, reported having seen and sketched a
petroglyph at Nambe, in a canyon about 2 miles east of the pueblo, also
another at Cueva Pintada, about 17 miles by the trail northwest of

[Illustration: FIG. 59.--Petroglyphs at Ojo de Benado, New Mexico.]


The following is extracted from Schoolcraft (_c_):

    There is a pictographic Indian inscription [now obliterated]
    in the valley of the Hudson, above the Highlands, which from
    its antiquity and character appears to denote the era of the
    introduction of firearms and gunpowder among the aboriginal tribes
    of that valley. This era, from the well-known historical events of
    the contemporaneous settlement of New Netherlands and New France,
    may be with general accuracy placed between the years 1609, the
    date of Hudson’s ascent of that stream above the Highlands, and the
    opening of the Indian trade with the Iroquois at the present site of
    Albany, by the erection of Fort Orange, in 1614. * * *

    In a map published at Amsterdam, in Holland, in 1659, the
    country, for some distance both above and below Esopus creek, is
    delineated as inhabited by the Waranawankongs, who were a totemic
    division or enlarged family clan of the Mohikinder. They spoke a
    well-characterized dialect of the Mohigan, and have left numerous
    geographical names on the streams and physical peculiarities of that
    part of the river coast quite to and above Coxsackie. The language
    is Algonquin.

    Esopus itself appears to be a word derived from Seepu, the
    Minsi-Algonquin name for a river.

    * * * The inscription may be supposed, if the era is properly
    conjectured, to have been made with metallic tools. The lines are
    deeply and plainly impressed. It is in double lines. The plumes from
    the head denote a chief or man skilled in the Indian medico-magical
    art. The gun is held at rest in the right hand; the left appears to
    support a wand. [The position of the arm may be merely a gesture.]

The reproduction here as Fig. 60 is from a rock on the western bank of
the Hudson, at Esopus landing. It is presented mainly on account of the
frequent allusions to it in literature.

[Illustration: FIG. 60.--Petroglyph at Esopus, New York.]


Mr. James Mooney, of the Bureau of Ethnology, reports petroglyphs upon
a gray gneissoid rock, a short distance east of Caney river, on the
north side of the road from Asheville to Burnsville, North Carolina.
The face of the surface is at an angle of 30° toward the south, and the
sculptured area covers about 10 feet square. The characters consist
chiefly of cup-shaped depressions, some about 2 inches deep, some being
also connected. There are a few markings which appear to have been
intended to represent footprints. The characters resemble, to some
extent, those at Trap Rock gap, Georgia, and at the Juttaculla rock,
North Carolina, on a branch of the Tuckasegee river, above Webster.

The above-described sculptured rock is on the property of Ellis Gardner,
and is known as Gardner’s, or the “Garden rock.”

Mr. Mooney also reports that at Webster, North Carolina, there is one
large rock bearing numerous petroglyphs, rings, cup-shaped depressions,
fish-bone patterns, etc. He further states, upon the authority of Dr. J.
M. Spainhour, of Lenoir, that upon a light gray rock measuring 4 feet by
30 are numerous cup-shaped petroglyphs, he having counted 215. The rock
is on the Yadkin river, 4 miles below Wilkesboro, and is at times partly
under water.

Dr. Hoffman, who in 1886 visited western North Carolina, gives the
following account of colored pictographs found there by him.

“The locality known as ‘Paint rock’ is situated on the east or right
bank of the French Broad river, about 100 yards above the Tennessee
and North Carolina state line. The limestone cliff, which terminates
abruptly near the river, measures about 100 feet in height and covers
an area from side to side of exposure of at least 100 yards. The
accompanying view (Fig. 61), taken from across the river, presents the
wall of limestone rock and the position of the petroglyph, which is
delineated in proper proportion nearly in the center of the illustration.

[Illustration: FIG. 61.--Paint rock, North Carolina.]

“The property belongs to Mr. J. W. Chockley, who has been living in
the vicinity for about fifteen years. He states that during this
time the pictograph has undergone some change on account of gradual
disintegration or fracture of the rock. The first knowledge of the
pictograph, according to local tradition, dates back about sixty years,
and no information as to its import could be learned, either from the
white residents, who are few in number, or the straggling Cherokee
Indians who visit the railway station at odd intervals.”

The pictograph is peculiar in design, no animal forms being apparent but
an indefinite number of short, straight lines at right angles to one
another, as shown in Fig. 62. One-thirty-sixth actual size.

[Illustration: FIG. 62.--Petroglyphs on Paint rock, North Carolina.]

The characters are in dark red, probably a ferrous oxide, quantities
of which are found in the neighborhood. The color appears to have
penetrated the softer portions of the limestone, though upon the harder
surfaces it has been removed by exposure to the elements. The lowermost
figure appears to resemble a rude outline of a human form, with one arm
lowered and reaching forward, though this is only a suggestion.

Upon the face of the rock, a few yards to the right of the above, are
indistinct outlines of circles, several of which indicate central spots,
and one, at least, has a line extending from the center downward for
about 8 inches.


A large number of petroglyphs are reported from this state. It is
sufficient to present the following examples extracted, with reproduced
illustrations and abbreviated descriptions, from the Report of the
Committee of the State Archæological Society, published in the Report of
the Ohio State Board of Centennial Managers.

Fig. 63 is a copy of the petroglyph on the Newark Track rock.

[Illustration: FIG. 63.--Newark Track rock, Ohio.]

It is described in the volume cited, pages 94, 95, as follows:

    The inscriptions near Newark, in Licking county, Ohio,
    originally covered a vertical face of conglomerate rock, 50 or 60
    feet in length, by 6 and 8 feet in height. This rock is soft and,
    therefore, the figures are easily erased * * *. About the year 1800
    it became a place where white men sought to immortalize themselves
    by cutting their names across the old inscription * * *.

    On the rock faces and detached sandstone blocks of the banks of
    the Ohio river there are numerous groups of intaglios, but in them
    the style is quite different from those to which I have referred,
    and which are located in the interior. Those on the Ohio river
    resemble the symbolical records of the North American Indians,
    such as the Kelley Island stone, described in Schoolcraft by Capt.
    Eastman, the Dighton rock, the Big Indian rock of the Susquehanna,
    and the “God rock” of the Allegheny river. In those the supposed
    bird track is generally wanting. The large sculptured rock near
    Wellsville, which is only visible at low water of the Ohio, has
    among the figures one that is prominent on the Barnesville stones.
    This is the fore foot of the bear, with the outside toe distorted
    and set outward at right angles.

    Other sculptured rocks of a similar character have been found in
    Fairfield, Belmont, Cuyahoga, and Lorain counties.

    That the ancient bird-track character belonged to the
    mound-builders is evident from the fact that it is found among their
    works, constructed of soil on a large scale.

    One of these bird-track mounds occurs in the center of the
    large circular inclosure near Newark, Ohio, now standing in the
    Licking county fair grounds. Among the characters will be noticed
    the human hand. In one instance the hand is open, the palm facing
    the observer, and in the other the hand is closed, except the index
    finger which points downward to the base of the cliff. Of the
    bird-track characters there are many varieties. There is also a
    character resembling a cross and another bearing some resemblance to
    an arrow.

Fig. 64 is an illustration of the Independence stone, which is described
in the same volume, pp. 98, 99, as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 64.--Independence stone, Ohio.]

    Great care has been taken to obtain a correct sketch of what
    remains of this inscription. A very rude drawing of it was published
    in Schoolcraft’s great work upon the Indian tribes, in 1854.

    The rock here described only contains a portion of the
    inscription. The balance was destroyed in quarrying. The markings
    on the portion of the rock preserved consist of the human foot,
    clothed with something like a moccasin or stocking; of the naked
    foot; of the open hand; of round markings one in front of the great
    toe, of each representation of the clothed foot; the figure of a
    serpent, and a peculiar character which might be taken for a rude
    representation of a crab or crawfish, but which bears a closer
    resemblance to an old-fashioned spearhead used in capturing fish.

Fig. 65 is a copy of the drawings on the Track rock, near Barnesville,
Belmont county, Ohio, the description of which is in the same volume,
pp. 89-93.

[Illustration: FIG. 65.--Barnesville Track rock, Ohio.]

The rude cuts of the human faces, part of the human feet, the rings,
stars, serpents, and some others, are evidently works of art, as in the
best of them the marks of the engraving instrument are to be seen. In
all cases, whether single or in groups, the relative dimensions of the
figures are preserved. The surface of this block is 8 by 11 feet.

At the south end of the petroglyphs occurs a figure of several
concentric rings, a design by no means confined to Ohio. The third
figure right of this resembles others in the same group, and evidently
indicates the footprints of the buffalo. Human footprints are generally
indicated by the pronounced toe marks, either detached as slight
depressions or attached to the foot, and are thus recognized as
different from bear tracks, which frequently have but slight indications
of toes or perhaps claw marks, and in which also the foot is shorter
or rounder. The arrow-shaped figures are no doubt intended for turkey
tracks, characters common to many petroglyphs of the middle and eastern
Algonquian area.

Fig. 66 gives several of the above characters enlarged from the
preceding figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 66.--Characters from Barnesville Track rock.]

In Fig. 67, referring to another block mentioned in the same report,
lying 20 feet south of the one first mentioned, there is a duplication
of the characters before noted--human footprints, bear and turkey
tracks, and the indication of what may be intended to represent a

[Illustration: FIG. 67.--Barnesville Track rock, No. 2.]

Fig. 68, from p. 105 of the same volume, gives copies of sketches from
the rocks near Wellsville, Ohio, with remarks as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 68.--Petroglyphs, Wellsville, Ohio.]

    On the Ohio side of the river, 1 mile above Wellsville, there is
    a large group of sculptures on a flat sand rock of the coal series,
    scarred by floating ice and flood wood. They are only visible in
    low water, as they are only 2 or 3 feet above the extreme low stage
    of the river. * * * They are made in double outline and not by a
    single deep channel. The outlines are a series of dots made with a
    round-pointed instrument, seldom more than half an inch deep.

    The upper design is a rattlesnake with a fancy head and tail.
    Its length is 4-1/2 feet, a very clumsy affair, but intended for
    the common yellow rattlesnake of the West. The head of the snake,
    which occupies a space 6 inches square, is represented in the second
    character, which is reduced from a tracing size of nature. It brings
    to mind the horned snake of the Egyptians, which was an object of
    worship by them.

    The character at the left hand of the lower line may be an
    uncouth representation of a demon or evil spirit. The right-hand
    character is probably an otter carrying a vine or string in his

It is more probable that the lines from the mouth of the animal indicate
magic or supernatural power, of which many examples appear in this
paper, as also of the device in the region of the animal’s heart, from
which a line extends to the mouth. These characteristics connect the
glyph with the Ojibwa drawings on bark.


Many bowlders and rock escarpments at and near the Dalles of the
Columbia river, Oregon, are covered with incised or pecked glyphs. Some
of them are representations of human figures, but characters of other
forms predominate.

Mr. Albert S. Gatschet, of the Bureau of Ethnology, reports the
discovery by him, in 1878, of rock etchings 4 miles from Gaston, Oregon,
and 2-1/2 miles from the ancient settlement of the Tuálati (or Atfálati)
Indians. These etchings are about 100 feet above the valley bottom on
six rocks of soft sandstone, projecting from the grassy hillside of
Patten’s valley, opposite Darling Smith’s farm, and are surrounded with
timber on two sides.

This sandstone ledge extends for one-eighth of a mile horizontally along
the hillside, upon the projecting portions of which the inscriptions
are found. These rocks differ greatly in size, and slant forward so
that the inscribed portions are exposed to the frequent rains of that
region. The first rock, or that one nearest the mouth of the canyon,
consists of horizontal zigzag lines and a detached straight line, also
horizontal. On another side of the same rock is a series of oblique
parallel lines. Some of the most striking characters found upon other
exposed portions of the rock appear to be human figures, i. e., circles
to which radiating lines are attached, and bear indications of eyes and
mouth, long vertical lines running downward as if to represent the body,
and terminating in a furcation, as if intended for legs, toes, etc.
To the right of one figure is an arm and three-fingered hand (similar
to some of the Moki characters), bent downward from the elbow, the
humerus extending at a right angle from the body. Horizontal rows of
short vertical lines are placed below and between some of the figures,
probably numerical marks of some kind.

Other characters occur of various forms, the most striking being an
arrow pointing upward, with two horizontal lines drawn across the shaft,
and with vertical lines having short oblique lines attached thereto.

Mr. Gatschet remarks that the Tuálati tell a trivial story to explain
the origin of these pictures, the substance of which is as follows: The
Tillamuk warriors living on the Pacific coast were often at variance
with the several Kalapuya tribes. One day, passing through Patten’s
valley to invade the country of the Tuálati, they inquired of a woman
how far they were from their camp. The woman, desirous not to betray
her own countrymen, said they were yet at a distance of one (or two?)
days’ travel. This made them reflect over the intended invasion, and,
holding a council, they decided to withdraw. In commemoration of this
the inscription, with its numeration marks, was incised by the Tuálati.

Dr. Charles Rau received from Dr. James S. Denison, physician at the
Klamath agency, Lake county, Oregon, a communication relative to the
practice of painting figures on rocks in the territory of the Klamath
Indians in Oregon. There are in that neighborhood many rocks bearing
painted figures; but Dr. Rau’s (_b_) description refers specially to
a single rock, called Ktá-i Tupákshi (standing rock), situated about
50 yards north of Sprague river and 150 yards from the junction of
Sprague and Williamson rivers. It is about 10 feet high, 14 feet long,
and 12 or 14 feet deep. Fig. 69, drawn one-twelfth of the natural size,
illustrates the character of the paintings seen on the smooth southern
surface of this rock. The most frequent designs are single or concentric
circles, like Fig. 69, _a_, which consists of a dark red circle
surrounded by a white one, the center being formed by a round red spot.
Fig. 69, _b_, painted in dark red and white colors, exhibits a somewhat
Mahadeo-like shape; the straight appendage of the circle is provided on
each side with short projecting lines, alternately red and white, and
almost producing the effect of the so-called herring-bone ornament.

[Illustration: FIG. 69.--Petroglyphs in Lake county, Oregon.]

Fig. 69, _c_ and _d_, executed in dark red, are other designs seen on
the standing rock above mentioned. The colors, which, as the informant
thinks, are rubbed in with grease, appear quite distinct on the dark
surface of the rock.


Along the river courses in northern and western Pennsylvania many
rocks are found bearing traces of carvings, though, on account of
the character of the geological formations, some of them are nearly

In 1875 Mr. P. W. Shafer published in a historical map of Pennsylvania
several groups of pictographs. These had before appeared in a rude and
crowded form in the Transactions of the Anthropological Institute of New
York, 1871-’72, page 66, where the localities are mentioned as “Big”
and “Little” Indian rocks, respectively. One of these rocks is in the
Susquehanna river, below the dam at Safe harbor, and the drawing clearly
shows its Algonquian origin. The characters are nearly all either
animals or various forms of the human body. Birds, bird tracks, and
serpents also occur. A part of this pictograph is presented below, Fig.

Dr. W. J. Hoffman visited this place during the autumn of 1889 and made
sketches of the petroglyphs. The Algonquian type of delineation of
objects is manifest.

The rock known as “Big Indian rock” is in the Susquehanna river,
three-fourths of a mile below the mouth of Conestoga creek and about 400
yards from the eastern bank of the Susquehanna. It is one of many, but
larger than any other in the immediate vicinity, measuring about 60 feet
in length, 30 feet in width, and an average height of about 20 feet. The
upper surface is uneven, though smoothly worn, and upon this are pecked
the characters, shown in Fig. 70.

[Illustration: FIG. 70.--Big Indian rock, Pennsylvania.]

The characters, through exposure to the elements, are becoming rather
indistinct, though a few of them are pecked so deep that they still
present a depression of from one-fourth to one-half an inch in depth.
The most conspicuous objects consist of human figures, thunder birds,
and animals resembling the panther.

“Little Indian rock” is also situated in the Susquehanna river,
one-fourth of a mile from the eastern bank and a like distance below
the mouth of Conestoga creek. This rock, also of hard micaceous schist,
is not so large as the one above mentioned, but bears more interesting
characters, the most conspicuous being representations of the thunder
bird, serpents, deer and bird tracks, etc.

[Illustration: FIG. 71.--Little Indian rock, Pennsylvania.]

Prof. Persifor Frazer, jr., (_b_) remarks upon the gradual obliteration
of these pictographs, and adds:

    In addition to these causes of obliteration it is a pity to
    have to record another, which is the vandalism of some visitors to
    the locality who have thought it an excellent practical joke to
    cut spurious figures alongside of and sometimes over those made by
    the Indians. It is not unlikely, too, that the “fish pots” here,
    as in the case of the Bald Friar’s inscriptions, a few miles below
    the Maryland line, may have been constructed in great part out of
    fragments of rock containing these hieroglyphics, so that the parts
    of the connected story which they relate are separated and the
    record thus destroyed.

    Others have cut their initials or full names in these rocks,
    thus for an obscure record whose unriddling would award the
    antiquarian, substituting one, the correct deciphering of which
    leads to obscurity itself.

At McCalls ferry, on the Susquehanna river, in Lancaster county, and
on the right shore near the water’s edge, is a gray gneissoid flat
rock, bearing petroglyphs that have been pecked upon the surface. It
is irregular in shape, measuring about 3-1/2 by 4 feet in superficial
area, upon which is a circle covering nearly the entire surface, in the
middle of which is a smaller circle with a central point. On one side of
the inner space, between the outer and inner circles, are a number of
characters resembling human figures and others of unintelligible form.
The petroglyph is represented in Fig. 72.

[Illustration: FIG. 72.--Petroglyph at McCalls ferry, Pennsylvania.]

The resemblance between these drawings and those on Dighton rock is to
be noted, as well as that between both of them and some in Ohio. All
those localities are within the area formerly occupied by tribes of the
Algonquian stock.

Near Washington, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, on “Mill stream,”
one-fourth of a mile above its junction with the Susquehanna river, is
a large bowlder of gray sandstone (Fig. 73), the exposed portion of
which bears several deeply incised lines which appear to have served as
topographic indicators, as several others of like kind occur farther
downstream. The longest incision is about 28 inches in length, the
next one parallel to it, about 14 inches, while the third character is
V-shaped, one arm of which is about 10 inches in length and the other
12. The apex of this character points in a southeast direction.

[Illustration: FIG. 73.--Petroglyph near Washington, Pennsylvania.]

One-eighth of a mile farther down is another bowlder, also near the
water, which bears shorter lines than the preceding, but in general
pointing almost southeast and northwest.

The workmanship is similar to that at Conowingo, Maryland, at the site
of the Bald Friar rocks. The marks appear to have been chipped to a
considerable depth and then rubbed with sand and some hard substance so
as to present a smooth and even surface, removing all or nearly all of
the pecked surface.

Mr. P. W. Shafer, on the same historical map of Pennsylvania before
mentioned, presents also a group of pictures copied from the originals
on the Alleghany river, in Venango county, 5 miles south of Franklin,
on what is known as the Indian God rock. There are but six characters
furnished in his copy, three of which are variations of the human form,
while the others are undetermined.

This rock was visited in 1886 by Dr. Hoffman, who made a number of
drawings of objects represented, of which only those in Fig. 74 are here
reproduced. The face of the bowlder bearing the original petroglyphs has
been much disfigured by visitors who, in endeavoring to display their
skill by pecking upon the surface names, dates, and other designs, have
so injured it that it is difficult to trace the original characters.

[Illustration: FIG. 74.--Petroglyphs on “Indian God rock.”]

Fig. 74, _a_, represents, apparently, a panther. Above and beneath it
are markings resembling wolf tracks, while farther down is a turkey
track, and in the left-hand lower corner is a human form, such as is
usually found upon rocks in the areas represented by Shoshonian tribes.

The design at _b_ is much mutilated and eroded, and may originally have
been a character like _a_, the first of this series.

The characters at _c_ and _d_ are evidently human faces, the former
representing that of the sun, the latter being very much like a mask.
That at _e_ is found upon other Algonquian rocks, notably those called
“Bald Friar,” Maryland, in the Susquehanna river, immediately below the
state line of Pennsylvania.

The bowlder upon which these petroglyphs are engraved lies at the
water’s edge, and during each freshet the lower half of the surface
and sometimes even more is under water. At these times floating logs,
impelled according to the curve in the river immediately above, are
directed toward this rock, which may explain the worn surface and the
eroded condition of the sculpture.

Mr. J. Sutton Wall, of Monongahela city, describes in correspondence
a rock bearing pictographs opposite the town of Millsboro, in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania. This rock is about 390 feet above the level of the
Monongahela river, and belongs to the Waynesburg stratum of sandstone.
It is detached and rests somewhat below its true horizon. It is about 6
feet in thickness, and has vertical sides; only two figures are carved
on the sides, the principal inscriptions being on the top, and all are
now considerably worn. Mr. Wall mentions the outlines of animals and
some other figures formed by grooves or channels cut from an inch to
a mere trace in depth. No indications of tool marks were discovered.
The footprints are carved depressions. The character marked z, near
the lower left-hand corner, is a circular cavity 7 inches deep. A copy
of the inscription made in 1882 by Mr. Wall and Mr. William Arison is
reproduced as Fig. 75.

[Illustration: FIG. 75.--Petroglyph at Millsboro, Pennsylvania.]

Again the resemblance between these drawings, those on Dighton rock,
and some of those in Ohio, introduced above, is to be noted, and the
fact that all these localities are within the area formerly occupied by
tribes of the Algonquian stock.

Mr. Wall also contributes a group of glyphs on what is known as the
“Geneva Picture rock,” in the Monongahela valley, near Geneva. These are
footprints and other characters similar to those from Hamilton farm,
West Virginia, which are shown in Fig. 1088.

Mr. L. W. Brown, of Redstone, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, mentions a
rock near Layton, in that county, which measures about 15 by 25 feet in
area, upon the surface of which occur a number of petroglyphs consisting
of the human figure, animals, and footprints, some of which are
difficult to trace. From a rough sketch reproduced as Fig. 76, made by
Mr. Brown, these appear to be Algonquian in type.

[Illustration: FIG. 76.--Petroglyphs near Layton, Pennsylvania.]

Mr. Brown also submitted for examination two pieces of
chocolate-colored, smooth, fine grained slate, of hard texture, bearing
upon the several sides outlines of incised figures. The specimens were
found in Indian graves in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. The outline
of the incisions, although they are not strictly petroglyphs, are
reproduced in Figs. 77 and 78.

[Illustration: FIG. 77.--Glyphs in Fayette county, Pennsylvania.]

The designs are made in delicate lines, as if scratched with a sharply
pointed piece of quartz, or possibly metal. The character _d_ on Fig.
78 is the representation of a fish, which has been accentuated by
additional cutting since found. The characters resemble the Algonquian
type, many of them being frequently found among those tribes living
along the Great Lakes.

[Illustration: FIG. 78.--Glyphs in Fayette county, Pennsylvania.]


In C. C. Rafn’s Antiq. Amer. (_c_), is the following account:

    _Portsmouth rocks._--The rocks, for there are several of them,
    are situated on the western side of the island of Rhode Island, in
    the town of Portsmouth, on the shore, about 7 miles from Newport,
    taking the western road, and 4 miles from Bristol ferry. * * * They
    are partially, if not entirely, covered by water at high tide; and
    such was the state of the tide and the lateness of the hour when
    the location was ascertained, that I was unable to make a thorough
    examination of them. I saw sufficient, however, to satisfy me that
    they were formerly well covered with characters, although a large
    portion of them have become obliterated by the action of air and
    moisture, and probably still more by the attrition of masses of
    stone against them in violent storms and gales, and by the ruthless
    ravages of that most destructive power of all, the hand of man.

    _Tiverton rocks_ [op. cit. _d_].--Their situation may be thus
    known: by tracing along the east side of the map of Rhode Island
    until you strike Tiverton, and then following along to the southwest
    extremity of that town, the Indian name Puncoteast, also the English
    names Almy and High Hill, will be seen. The inscriptions are on
    masses of Graywacke. * * * We can only state they were occupied with
    some kind of characters.

These two inscriptions are pictured, op. cit., Table XIII.


Mr. T. H. Lewis (_c_), gives a description of Fig. 79 as follows:

    This bowlder is on a high terrace on the west side of the
    Minnesota river, 1-1/2 miles south of Browns valley, and is in
    Roberts county, South Dakota. It is oblong in form, being 3-1/2 feet
    in length, 2 feet in width, and is firmly imbedded in the ground.

    Of the characters _a_ and _b_ are undoubtedly tortoises; _c_
    is probably intended to represent a bird track; _d_ represents a
    man, and is similar to the one at Browns valley, Minnesota, [Fig.
    51, supra;] _e_ is a nondescript of unusual form; _f_ is apparently
    intended to represent a headless bird, in that respect greatly
    resembling certain earthen effigies in the regions to the southeast.

    The figures are about one-fourth of an inch in depth and very
    smooth, excepting along their edges, which roughness is caused by a
    slight unevenness of the surface of the bowlder.

The same authority, op. cit., describes Fig. 79, _g_.

[Illustration: FIG. 79.--Petroglyphs in Roberts county, South Dakota.]

    This bowlder, 4 miles northwest of Browns valley, Minnesota, is
    in Roberts county, South Dakota.

    The figures here represented are roughly pecked into the stone,
    and were never finished; for the grooves that form the pictograph
    on other bowlders in this region have been rubbed until they are
    perfectly smooth. The face of the bowlder upon which these occur is
    about 2 feet long and 1-1/2 feet in width.


Mr. John Haywood (_a_) gives the following account:

    About 2 miles below the road which crosses the Harpeth river
    from Nashville to Charlotte is a large mound 30 or 40 feet high.
    About 6 miles from it is a large rock, on the side of the river,
    with a perpendicular face of 70 or 80 feet altitude. On it, below
    the top some distance and on the side, are painted the sun and moon
    in yellow colors, which have not faded since the white people first
    knew it. The figure of the sun is 6 feet in diameter; that of the
    moon is of the old moon. The sun and moon are also painted on a high
    rock on the side of the Cumberland river, in a spot which several
    ladders placed upon each other could not reach, and which is also
    inaccessible except by ropes let down the summit of the rock to
    the place where the painting was performed. * * * The sun is also
    painted on a high rock on the side of the Cumberland river, 6 or 7
    miles below Clarksville; and it is said to be painted also at the
    junction of the Holston and French Broad rivers, above Knoxville,
    in East Tennessee; also on Duck river, below the bend called the
    Devil’s Elbow, on the west side of the river, on a bluff; and on a
    perpendicular flat rock facing the river, 20 feet below the top of
    the bluff and 60 above the water, out of which the rock rises, is
    the painted representation of the sun in red and yellow colors, 6
    feet in circumference, yellow on the upper side and a yellowish red
    on the lower. The colors are very fresh and unfaded. The rays, both
    yellow and red, are represented as darting from the center. It has
    been spoken of ever since the river was navigated and has been there
    from time immemorial. * * *

    The painting on Big Harpeth, before spoken of, is more than
    80 feet from the water and 30 or 40 below the summit. All these
    paintings are in unfading colors, and on parts of the rock
    inaccessible to animals of every description except the fowls of
    the air. The painting is neatly executed, and was performed at an
    immense hazard of the operator.

Mr. W. M. Clarke, in Smithsonian Report for 1877, page 275, says:

    On the bluffs of the Big Harpeth many pictures of Indians, deer,
    buffalo, and bows and arrows are to be seen. These pictures are
    rudely drawn, but the coloring is as perfect now as when first put

Haywood (_b_) says:

    At a gap of the mountains and near the head of Brasstown creek,
    which is toward the head of the Hiawassee, and among the highlands,
    is a large horizontal rock on which are engraved the tracks of deer,
    bears, horses, wolves, turkeys, and barefooted human beings of all
    sizes. Some of the horses’ tracks appear to have slipped forward.
    The direction of them is westward. Near them are signs of graves.

He also (_c_) gives the following account:

    On the south bank of the Holston, 5 miles above the mouth of
    French Broad, is a bluff of limestone opposite the mounds and a
    cave in it. The bluff is 100 feet in height. On it are painted in
    red colors, like those on the Paint rock, the sun and moon, a man,
    birds, fishes, etc. The paintings have in part faded within a few
    years. Tradition says these paintings were made by the Cherokees,
    who were accustomed in their journeys to rest at this place.
    Wherever on the rivers of Tennessee are perpendicular bluffs, on
    the sides, and especially if caves be near, are often found mounds
    near them, inclosed in intrenchments, with the sun and moon painted
    on the rocks, and charcoal and ashes in the smaller mounds. These
    tokens seem to be evincive of a connection between the mounds, the
    charcoal and ashes, the paintings and the caves.


Mr. J. R. Bartlett (_b_) gives the following account:

    About 30 miles from El Paso del Norte, in Texas, very near the
    boundary line of Mexico, there is an overhanging rock, extending
    for some distance, the whole surface of which is covered with rude
    paintings and sculptures, representing men, animals, birds, snakes,
    and fantastic figures. The colors used are black, red, white, and
    a brownish yellow. The sculptures are mere peckings with a sharp
    instrument just below the surface of the rock. The accompanying
    engravings [reproduced in Fig. 80] show the character of the figures
    and the taste of the designers. Hundreds of similar ones are painted
    on the rocks at this place. Some of them, evidently of great age,
    had been partly defaced to make room for more recent devices.

    The overhanging rock, beneath which we encamped, seemed to have
    been a favorite place of resort for the Indians, as it is at the
    present day for all passing travelers. The recess formed by this
    rock is about 15 feet in length by 10 in width. Its entire surface
    is covered with paintings, one laid on over the other, so that it is
    difficult to make out those which belong to the aborigines. I copied
    a portion of these figures, about which there can be no doubt as to
    the origin. They represent Indians with shields and bows, painted
    with a brownish earth; horses, with their riders; uncouth looking
    animals, and a large rattlesnake. Similar devices cover the rock in
    every part, but are much defaced. Near this overhanging rock is the
    largest and finest tank or pool of water to be found about here. It
    is only reached by clambering on the hands and knees 15 or 20 feet
    up a steep rock. Over it projects a gigantic bowlder, which, resting
    on or wedged between other rocks, leaves a space of about 4 feet
    above the surface of the water. On the underside of this bowlder are
    fantastic designs in red paint, which could only have been made by
    persons lying on their backs in this cool and sheltered spot.

[Illustration: FIG. 80.--Petroglyphs near El Paso, Texas.]

Mr. Charles Hallock, of Washington, District of Columbia, gives
information that there is a locality termed the Painted caves, “on
the Rio Grande, near Devil’s river, in Crockett county, Texas, on the
line of the ‘Sunset’ railroad. Here the rock is gray limestone and the
petroglyphs are for the most part sculptured. They are in great variety,
from a manifest antiquity to the most recent date; for these cliff
caverns have been from time immemorial the refuge and resort of all
sorts of wayfarers, marauders, and adventurers, who have painted, cut,
and carved in every geometrical and grotesque form imaginable.”


Carvings and paintings on rocks are found in such numbers in the
southern interior of Utah that a locality there has been named
Pictograph rocks.

Mr. G. K. Gilbert, of the U. S. Geological Survey, collected in 1875 a
number of copies of inscriptions in Temple creek canyon, southeastern
Utah, and noted their finding as follows:

    The drawings were found only on the northeast wall of the
    canyon, where it cuts the Vermillion cliff sandstone. The chief
    parts are etched, apparently by pounding with a sharp point. The
    outline of a figure is usually more deeply cut than the body. Other
    marks are produced by rubbing or scraping, and still others by
    laying on colors. Some, not all, of the colors are accompanied by a
    rubbed appearance, as though the material had been a dry chalk.

    I could discover no tools at the foot of the wall, only
    fragments of pottery, flints, and a metate.

    Several fallen blocks of sandstone have rubbed depressions
    that may have been ground out in the sharpening of tools. There
    have been many dates of inscriptions, and each new generation has
    unscrupulously run its lines over the pictures already made. Upon
    the best protected surfaces, as well as the most exposed, there are
    drawings dimmed beyond restoration and others distinct. The period
    during which the work accumulated was longer by far than the time
    which has passed since the last. Some fallen blocks cover etchings
    on the wall, and are themselves etched.

    Colors are preserved only where there is almost complete
    shelter from rain. In two places the holes worn in the rock by
    swaying branches impinge on etchings, but the trees themselves have
    disappeared. Some etchings are left high and dry by a diminishing
    talus (15 to 20 feet), but I saw none partly buried by an increasing
    talus (except in the case of the fallen block already mentioned).

    The painted circles are exceedingly accurate, and it seems
    incredible that they were made without the use of a radius.

In the collection contributed by Mr. Gilbert there are at least fifteen
series or groups of figures, most of which consist of the human form
(from the simplest to the most complex style of drawing), animals,
either singly or in long files--as if driven--bird tracks, human feet
and hands, etc. There are also circles, parallel lines, and waving or
undulating lines, spots, and other characters.

Mr. Gilbert also reports the discovery, in 1883, of a great number of
pictographs, chiefly in color, though some are only incised, in a canyon
of the Book cliff containing Thompson’s spring, about 4 miles north of
Thompson’s station, on the Denver and Colorado Railroad, Utah. He has
also furnished a collection of drawings of pictographs at Black rock
spring, on Beaver creek, north of Milford, Utah. A number of fallen
blocks of basalt at a low escarpment are filled with etchings upon the
vertical faces. The characters generally are of an “unintelligible”
nature, though the human figure is drawn in complex forms. Footprints
and circles abound.

Mr. I. C. Russell, of the U. S. Geological Survey, furnished rude
drawings of pictographs at Black rock spring, Utah (see Fig. 1093). Mr.
Gilbert Thompson also discovered pictographs at Fool creek canyon, Utah
(see Fig. 1094).

Mr. Vernon Bailey, in a letter dated January 18, 1889, reports that in
the vicinity of St. George “all along the sandstone cliffs are strange
figures like hieroglyphics and pictures of animals cut in the rocks, but
now often worn dim.”

Mr. George Pope, of Provo city, Utah county, in a letter, kindly gives
an account of an inscription on a rock in a canyon at the mouth of Provo
river, about 7 miles from the city named. There is no paint seen, the
inscription being cut. A human hand is conspicuous, being cut (probably
pecked) to a depth of at least one-third of an inch, and so with
representations of animals.

Dr. Rau (_c_) gives the design of a portion of a group carved on a cliff
in the San Pete valley at the city of Manti, Utah, now reproduced as
Fig. 81. He says:

[Illustration: FIG. 81.--Petroglyphs near Manti, Utah.]

    A line drawn horizontally through the middle of the parallel
    lines connecting the concentric circles would divide the figure into
    two halves, each bearing a close resemblance to Prof. Simpson’s
    fifth type of cup stones. A copy of the group in question was made
    and published by Lieut. J. W. Gunnison, in The Mormons or Latter-Day
    Saints, etc., Philadelphia, 1853, p. 63. The illustration is taken
    from Bancroft’s Native Races (Vol. IV, p. 717). In accordance with
    Lieut. Gunnison’s design, the position of the grotesque human figure
    is changed to the left of the concentric circle. He also says that
    the Mormon leaders made this aboriginal inscription subservient
    to their religion by giving the following translation of it: “I,
    Mahanti, the second king of the Lamanites, in five valleys of the
    mountains, make this record in the twelve hundredth year since we
    came out of Jerusalem. And I have three sons gone to the south
    country to live by hunting antelope and deer.” * * * Schoolcraft
    attempts (Vol. III, p. 494) something like an interpretation which
    appears to me fanciful and unsatisfactory.

The following extract is made from The Shinumos by F. S. Dellenbaugh

    Some of the least disintegrated ruins are situated on the
    Colorado river, only a short distance below the mouth of the Dirty
    Devil river. * * * A level shelf varying from about 6 to 10 feet
    in width ran along for 150 feet or more. In most places the rocks
    above protruded as far as the edge of the lower rocks, sometimes
    farther, thus leaving a sort of gallery, generally 7 or 8 feet high.
    Walls that extended to the roof had been built along the outer edge
    of the natural floor, and the inclosed space being subdivided by
    stone partitions to suit the convenience of the builders, the whole
    formed a series of rather comfortable rooms or houses. The back
    walls of the houses--the natural rock--had on them many groups of
    hieroglyphics, and farther along where there was no roof rock at all
    the vertical faces had been inscribed with seeming great care. Some
    of the sheltered groups were painted in various dull colors, but
    most of them were chiseled.

    The figure [82] gives a chiseled group. It is easy to see that
    these are signs of no low order. Considering their great age, their
    exposure, many of the delicate touches must be obliterated.

    [Illustration: FIG. 82.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

    The inscriptions on this ruin might possibly be the history of
    the defense of the crossing, the stationing of the garrison, the
    death of officers of rank, etc.

The following sketches of petroglyphs, with the references attached, are
taken from the sketch book of Mr. F. S. Dellenbaugh, before referred to.

The petroglyph, of which Fig. 83 is a copy, appears on a horizontal rock
5 miles below the mouth of the Dirty Devil river, Utah.

[Illustration: FIG. 83.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

The characters in Fig. 84 from rocks near the preceding group are
painted red, with the imprint of a hand (on the larger figure) in white.

[Illustration: FIG. 84.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

The petroglyphs reproduced in Fig. 85 are copied from the vertical walls
near the two groups immediately before mentioned.

[Illustration: FIG. 85.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

The characters presented in Fig. 86 are copied from a vertical surface
10 by 16 feet in area and halfway up the ascent to the geodetic point
west of “Windsor castle,” Pipe Spring. The human forms are similar in
general design to the greater number of such representations made by the
Shinumo Indians.

[Illustration: FIG. 86.--Petroglyphs at Pipe Spring, Utah.]

The human forms represented in Fig. 87 are from the vicinity of
Colorado river, 5 miles below the mouth of the Dirty Devil river. Mr.
Dellenbaugh notes that the darkest portions of the figures indicate a
chiseled surface.

[Illustration: FIG. 87.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

Fig. 88 represents a number of petroglyphs obtained at the same locality
as the one last mentioned. The greater number of the characters appear
to represent snakes.

[Illustration: FIG. 88.--Petroglyphs on Colorado river, Utah.]

Fig. 89 shows characters from the Shinumo canyon, which, according to
the draftsman’s general notes, are painted.

[Illustration: FIG. 89.--Petroglyphs in Shinumo canyon, Utah.]


In 1886 Dr. Hoffman visited a local field 9 miles southwest of Tazewell,
Tazewell county, Virginia, which can be designated as follows: The range
of hills bounding the western side of the valley presents at various
points low cliffs and exposures of Silurian sandstone. About 4 miles
below the village, known as Knob post-office, there is a narrow ravine
leading up toward a depression in the range, forming a pass to the
valley beyond, near the summit of which is a large irregular exposure
of rock facing west-southwest, upon the eastern extremity of which are
a number of pictographs, many of which are still in good preservation.
Fig. 90 is a representation. The westernmost object, i. e., the one on
the extreme left, appears to be a circle about 16 inches in diameter,
from the outer side of which are short radiating lines giving the whole
the appearance of a sun. Beneath and to the right of this is the outline
of an animal resembling a doe.

[Illustration: FIG. 90.--Petroglyphs in Tazewell county, Virginia.]

Other figures, chiefly human, follow in close succession to the eastern
edge of the vertical face of the rock, nearly all of which present the
arms in various attitudes, i. e., extended or raised as in extreme
surprise or adoration. Concentric rings appear at one point, while a
thunder-bird is shown not far away. About 12 feet east of this place are
several figures resembling the thunder-bird.

All of the characters, with one exception, are drawn in heavy or solid
lines of dark red paint, presumably a ferruginous coloring material
prepared in the neighborhood, which abounds in iron compounds. The
exception is one object which appears to have been black, but is now so
faded or eroded as to seem dark gray.

The following account of the Tazewell county, Virginia, pictographs is
taken from Coale’s Life, etc., of Waters: (_a_)

    In August, 1871, the writer went to visit Tazewell county by
    way of the saltworks. Upon this place are found those strangely
    painted rocks which have been a wonder and a mystery to all who have
    seen them. The grandfather of Gen. Bowen settled the cove in 1766,
    one hundred and ten years ago, and the paintings were there then,
    and as brilliant to-day as they were when first seen by a white
    man. They consist of horses, elk, deer, wolves, bows and arrows,
    eagles, Indians, and various other devices. The mountain upon which
    these rocks are based is about 1,000 feet high, and they lie in a
    horizontal line about halfway up and are perhaps 75 feet broad upon
    their perpendicular face.

    When it is remembered that the rock is hard, with a smooth white
    surface, incapable of absorbing paint, it is a mystery how the
    coloring has remained undimmed under the peltings of the elements
    for how much longer than a hundred years no one can tell. This paint
    is found near the rocks, and Gen. Bowen informed the writers that
    his grandmother used it for dyeing linsey, and it was a fadeless

    As there was a battle fought on a neighboring mountain, between
    1740 and 1750, between the Cherokees and Shawnees for the possession
    of a buffalo lick, the remains of the rude fortifications being
    still visible, it is supposed the paintings were hieroglyphics
    conveying such intelligence to the red man as we now communicate to
    each other through newspapers.

    It was a perilous adventure to stand upon a narrow, inclined
    ledge without a shrub or a root to hold to, with from 50 to 75 feet
    of sheer perpendicular descent below to a bed of jagged bowlders
    and the home of innumerable rattlesnakes, but I didn’t make it. I
    crawled far enough along that narrow slanting ledge with my fingers
    inserted in the crevices of the rocks to see most of the paintings,
    and then “coon’d” it back with equal care and caution.

Five miles east of the last-noted locality and 7 west of Tazewell, high
up against a vertical cliff of rock, is visible a lozenge-shaped group
of red and black squares, known in the locality as the “Handkerchief
rock,” because the general appearance of the colored markings suggests
the idea of an immense bandana handkerchief spread out. The pictograph
is on the same range of hills as the preceding, but neither is visible
from any place near the other. The objects can not be viewed upon
Handkerchief rock excepting from a point opposite to it and across the
valley, as the locality is so overgrown with large trees as to obscure
it from any position immediately beneath. The lozenge or diamond-shaped
figure appears to cover an area about 3 feet in diameter.


Capt. Charles Bendire, U. S. Army, in a letter dated Fort Walla-walla,
Washington, May 18, 1881, mentions a discovery made by Col. Henry C.
Merriam, then lieutenant-colonel Second United States Infantry, as thus

    While encamped at the lower end of Lake Chelan, lat. 48° N.,
    he made a trip to the upper end of said lake, where he found a
    perpendicular cliff of granite with a perfectly smooth surface,
    from 600 to 1,000 feet high, rising out of the lake. On the cliff he
    found Indian picture-writings, painted evidently at widely different
    periods, but evidently quite old. The oldest was from 25 to 30 feet
    above the present water level, and could at the time they were
    executed only be reached by canoe. The paintings are figures, black
    and red in color, and represent Indians with bows and arrows, elk,
    deer, bear, beaver, and fish, and are from 1 foot to 18 inches in
    size. There are either four or five rows of these figures, quite a
    number in each row. The Indians inhabiting this region know nothing
    of the origin of these pictures, and say that none of their people
    for the past four generations knew anything about them.

Since the preceding letter was written a notice of the same rock has
been published, together with an illustration, by Mr. Alfred Downing, of
Seattle, Washington, in “The Northwest,” VII, No. 10, October, 1889, pp.
3, 4. The description, condensed, is as follows:

    In that part of Washington territory until recent years known as
    the Moses Indian reservation lies the famous Lake Chelan, 70 miles
    in length with an average width of 2 miles.

    About half a mile from its head, on the western shore and rising
    from the water, as an abrupt and precipitous wall of granite, stands
    “Pictured rock.”

    The most remarkable feature of the Chelan picture is that the
    figures representing Indians, bear, deer, birds, etc., are painted
    upon the surface of the smooth granite, nearly horizontal, but about
    17 feet above the lake; the upper portion of the picture being about
    2 feet higher. The figures depicted are 5 to 10 inches long.

    The difference between high and low stage of water at any
    period during the year does not exceed 4 feet, and this high-water
    mark being well defined along the shore, it becomes self-evident
    that these signs were placed there ages ago, when the water was
    17 feet higher than it is now. The granite bluff or walls in this
    instance are smooth, being weather and water worn, and afford no
    hold for hand or foot either from above or below, and from careful
    observation it would appear to be a physical impossibility for
    either a white or red man to show his artistic skill on those rocks
    unless at the ancient stage of water and with the aid of a canoe or
    a “dugout.”

    The paint or color used was black and red, the latter resembling
    venetian. How wonderfully the color has stood the test in the face
    of the storms to which the lake is subject is apparent; only in
    one or two instances does it to-day show any signs of fading or
    weather-wearing. The signs impressed me as intending to convey the
    idea of the prowess of an Indian chief in the hunt, or as being a
    page in the history of a tribe, the small perpendicular strokes seen
    in the lower portion indicating probably the number of bear, deer,
    or other animals slain.

When referring, in Pacific Railroad Report, vol. I, page 411, to a
locality on the Columbia river in Washington, between Yakima and
Pisquouse counties, Mr. George Gibbs mentioned pecked and colored
petroglyphs which he found there as follows:

    It was a perpendicular rock, on the face of which were carved
    sundry figures, most of them intended for men. They were slightly
    sunk into the sandstone and colored, some black, others red, and
    traces of paint remained more or less distinctly on all of them.
    These also, according to their [the Indians’] report, were the work
    of the ancient race; but from the soft nature of the rock, and the
    freshness of some of the paint, they were probably not of extreme

For another example of petroglyphs from Washington see Fig. 679.


Mr. John Haywood (_d_) gives the following account:

    In the county of Kenhaway [Kanawha] about 4 miles below the
    Burning spring, and near the mouth of Campbell’s creek, in the state
    of Virginia, is a rock of great size, on which, in ancient times,
    the natives engraved many representations. There is the figure of
    almost every indigenous animal--the buffalo, the bear, the deer,
    the fox, the hare, and other quadrupeds of various kinds; fish of
    the various productions of the western waters, fowls of different
    descriptions, infants scalped, scalps alone, and men as large as
    life. The rock is in the river Kenhaway, near its northern shore,
    accessible only at low water unless by the aid of water craft.

The following notice of the same locality, but perhaps not of the same
rock, was published by James Madison (_a_), bishop of Virginia, in 1804:

    I cannot conclude this letter without mentioning another curious
    specimen of Indian labour, and of their progress in one of the arts.
    This specimen is found within 4 miles of the place whose latitude
    I endeavoured to take, and within 2 of what are improperly called
    Burning springs, upon a rock of hard freestone, which sloping to the
    south, touching the margin of the river, presents a flat surface of
    above 12 feet in length and 9 in breadth, with a plane side to the
    east of 8 or 9 feet in thickness.

    Upon the upper surface of this rock, and also upon the side, we
    see the outlines of several figures, cut without relief, except in
    one instance, and somewhat larger than the life. The depth of the
    outline may be half an inch; its width three-quarters, nearly, in
    some places. In one line ascending from the part of the rock nearest
    the river there is a tortoise; a spread eagle, executed with great
    expression, particularly the head, to which is given a shallow
    relief, and a child, the outline of which is very well drawn. In
    a parallel line there are other figures, but among them that of a
    woman only can be traced. These are very indistinct. Upon the side
    of the rock there are two awkward figures which particularly caught
    my attention. One is that of a man with his arms uplifted, and hands
    spread out as if engaged in prayer. His head is made to terminate
    in a point, or rather, he has the appearance of something upon the
    head of a triangular or conical form; near to him is another similar
    figure suspended by a cord fastened to his heels. I recollected the
    story which Father Hennepin relates of one of the missionaries from
    Canada who was treated in a somewhat similar manner, but whether
    this piece of seemingly historical sculpture has reference to
    such an event can be only a matter of conjecture. A turkey, badly
    executed, with a few other figures may also be seen. The labour and
    the perseverance requisite to cut those rude figures in a rock so
    hard that steel appeared to make but little impression upon it, must
    have been great; much more so than making of enclosures in a loose
    and fertile soil.

Another petroglyph, a copy of which is presented in Fig. 1088, is thus
described in a letter from Morgantown, West Virginia:

    The famous pictured rocks on the Evansville pike, about 4 miles
    from this place, have been a source of wonder and speculation for
    more than a century, and have attracted much attention among the
    learned men of this country and Europe. The cliff upon which these
    drawings exist is of considerable size and within a short distance
    of the highway above mentioned. The rock is a white sandstone,
    which wears little from exposure to the weather, and upon its
    smooth surface are delineated the outlines of at least fifty [?]
    species of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, embracing in the
    number panthers, deer, buffalo, otters, beavers, wildcats, foxes,
    wolves, raccoons, opossums, bears, elk, crows, eagles, turkeys,
    eels, various sorts of fish, large and small, snakes, etc. In the
    midst of this silent menagerie of specimens of the animal kingdom is
    the full length outline of a female form, beautiful and perfect in
    every respect. Interspersed among the drawings of animals, etc., are
    imitations of the footprints of each sort, the whole space occupied
    being 150 feet long by 50 feet wide. To what race the artist
    belonged or what his purpose was in making these rude portraits must
    ever remain a mystery, but the work was evidently done ages ago.

The late P. W. Norris, of the Bureau of Ethnology, reported that he
found petroglyphs in many localities along the Kanawha river, West
Virginia. Engravings are numerous upon smooth rocks, covered during high
water, at the prominent fords in the river, as well as in the niches
or long shallow caves high in the rocky cliffs of this region. Rude
representations of men, animals, and some characters deemed symbolic
were found, but none were observed superior to, or essentially differing
from those of modern Indians.

On the rocky walls of Little Coal river, near the mouth of Big Horse
creek, are cliffs which display many carvings. One of the rocks upon
which a mass of characters appear, is 8 feet in length and 5 feet in

About 2 miles above Mount Pleasant, Mason county, on the north side of
the Kanawha river, are numbers of characters, apparently totemic. These
are at the foot of the hills flanking the river.

On the cliffs near the mouth of the Kanawha river, opposite Mount
Carbon, Nicholas county, are numerous pictographs. These appear to be
cut into the sandstone rock.

Pictographs were lately seen at various points on the banks of
the Kanawha river, both above and below Charleston, but since the
construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad some of the rocks
bearing them have been destroyed. About 6 miles above Charleston there
was formerly a rock lying near its water’s edge upon which, it is
reported by old residents, were depicted the outline of a bear, turkey
tracks, and other markings. Tradition told that this was a boat or canoe
landing, used by the Indians in their travels when proceeding southward.
The tribe was not designated. From an examination of the locality it
was learned that this rock had been broken and used in the construction
of buildings. It is said that a trail passing there led southward, and
at a point 10 miles below the Kanawha river stood several large trees
upon which were marks of red ocher or some similar pigment, at which
point the trail spread or branched out in two directions, one leading
southward into Virginia, the other southwest toward Kentucky.

On a low escarpment of sandstone facing Little Coal river, 6 or 8
miles above its confluence with Coal river and about 18 miles south
of the Kanawha river, are depicted the outlines of animals, such as
the deer, panther (?), etc., and circles, delineated in dark red, but
rather faint from disintegration of the surface. The characters are
similar in general appearance to those in Tazewell county, Virginia,
and appear as if they might have been made by the same tribe. There are
no peculiarities in the topography of the surrounding region that would
suggest the idea of their having served as topographic indications, but
they rather appear to be a record of a hunting party, and to designate
the kinds of game abounding in the region.

Mr. L. V. McWhorter reports pictographs in a cave near Berlin, Lewis
county, West Virginia. No details are given.

A petroglyph found in a rock shelter in West Virginia is also presented
in Pl. XXXI.


A large number of glyphs are incised on the face of a rock near Odanah,
now a village of the Ojibwa Indians, 12 miles northeast from Ashland,
on the south shore of lake Superior, near its western extremity. The
characters were easily cut on the soft stone, so were also easily
worn by the weather, and in 1887 were nearly indistinguishable. Many
of them appeared to be figures of birds. An old Ojibwa Indian in the
vicinity told the present writer that the site of the rock was formerly
a well-known halting place and rendezvous, and that on the arrival of a
party, or even of a single individual, the appropriate totemic mark or
marks were cut on the rock, much as white men register their names at a

[Illustration: FIG. 91.--Petroglyphs in Brown’s cave, Wisconsin.]

The Pictured cave of La Crosse valley, called Brown’s cave, is described
by Rev. Edward Brown (_a_) as follows:

    This curious cavern is situated in the town of Barre, 4 miles
    from West Salem and 8 miles from La Crosse. * * *

    Before the landslide it was an open shelter cavern, 15 feet
    wide at the opening and 7 feet at the back end; greatest width, 16
    feet; average, 13; length, 30 feet; height, 13 feet, and depth of
    excavation after clearing out the sand of the landslide, 5 feet. The
    pictures are mostly of the rudest kind, but differing in degree of
    skill. Except several bisons, a lynx, rabbit, otter, badger, elk,
    and heron, it is perhaps impossible to determine with certainty what
    were intended or whether they represented large or small animals, no
    regard being had to their relative sizes.

    [Examples of the figures are here presented as Fig. 91.]

    Perhaps _a_ indicates a bison or buffalo, and is the best
    executed picture of the collection. Its size is 19 inches long by
    15-1/2 inches from tip of the horns to the feet.

    _b_ represents a hunter, with a boy behind him, in the act
    of shooting an animal with his bow and arrow weapon. The whole
    representation is 25 inches long; the animal from tip of tail to
    end of horn or proboscis 12 inches, and from top of head to feet 7
    inches; the hunter 11 inches high, the boy 4-1/2.

    _c_ represents a wounded animal, with the arrow or weapon near
    the wound. This figure is 21-3/4 inches from the lower extremity of
    the nose to the tip of the tail, 8-3/4 inches from fore shoulders to
    front feet, and 8 inches from the rump to the hind feet. The weapon
    is 4-1/2 inches long by 5 inches broad from the tip of one prong or
    barb to that of the other.

    _d_ represents a chief with eight plumes and a war club, 11
    inches from top of head to the lower extremity, and 6-3/4 inches
    from the tip of the upper finger to the end of the opposite arm; the
    war club 6-1/2 inches long.

Dr. Hoffman made a visit to this cave in August, 1888, to compare the
pictographic characters with others of apparently similar outline and
of known signification. He found but a limited number of the figures
distinct, and these only in part, owing to the rapid disintegration of
the sandstone upon which they were drawn. Many names and inscriptions
had been incised in the soft surface by visitors, who also, by means of
the smoke of candles, added grotesque and meaningless figures over and
between the original paintings, so as to seriously injure the latter.

Mr. T. H. Lewis (_d_) describes the petroglyphs, a part of which is
reproduced in Fig. 92, as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 92.--Petroglyphs at Trempealeau, Wisconsin.]

    Last November my attention was called to some rock sculptures
    located about 2-1/2 miles northwest from Trempealeau, Wisconsin.
    There is at the point in question an exposed ledge of the Potsdam
    sandstone extending nearly one-eighth of a mile along the east side
    of the lower mouth of the Trempealeau river, now known as the bay.
    Near its north end there is a projection extending out about 7 feet
    from the top of the ledge and overhanging the base about 10 feet.
    The base of the ledge is 40 feet back from the shore, and the top of
    the cliff at this point is 30 feet above the water. On the face of
    the projection, and near the top, are the sculpture figures referred

    The characters designated _a_ _a_ are two so-called canoes,
    somewhat crescent-shaped, but with some variation in outline; _b_
    has the same form, but the additional upright portion overlaps it;
    _c_ and _d_ are also of the same form as _a_, but _c_ is cut in the
    bottom of _d_; _e_ probably represents a fort, and its length is
    18-1/2 inches; _f_ is a nondescript, and it partly overlaps _d_;
    _g_ is a nondescript four-legged animal, its length in a straight
    line from the end of the nose to the tip of the tail being 10-1/2
    inches; _h_ may be intended to represent a foot, but possibly it may
    be a hand; it is 7-1/2 inches in length; _i_ is an outspread hand, a
    little over 13 inches long; _j_ undoubtedly represents a foot and is
    4-1/2 inches long; _k_ _k_ are of the same class as _a_.

The figures are not mere outlines, but intaglio, varying in depth from
a quarter of an inch to fully 1 inch. Although the surface of the rock
is rough the intaglios were rubbed perfectly smooth after they had been
engraved by pecking or cutting.


Several pictographs in Wyoming are described by Capt. William A. Jones,
U. S. Army (_a_). They are reproduced here as Figs. 93, 94, and 95.

Fig. 93, found in the Wind river valley, Wyoming, was interpreted by
members of a Shoshoni and Banak delegation to Washington in 1880 as “an
Indian killed another.” The latter is very roughly delineated in the
horizontal figure, but is also represented by the line under the hand of
the upright figure, meaning the same dead person. At the right is the
scalp taken and the two feathers showing the dead warrior’s rank. The
arm nearest the prostrate foe shows the gesture for killed; concept, to
put down, flat.

[Illustration: FIG. 93.--Petroglyph in Wind river valley, Wyoming.]

The same gesture appears in Fig. 94, from the same authority and
locality. The scalp is here held forth, and the numeral (1) is indicated
by the lowest stroke.

[Illustration: FIG. 94.--Petroglyph in Wind river valley, Wyoming.]

Fig. 95, from the same locality and authority, was also interpreted
by the Shoshoni and Banak. It appears from their description that a
Blackfoot had attacked the habitation of some of his own people. The
right-hand upper figure represents his horse, with the lance suspended
from the side. The lower figure illustrates the log house built against
a stream. The dots are the prints of the horse’s hoofs, while the two
lines running outward from the upper inclosure show that two thrusts
of the lance were made over the wall of the house, thus killing the
occupant and securing two bows and five arrows, as represented in the
left-hand group. The right-hand figure of that group shows the hand
raised in the attitude of making the gesture for kill.

[Illustration: FIG. 95.--Petroglyphs in Wind river valley, Wyoming.]

The Blackfeet, according to the interpreters, were the only Indians in
the locality mentioned who constructed log houses, and therefore the
drawing becomes additionally interesting, as an attempt appears to have
been made to illustrate the crossing of the logs at the corners, the
gesture for which (log house) is as follows:

Both hands are held edgewise before the body, palms facing, spread the
fingers, and place those of one hand into the spaces between those of
the other, so that the tips of each protrude about an inch beyond.

Another and more important petroglyph was discovered on Little
Popo-Agie, northwestern Wyoming, by members of Capt. Jones’s party in
1873. The glyphs are upon a nearly vertical wall of the yellow sandstone
in the rear of Murphy’s ranch, and appear to be of some antiquity.
Further remarks, with specimens of the characters, are presented below
in this paper. (See Fig. 1091.)

Dr. William H. Corbusier, U. S. Army, in a letter to the writer,
mentions the discovery of drawings on a sandstone rock near the
headwaters of Sage creek, in the vicinity of Fort Washakie, Wyoming, and
gives a copy which is presented as Fig. 96. Dr. Corbusier remarks that
neither the Shoshoni nor the Arapaho Indians know who made the drawings.
The two chief figures appear to be those of the human form, with the
hands and arms partly uplifted the whole being inclosed above and on
either side by an irregular line.

[Illustration: FIG. 96.--Petroglyph near Sage creek, Wyoming.]

The method of grouping, together with various accompanying appendages,
as irregular lines, spirals, etc., observed in Dr. Corbusier’s drawing,
show great similarity to the Algonquian type, and resemble some
engravings found near the Wind river mountains, which were the work
of Blackfeet (Satsika) Indians, who, in comparatively recent times,
occupied portions of the country in question, and probably also sketched
the designs near Fort Washakie.

Fig. 97 is also reported from the same locality.

[Illustration: FIG. 97.--Petroglyph near Sage creek, Wyoming.]



No adequate attention can be given in the present paper to the
distribution and description of the petroglyphs of Mexico. In fact
very little accurate information is accessible regarding them. The
distinguished explorer, Mr. A. Bandelier, in a conversation mentioned
that he had sketched but not published two petroglyphs in Sonora. One,
very large and interesting, was at Cara Pintada, 3 miles southwest
of Huassavas, and a smaller one was at Las Flechas, 1 mile west of
Huassavas. He also sketched one in Chihuahua on the trail from Casas
Grandes to the Cerro de Montezuma. From the accounts of persons met in
his Mexican travels he gave it as his opinion that a large number of
petroglyphs still remained in the region of the Sierra Madre.

The following mention of the paintings of the ancient inhabitants of
Lower California is translated from an anonymous account, in Documentos
para la Historia de Mexico (_a_), purporting to have been written in

    Throughout civilized California, from south to north, and
    especially in the caves and smooth rocks, there remain various rude
    paintings. Notwithstanding their disproportion and lack of art, the
    representations of men, fish, bows and arrows, can be distinguished
    and with them different kind of strokes, something like characters.
    The colors of these paintings are of four kinds; yellow, a reddish
    color, green and black. The greater part of them are painted in high
    places, and from this it is inferred by some that the old tradition
    is true, that there were giants among the ancient Californians. Be
    this as it may, in the Mission of Santiago, which is at the south,
    was discovered on a smooth rock of great height, a row of hands
    stamped in red. On the high cliffs facing the shore are seen fish
    painted in various shapes and sizes, bows, arrows, and some unknown
    characters. In other parts are Indians armed with bows and arrows,
    and various kinds of insects, snakes, and mice, with lines and
    characters of other forms. On a flat rock about 2 yards in length
    were stamped insignia or escutcheons of rank and inscriptions of
    various characters.

    Towards Purmo, about 30 leagues beyond the Mission of Santiago
    del Sur, is a bluff 8 yards in height and on the center of it is
    seen an inscription which resembles Gothic letters interspersed with
    Hebrew and Chaldean characters [?].

    Though the Californian Indians have often been asked concerning
    the significance of the figures, lines, and characters, no
    satisfactory answer has been obtained. The most that has been
    established by their information is that the paintings were
    their predecessors, and that they are absolutely ignorant of the
    signification of them. It is evident that the paintings and drawings
    of the Californians are significant symbols and landmarks by which
    they intended to leave to posterity the memory, either of their
    establishment in this country, or of certain wars or political or
    natural triumphs. These pictures are not like those of the Mexicans,
    but might have the same purpose.

Several petroglyphs in Sonora are described and illustrated infra in
Chapter XX on Special Comparisons. The following copies of petroglyphs
are presented here as specimens and are markedly different from those in
the northwestern states of Mexico, which represent the Aztec culture.

The description of Fig. 98 is extracted from Viages de Guillelmo Dupaix

[Illustration: FIG. 98.--Petroglyphs in Mexico.]

    Going from the town of Tlalmanalco to that of Mecamecan, at a
    distance of a league to the east of the latter and in the confines
    of the estate of Señor Don José Tepatolco, is an isolated rock of
    granitic stone artificially cut into a conical form with a series
    of six steps cut in the solid rock itself on the eastern side, the
    summit forming a platform or horizontal section suitable for the
    purpose of observing the stars at all points of the compass. It is,
    therefore, most evident that this ancient monument or observatory
    was employed solely for astronomical observations, and it is further
    proved by various hieroglyphs cut in the south side of the cone;
    but the most interesting feature of this side is the figure of
    a man standing upright and in profile directing his gaze to the
    east with the arms raised, holding in the hands a tube or species
    of optical instrument. Beneath his feet is seen a carved frieze
    with six compartments or squares and other symbols of a celestial
    nature are engraved on their surfaces, evidently the product of
    observation and calculation. Some of them have connection with those
    found symmetrically arranged in circles on the ancient Mexican
    calendar, exposed in this capital to general admiration. In front of
    the observer is a rabbit seated and confronted by two parallel rows
    of numerical figures; lastly two other symbols relating to the same
    science are seen at the back.

Prof. Daniel G. Brinton (_a_), gives an account of the illustration here
produced on Pl. XIV A, which may be thus condensed:



    The “Stone of the Giants” at Escamela near the city of Orizaba,
    Mexico, has been the subject of much discussion. Father Damaso
    Sotomayor sees in the inscribed figures a mystical allusion to the
    coming of Christ to the Gentiles and to the occurrences supposed
    in Hebrew myth to have taken place in the Garden of Eden. This
    stone was examined by Capt. Dupaix in the year 1808 and is figured
    in the illustrations to his voluminous narrative. The figure he
    gives [now presented as B on Pl. _XIV_] is, however, so erroneous
    that it yields but a faint idea of the real character and meaning
    of the drawing. It omits the ornament on the breast and also the
    lines along the right of the giant’s face, which as I shall show are
    distinctive traits. It gives him a girdle where none is delineated,
    and the relative size and proportions of all the three figures are
    quite distorted.

    The rock on which the inscription is found is roughly triangular
    in shape, presenting a nearly straight border of 30 feet on each
    side. It is hard and uniform in texture and of a dark color. The
    length or height of the principal figure is 27 feet, and the incised
    lines which designate the various objects are deeply and clearly cut.

    I now approach the decipherment of the inscriptions. Any one
    versed in the signs of the Mexican calendar will at once perceive
    that it contains the date of a certain year and day. On the left of
    the giant is seen a rabbit surrounded with ten circular depressions.
    These depressions are the well-known Aztec marks for numerals, and
    the rabbit represents one of the four astronomic signs by which
    they adjusted their chronologic cycles of fifty-two years. The
    stone bears a carefully dated record, with year and day clearly set
    forth. The year is represented to the left of the figure and is that
    numbered “ten” under the sign of the rabbit; the day of the year is
    number “one” under the sign of the fish.

    These precise dates recurred once, and only once, every
    fifty-two years, and had recurred only once between the year of
    our era, 1450, and the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1519-’20.
    Within the period named the year “ten rabbit” of the Aztec calendar
    corresponded with the year 1502 of the Gregorian calendar. It is
    more difficult to fix the day, but it is, I think, safe to say that,
    according to the most probable computations, the day, “one fish,”
    occurred in the first month of the year 1502, which month coincided
    in whole or in part with our February.

    Such is the date on the inscription. Now, what is intimated to
    have occurred on that date? The clew to this is furnished by the
    figure of the giant. It represents an ogre of horrid mien with a
    death’s-head grin and formidable teeth, his hair wild and long, the
    locks falling down upon the neck. Suspended on the breast as an
    ornament is the bone of a human lower jaw, with its incisor teeth.
    The left leg is thrown forward as in the act of walking, and the
    arms are uplifted, the hands open, and the fingers extended as at
    the moment of seizing the prey or the victim. The lines about the
    umbilicus represent the knot of the girdle which supported the
    _maxtli_ or breechcloth.

    There is no doubt as to which personage of the Aztec
    pantheon this fear-inspiring figure represents. It is _Tzontemoc
    Mictlantecutli_, “the Lord of the Realm of the Dead, He of the
    Falling Hair,” the dread god of death and the dead. His distinctive
    marks are there, the death’s-head, the falling hair, the jaw bone,
    the terrible aspect, the giant size.

    We possess several chronicles of the empire before Cortes
    destroyed it, written in the hieroglyphs which the inventive genius
    of the natives had devised. Taking two of these chronicles, one
    known as the Codex Telleriano-Remensis, the other as the Codex
    Vaticanus, I turn to the year numbered “ten” under the sign of the
    rabbit and I find that both present the same record which I copy in
    the following figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 99.--The Emperor Ahuitzotzin.]

The figure so copied is entitled “Extract from the Vatican Codex,” which
is a slight error. It is a copy from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis,
Kingsborough, I, Pt. 4, p. 23, year 1502, which is here reproduced as
Fig. 99. The record in the Vatican Codex, Kingsborough, II, p. 130,
differs in some unimportant details. It may also be noted that in the
text relating to the Codex Telleriano-Remensis, Kingsborough, VI, p.
141, the word Ahuitzotl is given as “the name of an aquatic animal
famous in Mexican mythology.” The present opportunity is embraced to
recognize the acumen displayed by Prof. Brinton in his interpretation of
the petroglyph. He proceeds as follows:

    The sign of the year (the rabbit) is shown merely by his head
    for brevity. The ten dots, which give its number, are beside it.
    Immediately beneath is a curious quadruped, with what are intended
    as water-drops dripping from him. The animal is the hedgehog, and
    the figure is to be constructed _iconomatically_; that is, it must
    be read as a rebus through the medium of the Nahuatl language. In
    that language water is _atl_, in composition _a_, and hedgehog is
    _uitzotl_. Combine these and you get _ahuitzotl_, or, with the
    reverential termination, _ahuitzotzin_. This was the name of the
    ruler or emperor, if you allow the word, of ancient Mexico before
    the accession to the throne of that Montezuma whom the Spanish
    _conquistador_, Cortes, put to death.

    Returning to the page from the chronicle, we observe that the
    hieroglyph of Ahuitzotzin is placed immediately over a corpse
    swathed in its mummy cloths, as was the custom of interment with
    the highest classes in Mexico. This signifies that the death of
    Ahuitzotzin took place in that year. Adjacent to it is the figure
    of his successor, his name iconomatically represented by the
    headdress of the nobles, the _tecuhtli_, giving the middle syllables
    of “_Mo-tecuh-zoma_.” No doubt is left that _La Piedra de los
    Gigantes_ of Escamela is a necrologic tablet commemorating the death
    of the Emperor Ahuitzotzin, some time in February, 1502.

Mr. Eugène Boban (_a_) mentions manuscript copies, dating from the
beginning of the century, of various sculptured stones in Mexico. These
sculpturings represent native ideographic characters, among them the
_teocalli_, the _tepetl_, the sign _ollin_, etc.

On several of the plates which compose this collection are notes
indicating the place where the monument, fragment, or ruin is found,
from which the characters are copied; for example, one of them bears the
note: “de la calle R^l de la villa de Cuernabaca.” Several others bear
annotations which show that they have been copied in the cemetery, in
the streets of that town, or in its environs.

Aside from these notes the plates are not accompanied by any information
which could give a trace of the person who drew them, or the purpose for
which they were intended.

The same author (_b_) describes a large sculptured stone of Mexico, the
designs on which have been reproduced in paintings on deerskin. After
giving a detailed description of the copied MS. he speaks of the stone
as follows:

    We deem it of interest to give some notes concerning the famous
    cylindrical stone, both sculptured and painted, known by the name
    _Teocuauhxicalli_ (the sacred drinking vase of the eagles) on which
    are found the themes of all the designs which have been above
    described. This stone, buried at the time of the Spanish Conquest,
    was discovered in the first half of this century at the close of a
    series of excavations made in the soil of the Place d’Armes, Mexico.
    The director of the national museum, who was then M. Rafael Gondra,
    contented himself with taking the dimensions and making a hurried
    sketch of it. It was then reinterred, as the necessary funds were
    lacking to exhume it entirely and transport it to the museum.

    The name Teocuauhxicalli is composed of: _Teotl_, god;
    _cuauhili_, eagle, and _xicalli_, hemispherical vase formed from the
    half of a gourd. It may be translated by, “The vase of god and the
    eagles,” or, rather, “The sacred drinking cup of the eagles.”

    “The Mexican monarch Axayacatl, jealous of his predecessor
    Motecuhzoma I, took down the Teocuauhxicalli which was in the upper
    part of the Great Temple of Mexico, and replaced it by another,
    sculptured by his order;” so says the eminent Mexican archæologist
    and historian, Don Manuel Orozco y Berra, in his excellent work,
    Historia Antigua y de la Conquesta de Mexico (t. III, p. 348). This
    monument was also dedicated to the god of war, Huitzilopochtli.

    According to Duran and Tezozomoc, those stones on which gods
    were represented were designated by the name Teocuauhxicalli; i. e.,
    divine cuauhxicalli. They belonged to the class of painted stones,
    for they were covered with several colors.

    Orozco y Berra adds the following: “It is evident that the
    figures sculptured and painted do not represent armed warriors
    preparing for combat. On the contrary, we see that they represent
    gods. Among them is found Huitzilopochtli (god of war) with his arms
    and attributes, having before him another deity or high priest who
    holds in his hands the emblems of the holocaust.

    “The figures of the upper part are not fighting and could not
    have known how to fight, if we judge by their positions; the chest
    is turned back, the face raised toward the sky, in which appears an
    object which resembles the astronomical sign _cipactli_.

    “Everywhere on the surface of this stone are noticed symbols,
    birds, quadrupeds, fantastic reptiles, signs of the sun, days,
    months, and a quantity of objects whose character is imitated in
    manuscripts and rituals. There can be no doubt that we are in the
    presence of a monument devoted to the gods and bearing legends
    relative to their worship. M. the minister of Fomento, D. Vicente
    Rivera Palacio, in 1877 made several attempts at excavation in the
    Plaza Mayor of Mexico, to recover this important monument, but all
    search remained unfruitful.”

    This stone is supposed to be buried beneath the Place d’Armes at

Mexican petroglyphs are also discussed and figured by Chavero (_a_).

It would seem from these and other descriptions of and allusions to
petroglyphs in Mexico, that at the time of the Spanish conquest they
were extant in large numbers, though now seldom found. Perhaps the
Spaniards destroyed them in the same spirit which led them to burn up
many of the Mexican pictographs on paper and other substances.

A number of illustrations of the Mexican pictographic writings are given
below under various headings.



The valuable paper of A. L. Pinart (_a_), giving a description of the
petroglyphs found by him in the Greater and Lesser Antilles, is received
too late for reproduction of the illustrations. He explored a number
of the groups of the West Indies with varying success, but found that
the island of Puerto Rico was the one which now furnishes the greatest
amount of evidence of development in the pictographic art. His marks
translated with condensation appear below.


    The first petroglyph to be mentioned is found at la Cueva del
    Islote, on Punta Braba, about 5 leagues east from Arecibo and on the
    north side of the island of Puerto Rico. The grotto is found in an
    immense blackish mass of igneous rock, forming a point projecting
    into the sea, which beats furiously against it; it communicates with
    the sea at the foot, and the water entering this passage, which
    is quite narrow, produces a terrific roaring followed soon after
    by veritable thunder claps. The people of the neighborhood have
    a superstitious fear of it, and it is only with great difficulty
    that anyone can be found to accompany one there. The entrance on
    the land side is toward the east--a yawning crevasse, filled partly
    with rubbish and partly by the stunted vegetation of the coast.
    On penetrating to the interior we find, after following a short
    but wide passage, a pyriform chamber 20 meters in diameter. In the
    ceiling a very narrow crack admits a ray of light which, reflected
    in the water of the sea, filling the bottom of the cave, produces a
    bluish twilight. Notwithstanding this twilight, we are obliged to
    carry torches to distinguish objects. All around us, but especially
    over the point where the sea enters in, are to be seen the
    inscriptions represented here. The incisions are very deep, and the
    edges are generally dulled by the blows of the hammer; in certain
    spots, toward the lower part of the grotto, several inscriptions are
    partially effaced by the action of the sea, but those of the upper
    part are in a remarkable state of preservation. Beneath certain
    principal figures of the groups are little circular basin-like
    depressions cut in the rock with a trench running down toward the

    I will not attempt here to give a formal explanation of these
    inscriptions, but may we not regard the spot in which they are found
    as having served for a rendezvous for the ancient Borrinqueños
    where they performed their sacrifices or the ceremonies of their
    religion? On the other hand, the appearance of these inscriptions
    is very peculiar. One of them might be considered a representation
    of those little figurines and statuettes of stone found in Mexico,
    in Mixteca, and in the country to the south. In another a head
    is curiously decorated with a diadem of feathers, and apparently
    represents one presiding at a feast served in the small circular
    basin set before him. The most noticeable thing in this group of
    inscriptions is the frequency of the grinning faces in a circle,
    often alone, often accompanied by two others placed at the sides,
    which are universally met with in every inscription found in the
    Greater and Lesser Antilles. The same may be said of the human
    figure apparently swaddled in cloths like a very young infant, the
    head and body more or less decorated, which is also very frequently

    Following these petroglyphs of Islote, we present a list of
    others discovered at Puerto Rico, hastily describing them and giving
    a particular description only of those which are of the greatest

    In the above-mentioned grotto of Cueva de los Archillas, near
    the village of Ciales, we observed the curious figures bearing
    traces of a crown and peculiar ear ornaments. In la Cueva de los
    Conejos, some distance from Arecibo, on the road from Utauado, we
    found a figure partly incised and partly painted in a dark red; it
    is very artistically fashioned, and represents the famous “guava,”
    the monster spider of the Greater Antilles, of which the natives
    have a great dread. It is probable that the ancient Borrinqueños
    also considered it with a certain awe, and we find images of the
    same animal in la Cueva del Templo on the coast of Haiti, at Santo
    Domingo. A solitary rock of a reddish color, in a field of the
    hacienda of Don Pedro Pavez at la Carolina, a short distance from
    the Rio Pedras, bears a series of grimacing faces in circles. On a
    granitic rock of large dimensions, superimposed on a heap of rocks
    of the same character, in the midst of a grove of Indian trees
    and at the entrance of the Cano del Indio into Rio la Ceiba, near
    Fajardo, on the east side, are found three swaddled human figures,
    the heads decorated with various ornaments. On a black rock in
    the Rio Arriba, one of the branches of the Rio de la Ceiba, is a
    petroglyph which presents but little that is of interest.

    On the Loma Muñoz, near the Rio Arriba above mentioned, and
    on the summit of the hill, stands a dark rock with smooth face
    protected by another mass of rock, forming a sort of shelter on
    which is an inscription composed of a number of incised grinning
    faces. At the confluence of the Rio Blanco and the Rio de la Ceiba,
    in the district of Fajardo, is a series of violent rapids formed
    by immense rocks of a granitic character, on which are cut a large
    number of other grimacing faces and also some swaddled figures, and
    other incisions which are not of interest.


Lady Edith Blake, wife of Sir Henry Arthur Blake, formerly governor
of the Bahama islands, has kindly furnished the following information
and sketches (Figs. 100, 101, and 102), relating to petroglyphs in the
Bahama islands. Lady Blake says:

    The carvings are on the walls of an “Indian hole,” also called
    Hartford cave, in the northern shore of a small island in Rum Cay,
    one of the Bahama group. Rum Cay measures 5 miles from north to
    south and about 8 or 9 from east to west. It lies 20 miles northwest
    of Watlings island, the San Salvador of Columbus.

    The cave is situated on the seashore about a mile and a half
    from the western point of the island to the eastward of a bluff,
    close to which is a “puffing hole,” through which the waves blow
    when the seas roll in from the north. The cave is semicircular in
    shape and about 20 yards in depth, and is partially filled with
    debris of rocks, earth, and sand.

    [Illustration: FIG. 100.--Petroglyphs in the Bahamas.]

    Like all rocks of which the Bahamas are formed, those in
    Hartford cave are a mixture of coral, detritus, and shell, very
    rough and full of cracks and indentations, and in this cave, from
    the constant damp of filtration and spray, the walls were coated
    with a deposit of lime and salt, so that it would be impossible
    to say if the carvings had been colored. If ever they had been,
    any traces of coloring must long have disappeared. Besides the
    markings copied there were others scattered over the walls of the
    cave, most of which were circles apparently resembling human faces.
    Unfortunately, we neglected to measure the carvings, but I should
    judge the circles or faces to be 10 inches or more across, while
    others of the figures must have been a foot and a half in length,
    and the markings must have been nearly half an inch in depth, cut
    into the face of the rock, and seemed to us such as might have been
    made with a sharp stone implement. Although we visited numerous
    caves in the various islands of the Bahamas, in no other did we find
    any appearance of markings or carvings on the walls, nor could we
    hear of any reported to have such markings.

    [Illustration: FIG. 101.--Petroglyphs in the Bahamas.]

    The absence of any traces of carvings in other caves whose
    situation was better adapted for the preservation of markings,
    had such ever existed, and the proof that their contents afforded
    that most of those caves had been known to the Lucayans and used
    by them as burying places or otherwise, and the close proximity of
    Hartford cave to the sea, taken in connection with the great number
    of markings on its walls, led me to think that possibly this cave
    had been the resort of the marauding tribes whom the Lucayans gave
    Columbus to understand were their enemies, and who were in the habit
    of making war upon them; and if so, the Caribs, or whatever tribe
    it may have been, had left these rock markings as mementos of their
    various expeditions and guides to succeeding ones.

[Illustration: FIG. 102.--Petroglyphs in the Bahamas.]

The above-mentioned petroglyphs bear a remarkable similarity to those
in British Guiana figured and described below, and the authorship would
seem to relate to the same group of natives, the Caribs.


In the Guesde collection of antiquities, described in the Smithsonian
report for 1884, p. 834, Fig. 208, here reproduced as Fig. 103, is an
inscribed slab found in Guadeloupe. It weighs several tons and it is
impossible to remove it. In the vicinity are to be seen many other rocks
bearing inscriptions, but this is the most elaborate of the group.

The inscriptions may be compared with those from Guiana presented in
this work.

[Illustration: FIG. 103.--Petroglyph in Guadeloupe.]


Pinart (_b_) gives the following account, translated and condensed:

    The island of Aruba forms one of the group of the islands of
    Curaçao, on the north coast of Venezuela. This group consists
    of three principal islands, Curaçao, Buen Ayre, Aruba, and some
    isolated rocks. It belongs to Holland.

    Aruba is the most western island of the group and is situated
    opposite the peninsula of Paraguana, on the mainland. The distance
    between the two is about 10 leagues, and from the island the shores
    of the continent can be seen very distinctly.

    These islands, at the time of the discovery by the Spaniards,
    were inhabited by an Indian race which has left numerous traces
    of its occupancy; pottery, stone objects, petroglyphs, etc., are
    met with in large numbers in Aruba and in a less quantity on Buen
    Ayre and Curaçao. * * * These petroglyphs are quite different in
    character from those which I have recently described in a brief
    study of the Greater and Lesser Antilles, and their appearance
    brings to mind those found in Orinoco, in Venezuela, in the
    peninsula of Paraguana, on the border of the Magdalena river,
    and as far as Chiriqui. They differ from these, however, in
    several respects, and especially in that they are almost always
    multi-colored. The colors usually employed are red, blue, a
    yellowish white, and black. They are, moreover, painted and not cut
    in the rock. They show the same degree of variance as I have already
    noticed in North America--in Sonora, Arizona, and Chihuahua--between
    the petroglyphs which I have designated as Pimos, which are always
    incised, and those in the mountains which I designated as Comanche,
    and which are always painted and in many colors. The petroglyphs
    are, as has already been said, very numerous on the island of Aruba.
    I have personal knowledge of thirty, but, according to my friend
    Père van Kolwsjk, there must be more than fifty. The most important
    groups are as follows:

    (1) _Avikok._ An enormous dark rock forms the summit of a wooded
    knob, and in this rock are two large cavities, one above the other,
    on the walls of which are the petroglyphs represented.

    (2) _Fontein._ On the border of a fresh-water lagoon, a short
    distance from the northeast part of the island, near the sea, is a
    grotto of coralline origin, whose walls are of remarkable whiteness.
    This grotto is composed of a principal passage, quite wide, cut off
    toward the lower end by a row of stalactites and stalagmites, which,
    joining together, form a curious grimacing figure. On the wall to
    the left, as we look toward the bottom of the grotto, are found some
    petroglyphs. They are well preserved, thanks to their situation and
    the shelter from inclement weather, and they show no indication of
    painting, being distinctly traced on the walls.

    (3) _Chiribana._ On some granitic spurs of a hill of the same
    name are found curious petroglyphs.

    (4) At Lero de Wajukan, near Avikok, and at the foot of a hill,
    petroglyphs are found on some blocks of granite. I notice specially
    the human figure which in the original is outlined in red and bears
    on the shoulder a hatchet of the Carib type with a haft.

    (5) At Ayo I discovered petroglyphs with figures in blue and red.

    (6) At Woeboeri inscriptions are found on the wall of an immense
    mass of granite.

    (7) Some petroglyphs on the walls of a grotto at Karasito.



Some writers have endeavored to draw definite ethnic distinctions
between the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North America and those farther
south. The opinions and theories which have favored such discriminations
have originated in error and ignorance. Until lately there has been but
scanty scientific investigation of the peoples of Central and South
America and but a limited exploration of the regions now or formerly
occupied by them. The latest opinion of the best ethnologists is that
no sufficient reason can be shown for separate racial classification of
the aborigines of the three Americas. The examples of petroglyphs now
presented from Central and South America, all of which are selected as
typical, show remarkable similarity to some of those above illustrated
and described, especially to those in California, New Mexico, and
Arizona. This topic is further discussed under the heading of Special
Comparison, Chapter XX, infra.




Dr. J. F. Bransford (_a_) gives the following account:

    On a hillside on the southern end of the island of Ometepec,
    Nicaragua, about 1-1/2 miles east of Point San Ramon, are many
    irregular blocks of basalt with marks and figures cut on them. The
    hillside faces east, and is about half a mile from the lake. There
    were similar markings on many of the shore rocks, which, in May,
    were partially covered with water, notwithstanding that that was
    about the driest season. These markings were excavated about half
    an inch in depth and a little more in width. Human faces and spiral
    lines predominated. There was also a crown, a representation of a
    monkey, and many irregular figures.

Several illustrations from these rocks are presented, infra, in Figs.
1102 and 1103, and one is reproduced in this connection as Fig. 104.

[Illustration: FIG. 104.--Petroglyphs in Nicaragua.]


The following extract is taken from the work of Dr. S. Habel (_a_):

    Santa Lucia is a village in the Republic of Guatemala, in the
    Department of Esquintla, near the base of the Volcano del Fuego,
    at the commencement of the inclined plane which extends from the
    mountain range to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. * * *

    The sculptured slabs are in the vicinity of the village. The
    greater number of them form an extended heap, rendering it probable
    that there are others hidden from view that more extended researches
    would reveal. * * * All the sculptures, with the exception of three
    statues, are in low relief, nearly all being in cavo-relievo, that
    is, surrounded by a raised border, the height of which indicates the
    elevation of the relief. The same kind of relief was practiced by
    the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians.

    In seven instances the sculpture represents a person adoring
    a deity of a different theological conception in each case. One
    of these seems to represent the sun, another the moon, while in
    the remaining five it is impossible to define their character. All
    these deities are represented by a human figure, of which only the
    head, arms, and breast are correctly portrayed, proving that the
    religious conceptions had risen to anthropomorphism, while the idols
    of the nations of Central America and Mexico, which have previously
    come to our knowledge, are represented by disfigured human forms or
    grotesque images.

    Four of the other sculptures represent allegorical subjects; two
    of them the myth of the griffin, the bird of the sun.

    The slabs on which the low reliefs are sculptured are of various
    sizes; the greater number of these, like those representing the
    deities, are 12 feet in length, 3 feet in width, and 2 feet in
    thickness. Nine feet of the upper part of these stones are occupied
    by the sculptures, while the lower 3 feet appear to have served as a

Several illustrations of these rock sculptures are presented, infra, as
Figs. 1235 and 1236. It is evident that these very large slabs received
their markings when they were in the locality in which they are now
found so can be classed geographically.



Alexander von Humboldt (_a_) gives general remarks, now condensed, upon
petroglyphs in South America:

    In the interior of South America, between the second and fourth
    degrees of north latitude, a forest-covered plain is inclosed by
    four rivers, the Orinoco, the Atabapo, the Rio Negro, and the
    Cassiquiare. In this district are found rocks of granite and of
    syenite, covered with colossal symbolical figures of crocodiles and
    tigers, and drawings of household utensils, and of the sun and moon.
    The tribes nearest to its boundaries are wandering naked savages,
    in the lowest stages of human existence, and far removed from any
    thoughts of carving hieroglyphics on rocks. One may trace in South
    America an entire zone, extending through more than 8° of longitude,
    of rocks so ornamented, viz, from the Rupuniri, Essequibo, and the
    mountains of Pacaraima, to the banks of the Orinoco and of the
    Yupura. These carvings may belong to very different epochs, for
    Sir Robert Schomburgk even found on the Rio Negro representations
    of a Spanish galiot, which must have been of a later date than the
    beginning of the sixteenth century; and this in a wilderness where
    the natives were probably as rude then as at the present time. Some
    miles from Encaramada there rises in the middle of the savannah
    the rock Tepu-Mereme, or painted rock. It shows several figures of
    animals and symbolical outlines which resemble much those observed
    by us at some distance above Encaramada, near Caycara. Rocks thus
    marked are found between the Cassiquiare and the Atabapo and, what
    is particularly remarkable, 560 geographical miles farther to the
    east, in the solitudes of Parime. Nicholas Hortsmann found on the
    banks of the Rupunuri, at the spot where the river winding between
    the Macarana mountains forms several small cascades, and before
    arriving at the district immediately surrounding lake Amucu, “rocks
    covered with figures,” or, as he says in Portuguese, “de varias
    letras.” We were shown at the rock of Culimacari, on the banks of
    the Cassiquiare, signs which were called characters, arranged in
    lines, but they were only ill-shaped figures of heavenly bodies,
    boa-serpents, and the utensils employed in preparing manioc meal. I
    have never found among these painted rocks (piedras pintadas) any
    symmetrical arrangement or any regular even-spaced characters. I am
    therefore disposed to think that the word “letras,” in Hortsmann’s
    journal, must not be taken in the strictest sense.

    Schomburgk saw and described other petroglyphs on the banks of
    the Essequibo, near the cascade of Warraputa. Neither promises nor
    threats could prevail on the Indians to give a single blow with
    a hammer to these rocks, the venerable monuments of the superior
    mental cultivation of their predecessors. They regard them as the
    work of the Great Spirit, and the different tribes whom we met with,
    though living at a great distance, were nevertheless acquainted with
    them. Terror was painted on the faces of my Indian companions, who
    appeared to expect every moment that the fire of heaven would fall
    on my head. I saw clearly that my endeavors to detach a portion of
    the rock would be fruitless, and I contented myself with bringing
    away a complete drawing of these memorials. Even the veneration
    everywhere testified by the Indians of the present day for these
    rude sculptures of their predecessors show that they have no idea of
    the execution of similar works. There is another circumstance which
    should be mentioned. Between Encaramada and Caycara, on the banks of
    the Orinoco, a number of these hieroglyphical figures are sculptured
    on the face of precipices at a height which could now be reached
    only by means of extraordinarily high scaffolding. If one asks the
    natives how these figures have been cut, they answer, laughing, as
    if it were a fact of which none but a white man could be ignorant,
    that “in the days of the great waters their fathers went in canoes
    at that height.”


Mr. W. H. Holmes (_b_), of the Bureau of Ethnology, gives this account
of petroglyphs in the province of Chiriqui, state of Panama:

    _Pictured rocks._--Our accounts of these objects are very
    meager. The only one definitely described is the “piedra pintal.” A
    few of the figures engraved upon it are given by Seemann, from whom
    the following paragraph is quoted:

    “At Caldera, a few leagues (north) from the town of David, lies
    a granite block known to the country people as the piedra pintal or
    painted stone. It is 15 feet high, nearly 50 feet in circumference,
    and flat on the top. Every part, especially the eastern side, is
    covered with figures. One represents a radiant sun; it is followed
    by a series of heads, all with some variations, scorpions, and
    fantastic figures. The top and the other side have signs of a
    circular and oval form, crossed by lines. The sculpture is ascribed
    to the Dorachos (or Dorasques), but to what purpose the stone was
    applied no historical account or tradition reveals.”

    These inscriptions are irregularly placed and much scattered.
    They are thought to have been originally nearly an inch deep, but in
    places are almost effaced by weathering, thus giving a suggestion of
    great antiquity. Tracings of these figures made recently by Mr. A.
    L. Pinart show decided differences in detail, and Mr. McNiel gives
    still another transcription.

In Fig. 105 Mr. McNiel’s sketch of the southwest face of the rock is

[Illustration: FIG. 105.--Petroglyphs in Colombia.]

Other illustrations from Colombia appear as Figs. 151 and 1166, infra.


The name of Guiana has been applied to the territory between the rivers
Amazon, Orinoco, Negro, and Cassiquiare. It was once divided into the
French, British, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish Guianas. The Portuguese
Guiana now belongs to Brazil and Spanish Guiana is part of Venezuela.
Many petroglyphs have been found in the several Guianas. They appear
throughout the whole of the part belonging to Venezuela, but they are
more thickly grouped in parts of the valley of the Orinoco.

The subject is well discussed in the following extract from Among the
Indians of Guiana, by im Thurn (_a_):

    The pictured rocks of Guiana are not all of one kind. In all
    cases various figures are rudely depicted on larger or smaller
    surfaces of rocks. Sometimes these figures are painted, though such
    cases are few and of but little moment; more generally they are
    graven on the rock, and these alone are of great importance. Rock
    sculptures may, again, be distinguished into two kinds, differing
    in the depth of incision, the apparent mode of execution, and, most
    important of all, the character of the figures represented.

    Painted rocks in British Guiana are mentioned by Mr. C.
    Barrington Brown. He says that in coming down past Amailah fall,
    on the Cooriebrong river, he passed “a large white sandstone rock
    ornamented with figures in red paint.” * * * Mr. Wallace, in his
    account of his Travels on the Amazons, mentions the occurrence of
    similar drawings in more than one place near the Amazons. * * *

    The engraved rocks must be of some antiquity; that is to
    say, they must certainly date from a time before the influence
    of Europeans was much felt in Guiana. As has already been said,
    the engravings are of two kinds and are probably the work of two
    different people; nor is there even any reason to suppose that the
    two kinds were produced at one and the same time.

    These two kinds of engravings may, for the sake of convenience,
    be distinguished as “deep” and “shallow,” respectively, according
    as the figures are deeply cut into the rock or are merely scratched
    on the surface. The former vary from one-eighth to one-half of an
    inch, or even more, in depth; the latter are of quite inconsiderable
    depth. This difference probably corresponds with a difference in the
    means by which they were produced. The deep engravings seem cut into
    the rock with an edged tool, probably of stone; the shallow figures
    were apparently formed by long continued friction with stones and
    moist sand. The two kinds seem never to occur in the same place or
    even near to each other; in fact, a distinct line may almost be
    drawn between the districts in which the deep and shallow kinds
    occur, respectively; the deep form occurs at several spots on the
    Mazeruni, Essequibo, Ireng, Cotinga, Potaro, and Berbice rivers. The
    shallow form has as yet only been reported from the Corentyn river
    and its tributaries, where, however, examples occur in considerable
    abundance. But the two kinds differ not only in the depth of
    incision, in the apparent mode of their production, and in the place
    of their occurrence, but also--and this is the chief difference
    between the two--in the figures represented.

Fig. 106 is a typical example of the shallow carvings.

[Illustration: FIG. 106.--Shallow carvings in Guiana.]

Fig. 1104, infra, is a similar example of the deep carvings.

    The shallow engravings seem always to occur on comparatively
    large and more or less smooth surfaces of rock, and rarely, if
    ever, as the deep figures, on detached blocks of rock, piled
    one on the other. The shallow figures, too, are generally much
    larger, always combinations of straight or curved lines in figures
    much more elaborate than those in the deep engravings; and these
    shallow pictures always represent not animals, but greater or less
    variations of the figure which has been described. Lastly, though I
    am not certain that much significance can be attributed to this, all
    the examples that I have seen face more or less accurately eastward.

    The deep engravings, on the other hand, consist not of a single
    figure but of a greater or less number of rude drawings. * * * These
    depict the human form, monkeys, snakes, and other animals, and also
    very simple combinations of two or three straight or curved lines
    in a pattern, and occasionally more elaborate combinations. The
    individual figures are small, averaging from 12 to 18 inches in
    height, but a considerable number are generally represented in a

    Some of the best examples of this latter kind are at Warrapoota
    cataracts, about six days’ journey up the Essequibo.

    * * * The commonest figures at Warrapoota are figures of men
    or perhaps sometimes monkeys. These are very simple and generally
    consist of one straight line, representing the trunk, crossed by
    two straight lines at right angles to the body line; one about
    two-thirds of the distance from the top, represents the two arms as
    far as the elbows, where upward lines represent the lower part of
    the arms; the other, which is at the lower end, represent the two
    legs as far as the knees, from which point downward lines represent
    the lower part of the legs. A round dot, or a small circle, at the
    top of the trunk line, forms the head; and there are a few radiating
    lines where the fingers, a few more where the toes, should be.
    Occasionally the trunk line is produced downwards as if to represent
    a long tail. Perhaps the tailless figures represent men, the
    tailed monkeys. In a few cases the trunk, instead of being indicated
    by one straight line, is formed by two curved lines, representing
    the rounded outlines of the body; and the body thus formed is
    bisected by a row of dots, almost invariably nine in number, which
    seem to represent vertebræ.

    Most of the other figures at Warrapoota are very simple
    combinations of two, three, or four straight lines similar to the
    so-called “Greek meander pattern,” which is of such widespread
    occurrence. Combinations of curved and simple spiral lines also
    frequently occur. Many of these combinations closely resemble the
    figures which the Indians of the present day paint on their faces
    and naked bodies.

The same author (pp. 368, 369) gives the following account of the
superstitious reverence entertained for the petroglyphs by the living
Indians of Guiana:

    Every time a sculptured rock or striking mountain or stone is
    seen, Indians avert the ill will of the spirits of such places by
    rubbing red peppers (_Capsicum_) each in his or her own eyes. * *
    * Though the old practitioners inflict this self-torture with the
    utmost stoicism, I have again and again seen that otherwise rare
    sight of Indians children, and even young men, sobbing under the
    infliction. Yet the ceremony was never omitted. Sometimes, when by
    a rare chance no member of the party had had the forethought to
    provide peppers, lime juice was used as a substitute; and once, when
    neither peppers nor limes were at hand, a piece of blue indigo-dyed
    cloth was carefully soaked, and the dye was then rubbed into the

The same author (_b_) adds:

    It may be as well briefly to sum up the few facts that can be
    said, with any probability, of these rock pictures in Guiana. The
    engravings are of two kinds, which may or may not have had different
    authors and different intention. They were still produced after the
    first arrival of Europeans, as is shown by the sculptured ship. They
    were, therefore, probably made by the ancestors of the Indians now
    in the country; for, from the writings of Raleigh and other early
    explorers, as well as from the statements of early colonists, it is
    to be gathered that the present tribes were already in Guiana at
    the time of the first arrival of Europeans, though not perhaps in
    the same relative positions as at present. The art of stone-working
    being destroyed by the arrival of Europeans, the practice of
    rock-engraving ceased. Possibly the customary figures were for a
    time painted instead of engraved; but this degenerated habit was
    also soon relinquished. As to the intention of the figures, that
    they had some seems certain, but what kind this was is not clear.
    Finally, these figures really seem to indicate some very slight
    connection with Mexican civilization.

The following extract from a paper on the Indian picture-writing in
British Guiana, by Mr. Charles B. Brown (_a_), gives views and details
somewhat different from the foregoing:

    These writings or markings are visible at a greater or less
    distance in proportion to the depth of the furrows. In some
    instances they are distinctly visible upon the rocks on the banks
    of the river at a distance of 100 yards; in others they are so
    faint that they can only be seen in certain lights by reflected
    rays from their polished surfaces. They occur upon greenstone,
    granite, quartz-porphyry, gneiss, and jasperous sandstone, both in
    a vertical and horizontal position, at various elevations above
    the water. Sometimes they can only be seen during the dry season
    when the rivers are low, as in several instances on the Berbice
    and Cassikytyn rivers. In one instance, on the Corentyn river,
    the markings on the rock are so much above the level of the river
    when at its greatest height, that they could only have been made
    by erecting a staging against the face of the rock, unless the
    river was at the time much above its usual level. The widths of the
    furrows vary from half an inch to 1 inch, while the depth never
    exceeds one-fourth of an inch. * * * The furrows present the same
    weather-stained aspect as the rocks upon which they are cut. * * *

    The Indians of Guiana know nothing about the picture-writing by
    tradition. They scout the idea of their having been made by the hand
    of man, and ascribe them to the handiwork of the Makunaima, their
    great spirit. * * *

    As these figures were evidently cut with great care and at much
    labor by a former race of men, I conclude that they were made for
    some great purpose, probably a religious one, as some of the figures
    give indications of phallic worship.


Prof. R. Hartmann (_a_) presented a pencil drawing of a South American
rock, covered with sculptures, sketched by Mr. Anton Goering, a painter
in Leipzig, which is here reproduced as Fig. 107. The rock is situated
not far from San Esteban, a village in the vicinity of Puerto Cabello,
in Venezuela. C. F. Appun, in Unter den Tropen, I, p. 82, remarks as
follows in reference to this “Piedra de los Indios” (Indians’ stone), a
large granite block lying by the side of the road:

[Illustration: FIG. 107.--Sculptured rock in Venezuela.]

    These drawings, cut in the stone to a depth of half an inch,
    mostly represent snakes and other animal forms, human heads and
    spiral lines, and differ from those which I afterward saw in Guiana,
    on the Essequibo and Rupununi, in characters and forms, but
    their execution, like that of the latter, is rude. Though greatly
    weathered by the influence of rain and the atmosphere, the figures
    can still be perfectly distinguished and gigantic patience, such as
    none but Indians possess, was surely needed to carve them in the
    hard granite mass by means of a stone.

Dr. G. Marcano (_a_) gives an account translated as follows, which is
connected with Fig. 108:

[Illustration: FIG. 108.--Rock near Caïcara, Venezuela.]

    A tradition, the legend of the rock of Tepumereme, has been
    preserved by Father Gili. Some old writers, adhering to the Tamanak
    acceptation of the word, say indifferently tepumeremes or rocas
    pintadas (painted rocks). Usage has converted Tepumereme into a
    proper noun. At the present day it is applied exclusively to the
    rock situated some leagues from Encaramada, in the midst of the
    savanna, this rock having been the Mount Ararat of the Tamanaks.

    Supposing that it is authentic, this legend, which we will
    relate further on [see page 33, supra], yields no information that
    might aid us in interpreting hieroglyphs, and so we are reduced to
    describing its principal characters.

    Not all our pictographs correspond to the region of the Raudals,
    but in our ignorance of the peoples who carved them we see no harm
    in bringing them together so long as they all come from the banks
    of the Orinoco, and so long as the localities where they exist are
    indicated. The copies which we give of them have been very carefully
    made and reduced to one-tenth.

    The first thing that strikes one on looking at them is that,
    despite differences in detail, the design presents a general common
    character. In fact, there is question not of figures with undecided
    forms, but with sure lines perfectly traced and combined in one and
    the same style. They are geometric designs rather than objective
    representations. The illustration [Fig. 108] came from a rock in
    the vicinity of Caïcara, a town situated on the right bank of the
    Orinoco, close to its last great bend. It represents three jaguars,
    one large and two small, the former being separated from the latter
    by an ornamented sun placed at the level of their feet. The spotting
    of their hides is rendered by means of angular lines arranged in so
    regular a manner that one might take them to be tigers did he not
    know that these felines never existed in these regions. The jaguars
    differ in insignificant details which, however, must have a purpose,
    in view of the general regularity. The largest shows six radiating
    lines on the muzzle and a circle in one of the ears. The second
    shows two hooks on the lower part of the body. The third is preceded
    by an isolated head, which is unfinished, without ears, inclined
    differently from the others. Some differences are also noted in the

    Placed in the attitude of marching, these animals seem to
    descend from a height and to follow the same direction. Perhaps
    there is question here of a mnemonic whole, and, we might add, of a
    totem, if we knew that that system had been employed by the Indians
    of the region.

The same author (p. 205) gives a description of the petroglyphs of the
rapids of Chicagua, here presented as Fig. 109.

[Illustration: FIG. 109.--Petroglyphs of Chicagua rapids, Venezuela.]

    This interesting collection includes the most varied ideographs.

    Alongside of representations analogous to the preceding there
    appear new characters and partial groupings which we had not
    yet found. On running over them one passes successively from
    simple points to figures made up of tangled lines, to objective
    representations, and even to letters of the alphabet, a resemblance
    which, of course, is fortuitous.

    The first group begins by three points similar to those in Fig.
    19 [of Marcano, occurring in Fig. 1105 in this paper], followed by
    two circles with central dots, and terminates below in a plexus of
    broken lines. The second group, placed at the right, is composed of
    regular figures of great variety. Among them we note the two lowest,
    one of which resembles a K and the other a reversed A. A spiral, two
    circles, one of which has two appendices, and a figure in broken
    lines make up the third group. Below is seen a coiled serpent. Its
    head is characteristic; it is found in other pre-Columbian carvings
    of the Orinoco. As regards design e, we will merely call attention
    to the sign analogous to the E of our alphabet. It is found at times
    in the United States of America. [For this remark the author refers
    to the ideograph for pain, in Figs. 824 and 872, infra.]

    Design _f_ is an animal difficult to characterize; its head and
    tail may be guessed at. The body is covered with ornaments and the
    legs, very incomplete, are in the attitude of running. Design _g_
    represents probably a tree with an appendix of undulating lines;
    design _h_, a head surmounted by a complicated headgear. This is
    the first distinctly human representation that we have found in
    the country. The strange combinations of designs _j_, _k_, and _l_
    exhibit the dots at the end of the lines which we have already
    spoken of. Design _m_ resembles an M; design _n_ shows a circle with
    plane face.

    Thus we see that the statements of some travelers concerning
    mysterious hieroglyphic combinations are far from being realized.
    As regards the exaggerations of Humboldt, they arise from the fact
    that he did not content himself with describing what he had seen.
    This is illustrated by the following sentence: “There is even seen
    on a grassy plain near Uruana an isolated granite rock on which,
    according to the account of _trustworthy people_, there are seen
    at a height of 80 feet deeply carved images which appear arranged
    in rows and represent the sun, the moon, and different species of
    animals, especially crocodiles and boas.” Elsewhere he speaks of
    kitchen and household utensils and of a number of objects which he
    can only have seen with the eyes of his imagination.

Other illustrations of pictographs in Venezuela are presented as Figs.
152, 153, 1105 and 1106, infra.


Remarks of general applicability to this region are made by Mr. J.
Whitfield (_a_), an abstract of which follows:

    The rock inscriptions were visited in August, 1865. Several
    similar inscriptions are said to exist in the interior of the
    province of Ceará, as well as in the provinces of Pernambuco and
    Piauhy, especially in the Sertaōs, that is, in the thinly-wooded
    parts of the interior, but no mention is ever made of their having
    been seen near the coast.

    In the margin and bed only of the river are the rocks inscribed.
    On the margin they extend in some instances to 15 or 20 yards.
    Except in the rainy season the stream is dry. The rock is a
    silicious schist of excessively hard and flinty texture. The marks
    have the appearance of having been made with a blunt, heavy tool,
    such as might be made with an almost worn-out mason’s hammer. The
    situation is about midway between Serra Grande or Ibiapaba and
    Serra Merioca, about 70 miles from the coast and 40 west of the
    town Sobral. The native population attribute all the “Letreiros”
    (inscriptions), as they do everything else of which they have no
    information, to the Dutch, as records of hidden wealth. The Dutch,
    however, only occupied the country for a few years in the early part
    of the seventeenth century. Along the coast numerous forts, the
    works of the Dutch, still remain; but there are no authentic records
    of their ever having established themselves in the interior of the
    country, and less probability still of their amusing themselves
    with inscribing puzzling hieroglyphics, which must have been a work
    of time, on the rocks of the far interior, for the admiration of
    wandering Indians.

Mr. Franz Keller (_a_) narrates as follows regarding Fig. 110:

[Illustration: FIG. 110.--Petroglyphs on the Cachoeira do Ribeirão,

    I found a “written rock” covered with spiral lines and
    concentric rings, evenly carved in the black gneiss-like material,
    and similar to those of the Caldeirão. Looking about for more, I
    discovered a perfect inscription, whose straight orderly lines can
    hardly be thought the result of lazy Indians’ “hours of idleness.”
    These characters were incised on a very hard smooth block 3 feet
    4 inches in length, and 3-1/4 feet in height and breadth. It lay
    at an angle of 45°, only 8 feet above low water, and close to the
    water’s edge of the second smaller rapid, the Cachoeira do Ribeirão.
    The transverse section of the characters is not very deep, and
    their surface is as worn as that of the inscription farther down.
    In some places they are almost effaced by time and are to be seen
    distinctly only with a favorable light. A dark brown coat of glaze,
    found everywhere on the surface of the stones, laved at times by
    the water, covers the block so uniformly well on the concave glyphs
    as on the parts untouched by instrument, that many ages must have
    elapsed since some patient Indian spent long hours in cutting them
    out with his quartz chisel. As the lines of the inscription run
    almost perfectly horizontally, and as the figures near the Caldeirão
    and the Cachoeira and the Cachoeira das Lages are so little above
    low-water mark, the present position of the block seems to have been
    the original one. * * * On the rocky shores of the Araguaya, that
    huge tributary of the Tocantino, there are similar rude outlines of
    animals near a rapid called Martirios, from the first Portuguese
    explorers fancying they recognized the instruments of the Passion
    in the clumsy representation.

Dr. Ladisláu Netto (_a_) gives the illustration, reproduced as Fig.
111, of an inscription discovered by Domingos S. Ferreira Penna on the
rock called Itamaraca, on the Rio Xingu. Dr. Netto’s description is
translated as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 111.--The rock Itamaraca, Brazil.]

    This whole inscription seems to represent one idea, figuring
    a collection of villages of vast proportions, inclosed by
    fortifications on two sides, at which it seems most accessible.
    On these same sides this collection of villages has external
    constructions or means of security, a kind of meanders or symbolic
    figures, which perhaps signify difficulties besetting the
    communication of the inhabitants with the surrounding fields.

    In the lower part of the left-hand side there is a group of
    figures which seem to represent residences of chiefs, war houses, or
    redoubts, built near the principal entrance to the villages or to
    the city for its defense. There are found three figures of saurians,
    one with a large tail, on the side of the redoubts or fortified
    houses, as if representing the population, and two with small tails,
    which seem strange, and which walk toward the first.

    This inscription is evidently the most perfect and the most
    notable of those found till now in all America [?], not only by its
    perfect condition and dimensions, but also by the mode in which a
    series of ideas has here been brought together.

The same author, on p. 552, furnishes copies of inscriptions carved on
stones in the valley of the Rio Negro, and remarks: “In this series
there are notable the two crowned personages [represented here in Fig.
112], one of whom holds a staff in the right hand, and below and under
them there are two figures of capibars (sea-hogs) facing each other,
and whose representation in black color resembles some figures from the
inscriptions of North America.”

[Illustration: FIG. 112.--Petroglyphs on the Rio Negro, Brazil.]

The following account is in Dr. E. R. Heath’s (_a_) Exploration of the
River Beni:

    Hieroglyphics were found on rocks at the falls and rapids of the
    rivers Madeira and Mamoré. * * * By accident we found some at the
    rapids at the foot of Caldierão do Inferno. Designs _d_ and _b_ are
    figures on the same rock side by side. _a_ is another face of the
    same rock 10 feet across. _e_ and _f_ are on the upper surface of
    a rock, and _c_ on one of its sides near the bottom; _g_ is upon a
    rock 15 feet above the surface of the river. Many more were on the
    other rocks, but our time did not permit further copying. Mr. T. M.
    Fetterman, my companion, and myself sketched as fast as possible.

Fig. 113 is a reproduction of the illustration given.

[Illustration: FIG. 113.--Petroglyphs at the Caldierão do Inferno,

    The moment we arrived at the falls of Girão we searched for
    stone carvings, finding a few, and several repetitions of circles
    similar to those already found. Designs _a_ and _d_ are on the
    west and east side of the same rock, which is 9 feet in length.
    The figure is 21 inches high, the five circles 1 foot across. The
    east side was almost obliterated. Designs _b_ and _c_ are on loose
    stones; _b_, facing west, is 16 inches long; the rock is 50 inches
    long and 35 wide; _c_ is 22 inches long; the rock 70 inches long by
    27 inches broad, and was 30 feet above the river at date. The rocks
    are basaltic, dipping north at an angle of 86°. Many small stones,
    1 and 2 feet in diameter, lie about, with marks on them nearly

Fig. 114 is a reproduction of the illustration.

[Illustration: FIG. 114.--Petroglyphs at the falls of Girão, Brazil.]

    At Pederneira all the rocks on the right side at the foot of
    the rapids are literally covered with figures. Fig. 115 _a_ is on a
    large bowlder facing the south; _b_ has joined to its right side,
    _c_; _d_, _e_, and _f_ are on the same stone. Most of these rocks
    are only a few feet above low water and are covered at least eight
    months each year.

    [Illustration: FIG. 115.--Petroglyphs at Pederneira, Brazil.]

    At Araras rapids the river is very wide, [containing] two
    islands and a rocky ledge crossing the river from the rapid. Nearly
    all the rocks on the right bank are covered with figures.

These are reproduced in Fig. 116.

[Illustration: FIG. 116.--Petroglyphs at Araras rapids, Brazil.]

    Having no small canoe we could not pass a small channel so as
    to gather copies of the figures we could see at a distance. The
    approaches both above and below the rapids and falls are many times
    as difficult to pass as the rapid or fall itself, giving rise to the
    division into “head,” “body,” and “tail.” Some not only have these
    divisions, but also have these subdivided into “head, body, and
    tail.” One is constantly hearing “el rabo,” “el rabo del rabo,” “el
    rabo del cuerpo,” or “cabeza,” and so on.

    Ribeiráo.--The tail of the rapid is 3 miles in length, a
    continuous broken current and fields of rocks. It is here, on a rock
    but a foot or two above the river, that the hieroglyphic shown in
    F. Keller’s “Amazon and Madeira” is found. As both Mr. Fetterman
    and myself made copies of it, unknown to the other till finished,
    our copies may be relied on, although differing from Keller’s. The
    length of the upper part is 45 inches and of the lower 36 inches,
    with 13 inches depth of each.

The copy mentioned is given here as Fig. 117.

[Illustration: FIG. 117.--Petroglyphs at Ribeiráo, Brazil.]

[Illustration: FIG. 118.--Character at Madeira rapid, Brazil.]

    The character of the lower right-hand corner was at one time as
    clearly cut as we represent it, some of the edges being yet clear
    and distinct.

    At the rapid of Madeira there were a number of circles similar
    to 15 and 16 at Ribeiráo. On a ridge of rocks in the middle of the
    river, just above Larges rapids, are figures, and we had only time
    to sketch one, Fig. 118.

    At Pao Grande we had a better harvest, showing evidently a later
    period than the former. One could easily believe these were made at
    the time of the Spanish conquest, the anchors, shields, and hearts
    being so often found in Spanish religious rites. Without doubt these
    were notices for navigators, as they were only out of water and seen
    when that passage was dangerous. Where projecting points of rock
    gave a face both up and down stream the same figure was on both
    faces. These rocks are syenitic granite and are cut to a depth of a
    half inch.

Fig. 119 is a reproduction of the copy published.

[Illustration: FIG. 119.--Petroglyphs at Pao Grande, Brazil.]

Senhor Tristão de Alencar Araripe (_a_) gives a large number
of descriptions with illustrations, a selection of which, with
translations, is as follows:

    In the province of Ceará district of Inhamun, on the plantation
    of Carrapateira, is a small hill (or mound). On the face of one of
    its rocks, on the eastern side, near the edge of the road, is the
    inscription given in Fig. 120 painted in red.

    [Illustration: FIG. 120.--Petroglyph in Ceará, Brazil.]

    In the district of Inhamun, on the plantation of Carrapateira,
    in Morcego, on the top of a mound, is a semicircular stone bearing
    on the face toward the mound the four characters which appear in
    Fig. 121.

    [Illustration: FIG. 121.--Petroglyph in Morcego, Brazil.]

    In Inhamun, on the plantation of Carrapateira, in Morcego, is a
    large stone mound, the stones being piled up in a form of a tower;
    and in the inside of this tower, on the south or southwest side, are
    the characters given in Fig. 122 painted in bright, cochineal color.

    [Illustration: FIG. 122.--Petroglyphs in Morcego, Brazil.]

    Near the road from Cracará to Favelas, Inhamun, is a large
    rock, on the face of which, at the top of the western side, is the
    inscription [given on the upper part of Fig. 123,] all in red paint,
    as is also that following.

    [Illustration: FIG. 123.--Petroglyphs in Inhamun, Brazil.]

    The under part of this rock forms a shelter, and on the roof of
    this shelter are all the remaining characters of the figure.

    To the right or south of the shelter containing the inscription
    is a stone, with the form of the figure represented in the third
    place in the lower row of characters, counting from left to right,
    on a small heap, with the rear end raised up and the sharp point
    toward the east, its side inclining toward the west, in such a way
    that it can be climbed to the end which is erect.

    On the same side, at the south, but beyond this, on the top of
    a rise, is a mound in sight, which is represented by the figure
    [delineated in the lower part of Fig. 123 at the extreme right,]
    resembling an inclosure (corral) with the 21 small lines before it.

Fig. 124 is a copy of an inscription at Pedra Lavrada, Province of
Parahiba, published loc. cit., but the description by Senhor de Alencar
Araripe is very meager, amounting in substance to the following:

    This is an inscription of vast proportions on a large rock in
    the town of Pedra Lavrada, which takes its name from that of the

[Illustration: FIG. 124.--Petroglyphs at Pedra Lavrada, Brazil.]

Other petroglyphs in Brazil are copied in Figs. 1107, 1108, 1109, 1110,
1111, 1113, 1114, and also under the heading of Cup Sculptures, Chapter
V, infra.


F. P. Moreno (_a_), Museo de La Plata, Catamarca, gives an illustration
of an inscribed rock at Bajo de Canota, Mendoza, reproduced as Fig. 125.

[Illustration: FIG. 125.--Inscribed rock at Bajo de Canota, Argentine


The following account is furnished by Messrs. de Rivero and Von Tschudi

    Eight leagues north of Arequipa there exist a multitude of
    engravings on granite which represent figures of animals, flowers,
    and fortifications, and which doubtless tell the story of events
    anterior to the dynasty of the Incas.

The illustration presented is copied here as Fig. 126.

[Illustration: FIG. 126.--Petroglyphs near Arequipa, Peru.]

The account is continued as follows:

    In the province of Castro-Vireyna, in the town of Huaytara,
    there is found in the ruins of a large edifice, of similar
    construction to the celebrated palace of old Huanuco, a mass of
    granite many square yards in size, with coarse engravings like
    those last mentioned near Arequipa. None of the most trustworthy
    historians allude to these inscriptions or representations, or
    give the smallest direct information concerning the Peruvian
    hieroglyphics, from which it may possibly be inferred that in the
    times of the Incas there was no knowledge of the art of writing
    in characters and that all of these sculptures are the remains
    of a very remote period. * * * In many parts of Peru, chiefly
    in situations greatly elevated above the sea are vestiges of
    inscriptions very much obliterated by time.

The illustration is copied here as Fig. 127.

[Illustration: FIG. 127.--Petroglyph in Huaytara, Peru.]

Charles Wiener (_a_), in Pérou et Bolivie, gives another statement, viz:

    The archeologists of Peru have only found a single
    point--Tiahuanaco--where there were a limited number, though very
    interesting, of signs on rocks or stones which seemed to all
    observers to be symbolic. While there are a few petroglyphs found in
    Peru there are a large number of inscriptions properly so called on
    the tissues which cover or are found in connection with remains in
    the graves.

A number of pictographs from Peru are described and illustrated infra
(see Figs. 688, 720, and 1167).


Prof. Edwyn C. Reed, of Valparaiso, Chile, presented through A. P.
Niblack, ensign U. S. Navy, a photograph of a large bowlder bearing
numerous sculpturings. No information pertaining to the locality at
which the rock is situated or details respecting the characters upon it
were furnished. The photograph is reproduced in Fig. 128.

[Illustration: FIG. 128.--Sculptured bowlder in Chile.]

Mr. R. A. Philippi, of Santiago, a corresponding member, made a
communication to the Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, session
of January 19, 1876, page 38, from which the following is extracted and

    I made a visit to the valley “Cajon de los Cipreses” in order to
    see the glacier giving rise to the Rio de los Cipreses, a tributary
    of the Cachapoal, and on that occasion had a cursory view of a rock
    with some pictures. I send you herewith a drawing of the rock and
    some of the figures cut on it. The rock, a kind of greenstone, lies
    at an altitude of about 5,000 feet above sea level, and the surface
    covered with figures, gently inclined down to the ground, may be
    8 feet long and 5 or 6 feet high. The lines are about 4 mm. broad
    and 1 to 1/2 mm. deep. The carved figures on the stone are without
    any sort of order. When I spoke before a meeting of our faculty
    of physical and mathematical sciences concerning this stone which
    the shepherds of the region called piedra marcada, I learned that
    similar stones with carved figures are found in various places.

The figure mentioned is here reproduced as Fig. 129.

[Illustration: FIG. 129.--Petroglyph in Cajon de los Cipreses, Chile.]



The term “extra-limital,” familiar to naturalists, refers in its present
connection to the sculptures, paintings, and drawings on rocks beyond
the continents of North and South America, which are now introduced for
comparison and as evidence of the occurrence throughout the world of
similar forms in the department of work now under examination.



Mr. Edward G. Porter (_a_), in “The Aborigines of Australia,” says:
“Their rock carvings are only outline sketches of men, fish, animals,
etc., sometimes seen on the top of large flat rocks. Two localities are
mentioned, one on Sydney common and another on a rock between Brisbane
water and Hawkesbury river.”

Much more detailed information is given by Thomas Worsnop, viz:

    At Chasm island, which lies 1-1/2 miles from “Groote Eylandt,”
    in the steep sides of the chasms, were deep holes or caverns
    undermining the cliffs, upon the walls of which are found rude
    drawings, made with charcoal and something like red paint, upon the
    white ground of the rock. These drawings represented porpoises,
    turtle, kangaroos, and a human hand, and Mr. Westall found the
    representations of a kangaroo with a file of thirty-two persons
    following after it.

    In the MacDonnell ranges, 6 miles from Alice springs, in a large
    cave, there were paintings made by the aborigines, well defined
    parallel lines, intersected with footprints of the emu, kangaroo
    rat, and birds, with the outlines of iguana, hands of men, well
    sketched and almost perfect.

    The parallel lines were of deep red and yellow colors, with
    brown and white borders; the footprints of light red, light
    yellow, and black; the outlines of the animals and hands were of
    red, yellow, white, black, wonderfully (considering it was done
    by savages) displayed and blended. All the paintings were in good
    preservation and evidently touched up occasionally, as they looked
    quite fresh.

    I can only conjecture that these paintings were left as a
    record, a life-long charm, against the total destruction of the
    above animals. The paintings were seen by Mr. S. Gason, of Beltana,
    in the year 1873.

    Very interesting groups of native drawings are to be seen in the
    caves of the Emily gorge in the MacDonnell ranges. Many of these
    drawings represent life-size objects.

The same author, page 20, describes the petroglyph copied in Fig. 130 as

[Illustration: FIG. 130.--Petroglyph on Finke river, Australia.]

    Mr. Arthur John Giles in the year 1873 discovered, at the
    junction of Sullivan’s creek with the Finke river, carvings on
    rocks. The sketch represents a smooth-faced rock, portion of a rock
    cliff about 45 feet high, composed of hard metamorphic slate. The
    lower portion of the sculptured face has been worn and broken away,
    forming a sort of cave. From the level of the creek to the lower
    edge of the sculptured rock is about 15 feet. The perpendicular
    lines are cut out, forming semicircular grooves about 1-1/2 inches
    in diameter, cut in to a depth of nearly half an inch; all remaining
    figures are also carved into the solid rock to a depth of one-fourth
    of an inch.

The same author, page 14, gives the following description of some
pictures discovered between 1831 and 1840 by Capt. Stokes on Depuch
island, one of the Forestier group in Dampier archipelago, on the
western coast of Australia:

    Depuch island would seem to be their favorite resort, and
    we found several of their huts still standing. The natives are
    doubtless attracted to the place partly by the reservoirs of water
    they find among the rocks after rain; partly that they may enjoy
    the pleasure of delineating the various objects that attract their
    attention on the smooth surface of the rocks. This they do by
    removing the hard red outer coating and baring to view the natural
    color of the greenstone, according to the outline they have traced.
    Much ability is displayed in many of these representations, the
    subject of which could be discovered at a glance. The number of
    specimens are immense, so that the natives must have been in the
    habit of amusing themselves in this innocent manner for a long
    period of time.

    These savages of Australia, who have adorned the rocks of Depuch
    island with their drawings, have in one thing proved themselves
    superior to the Egyptian and the Etruscan, whose works have elicited
    so much admiration and afforded food to so many speculations,
    namely, there is not in them to be observed the slightest trace of

[Illustration: FIG. 131.--Petroglyphs in Depuch island, Australia.]

Fig. 131 shows a number of the characters drawn on these rocks. They are
supposed to represent objects as follows:

    _a_, a goose or duck; _b_, a beetle; _c_, a fish, with a
    quarter moon over, considered to have some reference to fishing by
    moonlight; _d_, a native, armed with spear and wommera or throwing
    stick, probably relating his adventures, which is usually done by
    song and accompanied with great action and flourishing of weapons,
    particularly when boasting of his powers; _e_, a duck and a gull;
    _f_, a native in a hut, with portion of the matting with which
    they cover their habitations; _g_, shark and pilot fish; _h_, a
    corroboreeo or native dance; _i_, a native dog; _j_, a crab; _k_, a
    kangaroo; _l_, appears to be a bird of prey, having seized upon a
    kangaroo rat.

The same author, page 5, describes another locality as follows:

    In New South Wales, in the neighborhood of Botany bay and port
    Jackson, the figures of animals, of shields and weapons, and even
    of men, have been found carved upon the rocks, roughly, indeed,
    but sufficiently well to ascertain very fully what was the object
    intended. Fish were often represented, and in one place the form
    of a large lizard was sketched out with tolerable accuracy. On top
    of one of the hills the figure of a man, in the attitude usually
    assumed by them when they begin to dance, was executed in a still
    superior style.

The figure last mentioned was probably the god Daramūlŭn, see Howitt,
Australian Customs of Initiation (_a_).

A special account of the aboriginal rock carvings at the head of
Bantry bay is furnished by R. Etheridge, jr. (_a_), as follows, the
illustration referred to being presented here as Fig. 132:

[Illustration: FIG. 132.--Petroglyphs at Bantry bay, Australia.]

    Of the numerous traces of aboriginal rock carvings to be seen
    on the shores of Port Jackson, none probably equal in extent or
    completeness of detail those on the heights at the head and on the
    eastern side of Bantry bay, Middle harbor, Australia.

    The table of sandstone over which the carvings are scattered
    measures 2 chains in one direction by 3 in the contrary, and has a
    gentle slope of 7 degrees to the southwest. The high road as now
    laid out passes over a portion of them. * * *

    The figures are represented in their present state in outline
    by a continuous indentation or groove from 1 to 1-1/2 inches broad
    by half an inch to 1 inch in depth. Some are single subjects
    scattered promiscuously over the surface; others form small groups,
    illustrating compound subjects, but all appear to have been executed
    about one and the same time. * * *

    An advance on the other sculptures existing at this place seems
    to be made in the originals of the designs _a_ and _b_, from the
    fact that an attempt was apparently made to represent a compound
    idea in the form of a single combat between two warriors. The
    figures are quite contiguous to one another. The individual marked
    _a_ seems to be holding in his right hand a body similar to that
    represented as _c_, and the position in which it is held would lend
    color to the belief in its shield-like nature. In the opposite hand
    are a bundle of rods which have been suggested to be spears, and
    this explanation for the want of a better may be accepted. On the
    other hand, we are confronted with the fact that these weapons of
    offense and defense are held in the wrong hands, unless the holder
    be regarded as sinistral; otherwise it must be conceived that the
    warrior’s back is presented to the observer, which is contrary to
    the other evidence existing in the carving. The opponent, marked as
    _b_, with legs astride and arms outstretched much in the position of
    an aboriginal when throwing the boomerang, is equally definitive. I
    conceive it quite possible that the position of the boomerang close
    to the right hand conveys the idea that this man has just thrown the
    missile at the subject of _a_, allowing, of course, for the want of
    a knowledge of perspective on the part of the aboriginal artist. * *

    In several other figures the head is a mere rounded outline, but
    in _b_ it is presented with a rather bird-like appearance. Another
    peculiarity is the great angularity given to the kneecap: this is
    visible both in _a_ and _b_. It is further exemplified in the elbow
    of the left arms of both _a_ and _b_.



The term “Oceanica” is used here without geographic precision, to
include several islands not mentioned in other sections of the present
work, in different parts of the globe, where specially interesting
petroglyphs have been found and made known in publications. Although
more such localities are known than are now mentioned, the pictographs
from them are not of sufficient importance to justify description or
illustration, but it may be remarked that they show the universality of
the pictographic practice.


Dr. Julius von Haast (_a_) published notes, condensed as follows,
descriptive of the illustration produced here as Fig. 133:

    The most remarkable petroglyphs found in New Zealand are
    situated about 1 mile on the western side of the Weka Pass road
    in a rock shelter, which is washed out of a vertical wall of rock
    lining a small valley for about 300 feet on its right or southern
    side. The whole length of the rock below the shelter has been used
    for painting, and it is evident that some order has been followed in
    the arrangement of the subjects and figures. The paint consists of
    kokowai (red oxide of iron), of which the present aborigines of New
    Zealand make still extensive use, and of some fatty substance, such
    as fish oil, or perhaps some oily bird fat. It has been well fixed
    upon the somewhat porous rock and no amount of rubbing will get it

    Some of the principal objects evidently belong to the animal
    kingdom, and represent animals which either do not occur in New
    Zealand or are only of a mythical or fabulous character. The
    paintings occur over a face of about 65 feet, and the upper end of
    some reaches 8 feet above the floor, the average height, however,
    being 4 to 5 feet. They are all of considerable size, most of them
    measuring several feet, and one of them even having a length of 15

    Beginning at the eastern end in the left-hand corner is the
    representation _a_ of what might be taken for a sperm whale with its
    mouth wide open diving downward. This figure is 3 feet long. Five
    feet from it is another figure _c_, which might also represent a
    whale or some fabulous two-headed marine monster. This painting is 3
    feet 4 inches long. Below it, a little to the right in _d_, we have
    the representation of a large snake possessing a swollen head and a
    long protruding tongue. This figure is nearly 3 feet long, and shows
    numerous windings.

    It is difficult to conceive how the natives in a country without
    snakes could not only have traditions about them but actually
    be able to picture them, unless they had received amongst them
    immigrants from tropical countries who had landed on the coasts of
    New Zealand.

    Between the two fishes or whales is _b_, which might represent a
    fishhook, and below the snake _d_ a sword _e_ with a curved blade.

    Advancing toward the right is a group which is of special
    interest, the figure _i_, which is nearly a foot long, having all
    the appearance of a long-necked bird carrying the head as the
    cassowary and emu do, and as the moa has done. If this design should
    represent the moa, I might suggest that it was either a conventional
    way of drawing that bird or that it was already extinct when
    this representation was painted according to tradition; in which
    latter case _k_ might represent the taniwha or gigantic fabulous
    lizard which is said to have watched the moa. _h_ is doubtless a
    quadruped, probably a dog, which was a contemporary of the moa
    and was used also as food by the moa hunters. _j_ is evidently a
    weapon, probably an adz or tomahawk, and might, being close to the
    supposed bird, indicate the manner in which the latter was killed
    during the chase. The post, with the two branches near the top _l_,
    finds a counterpart in the remnant of a similar figure _g_ between
    the figures _c_ and _i_. They might represent some of the means by
    which the moa was caught or indicate that it existed in open country
    between the forest. _m_, under which the rock in the central portion
    has scaled off, is like _f_, one of the designs which resemble
    ancient oriental writing.

    [Illustration: FIG. 133.--Petroglyph in New Zealand.]

    Approaching the middle portion of the wall we find here a
    well-shaped group of paintings, the center of which _n_ has all
    the appearance of a hat ornamented on the crown. The rim of this
    broad-brimmed relic measures 2 feet across. The expert of ancient
    customs and habits of the Malayan and South Indian countries might
    perhaps be able to throw some light upon this and the surrounding
    figures, _o_ to _r_.

    From _q_, which is altogether 3 feet high, evidently issues fire
    or smoke; it therefore might represent a tree on fire, a lamp or an
    altar with incense offering. * * * The figure _o_ is particularly
    well painted, and the outlines are clearly defined, but I can make
    no suggestion as to its meaning. In _s_ we have, doubtless, the
    picture of a human being who is running away from _q_, the object
    from the top of which issues fire or smoke. I am strengthened in my
    conviction that it is meant for a man by observing a similar figure
    running away from the monster _aa_. _p_, which has been placed
    below that group, might be compared to a pair of spectacles, but is
    probably a letter or an imitation of such a sign.

    A little more to the right a figure 6 feet long is very
    prominent. It is probably the representation of a right whale in the
    act of spouting. Above it, in _v_, the figure of a mantis is easily
    recognizable, whilst _u_ and the characters to the right below the
    supposed right whale again resemble cyphers or letters. _w_ and _y_,
    although in many respects different, belong doubtless to the same
    group, and represent large lizards or crocodiles. * * * _w_ is 4
    feet long; it is unfortunately deficient in its lower portion, but
    it is still sufficiently preserved to show that besides four legs it
    possesses two other lower appendages, of which one is forked and the
    other has the appearance of a trident. I wish also to draw attention
    to the unusual form of the head. _y_ is a similar animal 3 feet
    long, but it has eight legs, and head and tail are well defined.
    The head is well rounded off, and both animals represent, without
    doubt, some fabulous animal, such as the taniwha, which is generally
    described as a huge crocodile, of which the ancient legends give so
    many accounts.

    _aa_, a huge snake-like animal 15 feet long, is probably a
    representation of the tuna tuoro, a mythical monster. It is evident
    that the tuna tuoro is in the act of swallowing a man, who tries to
    save himself by running away from it.


Mr. A. Langen (_a_) made a report on the Kei islands and their Ghost
grottoes, with a plate now reproduced as Fig. 134. He says:

    The group of the small Kei islands, more correctly Arue islands
    [southwest from New Guinea], is a sea bottom raised by volcanic
    forces and covered with corals and shells. The corals appear but at
    a few points. They are in the main covered with a layer of shells
    cemented together, whose cement is so hard and firm that it offers
    resistance to the influence of time even after the shell has been
    weathered away.

    [Illustration: FIG. 134.--Petroglyphs in Kei islands.]

    On the whole, all the figures in similar genre are represented
    in thousands of specimens. [They may be divided into three series,
    the first including letters _a_ to _k_; the second, letters _l_
    to _t_; the third, letters _u_ to _cc_.] Many are effaced and
    unrecognizable, only letter _k_, series 1; letters _n_, _o_, _s_,
    _t_, series 2; and letters _cc_, series 3, stand isolated and seem
    to have a peculiar meaning. The popular legend ascribes the greatest
    age to the characters of series 1 and series 2, and it is said that
    the signs record a terrible fight in which the islanders lost many
    dead, but yet remained victors. It is stated that the signs were
    produced by the ghosts of the fallen. The signs of series 3 are said
    to be the work of a woman named Tewaheru, who was able to converse
    with ghosts as well as with the living. But, when on one occasion
    she helped a living man to recover his dead wife by betraying to
    him the secret of making the spirit return to the body, she is said
    to have been destroyed by the ghosts and changed into a blackbird,
    whose call even at this day indicates death. Since that time no
    medium is said to exist between the living and the dead, nor do any
    new signs appear on the rock.

    Investigation in place showed me that the color of series 3
    consists of ocher made up with water. The very oldest drawings
    seem to have been made with water color, as the color has nowhere
    penetrated into the rock. Most of the figures are painted on
    overhanging rocks in such a way as to be protected as much as
    possible against wind and weather; whether they bear any relation to
    the signs on the rocks of Papua, and what that relation may be, I am
    not yet able to judge.

    It may safely be assumed that the caves as abodes of spirits
    were sacred, but did not serve as places of burial. The lead rings
    and pieces of copper gongs found in small number before some of the
    caves seem to be derived from sacrifices offered to the spirits.
    At the present day no more sacrifices are offered there, and the
    islanders knew nothing of the existence of these things.


In this island carved human figures of colossal size have been
frequently noticed in various publications, with and without
illustrations, but apart from those statues ancient stone houses
remain in which have been found large stone slabs bearing painted
figures. Paymaster William J. Thompson, U. S. Navy (_a_) says of the
Orongo houses, that the “smooth slabs lining the walls and ceilings
were ornamented with mythological figures and rude designs painted in
white, red, and black pigments.” The figures partake of the form of
fish and bird-like animals, the exaggerated outlines clearly indicating
mythologic beings, the type of which does not exist in nature. Fig. 135
is presented here, extracted by permission from the work above cited,
and it may be of interest to know that nearly all, if not all, of the
original specimens are now deposited in the U. S. National Museum.

[Illustration: FIG. 135.--Petroglyphs in Easter island.]

While the curious carvings on the wooden tablets which are discussed in
the work of Paymaster Thompson are not petroglyphs, it seems proper to
mention them in this connection. Fig. 136 is taken from Mittheilungen
der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft, in Wien (_a_), and shows one of the
tablets, which does not appear to be presented in this exact form in the
work before mentioned.

[Illustration: FIG. 136.--Tablet from Easter island.]

The following remarks by Prof. de Lacouperie (_b_) are quoted on account
of the eminence of his authority, though the subject is still under

    The character of eastern India, the Vengi-Châlukya, was also
    carried to north Celebes islands. The people have not remained at
    the level required for the practical use of a phonetic writing. It
    is no more used as an alphabet. Curiously enough, it is employed as
    pictorial ornaments on the MSS. they now write in a pictographic
    style of the lowest scale. This I have seen on the facsimile
    (Bilderschriften des Ostindischen Archipels, Pl. I, 1, 11) published
    by Dr. A. B. Meyer, of Dresden, in his splendid album on the
    writings of this region.

    In the Easter island, or Vaihu, some fourteen inscriptions
    have been found incised on wooden boards, perhaps of driftwood.
    The characters are peculiar. Most of them display strange shapes,
    in which, with a little imagination, forms of men, fishes,
    trees, birds, and many other things have been fancied. A curious
    characteristic is that the upper part of the signs are shaped
    somewhat like the head of the herronia or albatross. A pictorial
    tendency is obvious in all of these. Some persons in Europe have
    taken them for hieroglyphics, and have ventured to find a connection
    with the flora and fauna of the island. The knowledge of this
    writing is now lost; and it is not sure that the few priests and
    other men of the last generation who boasted of being able to read
    them could do so thoroughly. Anyhow, in 1770, some chiefs were still
    able to write down their names on a deed of gift when the island was
    taken in the name of Carlos III of Spain.

    In examining carefully the characters I was struck by the forked
    heads of many of them, which reminded me of the forked matras of the
    Vengi-Châlukya inscriptions. A closer comparison with Pls. i to viii
    of the Elements of South Indian Paleography (A. C. Burnell, Elements
    of South Indian Paleography, from the fourth to the seventeenth
    century A. D., being An Introduction to the Study of South Indian
    Inscriptions and MSS., 2d edit., London and Mangalore, 1878; Pls.
    i, vii, viii are specially interesting for the forked matras) soon
    showed me that I was on the right track, and a further study of
    the Vaihu characters, and their analysis by comparing the small
    differences (vocalic notation) existing between several of them,
    convinced me that they are nothing else than a decayed form of the
    above writing of southern India returning to the hieroglyphical
    stage. With this clue, the inscriptions of Easter island are no
    more a sealed text. They can easily be read after a little training.
    Their language is Polynesian, and I can say that the vocabulary of
    the Samoan dialect has proved very useful to me for the purpose.



In the more settled and civilized parts of Europe petroglyphs are
now rarely found. This is, perhaps, accounted for in part by the
many occasions for use of the inscribed rocks or by their demolition
during the long period after the glyphs upon them had ceased to have
their original interest and significance and before their value as now
understood had become recognized. Yet from time to time such glyphs have
been noticed, and they have been copied and described in publications.

But few of the petroglyphs in the civilized portions of Europe not
familiar by publication have that kind of interest which requires their
reproduction in the present paper. It may be sufficient to state in
general terms that Europe is no exception to the rest of the world in
the presence of petroglyphs.

A number of these extant in the British islands and in the Scandinavian
peninsula, besides the few examples presented in this chapter, are
described and illustrated in other parts of this work, and brief
accounts of others recently noted in France, Spain, and Italy are also


Nearly all of the petroglyphs found in the British islands, accounts
of which have been published, belong to the class of cup sculptures
discussed in Chapter V, infra, but several inscriptions showing
characters not limited to that category are mentioned in “Archaic
Rock Inscriptions,” (_a_) from which the following condensed extract
referring to a cairn in county Meath, Ireland, is taken:

    The ornamentation may be thus described: Small circles, with or
    without a central dot; two or many more concentric circles; a small
    circle with a central dot, surrounded by a spiral line; the single
    spiral; the double spiral, or two spirals starting from different
    centers; rows of small lozenges or ovals; stars of six to thirteen
    rays; wheels of nine rays; flower ornaments, sometimes inclosed in
    a circle or wide oval; wave-like lines; groups of lunette-shaped
    lines; pothooks; small squares attached to each other side by side,
    so as to form a reticulated pattern; small attached concentric
    circles; large and small hollows; a cup hollow surrounded by one
    or more circles; lozenges crossed from angle to angle (these and
    the squares produced by scrapings); an ornament like the spine of
    a fish with ribs attached, or the fiber system of some leaf; short
    equiarmed crosses, starting sometimes from a dot and small circle;
    a circle with rays round it, and the whole contained in a circle; a
    series of compressed semicircles like the letters ∩ ∩ ∩ inverted;
    vertical lines far apart, with ribs sloping downwards from them like
    twigs; an ornament like the fiber system of a broad leaf, with the
    stem attached; rude concentric circles with short rays extending
    from part of the outer one; an ornament very like the simple Greek
    fret, with dots in the center of the loop; five zigzag lines and
    two parallel lines, on each of which, and pointing toward each
    other, is a series of cones ornamented by lines radiating from the
    apex, crossed by others parallel to the base--this design has been
    produced by scraping, and I propose to call it the Patella ornament,
    as it strikingly resembles the large species of that shell so common
    on our coasts, and which shell Mr. Conwell discovered in numbers in
    some of the cists, in connection with fragments of pottery and human
    bones; a semicircle with three or four straight lines proceeding
    from it, but not touching it; a dot with several lines radiating
    from it; combinations of short straight lines arranged either at
    right angles to or sloping from a central line; an S-shaped curve,
    each loop inclosing concentric circles; and a vast number of other
    combinations of the circle, spiral, line, and dot, which can not be
    described in writing.

Some of the ancient “Turf-Monuments” of England are to be classed
as petroglyphs. The following extracts from the work of Rev. W. A.
Plenderleath (_b_) give sufficient information on these curious pictures:

    Although all the White Horses, except one, are in Wiltshire,
    that one exception is the great sire and prototype of them all,
    which is at Uffington, just 2-1/2 miles outside the Wiltshire
    Boundary and within that of Berkshire. * * * The one mediæval
    document in which the White Horse is mentioned is a cartulary of
    the Abbey of Abingdon, which must have been written either in the
    reign of Henry II or soon after, and which runs as follows: “It
    was then customary amongst the English that any monks who wished
    might receive money or landed estates and both use and devolve them
    according to their pleasure. Hence two monks of the monastery at
    Abingdon, named Leofric and Godric Cild, appear to have obtained
    by inheritance manors situated upon the banks of the Thames; one
    of them, Godric, becoming possessed of Spersholt, near the place
    commonly known as the White Horse Hill, and the other that of
    Whitchurch, during the time that Aldhelm was abbot of this place.”

    This Aldhelm appears to have been abbot from 1072 to 1084, and
    from the terms in which the White Horse Hill is mentioned the name
    was evidently an old one at that time.

    Now it was only two hundred years before this time, viz, in
    871, that a very famous victory had been gained by King Alfred over
    the Danes close to this very spot. “Four days after the battle of
    Reading,” says Asser, “King Æthelred, and Alfred, his brother,
    fought against the whole army of the pagans at Ashdown. * * * And
    the flower of the pagan youths were there slain, so that neither
    before nor since was ever such destruction known since the Saxons
    first gained Britain by their arms.” And it was in memory of this
    victory that, we are informed by local tradition, Alfred caused
    his men, the day after the battle, to cut out the White Horse, the
    standard of Hengist, on the hillside just under the castle. The
    name Hengist, or Hengst, itself means _Stone Horse_ in the ancient
    language of the Saxons, and Bishop Nicholson, in his “English
    Atlas,” goes so far as to suppose the names of Hengist and Horsa to
    have been not proper at all, but simply emblematical.

    The Uffington horse measures 355 feet from the nose to the tail
    and 120 feet from the ear to the hoof. It faces to sinister, as do
    also those depicted upon all British coins. The slope of the portion
    of the hill upon which it is cut is 39°, but the declivity is very
    considerably greater beneath the figures. The exposure is southwest.

The author then describes the White Horse on Bratton Hill, near
Westbury, Wilts, now obliterated, the dimensions of which were, extreme
length, 100 feet; height, nearly the same; from toe to chest, 54 feet,
and gives accounts of several other White Horses, the antiquity of
which is not so well established. He then (_c_) treats of the Red Horse
in the lordship of Tysoe, in Warwickshire, as follows:

    This is traditionally reported to have been cut in 1461, in
    memory of the exploits of Richard, Earl of Warwick, who was for many
    years one of the most prominent figures in the Wars of the Roses.
    The earl had in the early part of the year found himself, with a
    force of forty thousand men, opposed to Queen Margaret, with sixty
    thousand, at a place called Towton, near Tadcaster. Overborne by
    numbers, the battle was going against him, when, dismounting from
    his horse, he plunged his sword up to the hilt in the animal’s side,
    crying aloud that he would henceforth fight shoulder to shoulder
    with his men. Thereupon the soldiers, animated by their leader’s
    example, rushed forward with such impetuosity that the enemy gave
    way and flew precipitately. No less than twenty-eight thousand
    Lancastrians are said to have fallen in this battle and in the
    pursuit which followed, for the commands of Prince Edward were to
    give no quarter. It was to this victory that the latter owed his
    elevation to the throne, which took place immediately afterwards.

    The Red Horse used to be scoured every year, upon Palm Sunday,
    at the expense of certain neighboring landowners who held their land
    by that tenure, and the scouring is said to have been as largely
    attended and to have been the occasion of as great festivity as that
    of the older horse in the adjoining county of Berks. The figure is
    about 54 feet in extreme length by about 31 in extreme height.

The best known of Turf-Monuments other than horses is the Giant, on
Trendle Hill, near Cerne Abbas, in Dorsetshire. This the same author
(_d_) describes as follows:

    This is a figure roughly representing a man, undraped, and with
    a club in his right hand; the height is 180 feet, and the outlines
    are marked out by a trench 2 feet wide and of about the same depth.
    It covers nearly an acre of ground. Hutchin imagines this figure to
    represent the Saxon god, Heil, and places its date as anterior to
    A. D. 600. * * * Britton, on the other hand, tells us that “vulgar
    tradition makes this figure commemorate the destruction of a giant
    who, having feasted on some sheep in Blackmoor and laid himself
    to sleep on this hill, was pinioned down like another Gulliver
    and killed by the enraged peasants, who immediately traced his
    dimensions for the information of posterity.” There were formerly
    discernible some markings between the legs of the figure rather
    above the level of the ankles, which the country folk took for the
    numerals 748, and imagined to indicate the date. We need, perhaps,
    scarcely remark that Arabic numerals were unknown in Europe until at
    least six centuries later than this period.


Mr. Paul B. Du Chaillu (_a_) gives the following (condensed) account
describing, among many more “rock tracings,” as he calls them, those
reproduced as Figs. 137 and 138:

    There are found in Sweden large pictures engraved on the rocks
    which are of great antiquity, long before the Roman period.

    These are of different kinds and sizes, the most numerous being
    the drawings of ships or boats, canoe-shaped and alike at both ends
    (with figures of men and animals), and of fleets fighting against
    each other or making an attack upon the shore. The hero of the
    fight, or the champion, is generally depicted as much larger than
    the other combatants, who probably were of one people, though of
    different tribes, for their arms are similar and all seem without
    clothing, though in some cases they are represented as wearing a
    helmet or shield.

    On some rocks are representations of cattle, horses, reindeer,
    turtles, ostriches, and camels, the latter showing that in earlier
    times these people were acquainted with more southern climes. The
    greatest number and the largest and most complicated in detail of
    the tracings occur, especially in the present Sweden, in Bohuslän,
    “the ancient Viken of the Sagas,” on the coast of the peninsula
    washed by the Cattegat. They are also found in Norway, especially in
    Smaalenene, a province contiguous to that of Bohuslän, but become
    more scarce in the north, though found on the Trondhjem fjord.

[Illustration: FIG. 137.--Petroglyph in Bohuslän, Sweden.]

Fig. 137 is a copy of a petroglyph in Tanum parish, Bohuslän, Sweden.
The large figure is doubtless a champion or commander, the exaggerated
size of which is to be noted in connection with that of the Zulu chiefs
in Fig. 142, infra, from South Africa, and Fig. 1024, infra, from North
America. There are numerous small holes and footprints between the chief
and the attacking force. Height, 20 feet; width, 15 feet.

    In Bohuslän the tracings are cut in the quartz, which is the
    geological formation of the coast. They are mostly upon slightly
    inclined rocks, which are generally 200 or 300 feet or more above
    the present level of the sea, and which have been polished by the
    action of the ice. The width of the lines in the same representation
    varies from 1 to 2 inches and even more, and their depth is often
    only a third or fourth of an inch, and at times so shallow as to
    be barely perceptible. Those tracings, which have for hundreds,
    perhaps for thousands, of years been laid bare to the ravages of the
    northern climate, are now most difficult to decipher, while those
    which have been protected by earth are as fresh as if they had been
    cut to-day. Many seem to have been cut near the middle or base
    of the hills, which were covered with vegetation, and were in the
    course of time concealed by the detritus from above.

Fig. 138 is from the same author (_b_) and locality. Height, 29 feet;
width, 17 feet. The large birds and footprints and a chief designated
by his size will be noticed, and also a character in the middle of the
extreme upper part of the illustration which may be compared with the
largest human form in Fig. 983, infra, from Tule valley, California.

[Illustration: FIG. 138.--Petroglyph in Bohuslän, Sweden.]


Perrier du Carne (_a_), gives the following account (translated and
condensed) of signs carved on the dolmen of Trou-aux-Anglais, in Épone:

    This dolmen, situated in the commune of Épone, in a place called
    Le Bois de la Garenne, was constructed beneath the ground; it was
    concealed from view and it is to this circumstance, no doubt,
    that its preservation is due. Nothing indicates that it has been
    surmounted by a tumulus; in any case this tumulus had long since
    disappeared, and the ground was entirely leveled when the digging
    was commenced some years ago. * * *

    The characters (Fig. 139) are carved in intaglio on the
    farthest stone of the entrance, on the left side. The whole of the
    inscription measures 1^{m}, 10 in height and 82 centimeters in
    width, and may be divided into two groups, an upper and a lower one.

    [Illustration: FIG. 139.--Petroglyph in Épone, France.]

    The upper character represents a rectangular figure divided into
    three transverse sections; in the third section and almost in the
    center is a cupule.

    The lower character is more complicated and more difficult
    to describe. The first, or left-hand portion, represents a stone
    hatchet with a shaft; there is no doubt as to this, in my mind,
    as the outlines are perfectly clear, the design of the hatchet
    being very distinct. This hatchet measures 0^{m}, 108 in length
    and 38^{mm} in width to the edge of the blade. These are precisely
    the most common dimensions of the hatchets of our country. As to
    the remainder of the character, I think an interpretation of it
    difficult and premature.

    On the whole, the result of an examination of these inscriptions
    leaves the impression that the author did not seek to cover a stone
    with ornamentation, for these outlines have nothing whatever of
    the ornamental, but that he wished to represent to his people, by
    intelligible symbols, some particular idea.

É. Cartailhac (_a_) begins an account of petroglyphs in the Department
of Morbihan, in the old province of Brittany, translated and condensed
as follows:

    It is hardly possible to give a description of the designs in
    the covered way of Gavr’ inis. They are various linear combinations,
    the lines being straight, curved, undulating, isolated, or parallel,
    ramified like a fern, segments of concentric circles, limited or
    not, and decorating certain compartments with close winding spirals,
    recalling vividly the figures produced by the lines on the skin in
    the hollow of the hand and on the tips of the fingers.

    In the midst of accumulated and very oddly grouped lines, which
    no doubt are merely decorative, there are found signs which must
    have had a meaning, and some figures easy to determine.

    The hatchet, the stone hatchet and no other, the large
    hatchet of Tumiac, of Mané-er-Hroèg, and of Mont Saint Michel, is
    represented in intaglio or in relief, real size. A single pillar of
    Gavr’ inis bears eighteen of them. Less numerous groups are seen on
    some other blocks of the same covered way.

    On a little block placed under the ceiling in order to wedge
    up one of the covering slabs, is seen the image of a hatchet with
    handle, conformable to a type found in the marsh of Ehenside in
    Cumberland, England. On many other monuments the presence of
    the same figures of hatchets, with handles or without, has been
    observed. The most curious slab is certainly that of Mané-er-Hroèg.
    It had been broken, and its three pieces had been thrown in disorder
    before the threshold of the crypt. One of its faces, very well
    smoothed off, bears a cartouche in the form of a stirrup, filled
    with enigmatic signs and surrounded above and below by a dozen
    hatchets with handles, all engraved.

    One other sign, the imprint of the naked foot, is to be noted,
    found only once on this slab. Two human footprints are traced on
    one of the pillars of the crypt of the Petit-Mont in Arzon. They
    are said to be divided off, by a slight relief, from the rest of
    the granite frame on which they are sculptured, and which contains
    other drawings. Similar figures, engraved on rock or on tombstones,
    are cited from abroad, in lands far apart. In Sweden, the prints
    of naked or sandaled feet are common among the rock sculptures
    of the age of bronze which represent the curious scenes of the
    life of the people of that period. It is proper to note that these
    Scandinavian and Morbihan sculptures are not synchronous; the idea
    of an immediate influence of one people on the other can not be
    entertained. One might, however, maintain the identity of origin.

    The other inscriptions of Brittany are enigmatic in every
    respect. But they probably had a conventional value, a determined
    meaning. There is first of all a sort of complicated cartouche,
    plainly defined, having the appearance of a buckler or heraldic
    shield. Among the isolated signs it is proper to note a figure
    of the shape of the letter U with the ends spread wide apart and
    curved in opposite directions. It recalls, with some aid from
    the imagination, the character which on the Scandinavian rocks
    represents more plainly ships and barks.

The sculpturing of hands and feet is to be remarked in connection with
similar characters on the rocks in America, many illustrations of which
appear in the present work.

B. Souché (_a_) in 1879 described and illustrated curious characters on
the walls of the crypt of the tumulus of Lisières (Deux-Sèvres), France,
some of which in execution markedly resemble several found in the United
States and figured in this work.


Mr. T. Jagor (_a_) communicated a brochure in reference to the Cueva de
Altamira, transmitted to him by Prof. Vilanova in Madrid: “Short notes
on some prehistoric objects of the province of Santander,” in which Don
Marcelino de Sautuola describes the wall pictures and other finds in the
cave discovered by him at Altamira. Mr. Jagor remarks as follows on the

    The reproductions of the large wall pictures discovered in
    that cave displayed, in part, so excellent technique that the
    question arose how much of this excellence is to be attributed to
    the prehistoric artist, and how much to his modern copyist. Mr.
    Vilanova, who visited the cave soon after its discovery, and who
    regards the wall pictures as prehistoric, being about equal in age
    to the Danish Kjökken-möddings, states that the pictures given are
    pretty faithful imitations of the originals. The published drawings
    are all found on the ceiling of the first cave; on the walls of
    the subsequent caves are seen sketches of those pictures, which
    the artist afterwards completed. The outlines of all the drawings
    have been cut in the wall with coarse instruments, and nearly all
    the bone implements found in the cave show scratches, which render
    it probable that they were used for this purpose. The colors used
    consist merely of various kinds of ocher found in the province,
    without further preparation. Finally Mr. Vilanova reports that in
    the cave farthest back there was found, in his presence, an almost
    perfect specimen of _Ursus spelæus_.

Don Manuel de Góngora y Martinez (_a_) gives the account translated as

    The inscriptions of Fuencaliente are of great interest and
    importance. About one league east of the town, on a spur of the
    Sierra de Quintana, at the site of the Piedra Escritá, there is an
    almost inaccessible place, the home of wild beasts and mountain
    goats. Beyond the river de los Batanes and the river de las Piedras,
    looking toward sunset and toward the town, the artisans of a remote
    age cut skillfully and symmetrically with the point of the pickax
    into the flank of the rock and of the mountain, which is of fine
    flint, leaving a facade or frontispiece 6 yards in height and
    twice as wide, and excavating there two contiguous caves, which are
    wide at the mouth and end in a point, making two triangular niches
    polished on their four faces. On the two outer fronts to the left
    and right appear more than 60 symbols or hieroglyphs, written in
    a simple and rustic way with the index finger of a rude hand, and
    with a reddish bituminous pigment. The niches, about a yard and
    a half in height, 1 yard deep, and half a yard at the mouth, are
    covered by the exceedingly hard and immense rock of the mountain.
    There is formed, as it were, a vestibule or esplanade before the
    monument, and it is defended by a rampart made of the rocks torn
    from the niches, strengthened with juniper, oaks, and cork trees.
    The half-moon, the sun, an ax, a bow and arrows, an ear of corn, a
    heart, a tree, two human figures, and a head with a crown stand out
    among those signs, the foreshadowings of primitive writing.

The inscription on the first triangular face of the second cave is
reproduced here as the left-hand group of the upper part of Fig. 1108,
infra, and that “on the outer plane to the right, which already turns
pyramidally to the north,” is reproduced as the right-hand group of the
same figure. They are inserted at that place for convenient comparison
with other characters on the figure mentioned and with those in Figs.
1097 and 1107.


Mr. Moggridge (in Jour. Anthrop. Inst. Gr. Br. and I., VIII, p. 65)
observes that one of the designs, _q_, reported by Dr. Von Haast from
New Zealand (see Fig. 133), was the same as one which had been seen on
rocks 6,900 feet above the sea in the northwest corner of Italy. He adds:

    The inscriptions are not in colors, as are those given in Dr.
    Von Haast’s paper, but are made by the repeated dots of a sharp
    pointed instrument. It is probable that if we knew how to read them
    they might convey important information, since the same signs occur
    in different combinations, just as the letters of our alphabet recur
    in different combinations to form words. Without the whole of these
    figures we can not say whether the same probability applies to them.



The following examples are selected from the large number of petroglyphs
known to have been discovered in Africa apart from those in Egypt, which
are more immediately connected with the first use of syllabaries and
alphabets, with symbolism and with gesture signs, under which headings
some examples of the Egyptian hieroglyphics appear in this work.


In the Revue Géographique Internationale (_a_) is a communication
upon the rock inscriptions at Tyout (Fig. 140) and Moghar (Fig. 141)
translated, with some condensation, as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 140.--Petroglyphs at Tyout, Algeria.]

    On the last military expedition made in the Sahara Gen. Colonieu
    made a careful restoration of the inscriptions on the rocks, whose
    existence was discovered at Tyout and Moghar. At Tyout these
    inscriptions are engraved on red or Vosgian sandstone, and at
    Moghar on a hard compact calcareous stone. At Moghar the designs
    are more complicated than those at Tyout. An attempt has been made
    to render ideas by more learned processes; to the simplicity of the
    line, the artlessness of the poses which are seen at Tyout, there
    are added at Moghar academic attitudes difficult to render, and
    which must be intended to represent some custom or ceremony in use
    among the peoples who then inhabited this country. The costume at
    Moghar is also more complicated. The ornaments of the head recall
    those of Indians, and the woman’s dress is composed of a waist and
    a short skirt fastened by a girdle with flowing ends. All this is
    very decent and elegant for the period. The infant at the side is
    swaddled. The large crouching figure is the face view of a man who
    seems to be bearing his wife on his shoulders. At the right of this
    group is a giraffe or large antelope. In the composition above may
    be distinguished a solitary individual in a crouching attitude,
    seen in front, the arms crossed in the attitude of prayer or
    astonishment. The animals which figure in the designs at Moghar are
    cattle and partridges. The little quadruped seated on its haunches
    may be a gerboise (kind of rat), very common in these parts.

    In the inscriptions at Tyout we easily recognize the elephant,
    long since extinct in these regions, but neither horse nor camel is
    seen, probably not having been yet imported into the Sahara country.

[Illustration: FIG. 141.--Petroglyphs at Moghar, Algeria.]


While the picture-writings of Egypt are too voluminous for present
discussion and fortunately are thoroughly presented in accessible
publications, it seems necessary to mention the work of the late Mrs.
A. B. Edwards (_a_). She gives a good account of the petroglyphs on the
rocks bounding the ancient river bed of the Nile below Philæ, which show
their employment in a manner similar to that in parts of North America:

    These inscriptions, together with others found in the adjacent
    quarries, range over a period of between three and four thousand
    years, beginning with the early reigns of the ancient empire and
    ending with the Ptolemies and Cæsars. Some are mere autographs.
    Others run to a considerable length. Many are headed with figures
    of gods and worshippers. These, however, are for the most part
    mere graffiti, ill drawn and carelessly sculptured. The records
    they illustrate are chiefly votive. The passer-by adores the gods
    of the cataract, implores their protection, registers his name,
    and states the object of his journey. The votaries are of various
    ranks, periods, and nationalities; but the formula in most instances
    is pretty much the same. Now it is a citizen of Thebes performing
    the pilgrimage to Philæ, or a general at the head of his troops
    returning from a foray in Ethiopia, or a tributary prince doing
    homage to Rameses the Great and associating his suzerain with the
    divinities of the place.


Dr. Richard Andree, in Zeichen bei den Naturvölkern (_a_), presents
well-considered remarks, thus translated:

    The Hottentots and the Bantu peoples of South Africa produce
    no drawings, though the latter accomplish something in indifferent
    sculptures. The draftsmen and painters of South Africa are the
    Bushmen, who in this way, as well as by many other striking
    ethnic traits, testify to their independent ethnic position. The
    extraordinary multitude of figures of men and animals drawn by this
    people within its whole area, now greatly reduced, from the cape at
    the south to the lands and deserts north of the Orange river, and
    which they still draw at this day in gaudy colors, testify to an
    uncommonly firm hand, a keenly observing eye, and a very effective
    characterization. The Bushman artist mostly selects the surfaces
    of the countless rock bowlders, the walls of caves, or rock walls
    protected by overhanging crags, to serve as the canvas whereon to
    practice his art. He either painted his figures with colors or
    chiseled them with a hard sharp stone on the rock wall, so that they
    appear in intaglio. The number of these figures may be judged from
    the fact that Fritsch at Hopetown found “thousands” of them, often
    twenty or more on one block; Hubner, at “Gestoppte Fontein,” in
    Transvaal, saw two hundred to three hundred together, carved in a
    soft slate. The earth colors employed are red, ochre, white, black,
    mixed with fat or also with blood. What instrument (brush?) is
    employed in applying the colors has not yet been ascertained, since,
    so far as I know, no Bushman artist has yet been observed at his
    work. As regards the paintings themselves, various classes may be
    distinguished, but in all cases the subjects are representations of
    figures; ornaments and plants are excluded. First of all, there are
    fights and hunting scenes, in which white men (boers) play a part,
    demonstrating the modern origin of these paintings. Next there are
    representations of animals, both of domestic animals (cattle, dogs)
    and of game, especially the various antelope species, giraffes,
    ostriches, elephants, rhinoceroses, monkeys, etc. A special class
    consists of representations of obscene nature, and, by way of
    exception, there has been drawn in one instance a ship or a palm

Dr. Emil Holub (_a_) says:

    The Bushmen, who are regarded as the lowest type of Africans,
    in one thing excel all the other South African tribes whose
    acquaintance I made between the south coast and 10° south
    latitude. They draw heads of gazelles, elephants, and hippopotami
    astonishingly well. They sketch them in their caves and paint them
    with ochre or chisel them out in rocks with stone implements, and on
    the tops of mountains we may see representations of all the animals
    which have lived in those parts in former times. In many spots where
    hippopotami are now unknown I found beautiful sketches of these
    animals, and in some cases fights between other native races and
    Bushmen are represented.

G. Weitzecker (_a_) gives a report of a large painting, in a cave
at Thaba Phatsoua district of Léribé, here presented as Fig. 142,
containing eighteen characters, with the addition of eight boys’ heads.
It represents the flight of Bushman women before some Zulu Kaffirs
(Matebele). The description, translated, is as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 142.--Petroglyph in Léribé, South Africa.]

    As usual, the Bushmen are represented as dwarfs and painted
    in bright color as contrasted with the Kaffirs, who are painted
    large and of dark color. The scene is full of life, a true artistic
    conception, and in the details there are many important things to
    be noted. For this reason I add a sketch of it, with the figures
    numbered, in order to be able to send you some brief annotations.

    I will premise that as far as the women are concerned, in the
    small figures, no mistaken notion should be entertained in regard to
    the anterior appendages which catch, or rather strike, the eye in
    some of them. There is question simply of the pudendal coverings of
    the Bushman women, consisting of a strip of skin, and flapping in
    the wind.

    _a_ seems to represent a woman in an advanced interesting
    condition, who in her headlong flight has lost even her mantle.
    She holds in her hand a mogope (disproportionate); that is to say,
    a gourd dipper, such as are found, I believe, among all the south
    African tribes.

    _b._ This figure, besides the mogope which she holds in her left
    hand, carries away in her flight, steadying it on her head with her
    right hand, a nkho (sesuto), a baked earthenware vessel, in which
    drinks are kept, and of which the ethnographic museum now contains
    some specimens. This woman, too, has lost all her clothing except
    the pudendal covering, and she looks pregnant. The attitudes of
    flight, while maintaining equilibrium, I deem very fine.

    _c_, _f_, _g_, _h_, _l_, _m_, and perhaps _j_. Women carrying
    their babies on their backs, as is the practice of the natives, in
    the so-called thari; that is, a sheepskin so prepared that they can
    fasten it to their bodies and hold it secure, even while bent to the
    ground or running.

    _l_ and _m_. Women with twins. It may be worthy of note that the
    painter has placed them last, hampered as they are with a double

    _c._ Apparently a woman who has fallen in her flight. Figures
    _e_ and _i_ represent men, who by their stature might be thought to
    be Bushmen, as also by their color, which, so far as I remember, is
    not the same as that of the men coming up after them, being rather
    similar to that of the women. In that case _e_ would stoop to raise
    the woman _c_ who has fallen, and _i_ would point the way to the
    others. Otherwise, if there is question of Matebeles, which is
    rendered plausible by the fact that _n_ (which evidently represents
    an enemy) is not larger in stature than those two, then _e_ would
    stoop to snatch the baby of the fallen woman, and _i_ would strive
    to catch up with the two women _g_ and _h_, who flee before it.

    _j._ I can not explain this unless as a diffusion of color,
    which has transformed into something unrecognizable the figure of
    the child carried by its mother, who has fallen, like _b_.

    _k_ seems to be a woman resigned to her fate, who touches her
    neck with the left hand, unless, indeed, the line which I take to be
    the arm is the sketch of the thari with the baby.

    _l._ A woman who runs toward the looker-on.

    _m_ represents a woman who has sat down, perhaps in order to
    place her twins better in the thari, while behind her _n_ arrives,
    preparing to spear her. With _n_ the band of enemies begins plainly,
    _o_ seeming to be the leader, who, standing still, gives the signal.
    But this figure must have been altered by the water, which by
    diluting the color of the body has made it appear as a garment.

    _p_ and _q_. These admirable portraits of impetuosity and menace
    are a pictorial translation of the saying “having long legs so as to
    run fast.”

    _r._ A fine type of an attitude in the poise of running.

The author’s discussion respecting the difference in size between the
male human figures mentioned as indicating their respective tribes
would have been needless had he considered the frequent expedient of
representing chiefs or prominent warriors by figures of much larger
stature than that of common soldiers or subjects. This device is common
in the Egyptian glyphs, and examples of it also appear in the present
work. (See Figs. 138, 139, and 1024.)

The same author, loc. cit., gives a brief account of two petroglyphs
found by him near Leribo, in Basutoland, South Africa. They were on a
large hollow rock overlooking a plain where the bushmen might spy game.
The rock was all covered with pictures to a man’s height. Many of them
were entirely or almost entirely spoiled, both by the hands of herdsmen
and by water running down the walls in time of rain. Some of them,
however, are still very well preserved. They are shown on Fig. 143.

[Illustration: FIG. 143.--Petroglyphs in Basutoland, South Africa.]

The left hand character represents a man milking an animal; the latter,
judging by the back part, especially by the legs, was at first taken for
an elephant; but the fore parts, especially the fore legs, evidently
are those of a bovine creature or of an elk (eland). The enormous
proportions of the back part are probably due to diffusion of colors,
through the action of water running down the rock. The right hand
character represents the sketch of an elk (eland), on which and under
which are depicted four monkeys, admirable for fidelity of expression.
The legs, with one exception, are not finished.


These islands are considered in connection with the continent of Africa.

[Illustration: FIG. 144.--Petroglyphs in the Canary islands.]

S. Berthelot (_a_) gives an account, referring to Figs. 144 and 145,
from which the following is extracted and translated:

    A site very little frequented, designated by the name of Los
    Letreros, appears to have been inhabited in very ancient times by
    one of the aboriginal tribes established on the Island of Fer, one
    of the Canary islands. At a distance of about three-quarters of a
    league from the coast all the land sloping and broken by volcanic
    mounds extends in undulations to the edge of the cliffs which flank
    the coast. It is on this desert site, called Los Letreros, that
    inscriptions are found engraved on an ancient flow of basaltic lava,
    with a smooth surface, over an extent of more than 400 meters. On
    all this surface, at various distances and without any relation
    to each other, but placed where the lava presents the smoothest
    spots, rendered shining and glassy by the light varnish left by the
    volcanic matter in cooling, are the various groups of characters.

    When we examine closely these different signs or characters
    so deeply engraved [pecked] on the rock, doubtless by means of
    some hard stone (obsidian or basalt), the first thing observed is
    that several identical signs are reproduced several times in the
    same group. These are, first, round and oval characters, more or
    less perfect, sometimes simple and isolated, again agglomerated in
    one group. These characters so often reproduced are again seen in
    juxtaposition or united, sometimes to others which are similar,
    sometimes to different ones, and even inclosed in others similar to
    them; for example, _a_ in Fig. 144.

    Round or more or less oval characters reappear several times in

    Others, which are not met with more than once or twice among the
    groups of signs, also present notable variations; examples in _c_.

    Of these are formed composite groups _d_, which belong, however,
    to the system of round signs.

    Other analogous but not identical signs appear to assume rather
    the ovoid form than the round, and seem to have been so traced as
    not to be confounded with the round symbols. Some of them resemble
    leaves or fruit.

    Another system of simple characters is the straight line, which
    can be represented by a stroke of the pen, isolated or repeated as
    if in numeration, and sometimes accompanied by other signs.

    Other peculiar signs shown in _e_, which are not repeated,
    figure in the different groups of characters which the author has

    We notice further, in _f_, a small number of signs which bear a
    certain analogy to each other, and several of which are accompanied
    by other and more simple characters.

    Several others still more complicated are in eccentric shapes
    which it is attempted to present in _g_.

    Including the common oval characters often repeated and those
    consisting of a simple stroke similar to the strokes made by school
    children, all the various engraved characters scarcely exceed 400.

    Fig. 145 gives a view of a series of different groups of signs
    in the length of the whole lava flow. The copyist has expressed
    by dots those symbols which were confused, partly defaced by the
    weather, or destroyed by fissures in the rock.

[Illustration: FIG. 145.--Petroglyphs in Canary Islands.]

The same author (_b_) gives an account of several strange characters
found engraved on a rock of the grotto of Belmaco, in the island of La
Palma, one of the Canaries. He says:

    These drawings, presented that they may be compared with those
    of Fer Island (Los Letreros), show some fifteen signs, some of which
    are repeated several times and others partly effaced by weather,
    or at least feebly traced. But what seems most remarkable is that
    six or seven signs are recognized as exactly similar to those
    of Letreros, of the island of Fer, and almost all the others are
    analogous, for we recognize at once in comparing them the same style
    of bizarre writing, formed of hieroglyphic characters, mainly rude



A considerable number of petroglyphs found in Asia are described and
illustrated under other headings of this work. The following are
presented here for geographic grouping:


Prof. Terrien de Lacouperie (_c_) says:

    It is apparently to the art of the aboriginal non-Chinese that
    the following inscription [not copied] belongs, should it be proved
    to be primitive; and it is the only precise mention I have ever
    found of the kind in my researches.

    Outside of Li-tch’eng (in N. Shangtang), at some 500 li on the
    west towards the north, is a stone cliff mountain, on the upper
    parts of which may be seen marks and lines representing animals and
    horses. They are numerous and well drawn, like a picture.


Prof. Edward S. Morse (_a_) kindly furnishes the illustration, reduced
from a drawing made by a Japanese gentleman, Mr. Morishima, which is
here reproduced (1/30 original size) as Fig. 145 _a_:

[Illustration: FIG. 145 _a_.--Petroglyph in Yezo, Japan.]

Prof. Morse in a letter gives further information as follows: “The
inscriptions are cut in a rough way on the side of the cliff on the
northwestern side of the bay of Otaru. Otaru is a little town on the
western coast of Yezo. The cliffs are of soft, white tufa about 100 feet
high, and the inscriptions were cut possibly with stone axes, and were 1
inch in width and from 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch in depth. They are about 4
feet from the ground.”

Prof. John Milne (_a_) remarks upon the same petroglyph, of which he
gives a rude copy, as follows:

    So far as I could learn the Japanese are quite unable to
    recognize any of the characters, and they regard them as being the
    work of the Ainos.

    I may remark that several of the characters are like the runic
    _m_. It has been suggested that they have a resemblance to old
    Chinese. A second suggestion was that they might be drawings of the
    insignia of rank carried by certain priests; a third idea was that
    they were phallic; a fourth that they were rough representations of
    men and animals, the runic m being a bird; and a fifth that they
    were the handicraft of some gentleman desirous of imposing upon the
    credulity of wandering archæologists.

    I myself am inclined to think that they were the work of the
    peoples who have left so many traces of themselves in the shape of
    kitchen middens and various implements in this locality. In this
    case they may be Aino.

Another illustration from Japan is presented in Pl. LII.


Mr. Rivett-Carnac, in Archæologic Notes on Ancient Sculpturings on Rocks
in Kumaon, India (_a_), gives a description of the glyphs copied in Fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 146.--Petroglyphs at Chandeshwar, India.]

    At a point about two miles and a half south of Dwara-Hath, and
    twelve miles north of the military station of Ranikhet in Kumaon,
    the bridle-road leading from the plains through Naini Tal and
    Ranikhet to Baijnath, and thence on to the celebrated shrine of
    Bidranath, is carried through a narrow gorge at the mouth of which
    is a temple sacred to Mahadeo, ... which is locally known by the
    name of Chandeshwar.

    About two hundred yards south of the temple, toward the middle
    of the defile, rises a rock at an angle of forty-five degrees
    presenting a surface upon which, in a space measuring fourteen
    feet in height by twelve in breadth, more than two hundred cups
    are sculptured. They vary from an inch and a half to six inches in
    diameter and from half an inch to an inch in depth, and are arranged
    in groups composed of approximately parallel rows.

The cups are mostly of the simple types and only exceptionally
surrounded by single rings or connected by grooves.


N. S. Shtukin (_a_) referring to certain picture-writings on the
cliffs of the Yenesei river, in the Quarterly Isvestia of the Imperial
Geographical Society for 1882, says: “These are figured, but are not
particularly remarkable, except as being the work of invaders from the
far south, perhaps Persians. Camels and pheasants are among the animals

Philip John von Strahlenberg, in An Historico-Geographical Description
of the North and Eastern Parts of Europe and Asia, etc., reported
inscriptions relating to the chase, on the banks of the river Yenesei.
He says of one: “It takes its characteristic features from the
natural history of the region; and we may suppose it to embrace rude
representations of the Siberian hare, the cabarda or musk deer and other
known quadrupeds.”

He also furnishes a transcript of inscriptions found by him on a
precipitous rock on the river Irtish. This rock, which is 36 feet high,
is isolated. It has four sides, one of which faces the water and has
a number of tombs or sepulchral caves beneath. All of the four faces
have rude representations of the human form, and other unintelligible
characters are drawn in red colors in a durable kind of pigment,
which is found to be almost indestructible and is much used for rock

Prof. Terrien de Lacouperie, op. cit., makes the following remarks:

    Symbolical marks, incised or drawn graffitti, not properly
    speaking inscriptions, have been found in Siberia, but they are not
    the expected primitive remains of ancient writings. Some are purely
    Tartar, being written in Mongolian and Kalmuck; others, obviously
    the work of common people, may be Arabic, while some others found
    on the left bank of the Jenissei river are much more interesting.
    They seem to me to be badly written in Syriac, from right to left
    horizontally, before the time of the adaptation of this writing to
    the Uigur and Mongol. The characters are still separated one from
    the other. On one of these graffitti found at the same place several
    Chinese characters, as written by common people, are recognizable.

    Some hieroglyphical graffitti have been discovered on rocks
    above Tomsk, on the right bank of the Tom river, in Siberia. They
    are incised at a height of more than 20 feet. They are very rude,
    and somewhat like the famous Livre de Sauvages of merry fame in
    palæography. Quadrupeds, men, heads, all roughly drawn, and some
    indistinct lines, are all that can be seen. It looks more like
    the pictorial figures which can be used as a means of notation by
    ignorant people at any moment than like an historical beginning of
    some writing. There is not the slightest appearance of any sort of
    regularity or conventional arrangement in them.

    The last we have to speak of are quite peculiar and altogether
    different from the others. The signs are painted in red. They are
    made of straight lines, disposed like drawings of lattices and
    window shades, and also like the tree characters of the Arabs and
    like the runes. They are met with near the Irtisch river, on a rock
    over the stream Smolank.

Figs. 513, 721, 722, and 723, infra, have relation to this geographic

It is to be remarked that some of the Siberian and Tartar characters,
especially those reproduced by Schoolcraft, I, Pls. 65 and 66, have a
strong resemblance to the drawings of the Ojibwa, some of which are
figured and described in the present work, and this coincidence is
more suggestive from the reason that the totem or dodaim, which often
is the subject of those drawings, is a designation which is used by
both the Ojibwa and the Tartar with substantially the same sound and



The simplest form of rock inscription is almost ubiquitous. In
Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Oceanica, shallow, round, cup-like
depressions are found, sometimes in rows, sometimes singly, sometimes
surrounded by a ring or rings, but often quite plain. The cup-markers
often arranged their sculpturings in regularly spaced rows, not
infrequently surrounding them with one or more clearly cut rings;
sometimes, again, they associated them with concentric circles or
spirals. Occasionally the sculptors demonstrated the artificial
character of their work by carving it in spots beyond the reach of
atmospheric influences, such as the interiors of stone cists or of
dwellings. It must, however, be noted that, although there is thus
established a distinction between those markings which are natural and
those which are artificial, it is possible that there may have been
some distant connection between the two, and that the depressions worn
by wind and rain may have suggested the idea of the devices, now called
cup-markings, to those who first sculptured them.

Vast numbers of these cup stones are found in the British islands,
often connected with other petroglyphs. In the county of Northumberland
alone there are 53 stones charged with 350 sculptures, among which are
many cup depressions. So also in Germany, France, Denmark, and indeed
everywhere in Europe, but these forms took their greatest development in

The leading work relating to this kind of sculpture is that of Prof. J.
Y. Simpson (_a_), afterward known as Sir James Simpson, who reduces the
forms of the cup sculptures to seven elementary types, here reproduced
in Fig. 147. His classification is as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 147.--Types of cup sculptures.]

    First type. _Single cups._--They are the simplest type of these
    ancient stone-cuttings. Their diameter varies from 1 inch to 3
    inches and more, while they are often only half an inch deep, but
    rarely deeper than an inch or an inch and a half. They commonly
    appear in different sizes on the same stone or rock, and although
    they sometimes form the only sculptures on a surface they are
    more frequently associated with figures of a different character.
    They are in general scattered without order over the surface, but
    occasionally four or five or more of them are placed in more or less
    regular groups, exhibiting a constellation-like arrangement.

    Second type. _Cups surrounded by a single ring._--The incised
    rings are usually much shallower than the cups and mostly surround
    cups of comparatively large size. The ring is either complete or
    broken, and in the latter case it is often traversed by a radial
    groove which runs from the central cup through and even beyond the

    Third type. _Cups surrounded by a series of concentric complete
    rings._--In this complete annular form the central cup is generally
    more deeply cut than the surrounding rings, but not always.

    Fourth type. _Cups surrounded by a series of concentric, but
    incomplete rings having a straight radial groove._--This type
    constitutes perhaps the most common form of the circular carvings.
    The rings generally touch the radial line at both extremities, but
    sometimes they terminate on each side of it without touching it.
    The radial groove occasionally extends considerably beyond the
    outer circle, and in most cases it runs in a more or less downward
    direction on the stone or rock. Sometimes it runs on and unites into
    a common line with other ducts or grooves coming from other circles,
    till thus several series of concentric rings are conjoined into a
    larger or smaller cluster, united together by the extension of their
    radial branch-like grooves.

    Fifth type. _Cups surrounded by concentric rings and flexed
    lines._--The number of inclosing or concentric rings is generally
    fewer in this type than in the two last preceding types, and seldom
    exceeds two or three in number.

    Sixth type. _Concentric rings without a central cup._--In many
    cases the concentric rings of the types already described appear
    without a central cup or depression, which is most frequently
    wanting in the complete concentric circles of the third type.

    Seventh type. _Concentric circular lines of the form of a spiral
    or volute._--The central beginning of the spiral line is usually,
    but not always, marked by a cup-like excavation.

It often occurs that two, three, or more of these various types are
found on the same stone or rock, a fact indicating that they are
intimately allied to each other.

Prof. Simpson presents what he calls “the chief deviations from the
principal types” reproduced here as Fig. 148.

[Illustration: FIG. 148.--Variants of cup sculptures.]

The first four designs represent cups connected by grooves, which is
a noticeable and frequently occurring feature. In Fig. 149 views of
sculptured rock surfaces at Auchnabreach, Argyleshire, Scotland, are
given. Simple cups, cups surrounded by one ring or by concentric rings,
with radial grooves and spirals, appear here promiscuously mingled. Fig.
150 exhibits isolated as well as connected cups, a cup surrounded by
a ring, and concentric rings with radial grooves, on a standing stone
(menhir), belonging to a group of seven at Ballymenach, in the parish of
Kilmichael-Glassary, in Argyleshire, Scotland.

[Illustration: FIG. 149.--Cup sculptures at Auchnabreach, Scotland.]

[Illustration: FIG. 150.--Cup sculptures at Ballymenach, Scotland.]

Dr. Berthold Seeman remarks concerning the characters in Fig. 105,
supra, copied from a rock in Chiriqui, Panama, that he discovers in it a
great resemblance to those of Northumberland, Scotland, and other parts
of Great Britain. He says, as quoted by Dr. Rau (_d_):

    It is singular that, thousands of miles away, in a remote corner
    of tropical America, we should find the concentric rings and several
    other characters typically identical with those engraved on the
    British rocks.

    The characters in Chiriqui are, like those of Great Britain,
    incised on large stones, the surface of which has not previously
    undergone any smoothing process. The incised stones occur in a
    district of Veraguas (Chiriqui or Alanje), which is now thinly
    inhabited, but which, judging from the numerous tombs, was once
    densely peopled.

    From information received during my two visits to Chiriqui and
    from what has been published since I first drew attention to this
    subject, I am led to believe that there are a great many inscribed
    rocks in that district. But I myself have seen only one, the now
    famous _piedra pintal_ (i. e., painted stone), which is found on
    a plain at Caldera, a few leagues from the town of David. It is
    15 feet high, nearly 50 feet in circumference, and rather flat on
    the top. Every part, especially the eastern side, is covered with
    incised characters about an inch or half an inch deep. The first
    figure on the left hand side represents a radiant sun, followed
    by a series of heads or what appear to be heads, all with some
    variation. It is these heads, particularly the appendages (perhaps
    intended for hair?), which show a certain resemblance to one of the
    most curious characters found on the British rocks, and calling to
    mind the so-called “Ogham characters.” These “heads” are succeeded
    by scorpion-like or branched and other fantastic figures. The top
    of the stone and the other sides are covered with a great number of
    concentric rings and ovals, crossed by lines. It is especially these
    which bear so striking a resemblance to the Northumbrian characters.

[Illustration: FIG. 151.--Cup sculptures in Chiriqui.]

Fig. 151 presents five selected characters from the rock mentioned: _a_
attached to the respective numbers always refers to the Chiriqui and
_b_ to the British type of the several designs; 1_a_ and 1_b_ represent
radiant suns; 2_a_ and 2_b_ show several grooves, radiating from an
outer arch, resembling, as Dr. Seeman thinks, the Ogham characters; 3_a_
and 3_b_ show the completely closed concentric circles; 4_a_ and 4_b_
show how the various characters are connected by lines; 5_a_ and 5_b_
exhibit the groove or outlet of the circle.

Mr. G. H. Kinahan, in Journal of the Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland, 1889, p. 171, gives an account of Barnes’s
Inscribed Dallâus, County Donegal, Ireland. One of his figures bears
four cups joined together by lines forming a cross. The remainder of the
illustrations consist of concentric rings and cups resembling others
already figured in this paper.

Marcano (_c_) describes Fig. 152 as follows:

    The chain of Cuchivero, situated in Venezuela between the
    Orinoco and the Caura, shows on its flanks small plateaus on which
    are numerous stones which seem to have been aligned. This chain is
    separated by a deep valley from that of Tiramuto, from which were
    copied the petroglyphs here presented. The one represents a single
    sun, the other two suns joined together. The rays of the former
    run from one circumference to the other. The other two are joined
    together by a central stroke, and the rays all start from the outer

[Illustration: FIG. 152.--Cup sculptures in Venezuela.]

The same author (loc. cit.) thus describes Fig. 153:

    These designs, taken on the little hills of the high Cuchivero,
    differ altogether from the preceding. _a_ is a very regular
    horizontal grouping. It begins by a spiral joined to three figures
    similar among themselves, and similar also to the eyes of jaguars
    which we have often met with. There follows a sort of isolated
    fret; at its right is another, larger and joined to a circle
    different from the preceding; it has a central point, and the second
    circumference is interrupted. The figure terminates in a spiral like
    the one at the beginning of the line, and which, being turned in the
    opposite direction, serves as its pendant.

    [Illustration: FIG. 153.--Cup sculptures in Venezuela.]

    _b_ is formed of two horizontal rows one above the other. We
    there find first of all two frets united by a vertical stroke ending
    in a hook. The characters which follow, resembling those of _a_, are
    distinct in each row, but on closer inspection they are seen to have
    a peculiar correspondence.

Dr. Ladisláu Netto (_b_) gives copies of carvings on the rocks in Brazil
on the banks of the Rio Negro, from Moura to the city of Manaus, and
remarks upon the characters reproduced here as Fig. 154, that they
represent the figure of the multiple concentric circles joined together
two by two, as were found on several other rocks in the same region,
and as they appear in many inscriptions of Central America and at
various points of North America.

[Illustration: FIG. 154.--Cup sculptures in Brazil.]

Senhor Araripe (_b_) gives the following account:

    In Banabuiu, Brazil, about three-quarters of a league from
    the plantation of Caza-nova, on the road to Castelo, is a stone
    resting upon another, at the height of a man, which the inhabitants
    call Pedra-furada (pierced stone) having on its western face the
    inscription in Fig. 155.

    The characters have been much effaced by the rubbing of cattle
    against them; the stone has also cracked. Some fragments lying at
    the foot of it bear on their upper faces round holes made by a sharp
    tool, and resembling those shown in this figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 155.--Cup sculptures in Brazil.]

Cup stones, called by the French _pierres à ecuelles_ and _pierres
à cupules_ and by the Germans _Schalensteine_, are found throughout
Hindustan, on the banks of the Indus, at the foot of the Himalayas,
in the valley of Cashmere, and on the many cromlechs around Nagpoor.
At this very day one may see the Hindu women carrying the water of
the Ganges all the way to the mountains of the Punjab, to pour into
the cupules and thus obtain from the divinity the boon of motherhood
earnestly desired.

The cup sculptures often become imposing by their number and
combination. In the Kamaon mountains there are numerous blocks that
support small basins. One of them is mentioned as being 13 feet in
length by 9 in breadth and 7 in height, and showing five rows of
cupules. At Chandeswar (see Fig. 146) the rocks themselves are covered
with these signs. They present two different types. One of the most
frequent groups shows a simple round cavity; in the others, the cupels
are encircled by a sort of ring carved in intaglio and encircling
figures. One of these figures recalls the swastika, the sacred sign of
the Aryans. The present Hindus are absolutely ignorant of the origin
of these sculptures; they are fain to attribute them to the Goalas, a
mysterious race of shepherd kings who preceded the great invasions which
imprinted an indelible stamp on the Indies as well as on Europe. These
cupels are correlated with the worship of Mahadeo, one of the many names
given to Siva, the third god of the Hindu triad, whose emblem is the
serpent. Chandeswar is reached through a narrow gorge; at the entrance
is found a temple sacred to Mahadeo. The columns and slabs bear cupules
similar to those seen on the rocks.

Some of the Mahadeo designs engraved on stone slabs in this temple (see
Rivett-Carnac, loc. cit.) are represented in Fig. 156, showing a marked
resemblance to and approaching identity with this class of cuttings on
bowlders, rocks, and megalithic monuments in Europe.

[Illustration: FIG. 156.--Cup sculptures in India.]

A large number of stones with typical cup markings have been found in
the United States of America. Some of those illustrated in this paper
are presented in Pl. V, and Figs. 19 and 48.

Among the many attempts, all hitherto unsatisfactory, to explain the
significance of the cup stones as distributed over nearly all parts
of the earth, one statement of Mr. Rivett-Carnac (_b_) is of value as
furnishing the meaning now attached to them in India. He says:

    Having seen sketches and notes on rock sculptures in India which
    closely resemble unexplained rock carvings in Scotland, and having
    myself found one of the Scotch forms cut on a bowlder in Kángrá, *
    * * being at Ayodhyá with a Hindu who speaks good English, I got a
    fakir and drew on the sand of the Gogra the figure [Illustration:
    concentric circles]. I asked what that meant. The fakir at once
    answered, “Mahadeo.” I then drew [Illustration: concentric circles
    with line from center] and got the same answer. At Delhi my old
    acquaintance, Mr. Shaw, told me that these two signs are chalked on
    stones in Kángrá by people marching in marriage processions. The
    meaning given to these two symbols now in India is familiarly known
    to the people.

Mahadeo, more accurately Mahadiva, is the god of generation. He is
worshiped by the Sawas, one of the numerous Hindu sects, under the form
of a phallus, often represented by a simple column, which sometimes
is placed on the yoni or female organ. It is suggested that in a
common form of the sculptures the inner circle represents the Mahadeo
or lingam, and the outer or containing circle the yoni. No idea of
obscenity occurs from this representation to the Hindus, who adore under
this form the generative power in nature.

Prof. Douglas, in the Saturday Review, November 24, 1883, furnishes some
remarks on the topic now considered:

    In Palestine and the country beyond Jordan some of the marks
    found are so large that it has been supposed that they may have
    been used as small presses of wine, or as mortars for pounding the
    gleanings of wheat. But there is an objection to these theories
    as accounting for the marks generally, which is fatal to them. To
    serve these purposes the rocks on which the marks occur should be
    in a horizontal position, whereas in a majority of cases all over
    the world the “cups” are found either on shelving rocks or on the
    sides of perpendicular stones. This renders worthless also the ideas
    which have at different times been put forward that they may have
    been used for some sort of gambling game, or as sun-dials. A Swiss
    archæologist who has lately devoted himself to the question believes
    that he has recognized, in the sculpturings under his observation,
    maps of the surrounding districts, the “cups” indicating the
    mountain peaks. In the same way others have thought that similar
    markings may have been intended as maps or plans pointing out the
    direction and character of old circular camps and cities in their
    neighborhood. But if any such resemblances have been discovered
    they can hardly be other than fortuitous, since it is difficult to
    understand how rows of cup marks, arranged at regular intervals
    and in large numbers, could have served as representatives either
    of the natural features of a country or of camps and cities. But a
    closer resemblance may be found in them as maps if we suppose that
    they were intended to represent things in the heavens rather than
    on earth. The round cup-like marks are reasonably suggestive of
    the sun, moon, and stars, and if only an occasional figure could
    be found representing a constellation, some color might be held
    to be given to the idea; but unfortunately this is not the case.
    Nevertheless the shape of the marks has led many to believe that
    they are relics of the ancient sun worship of Phœnicia, and that
    their existence in Europe is due to the desire of the Phœnician
    colonists to convert our forefathers to their faith. But there are
    many reasons for regarding this theory, though supported by the
    authority of Prof. Nilsson, as untenable. The observations of late
    years have brought to light cup marks and megalithic circles in
    parts of Europe on which a Phœnician foot never trod; and it is a
    curious circumstance that in those portions of the British Isles
    most frequented by these indefatigable traders there are fewer
    traces of these monuments than in the northern and inland districts,
    which were comparatively inaccessible to them.

The Swiss archæologist mentioned above by Prof. Douglas is Fritz
Roediger (_a_), of whose theory the following is a translated abstract:

    What renders the deciphering of these sign stones exceedingly
    difficult (I purposely avoid the words “map stones” because not
    all are such) is their great variety in size, position, material,
    workmanship, and meaning. I will here speak of the latter only,
    inasmuch as there are stones which in their smallest and their
    largest form are yet frequently nothing else than boundary stones,
    whose origin can often not be definitely established as prehistoric,
    while on the other hand again we discover well-marked boundary
    stones, which at the same time show the outline of the piece of
    ground which they guard. Similarly we find prehistoric (Gallic)
    “Leuk” stones, differing from the meter-high communal and state
    boundary stones of modern times in nothing but this, that they
    have some indistinct grooves and one or two hooks, while on the
    other hand we meet “Leuk” stones, which on their restricted heads,
    often also on the side walls, indicate their environs for (Leuk)
    miles around, up, down, and sidewise, while a third class of this
    form merely adorn crossroads, and indicate deviations by means of
    lines and points (waranden). Thus we find quite extensive slabs
    or structures that signify only some hectares, often only one,
    while we meet very small ones, or, at any rate, of moderate size,
    which, one man can move, that represent very large districts, some
    presenting only lines and grooves, others with shells of various
    sizes, a third kind with both kinds of ornaments and samples of
    ornaments, and again others with no sign at all, but yet respected
    as stones of special meaning by the population, and called “hot
    stone,” “pointed stone,” “heath stone,” “child’s stone,” etc. Other
    stones have basin-like or platter-like depressions, and finally
    there are outcropping rocks with marks of one kind or another,
    holes, rents, clefts, etc. A further great difficulty hampering the
    deciphering of these wonderful stones is the lack of opportunities
    for comparison and experience. I have been markedly favored in this
    respect by my sojourn and wanderings in valley, mountain and alp.
    Western Switzerland is a very paradise for investigations of this
    kind, especially the lake country and the upper part of the canton
    of Solothurn (Soleure). A third difficulty, often insuperable, lies
    in the nonexistence of appropriate good maps for comparison. In this
    respect too we are well off in Switzerland.

    According to my observations in this field, now continued nearly
    12 years, prehistoric man had: (1) His land or province survey; (2)
    his circle, district, and communal surveys, in reference to which
    (3) the Alpine surveys deserve special mention, in cantons which
    down to the present day know nothing of such surveys; (4) private
    and special surveys. Thus it seems that my observations lend full
    confirmation to the oldest historic or traditional statements
    concerning the tenure of land of the Kelto-Germans or Germano-Kelts.

Among the Ojibwa concentric circles, according to Schoolcraft (_d_),
constituted the symbol of time. It would be dangerous to explain the
many markings of this character by the suggested symbolism, which also
recalls that of Egypt in relation to the circle-figure. Inquiries
have often been made whether the North American Indians have any
superstitious or religious practices connected with the markings under
consideration, e. g., in relation to the desire for offspring, which
undoubtedly is connected with the sculpturing of cup depressions and
furrows in the eastern hemisphere. No evidence is yet produced of any
such correspondence of practice or tradition relating to it. In the
absence of any extrinsic explanation the prosaic and disappointing
suggestion intrudes that circular concentric rings are easy to draw and
that the act of drawing them suggests the accentuation of depressions
or hollows within their curves. Much stress is laid upon the fact
that the characters are found in so many parts of the earth, with the
implication that all the sculptors used them with the same significance,
thus affording ground for the hypothesis that anciently one race of
people penetrated all the regions designated. But in such an implication
the history of the character formed by two intersecting straight lines
is forgotten. The cross is as common as the cup-stone, and has, or
anciently had, a different signification among the different people
who used it, beginning as a mark and ending as a symbol. Therefore, it
may readily be imagined that the rings in question, which are drawn
nearly as easily as the cross, were at one time favorite but probably
meaningless designs, perhaps, in popular expression, “instinctive”
commencements of the artistic practice, as was the earliest delineation
of the cross-figure. Afterward the rings, if employed as symbols or
emblems, would naturally have a different meaning applied to them in
each region where they now appear.

It must, however, be noted that the figures under discussion can be and
often are the result of conventionalization. A striking remark is made
by Mr. John Murdoch (_a_), of the Smithsonian Institution, that south of
Bering strait the design of the “circle and dot,” which may be regarded
as the root of the cup sculpture, is the conventionalized representation
of a flower, and is very frequently seen as an ornamental device.

An elucidation of some of the most common forms of cup sculptures is
given, without qualification and also without authority, but with the
serene consciousness of certainty, by the Rev. Charles Rogers, “D.D.,
LL. D., F. S. A., Scot., etc.,” as follows:

    The sculptures are sacred books, which the awe-inspired
    worshipper was required to revere and, probably, to salute with
    reverence. A single circle represented the sun, two circles in
    union the sun and moon--Baal and Ashtaroth. The wavy groove passing
    across the circle pointed to the course of water from the clouds, as
    discharged upon the earth. Groups of pit marks pointed to the stars
    or, more probably, to the oaks of the primeval temples.



In leaving the geographic distribution of petroglyphs to examine the
comprehensive theme of pictographs in general, the first and correct
impression is that the mist of the archaic and unknown is also left
and that the glow of current significance is reached. The pictographs
of the American Indians are seldom if ever cryptographs, though very
often conventional and sometimes, for special reasons, preconcerted,
as are their signals. They are intended to be understood without a
key, and nearly all of those illustrated below in the present work are
accompanied by an interpretation. As the art is in actual daily use it
is free from the superstition pending from remote antiquity.

It will be noticed that a large proportion of the pictographs to be now
presented, which are not petroglyphs, are Micmac, Abnaki, Dakota, and
Ojibwa, although it is admitted that as many more could be obtained
from other tribes, such as the Zuñi and the Navajo. The reason for
the omission of details regarding the latter is that they are already
published, or are in the course of publication, by Mrs. Stevenson, Dr.
Matthews, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Fewkes, and other writers, who have specially
devoted themselves to the peoples mentioned and the region occupied by

The present writer obtained a valuable collection of birch-bark
pictographs immemorially and still made by the Passamaquoddy and
Penobscot tribes of Abnaki in Maine, showing a similarity in the use of
picture-writing between the members of the widespread Algonquian stock
in the regions west of the great lakes and those on the northeastern
seaboard. He also learned that the same art was common to the less
known Montagnais and Nascapees in the wooded regions north of the St.
Lawrence. This correlation of the pictographic practice, in manner
and extent, was before inferentially asserted, but no satisfactory
evidence of it had been furnished until the researches of the Bureau of
Ethnology, in 1887 and 1888, made by the writer, brought into direct
comparison the pictography of the Ojibwa with that of the Micmacs and
the Abnaki. Many of the Indians of the last-named tribes still use marks
and devices on birch bark in the ordinary affairs of life, especially
as notices of departure and direction and for warning and guidance. The
religious use of original drawings among them, which is still prominent
among the Ojibwa, has almost ceased, but traces of it remain.

The most interesting of all the accounts regarding the pictographs
of the North American Indians published before the last decade was
contained in the works of Henry R. Schoolcraft, issued in 1853
and subsequent years, and the most frequently quoted part of his
contributions on this subject describes the pictographs of the Ojibwa.
He had special facilities for obtaining accurate information with regard
to all matters relating to that tribe on account of his marriage to one
of its women, a granddaughter of a celebrated chief, Waub-o-jeeg and
daughter of a European named Johnson. She was educated in Ireland and
had sufficient intelligence to understand and describe to her husband
the points of interest relating to her tribe.

The accounts given by Mr. Schoolcraft, with numerous illustrations,
convey the impression that the Ojibwa were nearly as far advanced
in hieroglyphic writing as the Egyptians before their pictorial
representations had become syllabic. The general character of his
voluminous publications has not been such as to assure modern critics
of his accuracy, and the wonderful combination of minuteness and
comprehensiveness attributed by him to the Ojibwa “hieroglyphs” has of
late been generally regarded with suspicion. It was considered in the
Bureau of Ethnology an important duty to ascertain how much of truth
existed in these remarkable accounts, and for that purpose the writer,
with Dr. Hoffman as assistant, examined the most favorable points in the
present habitat of the tribe, namely, the northern regions of Minnesota
and Wisconsin, to ascertain how much was yet to be discovered.

The general results of the comparison of Schoolcraft’s statements with
what is now found show that he told the truth in substance, but with
much exaggeration and coloring. The word “coloring” is particularly
appropriate, because in his copious illustrations various colors were
used freely and with apparent significance, whereas, in fact, the
general rule in regard to the birch-bark rolls was that they were never
colored at all; indeed, the bark was not adapted to coloration. The
metaphorical coloring was also flourished by him in a manner which seems
absurd to any thorough student of the Indian philosophy and religions.
Metaphysical concepts are attached by him to some of the devices which
he calls “symbols,” which could never have been entertained by a people
in the stage of culture of the Ojibwa. While some symbolism, in the wide
sense of the term, may be perceived, iconography and ideography are more

The largest part of the bark rolls and other pictographs of the Ojibwa
obtained by the Bureau, relates to the ceremonies of the Midē' and
of the shamanistic orders; another division refers to the Jessakid
performances, which can be classed under the head of jugglery; and a
third part embraces the more current and practical uses. Examples of all
of these are given, infra.

The difficulties sometimes attending the pursuit of ceremonial
pictographs were exemplified to the writer at Odanah, Wisconsin. Very
few of the Ojibwa in that neighborhood, who are generally civilized and
in easy circumstances, had any more than a vague knowledge that such
things as inscribed bark rolls had ever existed. Three, however, were
traced and one was shown. The owner, an uncompromising heathen, was
called Kitche-sha-bads. “Kitche” means big, “sha” is an attempt at the
French form of John, and “bads” is a bad shot at Baptiste, the whole
translation, therefore, being “Big John the Baptist.” This old fellow,
though by no means as enterprising or successful as some of the younger
generation, had a snug house and farm and $300 in the savings bank at
Ashland. One thing, however, he needed, viz, whisky. The strictest
regulations prevailed on the reservation, really prohibitory to the
introduction of spirits, and, indeed, there was at the nearest town,
Ashland, a severe penalty for selling any form of liquor to an Indian.
To obtain whisky, therefore, was the only consideration which would
tempt him to allow a copy of the roll to be taken or by which he could
be induced to recite or rather to chant it in the manner prescribed.
He was undoubtedly accomplished in the knowledge of the Midē' rites,
and the roll, which was shown in his hands, but not out of them, is
substantially the same as one of those copied in the present work, which
was discovered several hundred miles farther northwest among a different
division of the same tribe. The shaman began rather mildly to plead that
he was an old man and could not remember well unless his spirit was made
good by a little whisky. This difficulty might have been obviated by a
traveler’s pocket flask, but his demands increased with great rapidity.
He said that the roll could only be sung at night, that he must have
another old man to help him, and the old man must have whisky; then that
there must be a number of young men, who would join in the chorus, and
all the young men must have whisky too. These demands made it evident
that he was intending to have a drunken orgy, which resulted in a
cloture of the debate. And yet the idea of the old shaman was in its
way correct. The ceremonial chants could be advantageously pronounced
only under inspiration, which was of old obtained by a tedious form of
intoxication, now expedited by alcohol.

The fact that this work shows a large proportion of pictographs from
the Siouan linguistic family, and especially from the Dakota division
of that family, may be explained partly by the greater familiarity of
the present writer with it than with most other Indian divisions. Yet
probably more distinctive examples of evolution in ideography and in
other details of picture-writing are found still extant among the Dakota
than among any other North American tribe. The degree of advance made by
the Dakota was well expressed by the Rev. S. D. Hinman, who was born,
lived, married, and died in their midst, and, though unfortunately he
committed to writing but little of his knowledge, was more thoroughly
informed about that people than any other man of European descent.

To express his views clearly he gave to this writer in a manuscript
communication his own classification of pictography (which is not in all
respects approved) as follows:

_I. Picturing._--[This is the method called by Prof. Brinton (_b_)
iconographic writing.] This shows a simple representation of a thing or
event in picture, as of a bear, a man’s hand, a battle.

_II. Ideography._--This arbitrarily, though significantly, recalls an
idea or abstract quality, as love or goodness.

_III. Picture-writing._--This will, in picture and character,
arbitrarily or otherwise, recite a connected story, there being
a picture or character for every word, even for conjunctions and

_IV. Phonetic writing._--This gives phonetic value to every picture and
spells out the words by sound, almost as in later alphabets, as if a
lion should stand for the “l” sound, a bear for the “b” sound, etc., and
from this last by modification came alphabets. [This is the familiar
theory, which is accurate so far as it is applicable, of the initial
sound, but other elements are disregarded, such as the “rebus,” for
which special class Prof. Brinton, loc. cit., has invented the title of
the Iconomatic method.]

Accepting this chronologic if not evolutionary arrangement, Mr. Hinman
decided that the Dakota picture-writing had passed through stage I
and was already entering upon stage II when it was first observed by
the European explorers. Of III and IV he found no examples in Dakota
pictography, though in sign language the Dakota had progressed further
and had entered upon III.

As a summary of the topic it seems that pictographs other than
petroglyphs which presumably are more modern than most of the
latter, can be studied, not by geographic distribution, but by their
ascertainable intent and use. Unless the classification of the remaining
part of this work under its various headings has been defective, further
discussion in this chapter is unnecessary.



Substances on which pictographs are made may be divided into--

      I. The human body.
     II. Natural objects other than the human body.
    III. Artificial objects.



Markings on human bodies are--(1) Those expressed by painting or such
coloration as is not permanent. It has been found convenient to treat
this topic under the heading of “Significance of Colors,” Chap. XVIII,
Sec. 3. (2) Those of intended permanence upon the skin, generally called
tattoo, but including scarification. This enormous and involved topic is
discussed, so far as space allows, under the heading of “Totems, Titles,
and Names,” Chapter XIII, Sec. 3, where it seems to be most convenient
in the general arrangement of this work. Though logically it might have
been divided among several of the headings, that course would have
involved much repetition or cross reference.



Other natural objects may be divided into--(1) Stone; (2) bone; (3)
skins; (4) feathers and quills; (5) gourds; (6) shells; (7) earth and
sand; (8) copper; (9) wood.


This caption comprises the pictographs upon stone surfaces or tablets
which are not of the dimensions or in the position to be included under
the heading of petroglyphs, as elsewhere defined. Accounts, with and
without illustrations, have been published of several engraved tablets,
regarding which there has been much discussion, and some examples
appear, infra, under the appropriate heading. (See Chapter XXII, Sec.
1.) Other examples, in which the genuine aboriginal character of the
work is undisputed, appear in the present work, and a large number of
other engraved and incised stone objects could be referred to, some of
which are in the possession of the Bureau of Ethnology, unpublished,
others being figured in its several reports. It is sufficient now for
illustration of this subject to refer to the account accompanying
Pl. LI, infra, describing and copying the Thruston tablet, which is,
perhaps, the most interesting of any pictograph on stone yet discovered,
the genuineness of which as Indian work has not been called in question.


For instances of the use of bone, several Alaskan and Eskimo carvings
figured in this work may be referred to, e. g., Figs. 334, 459-462, 534,
703, 704, 742, 771, 844, and 1228.

[Illustration: FIG. 157.--Comanche drawing on shoulder-blade.]

Fig. 157, copied from Schoolcraft (_e_), is taken from the
shoulder-blade of a buffalo found on the plains in the Comanche country
of Texas. He says:

    It is a symbol showing the strife for the buffalo existing
    between the Indian and white races. The Indian (1) presented on
    horseback, protected by his ornamented shield and armed with a
    lance, (2) kills a Spaniard (3) after a circuitous chase (6), the
    latter being armed with a gun. His companion (4), armed with a
    lance, shares the same fate.

It may be questioned whether Mr. Schoolcraft was not too active in the
search for symbols in his explanation of (6) as a circuitous chase. The
device is either a lasso or a lariat, and relates to the possession or
attempt to take possession of the buffalo. The design (5), however, well
expresses ideographically the fact that the buffalo at the time was in
contention, and therefore was the property half of the Indians and half
of the whites.


A large number of pictographs upon the hides of animals are mentioned in
the present paper. Pl. XX, with its description in the Dakota Winter
Counts, infra, Chap, X, Sec. 2, is one instance. Rawhide drum-heads are
also used to paint upon, as by the shamans of the Ojibwa.

The use of robes made of the hides of buffalo and other large animals,
painted with biographic, shamanistic, and other devices, is also
mentioned in various parts of this work. A description of very early
observation is now introduced, taken from John Ribault in Hakluyt (_a_).

    The king gaue our Captaine at his departure a plume or fanne of
    Hernshawes feathers died in red, and a basket made of Palmeboughes
    after the Indian fashion, and wrought very artificially and a great
    skinne painted and drawen throughout with the pictures of diuers
    wilde beasts so liuely drawen and pourtrayed, that nothing lacked
    but life.

With the American use of pictographic robes may be compared the
following account of the same use by Australian natives by Dr. Richard
Andree (_b_).

    The inner side of the opossum skins worn by the blacks is also
    often ornamented with figures. They scratch lines into the skin,
    which afterward are rubbed over with fat and charcoal.


Edward M. Kern, in Schoolcraft (_f_), reports that the Sacramento tribes
of California were very expert in weaving blankets of feathers, many of
them having beautiful figures worked upon them.

The feather work in Mexico, Central America, and the Hawaiian Islands
is well known, often having designs properly to be considered
among pictographs, though in modern times not often passing beyond

Worsnop (op. cit.) mentions that on grand occasions of the “Mindarie”
(i. e., peace festival) the Australian natives decorate the bodies,
face, legs, and feet with the down of wild fowl, stuck on with their own
blood. The ceremony of taking the blood is very painful, yet they stand
it without a murmur. It takes five or six men four to five hours to
decorate one man. The blood is put on the body wet and the down stuck on
the blood, showing, when finished, outlines of man’s head, face, feet,
snakes, emu, fish, trees, birds, and other outlines representing the
moon, stars, sun, and Aurora Australis, the whole meaning that they are
at peace with the world.

Mr. David Boyle (_a_) gives an account of a piece of porcupine quill
work, with an illustration, a part of which is copied in Fig. 158.

[Illustration: FIG. 158.--Quill pictograph.]

    Among the lost or almost lost arts of the Canadian Indians is
    that of employing porcupine quills as in the illustration. Partly
    on account of scarcity of material, but chiefly, it is likely, from
    change of habits and of taste, there are comparatively few Indian
    women now living who attempt to produce any fabric of this kind. * *

    The central figure is meant to represent the eagle or great
    thunder-bird, the belief in which is, or was, widely spread among
    the Indians over the northern part of this continent. * * *

    This beautiful piece of quill work was produced from
    Ek-wah-satch, who resides at Baptiste lake. He informed me that it
    had belonged to his grandfather, who resided near Georgian bay.

See also Fig. 685 for another illustration of pictographic work by
colored porcupine quills.


After gourds have dried the contents are removed and small pebbles or
bones placed in the empty vessel. Handles are sometimes attached. They
serve as rattles in dances and in religious and shamanistic rites. The
representations of natural or mythical objects, connected with the
ceremonies, for which the owner may have special reverence are often
depicted upon their outer surfaces. This custom prevails among the
Pueblos generally, and also among many other tribes, notably those of
the Siouan linguistic stock.

Fig. 159 is a drawing of the Sci-Manzi or “Mescal Woman” of the Kiowa
as it appears on a sacred gourd rattle in the mescal ceremony of that
tribe, and was procured with full explanations in the winter of 1890-’91
by Mr. James Mooney of the Bureau of Ethnology.

[Illustration: FIG. 159.--Pictograph on gourd.]

It shows the rude semblance of a woman, with divergent rays about her
head, a fan in her left hand, and a star under her feet.

The peculiarity of the drawing is its hermeneutic character, which
is rarely ascertained by actual evidence as existing among the North
American Indians. It has a double meaning, and while apparently only
a fantastic figure of a woman, it conveys also to the minds of the
initiated a symbolic representation of the interior of the sacred mescal
lodge. Turning the rattle with the handle toward the east, the lines
forming the halo about the head of the figure represent the circle of
devotees within the lodge. The head itself, with the spots for eyes
and mouth, represents the large consecrated mescal which is placed
upon a crescent-shaped mound of earth in the center of the lodge, this
mound being represented in the figure by a broad, curving line, painted
yellow, forming the curve of the shoulders. Below this is a smaller
crescent curve, the original surface of the gourd, which symbolizes
the smaller crescent mound of ashes built up within the crescent of
earth as the ceremony progresses. The horns of both crescents point
toward the door of the lodge on the east side which, in the figure, is
toward the feet. In the chest of the body is a round globule painted
red, emblematic of the fire within the horns of the crescent in the
lodge. The lower part of the body is green, symbolic of the eastern
ocean beyond which dwells the mescal woman who is the ruling spirit or
divinity to whom prayers are addressed in the ceremony, and the star
under her feet is the morning star which heralds her approach. In her
left hand is a device representing the fan of eagle feathers used to
shield the eyes from the glare of the fire during the ceremony.


The admirable and well illustrated paper, Art in Shell of the Ancient
Americans, by Mr. W. H. Holmes, in the Second Annual Report of the
Bureau of Ethnology, and a similar paper, Burial Mounds of the Northern
Section of the United States, by Prof. Cyrus Thomas, in the Fifth
Annual Report of the same Bureau, render unnecessary present extended
discussion under this head.

One example, however, which is unique in character and of established
authenticity, is presented here as Pl. XV.



Dr. Edward B. Tylor (_a_) gives a description of the mantle copied upon
that plate, which is condensed as follows:

    Among specimens illustrative of native North American arts,
    as yet untouched by European influence, is the deerskin mantle
    ornamented with shellwork, recorded to have belonged to the
    Virginian chief, Powhatan. Of the group of Virginian mantles
    in Tradescant’s collection there only now remains this shell
    embroidered one. It is entered as follows in the MS. catalogue of
    the Ashmolean Museum, in the handwriting of the keeper, Dr. Plot,
    the well-known antiquary, about 1685: “205 Basilica Powhatan Regis
    Virginiani vestis, duabus cervorum cutibus consuta, et nummis
    indicis vulgo cori’s dictis splendidè exornata.” He had at first
    written “Roanoke,” but struck his pen through this word, and wrote
    “cori’s” (i. e. cowries) above, thus by no means improving the
    accuracy of his description.

    The mantle measures about 2.2^{m} in length by 1.6^{m} in
    width. The two deerskins forming it are joined down the middle; no
    hair remains. The ornamental design consists of an upright human
    figure in the middle; divided by the seam; a pair of animals;
    32 spirally-formed rounds (2 in the lowest line have lost their
    shells) and the remains of some work in the right lower corner. The
    marks where shellwork has come away plainly show the hind legs and
    tapering tails of both animals. It is uncertain whether the two
    quadrupeds represent in the conventional manner of picture-writing
    some real animal of the region, or some mythical composite creature
    such as other Algonquin tribes are apt to figure. The decorative
    shellwork is of a kind well known in North America. The shells used
    are _Marginella_; so far as Mr. Edgar A. Smith is able to identify
    them in their present weathered state, _M. nivosa_. They have been
    prepared for fastening on, in two different ways, which may be
    distinguished in the plate. In the animals and rounds, the shells
    have been perforated by grinding on one side, so that a sinew thread
    can be passed through the hole thus made and the mouth. In the man,
    the shells are ground away and rounded off at both ends into beads
    looking roughly ball-like at a distance.

The artistic skill of the North American Indians was not, as a rule,
directed to represent the forms of animals with such accuracy as to
allow of their identification as portraitures. Instead of attempting
such accuracy they generally selected some prominent feature such as
the claws of the bear, which were drawn with exaggeration, or the
tail of the mountain lion which was portrayed of abnormal length over
the animal’s back. Those animals were, therefore, recognized by those
selected features in much the same manner as if there had been a written
legend--“this is a bear” or “a mountain lion,” the want of iconographic
accuracy being admitted. In the animals represented on the mantle no
such indicating feature is obvious, and the general resemblance to the
marten is the only guide to identification.

The habitat of the marten does not include Virginia as a whole, but
the animal is found in the elevated regions of that state. This local
infrequency is not, however, of much significance. If regarded as a clan
totem, as is probable, it may well be that the clan of Powhatan was
connected with the clans of the more northern Algonquian tribes among
whom the marten frequently appears as a clan totem. What is generally
termed the Powhatan confederacy was a union, not apparently ancient, of
a large number of tribal divisions or villages, and it is not known to
which clan (probably extending through many of these tribal divisions)
the head chief Powhatan belonged. There is almost nothing on record
of the clan system of those Virginian Indians, but it is supposed to
be similar to that of the northern and eastern members of the same
linguistic family, among whom the marten clan was and still is found.

The topic of wampum which, considered as to its material, belongs to the
division of shellwork, is with regard to the purposes of the present
paper, discussed under the head of “Mnemonic,” Chap. IX, Sec. 3.


The highly important work, The Mountain Chant, a Navajo Ceremony, in
the Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, by Dr. Washington
Matthews, U. S. Army, and that of Mr. James Stevenson, Ceremonial of
Hasjelti Dailjis and Mythical Sand Painting of the Navajo Indians,
in the Eighth Annual Report of that Bureau, give accounts of most
interesting sand paintings by the Navajo Indians, which were before
unknown. These paintings were made upon the surface of the earth by
means of sand, ashes, and powdered vegetable and mineral matter of
various colors. They were highly elaborate, and were fashioned with care
and ceremony immediately preceding the observance of specific rites, at
the close of which they were obliterated with great nicety. The subject
is further discussed by Dr. W. H. Corbusier, U. S. Army, in the present
paper (see Chap. XIV, Sec. 5).

Mr. Frank Hamilton Cushing, of the Bureau of Ethnology, kindly
contributes the following remarks with special reference to the Zuñi:

    A study of characteristic features in these so-called sand
    pictures of the Navajos would seem to indicate a Pueblo origin of
    the art, this notwithstanding the fact that it is to-day more highly
    developed or at least more extensively practiced amongst the Navajos
    than now, or perhaps ever, amongst the Pueblos. When, during my
    first sojourn with the Zuñi, I found this art practice in vogue
    among the tribal priest magicians and members of cult societies,
    I named it dry or powder painting. I could see at a glance that
    this custom of powder painting had resulted from the effort to
    transfer from a vertical, smooth, and stable surface, which could
    be painted on, to a horizontal and unstable surface, unsuited to
    like treatment, such symbolic and sacramental pictographs as are
    painted on the walls of the kivas, temporarily, as appurtenances
    to the dramaturgic ceremonials of the cult societies, and as
    supposed aids to the magical incantations and formulæ of all the
    monthly, semiannual, and quadrennial observances and fasts of the
    tribal priests; sometimes, also, in the curative or “Betterment”
    ceremonials of these priests. It is noteworthy that, with the
    exception of the invariable “Earth terrace,” “Pathway of (earth)
    life,” and a few other conventional symbols of mortal or earthly
    things (nearly always made of scattered prayer meal), powder
    painting is resorted to amongst the Zuñi only in ceremonials
    pertaining to _all_ the regions or inclusive of the _lower_ region.
    In such cases paintings typical of the North, West, South, and East
    are made on the four corresponding walls of the kiva, whilst the
    lower region is represented by appropriately powder or paint colored
    sand on the floor, and the upper region either by paintings on the
    walls near the ceiling or on stretched skins suspended from the
    latter. Thus the origin of the practice of floor powder painting
    may be seen to have resulted from the effort to represent with more
    dramatic appropriateness or exactness the lower as well as the
    other sacramental regions, and to have been incident to the growth
    from the quaternary of the sextenary or septenary system of world
    division so characteristic of Pueblo culture. Hence it is that I
    attribute the art of powder or sand painting to the Pueblos, and
    believe that it was introduced both by imitation and by the adoption
    of Pueblo men amongst the Navajos. Its greater prevalence amongst
    them to-day is simply due to the fact that having, as a rule, no
    suitable vertical or wall surfaces for pictorial treatment, all
    their larger ceremonial paintings have to be made on the ground, and
    can only or best be made, of course, by this means alone.

    It is proper to add, as having a not inconsiderable bearing on
    the absence generally of screen or skin painting among the Navajos,
    that, with the Pueblos at least, these pictures are--must be--only
    temporary; for they are supposed to be spiritually shadowed, so to
    say, or breathed upon by the gods or god animals they represent,
    during the appealing incantations or calls of the rites; hence the
    paint substance of which they are composed is in a way incarnate,
    and at the end of the ceremonial must be killed and disposed of as
    dead if evil, eaten as medicine if good.

    Further light is thrown on this practice of the Zuñi in making
    use of these suppositively vivified paintings by their kindred
    practice of painting not only fetiches of stone, etc., and sometimes
    of larger idols, then of washing the paint off for use as above
    described, but also of _powder painting in relief_; that is, of
    modeling effigies in sand, sometimes huge in size, of hero or animal
    gods, sacramental mountains, etc., powder painting them in common
    with the rest of the pictures, and afterwards removing the paint for
    medicinal or further ceremonial use.

The construction of the effigies in high relief last above mentioned
should be compared with the effigy mounds mentioned below in this

In connection with the ceremonial use, for temporary dry painting on the
ground, of colored earth and sand and also that of sacred corn meal,
a remarkable parallel is found in India. Mr. Edward Carpenter (_a_)
mentions that the Devadásis, who are popularly called Nautch girls, as a
part of their duty, ornament the floor of the Hindu temples with quaint
figures drawn in rice flour.

The well known mounds or tumuli more or less distinctly representing
animal forms and sometimes called effigy mounds, found chiefly in
Wisconsin and Illinois, come in this category, but it is not possible to
properly discuss them and also give space to the many other topics in
this paper, the facts and authorities upon which are less known or less
accessible. A large amount of information is published by Rev. S. D.
Peet (_a_). Other articles are by Mr. T. H. Lewis in Science, September
7, 1888, and No. 318, 1889. One upon the Serpent mound of Ohio, by Prof.
F. W. Putnam (_a_), is of special interest. It may be suggested as a
summation that there is not sufficient evidence of the erection of this
class of effigy mounds merely for burial purposes. They seldom exceeded
6 feet in height and varied in expanse from 30 to 300 feet. The animals
most frequently recognizable in the constructions are lizards, birds,
and several more or less distinct quadrupeds; serpents and turtles also
are identified. The species of fauna represented are those now or lately
found in the same region. There is a strong probability that the forms
of the mounds in question were determined by totemic superstitions or
tribal habitudes.

In England the pictographs styled “turf monuments” are sometimes made
by cutting the natural turf and filling with chalk the part of the
surface thus laid bare. Sometimes the color depends wholly upon the
limestone, granite, or other rock exposed by removing the turf. Rev. W.
C. Plenderleath (_a_) gives a full account of this variety of pictograph.


This is the only metal on which it is probable that the North American
Indians made designs. To present comparisons of pictures by other
peoples on that or other metals or alloys would be to enter into a
field, the most interesting part of which is classed as numismatic,
and which would be a departure from the present heading. That virgin
copper was used for diverse purposes, generally ornamental, by the North
American Indians, is now established, and there is a presentation of the
subject in Prof. Cyrus Thomas’s (_a_) Burial Mounds. The most distinct
and at the same time surprising account of a true pictographic record on
copper is given by W. W. Warren (_a_), an excellent authority, and is
condensed as follows:

    The Ojibwa of the Crane family hold in their possession a
    circular plate of virgin copper, on which are rudely marked
    indentations and hieroglyphics denoting the number of generations
    of the family who have passed away since they first pitched their
    lodges at Shang-a-waum-ik-ong and took possession of the adjacent
    country, including the island of La Pointe.

    When I witnessed this curious family register in 1843 it was
    exhibited to my father. The old chief kept it carefully buried in
    the ground and seldom displayed it. On this occasion he brought it
    to view only at the entreaty of my mother whose maternal uncle he

    On this plate of copper were marked eight deep indentations,
    denoting the number of his ancestors who had passed away since they
    first lighted their fire at Shang-a-waum-ik-ong. They had all lived
    to a good old age.

    By the rude figure of a man with a hat on its head, placed
    opposite one of these indentations, was denoted the period when the
    white race first made its appearance among them. This mark occurred
    in the third generation, leaving five generations which had passed
    away since that important era in their history.

Mr. I. W. Powell (_a_), Indian superintendent, in the report of the
deputy superintendent-general of Indian affairs of Canada for 1879,
gives an account of some tribes of the northwest coast, especially
the Indians called in the report Newittees, a tribe now known as the
Naqómqilis of the Wakashan family, who treasure pieces of copper
peculiarly shaped and marked. The shape is that of one face of a
truncated pyramid with the base upward. In the broad end appear marks
resembling the holes for eyes and mouth, which are common in masks
of the human face. The narrower end has a rough resemblance to an
ornamental collar. These copper articles were made by the Indians
originally from the native copper, and in 1879 a few were held by the
chiefs who used them for presentation at the potlaches or donation
feasts. The value which is attached to these small pieces of copper,
which are intrinsically worthless, is astounding. For one of them 1,200
blankets were paid, which would at the time and place represent $1,800.
Sometimes a chief in presenting one of them, in order to show his utter
disregard of wealth, would break it into three or four pieces and give
them away, each fragment being perhaps repurchased at an exorbitant sum.
This competition in extravagance for display, under the guise of charity
and humility, has had parallels in the silver-brick and flour-barrel
auctions in parts of the United States, when the actors were white
citizens. Apart from such public exhibitions, the copper tokens seem to
partake of the natures both of fiat money and of talismans.


This division comprises:

(1) _The living tree_, of the use of which for pictographic purposes
there are many descriptions and illustrations in this paper. In addition
to them may be noted the remark made by Bishop De Schweinitz (_a_) in
the Life and Times of Zeisberger, that in 1750 there were numerous tree
carvings at a place on the eastern shore of Cayuga lake, the meaning of
which was known to and interpreted by the Cayuga Indians.

This mode of record or notice is so readily suggested that it is found
throughout the world, e. g., the “hieroglyph” in New Guinea, described
by D’Albertis (_a_), being a drawing in black on a white tree.

(2) _Bark._--The Abnaki and Ojibwa have been and yet continue to be in
the habit of incising pictographic characters and mnemonic marks upon
birch bark. Many descriptions and illustrations of this style are given
in this paper, and admirable colored illustrations of it also appear in
Pl. XIX of the Seventh Ann. Rept. Bureau of Ethnology. The lines appear
sometimes to have been traced on the inner surface of young bark with
a sharply pointed instrument, probably bone, but in other examples the
drawings are made by simple puncturing. The strips of bark, varying
from an inch to several feet in length, roll up after drying, and are by
heating straightened out for examination.

Another mode of drawing on birch bark which appears to be peculiar to
the Abnaki is by scratching the exterior surface, thus displaying a
difference in color between the outermost and the second layer of the
rind, which difference forms the figure. The lower character in Pl. XVI
shows this mode of picturing. It is an exact copy of part of an old bark
record made by the Abnaki of Maine.

They also use the mode of incision, many examples of which appear in
the present work, but their mode of scratching produced a much more
picturesque effect, as is shown also in Fig. 659, than the mere linear

(3) _Manufactured wood._--The Indians of the northwest coast generally
employ wood as the material on which their pictographs are to be made.
Totem posts, boats, boat paddles, the boards constituting the front wall
of a house, and wooden masks, are among the objects used.

Many drawings among the Indians of the interior parts of the United
States are also found upon pipestems made of wood, usually ash.
Among the Arikara boat paddles are used upon which marks of personal
distinction are reproduced, as shown in Fig. 578.

Mortuary records are also drawn upon slabs of wood. (See Figs. 728 and
729). Mnemonic devices, notices of departure, distress, etc., are also
drawn upon slips of wood.

The examples of the use of wood for pictographs which are illustrated
and described in this paper are too numerous for recapitulation; to
them, however, may be added the following from Wilkes’s (_a_) Exploring
Expedition, referring to Fig. 160.

[Illustration: FIG. 160.--Pictographs on wood, Washington.]

    Near an encampment on Chickeeles river, near Puget Sound,
    Washington, were found some rudely carved painted planks, of which
    Mr. Eld made a drawing. These planks were placed upright and nothing
    could be learned of their origin. The colors were exceedingly
    bright, of a kind of red pigment.

Mr. James O. Pattie (_a_) gives an account of a wooden passport given to
him in 1824 by a Pawnee chief. He describes it, without illustration, as
a small piece of wood curiously painted with characters something like
“hieroglyphics.” The chief told Mr. Pattie’s party if they saw any of
his warriors to give them the stick, in which case they would be kindly
treated, which promise was fulfilled a few days later when the party met
a large band of the same tribe on the warpath.



Artificial objects may be classified, so far as is important for the
present work, into, I, fictile fabrics and, II, textile fabrics.


A large number of articles of pottery bearing pictographs are figured in
the illustrated collections by Mr. James Stevenson in the Second Annual
Report, and by Mr. Stevenson and Mr. William H. Holmes in the Third
Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Pipes on which totemic designs
and property marks appear are also common.

The art of pottery was at first limited to vessel-making. In the earlier
stages of culture, vases were confined to simple use as receptacles,
but as culture ripened they were advanced to ceremonial and religious
offices and received devices and representations in color and in relief
connected with the cult to which they were devoted. Among some tribes
large burial vases were fashioned to contain or cover the dead. An
infinite variety of objects, such as pipes, whistles, rattles, toys,
beads, trowels, calendars, masks, and figurines, were made of pottery.
Clays of varying degrees of purity were used, and sometimes these were
tempered with powdered quartz, shell, or like materials. The vessels
were frequently built by coiling. The surface was smoothed by the
hands or the modeling implement or was polished with a stone or other
smoothing tool. Much attention was given to surface embellishment.
The finger nails and various pointed tools were used to scarify and
indent, and elaborate figures and designs were incised. Stamps with
systematically worked designs were sometimes applied to the soft clay.
Cords and woven fabrics were also employed to give diversity to the
surface. With the more advanced tribes, though these simple processes
were still resorted to, engraving, modeling in relief and in the round,
and painting in colors were employed.


Textile fabrics include those products of art in which the elements of
their construction are filamental and mainly combined by using their
flexibility. The processes employed are called wattling, interlacing,
plaiting, netting, weaving, sewing, and embroidery. The materials
generally used by primitive people were pliable vegetal growths, such as
twigs, leaves, roots, canes, rushes, and grasses, and the hair, quills,
feathers, and tendons of animals.

Unlike works in stone and clay, textile articles are seldom long
preserved. Still, from historic accounts and a study of the many
beautiful articles produced by existing Indian tribes, a fair knowledge
of the range and general character of native fabrics may be obtained. In
many cases buried articles of that character have been preserved by the
impregnation of the engirding earths with preservative salts, and also
some fabrics which had been wrapped about buried utensils, or ornaments
of copper remained without serious decay. Charring has also been a means
of preserving cloth, and much has been learned of the weaving done by
ancient workers through impressions upon pottery which had been made
by applying the texture while the clay was still soft. The weaving
appliances were simple, but the results in plain and figured fabrics, in
tapestry, in lace-like embroideries, and in feather-work are admirable.

This subject is discussed by Mr. W. H. Holmes in his paper, A Study
of the Textile Art, etc., in the Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology, in a manner so comprehensive as to embrace the field of
pictography in its relation to woven articles.

Several examples of this application also appear in the present
work. See Figs. 821, 976 and 1167. In addition the following are now

Some of the California tribes are expert workers in grass and roots
in the manufacture of baskets, upon which designs other than for mere
ornamentation are frequently worked. The Yokuts, at Tule river Agency,
in the southeastern part of the State, sometimes incorporate various
human forms in which the arms are suspended at the sides of the body
with the hands directed outward to either side. Above the head is a
heavy horizontal line.

[Illustration: FIG. 161.--Haida basketry hat.]

The following is extracted from Prof. O. T. Mason’s (_a_) paper on
basket work, describing Fig. 161:

    _a_ is a rain hat of twined basketry in spruce root from Haida
    Indians. This figure is the upper view and shows the ornamentation
    in red and black paint. The device in this instance is the
    epitomized form of a bird, perhaps a duck. Omitting the red cross
    on the top the beak, jaws, and nostrils are shown; the eyes at
    the sides near the top, and just behind them the ears. The wings,
    feet, and tail, inclosing a human face, are shown on the margin.
    The Haida, as well as other coast Indians from Cape Flattery to
    Mount Saint Elias, cover everything of use with totemic devices in
    painting and carving.

    _b_ shows the conical shape of _a_. The painted ornamentation on
    these hats is laid on in black and red in the conventional manner of
    ornamentation in vogue among the Haidas and used in the reproduction
    of their various totems on all of their houses, wood and slate
    carvings, and implements.

[Illustration: FIG. 162.--Tsimshian blanket.]

Mr. Niblack (_b_) says, describing Fig. 162:

    The Chilkat and cedar-bark blankets are important factors in all
    ceremonial dances and functions. Other forms of ceremonial blankets
    or mantles are made from Hudson Bay Company blankets, with totemic
    figures worked on them in a variety of ways. The usual method is to
    cut out the totemic figure in red cloth and sew it on to the garment
    (ornamenting it with borders of beads and buttons) by the method
    known as appliqué work; another method is to sew pieces of bright
    abalone or pearl shell or pearl buttons on to the garment in the
    totemic patterns. The illustration is a drawing of a vestment which
    hangs down the back, representing the totem or crest of the wearer.

This specimen is mentioned as the workmanship of the Tsimshian Indians,
at Point Simpson, British Columbia, and represents the halibut.



So far as appears on ancient pictographic works the kind of instruments
and materials with which they were made can be inferred only from its
aspect, though microscopic examination and chemical analysis have
sometimes been successfully applied. A few examples relating to the
topic are given as follows, though other descriptions appear elsewhere
in this treatise.



This title, as here used, is intended to include cutting, pecking,
scratching, and rubbing. The Hidatsa, when scratching upon stone
or rocks, as well as upon pieces of wood, employ a sharply pointed
piece of hard stone, usually a fragment of quartz. The present writer
successfully imitated the Micmac scratchings at Kejimkoojik lake, Nova
Scotia, by using a stone arrow point upon the slate rocks.

The bow-drill was largely used by the Innuit of Alaska in carving bone
and ivory. Their present method of cutting figures and other characters
is by a small steel blade, thick, though sharply pointed, resembling a

Many petroglyphs, e. g., those at Conowingo, Maryland, at Machiasport,
Maine, and in Owens valley, California, present every evidence of having
been deepened if not altogether fashioned by rubbing, either with a
piece of wood and sand or with pointed stone.

To incise or indent lines upon birch bark the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and other
Algonquian tribes used a sharply pointed piece of bone, though they now
prefer an iron nail. Examples of scratching upon the outer surface of
bark are mentioned elsewhere.

Several examples of producing characters on stone by pecking with
another stone are mentioned in this paper, and Mr. J. D. McGuire (_a_),
of Ellicott City, Maryland, has been remarkably successful in forming
petroglyphs with the ordinary Indian stone hammer. Some of the results
established by him are published in The American Anthropologist.



Drawings upon small slabs of wood, found among the Ojibwa, were made
with a piece of red-hot wire or thin iron rod hammered to a point. Such
figures are blackened by being burned in.

When in haste or when better materials are not at hand, the Hidatsa
sometimes drew upon a piece of wood or the shoulder-blade of a buffalo
with a piece of charcoal from the fire or with a piece of red chalk or
red ocher, with which nearly every warrior is at all times supplied.

Mr. A. W. Howitt, in Manuscript Notes on Australian Pictographs, says:

    Not having any process such as is used by some of the savage
    tribes to soften skins, the harshness of these rugs is remedied by
    marking upon them lines and patterns, which being partly cut through
    the skin give to it a certain amount of suppleness. In former
    times, before the white man enabled the black fellow to supplement
    his meager stock of implements with those of civilization, a Kumai
    made use of the sharp edge of a mussel shell (unio) to cut these
    patterns. At the present time the sharpened edge of the bowl
    of a metal spoon is used, partly because it forms a convenient
    instrument, partly, perhaps, because its bowl bears a resemblance in
    shape to the familiar ancestral tool.



Painting upon robes or skins is executed by means of thin strips of
wood or sometimes of bone. Tufts of antelope hair are also used, by
tying them to sticks to make a brush, but this is evidently a modern
innovation. Pieces of wood, one end of which is chewed so as to produce
a loose fibrous brush, are also used at times, as has been specially
observed among the Teton Dakota.

The Hidatsa and other Northwest Indians usually employ a piece of
buffalo rib or a piece of hard wood having an elliptical form. This is
dipped in a solution of glue, with or without color, and a tracing is
made, which is subsequently filled up and deepened by a repetition of
the process with the same or a stronger solution of the color.

Of late years in the United States colors of civilized manufacture are
readily obtained by the Indians for painting and decoration. Frequently,
however, when the colors of commerce can not be obtained, the aboriginal
colors are still prepared and used. The ferruginous clays of various
shades of brown, red, and yellow occur in nature so widely distributed
that these are the most common and leading tints. Black is generally
prepared by grinding fragments of charcoal into a very fine powder.
Among some tribes, as has also been found in some of the “ancient”
pottery from the Arizona ruins, clay had evidently been mixed with
charcoal to give better body. The black color made by some of the Innuit
tribes is made with blood and charcoal intimately mixed, which is
afterwards applied to incisions in ivory, bone, and wood.

Among the Dakota, colors for dyeing porcupine quills were obtained
chiefly from plants. The vegetable colors, being soluble, penetrate the
substance of the quills more evenly and beautifully than the mineral
colors of eastern manufacture.

The black color of some of the Pueblo pottery is obtained by a special
burning with pulverized manure, into which the vessel is placed as it is
cooling after the first baking. The coloring matter--soot produced by
smoke--is absorbed into the pores of the vessel, and does not wear off
as readily as when colors are applied to the surface by brushes.

In decorating skins or robes the Arikara Indians boil the tail of the
beaver, thus obtaining a viscous fluid which is thin glue. The figures
are first drawn in outline with a piece of beef-rib, or some other flat
bone, the edge only being used after having been dipped into the liquor.
The various pigments to be employed in the drawing are then mixed with
some of the same liquid, in separate vessels, when the various colors
are applied to the objects by means of a sharpened piece of wood or
bone. The colored mixture adheres firmly to the original tracing in glue.

When similar colors are to be applied to wood, the surface is frequently
pecked or slightly incised to receive the color more readily.

Jacques Cartier, in Hakluyt (_b_), reports the Indian women of the Bay
of Chaleur as smearing the face with coal dust and grease.

A small pouch, discovered on the Yellowstone river in 1873, which had
been dropped by some fleeing hostile Sioux, contained several fragments
of black micaceous iron. The latter had almost the appearance and
consistence of graphite, so soft and black was the result upon rubbing
with it. It had evidently been used for decorating the face as war-paint.

Mr. Wm. H. Dall (_a_), treating of the remains found in the mammalian
layers in the Amakuak cave, Unalaska, remarks:

    In the remains of a woman’s work-basket, found in the uppermost
    layer in a cave, were bits of this resin [from the bark of pine or
    spruce driftwood], evidently carefully treasured, with a little
    birch-bark case (the bark also derived from drift logs) containing
    pieces of soft hematite, graphite, and blue carbonate of copper,
    with which the ancient seamstress ornamented her handiwork.

The same author reports (_f_):

    The coloration of wooden articles with native pigments is of
    ancient origin, but all the more elaborate instances that have come
    to my knowledge bore marks of comparatively recent origin. The
    pigments used were blue carbonates of iron and copper; the green
    fungus, or peziza, found in decayed birch and alder wood; hematite
    and red chalk; white infusorial or chalky earth; black charcoal,
    graphite, and micaceous ore of iron. A species of red was sometimes
    derived from pine bark or the cambium of the ground willow.

Stephen Powers (_a_) states that the Shastika women “smear their faces
all over daily with choke-cherry juice, which gives them a bloody,
corsair aspect.”

Mr. A. S. Gatschet, of the Bureau of Ethnology, reports that the
Klamaths of southwestern Oregon employ a black color, lgú, made of burnt
plum seeds and bulrushes, which is applied to the cheeks in the form of
small round spots. This is used during dances. Red paint, for the face
and body, is prepared from a resin exuding from the spruce tree, pánam.
A yellow mineral paint is also employed, consisting probably of ocher
or ferruginous clay. He also says that the Klamath spál, yellow mineral
paint, is of light yellow color, but turns red when burned, after which
it is applied in making small round dots upon the face. The white
infusorial clay is applied in the form of stripes or streaks over the
body. The Klamaths use charcoal, lgúm, in tattooing.

Mud and white clay were used by the Winnebago for the decoration of the
human body and of horses. Some of the California Indians in the vicinity
of Tulare river used a white coloring matter, consisting of infusorial
earth, obtained there. The tribes at and near the geysers north of San
Francisco bay procured vermilion from croppings of cinnabar. The same
report is made with probability of truth concerning the Indians at
the present site of the New Almaden mines, where tribes of the Mutsun
formerly lived. Some of the black coloring matter of pictographs in
Santa Barbara, California, proved on analysis to be a hydrous oxide of
manganese. The Mojave pigments are ocher, clay, and charcoal mingled
with oil.

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, of the Bureau of Ethnology, reports regarding the
Osage that one of their modes of obtaining black color for the face was
by burning a quantity of small willows. When these were charred they
were broken in small pieces and placed in pans, with a little water in
each. The hands were then dipped into the pan and rubbed together and
finally rubbed over the parts to be colored.

Dr. Hoffman reports that among the Hualpai, living on the western border
of the Colorado plateau, Arizona, some persons appeared as if they had
been tattooed in vertical bands from the forehead to the waist, but
upon closer examination it was found that dark and light bands of the
natural skin were produced in the following manner: When a deer or an
antelope had been killed the blood was rubbed over the face and breast,
after which the spread and curved fingers were scratched downward from
the forehead over the face and breast, thus removing some of the blood;
that remaining soon dried and gave the appearance of black stripes. The
exposed portion of the skin retained the natural dark-tanned color,
while that under the coating of coagulated blood became paler by being
protected against the light and air. These persons did not wash off the
marks and after a while the blood began to drop off by desquamation,
leaving lighter spots and lines which for a week or two appear like
tattoo marks. Similar streaks of blood have been held to have originated
tattoo designs in several parts of the world to record success in
hunting or in war, but such evolution does not appear to have resulted
from the transient decoration in the case mentioned.

It is well known that the meal of maize called kunque is yet commonly
used by the Zuñi for ceremonial coloration of their own persons and of
objects used in their religious rites. Hoddentin is less familiarly
known. It is the pollen of the tule, which is a variety of cat-tail
rush growing in all the ponds of the southwestern parts of the United
States. It is a yellow powder with which small buckskin bags are filled
and those bags then attached to the belts of Apache warriors. They are
also worn as amulets by members of the tribe. In dances for the cure of
sickness the shaman applied the powder to the forehead of the patient,
then to his breast in the figure of a cross; next he sprinkles it in
a circle around his couch, then on the heads of the chanters and the
assembled friends of the patient, and lastly upon his own head and into
his own mouth.

Everard F. im Thurn (_c_) gives the following details concerning British

    The dyes used by the Indians to paint their own bodies, and
    occasionally to draw patterns on their implements, are red faroah,
    purple caraweera, blue-black lana, white felspathic clay and, though
    very rarely, a yellow vegetable dye of unknown origin.

    Faroah is the deep red pulp around the seed of a shrub (_Bixa
    orellana_) which grows wild on the banks of some of the rivers, and
    is cultivated by the Indians in their clearings. It is mixed with
    a large quantity of oil. When it is to be used either a mass of it
    is taken in the palm of the hand and rubbed over the skin or other
    surface to be painted, or a pattern of fine lines is drawn with it
    by means of a stick used as a pencil.

    Caraweera is a somewhat similar dye, of a more purplish red,
    and by no means so commonly used. It is prepared from the leaves of
    a yellow-flowered bignonia (_B. chicka_) together with some other
    unimportant ingredients. The dried leaves are boiled. The pot is
    then taken from the fire and the contents being poured into bowls
    are allowed to subside. The clear water left at the top is poured
    away and the sediment is of a beautiful purple color.

    Lana is the juice of the fruit of a small tree (_Genipa
    americana_) with which without further preparation, blue-black lines
    are drawn in patterns, or large surfaces are stained on the skin.
    The dye thus applied is for about a week indelible.

Paul Marcoy (_a_), in Travels in South America, says the Passés, Yuris,
Barrés and Chumanas of Brazil, employ a decoction of indigo or genipa in

F. S. Moreat, M. D., in Jour. Roy. Geog. Soc., XXXII, 1862, p. 125, says
that the Andaman Islanders rubbed earth on the top of the head, probably
for the purpose of ornamentation.

Dr. Richard Andree (_b_) says:

    Long before Europeans came to Australia, the Australian blacks
    knew a kind of pictorial representation, exhibiting scenes from
    their life, illustrating it with great fidelity to nature. An
    interesting specimen of that kind was found on a piece of bark that
    had served as cover of a hut on Lake Tyrrell. The black who produced
    this picture had had intercourse with white people, but had had no
    instruction whatever in drawing. The bark was blackened by smoke
    on the inside, and on this blackened surface the native drew the
    figures with his thumb nail.



This is the most obvious and probably was the earliest use to
which picture-writing was applied. The contrivance of drawing the
representations of objects, to fix in the memory either the objects
themselves or the concepts, facts, or other matters connected with them,
is practiced early by human individuals and is found among peoples the
most ancient historically or in the horizons of culture. After the
adoption of the characters for purely mnemonic purposes, those at first
intended to be iconographic often became converted into ideographic,
emblematic, or symbolic designs, and perhaps in time so greatly
conventionalized that the images of the things designed could no longer
be perceived by the imagination alone.

It is believed, however, that this form and use of picturing were
preceded by the use of material objects which afterwards were reproduced
graphically in paintings, cuttings, and carvings. In the present paper
many examples appear of objects known to have been so used, the graphic
representations of which, made with the same purpose, are explained by
knowledge of the fact. Other instances are mentioned as connected with
the evolution of pictographs, and they possibly may interpret some forms
of the latter which are not yet understood.

This chapter is divided into (1) knotted cords and objects tied;
(2) notched or marked sticks; (3) wampum; (4) order of songs; (5)
traditions; (6) treaties; (7) appointment; (8) numeration; (9)



Dr. Hoffman reports a device among the Indians formerly inhabiting
the mountain valleys north of Los Angeles, California, who brought or
sent to the settlements blankets, skins, and robes for sale. The man
trusted to transport and sell those articles was provided with a number
of strings made of some flexible vegetable fiber, one string for each
class of goods, which were attached to his belt. Every one confiding
an article to the agent fixed the price, and when he disposed of it a
single knot was tied to the proper cord for each real received, or a
double knot for each peso. Thus any particular string indicated the
kind of goods sold, as well as the whole sum realized for them, which
was distributed according to the account among the former owners of the

Mr. George Turner (_a_) says that among the South Sea Islanders tying
a number of knots in a piece of cord was a common way of noting and
remembering things in the absence of a written language.

A peculiar and ingenious mode of expressing thoughts without pronouncing
or writing them in language is still met with among the Indian shepherds
in the Peruvian Cordilleras, though it is practiced merely in the
accounts of the flocks. This system consists of a peculiar intertwining
of various strings into a net-like braidwork, and the diverse modes of
tying these strings form the record, the knots and loops signifying
definite ideas and their combination the connection of these ideas.
This system of mnemonic device, which was practiced by the ancient
Peruvians, was called quipu, and, though a similar knot-writing is found
in China, Tartary, eastern Asia, on many islands of the Pacific, and
even in some parts of Africa, yet in Peru, at the time of the Incas, it
was so elaborately developed as to permit its employment for official
statistics of the government. Of course, as this writing gave no picture
of a word and did not suggest sounds, but, like the notched stick,
merely recalled ideas already existing, the writing could be understood
by those only who possessed the key to it; but it is noteworthy that
when the Jesuit missions began their work in Peru they were able to use
the quipus for the purpose of making the Indians learn Latin prayers by

A more detailed account of the ancient quipu is extracted from Dr. von
Tschudi’s Travels in Peru (_a_) with condensation as follows:

    This method consisted in the dexterous intertwining of knots
    on strings, so as to render them auxiliaries to the memory. The
    instrument was composed of one thick head or top string, to which,
    at certain distances, thinner ones were fastened. The top string
    was much thicker than these pendent strings and consisted of two
    doubly twisted threads, over which two single threads were wound.
    The branches, or pendent strings, were fastened to the top ones by
    a single loop; the knots were made in the pendent strings and were
    either single or manifold. The length of the strings was various.
    The transverse or top string often measures several yards, and
    sometimes only a foot; the branches are seldom more than 2 feet
    long, and in general they are much shorter.

    The strings were often of different colors, each having its
    own particular signification. The color for soldiers was red; for
    gold, yellow; for silver, white; for corn, green, etc. The quipu
    was especially employed for numerical and statistical tables;
    each single knot representing ten; each double knot stood for one
    hundred; each triple knot for one thousand, etc.; two single knots
    standing together made twenty; and two double knots, two hundred.

    In this manner the ancient Peruvians kept the accounts of their
    army. On one string were numbered the soldiers armed with slings; on
    another the spearmen; on a third, those who carried clubs, etc. In
    the same manner the military reports were prepared. In every town
    some expert men were appointed to tie the knots of the quipu and to
    explain them. These men were called _quipucamayocuna_ (literally,
    officers of the knots.) The appointed officers required great
    dexterity in unriddling the meaning of the knots. It, however,
    seldom happened that they had to read a quipu without some verbal
    commentary. Something was always required to be added if the quipu
    came from a distant province, to explain whether it related to the
    numbering of the population, to tributes, or to war, etc. This
    method of calculation is still practiced by the shepherds of Puna.
    On the first branch or string they usually place the number of the
    bulls; on the second, that of the cows, the latter being classed
    into those which were milked and those which were not milked; on the
    next string were numbered the calves according to their ages and
    sizes. Then came the sheep, in several subdivisions. Next followed
    the number of foxes killed, the quantity of salt consumed, and,
    finally, the cattle that had been slaughtered. Other quipus showed
    the produce of the herds in milk, cheese, wool, etc. Each list was
    distinguished by a particular color or by some peculiarity in the
    twisting of the string.

Other accounts tell that the descendants of the Quiches still use
the quipu, perhaps as modified by themselves, for numeration. They
pierce beans and hang them by different colored strings, each of which
represents one of the column places used in decimal arithmetic. A green
string signifies 1,000; a red one, 100; a yellow, 10, and a white refers
to the 9 smaller digits. Thus if 7 beans are on a green, 2 on a red, 8
on a yellow, and 6 on a white string, and the whole tied together, the
bundle expresses the number 7,286.

Before the time of their acquaintance with the quipus, the Peruvians
used in the same way pebbles or maize-beans of various colors. The same
practice was known in Europe in the prehistoric period. The habit of
many persons in civilized countries to tie a knot in the handkerchief
to recall an idea or fact to mind is a familiar example to show how
naturally the action would suggest itself for the purpose, and perhaps
indicates the inheritance of the practice.



Dr. Andree (_b_) gives an illustration of a quipu (here reproduced as
part of Pl. XVI), which he represents as taken from Perez, and states
that the drawing was made soon after the exhuming of the object from an
ancient Peruvian grave.

Capt. Bourke (_a_) gives descriptions and illustrations of varieties of
the izze-kloth or medicine cord of the Apache. A condensed extract of
his remarks is as follows:

    These cords, in their perfection, are decorated with beads and
    shells strung along at intervals, with pieces of the sacred green
    chalchihuitl, which has had such a mysterious ascendancy over the
    minds of the American Indians--Aztec, Peruvian, Quiche, as well as
    the more savage tribes like the Apache and Navajo; with petrified
    wood, rock crystal, eagle down, claws of the hawk or eaglet,
    claws of the bear, rattle of the rattlesnake, buckskin bags of
    hoddentin, circles of buckskin in which are inclosed pieces of twigs
    and branches of trees which have been struck by lightning, small
    fragments of the abalone shell from the Pacific coast, and much
    other sacred paraphernalia of a similar kind.

    That the use of these cords was reserved for the most sacred
    and important occasions I soon learned. They were not to be seen
    on occasions of no moment, but the dances for war, medicine, and
    summoning the spirits at once brought them out, and every medicine
    man of any consequence would appear with one hanging from his right
    shoulder over his left hip.

    These cords will protect a man while on the warpath, and many of
    the Apache believe firmly that a bullet will have no effect upon the
    warrior wearing one of them. This is not their only virtue by any
    means; the wearer can tell who has stolen ponies or other property
    from him or from his friends, can help the crops, and cure the sick.
    If the circle attached to one of these cords is placed upon the
    head it will at once relieve any ache, while the cross attached to
    another prevents the wearer from going astray, no matter where he
    may be; in other words, it has some connection with cross-trails
    and the four cardinal points, to which the Apache pay the strictest

    I was at first inclined to associate these cords with the quipus
    of the Peruvians and also with the wampum of the aborigines of the
    Atlantic coast, and investigation only confirms this first suspicion.

The praying beads of the Buddhists and of many Oriental peoples, who
have used them from high antiquity, are closely allied to the quipu.
They are more familiar now in the shape of the rosaries of Roman
Catholics. In the absence of manufactured articles, arranged on wires,
the necessary materials were easily procured. Berries, nuts, pease,
or beans strung in any manner answered the purpose. The abacus of the
Chinese and Greeks was connected in origin with the same device.

E. F. im Thurn (_d_) says of the Nikari-Karu Indians of Guiana:

    At last, after four days’ stay, we got off. The two or three
    people from Euwari-manakuroo who came with us gave their wives
    knotted strings of quippus, each knot representing one of the days
    they expected to be away, and the whole string thus forming a
    calendar to be used by the wives until the return of their husbands.

That the general idea or invention for mnemonic purposes appearing
in the quipu was actually used pictorially is indicated in the
illustrations of the sculptures of Santa Lucia Cosumalhuapa in Guatemala
given by Dr. S. Habel (_b_). Upon these he remarks:

    It has been frequently affirmed that the aborigines of America
    had nowhere arisen high enough in civilization to have characters
    for writing and numeral signs, but the sculptures of Santa Lucia
    exhibit signs which indicate a kind of cipher-writing higher in form
    than mere hieroglyphics. From the mouth of most of the human beings,
    living or dead, emanates a staff, variously bent, to the sides of
    which nodes are attached. These nodes are of different sizes and
    shapes, and variously distributed on the sides of the staff, either
    singly or in twos and threes, the last named either separated or
    in shape of a trefoil. This manner of writing not only indicates
    that the person is speaking or praying, but also indicates the very
    words, the contents of the speech or prayer. It is quite certain
    that each staff, as bent and ornamented, stood for a well-known
    petition, which the priest could read as easily as those acquainted
    with a cipher dispatch can know its purport. Further, one may be
    allowed to conjecture that the various curves of the staves served
    the purpose of strength and rhythm, just as the poet chooses his
    various meters for the same purpose.

The following notices of the ancient mnemonic use of knotted cords and
of its survival in various parts of the world are extracted from the
essay of Prof. Terrien de Lacouperie (_d_):

    The Yang tung, south of Khoten, and consequently north of Tibet,
    who first communicated with China in A. D. 641, had no written
    characters. They only cut notches in sticks and tied knots in
    strings for records.

    The Bratyki and Buriats of Siberia are credited with the use of
    knotted cords.

    The Japanese are also reputed to have employed knots on strings
    or bind-weeds for records.

    The Li of Hainan, being unacquainted with writing, use knotted
    cords or notched sticks in place of bonds or agreements.

    In the first half of the present century cord records were still
    generally used in the Indian archipelago and Polynesia proper. The
    tax-gatherers in the island of Hawaii by this means kept accounts
    of all the articles collected by them from the inhabitants. A rope
    400 fathoms long was used as a revenue book. It was divided into
    numerous portions corresponding to the various districts of the
    island; the portions were under the care of the tax-gatherers, who,
    with the aid of loops, knots, and tufts of different shapes, colors,
    and sizes, were enabled to keep an accurate account of the hogs,
    pigs, and pieces of sandal wood, etc., at which each person was

    In Timor island, according to the Chinese records in 1618, the
    people had no writing. When they wanted to record something they did
    it with flat stones, and a thousand stones were represented by a

    Knotted cords were originally used in Tibet, but we have no
    information about their system of using them. The bare statement
    comes from the Chinese annals.

The following statement regarding the same use by the Chinese is made
by Ernest Faber (_a_). He says: “In the highest antiquity, government
was carried on successfully by the use of knotted cords to preserve
the memory of things. In subsequent ages, the sages substituted for
these written characters. By means of these the doings of all the
officers could be regulated and the affairs of all the people accurately



The use of notches for mere numeration was frequent, but there are also
instances of their special significance.

The Dakotas, Hidatsa, and Shoshoni have been observed to note the number
of days during which they journeyed from one place to another by cutting
lines or notches upon a stick.

The coup sticks carried by Dakota warriors often bear a number of small
notches, which refer to the number of the victims hit with the stick
after they had been wounded or killed.

The young men and boys of the several tribes at Fort Berthold, Dakota,
frequently carry a stick, upon which they cut a notch for every bird
killed during a single expedition.

In Seaver’s (_a_) life of Mary Jemison it is set forth that the
war chief in each tribe of Iroquois keeps a war-post, in order to
commemorate great events and preserve the chronology of them. This
post is a peeled stick of timber 10 or 12 feet high, and is erected in
the village. For a campaign they make, or rather the chief makes, a
perpendicular red mark about 3 inches long and half an inch wide. On the
opposite side from this, for a scalp taken, they make a red cross, thus
[Illustration] On another side, for a prisoner taken alive, they make
a red cross in this manner [Illustration] with a head or dot, and by
placing these significant signs in so conspicuous a situation they are
enabled to ascertain with great certainty the time and circumstances of
past events.

It is suggested that the device first mentioned represents the scalp
severed and lifted from the head, and that the second refers to the
manner in which the prisoners were secured at night, pegged and tied in
the style called spread-eagle.

Rev. Richard Taylor (_a_) notes that the Maori had neither the quipus
nor wampum, but only a board shaped like a saw, which was called “he
rakau wakapa-paranga,” or genealogical board. It was, in fact, a tally,
having a notch for each name, and a blank space to denote where the male
line failed and was succeeded by that of the female; youths were taught
their genealogies by repeating the names of each ancestor to whom the
notches referred.

It is supposed that the use by bakers of notched sticks or tallies, as
they are called, still exists in some civilized regions, and there is an
interesting history connected with the same wooden tallies, which until
lately were used in the accounts of the exchequer of Great Britain.
They also appear more recently and in a different use as the Khe-mou
circulated by Tartar chiefs to designate the number of men and horses
required to be furnished by each camp.



[Illustration: FIG. 163.--Wampum strings.]

Prof. Robert E. C. Stearns (_a_) says that wampum consisted of beads of
two principal colors having a cylindrical form, a quarter of an inch,
more or less, in length, the diameter or thickness being usually about
half the length. The color of the wampum determined its value. The term
wampum, wampon, or wampom, and wampum-peege was apparently applied to
these beads when strung or otherwise connected, fastened, or woven
together. The illustration given by him is now reproduced as Fig. 163.

In the Jesuit Relations, 1656, p. 3, the first present of an Iroquois
chief to Jesuit missionaries at a council is described. This was a great
figure of the sun, made of 6,000 beads of wampum, which explained to
them that the darkness shall not influence them in the councils and the
sun shall enlighten them even in the depth of night.

Among the Iroquoian and Algonquian tribes wampum belts were generally
used to record treaties. Mr. John Long (_a_) describes one of them:

    The wampum belts given to Sir William Johnson, of immortal
    Indian memory, were in several rows, black on each side and white
    in the middle; the white being placed in the center was to express
    peace and that the path between them was fair and open. In the
    center of the belt was a figure of a diamond made of white wampum,
    which the Indians call the council fire.

In the Jesuit Relations, 1642, p. 53, it is said that among the northern
Algonquins a present to deliver a prisoner consisted of three strings of
wampum to break the three bonds by which he was supposed to be tied, one
around the legs, one around the arms, and the third around the middle.

In the same Relations, 1653, p. 19, is a good example of messages
attached to separate presents of wampum, etc. This was at a council in
1653 at the Huron town, 2 leagues from Quebec:

    The first was given to dry the tears which are usually shed at
    the news of brave warriors massacred in combat.

    The second served as an agreeable drink, as an antidote to
    whatever bitterness might remain in the heart of the French on
    account of the death of their people.

    The third was to furnish a piece of bark or a covering for the
    dead, lest the sight of them should renew the old strife.

    The fourth was to inter them and to tread well the earth upon
    their graves, in order that nothing should ever come forth from
    their tombs which could grieve their friends and cause the spirit of
    revenge to arise in their minds.

    The fifth was to serve as a wrapping to pack up the arms which
    were henceforth not to be touched.

    The sixth was to cleanse the river, soiled with so much blood.

    The last, to exhort the Hurons to agree to what Onontio, the
    great captain of the French, should decide upon touching the peace.

As a rule there was no intrinsic significance in a wampum belt, or
collar, as the French sometimes called it. It was not understood except
by the memory of those to whom and by whom it was delivered. This is
well expressed in a dialogue reported by Capt. de Lamothe Cadillac (_a_)
in 1703:

    [Council of Hurons at Fort Ponchartrain, June 3, 1703.]

    QUARANTE-SOLS. I come on my way to tell you what I propose to
    do at Montreal. Here is a collar which has been sent to us by the
    Iroquois, and which the Ottawas have brought to us; we do not know
    what it signifies.

    M. de LAMOTHE. How have you received this collar without knowing
    the purpose for which it was sent you?

    QUARANTE-SOLS. It has already been long since we received it. I
    was not there, and our old men have forgotten what it said.

    M. de LAMOTHE. Your old men are not regarded as children to have
    such a short memory.

    QUARANTE-SOLS. We do not accept this collar; but we are going to
    take it to Sonnontouan [the Seneca town] to find out what it means;
    because it is a serious matter not to respond to a collar; it is the
    custom among us. The Ottawas can tell you what it is, because our
    people have forgotten it.

    M. de LAMOTHE. The Ottawas will reply that having received it
    you should remember it, but since this collar is dumb and has lost
    its speech I am obliged to be silent myself.

In the Diary of the Siege of Detroit (_a_) it is narrated that after
receiving a belt of wampum from the commanding officer the Pottawatomi
chief called it the officer’s “mouth,” and said that those to whom it
was sent would believe it when “they saw his mouth.”

But wampum designs, besides being mere credentials, and thus like the
Australian message sticks, and also mnemonic, became, to some extent,
conventional. The predominance of white beads indicated peace, and
purple or violet meant war.

On the authority of Sir Daniel Wilson (_a_) a string of black wampum
sent round the settlement is still among the Indians of the Six Nations
the notice of the death of a chief.

The Iroquois belts had an arrangement of wampum to signify the lakes,
rivers, mountains, valleys, portages, and falls along the path of trail
between them and the Algonkins, who were parties to their treaty in 1653.

On the authority of a manuscript letter from St. Ange to D’Abbadie,
September 9, 1764, quoted by Parkman (_a_), Pontiac’s great wampum belt
was 6 feet long, 4 inches wide, and was wrought from end to end with the
symbols of tribes and villages, 47 in number, which were leagued with

In addition to becoming conventional the designs in wampum, perhaps from
expertness in their workmanship, exhibited ideographs in their later
development, of which the following description, taken from Rev. Peter
Jones’s (_a_), “History of the Ojebway Indians” is an instance:

    Johnson then explained the emblems contained in the wampum belt
    brought by Yellowhead, which, he said, they acknowledged to be the
    acts of their fathers. Firstly, the council fire at the Sault Ste.
    Marie has no emblem, because then the council was held. Secondly,
    the council fire at Mamtoulni has the emblem of a beautiful white
    fish; this signifies purity, or a clean white heart--that all our
    hearts ought to be white toward each other. Thirdly, the emblem
    of a beaver, placed at an island on Penetanguishew bay, denotes
    wisdom--that all the acts of our fathers were done in wisdom.
    Fourthly, the emblem of a white deer, placed at Lake Simcoe,
    signified superiority; the dish and ladles at the same place
    indicated abundance of game and food. Fifthly, the eagle perched on
    a tall pine tree at the Credit denotes watching, and swiftness in
    conveying messages. The eagle was to watch all the council fires
    between the Six Nations and the Ojebways, and being far-sighted, he
    might, in the event of anything happening, communicate the tidings
    to the distant tribes. Sixthly, the sun was hung up in the center
    of the belt to show that their acts were done in the face of the
    sun, by whom they swore that they would forever after observe the
    treaties made between the two parties.

In the same work, p. 119, is a description of a wampum belt that
recorded the first treaty between the Ojibwa and the Six Nations of the
Iroquois confederacy. It has the figure of a dish or bowl at its middle
to represent that the Ojibwa and the Six Nations were all to eat out of
the same dish, meaning, ideographically, that all the game in the region
should be for their common use.

[Illustration: FIG. 164.--Penn wampum belt.]

Mr. W. H. Holmes (_c_) gives an illustration of the well-known Penn
wampum belt, reproduced here as Fig. 164, with remarks condensed as

    It is believed to be the original belt delivered by the
    Leni-Lenape sachems to William Penn at the celebrated treaty under
    the elm tree at Schackamaxon in 1682. Up to the year 1857 this belt
    remained in the keeping of the Penn family. In March, 1857, it was
    presented to the Pennsylvania Historical Society by Granville John
    Penn, a great-grandson of William Penn. Mr. Penn, in his speech on
    this occasion, states that there can be no doubt that this is the
    identical belt used at the treaty, and presents his views in the
    following language:

    “In the first place, its dimensions are greater than of those
    used on more ordinary occasions, of which we have one still in
    our possession--this belt being composed of 18 strings of wampum,
    which is a proof that it was the record of some very important
    negotiation. In the next place, in the center of the belt, which
    is of white wampum, are delineated in dark-colored beads, in a
    rude, but graphic style, two figures--that of an Indian grasping
    with the hand of friendship the hand of a man evidently intended
    to be represented in the European costume wearing a hat, which can
    only be interpreted as having reference to the treaty of peace and
    friendship which was then concluded between William Penn and the
    Indians, and recorded by them in their own simple but descriptive
    mode of expressing their meaning by the employment of hieroglyphics.”



The Indian songs or, more accurately, chants, with which pictography is
connected, have been preserved in their integrity by the use of pictured
characters. They are in general connected with religious ceremonies,
and are chiefly used in the initiation of neophytes to secret religious
orders. Some of them, however, are used in social meetings or ceremonies
of cult societies, though the distinction between social or any other
general associations and those to be classified as religious is not
easily defined. Religion was the real life of the tribes, permeating all
their activities and institutions.

The words of these songs are invariable, even to the extent that by
their use for generations many of them have become archaic and form no
part of the colloquial language. Indeed, they are not always understood
by the best of the shaman songsters, which fact recalls the oriental
memorization of the Veda ritual through generations by the priests, who
thus, without intent, preserved a language. The sounds were memorized,
although the characters designating or, more correctly, recalling them,
were not representations of sound, but of idea.

Practically, the words--or sounds, understood or not, which passed for
words--as well as the notes, were memorized by the singers, and their
memory, or that of the shaman, who acted as leader or conductor or
precentor, was assisted by the charts. Exoteric interpretation of any
ideographic and not merely conventional or purely arbitrary characters
in the chart, which may be compared for indistinctness with the
translated libretto of operas, may suggest the general subject-matter,
perhaps the general course, of the chant, but can not indicate the exact
words, or, indeed, any words, of the language chanted.

A simple mode of explaining the amount of symbolism necessarily
contained in the charts of the order of songs is by likening them to the
illustrated songs and ballads lately published in popular magazines,
where every stanza has at least one appropriate illustration. Let it
be supposed that the text was obliterated forever, indeed, the art of
reading lost, the illustrations remaining, as also the memory to some
persons of the words of the ballad. The illustrations, kept in their
original order, would always supply the order of the stanzas and also
the particular subject-matter of each particular stanza, and that
subject-matter would be a reminder of the words. This is what the rolls
of birchbark supply to the initiated Ojibwa. Schoolcraft pretended that
there is intrinsic symbolism in the characters employed, which might
imply that the words of the chants were rather interpretations of those
characters than that the latter were reminders of the words. But only
after the vocables of the actual songs and chants have been learned
can the mnemonic characters be clearly understood. Doubtless the more
ideographic and the less arbitrary the characters the more readily can
they be learned and retained in the memory, and during the long period
of the practical use of the mnemonic devices many exhibiting ideography
and symbolism have been invented or selected.



The ceremonial songs represented pictorially in Pl. XVII, A, B, C, and
D, were obtained from Ojibwa shamans at White Earth, Minnesota, by Dr.
Hoffman, and pertain to the ceremony of initiating new members into
the Midē' wiwin or Grand Medicine Society. The language, now omitted,
differs to some extent from that now spoken. The songs and ritual are
transmitted from generation to generation, and although an Indian who
now receives admission into the society may compose his own songs for
use in connection with his profession, he will not adopt the modern
Ojibwa words, but employs the archaic whenever practicable. To change
the ancient forms would cause loss of power in the charms which such
songs are alleged to possess.

The translation of the songs was given by the Ojibwa singers, while the
remarks in smaller type further elucidate the meaning of the phrases, as
afterwards explained by the shaman.

The characters were all drawn upon birch bark, as is usual with
the “medicine songs” of the Ojibwa, and the words suggested by the
incisions were chanted. The incompleteness of some of the phrases was
accounted for by the shaman by the fact that they are gradually being
forgotten. The ceremonies are now of infrequent occurrence, which tends
to substantiate this assertion.

One song, as presented on a single piece of birch bark, really consists
of as many songs as there are mnemonic characters. Each phrase,
corresponding to a character, is repeated a number of times; the greater
the number of repetitions the greater will be the power of inspiration
in the singer. One song or phrase may, therefore, extend over a period
of from two to ten or more minutes.

The song covers much more time when dancing accompanies it, as is the
case with the first one presented below. The dancing generally commences
after a pause, designated by a single vertical bar.

The following characters are taken from A, Pl. XVII, and are here
reproduced separately to facilitate explanation:


The earth, spirit that I am, I take medicine out of the earth.

    The upper figure represents the arm reaching down toward the
    earth, searching for hidden remedies.


(Because of) a spirit that I am, my son.

    The headless human figure emerging from the circle is a
    mysterious being, representing the power possessed by the speaker.
    He addresses a younger and less experienced Midē' or shaman.


Bar or rest.

    The vertical line denotes a slight pause in the song, after
    which the chant is renewed, accompanied by dancing.


They have pity on me, that is why they call us to the Grand Medicine.

    The inner circle represents the speaker’s heart; the outer
    circle, the gathering place for shamans, while the short lines
    indicate the directions from which the shamans come together.


I want to see you, medicine man.

    The figure of a head is represented with lines running downward
    (and forward) from the eyes, donating sight. The speaker is looking
    for the shaman, spoken to, to make his appearance within the sacred
    structure where the Midē' ceremonies are to take place.


My body is a spirit.

    The character is intended to represent the body of a bear, with
    a line across the body, signifying one of the most powerful of the
    sacred Man'idōs or spirits, of the Midē' wiwin or “Grand Medicine


You would [know] it, it being a spirit.

    The figure of a head is shown with lines extending both upward
    and downward from the ears, denoting a knowledge of things in realm
    of the Man'idōs above, and of the secrets of the earth beneath.


As I am dressed, I am.

    The otter is emerging from the sacred Midē' inclosure; the otter
    typifies the sacred Man'idō who received instruction for the people
    from Mi'nabō'zho, the intermediary between the “Great Spirit” and
    the Ânîshinâbeg.


That is what ails me, I fear my Midē' brothers.

    The arm reaching into a circle denotes the power of obtaining
    mysterious influence from Kítschi Man'idō, but the relation between
    the pictograph and the phrase is obscure; unless the speaker fears
    such power as possessed by others.

The following is the order of another Midē' song. The general style of
the original resembles the specific class of songs which are used when
digging medicines, i. e., plants or roots. The song is shown in Pl.
XVII, B as the character appears on the bark.


As I arise from [slumber].

    The speaker is shown as emerging from a double circle, his
    sleeping place.


What have I unearthed?

    The speaker has discovered a bear Man'idō, as shown by the two
    hands grasping that animal by the back.


Down is the bear.

    The bear is said to have his legs cut off, by the outline of the
    Midē' structure, signifying he has become helpless because he is
    under the influence of the shamans.


Big, I am big.

    The speaker is great in his own estimation; his power of
    obtaining gifts from superior beings is shown by the arm reaching
    for an object received from above; he has furthermore overcome the
    bear Man'idō and can employ it to advantage.


You encourage me.

    Two arms are shown extended toward a circle containing spots
    of mī'gis, or sacred shells. The arms represent the assistance of
    friends of the speaker encouraging him with their assistance.


I can alight in the medicine pole.

    The eagle or thunder-bird is perched upon the medicine pole
    erected near the shamans’ sacred structure. The speaker professes
    to have the power of flight equal to the thunder-bird, that he may
    transport himself to any desired locality.

The following is another example of a pictured Midē' song, and is
represented in Pl. XVII, C.


I know you are a spirit.

    The figure is represented as having waving lines extending
    from the eyes downward toward the earth, and indicating search for
    secrets hidden beneath the surface of the earth. The hands extending
    upward indicate the person claims supernatural powers by which he is
    recognized as “equal to a spirit.”


I lied to my son.

    The signification of the phrase could not be explained by the
    informant, especially its relation to the character, which is an
    arm, reaching beyond the sky for power from Ki'tshi Man'idō. The
    waving line upon the arm denotes mysterious power.


Spirit I am, the wolf.

    The speaker terms himself a wolf spirit, possessing peculiar
    power. The animal as drawn has a line across the body signifying its
    spirit character.


At last I become a spirit.

    The circle denotes the spot occupied by the speaker; his hands
    extended are directed toward the source of his powers.


I give you the mī'gis.

    The upper character represents the arm reaching down giving a
    sacred shell, the mī'gis, the sacred emblem of the “Grand Medicine
    Society.” The “giving of the mī'gis” signifies its “being shot” into
    the body of a new member of the society to give him life and the
    power of communing with spirits, or Man'idōs.


You are speaking to me.

    An arm is extended toward a circle containing a smaller one, the
    latter representing the spot occupied by Midē' friends.

The characters next explained are taken from the last line, D, of the
series given in Pl. XVII. The speaker appears to have great faith in his
own powers as a Midē'.


Spirit I am, I enter.

    The otter, which Man'idō, the speaker, professes to represent,
    is entering the sacred structure of Midē' lodge.


Midē' friends, do you hear me?

    The circles denote the locality where the Midē' are supposed to
    be congregated. The waving lines signify hearing, when, as in this
    case, attached to the ears.


The first time I heard you.

    The speaker asserts that he heard the voices of the Man'idōs
    when he went through his first initiation into the society. He is
    still represented as the otter.


The spirit, he does hear (?)

    The interpretation is vague, but could not be otherwise
    explained. The lines from the ears denote hearing.


They, the Midē' friends, have paid enough.

    The arm in the attitude of giving, to Ki'tshi Man'idō, signifies
    that the Midē' have made presents of sufficient value to be enabled
    to possess the secrets, which they received in return.


They have pity on me, the chief Midē'.

    The arms of Ki'tshi Man'idō are extended to the Midē' lodge,
    giving assistance as besought.

The song mnemonically represented in Pl. XVIII A (reproduced from Pl.
X A. of the Seventh Ann. Rep. Bur. of Ethn.) is sung by the Ojibwa
preceptor who has been instructing the candidate for initiation. It
praises the preceptor’s efforts and the character of the knowledge
he has imparted. Its delivery is made to extend over as much time as



The mnemonic characters were drawn by Sikas'sigĕ, and are a copy
of an old birchbark scroll, which has for many years been in his
possession, and which was a transcript of one in the possession of
his father Baiédzĭk, one of the leading Midē' at Mille Lacs, Minnesota.


My arm is almost pulled out with digging medicine. It is full of

    The short zigzag lines signifying magic influence, erroneously
    designated “medicine.”


Almost crying because the medicine is lost.

    The lines extending downward from the eye signify weeping;
    the circle beneath the figure, the place where the “medicine”
    is supposed to exist. The idea of “lost” signifies that some
    information has been forgotten through death of those who possessed


Yes, there is much medicine you may cry for.

    Refers to that which is yet to be taught.


Yes, I see there is plenty of it.

    The Midē' has knowledge of more than he has imparted, but
    reserves that knowledge for a future time. The lines of “sight” run
    to various medicines which he perceives or knows of.




When I come out the sky becomes clear.

    When the otter-skin Midē' sack is produced the sky becomes
    clear, so that the ceremonies may proceed.


The spirit has given me power to see.

    The Midē' sits on a mountain the better to commune with the good


I brought the medicine to bring life.

    The Midē' Man'idō, the Thunderer, after bringing some of the
    plants--by causing the rains to fall--returns to the sky. The short
    line represents part of the circular line usually employed to
    designate the imaginary vault of the sky.


I too, see how much there is.

    His power elevates the Midē' to the rank of a Man'idō, from
    whose position he perceives many secrets hidden in the earth.


I am going to the medicine lodge.

    The vertical, left-hand figure denotes a leg going toward the


I take life from the sky.

    The Midē' is enabled to reach into the sky and to obtain from
    Ki'tshi Man'idō' the means of prolonging life. The circle at the top
    denotes the sacred migis or shell.


Let us talk to one another.

    The circles denote the places of the speaker (Midē') and
    the hearer (Ki'tshi Man'idō), the short lines signifying magic
    influences, the Midē' occupying the left hand and smaller seat.


The spirit is in my body, my friend.

    The mī'gis, given by Ki'tshi Man'idō, is in contact with the
    Midē'’s body, and he is possessed of life and power.

In the order of song, Pl. XVIII, B, reproduced from Pl. IX, C, of the
Seventh Ann. Rep. of the Bureau of Ethnology, the preceptor appears to
feel satisfied that the candidate is prepared to receive the initiation,
and therefore tells him that the Midē' Man'idō announces to him the
assurance. The preceptor therefore encourages his pupil with promises of
the fulfillment of his highest desires:


I hear the spirit speaking to us.

    The Midē'-singer is of superior power, as designated by the
    horns and pointer upon his head. The lines from the ears indicate


I am going into the medicine lodge.

    The Midē'wigân is shown with a line through it, to signify
    that the preceptor is going through it in imagination, as in the


I am taking (gathering) medicine to make me live.

    The disks indicate the sacred objects sought for, which are
    successively obtained by the speaker, who represents the officiating


I give you medicine, and a lodge, also.

    The Midē', as the personator of Makwá Man'idō, is empowered to
    offer this privilege to the candidate.


I am flying into my lodge.

    Represents the thunder-bird, a deity flying into the arch of the
    sky, the abode of spirits or Man'idōs. The short lines cutting the
    curve are spirit lines.


The spirit has dropped medicine from the sky where we can get it.

    The line from the sky, diverging to various points, indicates
    that the sacred objects fall in scattered places.


I have the medicine in my heart.

    The singer’s heart is filled with knowledge relating to sacred
    objects from the earth.

The song depicted in Pl. XVIII C, was drawn by “Little Frenchman,” an
Ojibwa Midē' of the first degree, who reproduced it from a bark record
belonging to his preceptor. “Little Frenchman” had not yet received
instruction in these characters, and consequently could not sing the
songs, but from his familiarity with mnemonic delineations of the order
of the Grand Medicine of ideas he was able to give an outline of the
signification of the figures and the phraseology which they suggested to
his mind. In the following description the first line pertaining to a
character is the objective description, the second being the explanation.

It is furthermore to be remarked that in this chart and the one
following the interpretation of characters begins at the right hand
instead of the left, contrary to rule. The song is reproduced from. Pl.
XXII, A, of the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology:


From the place where I sit.

    A man, seated and talking or singing.


The big tree in the middle of the earth.

    Tree; inclosure represents the world as visible from a given
    spot of observation--horizon.


I will float down the fast running stream.

    Stream of water; the spots indicate progress of traveler, and
    may be rude indications of canoes or equally rude foot tracks, the
    usual pictograph for traveling.


The place that is feared I inhabit; the swift running stream.

    A spirit surrounded by a line indicating the shore.


You who speak to me.

    Two spirits communing.


I have long horns.

    Horned water monster.


Rest; dancing begins with next character.


I, observing, follow your example.

    Man listening to water monster (spirit).


You are my body; you see anybody; you see my nails are worn off in
grasping the stone (from which medicine is taken).

    Bear, with claws, scratching; depression shown by line under
    claws, where scratching has been done.


You (i. e., the spirits who are there), to whom I am speaking.

    Spirit panther.


I am floating down smoothly.

    Spirit otter, swimming; outer lines are river banks.




I have finished my drum.

    Spirit holding drum; sound ascending.


My body is like unto you.

    This is the mī'gis shell--the special symbol of the Midē' wiwin.


Hear me, thou, who art talking to me.

    Listening, and wanting others (spirits) to hear.


See what I am taking.

    Spirit (Midē') taking “medicine root.”


See me whose head is out of the water.

    Otters, two spirits, the left-hand one being the “speaker.”

The Midē' song, Pl. XVIII, D, was also copied by “Little Frenchman” upon
birchbark, from one in the possession of his preceptor, but upon which
he had not yet received careful instruction; hence the incompleteness of
some of his interpretations. It is reproduced from Pl. XXII, B, of the
Seventh Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology.


I am sitting down with my pipe.

    Man sitting, holding a pipe. He has been called upon to “make
    medicine.” The short lines beneath the body represent that he is
    seated. He holds a filled pipe which he is not yet smoking.


I, me the spirit, the spirit of the owl.

    Owl, held by Midē'; arm above bird. This character appears upon
    the Grand Medicine chart from Red Lake, as passing from the midē'
    lodge to the ghost lodge.


It stands, that which I am going after.

    Tree; showing tracks made by bear spirit. The speaker terms
    himself equal with this spirit and represents himself seeking


I, who fly.

    Medicine bag, flying. The figure is that of the thunder bird
    (eagle) whose skin was used for a bag. The trees beneath show the
    bird to have ascended beyond their tops.


Kibinan is what I use--the magic arrow.

    An arrow, held by hand.


I am coming to the earth.

    Otter spirit. Circle denotes the surrounding sky in which is the
    spirit. The earth is shown by the horizontal line above which is the
    Indian hut. The speaker likens himself to the otter spirit who first
    received the rites of the Midē' initiation.


I am feeling for it.

    Man (spirit) seeking for hidden medicine. The circle represents
    a hole in the earth.


I am talking to it.

    Medicine bag made of an owl skin is held by shaman; latter is
    talking to the magic elements contained therein.


They are sitting in a circle (“around in a row”).

    Midē' lodge; Midē' sitting around. The crosses represent the
    persons present.


You who are newly hung, and you who have reached half, and you who are
now full.

    Full moon, one half, and quarter moon.


I am going for my dish.

    Footprints leading to dish (ghost society dish). The circular
    objects here each denotes a “feast,” usually represented by a “dish.”


I go through the medicine lodge.

    Grand medicine lodge; tracks leading through it. The speaker,
    after having prepared a feast, is entitled to enter for initiation.


Let us commune with one another.

    Two men conversing; two Midē'.



The mnemonic order of song, Pl. XIX a, is another example from Red Lake,
prepared by the Ojibwa last mentioned:


“Carved images.”

    Carved images. These represent the speaker to say that he
    prepares fetishes for hunting, love, etc.


I am holding my grand medicine sack.

    Man holding “medicine bag.”


“Wants a woman.” [No interpretation was ventured by “Little Frenchman.”]


Hear me, great spirit.

    Lines from the ears, to denote hearing.


I am about to climb.

    Medicine tree at grand lodge. The marks on either side are bear
    tracks, the footprints of the bear spirit--the speaker representing


I am entering the grand medicine lodge.

    The Midē'wigân, showing footprints of the bear Man'idō which are
    simulated by the boastful shaman.


I am making my tracks on the road.

    Footprints on the path.


I am resting at my home.

    Human figure, with “voice” issuing--singing.

Pl. XIX b is a similar song, also made by “Little Frenchman,” and
relates to magic remedies and his powers of incantation:


The stars.

    Stars, preceded by a mark of rest or beginning. It may be
    noticed that one star has eight and the other six rays, showing that
    their number is not significant.


The wolf that runs.

    Wolf; the banded tail distinguishes it from the otter.


See me what I have; what I have (goods given in the midē' wigwân).

    Man holding bow.


See what I am about to do.

    Arm, holding a gun.


The house of the beaver.

    Beaver, in his house.


I, who make a noise.

    A frog, croaking, shown by “voice” lines.


My white hair.

    Head with hair. The signification of white hair is great age,
    though there is no way to ascertain this without oral statement by
    the singer.


The house of the otter.

    Otter in his burrow.


Hear me, you, to whom I am talking.

    Mī'gis, spoken to by man, lines showing hearing. The sacred
    emblem of the Midē'wiwin is implored for aid in carrying out a
    desired scheme.


I stoop as I walk.

    An old man. Age is denoted by the act of walking with a staff.


I stand by the tree.

    Standing near medicine tree. The speaker knows of valued
    remedies which he desires to dispose of for payment.


I am raising a rock.

    Man with stone for Midē' lodge. Carrying stone to Midē' lodge,
    against which to place a patient.


I am holding my pail.

    Vessel of medicine; arm reaching down to it.


My arrow point is of iron, and about to kill a male bear.

    Bear, above arrow. Bow--lower character.


I am about to speak to the sky.

    Speaking to the “sky.” Power of communing with the Great Spirit,
    Ki'tshi Man'idō'.


I am about to depart; I will liken myself to a bear.

    Bear, tracks and path.


I am walking on the hard sand beach.

    Body of water, and lynx. The ellipse denotes a lake.

Another song of a similar character, reproduced from birchbark on Pl.
XIX c, is explained below. It was also made by “Little Frenchman,” and
relates to the searching for and preparation of objects used in sorcery.


It is fiery, that which I give you.

    Vessel, with flames on top. Contains strong water wi-bīn', a
    magical decoction.


It is growing, the tree.

    Midē'wigân, with trees growing around it at four corners.


I cover the earth with my length.

    Snakes; guardians of the first degree.


The bear is contained within me.

    Bear spirit within the man--i. e., the speaker. This indicates
    that he possesses the power of the Bear Man'idō, one of the most
    powerful of the guardians of the Midē' society.


He has Man'idō (spirit) in his mouth.

    Possessing the power of curing by “sucking” bad spirits from
    patient’s body. This is the practice of the lower shamans, known as


The hawk genus et sp.

    Ki-ni-en', the hawk from which “medicine” is obtained.


I, who am about to talk.

    Head of man; lines from mouth denote speech.

The interpretation now again proceeds from right to left.


I am about to walk.

    Bear spirit, talking. The lines upon the back indicate his
    spirit character.


I am crawling away.

    Mī'gis shell. The sacred emblem of the Midē' society.




From this, I wish to be able to walk.

    Taking “medicine” trail (behind man). The speaker is addressing
    a Man'idō which he holds.


I am being called to go there.

    Sacred lodges, with spirits within.


I am going.

    Footprints, leading toward a wigwam.



The Ojibwa chart, used in the “Song for the Metai, or for Medicine
Hunting,” is taken from Tanner’s (_a_) Narrative and reproduced in Fig.
165. It should be noted that the Metai of Tanner’s interpretation, which
follows, is the same as the Midē' in the foregoing interpretations:

[Illustration: FIG. 165.--Song for Medicine Hunting.]

_a_. Now I hear it, my friends of the Metai, who are sitting about me.

This and the three following are sung by the principal chief of the
Metai, to the beat of his bwoin ah-keek, or drum. The line from the
sides of the head of the figure indicate hearing.

_b._ Who makes this river flow? The Spirit, he makes this river flow.

The second figure is intended to represent a river, and a beaver
swimming down it.

_c._ Look at me well, my friends; examine me, and let us understand that
we are all companions.

This translation is by no means literal. The words express the boastful
claims of a man who sets himself up for the best and most skillful in
the fraternity.

_d._ Who maketh to walk about, the social people? A bird maketh to walk
about the social people.

By the bird the medicine man means himself; he says that his
voice has called the people together. Weej-huh nish-a-nauba, or
weeja-nish-a-nau-ba seems to have the first syllable from the verb which
means to accompany. The two lines drawn across, between this figure and
the next, indicate that here the dancing is to commence.

_e._ I fly about and if anywhere I see an animal, I can shoot him.

This figure of a bird (probably an eagle or hawk) seems intended to
indicate the wakefulness of the senses and the activity required to
insure success in hunting. The figure of the moose which immediately
follows, reminding the singer of the cunning and extreme shyness of that
animal, the most difficult of all to kill.

_f._ I shoot your heart; I hit your heart, oh, animal--your heart--I hit
your heart.

This apostrophe is mere boasting and is sung with much gesticulation and

_g._ I make myself look like fire.

This is a medicine man disguised in the skin of a bear. The small
parallelogram under the bear signifies fire, and the shamans, by
some composition of gunpowder, or other means, contrive to give the
appearance of fire to the mouth and eyes of the bear skin, in which
they go about the village late at night, bent on deeds of mischief,
oftentimes of blood. We learn how mischievous are these superstitions
when we are informed that they are the principal men of the Metai, who
thus wander about the villages in the disguise of a bear, to wreak their
hatred on a sleeping rival or their malice on an unsuspecting adversary.
But the customs of the Indians require of anyone who may see a medicine
man on one of these excursions to take his life immediately, and whoever
does so is accounted guiltless.

_h._ I am able to call water from above, from beneath, and from around.

Here the medicine man boasts of his power over the elements, and his
ability to do injury or benefit. The segment of a circle with dots in it
represents water and the two short lines touching the head of the figure
indicate that he can draw it to him.

_i._ I cause to look like the dead, a man I did.

I cause to look like the dead, a woman I did.

I cause to look like the dead, a child I did.

The lines drawn across the face of this figure indicate poverty,
distress, and sickness; the person is supposed to have suffered from the
displeasure of the medicine man. Such is the religion of the Indians.
Its boast is to put into the hands of the devout supernatural means by
which he may wreak vengeance on his enemies whether weak or powerful,
whether they be found among the foes of his tribe or the people of his
own village. This Metai, so much valued and revered by them, seems to be
only the instrument in the hands of the crafty for keeping in subjection
the weak and the credulous, which may readily be supposed to be the
greater part of the people.

_k._ I am such, I am such, my friends; any animal, any animal, my
friends, I hit him right, my friends.

This boast of certain success in hunting is another method by which he
hopes to elevate himself in the estimation of his hearers. Having told
them he has the power to put them all to death, he goes on to speak of
his infallible success in hunting, which will always enable him to be a
valuable friend to such as are careful to secure his good will.

The following chart for the “Song for beaver hunting and the Metai,” is
taken from the same author, loc. cit., and reproduced in Fig. 166, with
interpretations as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 166.--Song for beaver hunting.]

_a._ I sit down in the lodge of the Metai, the lodge of the Spirit.

This figure is intended to represent the area of the Metai-we-gaun, or
medicine lodge, which is called also the lodge of the Man'idō, and two
men have taken their seats in it. The matter of the song seems to be
merely introductory.

_b._ Two days must you sit fast, my friend; four days must you sit fast,
my friend.

The two perpendicular lines on the breast of this figure are read
ne-o-gone (two days), but are understood to mean two years; so of the
four lines drawn obliquely across the legs, these are four years. The
heart must be given to this business for two years, and the constrained
attitude of the legs indicates the rigid attention and serious
consideration which the subject requires.

_c._ Throw off, woman, thy garments, throw off.

The power of their medicines and the incantations of the Metai are
not confined in their effect to animals of the chase, to the lives
and health of men; they control also the minds of all and overcome
the modesty as well as the antipathies of women. The Indians firmly
believe that many a woman who has been unsuccessfully solicited by a
man is not only by the power of the Metai made to yield, but even in a
state of madness to tear off her garments and pursue after the man she
before despised. These charms have greater power than those in the times
of superstition among the English, ascribed to the fairies, and they
need not, like the plant used by Puck, be applied to the person of the
unfortunate being who is to be transformed; they operate at a distance
through the medium of the Miz-zin-ne-neens.

_d._ Who makes the people walk about? It is I that calls you.

This is in praise of the virtue of hospitality, that man being most
esteemed among them who most frequently calls his neighbors to his feast.

_e._ Anything I can shoot with it (this medicine) even a dog, I can kill
with it.

_f._ I shoot thy heart, man, thy heart.

He means, perhaps, a buck moose by the word e-nah-ne-wah, or man.

_g._ I can kill a white loon, I can kill.

The white loon (rara avis nigroque similimo cygno) is certainly a rare
and most difficult bird to kill; so we may infer that this boaster can
kill anything, which is the amount of the meaning intended in that part
of his song recorded by the five last figures. Success in hunting they
look upon as a virtue of a higher character, if we may judge from this
song, than the patience under suffering or the rakishness among women,
or even the hospitality recommended in the former part.

_h._ My friends——

There seems to be an attempt to delineate a man sitting with his hands
raised to address his friends; but the remainder of his speech is
not remembered. This is sufficient to show that the meaning of the
characters in this kind of picture writing is not well settled and
requires a traditional interpretation to render it intelligible.

_i._ I open my wolf skin and the death struggle must follow.

This is a wolf skin used as a medicine bag and he boasts that whenever
he opens it something must die in consequence.

Tanner’s Narrative (_b_) says of musical notation drawn on bark by

    Many of these songs are noted down by a method probably peculiar
    to the Indians, on birch bark, or small flat pieces of wood: the
    ideas being conveyed by emblematic figures, somewhat like those * *
    * used in communicating ordinary information.

Rev. P. J. De Smet (_a_) gives an account of the mnemonic order of songs
among the Kickapoo and Pottawatomi. He describes a stick 1-1/2 inches
broad and 8 or 10 long, upon which are arbitrary characters which they
follow with the finger in singing the prayers, etc. There are five
classes of these characters. The first represents the heart, the second
heart and flesh (chair), the third life, the fourth their names, and the
fifth their families.

A. W. Howitt (_b_) says:

    The makers of the Australian songs, or of the combined songs and
    dances are the poets or bards of the tribe and are held in great
    esteem. Their names are known to the neighboring peoples, and their
    songs are carried from tribe to tribe until the very meaning of the
    words is lost as well as the original source of the song.

    Such an instance is a song which was accompanied by a carved
    stick painted red, which was held by the chief singer. This traveled
    down the Murray river from some unknown source. The same song,
    accompanied by such a stick, also came into Gippsland many years ago
    from Melbourne and may even have been the above mentioned one on its



Even since the Columbian discovery some tribes have employed devices yet
ruder than the rudest pictorial attempt as markers for the memory. An
account of one of these is given in E. Winslow’s Relation (A. D. 1624),
Col. Mass. Hist. Soc., 2d series, IX, 1822, p. 99, as follows:

    Instead of records and chronicles they take this course: Where
    any remarkable act is done, in memory of it, either in the place
    or by some pathway near adjoining, they make a round hole in the
    ground about a foot deep and as much over, which, when others
    passing by behold, they inquire the cause and occasion of the same,
    which, being once known, they are careful to acquaint all men as
    occasion serveth therewith. And lest such holes should be filled or
    grown over by any accident, as men pass by they will often renew
    the same, by which means many things of great antiquity are fresh
    in memory. So that as a man traveleth, if he can understand his
    guide, his journey will be the less tedious by reason of the many
    historical discourses which will be related unto him.

In connection with this section students may usefully consult Dr.
Brinton’s (_f_) Lenâpé and their Legends.

As an example of a chart used in the exact repetition of traditions,
Fig. 167 is presented with the following explanation by Rev. J. Owen

[Illustration: FIG. 167.--Osage chart.]

    The chart accompanies a tradition chanted by members of a secret
    society of the Osage tribe. It was drawn by an Osage, Red Corn.

    The tree at the top represents the tree of life. By this flows
    a river. The tree and the river are described later in the degrees.
    When a woman is initiated she is required by the head of her gens to
    take four sips of water (symbolizing the river), then he rubs cedar
    on the palms of his hands, with which he rubs her from head to foot.
    If she belongs to a gens on the left side of a tribal circle, her
    chief begins on the left side of her head, making three passes, and
    pronouncing the sacred name three times. Then he repeats the process
    from her forehead down; then on the right side of her head; then at
    the back of her head; four times three times, or twelve passes in

    Beneath the river are the following objects: The Watse ʇuʞa,
    male slaying animal (?), or morning star, which is a red star. 2.
    Six stars called the “Elm rod” by the white people in the Indian
    territory. 3. The evening star. 4. The little star. Beneath these
    are the moon, seven stars, and sun. Under the seven stars are the
    peace pipe and war hatchet; the latter is close to the sun, and the
    former and the moon are on the same side of the chart. Four parallel
    lines extending across the chart, represent four heavens or upper
    worlds through which the ancestors of the Tsiↄu people passed before
    they came to this earth. The lowest heaven rests on an oak tree; the
    ends of the others appear to be supported by pillars or ladders. The
    tradition begins below the lowest heaven, on the left side of the
    chart, under the peace pipe. Each space on the pillar corresponds
    with a line of the chant; and each stanza (at the opening of the
    tradition) contains four lines. The first stanza precedes the
    arrival of the first heaven, pointing to a time when the children of
    the “former end” of the race were without human bodies as well as
    human souls. The bird hovering over the arch denotes an advance in
    the condition of the people; then they had human souls in the bodies
    of birds. Then followed the progress from the fourth to the first
    heaven, followed by the descent to earth. The ascent to four heavens
    and the descent to three, makes up the number seven.

    When they alighted, it was on a beautiful day when the earth was
    covered with luxuriant vegetation. From that time the paths of the
    Osages separated; some marched on the right, being the war gentes,
    while those on the left were peace gentes, including the Tsiↄu,
    whose chart this is.

    Then the Tsiↄu met the black bear, called in the tradition
    Káxe-wáhü-sa^n' (Crow-bone-white), in the distance. He offered to
    become their messenger, so they sent him to the different stars for
    aid. According to the chart he went to them in the following order:
    Morning star, sun, moon, seven stars, evening star, little star.

    Then the black bear went to the Waↄiñʞa-ↄüʇse, a female red bird
    sitting on her nest. This grandmother granted his request. She gave
    them human bodies, making them out of her own body.

    The earth lodge at the end of the chart denotes the village
    of the Hañʞa uta¢a^nʇsi, who were a very warlike people. Buffalo
    skulls were on the tops of the lodges, and the bones of the animals
    on which they subsisted whitened on the ground. The very air was
    rendered offensive by the decaying bodies and offal.

    The whole of the chart was used mnemonically. Parts of it, such
    as the four heavens and ladders, were tattooed on the throat and
    chest of the old men belonging to the order.

The tradition relating to Minabō'zho and the sacred objects received
from Kítshi Man'idō is illustrated in Fig. 168, which, represents a copy
(one-third original size) of the record preserved at White Earth. This
record is read from left to right and is, briefly, as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 168.--Midē' record.]

_a_ represents Minabō'zho, who says of the adjoining characters
representing the members of the Midéwin: “They are the ones, they are
the ones who put into my heart the life.” Minabō'zho holds in his left
hand the sacred medicine bag.

_b_ and _c_ represent the drummers; at the sound of the drum everybody
rises and becomes inspired, because the Great Spirit is then present in
the lodge.

_d_ denotes that women also have the privilege of becoming members of
the Midéwin. This figure holds a snake-skin “medicine bag” in her left

_e_ represents the tortoise, the good spirit, who was the giver of some
of the sacred objects used in the rite.

_f_ the bear, also a benevolent spirit, but not held in so great
veneration as the tortoise. His tracks are visible in the lodge.

_g_ the sacred medicine bag, Biń-ji-gú-sân, which contains life and can
be used by the Midē' to prolong the life of a sick person.

_h_ represents a dog given by the spirits to Minabō'zho as a companion.

Fig. 169 gives copies, one-third actual size, of two records in
possession of different Midē' at Red lake. The characters are almost
identical, and one record appears to have been copied from the other.
The lower figure, however, contains an additional character. The
following is an incomplete interpretation of the characters, the
letters applying equally to both:

[Illustration: FIG. 169.--Midē' records.]

_a_, Esh'gibŏ'ga, the great uncle of the Unish'-in-ab'-aig, the receiver
of the Midéwin.

_b_, the drum and drumsticks.

_c_, a bar or rest, observed while chanting the words pertaining to the

_d_, the bin'-ji-gu'-sân, or sacred medicine bag. It consists of an
otter skin, and is the mī'gis, or sacred symbol of the midē'wigân' or
grand medicine lodge.

_e_, a Midē' shaman, the one who holds the mī'gis while chanting
the Midē' song in the grand medicine lodge, _f_. He is inspired, as
indicated by the line extending from the heart to the mouth.

_f_, representation of the grand medicine lodge. This character, with
slight addition, is usually employed by the southern division of the
Ojibwa to denote the lodge of a jĕssakkī'd, and is ordinarily termed a

_g_, a woman, and signifies that women may also be admitted to the
midē'wigân', shown in the preceding character.

_h_, a pause or rest in the chant.

_i_, the sacred snake-skin bag, having the power of giving life through
its skin. This power is indicated by the lines radiating from the head
and the back of the snake.

_j_ represents a woman.

_k_, another illustration of the mī'gis, represented by the sacred otter.

_l_ denotes a woman who is inspired, as shown by the line extending from
the heart to the mouth in the lower chart, and simply showing the heart
in the upper. In the latter she is also empowered to cure with magic

_m_ represents a Midē' shaman, but no explanation was obtained of the
special character delineated.

[Illustration: FIG. 170.--Minabozho.]

In Fig. 170 is presented a variant of the characters shown in _a_ of
Fig. 169. The fact that this denotes the power to cure by the use of
plants would appear to indicate an older and more appropriate form than
the delineation of the bow and arrow, as well as being more in keeping
with the general rendering of the tradition.

Fig. 171, two-thirds real size, is a reproduction, introduced here for
comparison and explanation, of a record illustrating the alleged power
of a Midē'.

[Illustration: FIG. 171.--Midē' practicing incantation.]

_a_, the author, is the Midē', who was called upon to take a man’s life
at a distant camp. The line extending from the Midē' to _i_, explained
below, signifies that his power extended to at least that distance.

_b_, an assistant Midē'.

_c_, _d_, _e_, and _f_ represent the four degrees of the Midéwin, of
which both shamans are members. The degrees are also indicated by the
vertical lines above each lodge character.

_g_ is the drum used in the ceremony.

_h_ is an outline of the victim. A human figure is drawn upon a piece
of birchbark, over which the incantations are made, and, to insure the
death of the subject, a small spot of red paint is rubbed upon the
breast and a sharp instrument thrust into it.

_i_, the outer line represents a lake, while the inner one is an island,
upon which the victim resides.

The ceremony indicated in the above description actually occurred at
White Earth during the autumn of 1884, and, by a coincidence, the Indian
“conjured” died the following spring of pneumonia resulting from cold
contracted during the winter. This was considered as the result of the
Midē'’s power, and naturally secured for him many new adherents and

[Illustration: FIG. 172.--Jĕssakkī'd curing a woman.]

Fig. 172 represents a jĕssakkī'd, named Ne-wik'-ki, curing a sick
woman by sucking the demon through a bone tube. It is introduced here
for comparison, though equally appropriate to Chap. XIV, sec. 3. The
left-hand character represents the Midē' holding a rattle in his hand.
Around his head is an additional circle, denoting quantity (literally,
more than an ordinary amount of knowledge), the short line projecting to
the right therefrom indicating the tube used. The right-hand character
is the patient operated upon.

The juggling trick of removing disease by sucking it through tubes
is performed by the Midē' after fasting and is accompanied with many


Sikas'sigé, one of the officiating priests of the Midē' society of the
Ojibwa at White Earth, Minnesota, gives the following explanation of
Fig. 173, which is a reduced copy of a pictorial representation of a
tradition explaining the origin of the Indians:

[Illustration: FIG. 173.--Origin of the Indians.]

    In the beginning, Ki'tshi Man'idō--Dzhe Man'idō, _a_--made the
    Midē' Man'idōs. He first created two men, _b_ and _c_, and two
    women, _d_ and _e_, but they had no power of thought or reason.
    Then Dzhe Man'idō made them reasoning beings. He then took them in
    his hands so that they should multiply; he paired them, and from
    this sprung the Indians. Then, when there were people, he placed
    them upon the earth; but he soon observed that they were subject to
    sickness, misery, and death, and that unless he provided them with
    the sacred medicine they would soon become extinct.

    Between the position occupied by Dzhe Man'idō and the earth were
    four lesser spirits, _f_, _g_, _h_, and _i_, with whom Dzhe Man'idō
    decided to commune, and to impart the mysteries by which the Indians
    could be benefited; so he first spoke to a spirit at _f_, and told
    him all he had to say, who in turn communicated the same information
    to _g_, and he in turn to _h_, who also communed with _i_. Then they
    all met in council and determined to call in the four wind gods at
    _j_, _k_, _l_, and _m_. After consulting as to what would be best
    for the comfort and welfare of the Indians, these spirits agreed to
    ask Dzhe Man'idō to communicate the mystery of the sacred medicine
    to the people.

    Dzhe Man'idō then went to the Sun Spirit (_o_) and asked him to
    go to the earth and instruct the people as had been decided upon by
    the council. The Sun Spirit, in the form of a little boy, went to
    the earth and lived with a woman (_p_) who had a little boy of her

    This family went away in the autumn to hunt, and during the
    winter this woman’s son died. The parents were so much distressed
    that they decided to return to the village and bury the body there;
    so they made preparations to return, and as they traveled along
    they would each evening erect several poles upon which the body was
    placed to prevent the wild beasts from devouring it. When the dead
    boy was thus hanging upon the poles the adopted child--who was the
    Sun Spirit--would play about the camp and amuse himself, and finally
    told his adopted father he pitied him, and his mother, for their
    sorrow. The adopted son said he could bring his dead brother to
    life, whereupon the parents expressed great surprise and desired to
    know how that could be accomplished.

    The adopted boy then had the party hasten to the village, when
    he said, “Get the women to make a wig'iwam of bark (_q_), put the
    dead boy in a covering of birch bark and place the body on the
    ground in the middle of the wig'iwam.” On the next morning, when
    this had been done, the family and friends went into this lodge and
    seated themselves around the corpse.

    After they had all been sitting quietly for some time they saw,
    through the doorway, the approach of a bear (_r_), which gradually
    came toward the wig'iwam, entered it, and placed itself before the
    dead body, and said hŭ', hŭ', hŭ', hŭ', when he passed around it
    toward the left side, with a trembling motion, and as he did so the
    body began quivering, which increased as the bear continued, until
    he had passed around four times, when the body came to life and
    stood up. Then the bear called to the father, who was sitting in
    the distant right-hand corner of the wig'iwam, and addressed to him
    the following words:

   Nōs     |Ka-wi'-na |ni'-shi-nâ'-bi|wis'-si|a-ya'wi-an'|man'-i-do|nin-gi'-sis.
  My father|  is not  |    an Indian |  not  |  you are  | a spirit|   son.

  Be-mai'-a-mi'-nik|ni'-dzhi |man'-i-do|mi'-a-zhi'-gwa|tshi-gi'-a-we-an'.
     Insomuch      |my fellow| spirit  |    now       |     as you are.

   Nōs     |a-zhi'-gwa|a-se'-ma|tshi-a'-to-yek'. |Â'-mi-kun'-dem | mi-e'-ta
  My father|    now   |tobacco |   you shall put.|   He speaks of|  only

  a-wi-dink'|dzhi-gŏsh'-kwi-tōt' | wen'-dzhi-bĭ-mâ'-di-zid'-o-ma'|a-ga'-wa
      once  |to be able to do it | why he shall live here        |   now

  bi-mâ'-di-zid'-mi-o-ma';|ni'-dzhi |man'-i-do|mi'-a-zhi'-gwa|tshi-gi'-we-an'.
  that he scarcely lives; |my fellow|  spirit |now I shall go|    home.

    The little bear boy (_r_) was the one who did this. He then
    remained among the Indians (_s_) and taught them the mysteries of
    the Grand Medicine (_t_), and after he had finished he told his
    adopted father that as his mission had been fulfilled, that he was
    to return to his kindred spirits, the Indians would have no need to
    fear sickness, as they now possessed the Grand Medicine which would
    assist them to live. He also said that his spirit could bring a body
    to life but once, and he would now return to the sun from which they
    would feel his influence.

    This is called Kwi'-wi-sĕns' wed-di'-shi-tshi'
    ge'-wi-nĭp'--“Little boy, his work.”

    From subsequent information it was learned that the line (_w_)
    denotes the earth, and that, being considered as one step in the
    course of initiation into the Midē'wiwin, three others must be taken
    before a candidate can be admitted. These steps, or rests, as they
    are denominated, are typified by four distinct gifts of goods, which
    must be remitted to the Midē' priests before the ceremony can take

    The characters _s_ and _t_ are repetitions of the figures
    alluded to in the tradition (_q_ and _r_) to signify that the
    candidate must personate the Makwa' Man'idō--bear spirit--when
    entering the Midē'wiwin (_t_); _t_ is the Midē' Man'idō, as Ki'tshi
    Man'idō is termed by the Midē' priests. The device of horns,
    attached to the head, is a common symbol of superior power, found
    in connection with the figures of human and divine forms in many
    Midē' songs and other mnemonic records; _v_ represents the earth’s
    surface, similar to that designated as _w_. _w_, _x_, _y_, and _z_
    represent the four degrees of the grand medicine.



Fig. 174 is copy of a birchbark record which was made to commemorate a
treaty of peace between the Ojibwa and Assinaboin Indians. The drawing
on bark was made by an Ojibwa chief at White Earth, Minnesota.

[Illustration: FIG. 174.--Record of treaty.]

The figure on the left, holding a flag, represents the Ojibwa chief,
while that on the right denotes the chief acting on the part of the
Assinaboins. The latter holds in his left hand the pipe which was used
in the preliminaries, and smoke is seen issuing from the mouth of
the Assinaboin. He also holds in his right hand the drum used as an
accompaniment to the songs.

The Ojibwa holds a flag used as an emblem of peace.

A considerable number of pictographic records of treaties are presented
in different parts of the present work (see under the headings of
Wampum, Chap. ix, Sec. 3; Notices, Chap. xi; History, Chap. xvi; Winter
Counts, Chap. x, Sec. 2).



Le Page Du Pratz (_b_) says in describing the council of conspiracy
which resulted in the Natchez war of 1729:

    An aged councillor advised that after all the nations had been
    informed of the necessity of taking this violent action, each one
    should receive a bundle of sticks, all containing an equal number,
    and which were to mark the number of days to pass before that on
    which they were all to strike at once; that in order to guard
    against any mistake it would be necessary to take care to extract
    one stick every day and to break it and throw it away; a man of
    wisdom should be charged with this duty. All the old men approved of
    his advice and it was adopted.

Père Nicholas Perrot (_a_) says:

    Celui qui, chez les Hurons, prenait la parole en cette
    circonstance, recevait un petit faisceau de pailles d’pied de long
    qui luy servoient comme de jetons, pour supputer les nombres et
    pour ayder la mémoire des assistans, les distribuant en divers
    lots, suyvant la diversité des choses. Dans l’Amérique du Sud, les
    Galibis de la rivière d’Amacourou et de l’Orénoque usaient du même
    procédé mnémotechnique, mais perfectionné. Le capitaine [Galibis] et
    moy, écrit le P. la Pierre (Voyage en terre-ferme et à la coste de
    Paria, p. 15 du Ms. orig.), eusmes un grand discours ... luy ayant
    demandé ce qu’il alloit faire à Barime, il me respondit qu’il alloit
    avertir tous les capitaines des aultres rivières, du jour qu’il en
    faudroit sortir pour aller donner l’attaque à leurs ennemis. Et,
    pour me faire comprendre la façon dont il s’y prenoit il me montra
    vingt petites buches liées ensemble qui se plient à la façon d’un
    rouleau. Les six premières estoient d’une couleur particulière;
    elles signifioent que, les six premiers jours, il falloit préparer
    du magnot [manioc] pour faire vivres. Les quatre suivantes estoient
    d’une aultre couleur pour marque qu’il falloit avertir les hommes.
    Les six d’aultre couleur et ainsi du reste, marquant par leur
    petites buches, faites en façon de paille, l’ordre que chaque
    capitaine doit faire observer à ses gens pour estre prest tous en
    mesme temps. La sortie devroit se faire dans vingt jours; car il n’y
    avoit que cest [vingt] petites buches.

Im Thurn (_e_) tells of the Indians of Guiana as follows:

    When a paiwari feast is to be held, invitations are sent to
    the people of all neighboring settlements inhabited by Indians of
    the same tribe as the givers of the feast. The latter prepare a
    number of strings, each of which is knotted as many times as there
    are days before the feast day. One of these strings is kept by the
    headman of the settlement where the feast is to be held; the others
    are distributed, one to the headman of each of the settlements from
    which guests are expected. Every day one of the knots, on each of
    the strings, is untied, and when the last has been untied guests and
    hosts know that the feast day has come.

    Sometimes, instead of knots on a string, notches on a piece
    of wood are used. This system of knot-tying, the quippoo system
    of the Peruvians, which occurs in nearly identical form in all
    parts of the world, is not only used as in the above instance
    for calendar-keeping, but also to record items of any sort; for
    instance, if one Indian owes another a certain number of balls
    of cotton or other articles, debtor and creditor each has a
    corresponding string or stick, with knots or notches to the number
    of the owed article, and one or more of these is oblitered each time
    a payment is made until the debt is wiped out.

Darius (Herodot. IV, 98) did something of the kind when he took a thong
and, tying sixty knots in it, gave it to the Ionian chiefs, that they
might untie a knot every day and go back to their own land if he had not
returned when all the knots were undone.

Champlain (_a_) describes a mode of preparation for battle among the
Canadian Algonquins which partook of the nature of a military drill as
well as of an appointment of rank and order. It is in its essentials
mnemonic. He describes it as follows:

    Les chefs prennent des bâtons de la longueur d’un pied autant
    en nombre qu’ils sont et signalent par d’autres un peu plus grands,
    leurs chefs; puis vont dans le bois et esplanadent une place de
    cinq ou six pieds en quarré où le chef comme Sergent Major, met
    par ordre tous ces bâtons comme bon luy semble; puis appelle tous
    ses compagnons, qui viennent tous armez, et leur monstre le rang
    et ordre qu’ils deuvont tenir lors qu’ils se battront avec leurs

The author adds detail with regard to alignment, breaking ranks, and
resumption of array.



D. W. Eakins, in Schoolcraft I, p. 273, describes the mnemonic
numeration marks of the Muskoki thus:

    Each perpendicular stroke stood for one, and each additional
    stroke marked an additional number. The ages of deceased persons
    or number of scalps taken by them, or war-parties which they have
    headed, are recorded on their grave-posts by this system of strokes.
    The sign of the cross represents ten. The dot and comma never
    stood as a sign for a day, or a moon, or a month, or a year. The
    chronological marks that were and are in present use are a small
    number of sticks made generally of cane. Another plan sometimes in
    use was to make small holes in a board, in which a peg was inserted
    to keep the days of the week.

Capt. Bourke (_b_) gives the following account of an attempt at
compromise between the aboriginal method of numbering days, weeks, and
months, and that of the civilized intruders to whose system the Indians
found it necessary to conform.

    The Apache scouts kept records of the time of their absence on
    campaign. There were several methods in vogue, the best being that
    of colored beads which were strung on a string, six white ones to
    represent the days of the week, and one black, or other color, to
    stand for Sundays. This method gave rise to some confusion, because
    the Indians had been told that there were four weeks, or Sundays
    (“Domingos”), in each “Luna,” or moon, and yet they soon found
    that their own method of determining time by the appearance of the
    crescent moon was much the more satisfactory. Among the Zuñi I have
    seen little tally sticks with the marks for the days and months
    incised on the narrow edges, and among the Apache another method of
    indicating the flight of time by marking on a piece of paper along a
    horizontal line a number of circles or of straight lines across the
    horizontal datum line to represent the full days which had passed,
    a heavy straight line for each Sunday, and a small crescent for the
    beginning of each month.

It is not necessary to discuss the obvious method of repeating strokes,
dots, knots, human heads or forms, weapons, and totemic designs,
to designate the number of persons or articles referred to in the
pictographs where they appear.



The Abnaki, in especial the Passamaquoddy division of the tribe in
Maine, during late years have been engaged in civilized industries
in which they have found it necessary to keep accounts. These are
interesting as exhibiting the aboriginal use of ideographic devices
which are only partially supplemented by the imitation of the symbols
peculiar to European civilization. Several of these devices were
procured by the present writer in 1888, and are illustrated and
explained as follows:

A deer hunter brings 3 deerskins, for which he is allowed $2 each,
making $6; 30 pounds of venison, at 10 cents per pound, making $3. In
payment thereof he purchases 3 pounds of powder, at 40 cents per pound;
5 pounds of pork, at 10 cents per pound; and 2 gallons of molasses, at
50 cents per gallon. The debit foots $3.30, according to the Indian
account, but it seems on calculation to be 30 cents in excess, an
overcharge, showing the advance in civilization of the Passamaquoddy

[Illustration: FIG. 175.--Shop account.]

The following explanation will serve to make intelligible the characters
employed, which are reproduced in Fig. 175. The hunter is shown as the
first character in line _a_, and that he is a deer-hunter is furthermore
indicated by his having a skin-stretcher upon his back, as well as the
figure of a deer at which he is shooting. The three skins referred to
are shown stretched upon frames in line _b_, the total number being also
indicated by the three vertical strokes, between which and the drying
frames are two circles, each with a line across it, to denote dollars,
the total sum of $6 being the last group of dollar marks on line _b_.

The 30 pounds of venison are represented in line _c_, the three crosses
signifying 30, the T-shaped character designating a balance scale,
synonymous with pound, while the venison is indicated by the drawing
of the hind quarter or ham. The price is given by uniting the X, or
numeral, and the T, or pound mark, making a total of $3 as completing
the line _c_.

The line _d_ refers to the purchase of 3 pounds of powder, as expressed
by the three strokes, the T, or scale for pound, and the powder horn,
the price of which is four Xs or 40 cents per pound, or T; and 3 pounds
of powder, the next three vertical strokes succeeded by a number of
spots to indicate grains of powder, which is noted as being 10 cents per
pound, indicated by the cross and T, respectively. The next item, shown
on line _e_, charges for 5 pounds of pork, the latter being indicated
by the outline of a pig, the price being indicated by the X or 10, and
T, scale or pound; then two short lines preceding one small oblong
square or quart measure, indicates that 2 quarts of molasses, shown by
the black spot, cost 5 crosses, or 50 cents per measure, the sum of the
whole of the purchase being indicated by three rings with stems and
three crosses, equivalent to $3.30.

Another Indian, whose occupation was to furnish basket wood, brought
some to the trader for which he received credit to the amount of $1.15,
taking in exchange therefor pork sufficient to equal the above amount.

[Illustration: FIG. 176.--Shop account.]

In Fig. 176 the Indian is shown with a bundle of basket wood, the value
of which is given in the next characters, consisting of a ring with a
line across to denote $1, a cross to represent 10 cents, and the five
short vertical lines for an additional 5 cents, making a total of $1.15.
The pork received from the trader is indicated by the outline of a pig,
while the crossed lines to the right denotes that the “account” is

Another customer, as shown in Fig. 177, was an old woman, the descendent
of an ancient name--one known before the coming of white people. She was
therefore called the “Owl,” and is represented in the “account” given
below. She had bought on credit 1 plug of smoking tobacco, designated
by one vertical stroke for the quantity and an oblong square figure
corresponding to the shape of the package, which was to be used for
smoking, as indicated by the spiral lines to denote smoke. She had also
purchased 2 quarts of kerosene oil, the quantity designated by the two
strokes preceding the small squares to represent quart measures, and
the liquid is indicated by the rude outline of a kerosene lamp. This
is followed by two crosses, representing 20 cents, as the value of the
amount of her purchases. This account was settled by giving one basket,
as shown in the device nearly beneath the owl, half of which is marked
with crossed lines, connected by a line of dots or dashes with the
cancellation mark at the extreme right of the record.

[Illustration: FIG. 177.--Shop account.]

[Illustration: FIG. 178.--Book account.]

Another Passamaquoddy Indian, unable to read or write, carries on
business and keeps his books according to a method of his own invention.
One account is reproduced in Fig. 178. It is with a very slim Indian, as
will be observed from the drawing, who carries on “trucking” and owns a
horse, that animal being represented in outline and connected by lines
with its owner. For services he was paid $5.45, which sum is shown in
the lower line of characters by five dollar-marks--i. e., rings with
strokes across them--4 crosses or numerals signifying 10 cents each, and
five short vertical lines for 5 cents. The date is shown in the upper
line of characters, the 4 short lines in front of the horse signifying
4, the oval figure next, to the right and intended for a circle,
denoting the moon--i. e., the fourth moon, or April--while the 10 short
strokes signify the tenth day of the month--i. e., he was paid $5.45 in
full for services to April 10.

[Illustration: FIG. 179.--Book account.]

Another account was with a young woman noted as very slim, and is shown
in Fig. 179. The girl brought a basket to the store, for which she was
allowed 20 cents. She received credit for 10 cents on account of a plug
of tobacco bought some time previously.

In the illustration the decidedly slim form of the girl is portrayed,
her hands holding out the basket which she had made. The unattached
cross signifies 10 cents, which she probably received in cash, while
the other cross is connected by a dotted line with the piece of plug
tobacco for which she had owed 10 cents. The attachment of the plug to
the unpaid dime is amusingly ideographic.

Another Indian, descended from the prehistoric Indians, was called
“Lox,” the evil or tricksy deity, appearing as an animal having a long
body and tail and short legs, which is probably a wolverine, under which
form Lox is generally depicted by the Passamaquoddy. His account with
the trader is given in Fig. 180, and shows that he brought 1 dozen ax
handles, for which he received $1.50.

[Illustration: FIG. 180.--Book account.]

Beneath the figure of Lox are 2 axes, the 12 short lines denoting the
number of handles delivered, while the dotted line to the right connects
them with the amount received, which is designated by 1 one dollar mark
and 5 crosses or dime marks.

Dr. Hoffman found in Los Angeles, California, a number of notched
sticks, which had been invented and used by the Indians at the Mission
of San Gabriel. They had chief herders, who had under their charge
overseers of the several classes of laborers, herders, etc. The chief
herder was supplied with a stick of hard wood, measuring about 1 inch in
breadth and thickness and from 20 to 24 inches long. The corners were
beveled at the handle. The general form of the stick is given in the
upper character of Fig. 181, with the exception that the illustration is
intentionally shortened so as to show both ends.

[Illustration: FIG. 181.--Notched sticks.]

Upon each of the beveled surfaces on the handle are marks to indicate
the kind of horned cattle referred to. The cross indicates that the
corner of the stick upon which it is incised relates to heifers, each
notch designating one head, the long transverse cut denoting ten, with
an additional three cuts signifying that the herder has in charge
thirteen heifers. Upon the next beveled edge appears an arrow-pointed
mark, to denote in like manner which edge of the stick is to be
notched for indicating the oxen. Upon the third beveled surface is one
transverse cut for the record of the number of bulls in the herd, while
upon the fourth bevel of the handle are two notches to note the number
of cows.

The stick is notched at the end opposite the handle to signify that it
refers only to horned cattle. That used to designate horses is sharpened
from two sides only, so that the end is wedge-shaped, or exactly the
reverse of the one first mentioned. The marks upon the handle would
be the same, however, with this exception--that one cut would mean a
stallion, two cuts a mare, the cross a gelding, and the arrow-shaped
figure a colt. Sticks were also marked to denote the several kinds of
stock and to record those which had been branded.

Another class of sticks were also used by the overseers, copies of which
were likewise preserved by the laborers and herders, to keep an account
of the number of days on which labor was performed, and to record the
sums of money received by the workman.

The lower character of Fig. 181 represents a stick, upon the beveled
edge of the handle of which is a cross to denote work. The short notches
upon the corner of the stick denote days, each seventh day or week being
designated by a cut extending across the stick.

Upon the opposite side of the handle is a circle or a circle with a
cross within it to denote the number of reals paid, each real being
indicated upon the edge of the stick by a notch, while each ten reals
or peso is noted by making the cut all the way across that face of the

Mr. Dall (_a_) says that the Innuit frequently keep accounts by tying
knots in a string or notching a stick. Capt. Bourke (_c_) reports:

    In the Mexican state of Sonora I was shown, some twenty years
    ago, a piece of buckskin, upon which certain Opata or Yaqui
    Indians--I forget exactly which tribe, but it matters very little,
    as they are both industrious and honest--had kept account of the
    days of their labor. There was a horizontal datum line as before,
    with complete circles to indicate full days and half circles
    to indicate half days, a long heavy black line for Sundays and
    holidays, and a crescent moon for each new month. These accounts had
    to be drawn up by the overseer or superintendent of the rancho at
    which the Indians were employed before the latter left for home each

Terrien de Lacouperie (_e_) says of the Sonthals of Bengal:

    Their accounts are either notches on a stick, like those
    formerly used by the rustics for keeping scores at cricket matches
    in country villages in England, or knots on a piece of grass string,
    or a number of bits of straw tied together. I well remember my
    astonishment while trying my first case between a grasping Mahajun
    and a Sonthal when I ordered them to produce their accounts. * * *
    The Sonthal produced from his back hair, where it had been kept, I
    suppose, for ornament, a dirty bit of knotted grass string and threw
    it on the table, requesting the court to count that, as it had got
    too long for him. Each knot represented a rupee, a longer space
    between two knots represented the lapse of a year.

Many modes of accounting in a pictorial manner are noted in Europe
and America among people classed as civilized. Some of these are very
curious, but want of space prevents their recital here. A valuable
description of the survival of the system in Brittany is given by M.
Armand Landrin (_a_), translated and condensed as follows:

    In the department of Finisterre the farmers, in keeping
    accounts, made bags of their old socks and coat sleeves, of
    different colors, each color representing one of the divisions of
    farm outlay or receipt, as cows, butter, milk, and corn. Each amount
    received was placed in coin in the appropriate bag. When any coins
    were taken out the same number of small stones or of peas or beans
    was put in to replace the coins. Other farmers substituted for the
    bags small sticks of different length and thickness in which they
    made cuts representing the receipts.

    In the accounts with the laborers and farm hands the women were
    designated by the triangle, intended to represent the Breton head
    dress _á grandes barbes_. The kind of work performed was expressed
    by the tool connected with it, _e. g._, a horseshoe denoted the
    blacksmith, a scythe the mower, an ax the carpenter, a saddle the
    harness-maker, and a tub the cooper. The bill of a veterinary
    surgeon was rendered by drawing the figures of the several animals
    treated united in one group by a line.

Until quite recently the important accounts of the British exchequer
were kept by wooden tallies, and some bakers in the United States yet
persevere in keeping their accounts with their customers by duplicate
tallies, one of which is rendered as a bill and is verified by the



It is not within the scope of the present work to examine the several
systems of chronology of the American Indians, but only those
pictorially exhibited. The Mexican system, much more scientific and
more elaborate than that employed by the northern tribes, resembled it
in the graphic record or detail of exhibit, and is highly interesting
as compared with the Dakota Winter Counts. Although the principle of
designating the years was wholly different, the mode of that designation
was often similar, as is shown by collating the Codex Vaticanus and
the Codex Telleriano Remensis with the Winter Counts of Lone Dog and
Battiste Good, infra. It is also desirable to note the remarks of Prof.
Brinton (_e_) with regard to the Chilan Balam. At the close of each of
the Maya larger divisions of time (the so-called “Katum”), a “chilan” or
inspired diviner uttered a prediction of the character of the year or
epoch which was about to begin. This prophetic designation of the year
was like a Zadkiel’s almanac, while the Dakotan method was a selection
of the most important events of the past.



Dr. William H. Corbusier, surgeon, U. S. Army, gives the following

[Illustration: FIG. 182.--Device denoting succession of time. Dakota.]

    The Dakotas make use of the circle as the symbol of a cycle of
    time; a small one for a year and a large one for a longer period
    of time, as a life time, one old man. Also a round of lodges or a
    cycle of seventy years, as in Battiste Good’s Winter Count. The
    continuance of time is sometimes indicated by a line extending in a
    direction from right to left across the page when on paper, and the
    annual circles are suspended from the line at regular intervals by
    short lines, as in Fig. 182, upper character, and the ideograph for
    the year is placed beneath each one. At other times the line is not
    continuous, but is interrupted at regular intervals by the yearly
    circle, as in the lower character of Fig. 182.

Under other headings in this paper are presented graphic expressions for
divisions of time--month, day, night, morning, noon, and evening. See,
for some of them, Chap. XX, Sec. 2.



In the preliminary paper on “Pictographs of the North American Indians,”
published in the Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 58
pages of text and 46 full-page plates were devoted to the winter counts
of the Dakota Indians. The minute detail of explanation, the systematic
comparison, and the synoptic presentation which seemed to be necessary
need not now be repeated to establish the genuine character of the
invention. This consisted in the use of events, which were in some
degree historical, to form a system of chronology. The record of the
events was only the device by which was accomplished the continuous
designation of years, in the form of charts corresponding in part with
the orderly arrangement of divisions of time termed calendars. It was
first made public by the present writer in a paper entitled “A Calendar
of the Dakota Nation,” which was issued in April, 1877, in Bulletin III,
No. I, of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey. The
title is now changed to that adopted by the Dakotas themselves, viz,
Winter Counts--in the original, wan'iyetu wo'wapi.

The lithographed chart published with that paper, substantially the
same as Pl. XX, Lone-Dog’s Winter Count, now much better presented than
ever before, is the winter count used by, or at least known to, a large
portion of the Dakota people, extending over the seventy-one years
commencing with the winter of A. D. 1800-’01.



The copy from which the lithograph was taken is traced on a strip
of cotton cloth, in size 1 yard square, which the characters almost
entirely fill, and is painted in two colors, black and red, used in the
original, of which it is a facsimile. The plate is a representation of
the chart as it would appear on the buffalo robe. It was photographed
from the copy on linen cloth, and not directly from the buffalo robe.
It was painted on the robe by Lone-Dog, an Indian belonging to the
Yanktonais tribe of the Dakotas, who in the autumn of 1876 was near
Fort Peck, Montana. His Dakota name is given in the ordinary English
literation as Shunka-ishnala, which words correspond nearly with the
vocables in Riggs’s lexicon for dog-lone. Lone-Dog claimed that, with
the counsel of the old men of his tribe, he decided upon some event
or circumstance which should distinguish each year as it passed, and
marked what was considered to be its appropriate symbol or device upon
a buffalo robe kept for the purpose. The robe was at convenient times
exhibited to other Indians of the tribe, who were thus taught the
meaning and use of the signs as designating the several years.

It is not, however, supposed that Lone-Dog was of sufficient age in the
year 1800 to enter upon the work. Either there was a predecessor from
whom he received the earlier records or, when he had reached manhood,
he gathered the traditions from his elders and worked back, the object
either then or before being to establish some system of chronology for
the use of the tribe or more probably in the first instance for the use
of his own band.

Present knowledge of the winter-count systems shows that Lone-Dog was
not their originator. They were started, at the latest, before the
present generation, and have been kept up by a number of independent
recorders. The idea was one specially appropriate to the Indian genius,
yet the peculiar mode of record was an invention, and it is not probably
a very old invention, as it has not been used beyond a definite district
and people. If an invention of that character had been of great
antiquity it would probably have spread by intertribal channels beyond
the bands or tribes of the Dakota, where alone the copies of such charts
have been found and are understood.

The fact that Lone-Dog’s Winter Count, the only one known at the time
of its first publication, begins at a date nearly coinciding with the
first year of the present century, as it is called in the arbitrary
computation that prevails among most of the civilized peoples, awakened
a suspicion that it might be due to civilized intercourse and was not a
mere coincidence. If the influence of missionaries or traders started
any plan of chronology, it is remarkable that they did not suggest one
in some manner resembling the system so long and widely used, and the
only one they knew, of counting the numbers from an era, such as the
birth of Christ, the Hegira, the Ab Urbe Conditâ, or the first Olympiad.
But the chart shows nothing of this nature. The earliest character
merely represents the killing of a small number of Dakotas by their
enemies, an event neither so important nor interesting as many others
of the seventy-one shown in the chart, more than one of which, indeed,
might well have been selected as a notable fixed point before and after
which simple arithmetical notation could have been used to mark the
years. Instead of any plan that civilized advisers would naturally have
introduced, the one actually adopted was to individualize each year by
a specific recorded symbol. The ideographic record, being preserved
and understood by many, could be used and referred to with ease and
accuracy. Definite signs for the first appearance of the smallpox and
for the first capture of wild horses were dates as satisfactory to the
Dakota as the corresponding expressions A. D. 1802 and 1813 are to the
Christian world, and far more certain than the chronology expressed in
terms of A. M. and B. C. The arrangement of separate characters in an
outward spiral starting from a central point is a clever expedient to
dispense with the use of numbers for noting the years, yet allowing
every date to be determined by counting backward or forward from any
other known. The whole conception seems one strongly characteristic
of the Indians, who in other instances have shown such expertness in
ideography. The discovery of several other charts, which differ in
their times of commencement and ending from that of Lone-Dog and from
each other, removed any inference arising from the above-mentioned
coincidence in beginning with the present century. The following copies
of charts, substantially the same as that of Lone-Dog, are now or have
been in the possession of the present writer:

1. A chart made and kept by Bo-i'-de, The-Flame, a Dakota, who, in 1877,
lived near Fort Sully, Dakota.

The facsimile copy is on a cotton cloth about a yard square and in black
and red, thus far similar to the copy of Lone-Dog’s chart, but the
arrangement is different. The character for the first year mentioned
appears in the lower left-hand corner, and the record proceeds toward
the right to the extremity of the cloth, then crossing toward the left
and again toward the right at the edge of the cloth, and so throughout,
in the style called boustrophedon. It thus answers the same purpose of
orderly arrangement, allowing constant additions, like the more circular
spiral of Lone-Dog. This record is for the years 1786-’87 to 1876-’77,
thus commencing earlier and ending later than that of Lone-Dog.

2. A Minneconjou chief, The-Swan, kept another record on the dressed
skin of an antelope or deer, claiming that it had been preserved in his
family for seventy years.

The characters are arranged in a spiral similar to those in Lone-Dog’s
chart, but more oblong in form. The course of the spiral is from left to
right, not from right to left.

3. Another chart was kindly loaned to the writer by Bvt. Maj. Joseph
Bush, captain Twenty-second U. S. Infantry. It was procured by him, in
1870 at the Cheyenne Agency. This copy is one yard by three-fourths
of a yard, spiral, beginning in the center, from right to left. The
figures are substantially the same as those in Lone-Dog’s chart, with
which it coincides in time, except that it ends at 1869-’70, but the
interpretation differs from that accompanying the latter in a few

4. The chart of Mato Sapa, Black-Bear. He was a Minneconjou warrior,
residing in 1868 and 1869 on the Cheyenne Agency reservation, on the
Missouri river, near the mouth of the Cheyenne river.

This copy is on a smaller scale than that of Lone-Dog, being a flat and
elongated spiral, 2 feet 6 inches by 1 foot 6 inches. The spiral reads
from right to left. This chart, which begins like that of Lone-Dog, ends
with the years 1868-’69.

5. A most important and interesting Winter Count is that made by
Battiste Good, a Brulé Dakota, which was kindly contributed by Dr.
William H. Corbusier, surgeon U. S. Army. It begins with peculiar cyclic
devices from the year A. D. 900, and in thirteen figures embraces the
time to A. D. 1700, all these devices being connected with myths, and
some of them showing European influence. From 1700-’01 to 1879-’80 a
separate character is given for each year, with its interpretation,
in much the same style as shown in the other charts mentioned. Several
Indians and half-breeds said that this count formerly embraced about the
same number of years as the others, but that Battiste Good gathered the
names of many years from the old people and placed them in chronological
order as far back as he was able to learn them.

Another Winter Count, communicated by Dr. Corbusier, is that in the
possession of American-Horse, an Oglala Dakota, at the Pine Ridge agency
in 1879, who asserted that his grandfather began it, and that it is the
production of his grandfather, his father, and himself.

A third Winter Count is communicated by Dr. Corbusier as kept by
Cloud-Shield. He was also an Oglala Dakota, at the Pine Ridge agency,
but of a different band from American-Horse. The last two counts embrace
nearly the same number of years, viz, from A. D. 1775 to 1878. Two dates
belong to each figure, as a Dakota year covers a portion of two of the
calendar years common to civilization.

Dr. Corbusier also saw copies of a fourth Winter Count, which was kept
by White-Cow-Killer, at the Pine Ridge agency. He did not obtain a copy
of it, but learned most of the names given to the winters.

With reference to all the Winter Counts and to the above remarks that
a Dakota year covers a portion of two calendar years, the following
explanation may be necessary: The Dakota count their years by winters
(which is quite natural, that season in their high levels and latitudes
practically lasting more than six months), and say a man is so many
snows old, or that so many snow seasons have passed since an occurrence.
They have no division of time into weeks, and their months are
absolutely lunar, only twelve, however, being designated, which receive
their names upon the recurrence of some prominent physical phenomenon.
For example, the period partly embraced by February is called the
“raccoon moon;” March, the “sore-eye moon;” and April, that “in which
the geese lay eggs.” As the appearance of raccoons after hibernation,
the causes inducing inflamed eyes, and oviposition by geese vary with
the meteorological character of each year, and as the twelve lunations
reckoned do not bring back the point in the season when counting
commenced, there is often dispute in the Dakota tipis toward the end of
winter as to the correct current date. In careful examination of the
several counts it often is left in doubt whether the event occurred in
the winter months or was selected in the months immediately before or in
those immediately after the winter. No regularity or accuracy is noticed
in these particulars.

In considering the extent to which Lone-Dog’s chart is understood and
used, it may be mentioned that every intelligent Dakota of full years to
whom the writer has shown it has known what it meant, and many of them
knew a large part of the years portrayed. When there was less knowledge,
there was the amount that may be likened to that of an uneducated person
or a child who is examined about a map of the United States, which
had been shown to him before, with some explanation only partially
apprehended or remembered. He would tell that it was a map of the United
States; would probably be able to point out with some accuracy the state
or city where he lived; perhaps the capital of the country; probably
the names of the states of peculiar position or shape, such as Maine,
Delaware, or Florida. So the Indian examined would often point out in
Lone-Dog’s chart the year in which he was born, or that in which his
father died, or in which there was some occurrence that had strongly
impressed him, but which had no relation whatever to the significance of
the character for the year in question. It had been pointed out to him
before, and he had remembered it, while forgetting the remainder of the

On comparing all the Winter Counts it is found that they often
correspond, but sometimes differ. In a few instances the differences are
in the succession of events, but they are usually due to an omission or
to the selection of another event. When a year has the same name in all
of them, the bands were probably encamped together, or else the event
fixed upon was of general interest; and when the name is different the
bands were scattered, or nothing of general interest occurred. Many of
the recent events are fresh in the memory of the people, as the warriors
who strive to make their exploits a part of the tribal traditions
proclaim them on all occasions of ceremony, count their coups, as the
performance is called. Declarations of this kind partake of the nature
of affirmations made in the invoked presence of a supposed divinity. War
shirts, on which scores of the enemies killed are kept, and which are
carefully transmitted from generation to generation, help to refresh
their memories in regard to some of the events.

The study of all the charts renders plain some points remaining in
doubt while the Lone-Dog chart was the only example known. It became
clear that there was no fixed or uniform mode of exhibiting the order
of continuity of the year-characters. They were arranged spirally or
lineally, or in serpentine curves, by boustrophedon or direct, starting
backward from the last year shown or proceeding uniformly forward from
the first year selected or remembered. Any mode that would accomplish
the object of continuity with the means of regular addition seemed
equally acceptable. So a theory advanced that there was some symbolism
in the right-to-left circling of Lone-Dog’s chart was abandoned,
especially when an obvious reproduction of that very chart was made by
an Indian with the spiral reversed. It was also obvious that when copies
were made, some of them probably from memory, there was no attempt at
Chinese accuracy. It was enough to give the graphic or ideographic
character, and frequently the character is better defined on one of the
charts than on the others for the corresponding year. One interpretation
would often throw light on the others. It also appeared that, while
different events were selected by the recorders of the different
systems, there was sometimes a selection of the same event for the
same year and sometimes for the next, such as would be natural in the
progress of a famine or epidemic, or as an event gradually became known
over a vast territory.

A test of the mode of selecting events for designating the Winter Counts
may be found in a suggestion made by the present writer in his account
of Lone-Dog’s chart, published in 1877, as follows:

    The year 1876 has furnished good store of events for the
    recorder’s choice, and it will be interesting to learn whether
    he has selected as the distinguishing event the victory over
    Custer, or, as of still greater interest, the general seizure of
    ponies, whereat the tribes, imitating Rachel, weep and will not be
    comforted, because they are not.

It now appears that two of the Counts made for 1876 and observed by the
writer several years later have selected the event of the seizure of the
ponies, and that none of them make any allusion to the defeat of Custer.

After examination of all the charts it is obvious that the design is
not narrative, that the noting of events is being subordinated to
the marking of the years by them, and that the pictographic serial
arrangements of sometimes trivial though generally notorious incidents
having been selected with special adaptation for use as a calendar.
That in a few instances small personal events, such as the birth of the
recorder or the death of members of his family, are set forth, may be
regarded as interpolations in or unauthorized additions to the charts.
If they had exhibited a complete national or tribal history for the
years embraced in them, their discovery would have been in some respects
more valuable, but they are interesting to anthropologists because they
show an attempt before unsuspected among the northern tribes of American
Indians to form a system of chronology.

While, as before mentioned, it is not now necessary to recapitulate the
large amount of matter before published concerning the Winter Counts of
the Dakota, it has been decided to present in an abbreviated form the
characters and interpretations of the Lone-Dog chart as being the system
which was first discovered, and the publication of which occasioned
the discovery of all the other charts mentioned. The Winter Count of
Battiste Good has not hitherto been published, and it possesses special
importance and interest apart from its chronology, for which reason it
is inserted in the present paper, see infra.

The several charts of The-Flame, The-Swan, American-Horse, and
Cloud-Shield, published in the Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology, are omitted, but selections from all of them are presented
under the headings of Ideography, Tribal and Personal Designations,
Religion, Customs, History, Biography, Conventionalizing, Comparison,
and in short are interspersed through the present paper where they
appropriately belong.

The reader of the Lone-Dog and Battiste Good charts may find it
convenient to note the following brief account of the tribal names
frequently mentioned:

The great linguistic stock or family which embraces not only the Sioux
or Dakota proper, but the Missouri, Omaha, Ponka, Osage, Kansa, Oto,
Assinaboin, Gros Ventre or Minnitari, Crow, Iowa, Mandan, and some
others, has been frequently styled the Dakota family. Maj. J. W. Powell,
the Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, from consideration of priority,
has lately adopted the name Siouan for the family, and for the grand
division of it popularly called Sioux has used the term Dakota, which
the people claim for themselves.

The word “Dakota” is translated in Riggs’s dictionary of that language
as “leagued” or “allied.” The title Sioux, which is indignantly
repudiated by the people, is either the last syllable or the last two
syllables, according to pronunciation, of “Nadowesioux,” which is the
French plural of the Algonkin name for the Dakotas “Nadowessi,” “hated
foe.” The Ojibwa called the Dakota “Nadowessi,” which is their word
meaning rattlesnake, or, as others translate, adder, with a contemptuous
or diminutive termination; the plural is Nadowessiwak or Nadawessyak.
The French gave the name their own form of the plural and the voyagers
and trappers cut it down to “Sioux.”

The more important of the tribes and organized bands into which the
Dakotas are now divided, being the dislocated remains of the “Seven
Great Council Fires,” are as follows:

Yankton and Yanktonai or Ihankto^nwạ^n, both derived from a root meaning
“at the end,” alluding to the former locality of their villages.

Sihasapa, or Blackfeet.

Oheno^npa, or Two-Kettles.

Itaziptco, Without Bow. The French equivalent Sans Arc is more commonly

Minneconjou, translated “Those who plant by the water,” the physical
features of their old home.

Sitca^ngu, Burnt Hip or Brulé.

Santee, subdivided into Wahpeton, Men among Leaves, i. e., among
forests, and Sisseton, Men of Prairie Marsh. Two other bands, now
practically extinct, formerly belonged to the Santee, or as it is more
correctly spelled, Isanti tribes, from the root “Issan,” knife. Their
former territory furnished the material for stone knives, from the
manufacture of which they were called the “knife people.”

Uncpapa, once the most warlike and probably the most powerful of all the
bands, though not the largest.

Oglala. The meaning and derivation of this name and of Uncpapa have been
the subjects of controversy.

Hale, Gallatin, and Riggs designate a “Titon tribe” as located west
of the Missouri, and as much the largest division of the Dakotas,
the latter authority subdividing into the Sicha^ngu, Itazipcho,
Sihasapa, Minneconjou, Ohenonpa, Oglala, and Huncpapa, seven of the
tribes specified above, which he calls bands. “Titon,” (from the word
_ti^ntan_, meaning “at or on land without trees or prairie,”) was the
name of a tribal division, but it has become only an expression for
all those tribes whose ranges are on the prairie, and thus it is a
territorial and accidental, not a tribular distinction. One of the
Dakotas at Fort Rice spoke to the present writer of the “hostiles”
as “Titons,” with obviously the same idea of locality, “away on the
prairie,” it being well known that they were a conglomeration from
several tribes.


[Illustration: FIG. 183.]

Fig. 183, 1800-’01.--Thirty Dakotas were killed by Crow Indians. The
device consists of thirty parallel black lines in three columns, the
outer lines being united. In this chart, such black lines always signify
the death of Dakotas killed by their enemies.

The Absaroka or Crow tribe, although belonging to the Siouan family, has
nearly always been at war with the Dakotas proper since the whites have
had any knowledge of either. They are noted for the extraordinary length
of their hair, which frequently distinguishes them in pictographs.

[Illustration: FIG. 184.]

Fig. 184, 1801-’02.--Many died of smallpox. The smallpox broke out in
the tribe. The device is the head and body of a man covered with red
blotches. In this, as in all other cases where colors in this chart are
mentioned, they will be found to correspond with Pl. XX, but not in that
respect with the text figures, which have no coloration.

[Illustration: FIG. 185.]

Fig. 185, 1802-’03.--A Dakota stole horses with shoes on, i. e., stole
them either directly from the whites or from some other Indians who
had before obtained them from whites, as the Indians never shoe their
horses. The device is a horseshoe.

[Illustration: FIG. 186.]

Fig. 186, 1803-’04.--They stole some “curly horses” from the Crows. Some
of these horses are still on the plains, the hair growing in closely
curling tufts. The device is a horse with black marks for the tufts. The
Crows are known to have been early in the possession of horses.

[Illustration: FIG. 187.]

Fig. 187, 1804-’05.--The Dakota had a calumet dance and then went
to war. The device is a long pipestem, ornamented with feathers and
streamers. The feathers are white, with black tips, evidently the tail
feathers of the adult golden eagle (Aquila chrysaëtos), highly prized
by the Plains Indians. The streamers anciently were colored strips of
skin or flexible bark; now gayly colored strips of cloth are used. The
word calumet is a corruption of the French chalumeau. Capt. Carver (_c_)
in his Three Years Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America,
after puzzling over the etymology of “calumet,” describes the pipe as
“about 4 feet long, bowl of red marble, stem of a light wood curiously
painted with hieroglyphics in various colors and adorned with feathers.
Every nation has a different method of decorating these pipes and can
tell at once to what band it belongs. It is used as an introduction
to all treaties, also as a flag of truce is among Europeans.” Among
the Indian tribes generally the pipe, when presented or offered to a
stranger or enemy, was the symbol of peace, yet when used ceremonially
by members of the same tribe among themselves was virtually a token of
impending war. For further remarks on this point see the year 1842-’43
of this Winter Count.

[Illustration: FIG. 188.]

Fig. 188, 1805-’06.--The Crows killed eight Dakotas. Again the short
parallel black lines, this time eight in number, united by a long
stroke. The interpreter, Fielder, says that this character with black
strokes is only used for grave marks.

[Illustration: FIG. 189.]

Fig. 189, 1806-’07.--A Dakota killed an Arikara (Ree) as he was about to
shoot an eagle. The sign gives the head and shoulders of a man with a
red spot of blood on his neck, an arm being extended, with a line drawn
to a golden eagle.

The drawing represents an Indian in the act of catching an eagle by the
legs, as the Arikara were accustomed to catch eagles in their earth
traps. These were holes to which the eagles were attracted by baits
and in which the Indians were concealed. They rarely or never shot war
eagles. The Arikara was shot in his trap just as he put his hand up to
grasp the bird.

[Illustration: FIG. 190.]

Fig. 190, 1807-’08.--Red-Coat, a chief, was killed. The figure shows the
red coat pierced by two arrows, with blood dropping from the wounds.

[Illustration: FIG. 191.]

Fig. 191, 1808-’09.--The Dakota who had killed the Ree shown in this
record for 1806-’07 was himself killed by the Rees. He is represented
running, and shot with two arrows, blood dripping. These two figures,
taking in connection, afford a good illustration of the method pursued
in the chart, which was not intended to be a continuous history, or even
to record the most important event of each year, but to exhibit some one
of special peculiarity. There was some incident about the one Ree who
was shot when, in fancied security, he was bringing down an eagle, and
whose death was avenged by his brethren the second year afterward. It
would, indeed, have been impossible to have graphically distinguished
the many battles, treaties, horse-stealings, big hunts, etc., so most of
them were omitted and other events of greater individuality and better
adapted for portrayal were taken for the year count, the criterion being
not that they were of historic moment, but that they were of general
notoriety, or perhaps of special interest to the recorders.

[Illustration: FIG. 192.]

Fig. 192, 1809-’10.--A chief, Little-Beaver, set fire to a trading
store, and was killed. The character simply designates his name-totem.
The other interpretations say that he was a white trapper, but probably
he had gained a new name among the Indians.

[Illustration: FIG. 193.]

Fig. 193, 1810-’11.--Black-Stone made medicine. The expression medicine
is too common to be successfully eliminated, though it is altogether
misleading. The “medicine men” have no connection with therapeutics,
feel no pulses, and administer no drugs, or, if sometimes they direct
the internal or external use of some secret preparation, it is as a
part of superstitious ceremonies, and with main reliance upon those
ceremonies. Their incantations are not only to drive away disease,
but for many other purposes, such as to obtain success in war, avert
calamity, and were very frequently used to bring within reach the
buffalo, on which the Dakotas depended for food. The rites are those
known as shamanism, noticeable in the ethnic periods of savagery and
barbarism. In the ceremonial of “making medicine,” a buffalo head, and
especially the head of an albino buffalo, held a prominent place among
the plains tribes. Many references to this are to be found in the Prince
of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America. Also see infra,
Chap. XIV. The device in the chart is the man figure, with the head of
an albino buffalo held over his own.

[Illustration: FIG. 194.]

Fig. 194, 1811-’12.--The Dakota fought a battle with the Gros Ventres
and killed a great many. Device, a circle inclosing three round objects
with flat bases, resembling heads severed from trunks, which are too
minute in this device for decision of objects represented; but they
appear more distinct in the record for 1864-’65 as the heads of enemies
slain in battle. In the sign language of the plains, the Dakota are
denoted by drawing a hand across the throat, signifying that they
cut the throats of their enemies. The Dakota count by the fingers,
as is common to most peoples, but with a peculiarity of their own.
When they have gone over the fingers and thumbs of both hands, one
finger is temporarily turned down for _one ten_. At the end of the
next ten another finger is turned, and so on to a hundred. _Opawinge_
(_Opawi^nxe_), one hundred, is derived from pawinga (pawi^nxa), to go
round in circles, to make gyrations, and contains the idea that the
round of all the fingers has again been made for their respective tens.
So the circle is never used for less than one hundred, but sometimes
signifies an indefinite number greater than a hundred. The circle, in
this instance, therefore, was at first believed to express the killing
in battle of many enemies. But the other interpretations removed all
symbolic character, leaving the circle simply as the rude drawing of a
dirt lodge to which the Gros Ventres were driven. The present writer, by
no means devoted to symbolism, had supposed a legitimate symbol to be
indicated, which supposition further information on the subject showed
to be incorrect.

[Illustration: FIG. 195.]

Fig. 195, 1812-’13.--Wild horses were first run and caught by the
Dakotas. The device is a lasso. The date is of value, as showing when
the herds of prairie horses, descended from those animals introduced
by the Spaniards in Mexico, or those deposited by them on the shores
of Texas and at other points, had multiplied so as to extend into the
far northern regions. The Dakotas undoubtedly learned the use of the
horse and perhaps also that of the lasso from southern tribes, with whom
they were in contact; and it is noteworthy that notwithstanding the
tenacity with which they generally adhere to ancient customs, in only
two generations since they became familiar with the horse they had been
so revolutionized in their habits as to be utterly helpless, both in war
and the chase, when deprived of that animal.

[Illustration: FIG. 196.]

Fig. 196, 1813-’14.--The whooping-cough was very prevalent and fatal. The
sign is suggestive of a blast of air coughed out by the man-figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 197.]

[Illustration: FIG. 198.]

The interruption in the cough peculiar to the disease is more clearly
delineated in the Winter Count of The-Flame for the same year, Fig. 197,
and still better in The-Swan’s Winter Count, Fig. 198.

[Illustration: FIG. 199.]

Fig. 199, 1814-’15.--A Dakota killed an Arapaho in his lodge. The device
represents a tomahawk or battle-ax, the red being blood from the cleft

[Illustration: FIG. 200.]

Fig. 200, 1815-’16.--The Sans Arcs made the first attempt at a dirt
lodge. This was at Peoria Bottom, Dakota. Crow-Feather was their
chief, which fact, in the absence of the other charts, seemed to
explain the fairly drawn feather of that bird protruding from the
lodge top, but the figure must now be admitted to be a badly drawn
bow, in allusion to the tribe Sans Arc, without, however, any sign of
negation. As the interpreter explained the figure to be a crow feather
and as Crow-Feather actually was the chief, Lone-Dog’s chart with its
interpretation may be independently correct.

[Illustration: FIG. 201.]

Fig. 201, 1816-’17.--“Buffalo belly was plenty.” The device rudely
portrays a side of buffalo.

[Illustration: FIG. 202.]

Fig. 202, 1817-’18.--La Framboise, a Canadian, built a trading store
with dry timber. The dryness is shown by the dead tree. La Framboise
was an old trader among the Dakota, who once established himself in the
Minnesota valley. His name is mentioned by various travelers.

[Illustration: FIG. 203.]

Fig. 203, 1818-’19.--The measles broke out and many died. The device in
the copy is the same as that for 1801-’02, relating to the smallpox,
except a very slight difference in the red blotches; and, though
Lone-Dog’s artistic skill might not have been sufficient to distinctly
vary the appearance of the two patients, both diseases being eruptive,
still it is one of the few serious defects in the chart that the sign
for the two years is so nearly identical that, separated from the
continuous record, there would be confusion between them. Treating the
document as a mere aide-de-mémoire no inconvenience would arise, it
probably being well known that the smallpox epidemic preceded that of
the measles; but care is generally taken to make some, however minute,
distinction between the characters. It is also to be noticed that the
Indian diagnosis makes little distinction between smallpox and measles,
so that no important pictographic variation could be expected. The head
of this figure is clearly distinguished from that in 1801-’02.

[Illustration: FIG. 204.]

Fig. 204, 1819-’20.--Another trading store was built, this time by Louis
La Conte, at Fort Pierre, Dakota. His timber, as one of the Indians
consulted especially mentioned, was rotten.

[Illustration: FIG. 205.]

Fig. 205, 1820-’21.--The trader, La Conte, gave Two-Arrow a war dress
for his bravery. So translated an interpreter, and the sign shows
the two arrows as the warrior’s name-totem; likewise the gable of a
house, which brings in the trader; also a long strip of black tipped
with red streaming from the roof, which possibly may be the piece of
parti-colored material out of which the dress was fashioned. This
strip is not intended for sparks and smoke, which at first sight was
suggested, as in that case the red would have been nearest the roof
instead of farthest from it.

[Illustration: FIG. 206.]

Fig. 206, 1821-’22.--The character represents the falling to earth of a
very brilliant meteor.

[Illustration: FIG. 207.]

Fig. 207, 1822-’23.--Another trading house was built, which was by
a white man called Big-Leggings, and was at the mouth of the Little
Missouri or Bad river. The drawing is distinguishable from that for

[Illustration: FIG. 208.]

Fig. 208, 1823-’24.--White soldiers made their first appearance in
the region. So said the interpreter, Clement, but from the unanimous
interpretation of others the event portrayed is the attack of the United
States forces accompanied by Dakotas upon the Arikara villages, the
historic account of which is given in some detail in Chap. XVI, infra.

The device represents an Arickara palisaded village and attacking
soldiers. Not only the remarkable character and triumphant result of
this expedition, but the connection that the Dakotas themselves had with
it, made it a natural subject for the year’s totem.

All the winter counts refer to this expedition.

[Illustration: FIG. 209.]

Fig. 209, 1824-’25.--Swan, chief of the Two-Kettle tribe, had all of his
horses killed. Device, a horse pierced by a lance, blood flowing from
the wound.

[Illustration: FIG. 210.]

Fig. 210, 1825-’26.--There was a remarkable flood in the Missouri river
and a number of Indians were drowned. With some exercise of fancy the
symbol may suggest heads appearing above a line of water, and this is
more distinct in some of the other charts.

[Illustration: FIG. 211.]

Fig. 211, 1826-’27.--“An Indian died of the dropsy.” So Basil Clement
said. It was at first suggested that this circumstance was noted because
the disease was so unusual in 1826 as to excite remark. Baron de La
Hontan (_c_), a good authority concerning the Northwestern Indians
before they had been greatly affected by intercourse with whites,
specially mentions dropsy as one of the diseases unknown to them.
Carver, op. cit., also states that this malady was extremely rare. The
interpretations of other charts explained, however, that some Dakotas
on the warpath had nearly perished with hunger when they found and ate
the rotting carcass of an old buffalo on which the wolves had been
feeding. They were seized soon after with pains in the stomach, their
abdomens swelled, and gas poured from the mouth. This disease is termed
tympanites, the external appearance occasioned by it much resembling
that of dropsy.

[Illustration: FIG. 212.]

Fig. 212, 1827-’28.--Dead-Arm was stabbed with a knife or dirk by a
Mandan. The illustration is quite graphic, showing the long-handled dirk
in the bloody wound and withered arm.

[Illustration: FIG. 213.]

Fig. 213, 1828-’29.--A white man named Shadran, who lately, as reported
in 1877, was still living in the same neighborhood, built a dirt lodge.
The hatted head appears under the roof. This name should probably
be spelled Chadron, with whom Catlin hunted in 1832, in the region

[Illustration: FIG. 214.]

Fig. 214, 1829-’30.--A Yanktonai Dakota was killed by Bad-Arrow Indians.

The Bad-Arrow Indians is a translation of the Dakota name for a certain
band of Blackfeet Indians.

[Illustration: FIG. 215.]

Fig. 215, 1830-’31.--Bloody battle with the Crows, of whom it is said
twenty-three were killed. Nothing in the sign denotes number, it being
only a man figure with red or bloody body and red war bonnet.

[Illustration: FIG. 216.]

Fig. 216, 1831-’32.--Le Beau, a white man, killed another named Kermel.
Le Beau was still alive at Little Bend, 30 miles above Fort Sully, in

[Illustration: FIG. 217.]

Fig. 217, 1832-’33.--Lone-Horn had his leg “killed,” as the
interpretation gave it. The single horn is on the figure, and a leg is
drawn up as if fractured or distorted, though not unlike the leg in the
character for 1808-’09, where running is depicted.

[Illustration: FIG. 218.]

Fig. 218, 1833-’34.--“The stars fell,” as the Indians all agreed. This
was the great meteoric shower observed all over the United States on the
night of November 12 of that year. In this chart the moon is black and
the stars are red.

[Illustration: FIG. 219.]

Fig. 219, 1834-’35.--The chief Medicine-Hide was killed. The device
shows the body as bloody, but not the war bonnet, by which it is
distinguished from the character for 1830-’31.

[Illustration: FIG. 220.]

Fig. 220, 1835-’36.--Lame-Deer shot a Crow Indian with an arrow; drew
it out and shot him again with the same arrow. The hand is drawing the
arrow from the first wound. This is another instance of the principle
on which events were selected. Many fights occurred of greater moment,
but with no incident precisely like this. Lame-Deer was a distinguished
chief among the hostiles in 1876. His camp of five hundred and ten
lodges was surprised and destroyed by Gen. Miles, and four hundred and
fifty horses, mules, and ponies were captured.

[Illustration: FIG. 221.]

Fig. 221, 1836-’37.--Band’s-Father, chief of the Two Kettles, died.
The device is nearly the same as that for 1816-’17, denoting plenty of
buffalo belly.

Interpreter Fielder throws light on the subject by saying that this
character was used to designate the year when The-Breast, father of
The-Band, a Minneconjou, died. The-Band himself died in 1875, on Powder
river. His name was O-ye-a-pee. The character was, therefore, the
Buffalo-Breast, a personal name.

[Illustration: FIG. 222.]

Fig. 222, 1837-’38.--Commemorates a remarkably successful hunt, in which
it is said 100 elk were killed. The drawing of the elk is good enough to
distinguish it from the other quadrupeds in this chart.

[Illustration: FIG. 223.]

Fig. 223, 1838-’39.--A dirt lodge was built for Iron-Horn. The other
dirt lodge (1815-’16) has a mark of ownership, which this has not. A
chief of the Minneconjous is mentioned in Gen. Harney’s report in 1856
under the name of The-One-Iron-Horn.

The word translated “iron” in this case and appearing thus several times
in the charts does not always mean the metal of that name. According
to Rev. J. Owen Dorsey it has a mystic significance, in some manner
connected with water and with water spirits. In pictographs objects
called iron are painted blue when that color can be obtained.

[Illustration: FIG. 224.]

Fig. 224, 1839-’40.--The Dakotas killed an entire village of Snake or
Shoshoni Indians. The character is the ordinary tipi pierced by arrows.

[Illustration: FIG. 225.]

Fig. 225, 1840-’41.--The Dakotas made peace with the Cheyennes. The
symbol of peace is the common one of the approaching hands of two
persons. The different coloration of the two hands and arms shows that
they belonged to two different persons, and in fact to different tribes.
The mere unceremonial hand grasp or “shake” of friendship was not used
by the Indians before it was introduced by Europeans.

[Illustration: FIG. 226.]

Fig. 226, 1841-’42.--Feather-in-the-Ear stole 30 spotted ponies. The
spots are shown red, distinguishing them from those of the curly horse
in the character for 1803-’04.

A successful theft of horses, demanding skill, patience, and daring, is
generally considered by the Plains Indians to be of equal merit with the
taking of scalps. Indeed, the successful horse thief is more popular
than a mere warrior, on account of the riches gained by the tribe,
wealth until lately being generally estimated in ponies as the unit of

[Illustration: FIG. 227.]

Fig. 227, 1842-’43.--One-Feather raised a large war party against the
Crows. This chief is designated by his long solitary red eagle feather,
and holds a pipe with black stem and red bowl, alluding to the usual
ceremonies before starting on the warpath. For further information on
this subject see Chap. XV. The Red-War-Eagle-Feather was at this time a
chief of the Sans Arcs.

[Illustration: FIG. 228.]

Fig. 228, 1843-’44.--The Sans Arcs made medicine to bring the buffalo.
The medicine tent is denoted by a buffalo’s head drawn on it, which in
this instance is not the head of an albino buffalo.

[Illustration: FIG. 229.]

Fig. 229, 1844-’45.--The Minneconjous built a pine fort. Device, a pine
tree connected with a tipi. Another account explains that they went to
the woods and erected their tipis there as affording some protection
from the unusually deep snow. This would account for the pine tree.

[Illustration: FIG. 230.]

Fig. 230, 1845-’46.--Plenty of buffalo meat, which is represented
as hung upon poles and trees to dry. This device has become the
conventional sign for plenty and frequently appears in the several

[Illustration: FIG. 231.]

Fig. 231, 1846-’47.--Broken-Leg died. Rev. Dr. Williamson says he knew
him. He was a Brulé. There is enough difference between this device and
those for 1808-’09 and 1832-’33 to distinguish each.

[Illustration: FIG. 232.]

Fig. 232, 1847-’48.--Two-Man was killed. His totem is drawn, two small
man figures side by side. Another interpretation explains the figure as
indicating twins.

[Illustration: FIG. 233.]

Fig. 233, 1848-’49.--Humpback was killed. An ornamented lance pierces
the distorted back. Other records name him Broken-Back. He was a
distinguished chief of the Minneconjous.

[Illustration: FIG. 234.]

Fig. 234, 1849-’50.--The Crows stole a large drove of horses (it is said
eight hundred) from the Brulés. The circle is a design for a camp or
corral from which a number of horse-tracks are departing.

[Illustration: FIG. 235.]

Fig. 235, 1850-’51.--The character is a distinct drawing of a buffalo
containing a human figure. Clément translated that “a buffalo cow was
killed in that year and an old woman found in her belly;” also that
all the Indians believed this. Good-Wood, examined through another
interpreter, could or would give no explanation except that it was
“about their religion.” The Dakotas have long believed in the appearance
from time to time of a monstrous animal that swallows human beings. This
superstition was perhaps suggested by the bones of mastodons, often
found in the territory of those Indians; and, the buffalo being the
largest living animal known to them, its name was given to the legendary
monster, in which nomenclature they were not wholly wrong, as the horns
of the fossil _Bison latifrons_ are 10 feet in length. Major Bush
suggests that perhaps some old squaw left to die sought the carcass of a
buffalo for shelter and then died. He has known this to occur.

[Illustration: FIG. 236.]

Fig. 236, 1851-’52.--Peace with the Crows. Two Indians, with differing
arrangement of hair, showing two tribes, are exchanging pipes for a
peace smoke.

[Illustration: FIG. 237.]

Fig. 237, 1852-’53.--The Nez Percés came to Lone-Horn’s lodge at
midnight. The device shows an Indian touching with a pipe a tipi, the
top of which is black or opaque, signifying night.

Touch-the-Clouds, a Minneconjou, son of Lone-Horn, when this chart was
shown to him by the present writer, designated this character as being
particularly known to him from the fact of its being his father’s lodge.
He remembered all about it from talk in his family, and said it was the
Nez Percés who came.

[Illustration: FIG. 238.]

Fig. 238, 1853-’54.--Spanish blankets were first brought to the country.
A fair drawing of one of those striped blankets is held out by a white

[Illustration: FIG. 239.]

Fig. 239, 1854-’55.--Brave-Bear was killed. His extended arms are
ornamented with pendent stripes.

[Illustration: FIG. 240.]

Fig. 240, 1855-’56--Gen. Harney, called by the Dakota Putinska (“white
beard” or “white mustache”), made peace with a number of the tribes or
bands of the Dakotas. The figure shows an officer in uniform shaking
hands with an Indian.

Executive document No. 94, Thirty-fourth Congress, first session,
Senate, contains the “minutes of a council held at Fort Pierre,
Nebraska, on the 1st day of March, 1856, by Brevet Brig. Gen. William
S. Harney, U. S. Army, commanding the Sioux expedition, with the
delegations from nine of the bands of the Sioux, viz, the Two Kettle
band, Lower Yankton, Uncpapas, Blackfeet Sioux, Minneconjous, Sans Arcs,
Yanctonnais (two bands), Brulés of the Platte.”

[Illustration: FIG. 241.]

Fig. 241, 1856-’57.--Four-Horn was made a calumet or medicine man.

A man with four horns holds out the same kind of ornamented pipestem
shown in the character for 1804-’05, it being his badge of office.
Four-Horn was one of the subchiefs of the Uncpapas, and was introduced
to Gen. Harney at the council of 1856 by Bear-Rib, head chief of that

Interpreter Clément, in the spring of 1874, said that Four-Horn and
Sitting-Bull were the same person, the name Sitting-Bull being given him
after he was made a calumet man. No other authority tells this.

[Illustration: FIG. 242.]

Fig. 242, 1857-’58.--The Dakotas killed a Crow squaw. She is pierced by
four arrows, and the peace made with the Crows in 1851-’52 seems to have
been short lived.

[Illustration: FIG. 243.]

Fig. 243, 1858-’59.--Lone-Horn, whose solitary horn appears, made
buffalo “medicine,” doubtless on account of the scarcity of that
animal. Again the head of an albino bison. One-Horn, probably the same
individual, is recorded as the head chief of the Minneconjous at this

[Illustration: FIG. 244.]

Fig. 244, 1859-’60.--Big-Crow, a Dakota chief, was killed by the Crows.
He had received his name from killing a Crow Indian of unusual size.

[Illustration: FIG. 245.]

Fig. 245, 1860-’61.--Device, the head and neck of an elk, similar to
that part of the animal for 1837-’38, with a line extending from its
mouth, at the extremity of which is the albino buffalo head. “The elk
made you understand the voice while he was walking.” The interpreter
persisted in this oracular rendering. This device and its interpretation
were unintelligible to the writer until examination of Gen. Harney’s
report, above referred to, showed the name of a prominent chief of the
Minneconjous set forth as “The Elk that Holloes Walking.” It then became
probable that the device simply meant that the aforesaid chief made
buffalo medicine, which conjecture, published in 1877, was verified by
the other records subsequently discovered.

Interpreter A. Lavary said, in 1867, that The-Elk-that-Holloes-Walking,
then chief of the Minneconjous, was then at Spotted-Tail’s camp. His
father was Red-Fish. He was the elder brother of Lone-Horn. His name
is given as A-hag-a-hoo-man-ie, translated The Elk’s Voice Walking;
compounded of he-ha-ka, elk, and omani, walk; this according to Lavary’s
literation. The correct literation of the Dakota word meaning elk is
heqaka; voice, ho; and to walk, walking, mani. Their compound would be
heqaka-ho-mani, the translation being the same as above given.

[Illustration: FIG. 246.]

Fig. 246, 1861-’62.--Buffalo were so plentiful that their tracks came
close to the tipis. The cloven-hoof mark is cleverly distinguished from
the tracks of horses in the character for 1849-’50.

[Illustration: FIG. 247.]

Fig. 247, 1862-’63.--Red-Feather, a Minneconjou, was killed. His feather
is shown entirely red, while the “one-feather” in 1842-’43 has a black

It is to be noted that there is no allusion to the great Minnesota
massacre, which commenced in August, 1862, and in which many of the
Dakotas belonging to the tribes familiar with these charts were engaged.
Little-Crow was the leader. He escaped to the British possessions, but
was killed in July, 1863. Perhaps the reason of the omission of any
character to designate the massacre was the terrible retribution that
followed it.

[Illustration: FIG. 248.]

Fig. 248, 1863-’64.--Eight Dakotas were killed. Again the short,
parallel black lines united by a long stroke. In this year Sitting-Bull
fought General Sully in the Black Hills.

[Illustration: FIG. 249.]

Fig. 249, 1864-’65.--The Dakotas killed four Crows. Four of the same
rounded objects, like severed heads, shown in 1825-’26, but these are
bloody, thus distinguishing them from the cases of drowning.

[Illustration: FIG. 250.]

Fig. 250, 1865-’66.--Many horses died for want of grass. The horse here
drawn is sufficiently distinct from all others in the chart.

[Illustration: FIG. 251.]

Fig. 251, 1866-’67.--Swan, father of Swan, chief of the Minneconjous in
1877, died. With the assistance of the name the object intended for his
totem may be recognized as a swan swimming on the water.

[Illustration: FIG. 252.]

Fig. 252, 1867-’68.--Many flags were given them by the Peace Commission.
The flag refers to the visit of the Peace Commissioners, among whom
were Generals Sherman, Terry, and other prominent military and civil
officers. Their report appears in the Annual Report of the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs for 1868. They met at Fort Leavenworth, August 13,
1867, and between August 30 and September 13 held councils with the
various bands of the Dakota Indians at Forts Sully and Thompson, and
also at the Yankton, Ponka, and Santee reservations. These resulted in
the Dakota treaty of 1868.

[Illustration: FIG. 253.]

Fig. 253, 1868-’69.--Texas cattle were brought into the country. This
was done by Mr. William A. Paxton, a well-known business man, resident
in Dakota in 1877.

[Illustration: FIG. 254.]

Fig. 254, 1869-’70.--An eclipse of the sun. This was the solar eclipse
of August 7, 1869, which was central and total on a line drawn through
the Dakota country. This device has been criticised because Indians
generally believe an eclipse to be occasioned by a dragon or aerial
monster swallowing the sun, and it is contended that they would so
represent it. An answer is that the design is objectively good, the sun
being painted black, as concealed, while the stars come out red, i. e.,
bright, and graphic illustration prevails throughout the charts where it
is possible to employ it.

Dr. Washington Matthews, surgeon, U. S. Army, communicated the fact
that the Dakotas had opportunities all over their country of receiving
information about the real character of the eclipse. He was at Fort
Rice during the eclipse and remembers that long before it occurred
the officers, men, and citizens around the post told the Indians of
the coming event and discussed it with them so much that they were on
the tip-toe of expectancy when the day came. Two-Bears and his band
were then encamped at Fort Rice, and he and several of his leading men
watched the eclipse along with the whites and through their smoked
glass, and then and there the phenomenon was thoroughly explained to
them over and over again. There is no doubt that similar explanations
were made at all the numerous posts and agencies along the river that
day. The path of the eclipse coincided nearly with the course of the
Missouri for over a thousand miles. The duration of totality at Fort
Rice was nearly two minutes (1′ 48″).

[Illustration: FIG. 255.]

Fig. 255, 1870-’71.--The Uncpapas had a battle with the Crows, the
former losing, it is said, 14, and killing 29 out of 30 of the latter,
though nothing appears to show those numbers. The central object is not
a circle denoting multitude, but an irregularly rounded object, perhaps
intended for one of the wooden inclosures or forts frequently erected
by the Indians, and especially the Crows. The Crow fort is shown as
nearly surrounded, and bullets, not arrows or lances, are flying. This
is the first instance in this chart in which any combat or killing is
portrayed where guns explicitly appear to be used by Indians, though
nothing in the chart is at variance with the fact that the Dakotas had
for a number of years been familiar with firearms. The most recent
indications of any weapon were those of the arrows piercing the Crow
squaw in 1857-’58, and Brave-Bear in 1854-’55, while the last one before
those was the lance used in 1848-’49, and those arms might well have
been employed in all the cases selected, although rifles and muskets
were common. There is an obvious practical difficulty in picturing, by
a single character, killing with a bullet, not arising as to arrows,
lances, dirks, and hatchets, all of which can be and are shown in the
chart projecting from the wounds made by them. Other pictographs show
battles in which bullets are denoted by continuous dotted lines, the
spots at which they take effect being sometimes indicated, and the
fact that they did hit the object aimed at is expressed by a specially
invented symbol. It is, however, to be noted that the bloody wound on
the Ree’s shoulder (1806-’07) is without any protruding weapon, as if
made by a bullet.

More distinct information regarding this fight, the record of which
concludes the original Lone-Dog chart, has been kindly communicated by
Mr. Luther S. Kelly, of Garfield County, Colorado.

The war party of Uncpapas mentioned charged upon a small trading post
for the Crows on the Upper Missouri river, at the mouth of Musselshell
river. Usually this post was garrisoned by a few frontiersmen, but
on that particular day there happened to be a considerable force of
freighters and hunters. The Indians were afoot and, being concealed by
the sage brush, got within shooting distance of the fort before being
discovered. They were easily driven off, and going a short distance
took shelter from the rain in a circular washout, not having any idea
of being followed by the whites. Meanwhile the whites organized and
followed. The surprise was complete, the leading white man only being
killed. The Indians sang their song and made several breaks to escape,
but were shot down as fast as they rose above the bank. Twenty-nine were


Dr. William H. Corbusier, surgeon, U. S. Army, while stationed in 1879
and 1880 at Camp Sheridan, Nebraska, near the Pine Ridge Indian Agency,
Dakota, obtained a copy of this Winter Count from its recorder Baptiste,
commonly called Battiste Good, a Brulé Dakota, whose Dakotan name is
given as Wa-po-cta^n-xi, translated Brown-Hat. He was then living at the
Rose Bud Agency, Dakota, and explained the meaning of the pictographs to
the Rev. Wm. J. Cleveland, of the last named agency, who translated them
into English.

The copy made by Battiste Good from his original record, of which it
is said to be a facsimile, is painted in five colors besides black,
in which the outlines are generally drawn, but with the exception of
red blood-marks these colors do not often appear to be significant.
This copy, which was kindly contributed by Dr. Corbusier, is made in
an ordinary paper drawing-book, the last page of which contains the
first record. This is represented in Fig. 256, and pictures what is
supposed to be an introduction in the nature of a revelation. The next
page, reading backwards and corresponding with Pl. XXI, is a pretended
record of a cycle comprising the years (presumed to be in the Christian
chronology) from 901 to 930. Eleven similar pages and cycles bring the
record down to 1700. These pages are only interesting from the mythology
and tradition referred to and suggested by them, and which must be
garnered from the chaff of uncomprehended missionary teaching. From
1700 to 1880, when the record closes, each year, or rather winter, is
represented by a special character according to the Dakota system above

Battiste Good, by his own statement in the present record, was born in
the year 1821-’22. Any careful examination of the figures as worked
over by his own hand shows that he has received about enough education
in English and in writing to induce him to make unnecessary additions
and presumptuous emendations on the pictographs as he found them and
as perhaps he originally kept and drew the more recent of them. He
has written English words and Arabic numerals over and connected with
the Dakota devices, and has left some figures in a state of mixture
including the methods of modern civilization and the aboriginal
system. To prevent the confusion to the reader which might result from
Battiste’s meddlesome vanity, these interpolated marks are in general
omitted from the plates and figures as now presented, but, as specimens
of the kind and amount of interference referred to, the designs on the
copy for the years 1700-’01, 1701-’02, and 1707-’08 are given below as

The facts stated to have occurred so long ago as the beginning of
the last century can not often be verified, but those of later date
given by Battiste are corroborated by other records in the strongest
manner--that is, by independent devices which are not mere copies.
Therefore, notwithstanding Battiste’s mythic cycles and English writing,
the body of his record, which constitutes the true Winter Counts, must
be regarded as genuine. He is simply the bad editor of a good work. But
whether or not the events occurred as represented, the pictography is
of unique interest. It may be remarked that Battiste’s record is better
known among the Oglala and Brulé, and Lone-Dog’s Winter Count among the

It should be noted that when allusions are made to coloration in Fig.
256, and in any one of the other figures in the text which illustrate
this Winter Count, they must be understood as applicable to the
original. Pls. XXI, XXII, and XXIII are colored copies of those
furnished by Battiste Good, reduced, however, in size.

[Illustration: FIG. 256.--Battiste Good’s Revelation.]

Fig. 256 illustrates Battiste Good’s introduction. He is supposed to be
narrating his own experience as follows: “In the year 1856, I went to
the Black Hills and cried, and cried, and cried, and suddenly I saw a
bird above me, which said: ‘Stop crying, I am a woman, but I will tell
you something: My Great-Father, Father God, who made this place, gave
it to me for a home and told me to watch over it. He put a blue sky
over my head and gave me a blue flag to have with this beautiful green
country. [Battiste has made the hill country, as well as the curve for
sky and the flag, blue in his copy.] My Great-Father, Father God (or The
Great-Father, God my Father) grew, and his flesh was part earth and part
stone and part metal and part wood and part water; he took from them
all and placed them here for me, and told me to watch over them. I am
the Eagle-Woman who tell you this. The whites know that there are four
black flags of God; that is, four divisions of the earth. He first made
the earth soft by wetting it, then cut it into four parts, one of which,
containing the Black Hills, he gave to the Dakotas, and, because I am a
woman, I shall not consent to the pouring of blood on this chief house
(or dwelling place), i. e., the Black Hills. The time will come that you
will remember my words; for after many years you shall grow up one with
the white people.’ She then circled round and round and gradually passed
out of my sight. I also saw prints of a man’s hands and horse’s hoofs on
the rocks [here he brings in petroglyphs], and two thousand years, and
one hundred millions of dollars ($100,000,000). I came away crying, as I
had gone. I have told this to many Dakotas, and all agree that it meant
that we were to seek and keep peace with the whites.”

(NOTE BY DR. CORBUSIER.--The Oglálas and Brulés say that they, with the
rest of the Dakota nation, formerly lived far on the other side of the
Missouri River. After they had moved to the river, they lived at first
on its eastern banks, only crossing it to hunt. Some of the hunting
parties that crossed at length wandered far off from the rest and,
remaining away, became the westernmost bands.)



A 901-930. B 931-1000.]

Pl. XXI A. The record shown by this figure dates from the appearance of
The-Woman-from-Heaven, 901 A. D.; but the Dakotas were a people long
before this. The circle of lodges represents a cycle of thirty years,
from the year 901 to 930, and incloses the “legend” by which this period
is known. All the tribes of the Dakota nation were encamped together, as
was then their custom, when all at once a beautiful woman appeared to
two young men. One of them said to the other, “Let us catch her and have
her for our wife.” The other said, “No; she may be something waka^n”
(supernatural or sacred). Then the woman said to them, “I came from
Heaven to teach the Dakotas how to live and what their future shall be.”
She had what appeared to be snakes about her legs and waist, but which
were really braids of grass. She said, “I give you this pipe; keep it
always;” and with the pipe she gave them a small package, in which they
found four grains of maize, one white, one black, one yellow, and one
variegated. The pipe is above the buffalo. She said, “I am a buffalo,
The White-Buffalo-Cow. I will spill my milk all over the earth, that
the people may live.” She meant by her milk maize, which is seen in the
picture dropping from her udders. The colored patches on the four sides
of the circle are the four quarters of the heavens (the cardinal points
of the compass). In front of the cow are yellow and red. She pointed in
this direction and said, “When you see a yellowish (or brownish) cloud
toward the north, that is my breath; rejoice at the sight of it, for you
shall soon see buffalo. Red is the blood of the buffalo, and by that you
shall live.” Pointing east [it will be noticed that Battiste has placed
the east toward the top of the page], she said, “This pipe is related to
the heavens, and you shall live with it.” The line running from the
pipe to the blue patch denotes the relation. The Dakotas have always
supposed she meant by this that the blue smoke of the pipe was one
with or nearly related to the blue sky; hence, on a clear day, before
smoking, they often point the stem of the pipe upward, in remembrance of
her words. Pointing south, she said, “Clouds of many colors may come up
from the south, but look at the pipe and the blue sky and know that the
clouds will soon pass away and all will become blue and clear again.”
Pointing west, i. e., to the lowest part of the circle, she said, “When
it shall be blue in the west, know that it is closely related to you
through the pipe and the blue heavens, and by that you shall grow rich.”
Then she stood up before them and said, “I am The White-Buffalo-Cow;
my milk is of four kinds; I spill it on the earth that you may live by
it. You shall call me Grandmother. If you young men will follow me over
the hills you shall see my relatives.” She said this four times, each
time stepping back from them a few feet, and after the fourth time,
while they stood gazing at her, she mysteriously disappeared. [It is
well known that four is the favorite or magic number among Indian tribes
generally, and has reference to the four cardinal points.] The young men
went over the hills in the direction she took and there found a large
herd of buffalo.

(NOTE BY DR. CORBUSIER.--Mr. Cleveland states that he has heard several
different versions of this tradition.)

The man who first told the people of the appearance of the woman is
represented both inside and outside the circle. He was thirty years old
at the time, and said that she came as narrated above, in July of the
year of his birth. Outside of the circle, he is standing with a pipe in
his hand; inside, he is squatting, and has his hands in the position for
the gesture-sign for pipe. The elm tree and yucca, or Spanish bayonet,
both shown above the tipis, indicate that in those days the Dakota
obtained fire by rapidly revolving the end of a dry stalk of the yucca
in a hole made in a rotten root of the elm. The people used the bow and
stone-pointed arrows, which are shown on the right. From time immemorial
they have kept large numbers of sticks, shown by the side of the pipe,
each one about as thick and as long as a lead-pencil (sic), for the
purpose of counting and keeping record of numbers, and they cut notches
in larger sticks for the same purpose.

(NOTE BY DR. CORBUSIER.--They commonly resort to their fingers in
counting, and the V of the Roman system of notation is seen in the
outline of the thumb and index, when one hand is held up to express
five, and the X in the crossed thumbs, when both hands are held up
together to express ten.)

The bundle of these sticks drawn in connection with the ceremonial pipe
suggests the idea of an official recorder.

Pl. XXI B, 931-1000. From the time the man represented in Pl. XXI A
was seventy years of age, i. e., from the year 931, time is counted by
cycles of seventy years until 1700. This figure illustrates the manner
of killing buffalo before and after the appearance of The-Woman. When
the Dakotas had found the buffalo, they moved to the herd and corralled
it by spreading their camps around it. The Man-Who-Dreamed-of-a-Wolf,
seen at the upper part of the circle, with bow and arrow in hand, then
shot the chief bull of the herd with his medicine or sacred arrow; at
this, the women all cried out with joy, “He has killed the chief bull!”
On hearing them shout the man with bow and arrow on the opposite side,
(wakinyan, accurately translated “the flying one”) shot a buffalo cow,
and the women again shouted with joy. Then all the men began to shout,
and they killed as many as they wished. The buffalo heads and the
blood-stained tracks show what large numbers were killed. They cut off
the head of the chief bull, and laid the pipe beside it until their
work was done. They prayed to The-Woman to bless and help them as they
were following her teachings. Having no iron or knives, they used sharp
stones, and mussel shells, to skin and cut up the buffalo. They rubbed
blood in the hides to soften and tan them. They had no horses, and had
to pack everything on their own backs.

The cyclic characters that embrace the period from 1001 to 1140
illustrate nothing of interest not before presented. Slight distinction
appears in the circles so that they can be identified, but without
enough significance to merit reproduction.



A 1141-1210. B 1211-1280.]

Pl. XXII A, 1141-1210. Among a herd of buffalo, surrounded at one time
during this period, were some horses. The people all cried out, “there
are big dogs with them,” having never seen horses before, hence the name
for horse, sunka (dog) tanka (big), or sunka (dog) wakan (wonderful or
mysterious). After killing all the buffalo they said “let us try and
catch the big dogs;” so they cut a thong out of a hide with a sharp
stone and with it caught eight, breaking the leg of one of them. All
these years they used sharpened deer horn for awls, bone for needles,
and made their lodges without the help of iron tools. [All other Dakota
traditions yet reported in regard to the first capture of horses, place
this important event at a much later period and long after horses
were brought to America by the Spaniards. See this count for the year
1802-’03, and also Lone-Dog’s Winter Count for the same year.]

Pl. XXII B, 1211-1280. At one time during this period a war party of
enemies concealed themselves among a herd of buffalo, which the Dakotas
surrounded and killed before they discovered the enemy. No one knows
what people, or how many they were; but the Dakotas killed them all. The
red and black lodges indicate war, and that the Dakotas were successful.

The pages of the copy which embrace the period from 1281 to 1420 are
omitted as valueless.



A 1421-1490. B 1631-1700.]

Pl. XXIII A, 1421-1490. “Found horses among the buffalo again and caught
six.” Five of the horses are represented by the hoof prints. The lasso
or possibly the lariat is shown in use. The bundle of sticks is now in
the recorder’s hands.

Battiste’s pages which embrace the period from 1491 to 1630 are omitted
for the same reason as before offered.

Pl. XXIII B, 1631-1700. This represents the first killing of buffalo on
horseback. It was done in the year 1700, inside the circle of lodges
pitched around the herd, by a man who was tied on a horse with thongs
and who received the name of Hunts-inside-the-lodges. They had but
one horse then, and they kept him a long time. Again the bundle of
count-sticks is in the recorder’s hands.

This is the end of the obviously mythic part of the record, in which
Battiste has made some historic errors. From this time forth each year
is distinguished by a name, the explanation of which is in the realm of

It must be again noted that when colors are referred to in the
description of the text figures, the language (translated) used by
Battiste is retained for the purpose of showing the coloration of the
original and his interpretation of the colors, which are to be imagined,
as they can not be reproduced by the process used.

[Illustration: FIG. 257.]

Fig. 257, 1700-’01.--“The-two-killed-on-going-back-to-the-hunting-ground
winter (or year).” Two Dakotas returned to the hunting ground, after the
hunt one day, and were killed by enemies, of what tribe is unknown. The
blood-stained arrow in the man’s side signifies killed; the numeral 2
over his head, the number killed; and, the buffalo heads, the carcass
of a buffalo--which had been left behind because it was too poor to
eat--together with the arrow pointing toward them, the hunting-ground.
The dot under the figure 2, and many of the succeeding ones, signifies,
That is it. This corresponds with some gesture signs for the same
concept of declaration, in which the index finger held straight is
thrust forward with emphasis and repeatedly as if always hitting the
same point.

With regard to the numeral 2 over the head of the man see remarks, page

[Illustration: FIG. 258.]

Fig. 258, 1701-’02.--“The-three-killed-who-went-fishing winter.” The
arrow pointing toward the 3, indicates that they were attacked; the
arrow in the man’s arm, and the blood stain, that they were killed; the
pole, line, and fish which the man is holding, their occupation at the

[Illustration: FIG. 259.]

Fig. 259, 1702-’03.--“Camped-cutting-the-ice-through winter.” A long
lake toward the east, near which the Dakotas were encamped, was frozen
over, when they discovered about one thousand buffalo. They secured
them all by driving them on the ice, through which they broke, and in
which they froze fast. Whenever the people wanted meat, they cut a
buffalo out of the ice. In the figure, the wave lines represent the
water of the lake; the straight lines, the shore; the blue lines outside
the black ones, trees; the blue patches inside, the ice through which
the heads of the buffalo are seen; the line across the middle, the
direction in which they drove the buffalo. The supply of meat lasted one
year. (NOTE by DR. CORBUSIER.--The Apache of Arizona, the Ojibwa, and
the Ottawa also represent water by means of waved lines.)

[Illustration: FIG. 260.]

Fig. 260, 1703-’04--“The-burying winter,” or “Many-hole winter.”--They
killed a great many buffalo during the summer, and, after drying the
meat, stored it in pits for winter’s use. It lasted them all winter, and
they found it all in good condition. The ring surrounding the buffalo
head, in front of the lodge, represents a pit. The forked stick, which
is the symbol for meat, marks the pit. [Other authorities suggest that
the object called by Battiste a pit, which is more generally called
“cache,” is a heap, and means many or much.]

[Illustration: FIG. 261.]

Fig. 261, 1704-’05.--“Killed-fifteen-Pawnees-who-came-to-fight winter.”
The Dakotas discovered a party of Pawnees coming to attack them. They
met them and killed fifteen. In this chart the Pawnee of the Upper
Missouri (Arikara or Ree), the Pawnee of Nebraska, and the Omaha are all
depicted with legs which look like ears of corn, but an ear of corn is
symbol for the Rees only. The Pawnee of Nebraska may be distinguished by
a lock of hair at the back of the head; the Omaha, by a cropped head or
absence of the scalp-lock. The absence of all signs denotes Dakota. Dr.
W. Matthews, in Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa Indians, states
that the Arikara separated from the Pawnee of the Platte valley more
than a century ago. [To avoid confusion the literation of the tribal
divisions as given by the translator of Battiste Good are retained,
though not considered to be accurate.]

[Illustration: FIG. 262.]

Fig. 262, 1705-’06.--“They-came-and-killed-seven-Dakotas winter.” It is
not known what enemies killed them.

[Illustration: FIG. 263.]

Fig. 263, 1706-’07.--“Killed-the-Gros-Ventre-with-snowshoes-on winter.”
A Gros-Ventre (Hidatsa), while hunting buffalo on snowshoes, was chased
by the Dakotas. He accidentally dropped a snowshoe, and, being then
unable to get through the snow fast enough, they gained on him, wounded
him in the leg, and then killed him. The Gros-Ventres and the Crows
are tribes of the same nation, and are therefore both represented with
striped or spotted hair, which denotes the red clay they apply to it.

[Illustration: FIG. 264.]

Fig. 264, 1707-’08.--“Many-kettle winter.” A man--1 man--named Corn,
killed (3) his wife, 1 woman, and ran off. He remained away for a year,
and then came back, bringing three guns with him, and told the people
that the English, who had given him these guns, which were the first
known to the Dakotas, wanted him to bring his friends to see them.
Fifteen of the people accordingly went with him, and when they returned
brought home a lot of kettles or pots. These were the first they ever
saw. Some numerical marks for reference and the written words in the
above are retained as perhaps the worst specimens of Battiste’s mixture
of civilized methods with the aboriginal system of pictography. See
remarks above, page 288.

[Illustration: FIG. 265.]

Fig. 265, 1708-’09.--“Brought-home-Omaha-horses winter.” The cropped
head over the horse denotes Omaha.

[Illustration: FIG. 266.]

Fig. 266, 1709-’10.--“Brought-home-Assiniboin-horses winter.” The Dakota
sign for Assiniboin, or Hohe, which means the voice, or, as some say,
the voice of the musk ox, is the outline of the vocal organs, as the
Dakotas conceive them, and represents the upper lip and roof of the
mouth, the tongue, the lower lip and chin, and the neck.

[Illustration: FIG. 267.]

Fig. 267, 1710-’11.--“The-war-parties-met, or killed-three-on-each-side
winter.” A war party of Assiniboins met one of Dakotas, and in the fight
which ensued three were killed on each side.

[Illustration: FIG. 268.]

Fig. 268, 1711-’12.--“Four-lodges-drowned winter.” When the thunders
returned in the summer the Dakotas were still in their winter camp, on
the bottom lands of a large creek. Heavy rains fell, which caused the
creek to rise suddenly; the bottoms were flooded, and the occupants of
four lodges were swept away and drowned. Water is represented by waved
lines, as before. The lower part of the lodge is submerged. The human
figure in the doorway of the lodge indicates how unconscious the inmates
were of their peril.

[Illustration: FIG. 269.]

Fig. 269, 1712-’13.--“Killed-the-Pawnee-who-was-eagle-hunting winter.”
A Pawnee (Ree) was crouching in his eagle-trap, a hole in the ground
covered with sticks and grass, when he was surprised and killed by the
Dakotas. This event is substantially repeated in this count for the year

[Illustration: FIG. 270.]

Fig. 270, 1713-’14.--“Came-and-shot-them-in-the-lodge winter.” The
Pawnee (Rees) came by night, and, drawing aside a tipi door, shot a
sleeping man, and thus avenged the death of the eagle-hunter.

[Illustration: FIG. 271.]

Fig. 271, 1714-’15.--“Came-to-attack-on-horseback-but-killed-nothing
winter.” The horseman has a pine lance in his hand. It is not known what
tribe came. (NOTE BY DR. CORBUSIER.--It is probable that horses were not
numerous among any of the Indians yet, and that this mounted attack was
the first one experienced by the Brulé.)

[Illustration: FIG. 272.]

Fig. 272,
winter.” Eagle tail-feathers hang from the butt end of the lance.

[Illustration: FIG. 273.]

Fig. 273, 1716-’17.--“Much-pemmican winter.” A year of peace and
prosperity. Buffalo were plentiful all the fall and winter. Large
quantities of pemmican (wasna) were made with dried meat and marrow.
In front of the lodge is seen the backbone of a buffalo, the marrow of
which is used in wasna; below this is the buffalo stomach, in which
wasna is packed for preservation.

[Illustration: FIG. 274.]

Fig. 274, 1717-’18.--“Brought-home-fifteen-Assiniboin-horses winter.”
The sign for Assiniboin is above the horse.

[Illustration: FIG. 275.]

Fig. 275, 1718-’19.--“Brought-home-Pawnee-horses winter.” The sign for
Ree, i. e., an ear of corn, is in front of the horse.

[Illustration: FIG. 276.]

Fig. 276, 1719-’20.--“Wore-snowshoes winter.” The snow was very deep,
and the people hunted buffalo on snowshoes with excellent success.

[Illustration: FIG. 277.]

Fig. 277, 1720-’21.--“Three-lodges-starved-to-death winter.” The bare
ribs of the man denote starvation. [The gesture-sign for poor or
lean indicates that the ribs are visible. In the Ojibwa and Ottawa
pictographs lines across the chest denote starvation.]

[Illustration: FIG. 278.]

Fig. 278, 1721-’22.--“Wore-snowshoes-and-dried-much-buffalo-meat
winter.” It was even a better year for buffalo than 1719-’20.

[Illustration: FIG. 279.]

Fig. 279, 1722-’23.--“Deep-snow-and-tops-of-lodges-only-visible winter.”
The spots are intended for snow.

[Illustration: FIG. 280.]

Fig. 280, 1723-’24.--“Many-drying-sticks-set-up winter.” They set up
more than the usual number of sticks for scaffolds, etc., as they dried
the buffalo heads, hides, and entrails, as well as the meat. This figure
is repeated with differentiation for the year 1745-’46 in this chart.

[Illustration: FIG. 281.]

Fig. 281, 1724-’25.--“Blackens-himself-died winter.” This man was in the
habit of blacking his whole body with charcoal. He died of some kind of
intestinal bend [sic] as is indicated by the stomach and intestines in
front of him, which represent the bowels in violent commotion, or going
round and round.

[Illustration: FIG. 282.]

Fig. 282, 1725-’26.--“Brought-home-ten-Omaha-horses winter.” The sign
for Omaha is the head, as before.

[Illustration: FIG. 283.]

Fig. 283, 1726-’27.--“Killed-two-Pawnees-among-the-lodges winter.” The
Pawnees (Rees) made an assault on the Dakota Village, and these two ran
among the lodges without any arrows. The sign for Ree is, as usual, an
ear of corn.

[Illustration: FIG. 284.]

Fig. 284, 1727-’28.--“Killed-six-Assiniboins winter.” Two signs are
given here for Assiniboin. There is some uncertainty as to whether they
were Assiniboins or Arikaras, so the signs for both are given.

[Illustration: FIG. 285.]

Fig. 285, 1728-’29.--“Brought-home-Gros-Ventre-horses winter.” A Gros
Ventre head is shown in front of the horse.

[Illustration: FIG. 286.]

Fig. 286, 1729-’30.--“Killed-the-Pawnees-camped-alone-with-their-wives
winter.” Two Pawnees and their wives, who were hunting buffalo by
themselves, and living in one lodge, were surprised and killed by a war
party of Dakotas.

[Illustration: FIG. 287.]

Fig. 287, 1730-’31.--“Came-from-opposite-ways-and-camped-together
winter.” By a singular coincidence, two bands of Dakotas selected the
same place for an encampment, and arrived there the same day. They had
been separated a long time, and were wholly ignorant of each other’s
movements. The caps of the tipis face one another.

[Illustration: FIG. 288.]

Fig. 288, 1731-’32.--“Came-from-killing-one-Omaha-and-danced winter.”
This is the customary feast at the return of a successful war party. The
erect arrow may stand for “one,” and the Omaha is drawn at full length
with his stiff short hair and painted cheeks.

[Illustration: FIG. 289.]

Fig. 289, 1732-’33.--“Brought-home-Assiniboin-horses winter.” The sign
for Assiniboin is as before, over the horse.

[Illustration: FIG. 290.]

Fig. 290, 1733-’34.--“Killed-three-Assiniboins winter.” There is again
uncertainty as to whether they were Assiniboins or Arikaras, and both
signs are used.

[Illustration: FIG. 291.]

Fig. 291, 1734-’35.--“Used-them-up-with-bellyache winter.” About fifty
of the people died of an eruptive disease which was accompanied by pains
in the bowels. The eruption is shown on the man in the figure. This was
probably the first experience by the Dakotas of the smallpox, which has
been so great a factor in the destruction of the Indians.

[Illustration: FIG. 292.]

Fig. 292, 1735-’36.--“Followed-them-up-and-killed-five winter.” A war
party of Dakotas were chased by some enemies, who killed five of them.
The arrows flying from behind at the man indicate pursuit, and the
number of the arrows, each with a bloody mark as if hitting, is five.

[Illustration: FIG. 293.]

Fig. 293, 1736-’37.--“Brought-home-Pawnee-horses winter.” This date must
be considered in connection with the figure in this record for 1802-’03.
There is a distinction between the wild and the shod horses, but the
difference in tribe is great. The ear of corn showing the husk is as
common in this record for Pawnee as for Arikara.

[Illustration: FIG. 294.]

Fig. 294,
winter.” The daub, blue in the original, under the crouching figure,
represents the bank.

[Illustration: FIG. 295.]

Fig. 295, 1738-’39.--“The-four-who-went-on-the-war-path-starved-to-death
winter.” Starvation is indicated as before.

[Illustration: FIG. 296.]

Fig. 296, 1739-’40--“Found-many-horse winter.” The horses had thongs
around their necks, and had evidently been lost by some other tribe.
Hoof prints are represented above and below the horse, that is all

[Illustration: FIG. 297.]

Fig. 297, 1740-’41.--“The-two-came-home-having-killed-an-enemy winter.”
They took his entire scalp, and carried it home at the end of a pole.
Only a part of the scalp is ordinarily taken, and that from the crown of
the head.

[Illustration: FIG. 298.]

Fig. 298, 1741-’42.--“Attacked-them-while-gathering-turnips winter.”
Some women, who were digging turnips (pomme blanche) near the camp, were
assaulted by a party of enemies, who, after knocking them down, ran off
without doing them any further harm. A turnip, and the stick for digging
it, are seen in front of the horseman.

[Illustration: FIG. 299.]

Fig. 299, 1742-’43.--“Killed-them-on-the-way-home-from-the-hunt winter.”
The men were out hunting, and about 100 of their enemies came on
horseback to attack the camp, and had already surrounded it, when a
woman poked her head out of a lodge and said, “They have all gone on
the hunt. When I heard you, I thought they had come back.” She pointed
toward the hunting-ground, and the enemies going in that direction, met
the Dakotas, who killed many of them with their spears, and put the rest
to flight. Hoof-prints surround the circle of lodges, and are on the
trail to the hunting-ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 300.]

Fig. 300, 1743-’44.--“The-Omahas-came-and-killed-them-in-the-night
winter.” They wounded many, but killed only one. The Dakotas were all
encamped together.

[Illustration: FIG. 301.]

Fig. 301, 1744-’45.--“Brought-home-Omaha-horses winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 302.]

Fig. 302, 1745-’46.--“Many-drying-scaffolds winter.” It was even a
better year for buffalo than 1723-’24.

[Illustration: FIG. 303.]

Fig. 303, 1746-’47.--“Came-home-having-killed-one-Gros-Ventre winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 304.]

Fig. 304, 1747-’48.--“Froze-to-death-at-the-hunt winter.” The arrow
pointing toward the buffalo head indicates they were hunting, and the
crouching figure of the man, together with the snow above and below him,
that he suffered severely from cold or froze to death.

[Illustration: FIG. 305.]

Fig. 305, 1748-’49.--“Eat-frozen-fish winter.” They discovered large
numbers of fish frozen in the ice, and subsisted on them all winter.

[Illustration: FIG. 306.]

Fig. 306, 1749-’50.--“Many-hole-camp-winter.” The same explanation as
for Fig. 260, for the year 1703-’04. The two figures are different in
execution though the same in concept. There would, however, be little
confusion in distinguishing two seasons of exceptional success in the
hunt that were separated by forty-six years.

[Illustration: FIG. 307.]

Fig. 307, 1750-’51.--“Killed-two-white-buffalo-cows winter.” (Note
by Dr. Corbusier: Two white buffalo are so rarely killed one season
that the event is considered worthy of record. Most Indians regard the
albinos among animals with the greatest reverence. The Ojibwas, who look
upon a black loon as the most worthless of birds regard a white one as

[Illustration: FIG. 308.]

Fig. 308, 1751-’52.--“Omahas-came-and-killed-two-in-the-lodge winter.”
An Omaha war party surprised them in the night, shot into the lodge,
wounding two, and then fled. The two shot died of their wounds.

[Illustration: FIG. 309.]

Fig. 309, 1752-’53.--“Destroyed-three-lodges-of-Omahas winter.” The
Dakotas went to retaliate on the Omahas, and finding three lodges of
them killed them. It will be noticed that in this figure the sign for
Omaha is connected with the lodge, and in the preceding figure with the

[Illustration: FIG. 310.]

Fig. 310, 1753-’54.--“Killed-two-Assiniboins-on-the-hunt winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 311.]

Fig. 311, 1754-’55.--“Pawnees-shouted-over-the-people winter.” The
Pawnees (Rees) came at night, and standing on a bluff overlooking the
Dakota village shot into it with arrows, killing one man, and alarmed
the entire village by their shouts.

[Illustration: FIG. 312.]

Fig. 312, 1755-’56.--“Killed-two-Pawnees-at-the-hunt winter.” A war
party of Dakotas surprised some Pawnee (Ree) hunters and killed two of

[Illustration: FIG. 313.]

Fig. 313, 1756-’57.--“The-whole-people-were-pursued-and-two-killed
winter.” A tribe, name unknown, attacked and routed the whole band. The
man in the figure is retreating, as is shown by his attitude; the arrow
on his bow points backward at the enemy, from whom he is retreating. The
two blood-stained arrows in his body mark the number killed.

[Illustration: FIG. 314.]

Fig. 314,
winter.” The lack of success may have been due to inexperience in
mounted warfare as the Dakotas had probably for the first time secured a
sufficient number of horses to mount a war party.

[Illustration: FIG. 315.]

Fig. 315, 1758-’59.--“Killed-two-Omahas-who-came-to-the-camp-on-war-path

[Illustration: FIG. 316.]

Fig. 316, 1759-’60.--“War-parties-met-and-killed-a-few-on-both-sides
winter.” The attitude of the opposed figures of the Dakota and Gros
Ventre and the footprints indicate that the parties met; the arrows in
opposition, that they fought; and the blood-stained arrow in each man
that some were killed on both sides.

[Illustration: FIG. 317.]

Fig. 317, 1760-’61.--“Assiniboins-came-and-attacked-the-camp-again
winter;” or “Assiniboins-shot-arrows-through-the-camp winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 318.]

Fig. 318, 1761-’62.--“Killed-six-Pawnees (Rees) winter.” Besides the
arrow sticking in the body another is flying near the head of the man
figure, who has the tribal marks for Pawnee or Ree, as used in this

[Illustration: FIG. 319.]

Fig. 319, 1762-’63.--“The-people-were-burnt winter.” They were living
somewhere east of their present country when a prairie fire destroyed
their entire village. Many of their children and a man and his wife,
who were on foot some distance away from the village, were burned to
death, as also were many of their horses. All the people that could get
to a long lake, which was near by, saved themselves by jumping into it.
Many of these were badly burned about the thighs and legs, and this
circumstance gave rise to the name Sican-zhu, burnt thigh (or simply
burnt as translated Brulé by the French), by which they have since been
known, and also to the gesture sign, as follows: “Rub the upper and
outer part of the right thigh in a small circle with the open right
hand, fingers pointing downward.”

[Illustration: FIG. 320.]

Fig. 320, 1763-’64.--“Many-sticks-for-drying-beef winter.” They dried so
much meat that the village was crowded with drying poles and scaffolds.

[Illustration: FIG. 321.]

Fig. 321, 1764-’65.--“Stole-their-horses-while-they-were-on-the-hunt
winter.” A Dakota war party chanced to find a hunting party of
Assiniboins asleep and stole twenty of their horses. It was storming at
the time and horses had their packs on and were tied. The marks which
might appear to represent a European saddle on the horse’s back denote
a pack or load. Hunting is symbolized as before, by the buffalo head
struck by an arrow.

[Illustration: FIG. 322.]

Fig. 322, 1765-’66.--“Killed-a-war-party-of-four-Pawnees winter.” The
four Pawnees (Rees) made an attack on the Dakota camp.

[Illustration: FIG. 323.]

Fig. 323, 1766-’67.--“Brought-home-sixty-Assiniboin-horses (one spotted)
winter.” They were all the horses the Assiniboins had and were on an
island in the Missouri river, from which the Dakotas cleverly stole them
during a snowstorm.

[Illustration: FIG. 324.]

Fig. 324, 1767-’68.--“Went-out-to-ease-themselves-with-their-bows-on
winter.” The Dakotas were in constant fear of an attack by enemies. When
a man left his lodge after dark, even to answer the calls of nature, he
carried his bows and arrows along with him and took good care not to go
far away from the lodge. The squatting figure, etc., close to the lodge
tells the story.

[Illustration: FIG. 325.]

Fig. 325, 1768-’69.--“Two-horses-killed-something winter.” A man who had
gone over a hill just out of the village was run down by two mounted
enemies who drove their spears into him and left him for dead, one of
them leaving his spear sticking in the man’s shoulder, as shown in the
figure. He recovered, however. (Note by Dr. Corbusier: They frequently
speak of persons who have been very ill and have recovered as dying and
returning to life again, and have a gesture sign to express the idea.)

[Illustration: FIG. 326.]

Fig. 326, 1769-’70.--“Attacked-the-camp-from-both-sides winter.” A
mounted war party--tribe unknown--attacked the village on two sides, and
on each side killed a woman. The footprints of the enemies’ horses and
arrows on each side of the lodge, which represents the village, show the
mode of attack.

[Illustration: FIG. 327.]

Fig. 327, 1770-’71--“Came-and-killed-the-lodges winter.” The enemy came
on horseback and assailed the Dakota lodges, which were pitched near
together, spoiling some of them by cutting the hide coverings with their
spears, but killing no one. They used spears only, but arrows are also
depicted, as they symbolize attack. No blood is shown on the arrows, as
only the lodges were “killed.”

[Illustration: FIG. 328.]

Fig. 328, 1771-’72.--“Swam-after-the-buffalo winter.” In the spring the
Dakotas secured a large supply of meat by swimming out and towing ashore
buffalo that were floating past the village and which had fallen into
the river on attempting to cross on the weak ice.

[Illustration: FIG. 329.]

Fig. 329, 1772-’73.--“Killed-an-Assiniboin-and-his-wife winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 330.]

Fig. 330, 1773-’74.--“Killed-two-Pawnee-boys-while-playing winter.” A
war party of Dakotas surprised two Pawnee (Ree) boys who were wrestling
and killed them while they were on the ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 331.]

Fig. 331, 1774-’75.--“Assiniboins-made-an-attack winter.” They were
cowardly, however, and soon retreated. Perhaps the two arrows of the
Assiniboins compared with the one arrow of the attacked Dakotas suggests
the cowardice.

[Illustration: FIG. 332.]

Fig. 332,
winter.” They were brave this time, being thoroughly aroused. They
fought with bows and arrows only.

[Illustration: FIG. 333.]

Fig. 333, 1776-’77.--“Killed-with-war-club-in-his-hand winter.” A Dakota
war club is in the man’s hand and an enemy’s arrow is entering his body.

[Illustration: FIG. 334.]

Fig. 334, 1777-’78.--“Spent-the-winter-in-no-particular-place winter.”
They made no permanent camp, but wandered about from place to place.

[Illustration: FIG. 335.]

Fig. 335, 1778-’79.--“Skinned-penis-used-in-the-game-of-haka winter.”
A Dakota named as mentioned was killed in a fight with the Pawnees and
his companions left his body where they supposed it would not be found,
but the Pawnees found it and as it was frozen stiff they dragged it into
their camp and played haka with it. The haka-stick which, in playing
the game, they cast after a ring, is represented on the right of the
man. This event marks 1777-’78 in the Winter Count of American-Horse
and 1779-’80 in that of Cloud-Shield. The insult and disgrace made it

[Illustration: FIG. 336.]

Fig. 336, 1779-’80.--“Smallpox-used-them-up winter.” The eruption and
pains in the stomach and bowels are shown as before.

[Illustration: FIG. 337.]

Fig. 337, 1780-’81.--“Smallpox-used-them-up-again winter.” There is in
this figure no sign for pain but the spots alone are shown. An attempt
to discriminate and distinguish the year-devices is perceived.

[Illustration: FIG. 338.]

Fig. 338, 1781-’82.--“Came-and-attacked-on-horseback-for-the-last-time
winter.” The name of the tribe is not known, but it is the last time
they ever attacked the Dakotas.

[Illustration: FIG. 339.]

Fig. 339, 1782-’83.--“Killed-the-man-with-the-scarlet-blanket-on
winter.” It is not known what tribe killed him.

[Illustration: FIG. 340.]

Fig. 340, 1783-’84.--“Soldier-froze-to-death winter.” The falling snow
and the man’s position with his legs drawn up to his abdomen, one hand
in an armpit and the other in his mouth, are indicative of intense cold.

[Illustration: FIG. 341.]

Fig. 341, 1784-’85.--“The-Oglala-took-the-cedar winter.” During a great
feast an Oglala declared he was wakan and could draw a cedar tree out
of the ground. He had previously fastened the middle of a stick to the
lower end of a cedar with a piece of the elastic ligament from the
neck of the buffalo and then planted the tree with the stick crosswise
beneath it. He went to this tree, dug away a little earth from around
it and pulled it partly out of the ground and let it spring back again,
saying “the cedar I drew from the earth has gone home again.” After he
had gone some young men dug up the tree and exposed the shallow trick.

[Illustration: FIG. 342.]

Fig. 342, 1785-’86.--“The-Cheyennes-killed-Shadow’s-father winter.”
The umbrella signifies, shadow; the arrow which touches it, attacked;
the three marks under the arrow (not shown in the copy), Cheyenne; the
blood-stained arrow in the man’s body, killed. Shadow’s name and the
umbrella in the figure intimate that he was the first Dakota to carry
an umbrella. The advantages of the umbrella were soon recognized by
them, and the first they obtained from the whites were highly prized.
It is now considered an indispensable article in a Sioux outfit. They
formerly wore a wreath of green leaves or carried green boughs, to shade
them from the sun. The marks used for Cheyenne stand for the scars on
their arms or stripes on their sleeves, which also gave rise to the
gesture-sign for this tribe, see Fig. 495, infra.

[Illustration: FIG. 343.]

Fig. 343, 1786-’87.--“Iron-Head-Band-killed-on-warpath winter.” They
formerly carried burdens on their backs, hung from a band passed across
the forehead. This man had a band of iron which is shown on his head.
So said the interpreter, but probably the band was not of the metal
iron. The word so translated has a double meaning and is connected with
religious ideas of water, spirit, and the color blue.

[Illustration: FIG. 344.]

Fig. 344, 1787-’88.--“Left-the-heyoka-man-behind winter.” A certain
man was heyoka--that is, his mind was disordered and he went about the
village bedecked with feathers singing to himself, and, while so, joined
a war party. On sighting the enemy the party fled, and called to him to
turn back also; as he was heyoka, he construed everything that was said
to him as meaning the very opposite, and therefore, instead of turning
back, he went forward and was killed. If they had only had sense enough
to tell him to go on, he would then have run away, but the thoughtless
people talked to him just as if he had been in an ordinary condition and
of course were responsible for his death. The mental condition of this
man and another device for the event are explained by other records (see
Fig. 651).

[Illustration: FIG. 345.]

Fig. 345, 1788-’89.--“Many-crows-died winter.” Other records for the
same year give as the explanation of the figure and the reason for its
selection that the crows froze to death because of the intense cold.

[Illustration: FIG. 346.]

Fig. 346, 1789-’90.--“Killed-two-Gros-Ventres-on-the-ice winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 347.]

Fig. 347, 1790-’91.--“Carried-a-flag-about-with-them winter.” They went
to all the surrounding tribes with the flag, but for what purpose is
unknown. So said the interpreter, but The-Flame’s chart explains the
figure by the statement: “The first United States flags in the country
brought by United States troops.”

[Illustration: FIG. 348.]

Fig. 348, 1791-’92.--“Saw-a-white-woman winter.” The dress of the woman
indicates that she was not an Indian. This is obviously noted as being
the first occasion when the Dakotas, or at least the bands which this
record concerns, saw a white woman.

[Illustration: FIG. 349.]

Fig. 349, 1792-’93.--“Camped-near-the-Gros-Ventres winter.” They were
engaged in a constant warfare during this time. A Gros Ventre dirt
lodge, with the entrance in front, is depicted in the figure and on its
roof is a Gros Ventre head.

[Illustration: FIG. 350.]

Fig. 350, 1793-’94.--“Killed-a-long-haired-man-at-Rawhide-butte winter.”
The Dakotas attacked a village of 58 lodges and killed every soul in it.
After the fight they found the body of a man whose hair was done up with
deer-hide in large rolls, and, on cutting them open, found it was all
real hair, very thick, and as long as a lodge-pole. [Mem. Catlin tells
of a Crow called Long-Hair whose hair, by actual measurement, was 10
feet and 7 inches long.] The fight was at Rawhide butte (now so called
by the whites), which the Dakotas named Buffalo-Hide butte, because they
found so many buffalo hides in the lodges. According to Cloud-Shield,
Long-Hair was killed in 1786-’87, and according to American-Horse,
Long-Hair, a Cheyenne, was killed in 1796-’97.

[Illustration: FIG. 351.]

Fig. 351, 1794-’95.--“Killed-the-little-faced-Pawnee winter.” The
Pawnee’s face was long, flat, and narrow, like a man’s hand, but he had
the body of a large man.

White-Cow-Killer calls it: “Little-Face-killed winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 352.]

Fig. 352,
winter.” The body of a Dakota who had been killed in an encounter with
the Rees (Pawnees), and had been left behind, frozen. The Rees dragged
it into their village, propped it up with a stick, and hung a buffalo
stomach filled with ice in one hand to make sport of it. The buffalo
stomach was in common use at that time as a water-jug.

[Illustration: FIG. 353.]

Fig. 353, 1796-’97.--“Wears-the-War-Bonnet-died winter.” He did not
die this winter, but received a wound in the abdomen from which the
arrowhead could not be extracted, and he died of the “bellyache” years

[Illustration: FIG. 354.]

Fig. 354, 1897-’98.--“Took-the-God-Woman-captive winter.” A Dakota war
party captured a woman--tribe unknown--who, in order to gain their
respect, cried out, “I am a Wakan-Tanka,” meaning that she belonged to
God, whereupon they let her go unharmed. This is the origin of their
name for God (Wakan Tanka, the Great Holy, or Supernatural One). They
had never heard of a Supernatural Being before, but had offered their
prayers to the sun, the earth, and many other objects, believing they
were endowed with spirits. [Those are the remarks of Battiste Good, who
is only half correct, being doubtless influenced by missionary teaching.
The term is much older and signifies mystic or unknown.]

[Illustration: FIG. 355.]

Fig. 355, 1798-’99.--“Many-women-died-in-childbirth winter.” They died
of bellyache. The convoluted sign for pain in the abdominal region has
appeared before. Cloud-Shield’s winter count for the same year records
the same mortality among the women which was perhaps an epidemic of
puerperal fever.

[Illustration: FIG. 356.]

Fig. 356,
winter.” A buffalo heart is represented above the man. Don’t Eat
is expressed by the gesture sign for negation, a part of which is
indicated, and the line connecting the heart with his month. The red
flag which is used in the ceremony is employed as its symbol. The name
Don’t-Eat-Buffalo-Heart refers to the man for whom that viand is taboo,
either by gentile rules or from personal visions. The religious ceremony
of commemoration of the dead is mentioned elsewhere in this work, see
Chapter XIV, section 6.

[Illustration: FIG. 357.]

Fig. 357, 1800-’01.--“The-Good-White-Man-came winter.” Seven white men
came in the spring of the year to their village in a starving condition;
after feeding them and treating them well, they allowed them to go on
their way unmolested. The Dakotas [of the recorder’s band] had heard of
the whites, but had never seen any before. In the fall some more came,
and with them, The-Good-White-Man, who is represented in the figure, and
who was the first one to trade with them. They became very fond of him
because of his fair dealings with them. The gesture made by his hands is
similar to benediction, and suggests a part of the Indian gesture sign
for “good.”

[Illustration: FIG. 358.]

Fig. 358, 1801-’02.--“Smallpox-used-them-up-again winter.” The man
figure is making a part of a common gesture sign for death, which
consists substantially in changing the index from a perpendicular to a
horizontal position and then pointing to the ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 359.]

Fig. 359, 1802-’03.--“Brought-home-Pawnee-horses-with-iron-shoes-on
winter.” The Dakotas had not seen horseshoes before. This agrees with
and explains Lone-Dog’s Winter Count for the same year.

[Illustration: FIG. 360.]

Fig. 360,
winter.” The curly hair is indicated by the curved marks. Lone-Dog’s
Winter Count for the same year records the same incident, but states
that the curly horses were stolen from the Crows.

[Illustration: FIG. 361.]

Fig. 361, 1804-’05.--“Sung-over-each-other-while-on-the-war-path
winter.” A war party while out made a large pipe and sang each other’s
praises. The use of an ornamented pipe in connection with the ceremonies
of organizing a war party is mentioned in Chapter XV.

[Illustration: FIG. 362.]

Fig. 362, 1805-’06.--“They-came-and-killed-eight winter.” The enemy
killed eight Dakotas, as shown by the arrow and the eight marks beneath

[Illustration: FIG. 363.]

Fig. 363, 1806-’07.--“Killed-them-while-hunting-eagles winter.” Some
Dakota eagle-hunters were killed by enemies. See Lone-Dog’s Winter Count
for the same year.

[Illustration: FIG. 364.]

Fig. 364, 1807-’08.--“Came-and-killed-man-with-red-shirt-on winter.”
Other records say that Red-Shirt killed in this year was an Uncpapa
Dakota, and that he was killed by Arikaras.

[Illustration: FIG. 365.]

Fig. 365, 1808-’09.--“Pawnees-(Rees)-killed-Blue-Blanket’s-father
winter.” A blanket, which in the original record is blue, is represented
above the arrow and across the man’s body.

[Illustration: FIG. 366.]

Fig. 366, 1809-’10.--“Little-Beaver’s-house-burned winter.”
Little-Beaver was an English trader, and his trading house was a log one.

[Illustration: FIG. 367.]

Fig. 367,
winter.” They stole a band of horses beyond the South Platte. One of
them was very fleet, and had his tail ornamented as described.

[Illustration: FIG. 368.]

Fig. 368, 1811-’12.--“First-hunted-horses winter.” The Dakotas caught
wild horses in the Sand Hills with braided lariats.

[Illustration: FIG. 369.]

Fig. 369, 1812-’13.--“Rees-killed-Big-in-the-Middle’s-father winter.”
Other records call this warrior Big-Waist and Big-Belly.

[Illustration: FIG. 370.]

Fig. 370, 1813-’14.--“Killed-six-Pawnees (Rees) winter.” Six strokes are
under the arrow, but are not shown in the copy.

[Illustration: FIG. 371.]

Fig. 371, 1814-’15.--“Smashed-a-Kiowa’s-head-in winter.” The tomahawk
with which it was done is sticking in the Kiowa’s head.

[Illustration: FIG. 372.]

Fig. 372, 1815-’16.-“The-Sans-Arcs-made-large-houses winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 373.]

Fig. 373, 1816-’17.--“Lived-again-in-their-large-houses winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 374.]

Fig. 374, 1817-’18.--“Chozé-built-a-house-of-dead-logs winter.” The
house was for trading purposes. The Frenchman’s name is evidently a

[Illustration: FIG. 375.]

Fig. 375, 1818-’19.--“Smallpox-used-them-up-again winter.” They at this
time lived on the Little White river, about 20 miles above the Rosebud
agency. The two fingers held up may mean the second time the fatal
epidemic appeared in the particular body of Indians concerned in the

[Illustration: FIG. 376.]

Fig. 376, 1819-’20.--“Chozé-built-a-house-of-rotten-wood winter.”
Another trading house was built.

[Illustration: FIG. 377.]

Fig. 377,
1820-’21.--“They-made-bands-of-strips-of-blanket-in-the-winter.” These
bands were of mixed colors and reached from the shoulders to the heels.
They also made rattles of deer’s hoofs by tying them to sticks with
bead-covered strings. The man has a sash over his shoulders and a rattle
in his hand.

[Illustration: FIG. 378.]

Fig. 378, 1821-’22.--“Star-passed-by-with-loud-noise winter,”
“Much-whisky winter,” and “Used-up-the-Omahas winter.” In the figure
the meteor, its pathway, and the cloud from which it came are shown.
Whisky was furnished to them for the first time and without stint.
It brought death to them in a new form, many since then having died
from the excessive use of it, Red-Cloud’s father among the number.
Battiste Good, alias Wa-po’stan-gi, more accurately Wa-po-cta^n-xi
(Brown-Hat), historian and chief, was born. He says that Omaha bullets
were whizzing through the village and striking and piercing his mother’s
lodge as she brought him forth. Red-Cloud was also born. In the count
of American-Horse for this year he makes no mention of the meteor, but
strongly marks the whisky as the important figure for the winter.

[Illustration: FIG. 379.]

Fig. 379, 1822-’23.--“Peeler-froze-his-leg winter.” Peeler was a white
trader, and his leg was frozen while he was on his way to or from the
Missouri river. The name is explained by White Cow Killer’s record as
follows: “White-man-peels-the-stick-in-his-hand-broke-his-leg winter.”
He was probably a Yankee, addicted to whittling.

[Illustration: FIG. 380.]

Fig. 380, 1823-’24.--“General-——-first-appeared-and-the-Dakotas-aided-
in-an-attack-on-the-Rees winter.” Also “Much-corn winter”. The gun and
the arrow in contact with the ear of corn show that both whites and
Indians fought the Rees. This refers to Gen. Leavenworth’s expedition
against the Arikara in 1823, when several hundred Dakotas were his
allies. This expedition is mentioned several times in this work.

[Illustration: FIG. 381.]

Fig. 381, 1824-’25.--“Killed-two-picking-plums winter.” A Dakota war
party surprised and killed two Pawnees who were gathering plums.

[Illustration: FIG. 382.]

Fig. 382, 1825-’26.--“Many-Yanktonais-drowned winter.” The river bottom
on a bend of the Missouri river, where they were encamped, was suddenly
submerged, when the ice broke and many women and children were drowned.
All the Winter Counts refer to this flood.

[Illustration: FIG. 383.]

Fig. 383, 1826-’27.--“Ate-a-whistle-and-died winter.” Six Dakotas on
the war path (shown by bow and arrow) had nearly perished with hunger,
when they found and ate the rotting carcass of an old buffalo, on which
the wolves had been feeding. They were seized soon after with pains in
the stomach, the abdomen swelled, and gas poured from mouth and anus,
and they died of a whistle or from eating a whistle. The sound of gas
escaping from the mouth is illustrated in the figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 384.]

Fig. 384, 1827-’28.--“Wore-snowshoes winter.” The snow was very deep.

[Illustration: FIG. 385.]

Fig. 385, 1828-’29.--“Killed-two-hundred-Gros Ventres (Hidatsas) winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 386.]

Fig. 386, 1829-’30.--“Old-Speckled-Face-clung-to-his-son-in-law winter.”
The daughter of Speckled-Face, who was coming out second best in an
altercation with her husband, called to her father for help. The latter
ran and grabbed his son-in-law around the waist, and, crying “That is my
daughter,” stabbed him. The son-in-law fell and the old man fell on top
of him, and, clinging to him, begged the lookers on to put an end to him
also, as he wished to bear his beloved son-in-law company to the spirit
land. No one, however, was in the humor to speed him on the journey, and
he remained with the living.

[Illustration: FIG. 387.]

Fig. 387, 1830-’31.--“Shot-many-white-buffalo-cows winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 388.]

Fig. 388, 1831-’32.--“Killed-him-while-looking-about-on-the-hill
winter.” A Dakota, while watching for buffalo at Buffalo Gap, in the
Black Hills, was shot by the Crows. The man is represented on a hill,
which is dotted with pine trees and patches of grass. Battiste makes the
grass blue. Blue and green are frequently confounded by other Indians
than Battiste, and some tribes have but one name for the two colors.

[Illustration: FIG. 389.]

Fig. 389, 1832-’33.--“Stiff-Leg-with-War-Bonnet-on-died winter.” He was
killed in an engagement with the Pawnees on the Platte river, in which
the Brulés killed one hundred Pawnees.

[Illustration: FIG. 390.]

Fig. 390, 1833-’34.--“Storm-of-stars winter.” All the Winter Counts
refer to this great meteoric display, which occurred on the night of
November 12, 1833, and was seen over most of the United States.

[Illustration: FIG. 391.]

Fig. 391, 1834-’35.--“Killed-the-Cheyenne-who-came-to-the-camp winter.”
A Cheyenne who stole into the village by night was detected and killed.
The village was near what is now the Pine Ridge agency.

[Illustration: FIG. 392.]

Fig. 392, 1835-’36.--“Killed-the-two-war-party-leaders winter.” A Dakota
war party met one of Pawnees and killed two of their leaders, whereupon
the rest ran.

[Illustration: FIG. 393.]

Fig. 393, 1836-’37.--“Fight-on-the-ice winter.” They fought with the
Pawnees on the ice, on the Platte river, and killed seven of them. The
two vertical marks, which are for the banks of the river, and the two
opposed arrows, signify that the tribes were on opposite sides of the

[Illustration: FIG. 394.]

Fig. 394, 1837-’38.--“Spread-out-killed winter.” A Santee man, whose
name is indicated by his spread hands, was killed by soldiers.

[Illustration: FIG. 395.]

Fig. 395, 1838-’39.--“Came-and-killed-five-Oglálas winter.” They were
killed by Pawnees. The man in the figure has on a capote, the hood of
which is drawn over his head. This garment is used here as a sign for
war, as the Dakotas commonly wear it on their war expeditions.

[Illustration: FIG. 396.]

Fig. 396, 1839-’40.--“Came-home-from-the-starve-to-death-war-path
winter.” All of the Dakota tribes united in an expedition against the
Pawnees. They killed one hundred Pawnees, but nearly perished with

[Illustration: FIG. 397.]

Fig. 397, 1840-’41--“Came-and-killed-five-of-Little-Thunder’s-brothers
winter,” and “Battiste-alone-returns winter.” The five were killed in an
encounter with the Pawnees. Battiste Good was the only one of the party
to escape. The capote is shown again.

[Illustration: FIG. 398.]

Fig. 398, 1841-’42.--“Pointer-made-a-commemoration-of-the-dead winter.”
Also “Deep-snow winter.” The extended index denotes the man’s name, the
ring and spots deep snow.

[Illustration: FIG. 399.]

Fig. 399,

[Illustration: FIG. 400.]

Fig. 400, 1843-’44.--“Brought-home-the-magic-arrow winter.” This arrow
originally belonged to the Cheyennes from whom the Pawnees stole it. The
Dakotas captured it this winter from the Pawnees and the Cheyennes then
redeemed it for one hundred horses.

[Illustration: FIG. 401.]

Fig. 401, 1844-’45.--“The-Crows-came-and-killed-thirty-eight-Oglálas
winter.” The Oglálas were on the warpath, as indicated by the capote.

[Illustration: FIG. 402.]

Fig. 402,
winter.” “Also-had-bellyache.” The position of the camp is shown, also
the suggestive attitude of the man.

[Illustration: FIG. 403.]

Fig. 403, 1846-’47.--“Winter-camp-broke-his-neck winter.” He was thrown
from his horse while on a hunt. The red on his neck is the break.

[Illustration: FIG. 404.]

Fig. 404, 1847-’48.--“The-Teal-broke-his-leg winter.” His arm is
lengthened to direct attention to his leg. The Chinese radical and
phonetic character for the same concept, Fig. 1193, infra, may be
compared, as also Fig. 231, supra.

[Illustration: FIG. 405.]

Fig. 405, 1848-’49.--“Killed-the-hermaphrodite winter” and
“Big-horse-stealing winter.” They captured a Crow who pretended to be a
woman, but who proved to be a man, and they killed him. It is probable
that this was one of the men, not uncommon among the Indian tribes, who
adopt the dress and occupation of women. This is sometimes compulsory
from failure to pass an ordeal or from exhibition of cowardice. Eight
hundred horses were stolen from the Dakotas, but seven hundred of them
were recovered. The Crows killed one Dakota, as is indicated by the
arrow in contact with the red spot in the hoof print.

[Illustration: FIG. 406.]

Fig. 406, 1849-’50.--“Brought-the-Crows-to-a-stand winter.” This was
done at Crow Butte, near Camp Robinson, Nebraska. It is said that a
party of Crows, who were flying from the Dakotas, took refuge on the
Butte about dark and that the Dakotas surrounded them, confident of
capturing them the next morning, but the Crows escaped during the night,
very much to the chagrin of the Dakotas. The Crow’s head is just visible
on the summit of the hill, as if the body had gone down.

[Illustration: FIG. 407.]

Fig. 407, 1850-’51.--“The-big-smallpox winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 408.]

Fig. 408, 1851-’52.--“First-issue-of-goods winter.” The colored patches
outside the circle are at the four cardinal points, the colored patches
inside the circle are meant for blankets and the other articles issued,
and the circle of strokes the people sitting. The Dakotas were told
that fifty-five years after that issue they would have to cultivate the
ground, and they understood that they would not be required to do it

[Illustration: FIG. 409.]

Fig. 409, 1852-’53.--“Deep-snow-used-up-the-horses winter.” The spots
around the horses represent snow.

[Illustration: FIG. 410.]

Fig. 410, 1853-’54.--“Cross-Bear-died-on-the-hunt winter.” The travail
means they moved; the buffalo, to hunt buffalo; the bear with mouth
open and paw advanced, Cross-Bear; the stomach and intestines, took
the bellyache and died. The gesture sign for bear is made as follows:
Slightly crook the thumbs and little fingers, and nearly close the other
fingers; then, with their backs upward, hold the hands a little in
advance of the body or throw them several times quickly forward a few
inches. The sign is sometimes made with one hand only.

For explanation of the word “travail,” applied to the Indian sledge made
of the joined tent poles, see Fig. 764 and accompanying remarks.

[Illustration: FIG. 411.]

Fig. 411, 1854-’55.--“Killed-five-Assiniboins winter.” The Dakotas are
ashamed of the part they took in the following deplorable occurrence and
it is not therefore noted in the record, although it really marks the
year. In consequence of a misunderstanding in regard to an old foot-sore
cow, which had been abandoned on the road by some emigrants and which
the Dakotas had innocently appropriated, Lieut. Grattan, Sixth U. S.
Infantry, killed Conquering Bear (Mato-way'uhi, Startling Bear properly)
about ten miles east of Fort Laramie, August 19, 1854. The Dakotas then,
in retaliation, massacred Lieut. Grattan and the thirty men of Company
G, Sixth U. S. Infantry, he had with him.

The figure without the above statement tells the simple story about the
killing of five Assiniboins who are denoted by the usual tribal sign,
the number being designated by the five strokes below the arrow.

[Illustration: FIG. 412.]

Fig. 412,
at-Ash-Hollow-on-the-Blue-creek winter,” and one hundred and
thirty Dakotas were killed by the white soldiers. Also called
“Many-sacrificial-flags winter.” The last-mentioned name for the
winter is explained by other records and by Executive Document No. 94,
Thirty-fourth Congress, first session, Senate, to refer to a council
held on March 18, 1856, by Brevet Brig. Gen. W. S. Harney, U. S. Army,
with nine of the bands of the Dakotas.

[Illustration: FIG. 413.]

Fig. 413,
winter.” Bad-Four-Bear, a white trader, is represented sitting smoking
a pipe in front of Battiste’s tipi under a bluff at Fort Robinson,

[Illustration: FIG. 414.]

Fig. 414, 1857-’58.--“Hunted-bulls-only winter.” They found but few
cows, the buffalo being composed principally of bulls. The travail is

[Illustration: FIG. 415.]

Fig. 415, 1858-’59.--“Many-Navajo-blankets winter.” A Navajo blanket is
shown in the figure. Several of the records agree in the explanation
about the bringing of these blankets at that time.

[Illustration: FIG. 416.]

Fig. 416, 1859-’60.--“Came-and-killed-Big-Crow winter.” The two marks
under the arrow indicate that two were killed.

[Illustration: FIG. 417.]

Fig. 417,

[Illustration: FIG. 418.]

Fig. 418, 1861-’62.--“Killed-Spotted-Horse winter.” Spotted Horse and
another Crow came and stole many horses from the Dakotas, who followed
them, killed them, and recovered their horses.

[Illustration: FIG. 419.]

Fig. 419, 1862-’63--“Cut-up-the-boy-in-the-camp winter.” The Crows came
to the lodges and cut up the boy while the people were away. The knife
above his head shows that he was cut to pieces.

[Illustration: FIG. 420.]

Fig. 420, 1863-’64.--“Crows-came-and-killed-eight winter.” Some of the
eight were Cheyennes. The marks below the arrow represent the killed.

[Illustration: FIG. 421.]

Fig. 421, 1864-’65.--“Roaster-made-a-commemoration-of-the-dead winter.”
A piece of roasted meat is shown on the stick in the man’s hand. The
Dakotas roast meat on a stick held in front of the fire.

[Illustration: FIG. 422.]

Fig. 422, 1865-’66.--“Deep-snow-used-up-the-horses winter.” The horse is
obviously in a deplorable condition.

[Illustration: FIG. 423.]

Fig. 423, 1866-’67.--“Beaver’s-Ears-killed winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 424.]

Fig. 424,
winter.” This refers to the great Dakota treaty of 1868 in which other
general officers besides Gen. Harney were active and other Indian chiefs
much more important than Battiste took part. The assumption of his
intercession is an exhibition of boasting.

[Illustration: FIG. 425.]

Fig. 425, 1868-’69.--“Killed-Long-Fish winter” and “Killed-fifteen
winter.” The Crows killed fifteen Sans Arcs and Long-Fish also, a Lower
Brulé. The long fish is shown attached by a line to the mouth of the man
figure in the manner that personal names are frequently portrayed in
this paper.

[Illustration: FIG. 426.]

Fig. 426, 1869-’70.--“Trees-killed-them winter.” A tree falling on a
lodge killed a woman.

[Illustration: FIG. 427.]

Fig. 427, 1870-’71.--“Came-and-killed-High-Back-Bone winter.” He was a
chief. The Crows and Shoshoni shot him at long range, and the pistol
with which he was armed was of no service to him.

[Illustration: FIG. 428.]

Fig. 428, 1871-’72.--“Gray-Bear-died winter.” He died of the bellyache.

[Illustration: FIG. 429.]

Fig. 429, 1872-’73.--“Issue-year winter.” A blanket is shown near the
tipi. A blanket is often used as the symbol for issue of goods by the
United States Government.

[Illustration: FIG. 430.]

Fig. 430, 1873-’74.--“Measles-and-sickness-used-up-the-people winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 431.]

Fig. 431, 1874-’75.--“Utes-stole-horses winter.” They stole five hundred
horses. The Utes are called “black men,” hence the man in the figure is
represented as black. He is throwing his lariat in the direction of the
hoof prints.

[Illustration: FIG. 432.]

Fig. 432, 1875-’76.--“Bull-Head-made-a-commemoration-of-the-dead winter.”

[Illustration: FIG. 433.]

Fig. 433, 1876-’77.--“Female-Elk-Walks-Crying-died winter.” For some
explanation of this figure see Lone Dog’s Winter Count for 1860-’61.

[Illustration: FIG. 434.]

Fig. 434,
hands-stretched-out winter.” This refers to the well-known killing of
the chief Crazy-Horse while a prisoner.

[Illustration: FIG. 435.]

Fig. 435,
winter.” The Cheyennes are shown in prison surrounded by blood stains,
and with guns pointing toward them. The Cheyennes referred to are those
who left the Indian Territory in 1878 and made such a determined effort
to reach their people in the north, and who, after committing many
atrocities, were captured and taken to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. They
broke from the house in which they were confined and attempted to escape
January 9, 1879. Many of them were killed; it was reported at the time
among the Dakotas that they were massacred in their prison by the troops.

[Illustration: FIG. 436.]

Fig. 436, 1879-’80.--“Sent-the-boys-and-girls-to-school winter.” A boy
with a pen in his hand is represented in the picture.



This is an important division of the purposes for which pictographs are
used. The pictographs and the objective devices antecedent to them under
this head may be grouped as follows: 1st. Notice of visit, departure,
and direction. 2d. Direction by drawing topographic features. 3d. Notice
of condition. 4th. Warning and guidance.



Mr. G. K. Gilbert, of the U. S. Geological Survey, discovered drawings
at Oakley spring, Yavapai County, Arizona, in 1878. He remarks that
an Oraibi chief explained them to him and said that the “Mokis make
excursions to a locality in the canyon of the Colorado Chiquito to get
salt. On their return they stop at Oakley spring and each Indian makes
a picture on the rock. Each Indian draws his crest or totem, the symbol
of his gens (?). He draws it once, and once only, at each visit.” Mr.
Gilbert adds, further, that--

    There are probably some exceptions to this, but the drawings
    show its general truth. There are a great many repetitions of
    the same sign and from two to ten will often appear in a row.
    In several instances I saw the end drawings of a row quite fresh
    while the others were not so. Much of the work seems to have been
    performed by pounding with a hard point, but a few pictures are
    scratched on. Many drawings are weather-worn beyond recognition,
    and others are so fresh that the dust left by the tool has not been
    washed away by rain. Oakley spring is at the base of the Vermilion
    cliff, and the etchings are on fallen blocks of sandstone, a
    homogeneous, massive, soft sandstone. Tubi, the Oraibi chief above
    referred to, says his totem is the rain cloud, but it will be made
    no more, as he is the last survivor of the gens.

[Illustration: FIG. 437.--Petroglyphs at Oakley spring, Arizona.]

A group from Oakley spring, of which Fig. 437 is a copy, furnished
by Mr. Gilbert, measures 6 feet in length and 4 feet in height.
Interpretations of several of the separated characters are given in
Chapter XXI, infra.

Champlain (_b_) reports:

    Quelque marque ou signal par où ayont passé leurs ennemis, ou
    leurs amis, ce qu’ils cognoissent par de certaines marques que les
    chefs se donnent d’une nation a l’autre, qui ne sont pas toujours
    semblables, s’advertisans de temps en temps quand ils en changent;
    et par ce moyen ils recognoissent si ce sont amis ou ennemis qui ont

A notice of departure, direction, and purpose made in 1810 by
Algonquins, of the St. Lawrence River, is described by John Merrick in
the Collections of the Maine Historical Society (_a_), of which the
following is an abstract;

    It was drawn with charcoal on a chip cut from a spruce tree
    and wedged firmly into the top of a stake. It represented two male
    Indians paddling a canoe in an attitude of great exertion, and
    in the canoe were bundles of baggage and a squaw with a papoose;
    over all was a bird on the wing ascertained to be a loon. The
    whole was interpreted by an Indian pilot on the St. Lawrence, to
    be a Wickheegan or Awickheegan, and that it was left by a party
    of Indians for the information of their friends. The attitude of
    exertion showed that the party, consisting of two men, a woman, and
    a child, were going upstream. They intended to remain during the
    whole period allotted by Indians to the kind of hunting which was
    then in season, because they had all their furniture and family in
    the canoe. The loon expressed the intention to go without stopping
    anywhere before they arrived at the hunting ground, as the loon,
    from the shortness of its legs, walking with great difficulty, never
    alighted on its way.

The following account is from Doc. Hist. N.Y. (_a_).

    When they go to war and wish to inform those of the party who
    may pass their path, they make a representation of the animal of
    their tribe, with a hatchet in his dexter paw; sometimes a saber
    or a club; and if there be a number of tribes together of the same
    party, each draws the animal of his tribe, and their number, all
    on a tree from which they remove the bark. The animal of the tribe
    which heads the expedition is always the foremost.

The three following figures show the actual use of the wikhegan by
the Abnaki in the last generation. Wikhegan is a Passamaquoddy word
which corresponds in meaning nearly to our missive, or letter, being
intelligence conveyed to persons at a distance by marks on a piece of
birch bark, which may be either sent to the person or party with whom it
is desired to hold communication, or may be left in a conspicuous place
for such persons to notice on their expected arrival. In the cases now
figured the wikhegan was left as notice of departure and direction.
They were made at different times by the brother, now dead, of Big
Raven, baptized as Noel Joseph, who lived all alone on Long Lake, a
few miles from Princeton, Maine. He would not have anything to do with
civilization, and subsisted by hunting and fishing in the old fashion,
nor would he learn a word of French or English. When he would go on any
long expedition his custom was to tie to a stick conspicuously attached
to his wigwam a small roll of birch bark, with the wikhegan on it for
the information of his friends.

[Illustration: FIG. 438.--Hunting notices.]

The upper device of Fig. 438 means, I am going across the lake to hunt

The middle device means, I am going towards the lake and will turn off
at the point where there is a pointer, before reaching the lake.

The lower device means, I am going hunting--will be gone all winter, the
last information indicated by snowshoes and packed sledge.

The following description of a pictograph on the Pacific coast is
extracted from Dr. Gibbs’ (_a_) account, “Tribes of Western Washington,”
etc., Contrib. to N. A. Ethn. I, p. 222, of the Sound tribes.

    A party of Snakes are going to hunt strayed horses. A figure
    of a man, with a long queue or scalp lock, reaching to his heels,
    denoted Shoshone; that tribe being in the habit of braiding horse or
    other hair into their own in that manner. A number of marks follow,
    signifying the strength of the party. A footprint, pointing in the
    direction they take, shows their course, and a hoof mark turned
    backward, that they expect to return with animals. If well armed,
    and expecting a possible attack, a little powder mixed with sand
    tells that they are ready, or a square dotted about the figures
    indicates that they have fortified. These pictographs are often an
    object of study to decipher the true meaning. The shrewder or more
    experienced old men consult over them. It is not everyone that is
    sufficiently versed in the subject to decide correctly.

Dr. W. J. Hoffman obtained the original of the accompanying drawing,
Fig. 439, from Naumoff, an Alaskan, in San Francisco in 1882; also the

The drawing was in imitation of similar ones made by the natives to
inform their visitors or friends of their departure for a purpose
designated. They are depicted upon strips of wood, which are placed in
conspicuous places near the doors of the habitations.

[Illustration: FIG. 439.--Alaskan notice of hunt.]

The following is the explanation of the characters: _a_, the speaker,
with the right hand indicating himself and with the left pointing in
the direction to be taken; _b_, holding a boat-paddle, going by boat;
_c_, the right hand to the side of the head, to denote sleep, and the
left elevated with one finger erect to signify one night; _d_, a circle
with two marks in the middle, signifying an island with huts upon it;
_e_, same as _a_; _f_, a circle to denote another island; _g_, same as
_c_, with an additional finger elevated, signifying two nights; _h_,
the speaker, with his harpoon, making the sign of a sea-lion with the
left hand. The flat hand is held edgewise with the thumb elevated, then
pushed outward from the body in a slightly downward curve. At _i_ is
represented a sea-lion; _j_, shooting with bow and arrow; _k_, the boat
with two persons in it, the paddles projecting downward; _l_, the winter
or permanent habitation of the speaker.

The following, Fig. 440, is of a similar nature to the preceding, and
was obtained under similar circumstances.

[Illustration: FIG. 440.--Alaskan notice of departure.]

The explanation of the above characters is as follows:

The letters _a_, _c_, _e_, _g_, represent the person spoken to.

_b._ Indicates the speaker with his right hand to the side or breast,
indicating _self_, the left hand pointing in the direction in which he
is going.

_d._ Both hands elevated, with fingers and thumbs signifies many,
according to the informant. When the hands are thus held up, in
sign-language, it signifies _ten_, but when they are brought toward and
backward from one another, _many_.

_f._ The right hand is placed to the head to denote sleep--_many
sleeps_, or, in other words, _many nights and days_; the left hand
points downward, _at that place_.

_h._ The right hand is directed toward the starting point, while the
left is brought upward toward the head--_to go home_, or _whence he

The drawing presented in Fig. 441 was made by a native Alaskan, and
represents information to the effect that the artist contemplates
making a journey to hunt deer. The drawing is made upon a narrow strip
of wood, and placed on or near the door of the house, where visitors
will readily perceive it.

[Illustration: FIG. 441.--Alaskan notice of hunt.]

In this figure the curves _a a_ represent the contour lines of the
country and mountain peaks; _b_, native going away from home; _c_,
stick placed on hilltop, with bunch of grass attached, pointing in the
direction he has taken; _d_, native of another settlement, with whom the
traveler remained over night; _e_, lodge; _f_, line representing the end
of the first day, i. e., the time between two days; rest; _g_, traveler
again on the way; _h_, making signal that on second day (right hand
raised with two extended fingers) he saw game (deer, _i_,) on a hilltop,
which he secured, so terminating his journey; _i_, deer.

Figs. 442, 443, and 444 were drawn by Naumoff and signify “Have gone

[Illustration: FIG. 442.--Alaskan notice of direction.]

His explanation of this figure is as follows:

When one of a hunting party is about to return home and wishes to inform
his companions that he has started, he ascends the hilltop nearest to
which they became separated, where he ties a bunch of grass or other
light-colored material to the top of a long stick or pole. The lower end
of the stick is placed firmly in the ground, leaning in the direction
taken. When another hill is ascended, another stick with similar
attachment is erected, again leaning in the direction to be taken. These
sticks are placed at proper intervals until the village is sighted. This
device is employed by Southern Alaskan Indians.

[Illustration: FIG. 443.--Alaskan notice of direction.]

He explained Fig. 443 as follows:

Seal hunters thus inform their comrades that they have returned to the
settlement. The first to return to the regular landing place sometimes
sticks a piece of wood into the ground, leaning toward the village, upon
which is drawn or scratched the outline of a baidarka, or skin canoe,
heading toward one or more outlines of lodges, signifying that the
occupants of the boat have gone toward their homes.

[Illustration: FIG. 444.--Alaskan notice of direction.]

This device is used by coast natives of Southern Alaska and Kadiak. He
explained Fig. 444 as follows:

When hunters become separated, the one first returning to the forks
of the trail puts a piece of wood in the ground, on the top of which
he makes an incision, into which a short piece of wood is secured
horizontally, so as to point in the direction taken.

Maj. Long--Keating’s Long (_a_)--says:

    When we stopped to dine, White Thunder (the Winnebago chief
    that accompanied me), suspecting that the rest of his party were
    in the neighborhood, requested a piece of paper, pen, and ink, to
    communicate to them the intelligence of his having come up with me.
    He then seated himself and drew three rude figures, which, at my
    request, he explained to me. The first represented my boat with a
    mast and flag, with three benches of oars and a helmsman. To show
    that we were Americans, our heads were represented by a rude cross,
    indicating that we wore hats. The representation of himself was a
    rude figure of a bear over a kind of cipher, representing a hunting
    ground. The second figure was designed to show that his wife was
    with him; the device was a boat with a squaw seated in it; over her
    head lines were drawn in a zigzag direction, indicating that she
    was the wife of White Thunder. The third was a boat with a bear
    sitting at the helm, showing that an Indian of that name [or of
    the bear gens] had been seen on his way up the river and had given
    intelligence where the party were. This paper he set up at the mouth
    of Kickapoo creek, up which the party had gone on a hunting trip.

An ingenious mode of giving intelligence is practiced at this day by
the Abnaki, as reported by H. L. Masta, chief of that tribe, lately
living at Pierreville, Quebec. When they are in the woods, to say “I
am going to the east,” a stick is stuck in the ground pointing in that
direction, Fig. 445, _a_. “I am not gone far,” another stick is stuck
across the former, close to the ground, same figure, _b_. “Gone far” is
the reverse, same figure, _c_. The number of days’ journey of proposed
absence is shown by the same number of sticks across the first; thus,
same figure, _d_, signifies five days’ journey.

[Illustration: FIG. 445.--Abnaki notice of direction.]

Fig. 446, scratched on birch bark, was given to the present writer
at Fredericton, New Brunswick, in August, 1888, by Gabriel Acquin,
an Amalecite, then 66 years old, who spoke English quite well. The
circumstances under which it was made and used are in the Amalecite’s
words, as follows:

[Illustration: FIG. 446.--Amalecite notice of trip.]

“When I was about 18 years old I lived at a village 11 miles above
Fredericton and went with canoe and gun. I canoed down to Washademoak
lake, about 40 miles below Fredericton; then took river until it became
too narrow for canoe; then ‘carried’ to Buctoos river; followed down to
bay of Chaleur; went up the northwest Mirimachi, and ‘carried’ into the
Nepisigiut. There spent the summer. On that river met a friend of my
time; we camped there.

“One time while I was away my friend had gone down the river by himself
and had not left any wikhe'gan for me. I had planned to go off and left
for him this wikhe'gan, to tell where I would be and how long gone. The
wigwam at the lower left-hand corner showed the one used by us, with the
river near it. The six notches over the door of the wigwam meant that I
would be gone six days. The canoe and man nearest to the wigwam referred
to my friend, who had gone in the opposite direction to that I intended
to travel. Next to it I was represented in my own canoe, with rain
falling, to show the day I started, which was very rainy. Then the canoe
carried by me by a trail through woods shows the ‘carry’ to Nictaux
lake, beside which is a very big mountain. I stayed at that lake for six
days, counting the outgoing and returning. As I had put the wikhe'gan
in the wigwam before I started, my friend on his return understood all
about me, and, counting six from and including the rainy day, knew just
when I was coming back, and was waiting for me.”

The chief point of interest in this notice is the ingenious mode of
fixing the date of departure. The marks for rain are nearly obliterated,
but it flows from the man’s hair. The topography is also delineated.

The following is extracted from James Long’s Expedition (_b_):

    On the bank of the Platte river was a semicircular row of
    sixteen bison skulls, with their noses pointing down the river.
    Near the center of the circle which this row would describe, if
    continued, was another skull marked with a number of red lines.

    Our interpreter informed us that this arrangement of skulls
    and other marks here discovered were designed to communicate the
    following information, namely, that the camp had been occupied by
    a war party of the Skeeree or Pawnee Loup Indians, who had lately
    come from an excursion against the Cumancias, Ietans, or some of
    the western tribes. The number of red lines traced on the painted
    skull indicated the number of the party to have been thirty-six; the
    position in which the skulls were placed, that they were on their
    return to their own country. Two small rods stuck in the ground,
    with a few hairs tied in two parcels to the end of each, signified
    that four scalps had been taken.

When a hunting party of the Hidatsa arrived at any temporary camping
ground from which some of them had left on a short reconnoitering
expedition, the remainder, having occasion to move, erect a pole and
cause it to lean in the direction taken. At the foot of this pole a
buffalo shoulder blade or other flat bone is placed, upon which is
depicted the reason of departure; e. g. should buffalo or antelope be
seen, the animal is drawn with a piece of charred wood or red lead.

When a Hidatsa party has gone on the warpath, and a certain number is
detailed to take another direction, the point of separation is taken as
the rendezvous. After the return of the first party to the rendezvous,
should the second not come up in a reasonable length of time, they
will set sticks in the ground leaning in the direction to be taken,
and notches are cut into the upper ends of the sticks to represent the
number of nights spent there by the waiting party.

A party of Hidatsa who may be away from home for any purpose whatever
often appoint a rendezvous, from which point they return to their
respective lodges. Should one of the party return to the rendezvous
before any others and wish to make a special trip, he will, for the
information of the others, place a stick of about 3 or 4 feet in length
in the ground, upon the upper end of which a notch is cut, or perhaps a
split made for the reception of a thinner piece of twig or branch having
a length of about a foot. This horizontal top piece is inserted at one
end, so that the whole may point in the direction to be taken. Should
he wish to say that the trail would turn at a right angle, to either
side, at about half the distance of the whole journey in prospect, the
horizontal branch is either bent in that direction or a naturally curved
branch is selected having the turn at the middle of its entire length,
thus corresponding to the turn in the trail. Any direction can be
indicated by curves in the top branch.

No prescribed system of characters is used at the present time by the
Ojibwa, in the indication of direction or travel. When anyone leaves
camp or home for any particular hunting or berry ground, a concerted
arrangement is made by which only those interested can, with any
certainty, recognize “blaze” or trail marks.

[Illustration: FIG. 447.--Ojibwa notice of direction.]

Three characters cut upon the bark of large pine trees observed in the
forest near Red Lake, Minnesota, are shown in Fig. 447. The Ojibwa using
such a mark will continue on a trail leading from his home, until he
leaves the trail, when a conspicuous tree, or in its absence a piece of
wood or bark, is selected upon which a human figure is cut, with one
arm elevated and pointing in the direction to be taken. These figures
measure about 18 inches in height. Those represented on the two sides
of the copy were cut into the bark of a “jack pine” without coloration,
and the one in the middle had been rubbed with red chalk upon the wood
of the trunk after the bark had been removed and the incision made. The
middle figure indicates the direction by its bearings, although the
pointers are differently arranged.

Plain sticks are sometimes used by the Ojibwa to indicate direction.
These vary in length according to the fancy of the person and the
requirements of the case. They are stuck into the ground, and lean in
the direction to which notice is invited.

When a preconcerted arrangement is made, scrolls of birch bark are
used, upon which important geographic features are delineated, so that
the reader can, with little difficulty, learn the course taken by the
traveler. For instance, a hunter upon leaving his home, deposits there a
scroll bearing marks such as appear in Fig. 448:

[Illustration: FIG. 448.--Ojibwa notice of direction.]

_a_ is a stream to be followed to a lake _b_, where the hunter will
erect his lodge _c_, during his stay. The do-dém (totem) is added, used
between persons or parties communicating, to show who was the one that
drew it. It is in the nature of a signature.

Fig. 449 shows a still existing use of the wikhegan between a Penobscot
Indian and his nephew. It is copied from the original, incised on birch
bark, by Nicholas Francis, a Penobscot, of Oldtown, Maine, which was
obtained and kindly presented by Miss A. L. Alger of Boston.

[Illustration: FIG. 449.--Penobscot notice of direction.]

Pitalo (Roaring Lion), English name, Noel Lyon, and his old uncle, aged
over 70 years, went trapping for beaver in 1885 and camped at _d_, near
Moosehead Lake _h_, having their supply tent at _e_. They visited the
ponds _a_ and _b_ and knew there were beaver there, and set traps for
them, _f f_. The beaver dams are also shown extending across the outlets
of the streams. Noel came back from pond _b_ one day to the camping
tent and found this birch-bark wikhegan made by the old uncle, who still
used the pictographic method, as he does not know how to write, and by
this Noel knew his uncle had gone to pond _c_ to see if there were any
beaver there and would be gone one night, the latter expressed by one
line _g_ drawn between the two arrows pointing in opposite directions,
showing the going and returning on the same trail.

The notable part of the above description is that the wikhegan
consisted of the chart of the geographic features before traversed by
the two trappers, with the addition of new features of the country
undoubtedly known to both of the Indians, but not before visited in the
present expedition. This addition exhibited the departure, its intent,
direction, and duration.

[Illustration: FIG. 450.--Passamaquoddy notice of direction.]

Sapiel Selmo, a chief of the Passamaquoddy tribe, who gave to the writer
the wikhegan copied as Fig. 450, in 1887, was then a very aged man and
has since died. He lived at Pleasant point, 7 miles north of Eastport,
Maine. He was the son of a noted chief, Selmo Soctomah (a corruption of
St. Thomas), who, as shown by a certificate exhibited, commanded 600
Passamaquoddy Indians in the Revolutionary war. When a young man Sapiel,
with his father, had a temporary camp, _a_, at Machias Lake. He left
his father and went to their permanent home at Pleasant Point, _b_, to
get meat, and then returned to the first camp (route shown by double
track) and found that his father had gone, but that he had left in the
temporary wigwam the wikhegan on birch bark, showing that he had killed
one moose, the meat of which Sapiel found in the snow, and that the
father was going to hunt moose on the other lake (East Machias lake)
and would camp there three days, shown by the same number of strokes at
_c_; so he waited for him until he came back.

Josiah Gregg (_a_) says of the Plains tribes:

    When traveling they will also pile heaps of stones upon mounds
    or conspicuous points so arranged as to be understood by their
    passing comrades; and sometimes they set up the bleached buffalo
    heads, which are everywhere scattered over those plains, to indicate
    the direction of their march, and many other facts which may be
    communicated by those simple signs.

Putnam (_a_) gives one example of this character:

    A family of five persons were killed--a tall man, a short, fat
    woman, and three children--at some place to the north. Five sticks
    were cut of various lengths. The longest being forked or split
    indicated the man, the thick short one the woman, and three of
    smaller sizes and lengths the children. They were all scalped, as
    is shown by the peeling of the bark. There were thirteen Indians,
    as we are informed by the stick with stripes and thirteen notches;
    and they have fled south with two prisoners, as we judge from the
    pointer and little strips of bark seemingly tied together. Sometimes
    all the intimations would be on one stick or piece of bark. A spy
    finding, at places well known, some of these mysterious articles,
    would bring them to the station, where a consultation would be
    held and conclusion drawn as to the meaning. A spy or hunter would
    intimate to his friend his want of powder or lead or other want and
    the place at which he would look for supplies.

Hind (_a_) speaks of a special form of notice by the natives of the
Labrador peninsula:

    To indicate their speed and direction on a march, the Nasquapees
    of the Labrador peninsula thrust a stick in the ground, with a tuft
    of grass at the top, pointing toward their line of route, and they
    show the rate at which they are traveling by the greater or less
    inclination of the stick. This mode of communicating intelligence to
    those who may follow is universal among Indians; but the excellent
    and simple contrivance for describing the speed at which they travel
    is not generally employed as far as I am aware, by other nations.

Mr. Charles G. Leland, in a letter, tells that the English gypsies, at
a crossroad, drew the ordinary Latin cross with the long arm pointing
in the direction taken. Others pulled up three bunches of grass by the
roots and laid the green points in the direction. Others again, at the
present time, take a small stick and set it up inclining at an angle of
45 degrees in the line of travel.

Dr. George M. Dawson (_a_) reports of the Shuswap people of British

    A rag of clothing, particularly a small piece or pieces of
    colored or other easily recognizable material from a woman’s dress,
    left in a forked twig, indicates that a person or party of persons
    has passed. If the stick stands upright, it means that the hour was
    noon, if inclined it may either point to the direction of the sun at
    the time or show the direction in which the person or party went. If
    it is desired to show both, a larger stick points to the position
    of the sun, a smaller to that of the route followed. If those for
    whose information the signs are left are likely to arrive after an
    interval of several days, a handful of fresh grass or a leafy branch
    may be left, from the condition of which an estimate of the time
    which has elapsed can be formed. Such signs are usually placed near
    the site of the camp fire.

The device to indicate the time of depositing the notice may be compared
with that shown in Fig. 446.



[Illustration: FIG. 451.--Micmac notice of direction.]

Fig. 451 is a notice by Micmac scouts, which tribe was then at war with
the Passamaquoddy, erected on a tree, to warn the rest of the tribe
that ten Passamaquoddy Indians have been observed in canoes on the lake
going toward the outlet of the lake and probably down the river. The
Passamaquoddy tribal pictograph is shown and the whole topography is
correctly drawn.

Notes in literature relating to the skill of the North American Indians
in delineating geographic features are very frequent. The following are
selected for reference:

Champlain (_c_), in 1605, described how the natives on the coast drew
with charcoal its bays, capes, and the mouths of rivers with such
accuracy that Massachusetts bay and Merrimack river have been identified.

Lafitau (_d_) says of the northeastern tribes of Indians--

    Ils tracent grossierement sur des écorces, on sur le sable, des
    Cartes exactes, et ausquelles il ne manque que la distinction des
    degrés. Ils conservent même de ces sortes de Cartes Geographiques
    dans leur Trésor public, pour les consulter dans le besoin.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, (_a_) in 1793, spoke of the skilled manner of
chart-making by an Athabascan tribe, in which the Columbia river was

An interesting facsimile of a map with which the treaty of Hopewell, in
1875, made by the Cherokees, is connected, appears in American State
Papers, Indian Affairs, I, 40.

Hind (_b_) writes:

    On lake Tash-ner-nus-kow, Labrador, was found a “letter” stuck
    in a cleft pole overhanging the bank. It was written on birchbark,
    and consisted of a small map of the country, with arrows showing the
    direction the writer had taken, some crosses indicating where he
    had camped, and a large cross to show where he intended to make his
    first winter quarters. It was probably written by some Nasquapees as
    a guide to others who might be passing up the river or hunting in
    the country.

The Tegua Pueblos, of New Mexico, “traced upon the ground a sketch of
their country, with the names and locations of the pueblos occupied in
New Mexico,” a copy of which, “somewhat improved,” is given by Lieut.
Whipple (_c_).

A Yuma map of the Colorado river, with the names and locations of tribes
within its valley, is also figured in the last mentioned volume, page
19. The map was originally traced upon the ground.

A Piute map of the Colorado river, which was obtained by Lieut. Whipple,
is also figured in the same connection.

[Illustration: FIG. 452.--Lean-Wolf’s map. Hidatsa.]

Lean-Wolf, of the Hidatsa, who drew the picture of which Fig. 452 is a
copy, made a trip on foot from Fort Berthold to Fort Buford, Dakota,
to steal a horse from the Dakotas encamped there. The returning horse
tracks show that he was successful and that he rode home. The following
is his explanation of the characters:

    Lean-Wolf is represented at _a_ by the head only of a man to
    which is attached the outline of a wolf; _b_, Hidatsa earth lodges,
    circular in form, the spots representing the pillars supporting
    the roof--Indian village at Fort Berthold, Dakota; _c_, human
    footprints, the course taken by the recorder; _d_, the Government
    buildings at Fort Buford (square); _e_, several Hidatsa lodges
    (round), the occupants of which had intermarried with the Dakotas;
    _f_, Dakota lodges; _g_, a small square--a white man’s house--with
    a cross marked upon it to represent a Dakota lodge, which denotes
    that the owner, a white man, had married a Dakota woman, who dwelt
    there; _h_, horse tracks returning to Fort Berthold; _i_, the
    Missouri river; _j_, Tule creek; _k_, Little Knife river; _l_, White
    Earth river; _m_, Muddy creek; _n_, Yellowstone river; _o_, Little
    Missouri river; _p_, Dancing Beard creek.

The following illustration, Fig. 453, is the chart of the field of a
battle between Ojibwas and Sioux with its description. The illustration,
made by Ojibwa, the old Indian elsewhere mentioned, was drawn on birch
bark, while the details of the description were oral. The locality
referred to is above the mouth of Crow river, near Sauk rapids,

[Illustration: FIG. 453.--Chart of battle field.]

    In the description _a_ is the Mississippi river; _b_, Crow river;
    _c_, branch of Crow river; _d_, _e_, _f_, Crow lakes; _g_, Rice
    lake; _h_, Clear Water lake; _i_, Clear Water river; _j_, Sauk
    river; _k_, Big Sauk lake; _l_, Big prairie lake; _m_, Osakis lake;
    _n_, Sauk rapids; _o_ and _p_, canoe and deer-hunting and fishing
    grounds; _q_, 1 man and 2 women killed (Ojibwas); _r_, Sauk Center;
    _s_, copses of timber--known as timber islands--on the prairie.

The chart refers to an episode of war in 1854, when 3 Ojibwa were
pursued by 50 Dakota. Many of the lakes appear to be duplicated in name,
simply because no special name for them was known.

Dr. Hoffman tells how at Grapevine springs, Nevada, in 1871, the Paiute
living at that locality informed the party of the relative position
of Las Vegas, the objective point. The Indian sat upon the sand and
with his hands formed an oblong ridge to represent Spring mountain,
and southeast of this ridge another gradual slope, terminating on the
eastern side more abruptly; over the latter he passed his fingers to
represent the side valleys running eastward. He then took a stick and
showed the direction of the old Spanish trail running east and west over
the lower portion of the last-named ridge. When this was completed,
with a mixture of English, Spanish, Paiute, and gesture signs, he told
that from where they were now they would have to go southward east of
Spring mountain to the camp of Paiute Charlie, where they would have to
sleep; then indicated a line southeastward to another spring (Stump’s)
to complete the second day; then he followed the line representing the
Spanish trail to the east of the divide of the second ridge above named,
where he left it, and passing northward to the first valley he thrust
the short stick into the ground and said, “Las Vegas.”

Mr. W. von Streeruwitz, of the Geological Survey of Texas, contributes
the copy of a map, evidently the work of Indians, which is received
too late for reproduction. The map is roughly scratched into the flat
surface of a large granite block, and is an approximately correct sketch
of a pass and the nearest surrounding. The rock is situated in the pass
above the so-called rattlesnake or mica tank, in a spur on the west side
of the Van Horn mountains, El Paso county, Texas. An Indian trail passes
near the very rough and weathered rear part of the rock, which on this
side shows weak traces of some scratched-in drawings, which are nearly
weathered off, made no doubt with the purpose to lead the attention of
passing parties to the other side of the rock upon which the map is
drawn. An old trail leads from the Rio Grande across the Eagle mountains
to this pass and in the shortest line from the Green river valley to the
northern main range of the Van Horn and from there east to the Davis
mountains, formerly Apache mountains, and thence through the southern
extension of the Guadeloupe mountains to this range and into New Mexico;
also through the Sierra Carrizo to the Sierra Diablo; so that this trail
must be regarded as one of the best warpaths for raids across the Rio
Grande. An arrowhead at the upper end of the trail points out water
(small or doubtful supply), as far as could be ascertained from drawings
made by Apaches.

Following are modes of exhibiting pictographically topographic features,
Fig. 454:

[Illustration: FIG. 454.--Topographic features.]

_a_, from Copway’s Ojibway Nation, p. 136, represents “mountains.”

_b_ is the Chinese character for “mountain,” from Edkins, p. 14. “A
picture of the object. More anciently, two upright cones or triangles
connected at their bases.”

_c_ is the representation by the Dakotas of a gap in the mountains,
taken from Red-Cloud’s census.

_d_, from Copway, p. 135, represents “islands.”

_e_, from the same, p. 134, is a representation of the character for
“sea” or “water,” probably a large body of water, e. g., lake, such as
the Ojibwa were familiar with.

_f_ is from the same authority, p. 134. It shows the character for
“river” or “stream.”

_g_ gives two Chinese characters for “river,” “stream,” from Edkins, p.
14. Three parallel lines drawn downward express “flowing” in all cases.

_h_ is the Chinese character for “flowing water,” from Edkins, p. 23.
“In the Chwen wen three strokes descending indicate the appearance of
flowing water as seen in a river. The two outside strokes are broken in
the middle.”

The same authority, p. 155, gives another character, _i_, with the same
meaning as the last. The author says: “It is supposed to be turned on
end. It is better to regard the old form with its three descending lines
as a picture of water flowing downward.”

_k_, from Copway (_a_), represents the character for “land.” It is a
turtle, and refers to a common cosmologic myth concerning the recovery
of land after the deluge.

G. Holm (_a_) gives the following account, translated and condensed,
descriptive of Fig. 455, a wooden map made by the natives of the east
coast of Greenland:

[Illustration: FIG. 455.--Greenland map.]

    In reference to map making I will only remark that many are
    inclined to enlarge the scale as they approach the better known
    places, which in fact is quite natural, as they would not otherwise
    find room for all details. As a natural result, map drawing in the
    form of ground plat is something quite new to them. Their mode of
    representing their land is by carving it on wood. This has the
    advantage that not only the contour of the land, but also its
    appearance and rock forms, can in a certain degree be represented.

    The block of wood brought back represents the tract between
    Kangerdluarsikajik, east of Sermiligak, and Sieralik, north of
    Kangerdlugsuatsiak. The mainland continues from one side of the
    wooden block to the other, while the islands are located on the
    accompanying block without regard to the distance between them in
    reference to the mainland. All places where there are old ruins of
    houses, and therefore good storage places, are marked on the wood
    map, which also shows the points where a kayak can be carried over
    the ground between two fiords when the sea ice blocks the headland
    outside. This kind of models serves to represent the route the
    person in question has followed, inasmuch as during his recital he
    moves the stick, so that the islands are shown in their relative
    positions. The other wooden map, which was prepared by request,
    represents the peninsula between Sermiligak and Kangerdluarsikajik.

    A and B represent the tract between Kangerdluarsikajik
    (immediately east of Sermiligak) and Sieralik (slightly north of
    Kangerdlugsuatsiak). B represents the coast of the mainland, and
    is continuous from one side of the block to the other, while the
    outlying islands are represented by the wooden block of A, on which
    the connecting pieces between the various islands must be imagined
    as being left out. While the narrator explains the map he moves the
    stick to and fro, so as to get the islands into the right position
    in reference to the mainland.

    Kunit explained the map to me. The names of the islands on A
    are: _a_, Sardlermiut, on the west side of which is the site of an
    old settlement; _b_, Nepinerkit (from napavok), having the shape of
    a pyramid; _c_, Ananak, having the site of an old settlement on the
    southwest point. (NOTE.--Others give the name Ananak to the cape on
    the mainland directly opposite, calling the island Kajartalik.) _d_,
    Aputitek; _e_, Itivdlersuak; _f_, Kujutilik; _g_, Sikivitik.

    For B I obtained the following names, beginning at the north,
    as in the case of the islands: _h_, Itivdlek, where there are
    remains of a house; _i_, Sierak, a small fiord, in which salmon are
    found; _k_, Sarkarmiut, where there are remains of a house; _l_,
    Kangerdlugsuatsiak, a fiord of such length that a kayak can not
    even in a whole day row from the mouth to the head of the fiord and
    back again; _m_, Erserisek, a little fiord; _n_, Nutugat, a little
    fiord with a creek at the bottom; _o_, Merkeriak, kayak portage from
    Nutugkat to Erserisek along the bank of the creek, when the heavy
    ice blocks the headland between the two fiords; _p_, Ikerasakitek,
    a bay in which the land ice goes straight out to the sea; _q_,
    Kangerajikajik, a cape; _r_, Kavdlunak, a bay into which runs a
    creek; _s_, Apusinek, a long stretch where the land ice passes
    out into the sea; _t_, Tatorisik; _u_, Iliartalik, a fiord with
    a smaller creek; _v_, Nuerniakat; _x_, Kugpat; _y_, Igdluarsik;
    _z_, Sangmilek, a little fiord with a creek; _aa_, Nutugkat;
    _bb_, Amagat; _cc_, Kangerdluarsikajik, a smaller fiord; _dd_,

    C represents the peninsula between the fiords Sermiligak and



In the curious manuscript of Gideon Lincecum, written with Roman
characters in the Choctaw language about 1818, and referring to the
ancient customs of that tribe, appears the following passage (p. 276):

    They had a significant and very ingenious method of marking the
    stakes so that each iksa could know its place as soon as they saw
    the stake that had been set up for them. Every clan had a name,
    which was known to all the rest. It was a species of heraldry, each
    iksa having its coat of arms. The iksas all took the name of some
    animal--buffalo, panther, dog, terrapin, any race of animals--and a
    little picture of whatever it might be, sketched on a blazed tree
    or stake, indicated the clan to which it belonged. They could mark
    a tree when they were about to leave a camp, in their traveling or
    hunting excursions, with a set of hieroglyphs, that any other set
    of hunters or travelers who might pass that way could read, telling
    what iksa they belonged to, how long they had remained at that camp,
    how many there were in the company, if any were sick or dead, and if
    they had been successful or otherwise in the hunt. Thus, drawn very
    neatly on a peeled tree near the camp, a terrapin; five men marching
    in a row, with bows ready strung in their hands, large packs on
    their backs, and one man behind, no pack, bow unstrung; one circle,
    half circle, and six short marks in front of the half circle; below,
    a bear’s head, a buffalo head, and the head of an antelope. The
    reading is, “Terrapin iksa, 6 men in company, one sick; successful
    hunt in killing bear, buffalo, and antelope; that they remained at
    the camp a moon and a half and six days, and that they have gone

Among the Abnaki of the Province of Quebec, as reported by Masta, their
chief, cutting the bark off from a tree on one, two, three, or four
sides near the butt means “Have had poor, poorer, poorest luck.” Cutting
it off all around the tree means “I am starving.” Smoking a piece of
birch bark and hanging it on a tree means “I am sick.”

Tanner’s Narrative (_c_) mentions regarding the Ojibwa that, in cases
where the information to be communicated is that the party mentioned
is starving, the figure of a man is sometimes drawn, and his mouth is
painted white, or white paint may be smeared about the mouth of the
animal, if it happens to be one, which is his totem.

[Illustration: FIG. 456.--Passamaquoddy wikhegan.]

Fig. 456 is a copy of a drawing incised on birch bark by the old
Passamaquoddy chief, Sapiel Selmo, who made comments upon it as follows:
Two hunters followed the river _a_ until it branches off _b_, _c_.
Indian _d_ takes one river and its lakes and small branches, and the
other hunter (not figured in the chart) follows the other branch and
also claims its small streams and lakes. Sometimes during the winter
they visit one another. If it happen that the other hunter was away from
his wigwam _e_ and if the visiting hunter wishes to leave word with
his friend and wishes to inform him of his luck, he makes a picture on
a piece of birch bark and describes such animals he has killed with
the number of animals as seen in _f_ and _g_ (figure of moose’s head)
which, with two crosses to each, means 20 moose. He killed in each
hunt altogether 40. _h_ is a whole moose, also with two crosses, and
means 20, and also the figure of a caribou _i_ with one cross means 10
caribou, and also a figure of a bear with four crosses _j_ means 40
bears, and _k_ shows a figure of bear with one cross which means 10
bears, and also a sable _l_ with five crosses means 50 sables. If he
wish to inform him he is in poor luck and hungry, he marked a figure
of an Indian with a pot on one hand, the pot upside down; this means
hunger. A figure of an Indian in lying position means sickness.

Fig. 457 was also incised on birch bark by Sapiel Selmo and described by

[Illustration: FIG. 457.--Passamaquoddy wikhegan.]

Two Indian hunters follow the river to hunt. They go together as far
as the river’s forks and then separate. One went to the river _c_. The
other follows river _e_ and kills a moose. They both build their winter

Indian _b_ went to hunt and found a bear’s den under the foot of a big
tree. He attempted to stab the bear, but missed the vital part. The bear
got hold of him, bit him severely, and mortally wounded him. He went to
his wigwam _h_ and thinks he is going to die, so he makes his mark or
wikhegan on a birch-bark. He makes notches _j_ on the bark to mean his
tracks and also marks a tree as in _f_ and also a bear as in _g_. His
friend _d_ came to visit him and found him lying dead in his wigwam, and
also found the marks on the piece of birch-bark, which he read and knew
at once his partner was killed by the bear, and he followed his bear
tracks, and he also found the bear dead.

_a_. Main river. _b_. One of the Indians who goes up _c_, branch of
river. _d_. The other Indian who goes on _e_, another branch of river.
_f_. Tree above the bear’s den. _g_. Bear. _h_. Wigwam of Indian _b_.
_i_. Moose which Indian _d_ killed. _j_. Tracks of Indian _b_. _k_.
Bear’s den under the tree. _l_. Indian _d_’s wigwam.

[Illustration: FIG. 458.--Passamaquoddy wikhegan.]

Fig. 458 originally scraped on birch bark tells its own story, but was
described by Sapiel Selmo, who drew it, thus:

Two Indian hunters, _b_ and _c_, went to hunt and follow river, _a_.
They continued together as far as _d_, where the river branches off.
Indian _c_ follows the east branch _e_. He went as far as lake _f_,
where he built his wigwam _g_. Indian _c_ is very unlucky; he doesn’t
kill any bears or moose, so he became very hungry. Indian _b_, who had
followed the north branch and built his wigwam, _l_, near lake _k_, went
to visit Indian _c_, who was away at the time, but _b_ found mark on the
birch bark, a pot upside down, _h_; this means hunger. He also makes his
own mark, _i_, a moose’s head, showing success. He appoints lake _j_,
where he killed moose, and wants him, _c_, to come to his, _b_’s, wigwam

_o_, lower lake, not connected with the story, but doubtless drawn to
complete the topography. The two trails, _m_ and _n_, are designated by
notches showing foot-path or snow-shoe tracks. The Abnaki have footpaths
or snow-shoe tracks where the line of kelhign sisel, or sable dead
falls, extends from one hunting camp to another, between two lakes or

The Ottawa and the Pottawatomi Indians indicate hunger and starvation
by drawing a black line across the breast or stomach of the figure of
a man. (See Fig. 1046.) This drawing is either incised upon a piece of
wood, or drawn on it with a mixture of powdered charcoal and glue water,
or red ocher. The piece of wood is then attached to a tree or fastened
to a pole, and erected near the lodge on a trail, where it will be
observed by passers by, who are thus besought to come to the rescue of
the sufferer who erected the notice.

Fig. 459 illustrates information with regard to distress in another
village, which occasioned the departure of the party giving the
notification. The drawing was made in 1882 by the Alaskan, Naumoff, in
imitation of drawings used at his home. The designs are traced upon a
strip of wood, which is then stuck upon the roof of the house belonging
to the draftsman.

[Illustration: FIG. 459.--Alaskan notice of distress.]

_a_, the summer habitation, showing a stick leaning in the direction to
be taken; _b_, the baidarka, containing the residents of the house; the
first person is observed pointing forward, indicating that they “go by
boat to the other settlement”; _c_, a grave stick, indicating a death
in the settlement; _d_, _e_, summer and winter habitations, denoting a

The drawing, Fig. 460, also made in 1882, by a native Alaskan, in
imitation of originals familiar to him in Alaska, is intended to be
placed in a conspicuous portion of a settlement which has been attacked
by a hostile force and finally deserted. The last one to leave prepares
the drawing upon a strip of wood to inform friends of the resort of the

[Illustration: FIG. 460. Alaskan notice of departure and refuge.]

_a_ represents three hills or ranges, signifying that the course taken
would carry them beyond that number of hills or mountains; _b_, the
draftsman, indicating the direction, with the left hand pointing to the
ground, _one_ hill, and the right hand indicating the number _two_, the
number still to be crossed; _c_, a circular piece of wood or leather,
with the representation of a face, placed upon a pole and facing the
direction to be taken from the settlement; in this instance the drawing
of the character denotes a hostile attack upon the town, for which
misfortune such devices are sometimes erected; _d_, _e_, winter and
summer habitations; _f_, storehouse, erected upon upright poles. The
latter device is used by Alaskan coast natives generally.

The design shown in Fig. 461 is in imitation of drawings made by natives
of Southern Alaska to convey to the observer the information that the
draftsman had gone away to another settlement, the inhabitants of which
were in distress. The drawings were made on a strip of wood which was
placed at the door of the house, where it might be seen by visitors or

[Illustration: FIG. 461.--Notice of departure to relieve distress.

Naumoff gave the following explanation: _a_, a native making the gesture
of indicating _self_ with the right hand and with the left indicating
direction of _going_; _b_, the native’s habitation; _c_, scaffold used
for drying fish; upon the top of a pole is placed a piece of wood tied
so that the longest end points in the direction to be taken by the
relief party; _d_, the baidarka conveying it; _e_, a native of the
settlement to be visited; _f_, summer habitation; _g_, “shaman stick,”
or grave stick, erected to the memory of a recently deceased person, the
cause which has necessitated the journey; _h_, winter habitation. This,
together with _f_, indicates a settlement.

Fig. 462, also drawn by Naumoff, means “ammunition wanted.”

[Illustration: FIG. 462.--Ammunition wanted. Alaska.]

When a hunter is tracking game and exhausts his ammunition, he returns
to the nearest and most conspicuous part of the trail and sticks his
ihú^nŭk in the ground, the top leaning in the direction taken. The
ihú^nŭk is the pair of sticks arranged like the letter A, used as a
gun-rest. This method of transmitting the request to the first passer is
resorted to by the coast people of Southern Alaska.

Fig. 463, also drawn by Naumoff, means “discovery of bear; assistance

[Illustration: FIG. 463.--Assistance wanted in hunt. Alaska.]

When a hunter discovers a bear and requires assistance, he ties together
a bunch of grass, or other fibrous matter, in the form of the animal and
places it upon a long stick or pole which is erected at a conspicuous
point. The head of the effigy is directed toward the locality where the
animal was last seen.

This device is used by most of the Alaskan Indians.

Fig. 464 was also drawn by Naumoff, and signifies “starving hunters.”

Hunters who have been unfortunate, and are suffering from hunger,
scratch or draw on a piece of wood characters similar to those figured,
and place the lower end of the stick in the ground on the trail where
there is the greatest chance of its discovery. The stick is inclined
toward their shelter. The following are the details of the information
contained in the drawing:

[Illustration: FIG. 464.--Starving hunters. Alaska.]

_a_, A horizontal line denoting a canoe, showing the persons to be
fishermen; _b_, a man with both arms extended signifying _nothing_,
corresponding with the gesture for negation; _c_, a person with the
right hand to the mouth, signifying _to eat_, the left hand pointing to
the house occupied by the hunters; _d_, the shelter.

The whole signifies that there is _nothing to eat_ in the _house_. This
is used by natives of Southern Alaska.

[Illustration: FIG. 465.--Starving hunters. Alaska.]

Fig. 465, with the same signification and from the same hand, is similar
to the preceding in general design. This is placed in the ground near
the landing place of the canoemen, so that the top points toward the
lodge. The following is the explanation of the characters:

_a_, Baidarka, showing double projections at bow, as well as the two
men, owners, in the boat; _b_, a man making the gesture for _nothing_
(see in this connection Fig. 983); _c_, gesture drawn, denoting _to
eat_, with the right hand, while the left points to the lodge; _d_, a
winter habitation.

This is used by the Alaskan coast natives.



The following description of an Ojibwa notice of a murderer’s being at
large is extracted from Tanner’s Narrative: (_d_).

    As I was one morning passing one of our usual encamping places
    I saw on shore a little stick standing in the bank and attached
    to the top of it a piece of birchbark. On examination I found the
    mark of a rattlesnake with a knife, the handle touching the snake
    and the point sticking into a bear, the head of the latter being
    down. Near the rattlesnake was the mark of a beaver, one of its
    dugs, it being a female, touching the snake. This was left for my
    information, and I learned from it that Wa-me-gon-a-biew, whose
    totem was She-she-gwah, the rattlesnake, had killed a man whose
    totem was Muk-kwah, the bear. The murderer could be no other than
    Wa-me-gon-a-biew, as it was specified that he was the son of a woman
    whose totem was the beaver, and this I knew could be no other than

An amusing instance of the notice or warning, “No thoroughfare,” is
presented in Fig. 466. It was taken in 1880 from a rock drawing in
Canyon de Chelly, New Mexico, by Mr. J. K. Hillers, photographer of the
U. S. Geological Survey.

[Illustration: FIG. 466.--No thoroughfare.]

The design on the left is undoubtedly a notice in the nature of warning,
that, although a goat can climb up the rocky trail, a horse would tumble

During his connection with the geographic surveys west of the one
hundredth meridian, Dr. Hoffman observed a practice among the Tivátikai
Shoshoni, of Nevada, of erecting heaps of stones along or near trails
to indicate the direction to be taken and followed to reach springs
of water. Upon slight elevations of ground, or at points where a trail
branched into two or more directions, or at the intersection of two
trails, a heap of stones would be placed varying in height according to
the elevation requisite to attract attention. Upon the top of this would
be fixed an elongated piece of rock so placed that the most conspicuous
point projected and pointed in the course to be followed. This was
continued sometimes at intervals of several miles unless indistinct
portions of a trail or intersections demanded a repetition at shorter
distances. A knowledge of this custom proved very beneficial to the
early prospectors and pioneers.

Fig. 467 is a copy, one-sixteenth actual size, of colored petroglyphs
found by Dr. Hoffman in 1884 on the North fork of the San Gabriel river,
also known as the Azuza canyon, Los Angeles county, California.

[Illustration: FIG. 467.--Rock painting, Azuza canyon, California.]

The bowlder upon which the paintings occur measures 8 feet long, about 4
feet high, and the same in width. The figures are on the eastern side of
the rock, so that the left arm of the human figure on the right points
toward the north.

Fig. 468 is a map drawn on a scale of 1,000 yards to the inch, showing
the topography of the immediate vicinity and the relative positions of
the rocks bearing the paintings.

[Illustration: FIG. 468.--Site of paintings in Azuza canyon, California.]

The stream is hemmed in by precipitous mountains, with the exception of
two points marked _c c_, over which the old Indian trail passed in going
from the Mojave desert on the north to the San Gabriel valley below,
this course being the nearest for reaching the mission settlements at
San Gabriel and Los Angeles. In attempting to follow the water course
the distance would be greatly increased and a rougher trail encountered.
Fig. 467, painted on the rock marked _b_ on the map, shows characters in
pale yellow upon a bowlder of almost white granite partly obliterated
by weathering and annual floods, though still enough remains to
indicate that the right-hand figure is directing the observer to the
northeast, although upon taking that course it would be necessary to
round the point a short distance to the west. It may have been placed
as a notification of direction to those Indians who might have come up
the canyon instead of on the regular trail. Farther west, at the spot
marked _a_ on the map, is a granite bowlder bearing a large number of
paintings, part of which have become almost obliterated. These were
drawn with red ocher (ferric oxide). A selection of these is shown in
Fig. 469.

[Illustration: FIG. 469.--Sketches from Azuza canyon, California.]

This is on the almost vertical western face of the rock. These
characters also appear to refer to the course of the trail, which might
readily be lost on account of the numerous mountain ridges and spurs.
The left-hand human figure appears to place its hand upon a series of
ridges, as if showing pantomimically the rough and ridged country over
the mountains.

The middle figure is making a gesture which in its present connection
may indicate direction of the trail, i. e., toward the left, or
northward in an uphill course, as indicated by the arm and leg, and
southward, or downward, as suggested by the lower inclination of the leg
and lower forearm and hand on the right of the painting.

These illustrations, as well as other pictographs on the same rock, not
now represented, exhibit remarkable resemblance to the general type
of Shoshonean drawing, and from such evidence as is now attainable it
is probable that they are of Chemehuevi origin, as that tribe at one
time ranged far to the west, though north of the mountains, and also
visited the valley and settlements at Los Angeles to trade. It is also
known that the Mojaves came at stated periods to Los Angeles as late as
1845, and the trail indicated at point _a_ of the map would appear to
have been their most practicable and convenient route. There is strong
evidence that the Moki sometimes visited the Pacific coast and might
readily have taken this same course, marking the important portions of
the route by drawings in the nature of guideboards.

The following curious account is taken from The Redman, Carlisle,
October, 1888:

A ranchman visiting a deserted camp of Piegans found the following

    We called at this ranch at dinner time. They treated us badly,
    giving us no dinner and sending us away. There is a head man who has
    two dogs, one of which has no tail. There are two larger men who are
    laborers. They have two pairs of large horses and two large colts,
    also another smaller pair of horses and two ponies which have two

    The notice was composed thus: A circle of round stones
    represented the horses and ponies, the latter being smaller stones;
    the stones outside of the circle meant there were so many colts.
    Near the center was a long narrow stone, upon the end of which was a
    small one. This denoted the head man or owner, whose two dogs were
    shown by two pieces of bark, one with a square end while the other
    had a twig stuck in for a tail. Two other long narrow stones, larger
    than the first, stood for the laborers; these had no small stones on
    them. Some sticks of wood, upon which was a small pile of buffalo
    chips, meant that dinner was ready; and empty shells turned upside
    down told they got nothing to eat, but were sent away.

Mr. Charles W. Cunningham, formerly of Phœnix, Arizona, reports the
finding of petroglyphs in Rowe canyon, one-half mile from the base of
Bradshaw mountain, Arizona. The characters are pecked upon its vertical
wall of hard porphyry, covering a space between 12 or 15 feet in length
and about 30 feet above the surface of the earth. They consist of human
figures with outstretched arms, apparently driving animals resembling
sheep or goats, while at the head of the procession appears the figure
of a bear. The explanation given seems to be a notification to Indian
herders that in going through the canyon they should be careful to guard
against bears or possibly other dangerous animals, as the trail or
canyon leads down to some water tanks where the herders may habitually
have driven the stock.

D’Albertis (_b_) mentions of the Papuans that a warning not to enter a
dwelling is made by erecting outside of it a stick, on the top of which
is a piece of bark or a cocoanut, and in Yule island these warnings or
taboo sticks are furnished with stone heads.

When a Tartar shaman wished to be undisturbed he placed a dried
goat’s-head, with its prominent horns, over a wooden peg outside of his
tent and then dropped the curtain. No one would dare to venture in.

The following is quoted from Franz Keller (_b_):

    In the immense primeval forests, extending between the Ivahy
    and the Paranapanama, the Paraná and the Tibagy, the rich hunting
    grounds of numerous Coroado hordes, one frequently encounters,
    chiefly near forsaken palm sheds, a strange collection of objects
    hung up between the trees on thin cords or cipós, such as little
    pieces of wood, feathers, bones, and the claws and jaws of different

    In the opinion of those well versed in Indian lore these
    hieroglyphs are designed as epistles to other members of the tribe
    regarding the produce of the chase, the number and stay of the
    huntsmen, domestic intelligence, and the like; but this strange
    kind of composition, reminding one of the quippus (knotted cords),
    of the old Peruvians, has not yet been quite unraveled, though it
    is desirable that it should be, for the naïve son of the woods also
    uses it sometimes in his intercourse with the white man.

    Settlers in this country, on going in the morning to look after
    their very primitive mills near their cottages, have frequently
    discovered them going bravely, but bruising pebbles instead of the
    maize grains, while on the floor of the open shed names and purposes
    of the unwelcome nocturnal visitors have been legibly written in
    the sand. Among the well-drawn zigzag lines were inserted the
    magnificent long tail feathers of the red and blue macaw, which are
    generally used by the Coroados for their arrows; and, as these are
    the symbols of war and night attacks, the whole was probably meant
    for a warning and admonition ad hominem: “Take up your bundle and go
    or beware of our arrows.”



Under this heading notes and illustrations are grouped of transmitted
drawings, which were employed as letters and missives now are by
people who possess the art of writing. To the drawings are added
some descriptions of objects sent for the same purposes. These are
sometimes obviously ideographic, but often appear to be conventional
or arbitrary. It is probable that the transmittal or exchange of such
objects anteceded the pictorial attempt at correspondence, so that the
former should be considered in connection with the latter. The topic
is conveniently divided by the purposes of the communications, viz,
(1) declaration of war, (2) profession of peace and friendship, (3)
challenge, (4) social and religious missives, (5) claim or demand.



Le Page du Pratz (_a_), in 1718, reported the following:

    The Natchez make a declaration of war by leaving a hieroglyphic
    picture against a tree in the enemy’s country, and in front of
    the picture they place, saltierwise, two red arrows. At the upper
    part of the picture at the right is the hieroglyphic sign which
    designates the nation that declares war; next, a naked man, easy
    to recognize, who has a casse-tête in his hand. Following is an
    arrow, drawn so as in its flight to pierce a woman, who flees with
    her hair spread out and flowing in the air. Immediately in front of
    this woman is a sign belonging to the nation against which war is
    declared; all this is on the same line. That which is below is not
    so clear or so much relied upon in the interpretation. This line
    begins with the sign of a moon (_i. e._, month) which will follow in
    a short time. The days that come afterward are indicated by straight
    strokes and the moon by a face without rays. There is also a man
    who has in front of him many arrows which seem directed to hit a
    woman who is in flight. All that announces that when the moon will
    be so many days old they will come in great numbers to attack the
    designated nation.

Lahontan (_a_) writes:

    The way of declaring war by the Canadian Algonquian Indians is
    this: They send back to the nation that they have a mind to quarrel
    with a slave of the same country, with orders to carry to the
    village of his own nation an axe, the handle of which is painted red
    and black.

The Huron-Iroquois of Canada sent a belt of black wampum as a
declaration of war.

Material objects were often employed in declaration of war, some of
which may assist in the interpretation of pictographs. A few instances
are mentioned:

Capt. Laudonnière (_a_) says: “Arrows, to which long hairs are attached,
were stuck up along the trail or road by the Florida Indians, in 1565,
to signify a declaration of war.”

Dr. Georg. Schweinfurth (_a_) gives the following:

    I may here allude to the remarkable symbolism by which war
    was declared against us on the frontiers of Wando’s territory. *
    * * Close on the path, and in full view of every passenger, three
    objects were suspended from the branch of a tree, viz, an ear of
    maize, the feather of a fowl, and an arrow. * * * Our guides readily
    comprehended and as readily explained the meaning of the emblems,
    which were designed to signify that whoever touched an ear of maize
    or laid his grasp upon a single fowl would assuredly be the victim
    of the arrow.

In the Notes on Eastern Equatorial Africa, by MM. V. Jacques (_a_) and
É. Storms, it is stated that when a chief wishes to declare war he sends
to the chief against whom he has a complaint an ambassador bearing a
leaden bullet and a hoe. If the latter chooses the bullet, war ensues;
if the hoe, it means that he consents to enter into negotiations to
maintain peace.

Terrien de Lacouperie, op. cit., pp. 420, 421, reports:

    The following instance in Tibeto-China is of a mixed character.
    The use of material objects is combined with that of notched
    sticks. When the Li-su are minded to rebel they send to the Moso
    chief (who rules them on behalf of the Chinese Government) what
    the Chinese call a muhki and the Tibetans a shing-tchram. It is
    a stick with knife-cut notches. Some symbols are fastened to it,
    such, for instance, as a feather, calcined wood, a little fish, etc.
    The bearer must explain the meaning of the notches and symbols.
    The notches may indicate the number of hundreds or thousands of
    soldiers who are coming; the feather shows that they arrive with
    the swiftness of a bird; the burnt wood, that they will set fire to
    everything on their way; the fish, that they will throw everybody
    into the water, etc. This custom is largely used among all the
    savage tribes of the region. It is also the usual manner in which
    chiefs transmit their orders.



The following account of pictorial correspondence leading to peace was
written by Governor Lewis Cass, while on one of his numerous missions to
the Western tribes, before 1820:

    Some years before, mutually weary of hostilities, the chiefs of
    the Ojibwas and the Dakotas met and agreed upon a truce. But the
    Sioux, disregarding the solemn contract which they had formed, and
    actuated by some sudden impulse, attacked the Ojibwas and murdered a
    number of them.

    On our arrival at Sandy lake I proposed to the Ojibwa chiefs
    that a deputation should accompany us to the mouth of the St.
    Peters, with a view to establish a permanent peace between them
    and the Sioux. The Ojibwas readily acceded to this, and ten of
    their principal men descended the Mississippi with us. The computed
    distance from Sandy lake to the St. Peters is 600 miles. As we
    neared this part of the country we found our Ojibway friends
    cautious and observing.

    The Ojibwa landed occasionally to examine whether any of the
    Sioux had recently visited that quarter. In one of these excursions
    an Ojibwa found in a conspicuous place a piece of birch bark, made
    flat by fastening between two sticks at each end, and about 18
    inches long by 2 broad.

    This bark contained the answer of the Sioux nation. So
    sanguinary had been the contest between these two tribes that no
    personal communication could take place. Neither the sanctity
    of office nor the importance of the message could protect the
    ambassador of either party from the vengeance of the other.

    Some time preceding, the Ojibwas, anxious for peace, had sent a
    number of their young men into these plains with a similar piece of
    bark, upon which they represented their desire. This bark had been
    left hanging to a tree, in an exposed situation, and had been found
    and taken away by a party of Sioux.

    The proposition had been examined and discussed in the Sioux
    villages, and the bark contained their answer. The Ojibwa explained
    to us with great facility the intention of the Sioux.

    The junction of the St. Peters with the Mississippi, where the
    principal part of the Sioux reside, was represented, and also the
    American fort, with a sentinel on duty, and a flag flying.

    The principal Sioux chief was named The-Six, alluding, I
    believe, to the band of villages under his influence. To show that
    he was not present at the deliberation upon the subject of peace,
    he was represented on a smaller piece of bark, which was attached
    to the other. To identify him, he was drawn with six heads and a
    large medal. Another Sioux chief stood in the foreground, holding a
    pipe in his right hand and his weapons in his left. Even we could
    not misunderstand that; like our own eagle with the olive branch and
    arrows, he was desirous for peace, but prepared for war.

    The Sioux party contained fifty-nine warriors, indicated by
    fifty-nine guns, drawn upon one corner of the bark.

    The encampment of our troops had been removed from the low
    grounds upon the St. Peters to a high hill upon the Mississippi. Two
    forts were therefore drawn upon the bark, and the solution was not
    discovered until our arrival at St. Peters.

    The effect of the discovery of the bark upon the minds of the
    Ojibwas was visible and immediate.

    The Ojibwa bark was drawn in the same general manner, and Sandy
    lake, the principal place of their residence, was represented with
    much accuracy. To remove any doubts respecting it, a view was given
    of the old northwestern establishment, situated upon the shore, and
    now in the possession of the American Fur Company.

    No proportion was preserved in their attempt at delineation.
    One mile of the Mississippi, including the mouth of the St. Peters,
    occupied as much space as the whole distance to Sandy Lake, nor was
    there anything to show that one part was nearer to the spectator
    than another.

The above pictorially professed attitude of being ready for either peace
or war may be compared with the account in Champlain--Voyages (_d_)--of
the chief whose name was Mariston, but he assumed that of Mahigan
Atticq, translated as Wolf Deer. He thereby proclaimed that when at
peace he was mild as a deer, but when at war was savage as a wolf.

In Davis’ Conquest of New Mexico (_a_) it is stated that Vargas’
Expedition in 1694 was met by the Utes, who hoisted a deerskin in token
of peace.

The following “speech of an Ojibwa chief in negotiating a peace with
the Sioux, 1806,” from Maj. Pike’s (_a_) Expeditions, etc., shows the
pictographic use of the pipe as a profession of peace:

    My father, tell the Sioux on the upper part of the river St.
    Peters that they mark trees with the figure of a calumet; that we of
    Red lake who may go that way should we see them, that we may make
    peace with them, being assured of their pacific disposition when we
    shall see the calumet marked on the trees.

D’Iberville, in 1699, as printed in Margry, IV, 153, said that the
Indians met by him near the mouth of the Mississippi river indicated
their peaceful and friendly purposes by holding up in the air a small
stick of whitened wood. The same authority, in the same volume, p. 175,
tells that the Oumas bore a white cross as a similar declaration; and
another journal, in the same volume, p. 239, describes a stick also so
borne as being fashioned like a pipe. The actual use of the pipe in
profession of peace and friendship is mentioned in several parts of the
present paper. See, also, the passport mentioned on p. 214 and wampum,
p. 225.

Lieut. Col. Woodthorpe, in Jour. Anthr. Inst. Gr. Br. and I., XI, p.
211, says of the wild tribes of the Naga Hills, on the northeastern
frontier of India:

    On the road to Niao we saw on the ground a curious mud figure of
    a man in slight relief presenting a gong in the direction of Senua.
    This was supposed to show that the Niao men were willing to come to
    terms with Senua, then at war with Niao. Another mode of evincing
    a desire to turn away the wrath of an approaching enemy and induce
    him to open negotiations is to tie up in his path a couple of goats,
    sometimes also a gong, with the universal symbol of peace, a palm
    leaf planted in the ground hard by.

[Illustration: FIG. 470.--West African message.]

G. W. Bloxam (_a_) gives the following description of Fig. 470:

    It represents a message of peace and good news from the King
    of Jebu to the King of Lagos, after his restoration to the throne
    on the 28th of December, 1851. It appears complicated, but the
    interpretation is simple enough. First we find eight cowries
    arranged in pairs, and signifying the people in the four corners of
    the world, and it will be observed that, while three of the pairs
    are arranged with their faces upwards, the fourth and uppermost, i.
    e., the pair in the most important position, are facing one another,
    thus signifying that the correspondents, or the people of Jebu and
    Lagos, are animated by friendly feeling towards each other; so,
    too, there are two each of all the other objects, meaning, “you and
    I,” “we two.” The two large seeds or warres, _a_, _a_, express a
    wish that “you and I” should play together as intimate friends do,
    at the game of “warre,” in which these seeds are used and which is
    the common game of the country, holding very much the same position
    as chess or draughts with us; the two flat seeds, _b_, _b_, are
    seeds of a sweet fruit called “osan,” the name of which is derived
    from the verb, “san,” to please [Mem. Notice the rebus] they,
    therefore, indicate a desire on the part of a sender of the message
    to please and to be pleased; lastly, the two pieces of spice, _c_,
    _c_, signify mutual trust. The following is the full meaning of the

    Of all the people by which the four corners of the world are
    inhabited, the Lagos and Jebu people are the nearest.

    As “warre” is the common play of the country, so the Jebus and
    Lagos should always play and be friendly with each other.

    Mutual pleasantness is my desire; as it is pleasant with me so
    may it be pleasant with you.

    Deceive me not, because the spice would yield nothing else but a
    sweet and genuine odor unto god. I shall never deal doubly with you.



H. H. Bancroft (_a_), in Native Races, says that the Shumeias challenged
the Pomos (in central California) by placing three little sticks notched
in the middle and at both ends, on a mound which marked the boundary
between the two tribes. If the Pomos accept they tie a string round
the middle notch. Heralds then meet and arrange time and place and the
battle comes off as appointed.

The sending of material objects was the earliest and most natural mode
for low cultured tribes to communicate when out of sight and hearing.
Such was the system in use among the Scythians at the time of the
invasion of their land by Darius. The version of the story in Herodotus
is that commonly cited, but there is another by Pherecydes of Heros,
who relates that Idanthuras, the Scythian king, when Darius had crossed
the Ister, threatened him with war, sending him not a letter, but a
composite symbol, which consisted of a mouse, a frog, a bird, an arrow,
and a plow. When there was much discussion concerning the meaning of
this message, Orontopagas, the chiliarch, maintained that it was a
surrender; for he conjectured the mouse to mean their dwelling, the frog
their waters, the bird their air, the arrow their arms, and the plow
their country. But Xiphodres offered a contrary interpretation, thus:
“Unless like birds we fly aloft, or like mice burrow under the ground,
or like frogs take ourselves to the water, we shall never escape their
weapons, for we are not masters of their country.”



Fig. 471 is a letter, one-half actual size, written by an Ojibwa girl,
the daughter of a Midē', to a favored lover, requesting him to call at
her lodge. This girl had taken no Midē' degrees, but had simply acquired
her pictographic skill from observation in her home.

[Illustration: FIG. 471.--Ojibwa love letter.]

The explanation of the figure is as follows:

_a._ The writer of the letter, a girl of the Bear totem, as indicated by
that animal, _b_.

_e_ and _f_. The companions of _a_, the crosses signifying that the
three girls are Christians.

_c_ and _g_. The lodges occupied by the girls. The lodges are near
a large lake, _j_, a trail leading from _g_ to _h_, which is a
well-traveled road.

The letter was written to a man of the Mud Puppy totem, as indicated in

_i._ The road leading to the lodge occupied by the recipient of the

_k_ and _l_. Lakes near which the lodges are built.

In examining _c_, the writer’s hand is seen protruding from an opening
to denote beckoning and to indicate which lodge to visit. The clear
indications of the locality serve as well as if in a city a young woman
had sent an invitation to her young man to call at a certain street and

[Illustration: FIG. 472.--Cheyenne letter.]

Fig. 472 is a letter sent by mail from a Southern Cheyenne, named
Turtle-following-his-Wife, at the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Indian
Territory, to his son Little-Man, at the Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota.
It was drawn on a half-sheet of ordinary writing paper, without a
word written, and was inclosed in an envelope, which was addressed to
“Little-Man, Cheyenne, Pine Ridge Agency,” in the ordinary manner,
written by some one at the first named agency. The letter was evidently
understood by Little-Man, as he immediately called upon Dr. V. T.
McGillycuddy, Indian agent at Pine Ridge Agency, and was aware that the
sum of $53 had been placed to his credit for the purpose of enabling
him to pay his expenses in going the long journey to his father’s home
in Indian Territory. Dr. McGillycuddy had, by the same mail, received
a letter from Agent Dyer, inclosing $53, and explaining the reason for
its being sent, which enabled him also to understand the pictographic
letter. With the above explanation it very clearly shows, over the
head of the figure to the left, the turtle following the turtle’s wife
united with the head of the figure by a line, and over the head of the
other figure, also united by a line to it, is a little man. Also over
the right arm of the last-mentioned figure is another little man in
the act of springing or advancing toward Turtle-following-his-Wife,
from whose mouth proceed two lines, curved or hooked at the end, as
if drawing the little figure toward him. It is suggested that the last
mentioned part of the pictograph is the substance of the communication,
i. e., “come to me,” the larger figures with their name totems being
the persons addressed and addressing. Between and above the two large
figures are fifty-three round objects intended for dollars. Both the
Indian figures have on breechcloths, corresponding with the information
given concerning them, which is that they are Cheyennes who are not all
civilized or educated.

Sagard (_a_) tells of the Algonkins of the Ottawa river, that when a
feast was to be given, the host sent to each person whose presence was
desired a little stick of wood, peculiar to them (i. e., probably marked
or colored) of the length and thickness of the little finger, which he
was obliged to show on entering the lodge, as might be done with a card
of invitation and admission. The precaution was seemingly necessary
both for the host’s larder and the satisfaction of the guests, as on an
occasion mentioned by the good brother, each of the guests was provided
with a big piece of sturgeon and plenty of “sagamite huylée.” There was
probably some principle of selection connected with totems or religious
societies on such occasions, not told by the narrator, as the ordinary
custom among Indians is to keep open house to all comers, who generally
were the aboriginal “tramps,” with the result of waste and subsequent

The Rev. Peter Jones (_b_), an educated Ojibwa missionary, in speaking
of the eastern bands of the Ojibwa says:

    Their method of imploring the favor or appeasing the anger of
    their deities is by offering sacrifices to them in the following
    order: When an Indian meets with ill-luck in hunting, or when
    afflictions come across his path, he fancies that by the neglect
    of some duty he has incurred the displeasure of his munedoo, for
    which he is angry with him; and in order to appease his wrath, he
    devotes the first game he takes to making a religious feast, to
    which he invites a number of the principal men and women from the
    other wigwams. A young man is generally sent as a messenger to
    invite the guests, who carries with him a bunch of colored quills
    or sticks, about 4 inches long. On entering the wigwam he shouts
    out “Keweekomegoo;” that is, “You are bidden to a feast.” He then
    distributes the quills to such as are invited; these answer to the
    white people’s invitation cards. When the guests arrive at the
    feast-maker’s wigwam the quills are returned to him; they are of
    three colors, red, green, and white; the red for the aged, or those
    versed in the wahbuhnoo order; the green for the media order, and
    the white for the common people.

Mr. David Boyle (_b_) refers to the above custom, and quotes Rev. Peter
Jones, also giving as illustrations copies of the quills and sticks
presented by Dr. P. E. Jones which had been brought by his father, the
author above mentioned, from the Northwest fifty years ago. These are
reproduced in Fig. 473.

[Illustration: FIG. 473.--Ojibwa invitations.]

When the ceremony of the Grand Medicine Society of the Ojibwa is to be
performed, the chief midē' priest sends out a courier to deliver to each
member an invitation to attend. These invitations consist of sticks of
cedar, or other wood when that can not be found, measuring from 4 to 6
inches in length and of the thickness of an ordinary lead pencil. They
may be plain, though the former custom of having one end painted red or
green is sometimes continued. The colored band is about the width of
one-fifth of the length of the stick. It is stated that in old times
these invitation sticks were ornamented with colored porcupine quills,
or strands of beads, instead of with paint.

The courier detailed to deliver invitations is also obliged to state
the day, and locality of the place of meeting. It is necessary for the
invited member to present himself and to deposit the invitation stick
upon the floor of the inclosure in which the meeting is held; should he
be deprived of the privilege of attending, he must return the stick
with an explanation accounting for his absence.

[Illustration: FIG. 474.--Ojibwa invitation sticks.]

Fig. 474 exhibits the sticks without coloration.

Another mode of giving invitations for the same ceremony is by sending
around a piece of birch bark bearing characters similar to those in Fig.
475, taken from Copway, p. 136.

[Illustration: FIG. 475.--Summons to Midē' ceremony.]

The characters, beginning at the left hand, signify as follows: Medicine
house; great lodge; wigwam; woods; lake; river; canoe; come; Great

Copway remarks as follows:

“In the above, the wigwam and the medicine pale, or worship, represent
the depositories of medicine, record, and work. The lodge is represented
with men in it; the dots above indicate the number of days.

“The whole story would thus read:

    ‘Hark to the words of the Sa-ge-mah'. The Great Medicine Lodge
    will be ready in eight days. Ye who live in the woods and near the
    lakes and by streams of water come with your canoes or by land to
    the worship of the Great Spirit.’”

The above interpretation is too much adapted to the ideas and language
of Christianity. The more simple and accurate expression would change
the rendition from “worship” and “Great Spirit” to the simple notice
about holding a session of the Grand Medicine Society.

[Illustration: FIG. 476.--Passamaquoddy wikhegan.]

Fig. 476, drawn by a Passamaquoddy, shows how the Indians of the tribe
would now address the President of the United States, or the governor of
Maine for help, and formerly would have made wikhegan for transmittal
to a great chief having power over them. They say by this: “You are at
the top of the pole, so no one can be higher than you. From this pole
you can see the farthest of your country and can see all your children,
and when any of your children come to see you they must work hard to get
where you are, on top of the high pole. They must climb up this pole to
reach you. You must pity them because they come long ways to see you,
the man of power on the high pole.” This kind of wikhegan the old men
called _kinjemeswi waligoh_, homage or salutation to the great chief. It
was always in the old time accompanied by a belt of wampum.

A highly interesting illustration and account of a diplomatic packet
from the pueblo of Tesuque appears in Schoolcraft (_g_), and in the same
series (_h_) is a pictograph from the Caroline islands still more in

A. W. Howitt (_c_) reports:

    Messengers in central Australia were sent to gather people
    together for dances from distances even up to 100 miles. Such
    messengers were painted with red ocher and wore a headdress of

    In calling people together for the ceremonies of Wilyaru or
    Mindari the messengers were painted with diagonal stripes of yellow
    ocher, and had their beards tied tightly into a point. They carried
    a token shaped like a Prince of Wales feather, and made of emu
    feathers tied tightly with string.

    The sending of a handful of red ocher tied up in a small bundle
    signifies the great Mindari or peace festival. In giving notice of
    the intention to “make some young men” the messenger takes a handful
    of charcoal and places a piece in the mouth of each person present
    without saying a word. This is fully understood to mean the “making
    of young men” at the Wilyaru ceremony.

The following is a description of a Turkish love letter, which was
obtained by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (_a_) in 1717:

    I have got for you a Turkish love letter. * * * The translation
    of it is literally as follows. The first piece you should pull out
    of the purse is a little pearl, which must be understood in this

    Pearl            Fairest of the young.
    Clove            You are as slender as the clove.
                     You are an unblown rose.
                     I have long loved you and you have not known it.
    Jonquil          Have pity on my passion.
    Paper            I faint every hour.
    Pear             Give me some hope.
    Soap             I am sick with love.
    Coal             May I die and all my years be yours.
    A rose           May you be pleased and your sorrows mine.
    A straw          Suffer me to be your slave.
    Cloth            Your price is not to be found.
    Cinnamon         But my fortune is yours.
    A match          I burn, I burn! My flame consumes me.
    Gold thread      Don’t turn away your face from me.
    Hair             Crown of my head.
    Grape            My two eyes.
    Gold wire        I die; come quickly.

    And, by way of postscript:

    Pepper           Send me an answer.

    You see this letter is all in verse, and I can assure you there
    is as much fancy shown in the choice of them as in the most studied
    expressions of our letters, there being, I believe, a million of
    verses designed for this use. There is no color, no flower, no weed,
    no fruit, herb, pebble, or feather that has not a verse belonging
    to it; and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion,
    friendship, or civility, or even of news without ever inking your

The use by Turks and Persians of flower letters or communications, the
significance of which is formed by the selection and arrangement of
flowers, is well known. A missive thus composed of flowers is called
sélam, but the details are too contradictory and confused to furnish
materials for an accurate dictionary of the flower language, though
dictionaries and treatises on it have been published. (See Magnat.)
Individual fancy and local convention, it seems, fix the meanings.

A Japanese girl who decides to discourage the further attentions of a
lover sends to him, instead of the proverbial “mitten” of New England,
a sprig of maple, because the leaf changes its color more markedly than
any other. In this connection it is told that the Japanese word for love
also means color, which would accentuate the lesson of the changing


The following extracts are made from Curr’s (_a_) Australian Race:

    I believe every tribe in Australia has its messenger, whose
    life, whilst he is in the performance of his duties, is held sacred
    in peace and war by the neighboring tribes. His duties are to convey
    the messages which the tribe desires to send to its neighbors,
    and to make arrangements about places of meeting on occasions of
    fights or corroborees. In many tribes it is the custom to supply
    the messenger when he sets out with a little carved stick, which he
    delivers with his message to the most influential man of the tribe
    to which he is sent. This carved stick he often carries whilst
    traveling stuck in the netted band which the blacks wear round the
    head. I have seen many of them, and been present when they were
    received and sent, and have some from Queensland in my possession
    at present. They are often flat, from 4 to 6 inches long, an inch
    wide, and a third of an inch thick; others are round, of the same
    length, and as thick as one’s middle finger. When flat their edges
    are often notched, and their surface always more or less carved
    with indentations, transverse lines, and squares; in fact, with
    the same sort of figures with which the blacks ornament their
    weapons throughout the continent; when round, fantastic lines are
    cut around them or lengthwise. I have one before me at this moment
    which is a miniature boomerang, carved on both sides, notched at
    the edges, and colored with red ocher. Any black could fashion
    sticks of this sort in an hour or two. Some of my correspondents
    have spoken of them as a sort of writing, but when pressed on the
    subject have admitted that their surmise, all the circumstances
    weighed, was not tenable. The flat sticks especially have that sort
    of regularity and repetition of pattern which wall papers exhibit.
    That they do not serve the purpose of writing or hieroglyphics I
    have no hesitation in asserting; and I may remark that in all cases
    which have come under my notice the messenger delivered his message
    before he presented the carved stick. That done the recipient would
    attempt to explain to those about him how the stick portrayed the
    message. Still this eminently childish proceeding leads one to
    consider whether the most savage mind does not contain the germ of
    writing. Bernal Diaz del Castillo, in his Discovery and Conquest of
    New Spain, relates that, when his country sent verbal messages by
    Mexican bearers to distant tribes, the messengers who had seen the
    Spaniards write always asked to be supplied with a letter, which,
    of course, neither they nor the people to whom they were sent could

[Illustration: FIG. 477.--Australian message sticks.]

Fig. 477 reproduces the illustration of the message sticks published in
the work above mentioned.

    Vol. I, p. 306.--In the Majanna tribe messengers are sent with a
    notched or carved stick, and the bearer has to explain its meaning.
    If it be a challenge to fight, and the challenge is accepted,
    another stick is returned.

    Vol. II, p. 183.--The bearer of an important communication
    from one party to another often carries a message stick with him,
    the notches and lines on which he refers to whilst delivering his
    message. This custom, which prevails from the north coast to the
    south, is a very curious one. No black fellow ever pretends to be
    able to understand a message from a notched stick, but always looks
    upon it as confirmatory of the message it accompanies.

    Vol. II, p. 427.--Message sticks are in use, the marks carved on
    them being a guaranty of the messenger, the same as a ring with us
    in former times.

    Vol. III, p. 263.--Message sticks are used by the Maranoa river
    tribe. An informant has in his possession a reed necklace attached
    to a piece of flat wood about 5 inches long; on the wood are carved
    straight and curved lines, and this piece of wood was sent by one
    portion of the tribe to another by a messenger, the two parties
    being about 60 miles apart. The interpretation of the carving was:
    “My wife has been stolen; we shall have to fight; bring your spears
    and boomerangs.” The straight lines, it was explained, meant spears
    and the curved ones boomerangs; but the stealing of the wife seems
    to have been left to the messenger to tell.

A. W. Howitt (_a_) gives a further account on this topic:

    The messenger carries with him as the emblems of his missions
    a complete set of male attire, together with the sacred humming
    instrument, which is wrapped in a skin and carefully concealed from
    women and children. It is, therefore, in such cases, the totem which
    assembles the whole community.

    In the Adjadura tribe of South Australia the ceremonies are
    ordered to be held by the headman of the whole tribe by his
    messenger, who carries a message stick marked in such a manner that
    it serves to illustrate his message; together with this there is
    also sent a sacred humming instrument.

Drs. Houzé and Jacques (_a_) give a different view of the significance
of the marks on message sticks:

    It proves very difficult to discover the signification of
    the notched message sticks. The Europeans have not succeeded
    in deciphering them. Some marks may represent a whole history.
    The following anecdote on this subject is reported by M. Cauvin
    (according to J. M. Davis, Aborigines of Victoria, v. I, p. 356,
    note): A European, having formed the project of establishing a
    new station, started from Edward river with a herd of cattle and
    some Indians. When, all being arranged, the colonist was on the
    point of returning home, one of the young blacks requested him to
    take a letter to his father, and, on the consent of his patron, he
    gave him a stick about a foot long covered with notches and signs.
    On arriving home the colonist went to the camp of the blacks and
    delivered the letter to the father of his young follower, who,
    calling around him the whole encampment, to the great surprise of
    the European, read from this stick a daily account of the doings of
    the company from the departure from Edward river until the arrival
    at the new station, describing the country which they had traversed
    and the places where they had camped each night.

The Queenslanders did not give Drs. Houzé and Jacques such a long
translation of their message sticks, but they informed them that one of
the sticks related to the crossing from Australia into America, which is
recounted by Tambo, the author of the message. An illustration of it is
presented on p. 93 of the above cited work of Houzé and Jacques, but is
not sufficiently distinct for reproduction.


[Illustration: FIG. 478.--West African aroko.]

G. W. Bloxam (_b_) says of the aroko, or symbolic letters, used by the
tribe of Jebu, in West Africa, describing Fig. 478:

    This is a message from a native general of the Jebu force to
    a native prince abroad. It consists of six cowries. Six in the
    Jebu language is E-fà, which is derived from the verb fà, to draw.
    They are arranged two and two, face to face, on a long string; the
    pairs of cowries set face to face indicate friendly feeling and
    good fellowship; the number expresses a desire to draw close to the
    person to whom the message is sent [note the rebus]; while the long
    string indicates considerable distance or a long road. This is the
    message: “Although the road between us be very long, yet I draw you
    to myself and set my face towards you. So I desire you to set your
    face towards me and draw to me.”

On p. 298 he adds:

    Among the Jebu in West Africa odd numbers in their message are
    of evil import, while even numbers express good will. Thus a single
    cowrie may be sent as an unfavorable answer to a request or message.

[Illustration: FIG. 479.--West African aroko.]

The same author writes, on p. 297, describing Fig. 479:

    It is a message from His Majesty Awnjale, the King of Jebu,
    to his nephew abroad; and here we find other substances besides
    cowries included in the aroko. Taking the various articles in order,
    commencing from the knot, we observe four cowries facing in the same
    direction, with their backs to the knot; this signifies agreement.
    Next a piece of spice, _a_, which produces when burnt a sweet odor
    and is never unpleasant; then come three cowries facing in the same
    direction; then a piece of mat, _b_; then a piece of feather, _c_;
    and, lastly, a single cowrie turned in the same direction as all the
    others. The interpretation is:

    “Your ways agree with mine very much. Your ways are pleasing to
    me and I like them.

    “Deceive me not, because the spice would yield nothing else but
    a sweet and genuine odor unto God.

    “I shall never deal doubly with you all my life long.

    “The weight of your words to me is beyond all description.

    “As it is on the same family mat we have been sitting and lying
    down together, I send to you.

    “I am, therefore, anxiously awaiting and hoping to hear from

The following account of “African Symbolic Messages,” condensed from
the paper of the Rev. C. A. Gollmer, which appeared in Jour. Anthrop.
Inst. of Gr. Bn. and I., XIV, p. 169, et. seq., is highly interesting
as showing the ideography attached to the material objects transmitted.
The step in evolution by which the graphic delineation of those objects
was substituted for their actual presence was probably delayed only by
the absence of convenient material, such as birch bark, parchment, or
other portable rudimentary form of paper on which to draw or paint, or
at least by the want of a simple invention for the application of such

    The natives in the Yoruba country, West Africa, in the absence
    of writing, and as a substitute for it, send to one another messages
    by means of a variety of tangible objects, such as shells, feathers,
    pepper, corn, stone, coal, sticks, powder, shot, razors, etc.,
    through which they convey their ideas, feelings, and wishes, good
    and bad, and that in an unmistakable manner. The object transmitted
    is seen, the import of it known and the message verbally delivered
    by the messenger sent, and repeated by one or more other persons
    accompanying the messenger for the purpose as the importance of the
    message is considered to require.

    Cowry shells in the symbolic language are used to convey, by
    their number and the way in which they are strung, a variety of
    ideas. One cowry may indicate “defiance and failure;” thus: A cowry
    (having a small hole made at the back part, so as to be able to pass
    a string through it and the front opening) strung on a short bit of
    grass fiber or cord, and sent to a person known as a rival, or one
    aiming at injuring the other, the message is: “As one finger can not
    take up a cowry (more than one are required), so you one I defy;
    you will not be able to hurt me, your evil intentions will come to

    Two cowries may indicate “relationship and meeting;” thus: Two
    cowries strung together, face to face, and sent to an absent brother
    or sister, the message is: “We are children of one mother, were
    nursed by the same breasts.”

    Two cowries may indicate “separation and enmity;” thus: Two
    cowries strung back to back and sent to a person gone away, the
    message is: “You and I are now separated.”

    Two cowries and a feather may indicate “speedy meeting;” thus:
    Two cowries strung face to face, with a small feather (of a chicken
    or other bird) tied between the two cowries, and sent to a friend
    at a distance, the message is: “I want to see you, as the bird
    (represented by the feather) flies straight and quickly, so come as
    quickly as you can.”

    The following fivefold painful symbolic message was sent by D.,
    whilst in captivity at Dahomey, to his wife, who happened to be
    staying with Mr. Gollmer, at Badagry, at the time. The symbols were
    a stone, a coal, a pepper, corn, and a rag. During the attack of the
    King of Dahomey, with his great army of Amazons and other soldiers,
    upon Abeokuta in March, 1852, D., one of the native Christians and
    defenders of his town, home, and family, was taken captive and
    carried to Dahomey, where he suffered much for a long time. Whilst
    waiting for weeks to know the result his wife received the symbolic
    letter which conveyed the following message:

    The stone indicated “health” (the stone was a small, common one
    from the street); thus the message was: “As the stone is hard, so my
    body is hardy, strong--i. e., well.”

    The coal indicated “gloom” (the coal was a small piece of
    charcoal); thus the message was: “As the coal is black, so are my
    prospects dark and gloomy.”

    The pepper indicated “heat” (the pepper was of the hot cayenne
    sort); thus the message was: “As the pepper is hot so is my mind
    heated, burning on account of the gloomy prospect--i. e., not
    knowing what day I may be sold or killed.”

    The corn indicated “leanness” (the corn was a few parched grains
    of maize or Indian corn); thus the message was: “As the corn is
    dried up by parching; so my body is dried up or become lean through
    the heat of my affliction and suffering.”

    The rag indicated “worn out;” thus (the rag was a small piece
    of worn and torn native cloth, in which the articles were wrapped)
    the message was: “As the rag is, so is my cloth cover--i. e., native
    dress, worn and torn to a rag.”

    A tooth brush may indicate “remembrance;” thus: It is a
    well-known fact that the Africans in general can boast of a finer
    and whiter set of teeth than most other nations. And those Europeans
    who lived long among them know from constant observation how much
    attention they pay to their teeth, not only every morning, but often
    during the day. The tooth brush made use of is simply a piece of
    wood about 6 to 9 inches long, and of the thickness of a finger.
    One end of the stick, wetted with the saliva, is rubbed to and fro
    against the teeth, which end after awhile becomes soft. This sort of
    tooth brush is frequently given to friends as an acceptable present,
    and now and then it is made use of as a symbolic letter, and in such
    a case the message is: “As I remember my teeth the first thing in
    the morning, and often during the day, so I remember and think of
    you as soon as I get up, and often afterwards.”

    Sugar may indicate “peace and love;” in the midst of a war
    this good disposition was made known from one party to another by
    the following symbol: A loaf of white sugar was sent by messengers
    from the native church at A. to the native church at I., and the
    message was: “As the sugar is white, so there is no blackness (i.
    e., enmity) in our hearts towards you; our hearts are white (i. e.,
    pure and free from it). And as the sugar is sweet, so there is no
    bitterness among us against you; we are sweet (i. e., at peace with
    you) and love you.”

    A fagot may indicate “fire and destruction;” when a fagot (i.
    e., a small bundle of bamboo poles, burnt on one end) is found
    fastened to the bamboo fence inclosing a compound, or premises,
    it conveys the message: “Your house will be burnt down”--i. e.,

    Powder and shot are often made use of and sent as a symbolic
    letter; the message is to either an individual or a people, viz: “As
    we can not settle the quarrel, we must fight it out” (i. e., “we
    shall shoot you, or make war upon you”).

    A razor may indicate “murder.” A person suspected and accused of
    having by some means or other been the cause of death of a member of
    a family, the representative of that family will demand satisfaction
    by sending the symbolic objects, viz, a razor or knife, which is
    laid outside the door of the house of the accused offender and
    guilty party, and the message is well understood to be: “You have
    killed or caused the death of N., you must kill yourself to avenge
    his death.”

The following examples indicate a still further step in evolution by
which the names of the objects or of the numbers are of the same sound
as words in the language the significance of which constitutes the real
message. This objective rebus corresponds with the pictorial rebus so
common in Mexican pictographs, and which is well known to have borne
a chief part in the development of Egyptian and other ancient forms of

    Three cowries with some pepper may indicate “deceit;” thus:
    Three cowries strung with their faces all looking one way (as
    mentioned before) with an alligator pepper tied to the cowries. Eru
    is the name of the pepper in the native language, which in English
    means “deceit.” The message may be either a “caution not to betray
    one another,” or, more frequently, an accusation of having deceived
    and defrauded the company.

    Six cowries may indicate “attachment and affection;” thus:
    Efa in the native language means “six” (cowries implied); it also
    means “drawn,” from the verb fa, to draw. Mora is always implied as
    connected with Efa; this means “stick to you,” from the verb mo, to
    stick to, and the noun ara, body--i. e. you. Six cowries strung (as
    before mentioned) and sent to a person or persons, the message is:
    “I am drawn (i. e. attached) to you, I love you,” which may be the
    message a young man sends to a young woman with a desire to form an

Rev. Richard Taylor (_b_) says:

    The Maori used a kind of hieroglyphical or symbolical way of
    communication; a chief, inviting another to join in a war party,
    sent a tattooed potato and a fig of tobacco bound up together, which
    was interpreted to mean that the enemy was a Maori and not European
    by the tattoo, and by the tobacco that it represented smoke; he
    therefore roasted the one and eat it, and smoked the other, to show
    he accepted the invitation, and would join him with his guns and
    powder. Another sent a waterproof coat with the sleeves made of
    patchwork, red, blue, yellow, and green, intimating that they must
    wait until all the tribes were united before their force would be
    waterproof, i. e., able to encounter the European. Another chief
    sent a large pipe, which would hold a pound of tobacco, which was
    lighted in a large assembly, the emissary taking the first whiff,
    and then passing it around; whoever smoked it showed that he joined
    in the war.



Stephen Powers (_b_) states that the Nishinam of California have the
following mode of collecting debts:

    When an Indian owes another, it is held to be in bad taste, if
    not positively insulting, for the creditor to dun the debtor, as the
    brutal Saxon does, so he devises a more subtle method. He prepares
    a certain number of little sticks, according to the amount of the
    debt, and paints a ring around the end of each. These he carries and
    tosses into the delinquent’s wigwam without a word and goes his way;
    whereupon the other generally takes the hint, pays the debt, and
    destroys the sticks.

The San Francisco (California) Western Lancet, XI, 1882, p. 443, thus

    When a patient has neglected to remunerate the shaman [of the
    Wikehumni tribe of the Mariposan linguistic stock] for his services,
    the latter prepares short sticks of wood, with bands of colored
    porcupine quills wrapped around them at one end only, and every time
    he passes the delinquent’s lodge a certain number of them are thrown
    in as a reminder of the indebtedness.

[Illustration: FIG. 480.--Jebu complaint.]

G. W. Bloxam (_c_) describes Fig. 480 thus:

    Among the Jehu of West Africa two cowries facing one another
    signify two blood relations; two cowries, however, back to back may
    be sent as a message of reproof for nonpayment of debt, meaning:
    “You have given me the back altogether; after we have come to an
    arrangement about the debt you have owed me, I will also turn my
    back against you.”

[Illustration: FIG. 481.--Jebu complaint.]

The same authority, p. 299, describes Fig. 481:

    It consists of two cowries face to face, followed by one above
    facing upwards, and is a message from a creditor to a bad debtor,
    meaning: “After you have owed me a debt you kicked against me; I
    also will throw you off, because I did not know that you could have
    treated me thus.”

[Illustration: FIG. 482.--Samoyed requisition.]

Prof. Anton Schrifner (_a_) describing Fig. 482, says:

    On this plank the cuts marked _b_ signify the number of reindeer
    required. Opposite these cuts are placed the hand marks, _a_, of
    various Samoyeds of whom the reindeer are demanded. At the bottom
    is found the official mark, _c_, of the Samoyed chief who forwarded
    this board to the various Samoyed settlements in place of a written



The employment of pictographs to designate tribes, groups within tribes,
and individual persons has been the most frequent of all the uses to
which they have been applied. Indeed, the constant need that devices to
represent the terms styled by grammarians proper names should be readily
understood for identification has, more than any other cause, maintained
and advanced pictography as an art, and in some parts of the world has
evolved from it syllabaries and afterwards alphabets. From the same
origin came heraldry, which in time designated with absolute accuracy
persons and families for the benefit of letterless people. Trade-marks
have the same history.

From the earliest times men have used emblems to indicate their tribes
or clans. Homer makes no clear allusion to their manifestation at the
poetic siege of Troy; but even if his Greeks did not bear them, other
nations of the period did. The earlier Egyptians carried images of bulls
and crocodiles into battle, probably at first with religious sentiments.
Each of the twelve tribes of Israel had a special ensign of its own,
which is now generally considered to have been totemic. The subjects of
Semiramis adopted doves and pigeons as their token in deference to their
queen, whose name meant “dove.”

At later dates Athens chose an owl for her sign, as a compliment to
Minerva; Corinth, a winged horse, in memory of Pegasus and his fountain;
Carthage, a horse’s head, in homage to Neptune; Persia, the sun, because
its people worshiped fire; Rome, an eagle, in deference to Jupiter.
These objects appear to have been carved in wood or metal. There is no
evidence of anything resembling modern flags, except, perhaps, in parts
of Asia, until the Romans began to use something like them about the
time of Cæsar. But these small signs had no national or public character
so as to be comparable with the eagles on the Roman standard; nor was
any floating banner associated with ruling power until Constantine gave
a religious meaning to the labarum.

Emblems also were often adopted by political and religious parties, e.
g., the cornstalks and slings of the Mazarinists and anti-Mazarinists
during the Fronde, the caps and hats in the Swedish diet in 1788, the
scarf of the Armagnacs, and the cross of the Burgundians. The topic of
emblems is further discussed in Chapter XVIII.

As with increased culture clans and tribes have become nations, so there
has been an evolution by which the ensigns of bands and orders have
been discontinued and replaced by the emblems of nationalities. Frederic
Marshall (_a_) well says: “Images of animals, badges, war cries,
cockades, liveries, coats of arms, tokens, tattooing, are all replaced
practically by national ensigns.” This change is toward the higher and
nobler significance and employment, all members of the community being
protected and designated by the simple exhibition of a single emblem.

This chapter is naturally divided into (1) Pictorial tribal
designations, (2) Gentile and clan designations, (3) Significance of
tattoo, (4) Designations of individuals.



Capt. de Lamothe Cadillac (_a_) writing in the year 1696 of the
Algonquians of the Great Lake region near Mackinac, etc., describes the
emblems on their canoes as follows: “On y voit la natte de guerre le
corbeau, l’ours on quelque autre animal * * * estant l’esprit qui doit
conduire cette enterprise.”

This, however, was a mistake as applicable to the time when it was
written. The animals used as emblems may originally have been regarded
as supernatural totemic beings, but had probably become tribal


Bacqueville de la Potherie (_c_) says that a treaty with the French in
Canada, about 1700, was “sealed” with the “proper arms,” pictorially
drawn, of the Indian tribes which were parties to it. The following is a
copy of the original statement in its archaic form:

    Monsieur de Callieres, de Champigni, & de Vaudreüil, en
    signerent le Traité, que chaque Nation scella de ses propres armes.
    Les Tsonnontouans & les Onnontaguez designerent une araignée, le
    Goyogouin un calumet, les Onneyouts un morceau de bois en fourche,
    une pierre au milieu, un Onnontagué mit un Ours pour les Aniez,
    quoi qu’ils ne vinrent pas. Le Rat mit un Castor, les Abenaguis un
    Chevreüil, les Outaouaks un Liévre, ainsi des autres.

From this it appears that--

The Seneca and Onondaga tribes were represented by a “spider.” [This
was doubtless a branching tree, so badly drawn as to be mistaken for a

The Cayuga tribe, by a calumet.

The Oneida tribe, by a forked stick with a stone in the fork. [The
forked stick was really designed for the fork of a tree.]

The Mohawk tribe, by a bear.

Le Rat, who was a representative Huron of Mackinaw, by a beaver.

The Abnaki, by a deer.

The Ottawa, by a hare.

Several other accounts of the tribal signs of the Iroquois are
published, often with illustrations, e. g., in Documents relating to
the Colonial History of New York (_a_), with the following remarks:

    When they go to war, and wish to inform those of the party who
    may pass their path, they make a representation of the animal of
    their tribe, with a hatchet in his dexter paw; sometimes a saber
    or a club; and if there be a number of tribes together of the same
    party, each draws the animal of his tribe, and their number, all on
    a tree, from which they remove the bark. The animal of the tribe
    which heads the expedition is always the foremost.

Another account of interest, which does not appear to have been
published, was traced and contributed by Mr. William Young, of
Philadelphia. It is a deed from the representatives of the Six Nations
(the Tuscaroras then being admitted) to the King of Great Britain, dated
November 4, 1768, and recorded at the recorder’s office, Philadelphia,
in Deed Book I, vol. 5, p. 241. Nearly all of these accounts and
illustrations are confused and imperfect. An instructive blunder occurs
in the translated signature representing the Mohawk tribe in the above
mentioned deed. It is called “The Steel,” which could hardly have been
an ancient tribal name, but after study it was remembered that the
Mohawks have sometimes been called by a name properly translated the
“Flint people.” By some confusion about flint and steel, which were
still used in the middle of the last century to produce sparks of fire,
perhaps assisted by the pantomime of striking those objects together,
the one intended to be indicated, viz, the flint, was understood to be
the other, the steel, and so these words were written under the figure,
which was so roughly drawn that it might have been taken for a piece of
flint or of steel or, indeed, anything else.


The illustrations in Fig. 483 were drawn in 1888 by a Passamaquoddy
Indian, in Maine, near the Canada border. The Passamaquoddy, Penobscot,
and Amalecite are tribal divisions of the Abnaki, who formerly were
also called Tarrateens by the more southern New England tribes and
Owenunga by the Iroquois. The Micmacs are congeners of the Abnaki, but
not classed in their tribal divisions. All the four tribes belong to the
Algonquian linguistic stock.

[Illustration: FIG. 483.--Eastern Algonquian tribal designations.]

Fig. 483 _a_ is the tribal emblem of the Passamaquoddy. It shows two
Indians in a canoe, both using paddles and not poles, following a
fish, the pollock. The variation which will appear in the represented
use of poles and paddles in the marks of the Algonquian tribes in
Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, etc., is said to have originated
in the differing character of the waters, shoal or deep, sluggish or
rapid, of the regions of the four bodies of Indians whose totems are
indicated as next follows, thus requiring the use of pole and paddle,
respectively, in a greater or less degree. The animals figured are in
all cases repeated consistently by each one of the several delineators,
and in all cases there is some device to show a difference between the
four canoes, either in their structure or in their mode of propulsion,
but these devices are not always consistent. It is therefore probable
that the several animals designated constitute the true and ancient
totemic emblems, and that the accompaniment of the canoes is a modern

_b_ The Maresquite or Amalecite emblem. Two Indians in a canoe, both
with poles, following a muskrat.

_c_ The Micmac emblem. Two Indians, both with paddles, in a canoe built
with high middle parts familiarly called “humpback,” following a deer.

_d_ The Penobscot emblem. Two Indians in a canoe, one with a paddle and
the other with a pole, following an otter.

In Margry (_a_) is an account, written about 1722, of the “Principal
divisions of the Sioux and their distinctive marks,” thus translated:

    There are from twenty to twenty-six villages of Scioux and they
    comprise the nations of the prairies:

    (1) The Ouatabatonha, or Scioux des Rivières, living on the
    St. Croix river or Lake de la Folle-Avoine which is below, and 15
    leagues from the Serpent river. Their distinctive sign is a bear
    wounded in the neck.

    (2) The Menesouhatoba, or Scioux des Lacs, having for their mark
    a bear wounded in the neck.

    (3) The Matatoba, or Scioux des Prairies, having for their mark
    a fox with an arrow in its mouth.

    (4) The Hictoba, or Scioux de la Chasse, having for their symbol
    the elk.

    (5) The Titoba, or Scioux des Prairies, whose emblem is the
    deer. It bears a bow on its horns.

    We have as yet had no commerce save with five nations. The
    Titoba live 80 leagues west of Sault Saint-Antoine.

The above early, though meager, notice will serve as an introduction
to the following series of pictorial tribal signs, all drawn by
Sioux Indians, and many of them representing tribal divisions of the
Siouan linguistic stock. The history and authority of the several
“Winter Counts” mentioned are referred to supra, chapter X, section
2. Red-Cloud’s census and the Oglala roster are also described below.
Explanations of some figures are added which have no reference to the
present topic, but which seemed necessary and could not be separated and
transferred to more appropriate division without undue multiplication of
figures and text.


[Illustration: FIG. 484.--Absaroka.]

Fig. 484.--Dakota and Crow, Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1819-’20. In an
engagement between the Dakotas and the Crows both sides expended all of
their arrows, and then threw dirt at each other. A Crow is represented
on the right, and is distinguished by the manner in which the hair is
worn. Hidatsa and Absaroka are represented with striped or spotted hair,
which denotes the red clay they apply to it.

The custom which prevails among these tribes, and is said to have
originated with the Crows, is to wear a wig of horse hair attached to
the occiput, thus resembling the natural growth, but much increased in
length. These wigs are made in strands having the thickness of a finger,
varying from eight to fifteen in number, and held apart and in place by
means of thin cross strands, thus resembling coarse network. At every
intersection of strands of hair and crossties, lumps of pine gum are
attached to prevent disarrangement and as in itself ornamental, and to
these lumps dry vermilion clay is applied by the richer classes and red
ocher or powdered clay by the poorer people.

Pictures drawn by some of the northern tribes of the Dakota show the
characteristic and distinctive features for a Crow Indian to be the
distribution of the red war paint which covers the forehead.

[Illustration: FIG. 485.--Absaroka.]

Fig. 485.--Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1830-’31. The Crows were
approaching a village at a time when there was a great deal of snow on
the ground and intended to surprise it, but, some herders discovering
them, the Dakotas went out, laid in wait for the Crows, surprised them,
and killed many. A Crow’s head is represented in the figure.

The Crow is designated not only by the arrangement of back hair, before
mentioned, but by a topknot of hair extending upward from the forehead,
brushed upward and slightly backward. See also the seated figure in the
record of Running Antelope, in Fig. 820, infra.

[Illustration: FIG. 486.--Absaroka.]

Fig. 486.--The Dakotas surrounded and killed ten Crows. Cloud-Shield’s
Winter Count, 1857-’58.

The hair is somewhat shortened and not intentionally foreshortened,
which was beyond the artist’s skill.

[Illustration: FIG. 487.--Absaroka.]

Fig. 487.--The Dakotas killed a Crow and his squaw who were found on a
trail. Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1839-’40.

This is a front view. The union line signifies husband and wife.


[Illustration: FIG. 488.--Arapaho.]

Fig. 488.--Arapaho, in the Dakota language, magpi-yato, blue cloud, is
here shown by a circular cloud, drawn in blue in the original, inclosing
the head of a man. Red-Cloud’s census.


[Illustration: FIG. 489.--Arikara.]

Fig. 489 is the tribal sign of the Arikara, made by the Dakota, taken from
the Winter Count of Battiste Good for the year 1823-’24, which he calls
winter,” also “Much corn winter.”

The gun and the arrow in contact with the ear of corn show that both
whites and Indians fought the Rees. The ear of corn signifies “Ree”
or Arikara Indians, who are designated in gesture language as “corn

[Illustration: FIG. 490.--Arikara.]

Fig. 490.--A Dakota kills one Ree. The-Flame’s Winter Count, 1874-’75.
Here the ear of corn, the conventional sign for Arikara, has become


[Illustration: FIG. 491.--Assiniboin.]

Fig. 491 is the tribal designation for Assiniboin or Hohe made by the
Dakota, as taken from the Winter Count of Battiste Good for the year

The Hohe means the voice, or, as some say, the voice of the musk ox, and
the device is the outline of the vocal organs, according to the Dakota
concept, and represents the upper lip and roof of the mouth, the tongue,
the lower lip, and chin and neck. The view is lateral, and resembles the
sectional aspect of the mouth and tongue.


[Illustration: FIG. 492.--Brulé.]

Fig. 492.--A Brulé, who had left the village the night before, was found
dead in the morning outside the village, and the dogs were eating his
body. Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1822-’23.

The black spot on the upper part of the thigh shows he was a Brulé.

[Illustration: FIG. 493.--Brulé.]

Fig. 493.--A Brulé was found dead under a tree, which had fallen on him.
Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1808-’10.

Again the burnt thigh is suggested by the black spot.

The significance of these two figures is explained by the gesture sign
for Brulé as follows: Rub the upper and outer part of the right thigh
in a small circle with the open right hand, fingers pointing downward.
These Indians were once caught in a prairie fire, many burned to death,
and others badly burned about the thighs; hence the name Si-ca^n-gu,
burnt thigh, and the sign. According to the Brulé chronology, this fire
occurred in 1763, which they call “The-people-were-burned winter.”


[Illustration: FIG. 494.--Cheyenne.]

Fig. 494.--The Cheyenne who boasted that he was bullet and arrow proof
was killed by white soldiers, near Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in the
intrenchments behind which the Cheyennes were defending themselves after
they had escaped from the fort. Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1878-’79.

[Illustration: FIG. 495.--Cheyenne.]

The marks on the arm constitute the tribal pictographic emblem. It is
explained by the gesture sign as follows: Pass the ulnar side of the
extended index finger repeatedly across extended finger and back of the
left hand. Fig. 495 illustrates this gesture sign. Frequently, however,
the index is drawn across the wrist or forearm, or the extended index,
palm upward, is drawn across the forefinger of the left hand (palm
inward), several times, left hand stationary, right hand is drawn toward
the body until the index is drawn clear off; then repeat. Some Cheyennes
believe this to have reference to the former custom of cutting the arms
as offerings to spirits, while others think it refers to a more ancient
custom of cutting off the enemy’s fingers for necklaces, and sometimes
to cutting off the whole hand or forearm as a trophy to be displayed as
scalps more generally are.

[Illustration: FIG. 496.--Cheyenne.]

Fig. 496 is from the Winter Count of Battiste Good for the year
1785-’86. In that record this is the only instance where the short
vertical lines below the arrow signify Cheyenne. In all others those
marks are numerical and denote the number of persons killed. That these
short lines here signify Cheyenne is explained by the foregoing remarks.

[Illustration: FIG. 497.--Cheyenne.]

Fig. 497.--Picket-Pin went against the Cheyennes. A picket-pin is
represented in front of him and is connected with his mouth by the usual
line. Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1790-’91.

The black band across his face denotes that he was brave and had killed
enemies. The cross is the symbol for Cheyenne. This mark stands for the
scars on their arms or stripes on their sleeves, and also to the gesture
sign for this tribe. The cross is, therefore, the conventionalized form
both for the emblem and the gesture.


[Illustration: FIG. 498.--Dakota.]

Fig. 498.--Standing-Bull, the great grandfather of the present
Standing-Bull, discovered the Black Hills. American-Horse’s Winter
Count, 1775-’76. He carried home with him a pine tree of a species
he had never seen before. In this count the Dakotas are usually
distinguished by the braided scalp lock and the feather they wear at the
crown of the head, or by the manner in which they brush back and tie the
hair with ornamented strips. Many illustrations are given in the present
paper in which this arrangement of the hair is shown more distinctly.

With regard to the designation of this tribe by paint it seems
that pictures made by the northern Dakotas represent themselves as
distinguished from other Indians by being painted red from below the
eyes to the end of the chin. But this is probably rather a special war
painting than a tribal design.


[Illustration: FIG. 499.--Hidatsa.]

Fig. 499 shows the tribal designation of the Gros Ventres by the
Dakotas, on the authority of Battiste Good, 1789-’90.

Two Gros Ventres were killed on the ice by the Dakotas. The two are
designated by two spots of blood on the ice, and killed is expressed by
a blood-tipped arrow against the figure of the man above. The long hair,
with a red forehead, denotes the Gros Ventre. In other Dakota records
the same style of painting the forehead red designates the Arikara and
Absaroka Indians. The horizontal band, which is blue in the original,
signifies ice.


[Illustration: FIG. 500.--Kaiowa.]

Fig. 500 shows the tribal designation of the Kaiowa by the Dakota, taken
from the Winter Count of Battiste Good, 1814-’15. He calls the winter
“Smashed-a-Kaiowa’s-head-in winter.” The tomahawk with which it was done
is in contact with the Kaiowa’s head.

The sign for Kaiowa is sometimes made by passing one or both hands,
naturally extended, in short horizontal circles on either side of
the head, together with a shaking motion, the conception being
“rattle-brained” or “crazy heads.” The picture is drawn to represent
the man in the attitude of making this gesture, and not the involuntary
raising of the hands upon receiving the blow, such attitudes not
appearing in Battiste Good’s system.

[Illustration: FIG. 501.--Kaiowa.]

This gesture is illustrated in Fig. 501.


[Illustration: FIG. 502.--Mandan.]

Fig. 502.--Two Mandans killed by Minneconjous. The peculiar arrangement
of the hair distinguishes the tribe. The-Flame’s Winter Count, 1789-’90.


[Illustration: FIG. 503.--Mandan and Arikara.]

Fig. 503.--The Mandans and Rees made a charge on a Dakota village. An
eagle’s tail, which is worn on the head, stands for Mandan and Ree.
American-Horse’s Winter Count, 1783-’84.

The mark on the tipi, which represents a village, is not, as it at first
sight appears, a hatchet, but a conventional sign for “it hit.” See Fig.
987 and accompanying remarks.


Carver (_a_), writing in 1776-’78, tells that an Ojibwa drew the
designation of his own tribe as a deer. The honest captain of provincial
troops may have mistaken a clan mark to be a tribal mark, but the
account is mentioned for what it is worth, and the context serves to
support the statement.


[Illustration: FIG. 504.--Omaha.]

Fig. 504 is the tribal designation of the Omahas by the Dakotas, taken
from the Winter Count of Battiste Good, for the year 1744-’45. The
pictograph is a human head with cropped hair and red cheeks. It is a
front view. This tribe cuts the hair short and uses red paint upon the
cheeks very extensively. This character is of frequent occurrence in
Battiste Good’s count.

[Illustration: FIG. 505.--Omaha.]

Fig. 505.--The Dakotas killed an Omaha in the night. Cloud-Shield’s
Winter Count, 1806-’07.

This is a side view of the same. The illustration does not show the
color of the cheeks.

[Illustration: FIG. 506.--Omaha.]

Fig. 506.--The Dakotas and Omahas made peace. Cloud-Shield’s Winter
Count, 1791-’92.

The Omaha is on the right and the Dakota on the left.


[Illustration: FIG. 507.--Pawnee.]

Fig. 507 is the tribal designation of the Pawnee by the Dakotas, taken
from Battiste Good’s Winter Count for the year 1704-’05.

He says: The lower part of the legs are ornamented with slight
projections resembling the husks on the bottom of an ear of corn.

[Illustration: FIG. 508.--Pawnee.]

Fig. 508.--Brulés kill a number of Pawnees. The-Flame’s Winter Count,

This is the abbreviated or conventionalized form of the one preceding.

[Illustration: FIG. 509.--Pawnee.]

Fig. 509.--They killed many Pawnees on the Republican river.
Cloud-Shield’s Winter Count, 1873-’74.

Here the arrangement of the hair makes the distinction.

In this connection it is useful to quote Dunbar (_a_):

    The tribal mark of the Pawnees in their pictographic or historic
    painting was the scalp lock dressed to stand nearly erect or curving
    slightly backwards, somewhat like a horn. This, in order that it
    should retain its position, was filled with vermillion or other
    pigment, and sometimes lengthened by means of a tuft of horse hair
    skillfully appended so as to form a trail back over the shoulders.
    This usage was undoubtedly the origin of the name Pawnee. * * * It
    is most probably derived from _pá-rĭk-ĭ_, a horn, and seems to have
    been once used by the Pawnees themselves to designate their peculiar
    scalp lock. From the fact that this was the most noticeable feature
    in their costume, the name came naturally to be the denominative
    term of the tribe.


[Illustration: FIG. 510.--Ponka.]

Fig. 510.--The Ponkas came and attacked a village, notwithstanding peace
had just been made with them. American-Horse’s Winter Count, 1778-’79.

Some elk hair which is used to form a ridge about 8 inches long and 2 in
breadth, worn from the forehead to the back of the neck, and a feather,
represent Ponka. Horse tracks are used for horses. Attack is indicated
by marks which represent bullet marks, and which convey the idea that
the bullet struck. The marks are derived from the gesture-sign “it
struck.” See Chapter XVIII, section 4.

[Illustration: FIG. 511.--Ponka.]

Fig. 511.--An Indian woman, who had been unfaithful to a white
man to whom she was married, was killed by an Indian named Ponka.
American-Horse’s Winter Count, 1804-’05.

The emblem for Ponka is the straight elk hair ridge.

[Illustration: FIG. 512.--Ponka.]

Fig. 512.--A Ponka, who was captured when a boy by the Oglalas,
was killed while outside the village by a war party of Ponkas.
American-Horse’s Winter Count, 1793-’94.

The artificial headdress, consisting of a ridge of elk hair, is again


Dr. George Gibbs (_b_) describes a pictograph made by one of the Indian
tribes of Oregon and Washington, upon which “the figure of a man with a
long queue or scalp lock reached to his heels denoted a Shoshoni, that
tribe being in the habit of braiding horse or other hair into their own
in that manner.”

This may be correct regarding the Shoshoni Indians among the extreme
northwestern tribes, but the mark of identification could not be based
upon the custom of braiding with their own hair that of animals, to
increase the length and appearance of the queue, as this custom also
prevails among the Absaroka, Hidatsa, and Arikaa Indians, respectively,
as before mentioned in this work.

Tanner’s Narrative (_e_) gives additional information on this topic
regarding the absence of any tribal sign in connection with a human

    The men of the same tribe are extensively acquainted with the
    totems which belong to each, and if on any record of this kind
    the figure of a man appears without any designatory mark, it is
    immediately understood that he is a Sioux or at least a stranger.
    Indeed, in most instances the figures of men are not used at all,
    merely the totem or surname, being given. * * * It may be observed
    that the Algonkins believe all other Indians to have totems,
    though from the necessity they are in general under of remaining
    ignorant of those hostile bands, the omission of the totem in their
    picture writing serves to designate an enemy. Thus, those bands
    of Ojibbeways who border on the country of the Dahcotah or Sioux,
    always understand the figure of a man without totem to mean one of
    that people.

[Illustration: FIG. 513.--Tamga of Kirghise tribes.]

In Sketches of Northwestern Mongolia, (_a_) are the tamga or seals of
Kirghise tribes, of which Fig. 513 is a copy.

The explanation given is as follows: _a._ Kipchaktamga: letter alip.
_b._ Arguin tamga: eyes. _c._ Naiman tamga: posts (of door). _d._
Kong-rat, Kirei, tamga: vine. _e._ Nak tamga: prop. _f._ Tarakti tamga:
comb. _g._ Tyulimgut tamga: pike.



The clan and totemic system formerly called the gentile system
undoubtedly prevailed anciently in Europe and Asia, but first became
understood by observations of its existence in actual force among the
aborigines of America and Australia, and typical representations of it
are still found among them. In Australia it is called kobong. An animal
or a plant, or sometimes a heavenly body was mythologically at first and
at last sociologically connected with all persons of a certain stock,
who believe, or once believed, that it was their tutelar god and they
bear its name.

Each clan or gens took as a badge or objective totem the representation
of the tutelar daimon from which it was named. As most Indian tribes
were zootheistic, the object of their devotion was generally an
animal--e. g., an eagle, a panther, a buffalo, a bear, a deer, a raccoon,
a tortoise, a snake, or a fish, but sometimes was one of the winds, a
celestial body, or other impressive object or phenomenon.

American Indians once generally observed a prohibition against killing
the animal connected with their totem or eating any part of it. For
instance, most of the southern Indians abstained from killing the wolf;
the Navajo do not kill bears; the Osage never killed the beaver until
the skins became valuable for sale. Afterward some of the animals
previously held sacred were killed; but apologies were made to them at
the time, and in almost all cases the prohibition or taboo survived with
regard to certain parts of those animals which were not to be eaten on
the principle of synecdoche, the temptation to use the food being too
strong to permit entire abstinence. The Cherokee forbade the use of the
tongues of the deer and bear for food. They cut these members out and
cast them into the fire sacramentally. A practice still exists among the
Ojibwa as follows: There is a formal restriction against members of the
bear clan eating the animal, yet by a subdivision within the same clan
an arrangement is made so that sub-clans may among them eat the whole
animal. When a bear is killed, the head and paws are eaten by those who
form one branch of the bear totem, and the remainder is reserved for the
others. Other Indian tribes have invented a differentiation in which
some clansmen may eat the ham and not the shoulder of certain animals,
and others the shoulder and not the ham.

It follows, therefore, that sometimes the whole animal is designated as
a clan totem, and also that sometimes only parts of it is selected.
Many of the devices given in this paper under the heading of personal
names have this origin. The following figures show a selection of
parts of animals that may further illustrate the subject. It must,
however, be borne in mind that some of the cases may be connected with
individual visions or with personal adventures and not directly with the
clan system. In the absence of detailed information in each instance
discrimination is impossible.

Schoolcraft says that the Ojibwa always placed the totemic or clan
pictorial mark upon the _adjedatig_ or grave-post, thereby sinking the
personal name which is not generally indicative of the totem. The same
practice is found in other tribes. The Pueblos depict the gentile or
totemic pictorial sign upon their various styles of ceramic work.

[Illustration: FIG. 514.--Dakota gentile designations.]

Fig. 514, gives examples taken from Dakota drawings, which appear to
be pictured totemic marks of gentes or clans. If not in every instance
veritable examples, they illustrate the mode of their representation as
distinct from the mere personal designations mentioned below, and yet
without positive information in each case, it is not possible to decide
on their correct assignment to this section of the present chapter.

_a._ Bear-Back. Red-Cloud’s Census.

This and the six following figures exhibit respectively the portions
of the bear, viz, the back or chine, the ears, the head, the paw, the
brains, and the nostrils or muzzle, which are probably the subject of
taboo and are the sign of a clan or subclan.

_b._ Bear’s-Ears, a Brulé, was killed in an Oglala village by the Crows.
American-Horse’s Winter Count, 1785-’86.

_c._ Bear’s-Ears was killed in a fight with the Rees. Cloud-Shield’s
Winter Count, 1793-’94.

This is another and more graphic delineation of the animal’s ears.

_d._ Bear-Head. Red-Cloud’s Census.

_e._ Bear-Paw. Red-Cloud’s Census. The paws of the bear are considered
to be a delicacy.

_f._ Bear-Brains. Red-Cloud’s Census.

_g._ Bear-Nostrils. Red-Cloud’s Census.

_h._ Hump. Red-Cloud’s Census. The hump of the buffalo has been often
praised as a delicious dish.

_i._ Elk-Head. Red-Cloud’s Census.

Fig. 515 represents carved uprights in a house of the Kwakiutl Indians,
British Columbia, taken from a work of Dr. Franz Boas (_b_).

[Illustration: FIG. 515.--Kwakiutl carvings.]

The author says that these uprights are always carved according to the
crest of the gens of the house owner, and represent men standing on
the heads of animals. This use of the term “crest” is not heraldically
correct, as literally it would require the men to be standing on the
coverings of their own heads, but the idea is plain, the word being
used for a device similar in nature and significance to the crest in
heraldry, and it was adopted by the ancestors of the Kwakiutl gentes in
relation to certain exploits that they had made. Both human figures show
painting and probably also tattooing on their faces.

The character on the left hand also shows a design on the breast. That
on the right hand presents a curious artifice of carving by which the
legs and an arm are exhibited while preserving the solidity of the



Tattooing proper is a permanent marking of the skin accomplished by
the introduction of coloring matter under the cutaneous epidermis. In
popular expression and often in literature it includes penetration of
the skin by cuts, gashes, or sometimes burns, without the insertion of
coloring matter, the cicatrix being generally whiter than the sound
skin of the people, most frequently of the dark races, among whom
the practice is found. This form of figuration is distinguished as
scarification and some examples of it are given below. The two varieties
of tattoo may, however, for the purpose of this paper, be considered
together and also in relation to painting the human body, which in its
early use differs from them only in duration.

Mr. Herbert Spencer (_a_) considers all forms of tattoo to be originally
tribal marks, and draws from that assumption additional evidence for his
favorite theory of the deification of a dead tribal chief. Miss A. W.
Buckland (_a_), in her essay on tattooing, follows in the same track,
although recognizing modern deviations from the rule. A valuable article
in the literature of the subject entitled “Tattooing among civilized
people,” by Dr. Robert Fletcher should be consulted. Also A tatuagem em
Portugal, by Rocha Peixoto.

Dr. C. N. Starcke (_a_) lays down the law still more distinctly, thus:

    The tattoo-marks make it possible to discover the remote
    connection between clans, and this token has such a powerful
    influence on the mind that there is no feud between tribes which
    are tattooed in the same way. * * * Tattooing may also lead to the
    formation of a group within the tribe.

Prof. Frederick Starr (_a_) makes these remarks:

    As a sign of war prowess the gash of the Kaffir warrior may be
    described. After an act of bravery the priest cuts a deep gash in
    the hero’s thigh. This heals blue and is a prized honor. To realize
    the value of a tribal mark think for a moment of the savage man’s
    relation to the world outside. He is a very Ishmaelite. So long as
    he remains on his own tribal territory he is safe; when on the land
    of another tribe his life is the legitimate prey of the first man he
    meets. To men in such social relations the tribal mark is the only
    safety at home; without it he would be slain unrecognized by his own
    tribesmen. There must have been a time when the old Hebrews knew all
    about this matter of tribe marks. By this custom only can we fully
    understand the story of Cain (Gen. IV, 14, 15), who fears to be sent
    from his own territory lest he be slain by the first stranger he
    meets, but is protected by the tribal mark of those among whom he is
    to wander being put upon him. But in scarring, as in so many other
    cases, the original idea is often lost and the mark becomes merely
    ornamental. This is particularly true among women. Among men it more
    frequently retains its tribal significance.

After careful study of the topic, less positive and conclusive
authority is found for this explanation of tattooing than was expected,
considering its general admission.

The great antiquity of tattooing is shown by reference to it in the Old
Testament, and in Herodotus, Xenophon, Tacitus, Ammianus, and Herodian.
The publications on the topic are so numerous that the notes now to be
presented are by no means exhaustive. They mainly refer to the Indian
tribes of North America with only such comparatively recent reports from
other lands as seem to afford elucidation.


G. Holm (_b_) says of the Greenland Innuit that geometric figures
consisting of streaks and points, are used in tattooing on the breasts,
arms, and legs of the females.

H. H. Bancroft (_b_) says:

    The Eskimo females tattoo lines on their chins; the plebeian
    female of certain bands has one vertical line in the center and one
    parallel to it on either side. The higher classes mark two vertical
    lines from each corner of the mouth. * * * Young Kadiak wives tattoo
    the breast and adorn the face with black lines. The Kuskoquim women
    sew into their chin two parallel blue lines.

William H. Gilder (_a_) reports:

    The Esquimau wife has her face tattooed with lampblack and is
    regarded as a matron in society. * * * The forehead is decorated
    with the letter V in double lines, the angle very acute, passing
    down between the eyes almost to the bridge of the nose, and sloping
    gracefully to the right and left before reaching the roots of the
    hair. Each cheek is adorned with an egg-shaped pattern, commencing
    near the wing of the nose and sloping upward toward the corner of
    the eye; these lines are also double. The most ornamented part,
    however, is the chin, which receives a gridiron pattern; the lines
    double from the edge of the lower lip, and reaching to the throat
    toward the corners of the mouth, sloping outward to the angle of the
    lower jaw. This is all that is required by custom, but some of the
    belles do not stop here. * * * None of the men are tattooed.

An early notice of tattooing in the territory now occupied by the United
States, mentioned in Hakluyt (_d_), is in the visit of the Florida
chief, Satouriona, in 1564, to Réné Laudonnière. His tattooed figure was
drawn by Le Moyne, Tabulæ VIII, IX.

Capt. John Smith (_a_) is made to say of the Virginia Indians:

    They adorne themselues most with copper beads and paintings.
    Their women, some haue their legs, hands, breasts and face cunningly
    imbrodered with divers workes, as beasts, serpents, artificially
    wrought into their flesh with blacke spots.

[Illustration: FIG. 516.--Virginian tattoo designs.]

Thomas Hariot (_a_), in Pl. XXIII, here reproduced as Fig. 516,
Discoveries of 1585, discussing “The Marckes of sundrye of the Chief
mene of Virginia,” says:

    The inhabitats of all the cuntrie for the most parte haue marks
    rased on their backs, wherby yt may be knowen what Princes subiects
    they bee, or of what place they haue their originall. For which
    cause we haue set downe those marks in this figure, and haue annexed
    the names of the places, that they might more easelye be discerned.
    Which industrie hath god indued them withal although they be verye
    simple, and rude. And to confesse a truthe I cannot remember, that
    euer I saw a better or quietter people than they.

    The marks which I observed amonge them, are heere put downe in
    order folowinge.

    The marke which is expressed by A. belongeth tho Wingino, the
    cheefe lorde of Roanoac.

    That which hath B. is the marke of Wingino his sisters husbande.

    Those which be noted with the letters of C. and D. belonge vnto
    diverse chefe lordes in Secotan.

    Those which haue the letters E. F. G. are certaine cheefe men of
    Pomeiooc, and Aquascogoc.

Frère Gabriel Sagard (_b_) says (about 1636) of the Hurons that they
tattooed by scratching with a bone of bird or fish, a black powder being
applied to the bleeding wounds. The operation was not completed at
once, but required several renewals. The object was to show bravery by
supporting great pain as well as to terrify enemies.

In the Jesuit Relation for 1641, p. 75, it is said of the Neuter Nation
that on their bodies from head to foot they marked a thousand diverse
figures with charcoal pricked into the flesh on which beforehand they
have traced lines for them.

Lemoyne D’Iberville, in 1649, Margry (_b_), remarked among the
Bayogoulas that some of the young women had their faces and breasts
pricked and marked with black.

In the Jesuit Relation for 1663, p. 28, there is an account that the
head chief of the Iroquois, called by the French Nero, had killed sixty
enemies with his own hand, the marks of which he bears printed on his
thigh, which, therefore, appears covered over with black characters.

Joutel, in Margry (_c_), speaks of tattooing among the Texas Indians in
1687. Some women make a streak from the top of the forehead to chin,
some make a triangle at the corners of their eyes, others on the breast
and shoulders, others prick the lips. The marks are indelible.

Bacqueville de la Potherie (_b_) says of the Iroquois:

    They paint several colors on the face, as black, white, yellow,
    blue, and vermillion. Men paint snakes from the forehead to the
    nose, but they prick the greater part of the body with a needle to
    draw blood. Bruised gunpowder makes the first coat to receive the
    other colors, of which they make such figures as they desire and
    they are never effaced.

M. Bossu (_a_) says of tatooing among the Osages in 1756:

    It is a kind of knighthood to which they are only entitled by
    great actions; they suffer with pleasure in order to pass for men of

    If one of them should get himself marked without having
    previously distinguished himself in battle he would be degraded, and
    looked upon as a coward, unworthy of an honor. * * *

    I saw an Indian, who, though he had never signalized himself
    in defense of the nation, got a mark made on his body in order to
    deceive those who only judged from appearance. The council agreed
    that, to obviate such an abuse, which would confound brave men with
    cowards, he who had wrongfully adorned himself with the figure of a
    club on his skin, without ever having struck a blow at war, should
    have the mark torn off; that is, the place should be flayed, and
    that the same should be done to all who would offend in the same

    The Indian women are allowed to make marks all over their body,
    without any bad consequences; they endure it firmly, like the men,
    in order to please them, and to appear handsomer to them.

James Adair (_a_) says of the Chikasas in 1720:

    They readily know achievements in war by the blue marks over
    their breasts and arms, they being as legible as our alphabetical
    characters are to us. Their ink is made of the root of pitch
    pine, which sticks to the inside of a greased earthen pot; then
    delineating the parts, they break through the skin with gairfish
    teeth, and rub over them that dark composition, to register them
    among the brave, and the impression is lasting. I have been told
    by the Chikasah that they formerly erased any false marks their
    warriors proudly and privately gave themselves, in order to engage
    them to give real proofs of their martial virtue, being surrounded
    by the French and their red allies; and that they degraded them in
    a public manner, by stretching the marked parts, and rubbing them
    with the juice of green corn, which in a great degree took out the

Sir Alex. Mackenzie (_b_) tells that the Slave and Dog Rib Indians of
the Athabaskan stock practiced tatooing. The men had two double lines,
either black or blue, tattooed upon each cheek from the ear to the nose.

In James’s Long (_c_) it is reported that--

    The Omahas are often neatly tattooed in straight lines, and in
    angles on the breast, neck, and arms. The daughters of chiefs and
    those of wealthy Indians generally are denoted by a small round spot
    tattooed on the forehead. The process of tattooing is performed by
    persons who make it a business of profit.

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey (_a_) says:

    In order that the ghost may travel the ghost-road in safety it
    is necessary for each Dakota, during his life, to be tattooed either
    in the middle of the forehead or on the wrists. In that event his
    spirit will go directly to the “Many Lodges.”

The female Midē' of the Ojibwa frequently tattoo the temples, forehead,
or cheeks of sufferers from headache or toothache, which varieties of
pain are believed to be caused by some malevolent manido or spirit.
By this operation such demons are expelled, the ceremony being also
accompanied by songs and gesticulations of exorcism. Relief is sometimes
actually obtained through the counterirritant action of the tattooing,
which is effected by using a small bunch of needles, though formerly
several spicules of bone were tied together or used singly.

One old Ojibwa woman who was observed in 1887 had a round spot over each
temple, made there to cure headache. The spots were of a bluish-black
color, and about five-eighths of an inch in diameter. Another had a
similar spot upon the nasal eminence, and a line of small dots running
from the nostrils, horizontally outward over either cheek, two-thirds of
the distance to the ears.

The men of the Wichita wore tattoo lines from the lips downward, and it
is a significant fact that their tribal sign means “tattooed people,”
the same expression being used to designate them in the language of
several neighboring tribes. This would imply that tattooing was not
common in that region. The Kaiowa women, however, frequently had small
circles tattooed on their foreheads, and the Sixtown Choctaws still are
distinguished by perpendicular lines tatooed on the chin.

Mr. John Murdoch (_b_) reports of the Eskimo:

    The custom of tattooing is almost universal among the women, but
    the marks are confined almost exclusively to the chin, and form a
    very simple pattern. This consists of one, three, five, or perhaps
    as many as seven vertical lines from the under lip to the tip of the
    chin, slightly radiating when there are more than one. When there
    is a single line, which is rather rare, it is generally broad, and
    the middle line is sometimes broader than the others. The women,
    as a rule, are not tattooed until they reach a marriageable age,
    though there were a few little girls in the two villages who had a
    single line on the chin. I remember seeing but one married woman in
    either village who was not tattooed, and she had come from a distant
    settlement, from Point Hope, as well as we could understand.

    Tattooing on a man is a mark of distinction. Those men who
    are, or have been, captains of whaling umiaks that have taken
    whales have marks to indicate this tattooed somewhere on their
    persons, sometimes forming a definite tally. For instance, An̄oru
    had a broad band across each cheek from the corners of the mouth,
    made up of many indistinct lines, which was said to indicate
    “many whales.” Amaiyuna had the “flukes” of seven whales in a line
    across his chest, and Mû'n̄ialu had a couple of small marks on
    one forearm. Niăksára, the wife of An̄oru, also had a little mark
    tattooed in each corner of her mouth, which she said were “whale
    marks,” indicating that she was the wife of a successful whaleman.
    Such marks, according to Petitot (Monographie, etc., p. 15), are a
    part of the usual pattern in the Mackenzie district--“deux traits
    aux commissures de la bouche.” One or two men at Nuwŭk had each a
    narrow line across the face over the bridge of the nose, which were
    probably also “whale marks,” though we never could get a definite
    answer concerning them.

    The tattooing is done with a needle and thread, smeared with
    soot or gunpowder, giving a peculiar pitted appearance to the
    lines. It is rather a painful operation, producing considerable
    inflammation and swelling, which lasts several days. The practice
    of tattooing the women is almost universal among the Eskimo from
    Greenland to Kadiak, including the Eskimo of Siberia, the only
    exception being the natives of Smith sound, though the custom is
    falling into disuse among the Eskimo who have much intercourse with
    the whites.

    The simple pattern of straight, slightly diverging lines on the
    chin seems to prevail from the Mackenzie district to Kadiak, and
    similar chin lines appear always to form part of the more elaborate
    patterns, sometimes extending to the arms and other parts of the
    body, in fashion among the eastern Eskimo and those of Siberia, St.
    Lawrence island, and the Diomedes.


During the summer of 1884 Dr. Hoffman met, at Port Townsend, Washington,
a party of Haida Indians from Queen Charlottes island, who were encamped
there for a short time. Most of them were tattooed after the manner
of the Haidas, the breast, back, forearm, and legs bearing partial or
complete designs of animate forms relating to totems or myths. Some
of the persons had been tattooed only in part, the figures upon the
forearms, for instance, being incomplete, because the operation at a
previous “potlatch” or festival had to be suspended on account of the
great length of time required, or on account of an extra inflammatory
condition of the affected parts.

Among this party of Haidas was Makdē'gos, the tattooer of the tribe,
whose work is truly remarkable. The designs made by him are symmetrical,
while the lines are uniform in width and regular and graceful in every
respect. In persons tattooed upon the breast or back the part operated
upon is first divided into halves by an imaginary vertical line upon the
breast through the middle of the sternum and upon the back along the
middle of the vertebral column. Such designs are drawn double, facing
outward from this imaginary line. One side is first drawn and completed,
while the other is merely a reverse transfer, made immediately
afterwards or at such future time as the operation of tattooing may be

The colors are black and red, the former consisting of finely powdered
charcoal, gunpowder, or India ink, while the latter is Chinese
vermilion. The operation was formerly performed with sharp thorns,
spines of certain fishes, or spicules of bone; but recently a small
bunch of needles is used, which serves the purpose to better effect.

As is well known, the black pigments, when picked into the human skin,
become rather bluish, which tint, when beneath the yellowish tinge of
the Indian’s cuticle, appears of an olive or sometimes a greenish-blue
shade. The colors, immediately after being tattooed upon the skin,
retain more or less of the blue-black shade; but by absorption of the
pigment and the persistence of the coloring matter of the pigmentary
membrane the greenish tint soon appears, becoming gradually less
conspicuous as time progresses, so that in some of the oldest tattooed
Indians the designs are greatly weakened in coloration.

Upon the bodies of some persons examined the results of ulceration are
conspicuous. This destruction of tissue is the result of inflammation
caused by the tattooing and the introduction under the skin of so great
a quantity of irritating foreign matter that, instead of designs in
color, there are distinct, sharply defined figures in white or nearly
white cicatrices, the pigmentary membrane having been totally destroyed
by the ulceration.

[Illustration: FIG. 517.--Haida tattoo, sculpin and dragon fly.]

The figures represented upon the several Indians met with, as
above-mentioned, were not all of totemic signification, one arm, for
instance, bearing the figure of the totem of which the person is a
member, while the other arm presents the outline of a mythic being, as
shown in Fig. 517, copied from the arms of a woman. The left device is
taken from the left forearm, and represents kul, the skulpin, a totemic
animal, whereas the right hand device, taken from the right arm of the
same subject, represents mamathlóna, the dragon fly, a mythic insect.

[Illustration: FIG. 518.--Haida tattoo, thunder-bird.]

In Fig. 518 two forms of the thunderbird are presented, copied from the
right and left forearms and hands, respectively, of a Haida woman. The
right hand device is complete, but that on the left, copied from the
opposite forearm and hand, is incomplete, and it was expected that the
design would be entirely finished at the “potlatch” which was to be held
in the autumn of 1884. In the completed design the transverse curve in
the body of the tail was red, as also the three diagonal lines upon the
body of the bird running outward from the central vertical toward the
radial side of the hand. The brace-shaped lines within the head ornament
had also been tattooed in red.

[Illustration: FIG. 519.--Haida tattoo, thunder-bird and tshimō's.]

In some instances the totem and mythic character are shown upon the same
member, as is represented in Fig. 519. This tattooing was copied from
the left arm of a woman, the complete figure upon the forearm and hand
being that of a thunder bird, while the four heads upon the fingers
represent that of the tshimō's, a mythic animal. The thunder-bird
had been tattooed upon the arms a number of years before the heads
were added, probably because the protracted and painful operation of
tattooing so large a figure deterred the sufferer from further sitting.
Sometimes, however, such, postponement or noncompletion of an operation
is the result of inability on the part of the subject to defray the

[Illustration: FIG. 520.--Haida tattoo, bear.]

Another instance of the interrupted condition of tattooed designs is
presented in Fig. 520. The figure upon the forearm and hand is that of
the bear totem, and was made first. At a subsequent festival the bear
heads were tattooed upon the fingers, and, last of all, the body was
tattoed upon the middle finger, leaving three yet to be completed.

[Illustration: FIG. 521.--Haida tattoo, mountain goat.]

Fig. 521 shows tattoo designs upon the leg. These represent mēt, the
mountain goat.

[Illustration: FIG. 522.--Haida tattoo, double thunder-bird.]

It is seldom that double designs occur on the extremities, such being
reserved for the breast and back, but an instance was noted, represented
in Fig. 522, which is a representation of hélinga, the thunder-bird, and
was on the left arm of a man.

[Illustration: FIG. 523.--Haida tattoo, double raven.]

One of the most conspicuous examples of the art observed among the party
of traveling Haidas mentioned, was that of a double raven tattooed upon
the breast of Makdē'gos, copied here as Fig. 523.

[Illustration: FIG. 524.--Haida tattoo, dogfish.]

Upon the back of this Indian is also the figure of kahátta, the
dog-fish, Fig. 524. In addition to these marks he bears also upon his
extremities totemic and mythic animals.



Sometimes the simple outline designs employed in tattooing are painted
upon property belonging to various persons, such as boats, housefronts,
etc. In such instances colors are employed that could not be used in
tattooing. One fine example of such is presented in Pl. XXIV and another
of more elaborate design in Pl. XXV.



Mr. James G. Swan made a valuable contribution on tattoo marks of the
Haida Indians of Queen Charlotte islands, British Columbia, and the
Prince of Wales archipelago, Alaska, published in the Fourth Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, which, much condensed, is reproduced
as follows:

    Among all the tribes or bands belonging to the Haida family,
    the practice of tattooing the person in some manner is common; but
    the most marked are the Haidas proper, or those living on Queen
    Charlotte islands, and the Kaiganis, of Prince of Wales archipelago,

    I am of the opinion, judging from my own observation of over
    twenty years among the coast tribes, that but few females can
    be found among the Indians, not only on Vancouvers island, but
    all along the coast to the Columbia river, and perhaps even to
    California, that are _not_ marked with some device tattooed on their
    hands, arms, or ankles, either dots or straight lines; but of all
    of the tribes mentioned, the Haidas stand preeminent for tattooing,
    and seem to be excelled only by the natives of the Fiji islands or
    the King’s Mills group in the south seas. The tattoo marks of the
    Haidas are heraldic designs or the family totem, or crests of the
    wearers, and are similar to the carvings depicted on the pillars and
    monuments around the homes of the chiefs, which casual observers
    have thought were idols.

    These designs are invariably placed on the men between the
    shoulders just below the back of the neck, on the breast, on the
    front part of both thighs, and on the legs below the knee. On the
    women they are marked on the breast, on both shoulders, on both
    forearms, from the elbow down over the back of the hands to the
    knuckles, and on both legs below the knee to the ankle.

    Almost all of the Indian women of the northwest coast have
    tattoo marks on their hands and arms, and some on the face; but as
    a general thing these marks are mere dots or straight lines having
    no particular significance. With the Haidas, however, every mark has
    its meaning; those on the hands and arms of the women indicate the
    family name, whether they belong to the bear, beaver, wolf, or eagle
    totems, or any of the family of fishes. As one of them quaintly
    remarked to me, “If you were tattooed with the design of a swan, the
    Indians would know your family name.”

    In order to illustrate this tattooing as correctly as possible I
    inclose herewith sketches of the tattoo marks on two women and their
    husbands, taken by me at Port Townsend.

[Illustration: FIG. 525.--Tattooed Haidas.]

The man on the left hand of Fig. 525 is a tattooed Haida. On his breast
is the cod (kahátta), split from the head to the tail and laid open;
on each thigh is the octopus (noo), and below each knee is the frog

The woman in the same figure has on her breast the head and forepaws
of the beaver (tsching); on each shoulder is the head of the eagle
or thunder-bird (skamskwin); on each arm, extending to and covering
the back of the hand, is the halibut (hargo); on the right leg is the
skulpin (kull); on the left leg is the frog (flkamkostan).

[Illustration: FIG. 526.--Tattooed Haidas.]

The woman in Fig. 526 has a bear’s head (hoorts) on her breast. On each
shoulder is the eagle’s head, and on her arms and legs are figures of
the bear.

The back of the man in the same figure has the wolf (wasko), split in
halves and tattooed between his shoulders, which is shown enlarged in
Fig. 531. Wasko is a mythological being of the wolf species, similar to
the chu-chu-hmexl of the Makah Indians, an antediluvian demon supposed
to live in the mountains.

[Illustration: FIG. 527.--Two forms of skulpin, Haida.]

[Illustration: FIG. 528.--Frog, Haida.]

[Illustration: FIG. 529.--Cod, Haida.]

[Illustration: FIG. 530.--Squid, Haida.]

[Illustration: FIG. 531.--Wolf, Haida.]

The skulpin, on the right leg of the woman in Fig. 525, is shown
enlarged in Fig. 527; the frog on the left leg in Fig. 528. The codfish
on the man in Fig. 525 is shown enlarged in Fig. 529; the octopus or
squid in Fig. 530.

As the Haidas, both men and women, are very light-colored, some of
the latter--full blooded Indians, too--having their skins as fair as
Europeans, the tattoo marks show very distinct.

The same author continues:

    This tattooing is not all done at one time, nor is it everyone
    who can tattoo. Certain ones, almost always men, have a natural gift
    which enables them to excel in this kind of work. One of the young
    chiefs, named Geneskelos, was the best designer I knew, and ranked
    among his tribe as a tattooer.

    He told me the plan he adopted was first to draw the design
    carefully on the person with some dark pigment, then prick it in
    with needles, and then rub over the wound with some more coloring
    matter till it acquired the proper hue. He had a variety of
    instruments composed of needles tied neatly to sticks. His favorite
    one was a flat strip of ivory or bone, to which he had firmly tied
    five or six needles, with their points projecting beyond the end
    just far enough to raise the skin without inflicting a dangerous
    wound, but these needle points stuck out quite sufficiently to make
    the operation very painful, and although he applied some substance
    to deaden the sensation of the skin, yet the effect was on some to
    make them quite sick for a few days; consequently, the whole process
    of tattooing was not done at one time. As this tattooing is a mark
    of honor, it is generally done at or just prior to a Tomanawos
    performance and at the time of raising the heraldic columns in front
    of the chief’s houses. The tattooing is done in open lodge and is
    witnessed by the company assembled. Sometimes it takes several years
    before all the tattooing is done, but when completed and the person
    well ornamented, then they are happy and can take their seats among
    the elders.

Other notices about the tattooing of the Indians of the Pacific slope of
North America are subjoined.

Stephen Powers (_c_) says the Karok (California) squaws tattoo in blue
three narrow fern leaves perpendicularly on the chin, one falling from
each corner of the mouth and one in the middle.

The same author reports, page 76:

    Nearly every (Hupâ, California) man has ten lines tattooed
    across the inside of the left arm about halfway between the wrist
    and the elbow; and in measuring shell money he takes the string in
    his right hand, draws one end over his left thumb nail, and if the
    other end reaches to the uppermost of the tattoo lines the five
    shells are worth $25 in gold, or $5 a shell. Of course, it is only
    one in ten thousand that is long enough to reach this high value.

Also on page 96:

    The Pátawāt (California) squaws tattoo in blue three narrow
    pinnate leaves perpendicularly on their chins, and also lines of
    small dots on the backs of their hands.

On page 148, of the Kástel Pomo:

    The women of this and other tribes of the Coast range frequently
    tattoo a rude representation of a tree or other object covering
    nearly the whole abdomen and breast.

Of the Wintūns he says, page 233: “The squaws all tattoo three narrow
lines, one falling from each corner of the mouth and one between.”

The same author says, on page 109:

    The Mattoal, of California, differ from other tribes in that
    the men tattoo. Their distinctive mark is a round blue spot in the
    center of the forehead. The women tattoo pretty much all over their

    In respect to this matter of tattooing there is a theory
    entertained by some old pioneers which may be worth the mention.
    They hold that the reason why the women alone tattoo in all other
    tribes is that in case they are taken captives their own people may
    be able to recognize them when there comes an opportunity of ransom.
    There are two facts which give some color of probability to this
    reasoning. One is that the California Indians are rent into such
    infinitesimal divisions, any one of which may be arrayed in deadly
    feud against another at any moment, that the slight differences in
    their dialects would not suffice to distinguish the captive squaws.
    The second is that the squaws almost never attempt any ornamental
    tattooing, but adhere closely to the plain regulation mark of the

Blue marks tattooed upon a Mohave woman’s chin denote that she is
married. See Whipple (_f_).

Mr. Gatschet reports that very few Klamath men now tattoo their faces,
but such as are still observed have but a single line of black running
from the middle of the lower lip to the chin. Half-breed girls appear to
have but one perpendicular line tattooed down over the chin while the
full-blood women have four perpendicular lines on the chin.

In Bancroft’s Native Races (_c_), it is stated that the Modoc women
tattoo three blue lines, extending perpendicularly from the center and
corners of the lower lip to the chin.

The same author on pages 117 and 127 of the same volume says:

    The Chippewas have tattooed cheeks and foreheads. Both sexes
    have blue or black bars or from one to four straight lines to
    distinguish the tribe to which they belong. They tattoo by entering
    an awl or needle under the skin and drawing it out, immediately
    rubbing powdered charcoal into the wounds. * * * On the Yukon river
    among the Kutchins, the men draw a black stripe down the forehead
    and the nose, frequently crossing the forehead and cheeks with red
    lines and streaking the chin alternately with red and black, and the
    women tattoo the chin with a black pigment.

Stephen Powers, in Overland Monthly, XII, 537, 1874, says of the Normocs:

    I saw a squaw who had executed on her cheeks the only
    representation of a living object which I ever saw done in
    tattooing. It was a couple of bird’s wings, one on each cheek, done
    in blue, bottom-edge up, the butt of the wing at the corner of the
    mouth, and the tip near the ear. It was quite well wrought, both
    in correctness of form and in delicateness of execution, not only
    separate feathers but even the filaments of the vane, being finely
    pricked in.

Dr. Franz Boas (_c_) says:

    Tattooings are found on arms, breast, back, legs, and feet among
    the Haida; on arms and feet among the Tshimshian, Kwakiutl and
    Bilqula; on breast and arms among the Nootka; on the jaw among the
    Coast Salish women.

    Among the Nootka scars may frequently be seen running at regular
    intervals from the shoulder down the breast to the belly, and in the
    same way down the legs and arms. * * *

    Members of tribes practicing the Hamats'a ceremonies show
    remarkable scars produced by biting. At certain festivals it is the
    duty of the Hamats'a to bite a piece of flesh out of the arms, leg,
    or breast of a man.


Dr. im Thurn (_c_) says:

    Tattooing or any other permanent interference with the surface
    of the skin by way of ornament is practiced only to a very limited
    extent by the Indians; is used, in fact, only to produce the small
    distinctive tribal mark which many of them bear at the corners of
    their mouths or on their arms. It is true that an adult Indian is
    hardly to be found on whose thighs and arms, or on other parts of
    whose body are not a greater or less number of indelibly incised
    straight lines; but these are scars originally made for surgical,
    not ornamental purposes.

Herndon and Gibbon (_a_), p. 319, report:

    Following the example of the other nations of Brazil (who tattoo
    themselves with thorns, or pierce their nose, the lips, and the
    ears,) and obeying an ancient law which commands these different
    tortures, this baptism of blood, * * * the Mahués have preserved * *
    * the great festival of the Tocandeira.

Paul Marcoy (_b_) says of the Passés, Yuris, Barrés, and Chumanas,
of Brazil, that they mark their faces (in tattoo) with the totem, or
emblem of the nation to which they belong. It is possible at a few steps
distant to distinguish one nation from another.


Ancient monarchs adopted special marks to distinguish slaves; likewise
for vengeance as an indelible and humiliating brand, a certain tattoo
denounced him who had fallen into disgrace with a sovereign. Two monks
having censured the iconoclastic frenzy of the emperor Theophilus, he
ordered to be imprinted on their foreheads eleven iambic verses; Philip
of Macedon, from whom a soldier had solicited the possession of a man
saved by him from shipwreck, ordered that on his forehead should be
drawn signs indicative of his base greed; Caligula, without any object,
commanded the tattooing of the Roman nobles.

In the period of the decline of Rome, tattooing was extensively
practiced. Regulative laws prescribed the adopted symbols which were
a proof of enlistment in the ranks and on which the military oath was
taken. The purpose of this ordinance, which continued in force for a
long time, was similar to that which authorized the marking of the
slaves, since, the spirit of the people having become degenerated, the
army was composed of mercenaries who, if they should run away, must
be recognized, pursued, and captured. Until recently the practice,
though more as a mark of manhood, was followed by the soldiers of the
Piedmontese army.

Élisée Reclus (_a_) says:

    Tattooing was in Polynesia widespread, and so highly developed
    that the artistic designs covering the body served also to clothe
    it. In certain islands the operation lasted so long that it had to
    be begun before the children were six years old, and the pattern was
    largely left to the skill and cunning of the professional tattooers.
    Still traditional motives recurred in the ornamental devices of the
    several tribes, who could usually be recognized by their special
    tracings, curved or parallel lines, diamond forms and the like. The
    artists were grouped in schools like the old masters in Europe, and
    they worked not by incision as in most Melanesian islands, but by
    punctures with a small comb-like instrument slightly tapped with a
    mallet. The pigment used in the painful and even dangerous operation
    was usually the fine charcoal yielded by the nut of Aleurites
    triloba, an oleaginous plant used for illuminating purposes
    throughout eastern Polynesia.

The following is from Rev. Richard Taylor (_c_) about the New
Zealanders, Te Ika a Maui:

    Before they went to fight, the youth were accustomed to mark
    their countenances with charcoal in different lines, and their
    traditions state that this was the beginning of the tattoo, for
    their wars became so continuous, that to save the trouble of thus
    constantly painting the face, they made the lines permanent by the
    moko; it is, however, a question whether it did not arise from a
    different cause; formerly the grand mass of men who went to fight
    were the black slaves, and when they fought side by side with their
    lighter colored masters, the latter on those occasions used charcoal
    to make it appear they were all one.

    Whilst the males had every part of the face tattooed, and
    the thighs as well, the females had chiefly the chin and the
    lips, although occasionally they also had their thighs and
    breasts, with a few smaller marks on different parts of the body
    as well. There were regular rules for tattooing, and the artist
    always went systematically to work, beginning at one spot and
    gradually proceeding to another, each particular part having its
    distinguishing name.

[Illustration: FIG. 532.--Australian grave and carved trees.]

Fig. 532 is an illustration from the same work, facing page 378. It
shows the “grave of an Australian native, with his name, rank, tribe,
etc., cut in hieroglyphics on the trees,” which “hieroglyphics” are
supposed to be connected with his tattoo marks.

[Illustration: FIG. 533.--New Zealand tattooed head and chin mark.]

Fig. 533 is a copy of a tattooed head carved by Hongi, and also of the
tattooing on a woman’s chin, taken from the work last cited.

[Illustration: FIG. 534.--Tattoo design on bone, New Zealand.]

The accompanying illustration, Fig. 534, is taken from a bone obtained
from a mound in New Zealand, by Prof. I. C. Russell, formerly of the U.
S. Geological Survey. He says that the Maori formerly tattooed the bones
of enemies, though the custom now seems to have been abandoned. The work
consists of sharp, shallow lines, as if made with a sharp-pointed steel
instrument, into which some blackish pigment has been rubbed, filling up
some of the markings, while in others scarcely a trace remains.

In connection with the use of the tattoo marks as reproduced on
artificial objects see Fig. 734.

[Illustration: FIG. 535.--Tattooed woman, New Zealand.]

Fig. 535 is a copy of a photograph obtained in New Zealand by Prof.
Russell. It shows tattooing upon the chin.

Prof. Russell, in his sketch of New Zealand, published in the Am.
Naturalist, XIII, 72, Feb., 1879, remarks, that the desire of the
Maori for ornament is so great that they covered their features with
tattooing, transferring indelibly to their faces complicated patterns
of curved and spiral lines, similar to the designs with which they
decorated their canoes and their houses.

E. J. Wakefield (_a_) reports of a man observed in New Zealand that he
was a tangata tabu or sacred personage, and consequently was not adorned
with tatu. He adds, p. 155, that the deeds of the natives are signed
with elaborate drawings of the moko or tatu on the chiefs’ faces.

Dr. George Turner (_b_) says:

    Herodotus found among the Thracians that the man who was not
    tattooed was not respected. It was the same in Samoa. Until a young
    man was tattooed he was considered in his minority. He could not
    think of marriage, and he was constantly exposed to taunts and
    ridicule, as being poor and of low birth, and as having no right
    to speak in the society of men. But as soon as he was tattooed he
    passed into his majority, and considered himself entitled to the
    respect and privileges of mature years. When a youth, therefore,
    reached the age of 16, he and his friends were all anxiety that he
    should be tattooed. He was then on the outlook for the tattooing of
    some young chief with whom he might unite. On these occasions six or
    a dozen young men would be tattooed at one time, and for these there
    might be four or five tattooers employed. Tattooing is still kept up
    to some extent and is a regular profession, just as house-building,
    and well paid. The custom is traced to mythologic times and has its
    presiding deities.

In Révue d’Ethnographie (_a_) (translated) it is published that--

    Tattoo marks of Papuan men in New Guinea can be worn on the
    chest only when the man has killed an enemy. Fig. 26, p. 101, shows
    the marks upon the chest of Waara, who had killed five men.

    Tattoo marks upon parts other than the chest of the bodies
    of men and women do not seem to have significance. They are made
    according to the fancy of the designer. Frequently the professional
    tattooers have styles of their own, which, being popular and
    generally applied, become customary to a tribe.

The illustration above mentioned is reproduced as Fig. 536.

[Illustration: FIG. 536.--Tattoo on Papuan chief.]

In the same article, p. 112, is the following, referring to Fig. 537:

[Illustration: FIG. 537.--Tattooed Papuan woman.]

    Among the Papuans of New Guinea tattooing the chest of females
    denotes that they are married, though all other parts of the body,
    including the face and legs, may be tattooed long before; indeed the
    tattooing of girls may begin at 5 years of age. Fig. 39, p. 112,
    gives an illustration of a married woman. * * * The different forms
    of tattoo depend upon the style of the several artists. Family marks
    are not recognizable, but exist.

De Clercq (_a_) gives further particulars about tattooing among the
Papuans of New Guinea. Among the Sègèt it is only on women. They call it
“fadjan,” and the figures consist of two rows of little circles, on each
side of the abdomen toward the region of the arm-pit, with a few cross
strokes on the outer edge; it is done by pricking with a needle and
afterwards the spots are fumigated with the smoke of burning resin. It
is said to be intended as an ornament instead of dress, and that young
girls do it because young men like to see it.

At Roembati tattooing is called “gomanroeri” and at Sĕkar “béti.” They
do it there with bones of fish, with which they prick many holes in
the skin until the blood flows, and then smear on it in spots the soot
from pans and pots, which, after the staunching of the blood, leaves an
ineffaceable bluish spot or streak. Besides the breast and upper arm
they also tattoo in the same way the calf of the leg, and in some cases
the forehead, as a mere ornamentation, both of men and women--children
only in very exceptional cases.

The Bonggose and Sirito are much tattooed over the breast and shoulder.
At Saoekorèm, a Doré settlement, a few women were seen tattooed on the
breast and in the face. At Doré it is called “pa,” and is done with
thorns, and charcoal is rubbed over the bloody spots; only here and at
Mansinam is it a sign of mourning; everywhere else it merely serves as

At Ansoes it does not occur much, and is principally in the face; it is
there called “toi.” It is found somewhat more commonly on Noord-Japèn,
and then on shoulder and upper arm. In Tarfia, Tana-mérah, and Humboldt
bay but few persons were tattooed, mostly on the forehead.

The tattooing is always the work of women, generally members of the
family, both on men and on women. First the figure is drawn with
charcoal, and if it suits the taste then begins the pricking with the
thorn of a citrus or a fine bone of some animal. It is very painful and
only a small spot can be pricked at one time, so long as the tattooee
can stand it. If the pain is too violent, the wounds are gently pressed
with a certain leaf that has been warmed, in order to soothe the pain,
and the work is continued only after three or four days. No special
names are given to the figures; those are chosen which suit the taste.
Children are never tattooed at the wish of the parents; it is entirely a
matter of individual choice.

Mr. Forbes, in Journ. Anthrop. Inst. G. B. and I., August, 1883, p. 10,
says that in Timor Laut, an island of the Malay archipelago--

    Both sexes tattoo a few simple devices, circles, stars, and
    pointed crosses, on the breast, on the brow, on the cheek, and on
    the wrists, and scar themselves on the arms and shoulders with
    red-hot stones, in imitation of immense smallpox marks, in order
    to ward off that disease. * * * I have, however, seen no one
    variola-marked, nor can I learn of any epidemic of this disease
    among them.

Prof. Brauns, of Halle, reports, Science, III, No. 50, p. 69, that among
the Ainos of Yazo the women tattoo their chins to imitate the beards of
the men.

Carl Bock (_a_) says:

    All the married women here are tattooed on the hands and feet
    and sometimes on the thighs. The decoration is one of the privileges
    of matrimony and is not permitted to unmarried girls.

In Myths and Songs from the South Pacific, London, 1876, p. 94, it is
said that in Mangaia, of the Hervey group, the tattoo is in imitation
of the stripes on the two kinds of fish, avini and paoro, the color of
which is blue. The legend of this is kept in the song of Iná.

Elisée Reclus (_b_) says:

    Most of the Dayaks tattoo the arms, hands, feet, and thighs;
    occasionally also breast and temples. The designs, generally of a
    beautiful blue color on the coppery ground of the body, display
    great taste, and are nearly always disposed in odd numbers, which,
    as among so many other peoples, are supposed to be lucky.

In L’Anthropologie (_a_), 1890, T. I, No. 6, p. 693, it is thus reported:

    Tradition tells that the Giao chi, the alleged ancestors of the
    Annamites, were fishermen and in danger from marine monsters. To
    prevent disasters from the genii of the waters the king directed
    the people to tattoo their bodies with the forms of the marine
    monsters, and afterwards the dragons, crocodiles, etc., ceased
    their persecution. The custom became universal, and even the kings
    tattooed a dragon on their thighs as a sign of power and nobility.
    The same idea was in the painting of eyes, etc., on the prows of
    Annamite boats, which strongly resembled the sea monsters.

Mr. O’Reilly, the professional tattooer of New York, in a letter, says
that he is familiar with the tattoo system of Burmah, and that, besides
the ruling principle of ordeal, the Burmese use special tattoo marks
to charm and to bring love. They also believe that tattooing the whole
person renders the skin impenetrable to weapons.

In Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (_a_) it is recounted of the Badagas in
the Nilgiri mountains, India:

    All the women are tattooed on the forehead. The following [Fig.
    538] _a_ is the most usual form:

    [Illustration: Fig 538 a]

    Besides this there occur the following (same Fig., _b_, _c_,
    _d_, and _e_):

    [Illustration: Fig. 538 b-e]

    Besides the forehead, the tattooing of which is obligatory for
    women, other parts of the body are often tattooed thus (same Fig.,

    [Illustration: Fig. 538 f-g]

    on each shoulder. Other forms not infrequently found are
    variously grouped dots, also those shown in the same Fig., _g_, on
    the forearm and the back of the hand.