Winter began, in the climate of northern Europe, in November.
Religious various Native American Date of Observation: Every ten to twelve years Where Celebrated: The history of Native American cultures dates back thousands of years into prehistoric times.
According to many scholars, the people who became the Native Americans migrated from Asia across a land Feast of the dead that may have once connected the territories presently occupied by Alaska and Russia. The migrations, believed to have begun between 60, and 30, B.
This speculation, however, conflicts with traditional stories asserting that the indigenous Americans have always lived in North America or that tribes moved up from the south.
The historical development of religious belief systems among Native Americans is not well known. Most of the information available was gathered by Europeans who arrived on the continent beginning in the sixteenth century C. The data they recorded was fragmentary and oftentimes of questionable accuracy because the Europeans did not understand the native cultures they were trying to describe and the Native Americans were reluctant to divulge details about themselves.
The ceremony was held on an irregular basis, usually every ten to twelve years when a field-rotation cycle ended and the people who had been living in a particular area or village were ready to move on. Rather than leave their dead behind, and as a way of making it possible for the spirits of the deceased to complete their journey to the afterlife, the surviving relatives would carry what remained of the corpses to a central location and bury them in a common grave.
Although it sounds like a gruesome event, several communities usually participated in the feast, which lasted for ten days and, like any other funeral, gave the survivors an opportunity to renew their family and social bonds.
The bodies of the dead, which had sometimes been buried but more commonly placed in a temporary grave on a scaffold, were gathered up and laid out in a row.
The bodies of those who had died recently were left intact and wrapped in furs as well. Each family held a funeral feast at which speeches were made praising the deceased and gifts were presented in their honor. The common burial ground was often many miles away, and families carried the corpses on litters and the bones in a bundle across their backs, wailing in imitation of the souls of the deceased as they marched.
When they reached the burial ground, all the mourners would set up camp, light fires, and prepare for the ossuary ritual an "ossuary" is a place for the bones of the dead. The younger men would engage in FUNERAL GAMES as entertainment, the women would prepare food, and the gifts that had been brought to accompany the dead on their journey would be laid out so that everyone could admire them.
The huge open pit that would serve as a common grave was lined with beaver skins, ready to receive the remains.
When the time for the reburial arrived, people would line up around the edges of the pit and fling the bones and corpses in. A dozen or so Indians standing at the bottom would use long poles to arrange the heaps in an orderly manner.
Families would cry out as the bodies of their loved ones toppled into the pit, and the level of noise and excitement was considerable.
Then earth, logs, and stones were used to fill in the grave, and the shrieking and wailing subsided somewhat and became a funeral chant.
In addition to being the last step in the long process of saying good-bye to loved ones, the Feast of the Dead gave these Native Americans a chance to renew or repair their relationships with their neighbors. Although scholars believe that the last Feast of the Dead was held inconstruction workers excavating the ground for a housing development in Scarborough, Ontario, in the s stumbled upon such an Iroquois burial site.
Local Native Americans held a Feast of the Dead and reburied the bones in another location, where it is hoped they will remain undisturbed forever. Because flesh was what connected the body to earthly life, the soul or spirit could not depart until the body was free of it.
The process of removing the flesh of a corpse from its bones, therefore, was symbolic of separating life from death, thus freeing the soul to continue its journey to the afterlife. Funeral Games The Feast of the Dead included sports activities.
Young men and frequently women would have archery contests, and the mourners would award prizes for marksmanship in honor of their deceased family members. Another popular game was lacrosse, which was played by the tribes of the Iroquois Nation long before white settlers came to the New World.
There was a spiritual aspect to the game back then, and it was often preceded by elaborate rituals and dances. Just as warriors played lacrosse to prepare themselves to endure the pains and injuries of battle, it may have been regarded as a symbolic preparation for the journey from this world to the afterlife.
Encyclopedia of Native Ameri- can Religions. Facts on File, Link to this page:The Northern Algonquins had also a solemn Feast of the Dead; but it was widely different from that of the HuronsSee the very curious account of it by Lalemant, Relation des Hurons, , 94, ] Such was the origin of one of those strange sepulchres which are the wonder and perplexity of the modern settler in the abandoned forests of the.
Averill: At first, the Feast of the Dead – and the ways that Wendat treated the dead in general – was a powerful way for the Jesuits and the Wendat to relate to one another. The Huron Feast of the Dead was a mortuary custom of the Wyandot people of what is today central Ontario, Canada, which involved the disinterment of deceased relatives from their initial individual graves followed by their reburial in a final communal grave.A time for both mourning and celebration, the custom became spiritually and culturally significant.
Oct 23, · The feast was about seven miles north of Barnstable Harbor as the boat traveled on Oct. and attacks left a New York man severely injured and a Revere man dead. Feast of the Dead By: Cevdet Kudret Lovelorn Within the limited opportunities of her work, she tried to help her husband earn just a little bit more, cheating in small ways that were pathetic, harmless, and even innocent using up a little extra water, just a can or two, so that her .
The Feast of the Dead is part of several Native American religious traditions. The history of Native American cultures dates back thousands of years into prehistoric times.
According to many scholars, the people who became the Native Americans migrated from Asia across a land bridge that may have.