« PreviousContinue »
They also curiously make girdles, of one, two, three, four, and five inches thickness, and more of this money ; which sometimes to the value of ten pounds and more, they wear about their middle, and as a scarf about their shoulders and breasts.
Yea the princes make rich caps and aprons, or small breeches, of these beads, thus curiously strung into many forms and figures : their black and white finely mixed together.
Of Buying and Selling.
fish, &c. and sometimes come ten or twenty in a company to trade amongst the English.
They have some who follow only making bows ; some, arrows; some, dishes ; and the women make all their earthen vessels : some
; follow fishing ; some, hunting : most on the sea side make money, and store up shells in summer against winter, whereof to make their money.
They all generally prize a mantle of English or Dutch cloth before their own wearing of skins and furs ; because they are warm enough and lighter.
Cloth inclining to white they like not, but desire to have a sad colour, without any whitish hairs, suiting with their own natural temper, which inclines to sadness.
They have great difference of their coin, as the English have : some that will not pass without allowance ; and some again, made of a counterfeit shell ; and their very black counterfeited by a stone and other materials : yet I never saw any of them much deceived ; for their danger of being deceived makes them cautious.
Whoever deals or trades with them, had need of wisdom, patience, and faithfulness in dealing ; for they frequently say, “ You lie : you deceive me."
They are marvellous subtle in their bargains to save a penny, and very suspicious that Englishmen labour to deceive them therefore they will beat all markets, and try all places, and run twenty, thirty, yea forty miles and more, and lodge in the woods, to save six pence.
They will often confess for their own ends, that the English are richer, and wiser, and valianter than themselves ; yet it is for their own ends, and therefore they add, Nanoue ; give me this or that; a disease which they are generally infected with : some more ingenuous scorn it ; but I have seen an Indian, with great quantities of money about hin, beg a knife of an Englishman, who haply hath had never a penny of money,
Of Debts and Trusting. WHEY are very desirous to come into debt; but then he that trusts
ondly, of his custom, as I have found by dear experience.
Some are ingenuous, plain hearted, and honest; but the most never pay, unless a man follow them to their several abodes, towns, and houses, as I myself have been forced to do.
It is a common, and, as they think, most satisfying answer, that they have been sick : for in those times they give largely to the priests, who then sometimes heal them by conjurations; and also they keep open house, for all to come to help to pray with them, unto whom also they give money.
of their Hunting, shall not name over the several sorts of beasts, which we
named in the chapter of beasts. The natives hunt two ways.
First, when they pursue their game, especially deer, which is the general and wonderful plenteous hunting in the country,they pursue in twenty, forty, fifty, yea two or three hundred in a company, as I have seen, when they drive the woods before them.
Secondly, they hunt by traps of several sorts. To which purpose, after they have observed, in spring time and summer, the haunt of the deer, then about harvest, they go ten or twenty together, and sometimes more, and withal, if it be not too far, wives and children also, where they build up little hunting houses of barks and rushes, not comparable to their dwelling houses; and so each man takes his bounds of two, three, or four miles, where he sets thirty, forty, or fifty traps, and baits his traps with that food the deer loves; and once in two days, he walks his round, to view his traps.
They are very tender of their traps, where they lie, and what comes at them; for they say the deer, whom they conceive have a divine power in them, will soon smell and be gone.
When a deer is caught by the leg in the trap, sometimes there it lies a day together, before the Indian come, and so lies a prey to the ranging wolf, and other wild beasts, most commonly the wolf, who seizeth upon the deer, and robs the Indian, at his first devouring, of near half his prey; and if the Indian come not the sooner, he makes a second greedy meal, and leaves him nothing but the bones and the torn deer skins, especially if he call some of his greedy companions to his bloody banquet.
Upon this the Indian makes a falling trap, with a great weight of stones; and so sometimes knocks the wolf on the head, with a gainful revenge, especially if it be a black wolf, whose skins they greatly prize.
VOL. III. Ff
Pumpom; a tribute skin ; when a deer, hunted by the Indians or wolves, is killed in the water. T'his skin is carried to the Sachim, within whose territory the deer was slain.
of their Gaming. "HEIR games are of two sorts, private and publick.
T the English
cards; yet, instead of cards, they play with strong rushes.
Secondly, they have a kind of dice, which are plumstones painted, which they cast in a tray with a mighty noise and sweating:
Their publick games are solemnized with the meeting of hundreds, sometimes thousands, and consist of many vanities, none of which I durst ever be present at, that I might not countenance and partake of their folly, after I once saw the evil of them.
Ntakesemin; I am telling, or counting ; for their play is a kind of arithinetick.
The chief gamesters amongst them much desire to make their Gods side with them in their games : therefore I have seen them keep as a precious stone a piece of thunderbolt, which is like unto a crystal, which they dig out of the ground, under some tree thundersmitten; and from this stone they have an opinion of success; and I have not heard any of these prove losers; which I conceive may be Satan's policy, and God's holy justice, to harden them, for their not rising higher from the thunderbolt, to the God that sends or shoots it.
Puttuckquapuonck; a playing arbour. This arbour, or play-house, is made of long poles set in the earth, four square, sixteen or twenty feet high, on which they hang great store of their stringed money, have great stakings town against town, and two chosen out of the rest by course to play the game at this kind of dice, in the midst of all their abettors, with great shouting and solemnity. Beside, they have great meetings of foot-ball playing, only in summer, town against town, upon some broad sandy shore, free from stones, or upon some soft heathy plot, because of their naked feet, at which they have great stakings, but seldom quarrel.
In their gamings, they will sometimes stake and lose their money, clothes, house, corn, and themselves, if single persons. They then become weary of their lives, and ready to make away themselves, like many an Englishman.
Keesaquunnamun ; another kind of solemn publick meeting, wherein they lie under the trees, in a kind of religious observation, and have a mixture of devotions and sports.
But their chiefest idol of all for sport and game, is, if their land be at peace, toward harvest, when they set up a long house, called Quunnekamuck, which signifies long house, sometimes an hundred, sometimes two hundred feet long, upon a plain near the court, where ma
ny thousands, men and women, meet; where he that goes in, danceth in the sight of all the rest; and is prepared with money, coats, small, breeches, knives, or what he is able to reach to, and gives these things away to the poor, who yet must particularly beg and say, Cowequetummous; that is, I beseech you : which word, although there is not one common beggar amongst then, yet they will often use, when their richest amongst them would fain obtain ought by gift.
of their War. A QUENTE is there. Chepewess, or Mishittashin ; a northern storm
of war, as wittily . Juhetteke; fight; which is the word of encouragement they use, when they animate each other in war; for they use their tongues instead of drums and trumpets.
Nummeshannantum, or Nummayaontam: I scorn, or take it in indignațion. This is a common word, not only in war, but in peace also, their spirits in naked bodies being as high and proud as men more gallant; from which sparks of the lusts of pride and passion begin the Aame of their wars.
Shottash; shot; a made word from us, though their guns they have from the French, and often sell many a score to the English, when they are a little out of frame or kelter.
I once travelled in a place conceived dangerous, with a great prince and his queen and children in a company, with a guard of near two hundred. Twenty or thirty fires were made every night for the guard, the prince and queen in the midst, and sentinels by course, as exact as in Europe: and when we travelled through a place where ambushes were suspected to lie, a special guard, like unto a life guard, compassed, some nearer, some farther off, the king and queen, myself, and some English with me.
They are very copious and pathetical ini orations to the people, to kindle a flame of wrath, valour, or revenge, from all the common places which commanders use to insist on.
The mocking between their great ones is a great kindling of wars amongst them: Yet I have known some of their chiefs say,
« What should I hazard the lives of my precious subjects, them and theirs, to kindle a fire which no man knows how far and how long it will burn, for the barking of a dog ?"
Their wars are far less bloody and devouring than the cruel wars of Europe, and seldom twenty slain in a pitched battle; partly because when they fight in a wood, every tree is a buckler. When they fight in a plain, they fight with leaping and dancing, that seldom an arrow hits; and when a man is wounded, unless he that shot follows upon the wounded, they soon retire and save the wounded : And yet, having no swords nor guns, all that are slain, are commonly slain with
great valour and courage ; for the conqueror ventures into the thickest, and brings away the head of his enemy.
of their Paintings. "HEY paint their garments. The men paint their faces in war,
and sometimes for pride. The women paint their faces with all sorts of colours.
Wompi; white. Mowi, or Sucki; black. Msqui; red. Wesaui; yellow. Askaski; green. Peshaui; blue.
Wunnam; their red painting; which they most delight in; and is both the bark of pine, and also a red earth.
Mishquock; red earth. Metewis ; black earth. From this Metewis is an Indian town, a day and an half's journey or less, vest from the Massachusetts, called Metewemesick.
Wussuckhosu; a painted coat.
currant, or any physick, fruit, or spice, or any comfort more than their corn and water, &c. In which bleeding case, wanting all means of recovery or present refreshing, I have been constrained, to and beyond my power, to refresh them, and to save many of them from death, who I am confident perish many millions of them, in that mighty continent, for want of means.
Their only drink in all their extremities is a little boiled water.
All their refreshing in their sickness is the visit of friends and neighbours, a poor empty visit and presence : and yet indeed this is very solemn, unless it be in infectious diseases, and then all forsake them and fly ; that I have seen a poor house left alone in the wild woods, all being fled, the living not able to bury the dead. So terrible is the apprehension of an infectious disease, that not only persons, but the houses and the whole town, take flight. Were it not that they live in sweet air, and remove persons and houses from the infected, in ordinary course of subordinate causes, would few or any be left alive.
Pesuponck; a hot house. This hot house is a kind of little cell or cave, six or eight feet over, round, made on the side of a hill, commonly by some rivulet or brook. Into this frequently the men enter, after they have exceedingly heated it with store of wood, laid upon a heap of stones in the middle. When they have taken out the fire, the stones keep still a great heat. Ten, twelve, twenty, more or less, enter