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marriage prevail universally. As soon as a man goes to the house of his bride, he is in complete possession of her, till the ceremony ends; and during this period the exception will apply.
Marriage gives no right to the husband over the property of his wife ; and when they part she keeps the children and property belonging to them.
This is punished by the family or tribe of the husband. They collect, consult and decree. If the proof is clear, and they determine to punish the offenders, they divide and proceed to apprehend them. One half goes to the house of the woman, the remainder to the family house of the adulterer; or they go together, as they have decreed. They apprehend the offenders, beat them severely with sticks, and then crop them. They cut off the hair of the woman, which they carry to the square in triumph. If they apprehend but one of the offenders, and the other escapes, they then go and take satisfaction from the nearest relation. If both the offenders escape, and the tribe or family return home, and lay down the sticks, the crime is satisfied. There is one family only, the “Wind,” (Hotul-ul-gee,) that can take up the sticks a second time. This crime is satisfied in another way, if the parties offending absent themselves till the Boos-ke-tuh is over. Then all crimes are done away except murder. And the bare mention of them, or any occurrence which brings them in recollection, is forbidden.
If murder is committed, the family and tribe alone have the right of taking satisfaction. They collect, consult and decide. The rulers of the town, or the nation, have nothing to do or to say in the business. The relations of the murdered person consult first among themselves, and if the case is clear, and their family or tribe are not likely to suffer by their decision, they determine on the case definitively. When the tribe may be effected by it, in a doubtful case, or an old claim for satisfaction, the
family then consult with their tribe; and when they have deliberated and resolved on satisfaction, they take the guilty one, if to be come at. If he flies, they take the nearest of kin, or one of the family. In some cases, the family which has done the injury promise reparation; and in that case are allowed a reasonable time to fulfil their promise ; and they are generally earnest of themselves, in their endeavors to put the guilty to death, to save an innocent person.
This right of judging, and taking satisfaction, being vested in the family or tribe, is the sole cause why their treaty stipulations on this head, never have been executed. In like manner, a prisoner taken in war, is the property of the captor and his family, it being optional with his captor, to kill or save him at the time. And this right must be purchased, and it is now the practice, introduced within a few years, for the nation to pay. The practice has been introduced by the agent for Indian affairs, and he pays on the orders of the chiefs, out of the stipend allowed by the United States to the Creeks. Claims of this sort of seventeen years standing, where the prisoner has been delivered to the order of the chiefs, have been revived, allowed and paid.
This annual festival is celebrated in the months of July or August. The precise time is fixed by the Mic-co and counsellors, and is sooner or later, as the state of the affairs of the town, or the early or lateness of their .corn, will suit for it. In Cussetuh, this ceremony lasts for eight days. In some towns of less note, it is but four days.
In the morning, the warriors clean the yard of the square, and sprinkle white sand, when the a-cee, (decoction of the cassine yupon,) is made. The fire-maker makes the fire as early in the morning as he can, by friction. The warriors cut and bring into the square, four logs, as long each as a man can cover by extending his
* See page 25.
two arms; these are placed in the centre of the square, end to end, forming a cross, the outer ends pointed to the cardinal points; in the centre of the cross, the new fire is made. During the first four days, they burn out these four logs.
The pin-e-bun-gau, (turkey dance,) is danced by the women of the turkey tribe ; and while they are dancing, the possau is brewed. This is a powerful emetic. The possau is drank from twelve o'clock to the middle of the afternoon. After this, the Toc-co-yule-gau, (tadpole,) is danced by four men and four women. (In the evening, the men dance E-ne-hou-bun-gau, the dance of the people second in command.) This they dance till daylight.
This day, about ten o'clock, the women dance Its-hobun-gau, (gun-dance.) After twelve, the men go to the new fire, take some of the ashes, rub them on the chin, neck and belly, and jump head foremost into the river, and they return into the square. The women having prepared the new corn for the feast, the men take some of it and rub it between their hands, then on their face and breasts, and then they feast.
The men sit in the square.
The women go early in the morning and get the new fire, clean out their hearths, sprinkle them with sand, and make their fires. The men finish burning out the first four logs, and they take ashes, rub them on their chin, neck and belly, and they go into the water. This day they eat salt, and they dance Obungauchapco, (the long dance.)
They get four new logs, and place them as on the first day, and they drink ā-cee, a strong decoction of the cas
They remain in the square.
Is spent in like manner as the sixth.
They get two large pots, and their physic plants, 1st. Mic-co-ho-yon-e-juh. 2. Toloh. 3. A-che-nau. 4. Cuppau-pos-cau. 5. Chu-lis-sau, the roots. 6. Tuck-thlaulus-te. 7. Tote-cul-hil-lis-so-wau. 8. Chofeinsuck-caufuck-au. 9. Cho-fe-mus-see. 10. Hil-lis-hut-ke. 11. To-tecuh chooc-his-see. 12. Welau-nuh. 13. Oak-chon-utch
14. Co-hal-le-wau-gee. These are all put into the pots and beat up with water. The chemists, (E-lic-chulgee, called by the traders physic makers, they blow in it through a small reed, and then it is drank by the men, and rubbed over their joints till the afternoon.
They collect old corn cobs and pine burs, put them into a pot, and burn them to ashes. Four virgins who have never had their menses, bring ashes from their houses, put them in the pot and stir all together. The men take white clay and mix it with water in two pans. One pan of the clay and one of the ashes, are carried to the cabin of the Mic-co, and the other two to that of the warriors. They then rub themselves with the clay and ashes. Two men appointed to that office, bring some flowers of tobacco of a small kind, (Itch-au-chu-le-puc-pug-gee, or, as the name imports, the old man's tobacco, which was prepared on the first day, and put in a pan on the cabin of the Mic-co, and they give a little of it to every one present.
The Micco and counsellors then go four times round the fire, and every time they face the east, they throw some of the flowers into the fire. They then go and stand to the west. The warriors then repeat the same ceremony.
A cane is stuck up at the cabin of the Mic-co with two white feathers in the end of it. One of the Fish
tribe, (Thlot-lo-ul-gee,) takes it just as the sun goes down, and goes off towards the river, all following him. When he gets half way to the river; he gives the death whoop; this whoop he repeats four times, between the square and the water's edge. Here they all place themselves as thick as they can stand, near the edge of the water. He sticks up the cane at the water's edge, and they all put a grain of the old man's tobacco on their heads, and in each ear. Then, at a signal given, four different times, they throw some into the river, and every man at a like signal plunges into the river, and picks up four stones from the bottom. With these they cross themselves on their breasts four times, each time throwing a stone into the river, and giving the death whoop; they then wash themselves, take up the cane and feathers, return and stick it up in the square, and visit through the town. At night they dance O-bun-gau Haujo, (mad dance,) and this finishes the ceremony.
This happy institution of the Boos-ke-tuh, restores man to himself, to his family and to his nation. It is a general amnesty, which not only absolves the Indians from all crimes, murder only excepted, but seems to bury guilt itself in oblivion.
The Ceremony of initiating Youth into Manhood.
At the age of from fifteen to seventeen, this ceremony is usually performed. It is called Boos-ke-tau, in like manner as the annual Boosketau of the nation. A youth of the proper age gathers two handsfull of the Sou-watchcau, a very bitter root, which he eats a whole day; then he steeps the leaves in water and drinks it. In the dusk of the evening, he eats two or three spoonfulls of boiled grits. This is repeated for four days, and during this time he remains in a house. The Sou-watch-cau has the effect of intoxicating and maddening. The fourth day he gocs out, but must put on a pair of new moccasins (Stilla-pica.) For twelve moons, he abstains from eating bucks, except old ones, and from turkey cocks, fowls, peas and salt. During this period he must not pick his ears, or scratch his head with his fingers, but use a small stick. For four moons he must have a fire to himself, to