Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/188

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gious systems of the Americans. References to these minor usages are so abundant in the writings of those who have described the customs and arts of the aborigines, and so familiar to the general reader, that they may be here omitted.

Of more importance are the accounts of the employment of tobacco as sacrifice and incense. Hariot, the historian of Sir Richard Grenville's expedition to Virginia in 1584, after speaking of the cultivation and use by the natives of tobacco, or uppowoc, says: "This uppowoc is of so precious estimation among them that they think their gods are marvellously delighted therewith; whereupon they sometimes make hallowed fires, and cast some of the powder therein for a sacrifice. Being in a storme upon the waters, to pacifie their gods they cast some up into the aire, and into the water; so a weare for fish being newly set up, they cast some therein, and into the aire; also after an escape of danger they cast some into the aire likewise; but all done with such strange gestures, stamping, sometimes dancing, clapping of hands, holding up of hands, and staring up into the heavens, uttering therewithal, and chattering strange words and noises." In the narrative of the voyage of Drake, in 1572, it is noted that the natives brought little rush baskets filled with tabak, offering them to the whites, as the narrator says, "upon the persuasion that we were gods." The Jesuit missionary AUouez, in 1671, visited the Foxes, in the neighborhood of Green Bay, and after some trouble succeeded in inducing them to listen to his preaching, which was, as Parkman relates, so successful at length that when he showed them his crucifix they would throw tobacco on it as an offering. An early missionary among the Hurons states that they worshiped an oki, or spirit, who dwelt in a certain rock, and who could give success to travelers. Into the clefts of the rock they were accustomed to place offerings of tobacco, praying for protection from their enemies and from shipwreck. Early explorers frequently refer to offerings of tobacco found near prominent hills, rocks, and trees, and in the vicinity of dangerous rapids and falls—places, as the poet Moore has it—

"Where the trembling Indian brings
Belts of porcelain, pipes, and rings,
Tributes, to be bung in air.
To the fiend presiding there."

In the narrative of his captivity among the Indians of Lake Superior John Tanner gives a prayer which he heard recited by the leader of a fleet of canoes upon the lake, asking for a safe voyage. At its conclusion the chief threw tobacco into the water, and the occupants of each canoe followed his example. Coming down to more recent times, the presence of two sacred bowlders