Red over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians

By R. Halliburton Jr. | Go to book overview

Appendix C
A CHEROKEE ADOPTION RITE

I was adopted as a brother by a savage who bought me of my master, which he did by promising him a quantity of merchandise, and giving me what at that time I needed, such as bed-coverings, shirts, and mittens, and from that time I had the same treatment as himself. My companions were adopted by other savages, either as nephews or as cousins, and treated in the same manner by their liberators and all their families.1

Our clothes were taken off, and a stock was made for each of us, without, however, putting us in it; they merely put on us our slaves-collar. Then the savages, putting in each one's hand a white stick and a rattle, told us that we must sing, which we did for the space of more than three hours, at different times, singing both French and Indian songs, after which they gave us to eat of all that the women had brought from the village, bread of different sorts, sagamite (corn porridge), buffalo meat, bear meat, rabbit, sweet potatoes, and graumons. We passed the night at this place. The next day, February 8, in the morning the savages having matache [decorated] themselves according to their custom. Matacherent our whole bodies, having left us nothing but breeches, made the entry into their village in the order of a troop of infantry, marching four in each rank, half of them in front of us, who were placed two and two after being tied together, and having our collars dragging. . . . They made us march in this order, singing, and having, as we had had the evening before, a white stick and a rattle in our hands, to the chief square of the village and march three or four times around a great tree which is in the middle of that place. Then they burried at the foot of the tree a parcel of hair from each one of us, which the savages had preserved for that purpose

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