Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi

Bushnell, David I. Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Volume 71. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1920.

Stone Lined Graves

Stone graves-that is, small excavations which were lined or partly lined with natural slabs of stone-have been encountered in great numbers in various parts of the Mississippi Valley. They are discovered scattered and separate; in other instances vast numbers are grouped together, thus forming extensive cemeteries. While the great majority were formed by lining properly …

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Seneca Ceremony, 1731

Throughout the greater part of the region once occupied by the Five Nations are- discovered their ancient cemeteries, often situated near the sites of their former villages. Some have been examined, and these usually reveal the human remains, now rapidly disappearing, lying in an extended position. Few accounts of the ceremonies which attended the death …

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Santee Burial Customs

Siouan tribes extended southward into the central portions of the present State of South Carolina, and the Santee were undoubtedly members of this linguistic family. One of their villages probably stood on the shore of Scott Lake, in the valley of the Santee about 10 miles southwest of Summerton, Clarendon County. Here, near the shore …

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Powhatan Confederacy Burial Customs

It is to be regretted that more is not known concerning the burial customs of the Algonquian tribes of Virginia, those who constituted the Powhatan confederacy, people with whom the Jamestown Colonists came in contact during the spring of 1607. Several accounts are preserved, but unfortunately all are lacking in detail. Capt. Smith included burial …

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New England Native American Burial Customs

Three centuries and more have elapsed since the Jesuit, Père Pierre Biard, of Grenoble, prepared an account of the manners and customs of several native tribes of New France, which then included within its bounds the eastern portions of the present State of Maine, and the adjoining provinces. He wrote more particularly of the “three …

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Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi

Native burials and places of burial have been questioned my many people, David M. Bushnell, provides many answers to forms, places, and tribal customs. He does not include all the tribes but does offer an explanation on such tribes as Algonquian, Powhatan, Seneca, Huron, Natchez, Sioux, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole and Choctaw just to name a few.

Menominee Burial Customs

The Menomini (Menominee Tribe), whose home when first encountered by Europeans during the early years of the seventeenth century was west of Lake Michigan, evidently possessed many customs quite similar to those of the Ojibway. Their dead were usually deposited in excavated graves, but they also had some form of scaffold burial. “The Menomini formerly …

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