Tsalagi bury their dead in the ground, not using cremation or scaffolding type burials.
Small children and babies have been buried in clay pots and bowls. Adults have been buried in the fetal position, reclining position or sitting position. Most of the time the person was facing east toward the rising sun.
When a great warrior or leader died, he was stripped of his clothes and bathed with water. He was then dressed in clothes that had been purified by passing them through the flames of the Sacred Fire. He was placed in a grave in a sitting position, a robe draped across his shoulders and a buffalo robe as his seat of honor. His war club, knife and bow and arrows were passed through the fire and placed in the grave with him. All of his other personal possessions were placed with him. It was not known by the living what a man may need in the After World, so he took his belongings with him.
It was the custom, when a warrior fell on the trail, that his companions bury him in the proper manner. They then piled a small stone cairn over his grave. A traveler might add a stone to the pile as he passed. Members of the dead man's family and his friends have been known to have traveled hundreds of miles to add a stone to a grave marker.
A cairn was never touched by any American Indian tribe, not even if he were an enemy. Thousands of burial cairns dotted the Tsalagi Nation at one time.
A woman was buried in the same manner as a man, her personal items being placed in the grave with her: a favorite bowl, farming tool, jewelry and other favorite items. A War Woman had her weapons of war placed in the grave with her.
When Tsalagi Oyohusi (Ja-la-gee Aw-yaw-hoo-see), "Tsalagi Died," their souls went back to Usvhiyi (Oo-sv-hee-yee), "Dark Land in the West," where they joined Black Man, who took them to the After World.
[First Town is Formed]
[Building the Mound and Sacred Fire]
[Tribal Government] [Leaders] [Red and White Organizations] [The War Women] [Warriorship and War Titles]
[Diplomacy] [Immunity of Ambassadors] [Marriage and Divorce] [Tobacco Pipes] [The Ceremonial War Hatchet]
[Take Up The Hatchet] [Bury The Hatchet] [Traders and Merchants] [Craftsmen and Industrial Arts] [Games]
[Taboo] [Burial] [Book Main]