Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Religion of the Indians

Colonel boone, not meaning in any way to excuse their terrible deeds, says that among these savages the young Indian who would be looked upon as a man by his fellows must take the scalps of either white men, or those Indians who are the enemies of his tribe, and that the stealing of horses and cattle is to them an indication of bravery and skill, even as is good marksmanship, or wrestling, or running to our people.

Father told Billy and me what sounded like an odd story about the religious belief of the Shawnees and Cherokees. They believe that long, long ago a baby was found in the water, drifting around in a canoe made of bulrushes. She was brought to the lodge of the chief and, after growing up to be a woman, did many wonderful things. She turned water into dry land and made this whole country, for it was, at first, only a tiny island, so small that people could not find room enough on it to run about. This squaw called upon the water turtles and the muskrats to bring mud and sand up to the shore. This they did until that small island became the land where we are now living. Because the country was thus made by one of their people the Indians claim that the white men have no right to live here, much less to hunt or trap.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

They do not seem to be at all particular about what they worship, for while believing in one Great Being, they burn tobacco and buffalo and deer bones as sacrifices to many little gods; but they will not use the bones of bears or elks for such a purpose. When an eagle perches on a tree near their lodges just at sunset, or an owl comes around the village, they burn bones or tobacco in order that the eagle or the owl may carry good reports of that tribe to the other gods. If they come across an elk or a deer which is misshapen, or of a peculiar color, they claim that it is in some way connected with the Great Being and worship it after their fashion, which means by burning bones, dancing, shrieking, and otherwise making themselves hideous.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis