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INDIAN SUPERSTITION

BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS

I would tell them they must keep their rifles and traps where the Mun-e-soos could not find them. They never forgot these little favors, but would bring me some choice present, such as beaver's tails, which are a most delicate dish, and often a nice fat ham of venison. The reason for their coming to me was that I always kept a splendid rifle and was considered a good marksman. The young hunters would come and practice shooting at a mark with me. I have spent hours in shooting with them. They thought it very strange I would beat them shooting off hand, and they always, resting their rifles. I have practiced with hundreds of them and never found an Indian I could not beat at any distance. This fact made me quite popular with them. I have often attended their feasts by invitation. These are always conducted with much solemnity, and the invited guest or guests are always seated at the head of the feast, and the head of the animal cooked for the feast is always placed in a dish before the guest. Sometimes it is a bear, deer, coon, or dog, a dog, being esteemed the greatest delicacy of them all. They usually at these feasts, after the table is cleared away, close with what is called a pouch dance, which is a very solemn affair, but very amusing to the invited guests, the guests never being allowed any part therein.
I meant to have mentioned an incident, which was very amusing. When the sturgeon run up on Point Au Gres as spoken of, some of them are very large and lie quite stupid. A young Indian, a little fellow, would wade in, straddle one of these, strike his tomahawk into its nose, and away the sturgeon goes full speed through the water, the young Indian guiding him by the handle of the tomahawk until fatigued, then runs him ashore, to the amusement of lookers on, the young fellow receiving many

Michigan Indians


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