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Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua


Plate XL
Ceremonies at the Death of a Chief or of Priests

When a chief from that country dies, he is buried with great solemnity. The cup from which he used to drink is placed on his tomb which is surrounded by arrows stuck in the ground. His subjects mourn him for three days and three nights without eating or drinking. All his friends do the same, and in testimony of the affection they held for the deceased, both men and women cut off more than half their hair. During the next six moons, women specially chosen for the task lament the death of their king at dawn, midday and twilight with great howls. All the king's personal property is carried to his house where it is burnt. They do the same thing for priests.

All transcriptions are taken from Discovering the New World, Based on the Works of Theodore de Bry, edited by Michael Alexander (New York: Harper & Row, 1976).