Apache Death Rituals
There are many Native American tribes but I decided to write on the Apaches and their approach to death and how they went about burying their dead. I didn’t realize that it would be so hard to find information and just how much of a secret their death rituals were. I did find out that if a squaw dies, they don’t honor her death. If it was a woman they considered her death of no account. They bury their dead in the cover of the night and do not let outsiders view the dead nor do they morn in public. I was able to find out that when an Apache died, they would bury them with all their possessions and anything they may have touched recently. This started way back and it was because of the smallpox outbreak that they started this custom that is still practiced today. They bury the deceased and lay rocks over their body so that the wolves or other animals can’t dig up their body and desecrate the remains. I find it very interesting that they are so private with the way that they perform their rituals. Their beliefs are very mythological. They go to great lengths to ensure that the dead do not come back and try to lure the living to go with them although I could not find out what the lengths they took were. They believe that upon death a soul remains close to home for four days; if a proper funeral and burial is held, the soul is freed to make its way to the Land of Ever Summer, as some call it. Only one or two relatives would prepare the corpse while others went into mourning. At the graveside the deceased horse would be killed. The burial party would leave the grave site by a different rout in which they came, being careful not to look back or discussing the location of the grave with others when they returned. The burial party would discard their clothes and wash themselves thoroughly to avoid the vengeful, evil nature of the ghost of the deceased from causing harm to the mourners. The... [continues]
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