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Religious Practices of the Diegueño Indians, by T.T. Waterman, [1910], at


Quite as significant as the adolescence ceremonies are the mourning rites. Mourning for a relative usually lasts among the Diegueño for one year. The hair of both men and women was formerly cut short during this period, and the face sometimes painted black. Cremation was universally practiced by the Diegueño until they came under the influence of the missions. As far as can be learned, each body was burned without any rites other than the one mentioned above, 73 the purpose of

p. 306

which was to make the spirit done with it. 74 The clothing and other property was laid aside for use in the Mourning ceremony. Whatever ashes remained after the cremation were gathered up and placed in a small-mouthed jar of pottery, of the type used for carrying water on the desert (pl. 23). 75 This jar was then put away in some hidden place among the rocks, or buried on a hillside.

The funerary or mourning ceremony occurs on the anniversary of the death. At this time the clothing and personal property of the deceased person is publicly burned amid appropriate ceremonies. This burning is made the occasion of a large gathering. As usual in California, the family who gives the ceremony is at the total expense of entertaining all the visitors, and in addition to this, considerable property in the form of baskets, of late replaced in large degree by money and calico, is given away and burned on the funerary fire. If difficulty is experienced by the family in getting together sufficient property, the festival may be postponed for two and even three years.


305:73 See page 279.

306:74 This is performed also in the Eagle ceremony, the account of which see below.

306:75 Cf. C. G. DuBois, "Diegueño Mortuary Ollas," Am. Anthr., n.s. IX, 484, 1907, pl. 29.

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