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[271] gum. If the men prepare the poles for the wigwam,
Chap. XXII.}
it is woman who builds it, and, in times of journeying, bears it on her shoulders. The Indian's wife was his
Lett. Ed IV. 202
slave; and the number of his slaves was a criterion of his wealth.

The Indians of our republic had no calendar of their own; their languages have no word for year, and they reckon time by the return of snow or the springing of the flowers; their months are named from that which the earth produces in them; and their almanac is kept in the sky by the birds, whose flight announces the progress of the seasons. The brute creation gives them warning of the coming storm; the motion of the sun marks the hour of the day; and the distinctions of time are noted, not in numbers, but in words that breathe the grace and poetry of nature.

The aboriginal tribes of the United States depended for food on the chase, the fisheries, and agriculture. They kept no herds; they never were shepherds. The bison is difficult to tame, and its female yields little milk, of which the use was unknown to the red man: water was his only drink. The moose, the bear, the deer, and at the west the buffalo, besides smaller game and fowl, were pursued with arrows tipped with hart's-horn, or eagles' claws, or pointed stones. With nets and spears fish were taken, and, for want of salt, were cured by smoke. Wild fruits, and abundant berries, were a resource in their season; and troops of girls, with baskets of bark, would gather the fragrant fruit of the wild strawberry. But all the tribes south of the St. Lawrence, except remote ones on the north-east and the north-west, cultivated the earth. Unlike the people of the Old World, they were at once hunters and tillers of the ground. The contrast

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