The Uncivilized Races, Or, Natural History of Man; With the Addition of a ... Descriptio of the Races of Alaska and Siberia

The Uncivilized Races, Or, Natural History of Man; With the Addition of a ... Descriptio of the Races of Alaska and Siberia

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1870 edition. Excerpt: ...the dread of the coming fate. The bodies of great chiefs undergo a process by which they are preserved for a considerable lime. Captain Cook saw the corpse of a chief who had been dead for several months, and whose body had suffered scarcely any apparent change. There was a slight contraction of the muscles and sinking of the eyes, but the body was otherwise perfect; and when the attendants on the corpse unrolled the cloth in which it was enveloped, the limbs were found to he nearly as pliant as in life. This result is obtained by removing the whole of the interior of the body, supplying its place with cloth soaked in cocoa-nut oil, and anointing the whole body repeatedly with the same substance. The bodies are exposed to public view for some time; but the embalming only postpones the process of decay, and, sooner or later, decomposition doe-; its work. At first the body is exposed for several hours daily, provided that there be no rain; but by degrees it is only shown at intervals, and at last is scarcely ever exhibited, except by request. ' There is a special building, called a tupapau, in which the bodies of chiefs are exhibited when lying in state. First, there is a tolerably large house, with a palisade around it, and within this house is the tupapau itself. It is made exactly like the little penthouses that are built upon the larger canoes, and is profusely decorated with scarlet feathers, cloth, and other precious ornaments. Two men are attached to the tupapau, who watch over it night and day, attend to the proper arrangement of the cloth and feathers, receive the offerings of fruit and provisions that are constantly made, and prevent intruders from venturing within the palisades. The preceding illustration exhibits the manner in...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 472 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 24mm | 835g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236747763
  • 9781236747761