The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
pelican, as well as those of wild geese, were much in demand
among the northern tribes. The small breast feathers or eider
down were obtained by inserting small hollow reeds between
the skin and flesh of the breast and blowing in air. Feather pelts
were removed in this way to prevent soiling the feathers with
blood stains. These pelts were dried and used for ornamentation
by the Creoles. Birds were killed with small, blunt arrows to
prevent blood stains from getting on the white feathers.16
An Attacapan infant was strapped to a piece of wet bark which
was bent to fit the body. The head was left free so that the moth-
er could pick up the bundle and nurse the child without un-
strapping it. Twice each day the Indian mother removed the
infant to place fresh moss between its legs. Skull deformation
was caused by placing the infant's head on a hard rest. Colonel
Hall seems to think that this deformation was not intentional
but accidental. Women and wives were bartered for with other
tribes since the men outnumbered the women. Whiskey or rum
was always sufficient pay for a wife. The Attacapa along the
Gulf Coast often gathered valuable wreckage on the shore which
they traded to the whites for whiskey.'7
The Attacapa specialized in alligator dainties. After the alli-
gator was disemboweled the belly skin was replaced and secured
and the carcass was left whole. Along each side of the spine a
long trench was made by removing the flesh. The carcass was
then placed in a pit of red-hot oyster shells and covered with
live charcoal. After a few hours the charred skin held the well-
baked flesh as well as the oil that had gathered in the trenches.
This oil was considered a delicacy and was kept in jugs for future
uses. It was rubbed on the body to keep off mosquitoes and as a
protection against sunburn. It also served to buoy swimmers. It
was used as a fuel for lamps, which consisted of large shells with
twisted moss for wicks. This oil had a highly unpleasing smell."8
It was after 1819 that Jane Long furnished information about
the Attacapa. She considered them a filthy people. In her ac-
count she recalled that the men, and sometimes the women,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/55/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.