The journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions from Florida to the Pacific, 1528-1536 Page: 88 of 253
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THE JOURNEY OF
them best, and should the child'of one of
them happen to die, parents and relatives
bewail it, and the whole settlement, the la-
ment lasting a full year, day after day. Be-
fore sunrise the parents begin to weep, after
them the tribe, and the same they do at
noon and at dawn. At the end of the year
of mourning they celebrate the anniversary
and wash and cleanse themselves of all their
paint. They mourn all their dead in this
manner, old people excepted, to whom they
do not pay any attention, saying that these
have had their time and are no longer of
any use, but only take space, and food from
Their custom is to bury the dead, ex-
cept those who are medicine men among
them, whom they burn, and while the fire
is burning, all dance and make a big fes-
tival, grinding the bones to powder. At
the end of the year, when they celebrate the
anniversary, they scarify themselves and
give to the relatives the pulverized bones to
drink in water. Every man has a recognized
wife, but the medicine men enjoy greater
privileges, since they may have two or three,
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Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez. The journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions from Florida to the Pacific, 1528-1536, book, 1922; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3001/m1/88/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .