The whites said the North American Indians used horrific methods of torture. Many settlers had made it a habit to pick up the last bullet for themselves so as not to find a terrible end on the torture stake. In reality, however, the often wrongly demonized prairie tribes very rarely tortured their prisoners.
The cruel Comanches, the earless male victims, their arms spread, were tied to cruciform torture posts with untanned leather straps as gruesome torture experts. They scorched the hands and feet of the prisoners to Tired nerves, severed the numb limbs, tormented bleeding flesh wounds again with incandescent torches, scalped the tortured at living Leobes, tore out the tongues of horrified screams and buried them under glowing coals.
Even more cruel torture procedures were attributed to the savage Kiowa, who gradually destroyed nerves and bodies for hours and even days and kept the tortured aware of the full extent of their humiliations. The bestial torture rituals of the Kiowa and Comanches were exceptions to the prairie peoples. Even the hanging introduced by the pale faces found the Plains Indians brutal and inhuman. In contrast, the most civilized Indian peoples, such as those in the eastern forest areas, which were at a higher level of development than the primitive prairie nations, have an unimaginable arsenal of unpredictable torture artists, TR Fehrenbach is not surprised by a historian for whom the nefariousness of the tortures was achieved in direct relation to the achieved Culture level stands:
Civilization raised legal torture to high art in France. The French and Spanish scribblers who wrote the torture of the Indians with horror came from societies that subjected women and children to inquisitions that an Native American could not have imagined. They tortured people to death on the bike, the torture bench, the stake in the midst of sadistic festivity, which differed in no way from the deep-seated desire of the Comanches to inflict other pains.
With the Indians of the Northeast, the sinister Iroquois were characterized by extraordinary cruelty. They tried to keep the martyred alive as long as possible and even allowed them extensive torture breaks so that she could face her demise, which was now a question of time, from her hell jellyfish, he rose in the respect of his flayers, who paid him admiration. If the victim showed that they were able to cope with all suffering, the recognition of the red butchers sometimes went so far that they released the tortured person without hesitation.
The custom of materning, as well as the custom of scalping, came from the south and originated in Mexico from the Aztecs. In the beginning, slow torture to death was a religious ceremony that offered a bloody human sacrifice to the god of war or hunting. Gradually the original religious torture ritual degenerated, the cultic acts became a deadly test of courage until martyrs were done only for pleasure or revenge.
Scaling – from religious ritual to bravery trophy
How often was the gruesome act repeated that a warrior sank his battle ax into the opponent’s skull, made a circular cut around the head with the knife over the ears, the edge of the scalp the one Side exposed, hair plate torn loose and triumphantly holding up the blood-soaking scalp. This artfully executed scalping of a killed or only defeated enemy was not originally spread across North America. This barbaric custom probably originated in pre-European times among the Muskhogee-speaking, sedentary, and maize-growing Indian tribes of the Southeast as a ritual ceremony that went back to the bloody Xipe cult of the Atzeks, but the Greek historian Herodotus described the slapping in every detail with the Scythians living in the Black Sea who did not replace the enemy’s head shell in much the same way as the Indians.
But back to the Aztecs, the god of misery, Xipe – Totek, was the focus of a great festival in ancient Mexico, with which human sacrifices were connected in a special way. At the end of the killing ritual, the slain were skinned by the priests, who covered the skins of the dead prisoners for the next twenty days, becoming a symbol of life rejuvenation. Due to the fact that the Indians of the Southeast adopted this ceremonial in a different form and only related to the scalp, they made the scalp a variant of the skin trophy, the main distribution area of which was between Peru and Mexico. When custom gradually spread throughout the North American continent, it had long since lost the Aztecs’ religious importance.
However, without the scalp premiums set by the British and French, with which the Indians were agitated against each other during the border wars of the colonial powers of Europe, this custom could not have prevailed. scalping first appeared in 1535 with the hurons, was then taken up by the Iroquois and finally reached the Sioux tribes of the great plain. Many bleaching faces also participated in the inhumane way to earn a lot of money with scalping.
Quite a band of white “scalp hunters” emerged and it is obvious that this too white Scalps were offered as Indian scalps. Scaled men rarely survived the loss of his skull. The extensive blood loss ensured that the cruel ordeal usually had a fatal outcome. The scalp with the hair swirl on the top was of great importance to the Indians. It was the seat of vitality and soul.
if an enemy had been scalped, he had no supernatural powers and could therefore not go into the eternal hunting grounds. With the captured slaps, which were freed from the meat and dried, the Indians used to decorate weapons, clothes, horse reins and feather headdresses. In the course of time, the scalp that had been pulled off, which had originally been part of a religious sacrifice ceremony, became a simple trophy of bravery that adorned the lance, tent or belt of the warriors as an external victory sign.
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