Forum > Native American Impressions

Scalping (The History of)


Bonnie aka blnzrfn:
My 14 year old son came home from school the other day kinda miffed . His History teacher made a a comment about dirty savages scalping the poor white people . Being part Native American he was very offended by her comment . I remember reading somewhere that scalping was a mutual thing and that other cultures also practiced scalpings  ......any info ??                                                                                                                 Update : My son talked to his History Teacher (after researching)and she was suprised to learn that other cultures had also practiced scalping . Hey you learn something new everyday if your willing to share your knowledge  ;D

Most native cultures believe that to "pass over" without a bodypart means that your spirit will not be at rest until your parts are united, and your spirit will be without honor. The absolute worst a native warrior could do to an enemy is to take a bodypart and seperate it from the body. This is something they would not do lightly (the enemy had to REALLY, really p*** them off).
Maybe this would help the teacher:

I forget whom it was, but remember hearing about a white commander in Canada, about the time of Ohio settlement by American Colonials, who was so known for wanting the "trophies" that he was called "Hair-Buyer" by the Natives.

That would be Colonel Henry Hamilton, of the British army... he was known for paying for Colonial scalps.  I believe it was George Rogers Clark that put an end to him...

Hi All,
I'm kinda catching this late,but...Celtic tribes of Gaul, had a history of not only scalping but drinking from the skulls of  enemies as well. Another was having an enemies head as a trophy.( One legend had a Celtic heroes" head talking to his foe,giving him advice and making him crazy,lol).
The practice was done as a religious form of "taking the strength of your opponent". It was thought that a persons strength and soul were housed and flowed from the head through the hair. By taking or ingesting from ,or ornamenting with said items, you were gaining more strength and higher abilities through nature .( A practice that flowed through most cultures,like thanking animal spirits for the nuturing benefits they have given).
You can read bits of that in minor threads in Jean Markales' Treatise called " History of the Celts".
( He was a French Historian and it may be hard to find the English version).
It was no wonder that Native Americans and  Celtic peoples were so kindred. These cultures respect for the natural world was reknowned.
There are other examples from many cultures since the beginning of recorded history. In some cultures, angles are the barbarians for being so out of touch with nature. Touche!
If I am too late and out of touch with this response, I apologise,but I want your son to know he was right to be agitated. Go  Boyo, Knowledge is power which leads to quiet dignity.



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