On the Border With Crook


Show Summary

There was no law among the Pimas observed with greater strictness than that which required purification and expiation for the deed that was at the same time the most lauded—the killing of an enemy. For sixteen days the warrior fasted in seclusion and observed meanwhile a number of tabus. This long period of retirement immediately after a battle greatly diminished the value of the Pimas as scouts and allies for the United States troops operating against the Apaches. The bravery of the Pimas was praised by all army officers having any experience with them, but Captain Bourke and others have complained of their unreliability, due solely to their rigid observance of this religious law.

Attended by an old man, the warrior who had to expiate the crime of blood guilt retired to the groves along the river bottom at some distance from the villages or wandered about the adjoining hills. During the period of sixteen days he was not allowed to touch his head with his fingers or his hair would turn white. If he touched his face it would become wrinkled. He kept a stick to scratch his head with, and at the end of every four days this stick was buried at the root and on the west side of a cat’s claw tree and a new stick was made of greasewood, arrow bush, or any other convenient shrub. He then bathed in the river, no matter how cold the temperature. The feast of victory which his friends were observing in the meantime at the villages lasted eight days. At the end of that time, or when his period of retirement was half completed, the warrior might go to his home to get a fetish made from the hair of the Apache whom he had killed. The hair was wrapped in eagle down and tied with a cotton string and kept in a long medicine basket.3

2Bourke, J.G.n/an/an/an/a, , 203.

3 Russell, F, "The Pima Indians," Bur. Amer. Ethnol., Ann. Rept., 26: 204–205.

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: On the Border With Crook

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: On the Border With Crook

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: On the Border With Crook in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed July 19, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1KZ8TA9CXWJTHZQ.

MLA: . On the Border With Crook, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 19 Jul. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1KZ8TA9CXWJTHZQ.

Harvard: , On the Border With Crook. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 19 July 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1KZ8TA9CXWJTHZQ.