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Response to Budi (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 07:00 PM

21. Lewis & Clark noticed that certain tribes deliberately flattened their infants' foreheads. Stone's

has always made me think of them:





We landed at the Cowlitz farm," Kane wrote, "which belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company. Large quantities of wheat are raised at this place. I had a fine view of Mount St. Helen's throwing up a long column of dark smoke into the clear blue sky. Here I remained until the 5th of April, and took the likeness of Kiscox, the chief of the Cowlitz Indians, a small tribe of about 200. They flatten their heads and speak a language very similar to the Chinooks. They were very friendly to me and I was a good deal amongst them. Sketch No. 10 [above] is Caw-wacham, a woman of the tribe, with her child under the process of having its head flattened. It was with some difficulty that I persuaded her to sit, as she seemed apprehensive that it would be injurious to her."
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On March 19, 1806, only a few days before leaving Fort Clatsop, Meriwether Lewis took pains to finish his notes on the habits and appearances of the neighborly Clatsop Indians. The most remarkable trait in their physiognomy, he wrote, was the flatness and width of their foreheads, which they artificially created by compressing the heads of their infants, particularly girls, between two boards.

"I have observed the heads of many infants," he wrote, "after this singular bandage had been dismissed, or about the age of 10 or eleven months, that were not more than two inches thick about the upper edge of the forehead and reather thiner still higher." The result is a straight line from the top of the head to the end of the nose. This custom, he reported, had been observed among all the Indian nations he had met with west of the Rockies.


http://www.lewis-clark.org/article/1016

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