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Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933) by S. A. Barrett and E. W. Gifford


MOURNING NECKLACE86

Plate LXIII, fig. 2, shows a mourning necklace consisting of string with seven tiny cloth bags containing medicine roots. The use of cloth is, of course, a modern innovation. The string was tied about its owner’s neck at the funeral of her husband by her husband’s sister. Custom required that it remain there until it wore off or until the widow attended a mourning ceremony. During this period she was prohibited from marriage and from associating much with men. Indeed, for a few months after her husband’s death she remained entirely secluded with a single woman attendant. The regulations were more rigorously observed by women of rank.

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86See wormwood, under “Medicines.”



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