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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Sketch of the Manners, Customs, Religion and Government of the Seneca Indians in 1800

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addition of moccasins on their feet, and a cap on their head, mostly
/ complete their apparel. The materials of their dress, however, vary
according to the season. In warm weather they are very thinly
clad, and in the winter they generally wrap their blanket round them,
in addition to their other clothing. At times, their head dress is cu-
riously ornamented with large feathers, and the tails of wild animals,
projecting from their ears sideways, some erect, and others flowing be-
hind them. These habiliments are put on, however, as their caprice
suggests, and are generally worn at their feasts and sacrifices, or on ex-
peditions to distant parts, when they make the most antic appearance.

The female dress is formed of much the same material as that of
the other sex, but of somewhat different make and arrangement. They
wear moccasins on their feet, and their leggings are fastened
below the knee. An open garment descending about half down the leg, is fastened
round them by a belt at the waist, and the upper part turned down-
wards, reaching near to the knee, which part is often covered with ri-
bands or embellished with silver brooches, with a considerable degree
of skill and taste.

They wear a short frock or vest, reaching to the waist, flowing
loose about them, and when their business will admit, their blanket is
spread over the whole, and serves them both night and day. Divers
of their garments are fancifully fringed and ornamented with needle
work, set in with beads and porcupine quills, variegated and disposed
with much skill and ingenuity. Their hair is left to grow at full length,
generally falls back, and is tied up in a knot behind, care being taken
to apply to it plentifully of the fat of the bear. Their head-dress con-
sists principally of a simple cap, or hood, made of cloth, or old blanket-
ing, secured together, at one end, and flowing round their neck and
shoulders; but these are seldom worn by the females, except in cold

Their houses are of different dimensions, from ten to thirty feet
in length, but narrow in proportion. They are built of poles, or small
logs, being about six feet to the square of the eve, and covered with a
very steep roof of bark, which they take off the tree in very broad
pieces, five or six feet long, mostly chestnut, hemlock, or cucumber.
They generally take it from the tree, shave the outside off, and lay it in
a horizontal pile to press, some time before they use it.

The rafters are made of round poles, the lower end dovetailed in the
top log - tied together at the top, and crossed again at smaller dis-
tances by other poles, on which are laid the bark, which is tied to the
poles with the inside rind of hickory or other strong bark.

Two courses thus laid on, generally cover one side of the house, and
the ridge of the roof is made tight by laying broad pieces lengthways,