Indians have often been characterized as a primitive, uncultured and unrefined people. Yet, their life-style was complex and fascinating. Highly refined and cultured in all forms of arts and crafts, they were most observant of nature, their greatest teacher. They were great hunters and in many cases, raised crops under extremely adverse conditions. They survived on the land without decimating it. They were healthy and had developed a sophisticated method of treating various health maladies with ingredients found in nature. As I began the work, I wondered: Did Indians kiss? What was the typical Indian social structure like? What was it like to see a father go away to war to face his enemies? I learned that there was a definite order to his farewell. His first, or favorite wife would bring her children for the father to caress and kiss. Each one would receive that kind of treatment upon his departure.
It was believed that is was a noble thing to lose a father or husband in war. The child was taught through example, and it was the mother's role to set that example. As in most cases, her true feelings express something quite different than that which she is trying to teach, and she is overcome with emotion. The child is too young to pay strict attention or even comprehend the event, but if the father does not return, that message will be learned.
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