native american hunting beliefs & rituals
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Default native american hunting beliefs & rituals

    i was reading a story a few months back about bowhunting. after the guy shot the buck, he sprinkled cornmeal around its mouth as native americans used to do.

    does anyone know more about that or what the thinking/belief was behind it? interesting story.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Default native american hunting beliefs & rituals

    Putting the cornmeal around the mouth was a sign of respect and to give thanks to the animal for giving it's life.

    Corn was considered sacred as was a major food source that could be stored and used in the winter. It was used in many ceremonies.

    Not all tribes did it and the corn was used more in the southwest whereas tobacco was used in this area.

    I am not an expert, but I did recently stay in a Holiday Inn Express.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default native american hunting beliefs & rituals

    The Europeans do a similar thing with the tip of a small pine bough. It is kind of a "last bite" ritual. The tip is then inserted in the hat band of the lucky hunter so all can see he was successful.

    We have done it for years!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default native american hunting beliefs & rituals

    Here is a cut and past that explains it a little better

    To Deer-UK,

    I was stationed in Giessen, Germany for 3 years and developed a friendship with a German officer who was a hunter and fisher. There is a German hunting tradition where the hunter places an evergreen twig in the mouth of the game just harvested and places one in his hat. Do you know the name of this tradition and it's origin? I would really appreciate any information on this. Thanks.


    Larry Hale

    Reply from John Cadman;

    The name of the Branch Sign that is placed in the mouth of male cloven hoofed game, capercaille and blackcock is the "letzter Bissen" which literally means "last bite" and is a mark of respect to the game. The "Sch├╝tzenbruch" or hunters/shooters branch is presented to a hunter after shooting cloven hoofed game, the fox, cock capercaillie and blackcock. It can also be presented for shooting badgers, although this is not always the case. The branch should be placed in the hat band on the left side of the hat and officially, should be worn until sunset on the day that the animal was harvested.

    The origin of these traditions goes back a long way. But interestingly, when German Hunting Law was re-defined during the pre-war and early war years by Herman Goering, both these and many other traditions involving "Branch Signs" were included. They are principally a method of signals between hunters to convey a series of important messages and include warnings, directions to follow, routes not to follow and many others.
    It is interesting to note that many of the mainland European Nations have a similar, and in some cases, identical, form of signs.

    Hope this is of interest.

    John Cadman

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