National Geographic : 1946 Jan
(c National Geographic Society Painting byW.Langdon Kihn "Your Father Is Dead; It Is Very Grievous. As for Me, I am Going with Him tothe Country ofthe Spirits" Thus spoke the favorite wife of the Natchez chief, Tattooed Serpent, to her children when she learned of the Great Sun's death. The Natchez pictured ahappy future land and ceremonially strangled with bowstrings the wives and attendants of deceased chiefs, who were called "Suns." Toaccompany achief into thespiritland was a great honor; it bestowed nobility. Before the ordeal, each victim swallowed six tobacco pills, a primitive anesthetic. The Natchez bound theheads ofbabies to achieve an elongated effect. This painting depicts a historical ceremony witnessed and described by French explorers in1725.