#13 Elderly Persons “Thrown Away”
     (Ernest Wallace and Edward Adamson Hoebel, 1933, 1945)

When the condition of an elderly person became hopeless, he was, usually “thrown away” by all except his most faithful relatives and friends; and sometimes even they would desert him. This was not due so much to lack of affection and sympathy as from fear of the evil spirits and his ghost, which were believed to have taken possession of his body. When he felt death drawing near, he made disposition of all of his property and retired to a quiet spot to die. After making medicine in preparation, and old man might take his own life, and at least one case is known where a man took the life of his wife by cutting her throat because she was hopelessly ill and lonely.

[#13] Comanche: “Elderly Persons ‘Thrown Away’”, from Ernest Wallace and Edward Adamson Hoebel, The Comanches. [field dates 1933, 1945] Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 1952, p. 149.


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