#45 Slaves: An Honor to Die at the Master’s Funeral
     (Albert F. Niblack, 1887)

The custom with regard to slaves that died a natural death was to throw the bodies into the sea or otherwise cast them aside. Certain slaves, however, were selected by a master to be killed or sacrificed at his funeral ceremonies, in order that their spirits might accompany his in the next world and minister to it as they did to him in life. Those so selected esteemed it a great honor, as their bodies were accorded the same sepulture as their master’s. In case of cremation the bodies of the slaves were cremated with that of their master, or in case of interment were buried with it, thus securing to their spirits a comfortable time in the next world. Slaves killed on the occasion of a person of consequence building a house or giving a great feast were accorded also the right of burial of a freeman. There is, therefore, no special form of sepulture for slaves.

[#45] Albert F. Niblack, The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern British Columbia: Based on the Collections in the U. S. National Museum, and on the Personal Observation of the Writer in Connection with the Survey of Alaska in the Seasons of 1885, 1886, and 1887. New York and London: Johnson Reprint Co. Ltd., 1970, p. 356.

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