- In times of plenty feasts were almost daily affairs in Indian camps.
An Indian was always looking for an opportunity to give a feast or to attend
one. Sometimes Indians would eat for days - or until everything was
gone. It did not matter if the giving of a feast meant eating all
the supplies in camp. The Indian had his feast, as he believed the
next day would take care of itself.
Some feasts were held at regular times.
The running of the salmon among the fishing Indians, the ripening of the
corn crop or the acorn crop, the building of a dwelling, the marriage of
one member of a family, or the time a baby was named - all called for feasts.
Indians gave feasts for their individual
gods or spirits, and even for their dead. Feasts were common after
a successful hunt or victory in war. many times a man just decided
to give a feast and sent messengers to summon everyone in camp.
At some feasts women were not allowed to
eat with the men. At others the bones of the animals eaten at the
feast were sacrificed in the fire and dogs not allowed to have them, as
the Indians believed this would offend the living relatives of the animals.
There were some feasts known as "eat everything
feast," an no one was allowed to leave any of his food. However,
the general idea at all feasts was for the Indian to eat as much as he
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