- Museum number
Snake or lightning shaped stick of hickory wood.
Length: 56.50 centimetres (longer section)
Length: 25.90 centimetres (shorter section)
Width: 1.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Two communications from George Hamell describe this type of stick: letter of October 27 1980 and email of December 20 2003: email:
'The first [reference] is from 'A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634-1635' [The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert] I cited an earlier version and translation in my 1980 letter, but the quote here is from the most recent translation and edited version, published by Syracuse University Press in 1988 and edited by Charles T. Gehring, and William A Starna. In the Mohawk village of Tenotoge van den Bogaert and companions witnessed a pair of shamans curing an ill patient. "Then both of them put a snakeskin around their heads and washed their hands and faces. They then took the sick person and laid him before the large fire. Taking a bucket of water in which they had put some medicine, they washed a stick in it 1/2 ell long [an ell = about 27"]. They stuck it down their throats so that the end could not be seen, and vomited on the patient's head and all over his body. Then they performed many farces with much display..." [Page 10.]'
Hamell's other reference is from Thwaites Jesuit Relations, reference not known: a shaman placed 'a stick resembling a serpent' near the head of a sick person.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1982-1987 Jun-Jan, Museum of Mankind, Thunderbird and Lightning: Indian Life in North America, 1600-1900
2007 18 Mar-17 Jun, London, National Portrait Gallery, Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850
2013 23 Mar-4 Aug, Apr, Bonn, Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, On the Trail of the Iroquois
2013-2014 18 Oct-6 Jan, Apr, Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, On the Trail of the Iroquois
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See also in Sloane's Miscellanies: '572. A long thin piece of wood like a lath long broad shaped like a knife with a handle which one of the Indian Kings thrust down his throat. 'Tis used as a remedy to cause vomiting as a proang tho it did not cause him to vomit.' This may have been recatalogued as: '1532. An instrument for cleaning the stomach used by the Indians of America. Id. ' Id refers to 'Mr. Maidstone', source of Sl 1512. Source of Sl 572 is not mentioned but could be 'Mr Middleton', source of next item in the sequence. The reference to the Indian Kings is to the 4 Native New Yorkers who visited London 1710.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1753D10.1532 (old CDMS no.)