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Land Ownership

Although the natives do not cultivate the soil--subsisting entirely by hunting and fishing, or on wild roots and fruits--it must not therefore be supposed that they have no idea of property in land. Every tribe has its own district, and any intrusion for hunting, or other purpose, by another tribe, is liable to be resisted by force of arms.

These particular sections of their tribal districts are recognized as the property of individual members, as are also the wild animals found upon it; and each "landowner" is naturally very jealous of his rights, and pugnacious in upholding them. Trespass for hunting purposes is punished with death if the hunter is caught in the act; if the trespasser is tracked by footmarks, and so discovered, he is killed, if alone and in a defenceless state., but if he is attended by his friends, justice is satisfied with a warning spear-thrust through the thigh. The possession of friends has the tendency, as among more civilized folk, to somewhat mitigate the rigour of the law!

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