The life of the Indian wife was one of menial labor and childbearing. The latter, however, fell lightly on the mothers of the tribe. The time for delivery arriving, she sought some quiet place by the side of a stream, sometimes accompanied by a female friend, but most frequently alone. The moment the child was born she bathed herself and her baby in the stream, covered it with strips of soft skins, strapped it in a baby basket, and carried it off on her back. The babies were kept in these baskets for about a year in order to make them grow straight, and to keep them out of mischief. Whipping children as a punishment for disobedience was never practised, the mother preferring to rule by kindness and patience. The pre-natal maternal influence and kind treatment during babyhood made the Indian child naturally patient and obedient to parental control. Also, due to the fact that the home was not cluttered with the bric-a-brac of civilization, the baby was not continually running afoul of some forbidden article or pleasure, but was allowed to roam at will about the villages and camps as would the cub of some forest creature.
Their instruction began at an early age, the girls being taught the methods of collecting and preparing food, the weaving of baskets, and other duties of the woman, while the boys were instructed in the methods of hunting, fishing, the making of bows and arrows, and other arts in which the men were expected to excel.