Description: The graves of those not having totems are found in clusters, or scattered on the mountain sides, or anywhere convenience dictates. The bones are put in a box with all the belongings of the deceased, and then deposited anywhere. The natives are exceedingly superstitious and jealous (1) in their care of the dead, and would sooner die than molest or steal from a grave. That tourists who are supposed to be civilized, refined, and Christianized should steal from them is a crime which should never be tolerated, as it was among the passengers of our steamer. (3)
The natives have a belief that all bodies cremated turn into ravens, and that probably accounts (2) to them for the endless number of those birds in Alaska. Ravens are sacred birds to them, and are never molested in any way. There are other methods of disposing of the dead in different parts of Alaska. The bones are sometimes put in a canoe and raised high in the air on straddles; again, in trees above the reach of prowling animals, or set adrift in a discarded canoe.
6. The function of the fourth sentence (3) can be best described as: