Huscanawer a ceremony formerly practiced by the North American Indians of Virginia when they wished to prepare a candidate for the priesthood, or for enrollment among their great men. The principal men of the place where the ceremony was to be performed selected the handsomest and most vigorous youths for the purpose. They shut them up for several months, giving them no other sustenance than the infusion of certain roots, which strongly affected the nervous system. The result was that they quite lost their memory; they forgot their possessions, parents, friends, and even their language, becoming at length deaf and dumb. The purpose of this strange treatment was alleged to be to free the novices from the dangerous impressions of infancy, and to relieve the mind of all prejudice.

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