Children and teenage girls seem to have been normally adopted. Male and female captives as well as teenage boys, would usually face death by ritual torture. The torture had strong sacrificial overtones, usually to the sun.
Captive White women in Texas, as in much of the territory west of the Mississippi River, were usually compelled to serve their captors as concubines and menials (the roles of most American Indian women). Their ordeals frequently led to early deaths, before or after redemption.
Scholars know that they ruthlessly tortured war prisoners and that they were cannibals; in the Algonquin tongue the word Mohawk actually means “flesh-eater.” There is even a story that the Indians in neighboring Iroquois territory would flee their homes upon sight of just a small band of Mohawks.
Captives were transported from their homes to Native villages that sometimes were great distances away. Some captives died during the journey while others—those who did not cooperate—were killed. Those who survived quickly assimilated to Native life, Cohill said.
Captives in hand, the Apaches rode northwest, raiding another farm and stealing eight horses before vanishing into the dark. Herman was tied across his captor’s mount like a deer carcass, his bare skin burned by the sun and scratched bloody by thorns.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
Beginning in 1669, missionaries attempted to convert Mohawks to Christianity, operating a mission in Ossernenon 9 miles west of present-day Auriesville, New York until 1684, when the Mohawks destroyed it, killing several priests.
Prior to European settlement of the Americas, Cherokees were the largest Native American tribe in North America. They became known as one of the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes,” thanks to their relatively peaceful interactions with early European settlers and their willingness to adapt to Anglo-American customs.
Following the surrender negotiations, the Army disarmed the Apache scouts and imprisoned them with Geronimo’s people as prisoners of war. During their return trip to Arizona, their train was suddenly turned around and they were taken to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where they were held as prisoners.