Until the mid-nineteenth century the Indians of the Central Subarctic consistently observed two mourning customs upon the passing of a close relative. The first was to destroy or dispose of the personal belongings of the deceased and those of the mourners while providing the corpse with necessary items for the spirit's journey to the afterlife. The second was to cease hunting for one year. In 1846 some fur traders observed unprecedented departures from these customs, due perhaps to the influence of the fur trade,missionaries, or repeated epidemics. Although conditions seem to have favored abandonment, it was not complete. Even into the twentieth century some groups mourned in the traditional way, while others abandoned or modified these practices.

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