"a people whose customs and life were alien from the law that had condemned her"
Native American woman whose nose has been cut off for infidelity (1880s)
Public DomainNative American woman whose nose has been cut off for infidelity (1880s) - Credit: C. S. Fly

By and large, Native American customs were much more liberal than those of the Puritans and many were outraged to find themselves punished for activities that were not deemed immoral in their culture. Female adultery, however, did not generally fall into this bracket, though attitudes and sanctions varied between tribes. At the mildest end of the spectrum, the couple would simply separate, leaving each party free to remarry. In more violent cases, the husband would either beat his erring wife or mutilate her nose or ears in order to provide a visible testimony to her sin and to render her unattractive to other men in future.