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Their children are not obstinate, since they give them everything they ask for, without ever letting them cry for that which they want. The greatest persons give way to the little ones. The father and the mother draw the morsel from the mouth if the child asks for it. They love their children greatly. They are never afraid of having too many, for they are their wealth. The boys aid the father, going on the hunt, and help in the support of the family. The girls work, aiding the mother; they go for the wood, for the water, and to find the animal in the woods. After the latter is killed they carry it to the wig­wam. There is always some old woman with the girls to conduct them and show them the way, for often these animals which it is necessary to go and find are killed at five or six leagues from the wigwam, and there are no beaten roads.

    The man will tell only the distance of the road, the woods that must be passed, the mountains, rivers, brooks, and meadows, if there are any on the route, and will spec­ify the spot where the animal will be, and where he will have broken off three or four branches of trees to mark the place. This is enough to enable them to find it, to such a degree that they never fail, and they bring it back. Some­times they camp where the animal is. They make broiled steaks and return next day.

    After they have lived for some time in one place, which they have beaten for game all around their camp, they go and camp fifteen or twenty leagues away. Then the women and girls must carry the wigwam, their dishes, their bags, their skins, their robes, and everything they can take, for the men and the boys carry nothing, a practice they follow still at the present time.

    Having arrived at the place where they wish to remain, the women must build the camp. Each one does that which is her duty. One goes to find poles in the woods; another goes to break off branches of Fir, which the little girls carry. The woman who is mistress, that is, she who has borne the first boy, takes command, and does not go to the woods for anything. Everything is brought to her. She fits the poles to make the wigwam, and arranges the Fir to make the place on which each one disposes himself. This is their carpet and the feathers of their bed. If the family is a large one they make it (the wigwam) long enough for two fires; other­wise they make it round, just like military tents, with only this difference that in place of canvas they are of barks of Birch. These are so well fitted that it never rains into their wigwams. The round kind holds ten to twelve persons, the long twice as many. The fires are made in the middle




of the round kind, and at the two ends of the long sort.

    To obtain these barks, they select all the biggest Birches they are able to find, and these are the thickness of a hogshead. They cut the bark all around the tree as high up as they can with their stone axes; then they cut it low down, also all around; after that they split it from above downwards, and with their knives of bone they separate it all around the tree which ought to be in sap to loosen readily. When they have enough of it, they sew it edge to edge, four pieces together or five together, Their thread is made from root of Fir, which they split in three, the same as the Osier with which the hoops of barrels are tied. They make it as fine as they wish.

    Their needles are of bone, and they make them pointed as awls by dint of sharpening them. They pierce the barks and pass this root from hole to hole for the breadth of the barks. This being finished they roll them as tightly as they can that they may be the easier to carry. When they strip them off the wigwam to carry them to another place, since they are dried from the fire which had been made there, they heat them again to make them more supple. In propor­tion as they heat, they are rolled up; otherwise they would break through being too dry.

    At the present time they still do it in the same way, but they have good axes, knives more convenient for their work, and kettles easy to carry. This is a great convenience for them, as they are not obliged to go to the places where were their kettles of wood, of which one never sees any at present, as they have entirely abandoned the use of them.

    As to their marriage, in old times a boy who wished to have a girl was obliged to serve the father several years according to an agreement. His duty was to go a hunting, to show that he was a good hunter capable of supporting well his wife and family. He had to make bows, arrows, the frame of snowshoes, even a canoe-that is to say, to do the work of men. Everything that he did during his time went to the father of the girl, but nevertheless he had use of it him­self in case of need.

    His mistress corded the snowshoes, made his clothes, his moccasins and his stockings, as evidence that she was clever in work. The father, the mother, the daughter, and the suitor all slept in the same wigwam, the daughter near her mother, and the suitor on the other side, always with


the fire between them. The other women and the children also slept there. There never occurred the least disorder. The girls were very modest at that time, always clothed with a well-dressed Moose skin which descended below the knees. They made their stockings and their shoes from the same kind of skin for the summer. In winter they made robes of Beaver. The modesty of the girls was such in those old times that they would often hold their water twenty-four hours rather than let themselves be seen in this action by a boy.

    The term being expired, it was time to speak of the marriage. The relatives of the boy came to visit those of the girl, and asked them if it were pleasing to them. If the father of the girl was favourable to it, it was then necessary to learn from the two parties concerned if they were content therewith; and if one of the two did not wish the marriage, nothing further was done. They were never compelled. But if all were in agreement, a day was chosen for making a banquet; in the meantime the boy went a hunt­ing, and did his very best to treat the entire assembly as well to roast as to boiled meat, and to have especially an abundance of soup, good and fat.

    The day having arrived, all the relatives and guests assembled, and everything being ready the men and older boys all entered the wigwam, the old men at the upper end near the father and mother. The upper end is the left in entering the wigwam, and a circuit is made passing to the right. No other woman entered save the mother of the boy. Each one having taken his place, all seated themselves upon their buttocks, like Apes, for that is their posture. The bridegroom brought in the meat in a huge bark dish, divided it, and placed it on as many plates as there were persons, as much as they could hold. There was in each plate enough meat for a dozen persons. He gave each one his plate, and they devoted themselves to eating. The bridegroom was there also with a great dish of soup, which he gave to the first one that he might drink his fill. He, having sufficiently quenched his thirst, passed the dish to his neighbour, who did the same. When it was empty it was filled again. Then having drunk and feasted well, they took a (comfortable) posture. The oldest of them made a speech in praise of the bridegroom, and gave an account of his genealogy, in which he was always found descended from some great chief ten or twelve generations back. He exaggerated everything good that they had done, as well in hunting, the spirit they showed, the good counsel they had given, and everything of conseq­uence they had done in their lives. He commenced with the most ancient, and, descending from generation to generation


he came to a conclusion with the father of the bridegroom. Then he exhorted the bridegroom not to degenerate from the worth of his ancestors. Having finished his speech, all the company made two or three cries, saying hau, hau, hau. After this the bridegroom thanked them, promising as much as, and more than, his ancestors; then the assem­bly gave again the same cry. Then the bridegroom set about dancing; he chanted war songs which he composed on the spot and which exalted his courage and his worth, the number of animals he had killed, and everything that he aspired to do. In dancing he took in his hands a bow, arrows, and a great shaft in which is set a bone of a Moose, sharply pointed, with which they kill animals in winter when there is a great depth of snow. This sort of thing (they did) one after another, each having his song, during which he would work himself into a fury, and seemed as if he wished to kill everybody. Having finished, the entire assembly recommenced their hau, hau, hau, which signifies joy and contentment.

    After this they commenced again to eat and drink until they were full. Then they called their wives and children who were not far off; these came and each one gave them his plate from which they proceeded to eat in their turn.

    If there were any women or girls who had their month­lies, she had to retire apart, and the others brought to each one her portion. In those (old) times they never ate except alone by themselves; they did no work, and did not dare touch anything, especially anything to be eaten. It was necessary they should be always in retirement.

    They have thus developed into a custom the recital of their genealogies, both in the speeches they make at marr­iages, and also at funerals. This is in order to keep alive the memory, and to preserve by tradition from father to son, the history of their ancestors, and the example of their fine actions and of their greatest qualities, something which would otherwise be lost to them, and would deprive them of a knowledge of their relationships, which they preserve by this means; and it serves to transmit their (family) alliances to posterity. On these matters they are very inquisitive, especially those descended from the ancient chiefs; this they sometimes claim for more than twenty generations, something which makes them more honoured by all the others.

    They observe certain degrees of relationship among them which prevents their marrying together. This is never done by brother to sister, by nephew to niece, or cousin to cousin that is to say, so far as the second degree, for beyond that they can do it. If a young married woman has no children by


her husband at the end of two or three years, he can divorce her and turn her out to take another. He is not held to service as in the case of the first; he simply makes presents of robes, skins, or wampum. I shall tell in its proper place what this wampum is. He is obliged to make a feast for the father of the girl, but not so impressive a one as on the first occasion. If she becomes pregnant he gives a great feast to his relatives; otherwise he drives her out like the first, and marries another. This wife being pregnant, he sees her no more. As to these matters, they take as many women as they please provided that they are good hunters, and not lazy. Otherwise the girls will not accept them. One sees Indians who have two or three wives pregnant at the same time; it is their greatest joy to have a large number of children.

    For all these festivities of weddings and feasts they adorn themselves with their most beautiful clothes. In summer the men have robes of Moose skin, well dressed, white, ornamented with embroidery two fingers' breadth wide from top to bottom, both close and open work. Others have three rows at the bottom, some lengthwise, and others across, others in broken chevrons, or studded with figures of animals, according to the fancy of the workman.

    They work all these fashions in colours of red, violet, and blue, applied on the skin with some isinglass. They had bones fashioned in different ways which they passed quite hot over the colours, in a manner somewhat like that in which one gilds the covers of books. When these colours are once applied, they do not come off with water.

    To dress their skins, these are soaked and stretched in the sun, and are well-heated on the skin side for pulling out the hair. Then they stretch them and pullout the hair with bone instruments made on purpose, somewhat as do those who prepare a skin for conversion into parchment. Then they rub it with bird's liver and a little oil. Next, having rubbed it well between the hands, they dress it over a piece of polished wood made shelving on both sides just as is done to dress the skins for making gloves upon an iron. They rub it until it becomes supple and manageable. Then they wash it and twist it with sticks many times, until it leaves the water clean. Then they spread it to dry.

    For the skins dressed with the hair, these are only treated with the livers, with which they are well rubbed by hand; they are passed repeatedly over the sticks to dress them well. If they are not then soft enough, more of the


livers is added and they are once more rubbed until they are pliable; then they are dried. All of those robes, whether for men or for women, are made like a blanket. The men wear them upon their shoulders, tying the two ends with strings of leather under the chin, while all the remainder is not closed up. They show the whole body with the exception of their privy parts, which are hidden by means of a very supple and very thin skin. This passes between their legs and is attached at the two ends to a girdle of leather which they have around them; and it is called a truss (brayer).

    The women wear this robe in Bohemian fashion. The opening is on one side. They attach it with cords in two places, some distance apart, in such a way that the head can pass through the middle and the arms on the two sides. Then they double the two ends one above the other, and over it they place a girdle which they tie very tightly, in such manner that it cannot falloff. In this way they are entirely covered. They have sleeves of skin which are attached together behind. They have also leggings of skin, like stirrup stockings, without feet; the men wear these likewise.

    They also make moccasins of their old robes of Moose skin, which are greasy and better than new. Their moccas­ins are rounded in front, and the sewing redoubles on the end of the foot, and is puckered as finely as a chemise. It is done very neatly; the girls make them for themselves embellished with colours, the seams being ornamented with quills of Porcupine, which they dye red and violet.

    They have some very beautiful colours, especially their flame-colour, which surpasses all that we see in this country of this nature. It is made from a little root as thick as a thread.1 As for the leaf, they are not willing to show it, something which is unusual with them. Such were approximately their summer clothes. During the winter their robes are of Beaver, of Otter, of Marten, of Lynx, or of Squirrel, always martachees, that is to say, painted.

    Even their faces, when they go to ceremonies with their fine clothes, are painted in red or violet; or else they make long and short rays of colour, according to fancy, on the nose, over the eyes, and along the cheeks, and they grease the hair with oil to make it shine. Those who are finest among them look like a masquerade. Such are their fineries on their days of holiday-making.

1. This plant was without doubt the small bedstraw, the variety called in the older, and as well in the newest, works Galium tinctorium. Its identity is made certain by Slafter,


in the Otis-Slafter Champlain (111.14,15), who cites Kalm as stating that the Indians used the roots of this plant to dye their porcupine quills red, and that the colour stood the weather well.