Thursday, June 01, 2006

Champlain's Travel in Huronia Aug-Sept 1615

In Champlain's words;

After crossing a bay, which forms one of the extremities of the lake, [119] we went some seven leagues until we arrived in the country of the Attigouautan at a village called Otoüacha, on the first day of August. (1615)

The next day (Aug 2nd1615) I went to another village, called Carmaron, a league distant from this, where they received us in a very friendly manner, making for us a banquet with their bread, squashes, and fish. As to meat, that is very scarce there. The chief of this village earnestly begged me to stay, to which I could not consent, but returned to our village, where on the next night but one, as I went out of the cabin to escape thefleas, of which there were large numbers and by which we were tormented, a girl of little modesty came boldly to me and offered to keep me company, for which I thanked her, sending her away with gentle remonstrances, and spent the night with some savages.

The next day (Aug 3rd 1615) I departed from this village to go to another, called Touaguainchain, and to another, called Tequenonquiaye, in which we were received in a very friendly manner by the inhabitants, who showed us the best cheer they could with their Indian corn served in various styles.
Thence I had them guide me to Carhagouha, which was fortified by a triple palisade of wood thirty-five feet high for its defence and protection. In this village Father Joseph was staying, whom we saw and were very glad to find well. He on his part was no less glad, and was expecting nothing so little as to see me in this country. On the twelfth day of August (1615) the Recollect Father celebrated the holy mass, and a cross was planted near a small house apart from the village, which the savages built while I was staying there, awaiting the arrival of our men and their preparation to go to the war, in which they had been for a long time engaged.
Finding that they were so slow in assembling their army, and that I should have time to visit their country, I resolved to go by short days' journeys from village to village as far as Cahiagué, where the rendezvous of theentire army was to be, and which was fourteen leagues distant from Carhagouha, from which village I set out on the fourteenth of August (1615) with ten of my companions. I visited five of the more important villages, which were enclosed with palisades of wood, and reached Cahiagué, the principal village of the country, where there were two hundred large cabins and where all the men of war were to assemble. Now in all these villages they received us very courteously with their simple welcome. All the country where I went contains some twenty to thirty leagues, is very fine, and situated in latitude 44° 30'. It is very extensively cleared up.

The greater portion of our men having assembled, we set out from the village on the first day of September (1615) and passed along the shore of a small lake, [139] distant three leagues from the village, where they catch large quantities of fish, which they preserve for the winter. There is another lake, [140] closely adjoining, which is twenty-five leagues in circuit, and slows into the small one by a strait, where the above mentioned extensive fishing is carried on. This is done by means of a large number of stakes which almost close the strait, only some little openings being left where they place their nets, in which the fish are caught. These two lakes dischargeinto the Mer Douce. We remained some time in this place to await the rest of our savages

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