Monday, January 30, 2017

How the Montagnais tribe jerked moose meat

Theodor de Bry woodcut of a 16th century
eastern woodland Indian making stew.
Posting this for no other reason than because this came up in conversation today with regard to the difference between our modern "civilized" way of life, and how aboriginal peoples lived (and in some cases, still live). This is just one of a multitude of anecdotes in this vein that can be culled from the Jesuit Relations.

Also putting it here so I don't forget the reference the next time it comes up in conversation.  
“When they are engaged in drying meat, they will throw down upon the ground a whole side of the Moose, beat it with stones, walk over it, trample upon it with their dirty feet; the hairs of men and of animals, the feathers of birds, if they have killed any, dirt and ashes,—all these are ground into the meat, which they make almost as hard as wood with the smoke. Then when they come to eat this dried meat, all goes together into the stomach, for they have not washed it. In fact, they think that we are very foolish to wash our meat, for some of the grease goes away with the water.”
Taken from the Relation of what occurred in New France on the Great River St. Lawrence, in the year one thousand six hundred thirty-four (AD 1634). by Father Paul le Jeune, SJ, Chapter VI: On Their Vices and Their Imperfections.

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