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NOTES TO VOL. XII
(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to pages
of English text.)
1 (p. 25).— This remedy for dysentery is apparently the same as that prescribed to Cartier by the ruler of Hochelaga, for the plague of scurvy,
,- see Brief Récit (Tross ed., 1863), fol. 38: "Then Dom Agaya sent two women in search of it; they brought nine or ten boughs thereof, and made us understand that we must strip off the bark and leaves of this tree, and boil the whole in water; that then we must drink of this water for two days, and put the pulp upon the swollen and inflamed limbs; and that this tree would cure all disease. They call this tree, in their language, Ameda.”
Laverdière, Ferland, and others regard this tree as probably epinette blanche, or hemlock spruce (Abies canadensis, Mich.), indigenous to Northeastern America.
Josselyn also mentions (N. Eng. Rarities, p. 64) the medicinal properties of spruce: “ The tops of green spruce-boughs, boiled in bear, and drunk, is assuredly one of the best remedies for the scurvy, restoring the infected party in a short time. They also make a lotion of some of the decoction; adding honey and allum.
The Indians break and heal their swellings and sores with it; boyling the inner bark of young hemlock very well; then knocking of it betwixt two stones to a playster; and, annointing or soaking it in soyls' oil, they apply it to the sore. It will break a sore swelling speedily."
2 (p. 27).— The symbolization of lightning by the serpent, occasioned by obvious resemblances,- in sinuous motion, celerity of action, and fatal stroke,- is as old and as extensive as the human race; to it is due, in the opinion of many writers, the genesis of the Old-World legends of Osiris, Indras, Perseus, and Beowulf. Huitzipochtli, the war god of the Aztecs, was called “the Hurler," as hurling the lightning serpent against his enemies; and other Central American tribes worshiped Mixcoatl, the “cloud serpent,' a personification of the tornado; while the Ojibwas, the Illinois, and many other Northern tribes relate legends of the serpents (lightnings) that are the food of the “thunder-birds”- this last perhaps the most general of our aboriginal myths concerning the phenomena
of the thunderstorm (vol. x., note 3). See Jones's Ojebway Indians (London, n.d.), pp. 85-87; and Dorman's Origin of Primitive Superstitions (Phila., 1881), pp. 271 – 276. In all these myths, the serpent is symbolical, in its turn, of the waters, and of the unceasing conflict of the elements.
3 (p. 33). - Michtabouchiou: the same as Michabou or Manabozho (vol. v., note 41). Cf. Squier's “ Manabozho and the Great Serpent," in Amer. Review, vol. ii. (N. Y., 1845), pp. 392-398; chapter
Manabozho" in Emerson's Indian Myths (Boston, 1884), pp. 336-371; and Hoffman's collection of Menomonee myths relating to this personage, in Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1892-93, pp. 161–209.
4 (p. 37). — Other versions of this legend appear in the myths of various tribes. The Ojibwas relate that a boy, enraged because the heat of the sun had singed his birdskin coat, contrived a snare with which he caught the sun “at the moment of its rising above the earth's disk;" the dormouse — "then the largest animal in the world"-set the sun free by cutting the snare with its teeth; but the sun's intense heat so burned the dormouse's body that it was reduced to its present small size. - Schoolcraft's Hiawatha (Phila., 1856), pp. 239-242.
The Menomonees have a similar tale, in which the cord is cut by a mouse (Bur. Ethnol. Rep., 1892-93, pp. 181, 182).
An Omaha legend, secured by Dorsey, relates that the rabbit, vexed that his morning hunt was always anticipated by the Sun, resolved to catch the latter in a snare. Having done this, but obliged himself to cut the cord, the rabbit's hair between the shoulders was scorched yellow by the sun's heat, which mark is still visible.- Contributions to N. Amer. Ethnology (U. S. Geog. and Geol. Survey), vol. vi., pp. 14, 15.
The story of Tchakabech's ascent to the sky suggests the nursery tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk." It is also akin to a tradition among the Minnetarees that in former times all the tribes of their stock lived underground, but that two boys among them climbed upward, by the roots of a great vine, to the surface of the earth; finding there a rich and beautiful country, they returned below, and persuaded their people to migrate to this new land. - Jones's Traditions of N. Amer. Indians (London, 1830), vol. i., pp. xix., 201 - 209,
Ojibwa and Menomonee legends of Manabush say that he caused the pine tree to grow to several times the original size, that he might rise above the earth (Jour. Amer. Folk-Lore, vol. iv., pp. 202, 212).
5 (p. 73).-— The notion of a turtle upholding the earth is prominent in the Huron story of creation as given by Brébeuf in Relation
of 1636 (vol. x. of this series, p. 129). Hale relates a similar tale as given by an old Huron —"perhaps the most complete account of the Huron cosmogonic myth which has yet been obtained” (Jour. Amer. Folk-Lore, vol. i., pp. 178–183). Cf. Cusick's Ancient History of the Six Nations (Lockport, N. Y., 1848), p. 13.
The Delawares also fancied that “an enormous tortoise carried the world on its back;" see Loskiel's Mission among Indians of N. America (Latrobe's trans., London, 1794), part 1, p. 30. Cf. Heckewelder's "Indian Nations," in Amer. Philos. Soc. Trans. (Hist. and Lit. Com.), vol. i. (Phila., 1819), p. 246: “The Tortoise, or as it is commonly called, the Turtle tribe, among the Lenape, claims a superiority and ascendency over the others, because their relation, the great Tortoise, a fabled monster, the Atlas of their mythology, bears according to their traditions this great island on his back, and also because he is amphibious, and can live both on land and in the water, which neither of the heads of the other tribe[s] can do.” Cf. also the “Walam Olum” of the Lenape, as given in Brinton's Lenåpé and their Legends (Phila., 1885), p. 179; he remarks (p. 133), “ The turtle or tortoise is everywhere in Algonkin pictography the symbol of the earth.” Schoolcraft makes a similar statement.
In some instances, the tortoise was also regarded as a creative agent. Dankers and Sluyter record — in their “ Journal of a Voyage to New York, 1679–80" (translated by Murphy), in Long Island Histor. Soc. Memoirs, vol. i. (Brooklyn, 1867), p. 268 — the statements of Indians whom they met near the present Newark, N. J., ascribing such power to the turtle: • The true name by which they call this Supreme Being, the first and great beginning of all things, was Kickeron or Kickerom, who is the origin of all, who has not only once produced or made all things, but produces every day.
I told him I had conversed with Jasper or Tantaqué, another old Indian, on the subject, from whence all things had come, and he had told me they came from a tortoise; that this tortoise had brought forth the world, or that all things had come from it; that from the middle of the tortoise there had sprung up a tree, upon whose branches men had grown. That was true, he replied, but Kicheron [sic] made the tortoise, and the tortoise had a power and a nature to produce all things, such as earth, trees, and the like, which God wished through it to produce, or have produced.”
Peter Jones (Ojebway Indians, p. 255) states that in 1837 he saw, near the N. E. shore of Lake Huron, an island on which there was a large rock shaped like a turtle, to which “the heathen Indians frequently offered their devotions and sacrifices;" and he found beneath its head several pieces of tobacco, evidently left there by the Indians as such offerings.
6 (p. 97).— See sketch of Ragueneau in vol. ix., note 40.
7 (p. 113). — Khiondaësahan (also spelled Ekhiondatsaan): A large village on the trail to Teanaustayé (St. Joseph). As this name occurs in the Relations only in 1637, the village was probably removed elsewhere soon after that year.- A. F. HUNTER.
8 (p. 117). — See Le Jeune's description of the aboriginal process of fire-making (vol. vi., p. 217). The “metallic stones" were pieces of iron pyrites, used from the earliest times (and even now employed by some Eskimo tribes) for this purpose — sometimes alone, but more often with Aint. This primitive method was succeeded in the Iron Age by the flint and steel, which is still used in many parts of the world, and has but recently been superseded in civilized countries by the lucifer match (invented about 1830). The outfit of Alint, steel, and tinder used by Europeans was early supplemented by matches (Fr. allumettes),-slightly-twisted hempen cords, or splinters of wood, tipped with sulphur. Such as these, Le Jeune refers to in the text. The tinder box of the Europeans was readily adopted by the American Indians, as they came into association with white men, and, among many tribes, soon superseded their own primitive methods. For detailed account of aboriginal appliances for fire-making, with many illustrations, see Hough's “ FireMaking Apparatus,” in U. S. Nat. Mus. Rep., 1887–88, pp. 531 – 587.
9 (p. 127).— For sketches of Chastellain and Garnier, see vol. viii., notes 51, 52.
10 (p. 133). — River of the Hiroquois: thus named by the French because it was the route used by their Iroquois enemies for hostile incursions; later, known as Richelieu River. Sauthier's map (engraved by Faden, 1777) gives the name Richelieu only to that part of the river above Chambly; thence to St. Antoine, he names the river Chambly; and the rest of the stream, to its mouth, the Sorel. These latter names are those of officers under Marquis de Tracy, who by his orders erected forts on this river (August, 1664),-Pierre de Saurel (or Sorel), who built the fort of that name, at the mouth of the river, on the site of old Fort Richelieu; and Jacques de Chambly, who erected a fortification at the foot of the rapids, at the present village of Chambly.
II (p. 133). — This rapid was at first called simply “Grand Sault," the great rapid; but after 1611 it received the name Sault St. Louis — apparently in memory of a young Frenchman named Louis, who in that year was drowned while attempting to descend the rapids in a canoe. The name St. Louis is also applied to the lake above, formed by an expansion of the St. Lawrence; and, again, designates the seigniory lying on the southern shore, opposite the rapids, in which the old mission town, Caughnawaga, is situated.