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Petun to Wyandot

Petun to Wyandot: The Ontario Petun from the Sixteenth Century

Charles Garrad
Jean-Luc Pilon
William Fox
Series: Mercury Series
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 656
  • Book Info
    Petun to Wyandot
    Book Description:

    InPetun to Wyandot, Charles Garrad draws upon five decades of research to tell the turbulent history of the Wyandot tribe, the First Nation once known as the Petun. Combining and reconciling primary historical sources, archaeological data and anthropological evidence, Garrad has produced the most comprehensive study of the Petun Confederacy. Beginning with their first encounters with French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1616 and extending to their decline and eventual dispersal, this book offers an account of this people from their own perspective and through the voices of the nations, tribes and individuals that surrounded them.

    Through a cross-reference of views, including historical testimony from Jesuits, European explorers and fur traders, as well as neighbouring tribes and nations,Petun to Wyandotuncovers the Petun way of life by examining their culture, politics, trading arrangements and legends. Perhaps most valuable of all, it provides detailed archaeological evidence from the years of research undertaken by Garrad and his colleagues in the Petun Country, located in the Blue Mountains of Central Ontario. Along the way, the author meticulously chronicles the work of other historians and examines their theories regarding the Petun's enigmatic life story.

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-2151-7
    Subjects: Anthropology, Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-v)
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xxiii)
  5. Editors’ Foreword
    (pp. xxv-xxv)
    Jean-Luc Pilon and William Fox

    Petun to Wyandotis a distillation of a much larger volume assembled by Mr. Charles Garrad over the course of nearly 15 years. A copy of that manuscript has been deposited in the Archives of the Canadian Museum of History and is available for public consultation. The interested reader will find in that document additional information pertaining to the Petun and the Wyandot that was judged to be more peripheral to the topic of Petun archaeology but which nonetheless informs the subject.

    Petun to Wyandotrepresents a rare body of knowledge. It is the painstaking and loving accumulation of a...

  6. Foreword
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
    Charles Garrad

    This volume is a response Bruce G. Trigger’s challenge and is intended to make the Ontario Petun less obscure. My deep regret is that Bruce G. Trigger did not live to see the result.

    My hope and purpose is to record something of what I think I know at this time about the Petun Indians when they lived in their Ontario homeland, the “Petun Country,” ca. A.D. 1580-1650, and to trace their Wyandot descendants to the present day. Others may continue the research and build on this knowledge. This book summarises and presents the results of more than five decades...

  7. Chapter 1 Background Information
    (pp. 1-54)

    François Xavier Garneau (1862: xix) wrote, “There are few countries in America, concerning which so much has been written as Canada, and yet there are few so deficient as we are in histories.” By 1865 the Abbé Etienne Michel Faillon (1865: vii) could add: “Ce qu’on a écrit sur l’histoire Canadienne n’est pas toujours exempt d’inexactitude” (“That which is written on the history of Canada is not always free from error”). The following is not a history per se, and its focus is on but a small part of Canada where some Wyandot people resided for less than a century...

  8. Chapter 2 Locating the Petun Country
    (pp. 55-88)

    The area known as ‘the Petun Country’ is where the Petun (Wyandot) peoples lived for about 70 years between about A.D. 1580 and 1650. It was the name used by the Rev. Arthur E. Jones (1909: 221, 235) for what might be more properly termed the ‘Petun Archaeological Zone.’ The term was adopted by Collingwood historian, postmaster, and Board of Trade President, the late Joseph N. Bourrie (1944, 1949) in two articles that he published to promote knowledge of the Petun Indians in the area of Collingwood, Ontario. The location of the Petun Country is known from contemporary and later...

  9. Chapter 3 The Origins of the Petun
    (pp. 89-153)

    Joseph P. Donnelly claimed that the “origin of the Huron nation is lost in the mists of prehistory” (Donnelly 1975: 19). In response, I must point out that the historic Huron were not a nation but a confederacy of separate and distinct nations, temporarily and loosely allied under the compulsion of prevailing circumstances. Each individual nation had its own individual histories since they evolved and separated from a common origin far back in time.

    The Petun have a different story. Their existence was not recorded until they were actually contacted by Europeans, and no knowledge of them anciently or prehistorically...

  10. Chapter 4 French Sources
    (pp. 155-204)

    We might always wonder about when the first meeting between a Petun and a European actually took place. Could there have been some Petun travellers in the St.Lawrence Valley visiting with St.Lawrence Iroquoians when Jacques Cartier first entered that river in 1534, or later when he attempted to establish a settlement at Cap Rouge in 1543? Might a Petun have found himself along the eastern seaboard of today’s United States of America when early explorations took place there? History is silent on the subject.

    We do know, however, that Samuel de Champlain, sometimes described as the father of New France,...

  11. Chapter 5 The Mission of the Apostles to the Petun, 1639-1650
    (pp. 205-263)

    When the French arrived in North America, the Indians “had a religion that sufficed very well for their needs and saw no need to abandon it. Moreover, the Christian religion incorporated a complex and strict moral code and much of it conflicted with the Indians’ own mores” (Eccles 1998: 28). “The Hurons showed little inclination to accept the religious beliefs of the French, but they were avid for their trade goods” (ibid.: 46).

    The task of converting the Huron nation to Christianity proved to be far more difficult than the Jesuits had imagined. The Roman religion of the French was...

  12. Chapter 6 Using Native Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites
    (pp. 265-344)

    To understand what happened in the Petun Country during the 70 years or so (ca. A.D. 1580-1650) that the Wyandot peoples collectively nicknamed Petun were present there, it is necessary to date their archaeological remains as accurately as possible, ideally to within 10 years, and certainly to within a Glass Bead Period (see Chapter 1.2.5). This chapter examines certain Petun artifacts which, at our present level of understanding, seem to offer varying potential for suggesting the approximate date or time period (as GBP) when there was activity and occupancy in the villages or campsites where they were found. These are...

  13. Chapter 7 Using European Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites
    (pp. 345-387)

    The use of artifacts to date the archaeological sites on which they were found has already been discussed (Chapter 6.0.1). In this chapter, archaeological sites in the Petun Country will be dated by their association with a number of the most time-sensitive goods imported from Europe, both for trade to the Native Peoples and for the use of the French themselves. These items include glass beads, brass and copper wares, iron knives, iron axes, swords, guns, brass bezelled finger rings, and certain other French imported goods. These are by no means the entire range of goods imported by the French...

  14. Chapter 8 Petun Subsistence and Economy
    (pp. 389-418)

    The subjects of Petun economy and subsistence have been competently addressed. The relevance of the physical geography of the Petun Country and other Petun village location determinants were the subject of Lynda Davidge’s study early in our research programme (Davidge 1971). The faunal remains on 20 Petun village sites were studied by Dr. Howard Savage and his students between 1966 and 1996, and the faunal data to 1981 ably interpreted and summarised by Peter Hamalainen for his M.A. thesis (Hamalainen 1981b). Petun floral exploitation has also received the expert attention of John “Jock” McAndrews at the Royal Ontario Museum, and...

  15. Chapter 9 Petun Village and Camp Sites Interpreted
    (pp. 419-467)

    In this chapter, the relationships and movements of Petun villages and some camps will be interpreted, and matched to the historical record detailed earlier.

    The archaeological sequence since the close of the last Ice Age in Southern Ontario is fairly well understood and is divided by archaeologists into time periods which reflect periodic archaeologically detectable evidence of changes in material culture. Not all archaeologists divide the sequence into periods the same way, or use the same dates to divide the periods or even the same terminology. Some further subdivide the periods. The time period references used here as applicable to...

  16. Chapter 10 The Petun and their Neighbours
    (pp. 469-498)

    Archaeological data can be used as proxy data for cultural aspects which otherwise do not directly preserve in the archaeological record. These less tangible cultural features are nonetheless essential for understanding the overall context of the archaeological remains and, while there may be an additional layer of subjectivity added, the greater distance from the material evidence results in an increased understanding of the history being examined simply due to contemplation of the subjects.

    This chapter is divided into two main sections. The first presents reflections on aspects of the population dynamics during the period under consideration as well as some...

  17. Chapter 11 After the Dispersal
    (pp. 499-523)

    The Dispersal of the Petun was not a unique event but part of the general Dispersal of all the Ontario Iroquoian groups within several years. Absolutely nothing was recorded at the time of the circumstances and process of the abandonment by the Petun of the Petun Country in A.D. 1650. It is accepted that the Petun departed that year together with the refugees from Ossossané who remained with them (Chapter 5.7.1). No details are known about this, however, and such can only be deduced from minimally available evidence. The probabilities concluded here reflect the state of knowledge at this time...

  18. Appendix A Abbreviations Used for Pottery Type Names in the Petun Country
    (pp. 525-526)
  19. Appendix B Summaries of Petun Village Site Faunal Reports
    (pp. 527-533)
  20. Appendix C Linguistic Data
    (pp. 535-545)
  21. Appendix D Petun Wampum Belts
    (pp. 547-553)
  22. Appendix E Names for the Petun
    (pp. 555-563)
  23. References Cited
    (pp. 565-614)
  24. Index
    (pp. 615-623)