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Petun to Wyandot

The Ontario Petun from the Sixteenth Century

Charles Garrad

Publication Year: 2014

In Petun 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. Beginning with the tribe’s first encounters with French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1616 and extending to their eventual decline and 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 priests, European explorers and fur traders, as well as neighbouring tribes and nations, Petun to Wyandot uncovers 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 provides a meticulous chronicle of the work by other historians and the theories regarding this little-understood people.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Mercury Series

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

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pp. v

Charles Garrad’s lifetime’s work combines and reconciles primary historical sources, archaeological data and anthropological evidence to tell the turbulent history of the Wyandot, the First Nation once known as the Petun. Drawing on...

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pp. vi

Dans ce qui constitue l’oeuvre de sa vie, Charles Garrad réunit et concilie à la fois les sources primaires historiques et les données archéologiques et anthropologiques pour raconter l’histoire turbulente des Wyandots, une Première Nation connue auparavant...

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-xvii


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pp. xix-xx


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pp. xxi

List of Plates

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pp. xxiii

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Editors’ Foreword

Jean-Luc Pilon, William Fox

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pp. xxv

Petun to Wyandot is 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...

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pp. xxvii-xxviii

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...

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Chapter 1: Background Information

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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...

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Chapter 2: Locating the Petun Country

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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...

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Chapter 3: The Origins of the Petun

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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...

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Chapter 4: French Sources

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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,...

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Chapter 5: The Mission of the Apostles to the Petun, 1639-1650

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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’...

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Chapter 6: Using Native Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites

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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...

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Chapter 7: Using European Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites

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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...

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Chapter 8: Petun Subsistence and Economy

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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...

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Chapter 9: Petun Village and Camp Sites Interpreted

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pp. 419-467

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...

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Chapter 10: The Petun and their Neighbours

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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,...

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Chapter 11: After the Dispersal

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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...

Appendix A: Abbreviations Used for Pottery Type Names in the Petun Country

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pp. 525-526

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Appendix B: Summaries of Petun Village Site Faunal Reports

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pp. 527-533

This appendix commences with details excerpted from Maria De Angelis-Pater’s 1996 analysis of the Latimer site faunal sample, presented in the format used by Cooper and Savage (1994). The remainder is excerpted from Zooarchaeological Analysis on Ontario Sites:...

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Appendix C: Linguistic Data

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pp. 535-545

The language of the Petuns was a dialect of Wendat (Wyandot), or Huron-Wyandot language, a Northern Iroquoian language which has been called “Huronian” (Heidenreich and Burgar 1999: 67). Other than to note that Horatio Hale (1883a: 24, 26) held that Wyandot...

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Appendix D: Petun Wampum Belts

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pp. 547-553

William H. Holmes observed that: “The name Wampum is often applied to shell beads indiscriminately, but frequently has a more restricted significance, referring to small cylindrical varieties used in strings and belts” (Holmes 1883: 238-239). The term is used here...

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Appendix E: Names for the Petun

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pp. 555-563

This list of names was compiled from various sources and is not inclusive. Not all could be confirmed to a cited reference. Many of the supposed names are probably transcription errors, to which NYCD seem particularly prone. There may be later editions than those cited. Some...

References Cited

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pp. 565-614


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pp. 615-623

E-ISBN-13: 9780776621517

Page Count: 700
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Mercury Series