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160 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 references to the activities of Chipewyan women in his diaries were elided from the published text. By relying on the published sources, both anthropologists and historians have mistakenly characterized the lives of Chipewyan women as 'beasts ofburden' (Rollason also 10cates and corrects the precise sources for this characterization). Such editorial revisions in Hearne's published text raise the vexed questions of why Hearne would choose to make this particular characterization and in whose interests such an image lies. By tugging the thread of aboriginal women's lives, Rollason continues to challenge our understanding of the place of the marginalized in history itself. The only paper that seemed to be out of place in this collection is Joan Fairweather's 'Is This Apartheid? Aboriginal Reserves and Self-Government in Canada, 1960-82.' Fairweather seems to be responding to Peter Carsten's well-known paper on 'Coercion and Change/ but I cannot find the reference anywhere in her work. She is quite right to question the validity of the comparison, especiallyon the grounds thatapartheid sought to create a 'reserVe army' of cheap labour in South Africa, while in Canada the Indian Act effectively removed aboriginal peoples from participation in the labour force. Any such broad comparison must work with the textures of similarities and differences between the two systems under analysis and perhaps Carsten's failure was to look for the similarities and overlook the differences, while Fairweather's is to highlight the differences and overlook the similarities. It cannot be denied that the marginalization of indigenous peoples in both Canada and South Africa is the result of deliberate state policy. This paper is out of place because it lacks the fine historical analysis that characterizes so many of the other papers in this collection. From Earth, Water, Air and Fire we are left with the impression that the history of aboriginal peoples in Canada is a tattered pile of fragments that need to be reintegrated into a new, broader quilt. This is not such a bad impression, as it challenges the fundamentals of the way we continue to think about history and provides us with the baseline, detailed data that can contribute to a more adequate understanding of the place of aboriginal peoples in the Canadian story. (CHRISTOPHER G. TROTT) Jim McDowell. Hamatsa: The Enigma ofCannibalism 011 the Northwest Coast Ronsdale Press 1997. xvi, 300. $17.95 According to fur trader John Meares, Chief Maquinna of the Mowachaht band at Nootka Soundengaged inhideous cannibal acts. While blindfolded he groped after fattened slaves, bit and bludgeoned victims to death, and shared strips of raw human flesh with his guests. Different versions of this story circulated among the sea otter fur traders and were recorded by the Spaniards who in 1789 established a post at Nootka Sound. Although HUMANITIES 161 earlierSpanishexplorershad notmentioned cannibalism durmg theirvisits to many different locations on the Northwest Coast the fur traders convinced the Franciscan friars, seamen, and soldiers at Nootka Sound that their lives were in periL Unlike California, there would be no missions to proselytizeamong the dispersed populations of the Northwest Coast. Some young Native children purchased by the Spaniards affirmed that they had been rescued from terrible deaths. However, there were no first-hand accounts to confirm that Chief Maqumna or anyone else engaged in cannibalism . Indeed, respected twentieth-century Northwest Coast historians such as Judge Frederick W. Howay rejected the rumours and hearsay evidence of the early observers, who lacked extensive knowledge of Native languages and cultures. Howay concluded that cannibalism beyond some ceremonial and symbolic acts did not exist. This study coincides with renewed interest among historians and anthropologists about Northwest Coast cannibalism. McDowell identifies three types of anthropophagy: gustatory, gastronomic, or epicurean cannibalism in which the practitioners truly relish human flesh; ritual cannibalism involving religious and other rites; and survival cannibalism, where starving people consume human flesh through necessity. In his first chapters, McDowell presents a thorough analysis of the existing historical evidence, including published sources that have corne to light since Howay's time. McDowell concludes that there was no gustatory cannibaliSID . Because of their own biases, European visitors expected to find evidence of atrocities, torture, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 160-162
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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