More from Pierre Biard’s Relations of New France, 1616.
- In Europe fathers supply dowries when their daughters marry. Here the suitor brings fine presents to the father…dogs, beavers, cooking vessels, axes, etc., depending on the status of the father and the beauty of his daughter.
- The father then meets with his relatives to discuss the qualities of the suitor: Is he of a desirable age? Is he a good and active hunter? What about his race, standing, and valour?
- If the suitor is accepted, they set the date of the wedding which is celebrated with a solemn tobacco ceremony and a banquet with speeches, dances, and songs.
- They build huts and furnish them, look after the fire, collect wood and water, prepare and smoke the meat to preserve it… sew together the canoes and waterproof them, tan the hides, …make clothes and shoes for the whole family, go fishing and pull valiantly at the oars.
- When our ships arrive in the summer, they greedily devour an enormous amount of unfamiliar food over several weeks. They get drunk on wine or brandy, so that it is not surprising if they have very sore stomachs come fall. But this nation, like all the other American tribes, does not worry at all about the future. They enjoy the present and work only when absolutely necessary.