THE SAVAGES OF NEW BRUNSWICK: RATHER LIBERAL AND IN NO WAY MALICIOUS.
When the Jesuit Pierre Biard visited what is now
- The savages are by nature rather liberal and in no way malicious. They are intelligent, at least when assessing and evaluating things that can commonly be perceived. They are able to reason, make apt comparisons, and draw valid inferences.
- They also have an excellent memory of concrete things. For example, they remember what they have seen, the characteristics of places they visited, the events they witnessed over the last twenty or thirty years.
- But it is very diffiult for them to learn anything by heart. It is impossible to teach them a long monologue.
- Neither men nor women have any facial hair.
- At first they thought our hair, especially hair around the mouth, extremely ugly, but eventually they got used to it and no longer considered us terribly marred.
- None of them has a fat belly, or a hunchback, or is crippled in any way. They have never heard of leprosy, gout, kidney stones, or madness. They notice and greatly mock anyone among us who has a physical defect, who is one-eyed or cross-eyed, or has a flat nose.
- Although they live a wretched life and have no polity, no power, no literature, art or wealth, they are quite self-satisfied.
(Source: Pierre Biard, Relation de Nouvelle France, 1616. Image: douglashunter.ca)
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