teueikan indians

Mr. Fronçois form the information center of baie saint paul  liked our car and a bit later we hosted him as a guest and i provided us with several very interesting information. One of those was chantal wapukuan, she is a memer oft he „teueikan“ he so called „first nation poeple“ sho got the french given name from her grand mother, she was keen on the chic of paris and and otherwise we would have not recognized her as an Indian woman, especially since she first came to meet us in western dresses.

until the 1980ies the canadian authorities had tried everything to suppress the culture and language of the natives and chantal also discovered late that she knew as good as nothing about their cultural roots. Even the language was foreign to her, her “mother tongue” was french for a long time.

I had in mind that we get offered a folkloric show, but I was wrong. So pure and personally I had never delved into a nascent into a disappearing culture – Chantal explained not only objects of daily demand but also how and from what they have been prepared and in addition, she showed us many plants used for medical purposes and rites of their people. You should experience this fascinating and earthy culture at chantal´s and her husband´s place. The two also offer accommodation service in their tipis with nightly campfire.

Sure I can not play all the stories, so here only two details that have me particularly intrigued. Chantal showed us various animal skins and the difference between industrially tanned skins of those who were treated in traditional Indian fashion. The Indian variant was much, much softer and even breathable. And how it was produced? With a lot of water and the brains of moose and bears. Nothing for olfactory sensitive noses but the result is amazing.

In earlier times, the women and men of the teueikan were naked in the summer months and they put their wigwams at the river shores for fishing. In the winter months they moved to the game-rich forests and used different clothing parts against the fierce cold. Despite all revival thoughts it seems that the jesuit moral which was forced on them is obviously not reversible. Too bad ……  © n.g.

chantal wapukuan 18 léo-cauchon  baie-saint-paul (québec) canada G3Z1H4  contact@teueikan.ca

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