Friday, November 10, 2006

Your People Live Only Upon Cod...

Thank you to SquareCube over at the Active Low-Carber Forum for this gem!

"Your People Live Only Upon Cod": An Algonquian Response to European Claims of Cultural Superiority

Now tell me this one little thing, if thou hast any sense: Which of these two is the wisest and happiest—he who labours without ceasing and only obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he who rests in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasure of hunting and fishing? It is true, that we have not always had the use of bread and of wine which your France produces; but, in fact, before the arrival of the French in these parts, did not the Gaspesians live much longer than now? And if we have not any longer among us any of those old men of a hundred and thirty to forty years, it is only because we are gradually adopting your manner of living, for experience is making it very plain that those of us live longest who, despising your bread, your wine, and your brandy, are content with their natural food of beaver, of moose, of waterfowl, and fish, in accord with the custom of our ancestors and of all the Gaspesian nation. Learn now, my brother, once for all, because I must open to thee my heart: there is no Indian who does not consider himself infinitely more happy and more powerful than the French.

Source: William F. Ganong, trans. and ed., New Relation of Gaspesia, with the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians,by Chrestien LeClerq (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1910), 103–06

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    One hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty?? That makes me a spring chicken at a mere 48!

    I am off to Google more on the Gaspesian nation... might want to move there soon...