An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton.

Accordingly he repairs forthwith to the woods, and stays there for two or three days, diverting himself with hunting; at the end of which it has been agreed on, to send all the youths of the village to fetch him:  and they come back loaded with game of all sorts, though the bridegroom is not suffered to carry any thing.  There is also great provision made of seal and sea-cows for the wedding-feast.

The head Juggler of the village, meets the bridegroom who is at the head of the procession, takes him by the hand, and conducts him to the cabbin of the bride, where he is to take part of her bed; upon which he lies down by her side, and both continue unmoveable and silent like two statues, whilst they are obliged to hear the long tedious harangues of the Juggler, of the parents of both, and of their oldest relations.  After that, they both get up, and are led, the one by the young men, the other by the girls, to the place of entertainment, all singing, shooting, and dancing.

The bridegroom is seated amongst the young men on one side, and the bride amongst the girls on another.  One of his friends takes an Oorakin, loads it with roast-meat, and sets it down by him, whilst one of her’s does the same thing, with an Oorakin of the same size, and nearly alike, which is placed by the bride’s side.  After this ceremony of placing the Oorakin, the Juggler pronounces certain magical words over the meat:  he foretels, especially to the bride, the dreadful consequences she must expect from the victuals she is about to eat, if she has in her heart any perfidiousness towards her husband:  that she may be assured of finding in the Oorakin that contains them, a certain prognostic of her future happiness, or unhappiness:  of happiness, if she is disposed never in her life to betray her nation, nor especially her husband, upon any occasion, or whatever may befal her:  of unhappiness, if through the caresses of strangers, or by any means whatever she should be induced to break her faith to him, or to reveal to the enemy the secrets of the country.

At the end of every period, all the assistants signify their assent to the Juggler’s words, by a loud exclamation of Hah! Whilst he is talking, the particular friend of the bridegroom, and that of the bride, keep their eyes fixed on the two Oorakins; and as soon as he has done, the bride’s friend making as if she did not think of what she was about, takes the Oorakin allotted for the bridegroom, and carries it to the bride, whilst the bridegroom’s friend, (the thing being pre-concerted) acts the like mummery of inadvertence, and sets before the bridegroom the Oorakin belonging to the bride; after which the dishes are served in to the rest of the company.  When they are all served, the two friends of the parties musing a little, pretend to have just then discovered their exchange of the bride and bridegroom’s Oorakins.  They declare it openly to each

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An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, Now Dependent on the Government of Cape-Breton from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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