Saturday, July 25, 2009

Riviere du Loop Campground-July 25

It has been a cool rainy day-actually the rain started last night at our campground outside of Quebec city. We are about 100 miles north of that place now and the temperature here is 53 degrees. This campground is filled with children and they all seem to be enjoying a ride around the area on a cart which has a Christmas tree,small fire blazing,and flashing lights with sirens. Appropriately they are singing Jingle Bells in French! I mentioned a few days back that we toured a recreated Huron Indian traditional village on the Wendake Reservation. Guess this is a good time as ever to explain what we saw there. I certainly learned a lot. We had a knowledgeable tour guide who seemed passionate about giving the straight facts regarding his heritage. He is one-quarter Huron. Immediately after introducing himself he explained that his beard should have been a clue to us that he was not pure-blooded Indian. The native Indian has no facial hair because of his origins many years ago. The native American Indian came from Mongolia and consequently has the physical features of copper-tone skin,high cheek bones and no facial hair. The guide had a lot to share with us concerning the Huron history,tales and legends. One of their beliefs is that the world is sitting on a turtle and when it moves we have earthquakes(see picture posted here). We saw several of their dances performed. In one dance a man had on half of a face mask(as shown in the picture). According to our guide it is only the Huron tribe that has this custom(apparently Hollywood gets this wrong in their movies). In the recreated village we were shown the tent of a medicine man,and were asked not to take pictures there. The Indians believe that in doing so we would take away the power of the items which were on display in the tent that belong to the shaman. Our guide commented that the shaman's popularity with the Native Indian is returning. One other interesting ritual we saw on the tour was the passing of the peace pipe. In this pipe is burned tobacco,sage and marsh grass. Makes for a nice sweet smell! And if your friend coughs or chokes when he smokes it after you,it proves that he is dishonest. Our guide wryly suggested that is how we should check out our politicians!

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