The jesuit relations

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The jesuit relations

  1. 1. The Jesuit Relations<br />B. Scott Tucker<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Jesuits were members of a religious order, The Society of Jesus, founded by Spanish ex-soldier Ignatius of Loyola in 1534.<br />Jesuit activities were multifaceted, encompassing education, literary and scientific activities, pastoral care, and overseas missions. <br />Every Jesuit was a college teacher.<br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />Missions abroad to convert the “heretics” and the “heathens” were part of the Jesuit program from the start.<br />Spanish Jesuits formed reduciones, protective mission settlements, for protection and indoctrination. <br />Iroquoians were considered superior to the Algonquians due to their mode of existence that corresponded closer to European Cultural Ideals.<br />
  4. 4. Montagnais Hunters of the Northern Woodlands<br />Earliest Jesuit Relations were written by Father Paul Le Jeune. (1592- 1664)<br />Main focus was on Montagnais. Developed finely tuned strategies from from deriving a living from inhospitable surroundings.<br />Travelled in relatively small numbers. <br />Known as hunter/gatherer/ foragers. <br />Summers were for fishing and berrying, autumn and winter brought hunting for meat and pelts for trade. <br />
  5. 5. Montagnais Hunters of the Northern Woodlands<br />Montagnais saw animals and natural phenomena as possessing their own spirits “animism.”<br />Shamans or “jugglers”, as known by the Jesuits, were men or woman known to posses spiritual powers. <br />Excelled in the technology of transportation. (Birch bark canoes in summers, when the waterways froze hunters donned snowshoes and pulled their cargo on wooden toboggans,)<br />
  6. 6. Disease and Medicine<br />Historians estimate upwards of 50% of the Indian population was wiped out by the European illnesses and diseases. (Smallpox, influenza, measles)<br />“Flourishing villages” transformed into hospitals.<br />Jesuits brought various medicines, including sugar, widely considered a cure-all in the 17th century.<br />Jesuits did not believe themselves to be doctors, they put their efforts into baptizing the dying rather than relieving the suffering of the living.<br />Jesuits focused more on the ultimate question of why disease spread. Perceived signs of God’s plan to punish the wicked, test the resolution of the virtuous, simply gather souls to heaven.<br />
  7. 7. Disease and Medicine<br />Natives contributed illness to both natural and supernatural causes. <br />Shaman’s (spiritual/ medical specialists) often administered medications derived from roots, bark, or leaves of particular plants and trees. <br />Many Huron medical procedures involved the mind as well as the body, natives didn’t see illness as a pure physical problem. <br />Indians also believed that dance and games (lacrosse, dish, and straw) could help remedy illness.<br />
  8. 8. Writings on the Natural Environment<br />Europeans of the 17th century tried to understand the world around them in either natural or religious terms, whereas Natives of the time were not so inclined to separate natural and supernatural frames of reference. <br />Natives speculated about mysterious celestial phenomena such as thunder or eclipses through stories featuring figures that combined human, animal, and magical/ spiritual qualities. <br />
  9. 9. Writings on the Natural Environment<br />The North American Environment was a treasure trove of resources. <br />Rivers rich of salmon, brill perch, sturgeons, herring and cod.<br />The seal fisheries furnish the whole country with oil, and a surplus that is sold to France and The West Indies.<br />The white whale(Beluga) hoped to yield more oil and of higher quality.<br />All kinds of timber used for housing and building ships.<br />Plants, besides, ordinary grains that were to be planted and cultivated with a good yield were hemp and flax.<br />
  10. 10. Missions to the Iroquois<br />One of the great ambitions of the Jesuits was to convert the Iroquois.<br />Many attempt were made in the 1650’s, but success only came after 1667 when a comprehensive and lasting peace was established. <br />Jesuits worked among the Five Nations Iroquois until 1684 and netted a substantial number of converts, many of them who migrated north to leave near French settlements on the St. Lawrence River. <br />
  11. 11. Missions to the Iroquois<br />Jesuits look to baptize “Old Christians” which consisted of Huron, Montagnais, and Algonquin captives, whom have subjected to Christianity before.<br />The Jesuits found many obstacles in establishing faith among the Iroquois, but one they found extremely difficult with was drunkenness by the way of the brandy that was introduced by the Europeans.<br />Most Mohawks that were converted settled in a spot the French called Sault St. Louis, and the Indians named Kahnawake.<br />

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