Theme 5- The Jesuit Relations

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Theme 5- The Jesuit Relations

  1. 1. The Jesuit Relations History 140 By Ryan Babers
  2. 2. Jesuit Relations p.1-19 <ul><li>Native North America & French Jesuits </li></ul><ul><li>Relations are reports of French missionaries of the Society of Jesus on their effect to convert the “Pagan Savages” to Catholic Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Published between 1632-1673 </li></ul><ul><li>Included news about colonization progress, epidemics, war, and other events affecting other Indians of the Northwest </li></ul><ul><li>Also included were narratives if distant voyages </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the relations popularity is due to the detailed account of the customs, habits, and cultures of various native nations </li></ul><ul><li>2 reasons why Jesuit Relations is popular: Jesuit knew what they were talking about; were Inveterate writers who were literate and training made them elite people of the literate world </li></ul><ul><li>Society of Jesus in Europe and Abroad </li></ul><ul><li>Multifaceted- education, literary, and scientific activities, pastoral care and overseas missions </li></ul><ul><li>Jesuits could be mystical and contemplative, active, worldly, and ruthlessly rational in pursuit of goals </li></ul><ul><li>Were college teachers and effective agencies of character formation </li></ul><ul><li>Iroquois and Algonquians </li></ul><ul><li>Jesuits had dealings with both tribes (peoples of eastern woodlands) </li></ul><ul><li>Wide linguistic gap separated tribes, way of life different </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of their focus on Montagnais, Algonquians, Huron, and Iroquois </li></ul><ul><li>Jesuits frequently referred to Five Nation Iroquois individually: Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas </li></ul><ul><li>Managed to convert many Mohawks to Catholicism </li></ul>
  3. 3. Jesuit Relations p.1-19 <ul><li>The Colonization of New France </li></ul><ul><li>Many Jesuits tried to shield converts from secular European Influences </li></ul><ul><li>Determined to reshape native thinking and behavior in conformity with Christian principles </li></ul><ul><li>The Canadian Missions </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all the missionary priests were recruited from Jesuit colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Operated a college for French Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Determined to learn the native languages, writing “Superstitions” and performing spiritual baptisms on ailing and dying infants </li></ul><ul><li>Published annual relations for benefit of audiences back home in France </li></ul><ul><li>Relations combines personal chronicles and ethnographic description </li></ul><ul><li>Works framed as works of witness, prophecy and hagiography </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ch.1 Montagnais Hunters if the Northern Woodlands <ul><li>Relations work written by Father Paul Le Jeune (1592-1664) </li></ul><ul><li>Hunter gatherers: Had developed a lifestyle based on their inhospitable environment; sought moose and other large animals and hides, fishing & berrying </li></ul><ul><li>Life required intimate knowledge of landscape and resources, also technical sophistication </li></ul><ul><li>Excelled above all in transportation technology. Used birch bark canoe which carried them through rivers and was light </li></ul><ul><li>Had donned snowshoes and hauled cargo on wooden toboggans in the winter </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual beliefs, practices most interest of Jesuits </li></ul><ul><li>Religion was classified as “animism”, spirits could be harmful or helpful to humans </li></ul><ul><li>Told stories of supernatural creatures and magical heroes as a way to convey the world </li></ul><ul><li>Consulted men & women who possessed spiritual powers </li></ul><ul><li>Looked for insight in their dreams </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Le Jeune winters with Mestigoit’s band 1633-1634 </li></ul><ul><li>Mestigoit- “my host” hunting party leader that Jeune followed </li></ul><ul><li>Goal of Jeune to improve his knowledge of the native language and customs and recognize the truths of Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Le Jeune- Journal 1634 </li></ul><ul><li>In early snows, Indians seek beaver in small rivers and porcupines upon the land </li></ul><ul><li>Deep snows, hunt moose & caribou </li></ul><ul><li>Carried wheel-less chariots (toboggan) over snow </li></ul><ul><li>Each Indian arranges own baggage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Paul Le Jeune with Montagnais <ul><li>Hunting & Fishing 1634 </li></ul><ul><li>Indians clever in traps fir beaver, valued dogs </li></ul><ul><li>In winter beavers are captured in nets and under ice </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs, Superstitions, Errors, of the Montagnais </li></ul><ul><li>Believe a certain being named Atahocam created the world, and Messou restored it </li></ul><ul><li>World was restored after flood destroyed it (Noah?) </li></ul><ul><li>Messou had children who have repopulated world </li></ul><ul><li>All animals have an elder brother the source and origin of all individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Progenitor of the seasons- Nipinovkhe (spring & summer), Pipounoukhe (cold season), Khichikouai ( light or air) </li></ul><ul><li>Good Things </li></ul><ul><li>Abundance of physical advantages: Tall, erect, strong, well proportioned, agile </li></ul><ul><li>Mind in good quality, more clever than peasants </li></ul><ul><li>Content with basic substance, contempt and happy </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ch.3 Disease and Medicine <ul><li>Jesuits of France knew nothing of germs, disease, and immunity </li></ul><ul><li>Were eager to learn about herbal remedies </li></ul><ul><li>Priority was saving souls, put most efforts into baptizing the dying rather relieving the suffering; was not favored by natives </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate question of why sought after more than how disease spread </li></ul><ul><li>Hurons attributed illness to both natural and supernatural causes </li></ul><ul><li>Administered medicines from roots, bark, or leaves of certain plants and trees </li></ul><ul><li>Native healers were skilled at setting broken bones and performing removal of arrows and bullets </li></ul><ul><li>Superstitions regarded with horrified fascination </li></ul><ul><li>Huron medical procedures involved mind and body </li></ul><ul><li>In Europe, illness was individual problem; the Hurons kept sick in the long house environment </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ch.3 Disease and Medicine <ul><li>Huron medical practices </li></ul><ul><li>Means of a dream or by intervention of some sorcerer </li></ul><ul><li>To drive away demon, make feasts with songs </li></ul><ul><li>12 kinds of dances that constitute remedies for sickness </li></ul><ul><li>3 popular games: lacrosse, dish, straw </li></ul><ul><li>Lacrosse wonderful for health </li></ul><ul><li>Jerome Lalemant- Cure by gambling 1639 </li></ul><ul><li>Good luck and success in their game </li></ul><ul><li>Collect all things they have dreamed can bring good luck and fill carrying bags with them </li></ul><ul><li>Accepting Christianity after losing games </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfying the Souls Desires 1639 </li></ul><ul><li>Ceremony of the Andaewander- a coupling of men and girls which occurs at the end of a feast </li></ul><ul><li>Great lengths to satisfy the individual involved </li></ul><ul><li>Francois Le Mercier </li></ul><ul><li>Indians wondered at way French cared for sick and never saw French ill </li></ul><ul><li>The Help </li></ul><ul><li>Some Indian sick were baptized </li></ul><ul><li>Often given admission to sick </li></ul><ul><li>Father superior proposed Indians give up their belief in their dreams, marriages </li></ul><ul><li>Mercier- Huron Baptism </li></ul><ul><li>“ French Care only for the sick and dead” </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed up remedy, lemon peel-French squash, raisins in warm water with sugar </li></ul><ul><li>Smallpox </li></ul><ul><li>Far more Hurons died from plague </li></ul><ul><li>Calls to execute the Jesuits and liquidate French Alliance </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ch.4 Diplomacy & War <ul><li>Jesuit missions conducted through tension, war, and shifting alliances </li></ul><ul><li>European weaponry increased brutality of war, so did epidemics, trade </li></ul><ul><li>Lines of conflict separated Five Nation Iroquois in the south from north alliance of Hurons, Algonquins, Montagnais, and French </li></ul><ul><li>The Mohawks inflicted the greatest damage in Algonquians and French </li></ul><ul><li>Peace Negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Peace was temporary and may never of been intended as short break </li></ul><ul><li>Gift giving played a central role </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic relations thought to bridge language gap </li></ul><ul><li>Iroquois Attacks on the Algonquians, 1647 </li></ul><ul><li>War resumed after a brief truce in spring 1647 </li></ul><ul><li>Started when a Huron-French diplomatic mission to Mohawk country was accused of treachery and evil magic </li></ul><ul><li>The emissaries and Jesuit Isaac Jorges were killed </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ch.4 Diplomacy & War <ul><li>The Mohawks launched raids into St. Lawrence and Ottawa valleys capturing several Algonquian bands </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of the raids was to kill some warriors and take prisoners who would be adopted </li></ul><ul><li>Caribou became infected by disease and had scared some Indians and persuaded some to join French </li></ul><ul><li>Bands of Hurons were to assimilate into French religion, society </li></ul><ul><li>Hurons Annihilated, 1649 </li></ul><ul><li>Iroquois stepped up attacks on Huron and were intent on destroying all of them </li></ul><ul><li>They were well equipped with guns from Dutch traders </li></ul><ul><li>In March 1649 the Hurons were taken by surprise by a large Iroquois invasion </li></ul><ul><li>Huron military strength and population was greatly reduced </li></ul><ul><li>The Jesuits successfully converted many Hurons </li></ul><ul><li>The Huron tribe had been completely disassembled </li></ul><ul><li>Iroquois had massacred the village of the mission of St. Ignace then the town of St. Louis </li></ul><ul><li>Some Indians begged to be saved by Jesuit fathers </li></ul><ul><li>The Iroquois had burned some prisoners at stakes and others brutally killed by other means </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ch.5 Writings on the Natural Environment <ul><li>Jesuits comment on stars above and universal objects seen in the night sky </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific curiosity and recording of comets, eclipses, and other “celestial phenomena” </li></ul><ul><li>Regarded events as signs from God as warnings of disorder or good fortune </li></ul><ul><li>Montagnais Explanations of a Solar Eclipse </li></ul><ul><li>Algonquian and Iroquoians speculated about celestial phenomena like thunder, eclipses, or stories of human and animal, magical/spiritual figures </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Le Jeune- Of Their Customs and Their Belief </li></ul><ul><li>Indians believe in a certain being, half human and half nonhuman who has great love for men </li></ul><ul><li>The wife, Manitou is wicked and is said to bring eternal night if she is killed </li></ul><ul><li>She is also responsible for the Indian’s death </li></ul><ul><li>The Sun is her heart and whoever kills her would kill the sun forever </li></ul><ul><li>The sun eclipsed when the wife’s heart trembles and grows feeble </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ch.5 Writings on the Natural Environment <ul><li>Jeune claims Indians have large number of beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>He classified their tales as fables </li></ul><ul><li>Moral Qualities of Animals </li></ul><ul><li>Wild animals presented as embodiment of vices and virtues </li></ul><ul><li>Earthquakes, Comets, and other Prophetic Signs </li></ul><ul><li>Frightening and unusual phenomena occurred at a time of grave crisis in the war against the Iroquois which had convinced many French and natives that God intended them as signs </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific revolution had been underway at the time and Jesuits began to gain popularity for their discoveries in astronomy </li></ul><ul><li>Also seen as biblical signs of effect of nature </li></ul><ul><li>Three Suns and Other Aerial Phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>Fiery serpents flying through the air </li></ul><ul><li>Over Quebec, great ball of fire with thunderous sound and cannon fire sounds </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance of three suns, signs of an eclipse </li></ul><ul><li>Universal Earthquake in Canada and Its Marvelous Effects </li></ul><ul><li>February 5, 1663 a massive earthquake occurs causing widespread chaos </li></ul><ul><li>Of Comets and Extraordinary Signs That Have Appeared at Quebec and in its Vicinity 1664-1665 </li></ul><ul><li>November 29, 1664, the first comet was noticed over Quebec </li></ul><ul><li>Comet seen in different locations in the sky at different times of months </li></ul>

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