Sainte Marie among the Hurons–Maranatha bus trip– Part 2

October 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm 3 comments


Continuing on our tour of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons from the bus trip a short few weeks ago.

DSCF8188Even our well-versed guide was not sure about what these waterways were meant to do– and it wasn’t to bring the canoes into the settlement from the outside. That would have taken too long. Might it have been for irrigation? Did they have gardens they needed to water?







This is one enormous canoe.  How many people would paddle in this one?



DSCF8193I don’t think I’d want to skin this critter. You’ll recognize it by the stripe.




DSCF8194Fox pelt?




DSCF8196Dressed in the black robes of the priest and posing with two members of our bus group.



DSCF8198Looking into the courtyard




DSCF8199More canoes, birch bark, I think.


DSCF8202Pastor Peter Kuhnert at the mission. Other members from the bus trip stop to talk.




DSCF8203Ruby is thankful for her washing machine at home. Scrubbing clothing on a washboard is a lot more work. On the other hand, there would be no French women along on this mission. Did the men do the laundry here?



DSCF8205Tour guide Emily was open to our questions and answered willingly with what she knew.




DSCF8209 The chapel where the priests led services for the Hurons and other French people who had come to work. See the vestments on the left, the elaborate altar cloths and candles. Now what was it that they put in that little door on the altar? Hmm. Oh, I remember, it was the communion bread.


There was a hearth in this room and a dirt floor, more comfortable for the Hurons. The priest would put his robe on out front so the people knew there was no trickery, and the priest would face the people, not the altar, to lead the service.

Whereas the priests were willing to suffer cold and discomfort in following Christ, the Wendat people preferred warmth and comfort.


DSCF8213Another costumed guide, but I cannot remember what the workers were called. Can anyone fill in this piece of information? One of the French workers, anyway.




DSCF8214There came a day that some of the Wendat people wouldn’t put up with the Christian interlopers anymore,  and they tortured and killed Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalamonte.  When the mission was burned to the ground by the Jesuits on their departure, they took along the bones of the two men and left them in Montreal for a time. The bones have been reburied here in the place where they did their mission work.

There were Huron people who thought their life was better since the Jesuits had come, but obviously there were frictions within the Wendat.



DSCF8212No fancy candelabras, but these stands did the job. Vestments were quite colourful.





DSCF8215Here’s the longhouse where Autumn waited to tell us about the Huron people and their way of living. Sounds like women had a lot of power. A young bride could accept the gifts of someone courting but reject the young man if he didn’t provide for her. She could keep the gift even if she rejected him.

Watch out for the smoke, but when you’re inside closer to the fire, it’s not as bad. Still maybe we returned home smelling a bit like we’d been in a smoky place. It was certainly in my nose awhile afterwards. Would I have gotten used to it if I were a native girl? Probably.




DSCF8218Autumn, the second guide, dressed in native women’s wear. She told us a lot about the women of that time.

Trying to remember, but I think the long house was more of a winter home. Am I correct on that? And the teepee structure below was more for summer. I think the long house would be warmer with all those people sharing the space, but a woman would still be given privacy for childbirth.






DSCF8220One of the letters by a priest in 1633, written by hand, of course. More of these in the main building of the Museum.


After a scrumptious hot meal prepared by Mrs. Bell and some helpers, we had time to look around, get another group photo.  Then a bus ride over to the shrine.



DSCF8226Our travelling group for the day with Marjorie in the middle




DSCF8233The Martyr’s Shrine. It looked rather imposing and glorious in the sun. The shrine was built in 1926. There’s much to see here.



DSCF8240 A certain stained glass window of the Wendat chief teaching Brébeuf about living in this land.

We had our Sunday service in the Filion Centre on the basement level of the church. The message was more of a reflection and discussion on how the tour had affected us and what was particularly impressing to us. I thought how brave Brébeuf was to come to this land and then to  live with a native family for months to learn their language.


At the close of worship, hymn books were gathered and we boarded the bus for the ride home. We’d been fortunate to have good weather and awesome tour guides.




Entry filed under: artists, arts, authors, culture, education, environment, leadership, Nature, photography, seasons, storytelling, travel in Canada, writing. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Sainte Marie among the Hurons–Maranatha bus trip– Part 1 Patience

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Madonna B.  |  October 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Nice shot 🙂

    • 2. storygal  |  October 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you. Have you ever been at the site?

      • 3. Madonna B.  |  October 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

        Yes I have been. Welcome:-)

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