Mortuary Customs: the Huron-Wendat Approach to Death

Victoria Jackson


The Huron-Wendat people of the Great Lakes region were a powerful and complex nation with a significant population and a rich history and culture when the Europeans arrived in the early seventeenth century.  In early studies of Amerindian-European contact, historians argued that French Europeans radically transformed various aspects of a static Huron-Wendat culture, including in economics, religion, and material culture.  In more recent studies, contemporary historians correctly question this view, as it gives little attention to Amerindian agency. This essay is intended to contribute to the discourse concerning Amerindian agency, specifically as relates to the transformation of Huron-Wendat ‘deathways’ in the seventeenth century.

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