The Journey to the Polar Sea, by John Franklin















































































































 -  The Cumberland
House Crees in particular have been long disused to war. Betwixt them and
their ancient enemies, the Slave - Page 100
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The Cumberland House Crees In Particular Have Been Long Disused To War.

Betwixt them and their ancient enemies, the Slave nations, lie the extensive plains of Saskatchewan, inhabited by the powerful Asseeneepoytuck or Stone Indians who, having whilst yet a small tribe entered the country under the patronage of the Crees, now render back the protection they received.

The manners and customs of the Crees have, probably since their acquaintance with Europeans, undergone a change at least equal to that which has taken place in their moral character; and although we heard of many practises peculiar to them yet they appeared to be nearly as much honoured in the breach as the observance. We shall however briefly notice a few of the most remarkable customs.

When a hunter marries his first wife he usually takes up his abode in the tent of his father-in-law and of course hunts for the family; but when he becomes a father the families are at liberty to separate or remain together as their inclinations prompt them. His second wife is for the most part the sister of the first but not necessarily so for an Indian of another family often presses his daughter upon a hunter whom he knows to be capable of maintaining her well. The first wife always remains the mistress of the tent and assumes an authority over the others which is not in every case quietly submitted to. It may be remarked that whilst an Indian resides with his wife's family it is extremely improper for his mother-in-law to speak or even look at him; and when she has a communication to make it is the etiquette that she should turn her back upon him and address him only through the medium of a third person.

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