Thursday, 29 November 2012

Samuel Hearne 6. October 1770. Indian Women.

He attributed all our misfortunes to the misconduct of my guides, and the very plan we pursued, by the desire of the Governor, in not taking any women with us on this journey, was, he said, the principal thing that occasioned all our wants: "for, said he, when all the men are heavy[102]laden, they can neither hunt nor travel to any considerable distance; and in case they meet with success in hunting, who is to carry the produce of their labour? Women," added he, "were made for labour; one of them can carry, or haul, as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and, in fact, there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country, without their assistance. Women," said he again, "though they do every thing, are maintained at a trifling expence; for as they always stand cook, the very licking of their fingers in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence." This, however odd it may appear, is but too true a description of the situation of women in this country; it is at least so in appearance; for the women always carry the provisions, and it is more than probable they help themselves when the men are not present.

No comments: