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animal, is demonstrated by the stone arrow-heads dug up with the skeleton of the mammoth now in the Natural History Museum. It was exhibited in London about sixty years since, with arrow-heads of the usual form, which the attendant, in a casual manner, said were found with the bones.
In order to support the belief that arrow-heads found with bones of mastodon were not deposited later than the skeletons, it is mentioned that one at least was found underneath the remains of a mastodon. Bryant and Gay, in their history of America, say two stone arrow-heads were found under the skeleton of a mammoth, in such a position that they must have been there when the animal fell. The mammoth's skeleton, and the earthwork representing animals, referred to in Mr. Fryer's paper, were found in the United States of America. The latter were probably made by a race of Indians distinct from those in Canada. The Canadian Indians seem to have no internal
power of developing. They are the same now as they were three hundred years ago, when we first had reliable accounts of them.
What progress they have made towards civilisation is due to the influence of missionaries and other Europeans, who have formed for them settlements, and induced them to exchange the habits of a hunter for those of agriculturists.
The mounds in Canada, with the exception of earthworks constructed for defensive purposes, are burial places. David Boylel says they afford examples of various kinds of interments, and that few graves are found between the rivers Ottawa and St. Laurence, a district at one time apparently well inhabited. Further west there are numerous single graves, in a part of the country, he suggests, as well as north and east, occupied by the Ojibwas, Montagnais, and Nascopies, or Nenenoti, to whom the pieces of pottery on the table probably belonged.
In the Huron nation's territory both single and communal graves are to be found ; the latter being a common grave into which the bones of those who died during the previous twelve years were removed. On these occasions there was a grand festival-" The Great Feast of the Dead”.
1 Notes on Prehistoric Man in Ontario.
How it happened that savage nations became acquainted with the manufacture of earthenware is unknown, and therefore open to speculative suggestions. It is supposed the idea may have arisen from the effect of heat on the soil where a fire had been made, and its altered condition noticed. There is a custom amongst gipsies and other vagrants which, if practiced by primitive man, would readily account for the introduction of the art of pottery. They cover a bird or hedgehog with a thick coating of clay, and put it into the middle of a fire. In time the clay becomes baked and the food cooked. The clay covering is then broken, taking with it the feathers and skin of the animal, but leaving the flesh in the condition of baked meat. The burnt clay covering would, if carefully broken, form a receptacle in which water could be brought from a neighbouring brook. Mr. Ratzel' tells us, “in lake dwellings there have been found what leads to the conclusion that the inhabitants made vessels of basket-work and covered them with clay.” Such vessels could have been used only for storage purposes ; for water would have acted on the sun-dried clay, and it could not have been burnt or the wicker-work would have been destroyed. He remarks, when speaking of pottery, “anyone will note with astonishment not only in Australia but in Polynesia, how a talented race, in face of needs by no means inconsiderable, manage to get on without that art.” “The art”, he says, “exists only in Tongo and the small Easter Island at the extreme end of Polynesia. He thinks the intercourse between lands and islands has contributed more to the enrichment of man's stock of culture than has his independent efforts.
Unlike Asia and Egypt, Canada possesses neither wall paintings, engraved tablets, nor manuscripts to throw light on its remote history. What little authentic knowledge we have of the country and its inhabitants is due to early European navigators. They, however, give very little information beyond what belongs to their personal adventures. A tradition amongst the Iriquois Indians relates to a white chief and his crew becoming incorporated with a tribe of Indians : from the amalgamation they derived their origin and name. The tradition may have some connection with the visits of the sons of Eric the Red, who had been forced to leave his country. He fled to land in the west, which had been discovered by Gunnbiorn, and had been known for about a century. Eric named the land Greenland, for he returned to Europe for emigrants, and thought the name would be attractive. His sons, soon after the year 985 (in which Biorne sailed along the coast of North America), visited the American continent; and, so far as is known, they were the first Europeans to set foot on American soil ; but the hardy sea-roving Northmen may have been there earlier.1
1 The History of Mankind.
About the year 1170, Mad’oc, a Welsh prince, is said to have sailed from Wales and arrived in America, where he left some of his crew, and returned home for more people with which to form a settlement in a country where they could live in peace, free from the petty wars carried on by the Welsh princes. The account is not considered historical, and may have been the invention of the Welsh bards. There are other accounts of early expeditions from Greenland, but they do not mention the habits or customs of the Indians, nor any traditions. Bryant and Gay state that the “Mandans show, if not traces of an intermixture with the blood of the white, at least a marked difference between themselves and other native tribes.” In the manufacture of pottery they are said to have superiority over the ordinary savage. Mr. Ratzel also says the Mandans excel in pottery, but their next neighbours, the Asiniboines, do not produce it. The Aborigines' potters' art fell into disuse after the introduction of metal utensils. The metal vessels were much lighter than those made of clay, and not so liable
1 Bryant and Gay's History of North America, vol. i, p. 38.
DRAWINGS FROM PREHISTORIC POTTERY IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM. 1.- Pattern on piece of Pottery (Sepulchral Pottery, Germany). 2.--Three Lines of Incised Ornament, on a Food Vessel. Barrow, Hutton Buscel,
North Riding of Yorshire. B. B. CLI). Greenwell. 3.-Ornament on a Drinking-Cup. Barrow, Kilmartin, Argyllshire. Greenwell Coll. 4.-(Same type of Ornament as No. 1.) Incense Cup. Barrow, Fylengdales,
North Riding of Yorkshire. Greenwell Coll. 5.-Incised Ornament on a Food Vessel. Barrow, Bishop Burton, East Riding of
Yorkshire. Greenwell Coll.
to breakage; whilst the metal could, moreover, be used for other purposes when the utensils themselves were worn out and therefore useless. The pieces of American pottery exhibited show designs of tastefully-arranged dots and lines ; some pieces, and the tobacco pipe are, however, roughly made, as if by less skilful hands.
It has been pointed out that the Canadian Indians show no inherent power of development, supporting Mr. Ratzel's opinion that such a development in culture must arise from contact with a superior race.
But Canon Greenwell, when speaking of the ornamentation of pottery found in British barrows similar to those on American pottery, says it is precisely that which would be developed by the art instinct of a people in a comparatively low state of civilisation.
The accompanying plate shows the similarity of ornamentation on the pieces of pottery found in the Canadian graves, and those from British mounds in Canon Greenwell's collection in the British Museum. Paul B. Du Chaillu has, in his work The Viking Age, a drawing of an earthen vessel, having on it a zigzag ornament. It was, he says, dug out of a mound in the Island of Möen, in the Baltic, with neolithic stone implements. Earthenware vessels with similar markings have been found in Scotland.
The similarity of the manner and the designs of the ornaments on the pottery found in the burial mounds in Canada and in Europe is remarkable, and leads to the supposition that at a very remote prehistoric period there had been communications between the two continents. But Canon Greenwell, a very high authority, believes that primitive potters would, if placed under similar circumstances, develop the same simple manner of ornamenting their earthenware.”
1 Vol. i, p. 80.
2 British Barrows, p. 65.