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Petun to Wyandot: The Ontario Petun from the Sixteenth Century


Charles Garrad’s lifetime’s work combines and reconciles primary historical sources, archaeological data and anthropological evidence to tell the turbulent history of the Wyandot, the First Nation once known as the Petun. Drawing on the accumulated experience of scholars and researchers who lived in the Petun homeland, Garrad has produced the most comprehensive study of the Petun Confederacy. Beginning with their first encounters with French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1616 and extending to their eventual decline and Dispersal, this work offers an exceptional account of the Petun from their own perspective and through the voices of the nations, tribes and individuals that surrounded them. Some 40 years ago in Oklahoma, Charles Garrad was formally adopted into the Wyandot Nation which explains the distinctive, personal tone permeating this study.


Dans ce qui constitue l’œuvre de sa vie, Charles Garrad réunit et concilie à la fois les sources primaires historiques et les données archéologiques et anthropologiques pour raconter l’histoire turbulente des Wyandots, une Première Nation connue auparavant comme les Pétuns. S’inspirant des études des chercheurs qui ont vécu sur le territoire ancestral des Pétuns, Charles Garrad a réalisé l’étude la plus exhaustive portant sur la Confédération des Pétuns. Cet ouvrage constitue un compte rendu exceptionnel des Pétuns — de leurs premières rencontres avec l’explorateur français Samuel de Champlain en 1616 jusqu’à leur déclin et leur éventuelle dispersion —, non seulement de leur perspective, mais aussi de celle des nations, tribus et individus qui les entouraient. Il y a plus de quarante ans en Oklahoma, Charles Garrad a été formellement adopté par la Nation Wyandot, ce qui explique le ton distinct et intimiste qui imprègne cet ouvrage.

Table of Contents



Editors’ Foreword



Acknowledgements and Thanks

Chapter 1 - Background Information

1.0 Overview

1.1 Knowing Less

1.2 The Method Followed

1.2.1 Concerning Written Sources

1.2.2 Concerning Archaeological Sources

1.2.3 Spellings, Translations and References

1.2.4 Archaeological Site Names in the Petun Country

1.2.5 Petun Glass Bead Periods (GBP)

1.2.6 The Pre-Fur Trade Period (1500-1580)

1.3 Some Basic Concepts and Understandings

1.3.1 The Petuns as the Tobacco Nation

1.3.2 The Hurons and the Petuns

1.3.3 The Petuns as Hurons

1.3.4 Ouendat, 8endat, Wendat, Wyandot, the People of the Island

1.3.5 The Petun as Wyandot

1.3.6 Wendaké, 8endaké, Huronia, Huronie, the Country of the Hurons and Petuns

1.3.7 Huron and Petun Tribes, Leagues, Nations and Confederacies

1.3.8 Shamans, Sorcerers and Jugglers

1.3.9 Tionontati, Khionontateronon, Tionontateronon, etc.

1.3.10 Quieunontateronons, Weskarini and Thieves

1.3.11 The Neutrals

1.3.12 The Petuns as Neutrals

1.3.13 Wenrôhronons (Wenros)

1.3.14 ‘Iroquois’ and ‘Iroquoian’

1.3.15 The Iroquois Confederacy

1.3.16 The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

1.3.17 The Date of the Founding of the Iroquois Confederacy

1.3.18 The End of the Dream of the Great Peace

1.3.19 Traditional Enemies with Common Ancestry: The Wyandot and the Iroquois

1.3.20 The Dispersal

1.3.21 The Eastern and Western Wyandots

Chapter 2 - Locating the Petun Country

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Physical Geography

2.1.1 Mislocating the Petun Country

2.2 Maps Showing the Petun Country

2.2.1 Measurements of Distance

2.2.2 On Latitude and Longitude

2.3 Primary Source Maps

2.3.1 Samuel de Champlain, 1616 “La Nouvelle France” (Untitled) (Figure 2.3)

2.3.2 Samuel de Champlain, 1632, “Carte de la nouuelle france…” (Figure 2.4)

2.3.3 Anonymous, 1631-1651, “Description dv Pais des Hvrons”

2.3.4 Francesco-Giuseppe Bressani, 1657, “Novae Franciae Accurata Delineatio” (Figure 2.5)

2.3.5 Françesco-Gioseppe Bressani, 1657, “Hvronvm Explicata Tabvla”

2.4 Secondary Source Maps

2.4.1 Jean Bourdon (?), ca. 1641, “Novvelle France”

2.4.2 Nicholas Sanson d'Abbeville, 1656, “Le Canada, ou Nouvelle France”

2.4.3 François Du Creux, 1660, “Tabula Novae Franciae”

2.4.4 Louis-Armand de Lom D’Arce de Lahontan, 1703b, “A General Map of New France Com. call’d Canada” With French Captions Titled “Carte Generale de Canada” (Figure 2.7)

2.5 Crossing the Nottawasaga River

2.6 Distance and Directional Information to the Petun Country

2.6.1 Descriptions of the Petun Country and their Implications

2.7 Ekarenniondi as a Territory and as Lake Huron

2.8 Trails through the Petun Country

2.8.1 Trail #1

2.8.2 Trail #2

2.8.3 Trail #3

2.8.4 Trail #4

2.8.5 Trail #5

2.8.6 Trail #6

2.8.7 Trail #7

2.10 Conclusions

2.10 Conclusions

Chapter 3 - The Origins of the Petun

3.0 Searching for the Origins of the Petun

3.1 Wyandot Creation Myth

3.2 Iroquois Creation and Confederacy Founding Myths Related to the Petun

3.3 Later History: Directions of Mythological and Possible Ancient Origins

3.4 The Historical Approach

3.4.1 A Common Ancestry with All Other Iroquoians

3.5 The Anthropological Approach

3.5.1 Petun Oral Traditions

3.5.2 Benjamin Slight 1836

3.5.3 Charlo and Henry R. Schoolcraft 1837

3.5.4 James B. Finley 1840 and Nathan Bangs 1839

3.5.5 Joseph Badger 1845

3.5.6 Therese Hunt and Peter D. Clarke 1870

3.5.7 Joseph White and Horatio E. Hale 1883

3.5.8 Alexander Clarke and Horatio Hale 1888

3.5.9 Joseph Warrow 1902

3.5.10 Horatio Hale, the Myths and the Migrations 1883 The Legend of King Sastaretsi

3.5.11 Horatio E. Hale and the Wyandot Language

3.5.12 William Walker and Lyman C. Draper 1868

3.5.13 William E. Connelley 1899, 1900

3.5.14 Jeremiah Hubbard 1913

3.5.15 C. Marius Barbeau 1915

3.5.16 Bertrand N.O. Walker 1915

3.5.17 Cecile Wallace and Charles Garrad 1975 and 1976

3.5.18 The Story of Tijaiha, the Sorcerer

3.5.19 The Delawares and the Wyandots

3.5.20 Wyandot Oral Traditions Assessed

3.6 The Archaeological Approach

3.6.1 Archaeology of the Ontario Wyandot

3.6.2 Archaeology of Migration

3.6.3 Archaeology of the Proto-Petun Migration A Petun Ancestry in the St. Lawrence Valley Rejected A Petun Origin in the Humber Valley Rejected A Petun Origin in Huronia Rejected A Petun Origin in the Bruce Peninsula Rejected A Petun Origin in situ Rejected A Petun Origin in Neutralia Accepted The Enigma of the Sidey-Mackay Site The Petun and “The Ontario Iroquoian Controversy”

3.6.4 St. Lawrence Iroquoians among the Petun

3.7 On the Origins of the Petun

Chapter 4 - French Sources

4.0 Explorers, Traders and Truchements

4.1 Samuel de Champlain

4.1.1 The Petun and Champlain’s Search for the Way to China

4.1.2 Champlain Goes to Huronia, 1615

4.1.3 Champlain, Father Joseph Le Caron, and Attendants, Visit the Petun, 1616

4.1.4 On the Credibility of Champlain’s Mentions of the Petun

4.2 Truchements (Interpreters)

4.3 The Missionaries

4.3.1 The Récollets Father Joseph Le Caron, 1616 Father Joseph de la Roche Daillon, 1626-1627 Brother Gabriel Sagard, 1623-1624 Sagard and the Petun Father Nicolas Viel 1623-1624 On the Reason for the Visit of the Récollets to the Hurons in 1623 On the Reason for Father de la Roche Daillon’s Visit to the Neutrals in 1626-1627 The Récollets and the Jesuits

4.3.2 The Jesuits The Jesuits and the Huron Mission The Jesuit Relations Father Jean de Brébeuf 1634-1649 Superior General Paul Le Jeune 1635, 1639 Father Charles Garnier 1637, 1639-1640, 1646-1649 Father Superior Jérôme Lalemant 1638-1645 Father Superior Jérôme Lalemant’s departing report Father Isaac Jogues 1639-1640 Father Pierre Pijart 1640 Father François Joseph Le Mercier 1642 Father Superior Paul Ragueneau 1645-1650 Father Léonard Garreau 1646-1650 Father Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot 1649 Father Adrien Grelon 1649-1650 Father Noël Chabanel 1649 Father François-Joseph Bressani 1653 Father François Du Creux Father Joseph Poncet Father Simon le Moyne Sieur Pierre Boucher 1640-1645 François Gendron 1644-1650

Chapter 5 - The Mission of the Apostles to the Petun, 1639-1650

5.0 A Clash of Beliefs

5.1 The Founding of the Mission of the Apostles to the Khionontateronons (see Figure 5.1)

5.1.1 The Naming of Nine Petun Villages for Apostles

5.1.2 St. Mathias, the Village That Never Was

5.2 The Mission of the Apostles 1639-1640

5.2.1 The Mission of the Apostles and the Princesse de Condé

5.3 The Mission of the Apostles 1640-1641

5.3.1 The Attack on Ehwae 1640

5.3.2 The Identity of the Attackers in 1640

5.3.3 The Motives of the Iroquois

5.3.4 Mourning Wars and Beaver Wars

5.4 The Mission of the Apostles 1641-1642

5.5 The Mission of the Apostles 1642-1645

5.5.1 The Abandonment of the Southern Villages Between 1642 and 1646

5.6 The Mission of the Apostles 1646-1648

5.6.1 The Petun Request French Missionaries

5.6.2 The Revived Mission and the Princesse de Condé

5.6.3 The Attack on Etharita 1647

5.7 The Mission of the Apostles 1649

5.7.1 The Third Mission

5.7.2 The Three Chapels

5.7.3 Two Chapels Attacked

5.7.4 The Attack on Etharita 1649

5.8 The Closing of the Mission of the Apostles

Chapter 6 - Using Native Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites

6.0 Introduction

6.0.1 The Use of Artifacts to Date Archaeological Sites in the Petun Country

6.0.2 Locations of Examined Materials

6.0.3 Glass Bead Periods in the Petun Country

6.1 Using Native Pottery

6.1.1 MacNeish Pottery Types in the Petun Country

6.1.2 The Appliqué Strip and Blue Mountain Punctate Pottery Types

6.1.3 The MacMurchy Scalloped Pottery Type

6.1.4 The Genoa Frilled Pottery Type

6.1.5 Grooved Lip Pottery

6.1.6 Pottery with Interior Decoration

6.1.7 Pre-Petun Late Lalonde Sites in the Petun Country

6.1.8 Coefficients of Similarity

6.1.9 Collections Not Included

6.2 Petun Origins and Distant Relationships

6.2.1 The Sidey-Mackay Site and Trace-Element Analysis

6.2.2 The Benson Site Traders at Sidey-Mackay

6.2.3 Observations on Table 6.2

6.2.4 Significance Levels Used to Interpret the Coefficients of Similarity

6.2.5 Observations on Table 6.8

6.2.6 Seeking Distant Relationships Through Pottery

6.2.7 Observations on Tables 6.5 and 6.6

6.3 Using Native Clay Smoking Pipe Bowls (Figures 6.1 and 6.2)

6.3.1 Petun Clay Pipe Bowl Types

6.3.2 Observations on Table 6.11

6.3.3 Observations on Table 6.12

6.3.4 Observations on Table 6.13

6.4 Using Chert Types

6.4.1 Observations on Chapter 6.4

6.5 Using Shamanic Artifacts

6.5.1 Bird Effigy Smoking Pipes

6.5.2 The Tonneraouanont Healing Cult and Certain Pinch-Face Effigy Pipes

6.5.3 The Bear Healing Cult and Ceremonialism

6.5.4 Observations on 10.4.1

6.6 Using Marine Shell

6.6.1 The Paris Connection

6.6.2 Observations on 6.6 and Table 6.14

6.7 Site Sequences and Pottery Coefficients

6.7.1 Observations on 6.7 and Table 6.15

6.7.2 Paired Village Sites Indicated by Pottery

6.8 Four Problems in Further Dating Petun Sites

6.8 Four Problems in Further Dating Petun Sites

6.10 Site Dating Information from Native Artifacts Summarised (Table 6.17)

Chapter 7 - Using European Artifacts to Interpret Petun Sites

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Using Glass Trade Beads

7.1.1 The Concept of Glass Bead Periods

7.1.2 Glass Beads and the Development of Glass Bead Periods in the Petun Country

7.1.3 Observations on Table 7.2

7.1.4 Observations on Table 7.3

7.1.5 The Use of Negative Evidence for Protohistoric and GBP1

7.1.6 Summary: The Evidence of the Glass Beads as to the GBP of the Sites

7.2 Using European Brass and Copper

7.2.1 Copper Early, Brass Late?

7.2.2 Copper:Brass Ratios on Archaeological Sites in the Petun Country

7.2.3 Observations on 7.2.1 and 7.2.2

7.2.4 Brass Percentages Related to GBP in the Petun Country

7.2.5 Observations on Table 7.7

7.2.6 The Lug and Rim Parts Test

7.2.7 Observations on 7.2.6

7.2.8 The Tool and Ornament Test

7.2.9 Varying Brass and Copper Chemistry

7.2.10 Results of Cluster Analysis

7.2.11 Test with Copper Removed

7.2.12 Observations on 7.2.11

7.2.13 Tests with Varying Indium and Tin Content in Various Brasses (in decreasing order of confidence)

7.2.14 Observations on 7.2.13

7.2.15 Summary: The Evidence of the Brass and Copper as to the GBP of the Sites

7.2.16 European Copper and Native Copper

7.3 Using Iron Trade Knives

7.3.1 Six Types of Iron Trade Knife in the Petun Country (Table 7.9) (Figure 7.1)

7.3.2 Observations on Table 7.9

7.3.3 Summary: The Evidence of the Iron Knives as to the GBP of the Sites

7.3.4 The Rock Island II Site, Wisconsin

7.4 Using Iron Trade Axes

7.4.1 The Kenyon System for Dating Iron Axes

7.4.2 The Kenyon System Applied to Iron Axes in the Petun Country (Table 7.11)

7.4.3 Observations on Table 7.11

7.5 Using Swords

7.5.1 French References to Swords

7.5.2 Swords in the Petun Country (Table 7.12)

7.5.3 Observation on 7.5.2

7.6 Using Guns

7.6.1 Observations on 7.6

7.7 Using Brass Bezelled Finger Rings

7.7.1 Observation on 7.7

7.8 Using Other French Imported Goods

7.8.1 A Copper Religious Medallion

7.8.2 A Bone Rosary Bead

7.8.3 Iron Nails, Bottle Glass, Porcelain

7.8.4 A Porcelain Religious Icon and Melted Glass

7.8.5 Decorated Copper Strap

7.8.6 A Personal Knife

7.9 Dating the European Artifacts and the Sites

7.10 Observations on 7.7 through 7.9

7.11 Site Dating Information from European Artifacts Summarised by Artifact Type and GBP (Table 7.13)

7.12 Observations on Table 7.14

Chapter 8 - Petun Subsistence and Economy

8.0 Introduction

8.1 The Little Ice Age

8.2 Diet and Tobacco

8.3 Petun Forest Environment Indicated by Recovered Charred Wood

8.4 The Petun Use of Faunal Resources

8.4.1 The Evidence of the Faunal Remains from Twenty Petun Village Sites The Four Most Frequently Occurring Mammals on Twenty Petun Sites

8.4.2 The Beaver Trade as the Cause of Petun In-Migration

8.4.3 Petun, Huron and Neutral Beaver Percentages Compared

8.4.4 The Schlepp Effect

8.4.5 After the Pelt was Gone, the Beaver as Food

8.4.6 On the Supposed Decline of Beaver in the Petun Country

8.4.7 Furs Other Than Beaver

8.4.8 Beaver and the Secondary (Possibly Odawa) Village Phenomenon

8.4.9 Beaver Procurement from the Neutral

8.4.10 Other Than Beaver Trade to and from the Neutral

8.4.11 Implications for the Origin of the Petun

8.4.12 Beavers and Tobacco Shamanism

8.4.13 Marketing the Furs

8.5 Conclusions and Possibilities

Chapter 9 - Petun Village and Camp Sites Interpreted

9.0 Introduction

9.1 The Ontario Archaeological Sequence and the Petun Country

9.2 A Partial Inventory of Pre-Petun and Petun Village and Camp Remains in the Petun Country from Late Middleport to Dispersal

9.2.1 Observations on 9.2

9.2.2 Dating the Buckingham Ossuary BcHb-24 (BU)

9.3 The Arrival of the French: The Villages Visited by Champlain in 1616

9.4 The Villages of the Mission of the Apostles 1639-1641 (Figure 5.1)

9.5 The Village Attacked by the Iroquois 1640

9.6 The Villages of the Resumed Mission of the Apostles 1646-1650 (Figure 5.1)

9.7 The Village Attacked by the Iroquois 1647 and 1649

9.8 The Villages of the Dispersal 1650

9.9 Evident Village Removal Sequences

9.10 The Petun Sequence

9.11 A Final Observation

Chapter 10 - The Petun and their Neighbours

10.0 Introduction

10.1 Social Aspects of Petun Culture

10.1.1 Petun Population Dynamics Seventeenth-Century Statements Concerning the Number of Petun Villages Seventeenth-Century Estimates of the Combined Huron and Petun Populations The 30,000 Figure Modern Estimates of Petun Populations Number and Sizes of Petun Villages in Five Time Periods Petun Population Estimates Using Density per Hectare for Petun Villages and Five Time Periods Varying Density of Population per Village Hectare Indicated Petun Populations in Five Time Periods Petun Populations and Ossuaries European Diseases Among the Petun 1616 Unknown. Smallpox? Typhus? Influenza? 1634-1635 Measles? Smallpox? Influenza? 1636-1637 Influenza? Bubonic plaque? Smallpox? 1637 Scarlet Fever? Smallpox? 1639-1640 Smallpox 1649-1650 Smallpox Disease as a Factor in the Abandonment of Petun Villages Disease in Iroquoia as a Factor in the Attacks on Ehwae and Etharita Final Petun Population Estimates Conclusion

10.1.2 Petun Sociopolitical Organisation Conjectures Concerning “Wolf” and “Deer” Petun Families, Clans and Clan Segments

10.2 Petun Culture and External Relations

10.2.1 Champlain, the Petun, the Nipissing and the Cheveux-relevés

10.2.2 The Role of the Petun in the French Attempt to Bypass the Hurons

10.2.3 Access to the Neutrals via the Petun

10.2.4 Evidence for War

Chapter 11 - After the Dispersal

11.0 Introduction

11.1 Semantic Issues, When Did the Petun become the Wyandot

11.2 The “Huron” Component of the Western Wyandots

11.3 The Subsequent Route of the Western Wyandots (Petun-Wyandots) (Figure 11.1)

11.4 The Petuns and Neutrals at Detroit 1651-1652

11.5 Neutral Country, Detroit and Michilimackinac (1650-1652)

11.6 A,otonatendïa, Rock Island and Green Bay (ca. 1652-ca. 1661)

11.7 Méchingen/Wisconsin/Mississippi/Minnesota/Black River (ca. 1654-1660)

11.8 Chequamegon/La Pointe/St. Esprit (1660-1671)

11.9 Michilimackinac/St. Ignace (1671-1701/3)

11.10 St. Joseph River 1695

11.11 Detroit and Michigan 1701-1843, and the Extension into Ohio

11.12 Windsor, Anderdon 1701-1892

11.12.1 The Termination of the Anderdon Wyandot Reserve

11.13 Ohio 1701-1843

11.14 Indian Territory Kansas 1843-1855, and After

11.15 Indian Territory, Oklahoma, 1867-Present

11.16 Afterword

Appendix A - Abbreviations Used for Pottery Type Names in the Petun Country

Appendix B - Summaries of Petun Village Site Faunal Reports

Appendix C - Linguistic Data

Petun Language

Names of some Pre-Dispersal Petun People

Wyandot Personal Names

The Rise of the Deer and the Title Sastaretsi after 1649

Sastaretse and Kondiaronk

Names of Petun Places

Petun Clans and Clan Names, Pre- and Post-Dispersal

The Clans of the Pre-Dispersal Petun

Appendix D - Petun Wampum Belts


Double Calumet Treaty Belt

Peace-Path Belt

The Jesuit Missionary Belt

The Four-Nations Alliance Belt

Discussion—On the Significance of the Belts

Appendix E - Names for the Petun

References Cited



Table 1.1 Stages of the Fur Trade According to William R. Fitzgerald

Table 2.1 The Latitude and Longitude of the Petun Country According to Early Maps

Table 6.1 Glass Bead Periods and Significant Events in the Petun Country

Table 6.2 Petun Area Rimsherds by Site, Type, Number, Percentage and Origin

Table 6.3 Sources of the Various Pottery Types Found on Petun Sites

Table 6.4 Origins of Petun Pottery Types (according to Trigger et al. 1980)

Table 6.5 Some Foreign Rimsherds by Site, Territory and Type

Table 6.6 Coefficients of Similarity, Petun and Foreign Sites

Table 6.7 Pottery Rimsherd Coefficients of Similarity Clustering and Significance

Table 6.8 Coefficients of Similarity Using Rimsherds for Petun Sites

Table 6.9 Foreign Village Sites

Table 6.10 Petun Area Clay Pipe Bowls by Site, Type, Number and Percentage

Table 6.11 Coefficients of Similarity Using Clay Pipe Bowls

Table 6.12 Clusters of Clay Pipe Bowl Coefficients of Similarity

Table 6.13 Petun Area Site Relationships Indicated by Clay Pipe Bowl Coefficients

Table 6.14 Marine Shell Distribution on Petun Village Sites

Table 6.15 Possible Successor Village Sites Indicated by Pottery Coefficients

Table 6.16 Coeffecients of Similarity for Paired Contemporary Villages

Table 6.17 Site Dating Information from Native Artifacts Summarised

Table 6.18 Petun Sites Grouped by Glass Bead Period (GBP), Arranged South to North

Table 7.1 Glass Trade Beads Found in the Petun Country

Table 7.2 Bead Types According to GBP on Petun Sites, Ste. Marie II
and Rock Island II

Table 7.3 Distribution of Glass Beads by Colour on Petun Sites

Table 7.4 Glass Bead Periods and the Petun Sites

Table 7.5 Petun Sites and Their Copper: Brass Ratios According to the Fitzgerald
and Ramdsen GBP Assignments

Table 7.6 Petun Sites and Their Copper-to-Brass Ratios According to the Walker GBP Assignments

Table 7.7 Predicted and Actual Brass Percentages by Site and GBP

Table 7.8 Petun Sites Assigned to GBPs Based on Copper-to-Brass Data

Table 7.9 Petun Iron Trade Knives by Type, Site and GBP

Table 7.10 Petun Sites Assigned to GBPs Based on Iron Knife Data

Table 7.11 Petun Site GBP Indicated by Iron Axe Types

Table 7.12 Dates Assigned to Sword-Derived Artifacts on Sites in the Petun Country.

Table 7.13 Site Dating Information from European Artifacts by Site

Table 7.14 Site Dating Using Native and European Artifacts

Table 8.1 Maize Cob Remains by Number of Rows

Table 8.2 Cultivated and Wild Plant Remains Recovered from Petun Sites.

Table 8.3 Charcoal and Charred Wood Recovered from Petun Sites.

Table 8.4 The Four Most Frequently Occurring Mammals on Twenty Petun Village Sites.

Table 8.5 Percentages of Beaver Remains on Fur Trade Period Huron and Neutral Sites

Table 9.1 Recorded Historic Village and Camp Sites in the Petun Country

Table 10.1 17th Century Estimates of the Combined Huron and Petun Populations

Table 10.2 Modern Estimates of Petun Populations


Figure 2.1 Petun Country geography

Figure 2.2 Inset from the primary map “Novae Franciae accurata delineatio,”
by Françesco Gioseppe Bressani 1657, showing “Tionnotate pop. Seu Natio Vulga de tabaco,” five villages (?), Etharita and eKarinniondi, south-west of Huronia,
also the sand dunes to the east

Figure 2.3 Part of the primary source map “[La Nouvelle France] faict par le Sr. Samuel de Champlain, 1616,” showing “Gens de petum” and “Les cheueux releuez
west of them

Figure 2.4 Part of the primary source map “Carte de la nouuelle france
by Samuel de Champlain 1632, showing “Gens de Petun,” 10 huts located
close to the Nottawasaga River, and “Cheueux releuez” near the tenth hut

Figure 2.5 Part of the primary map “Novae Franciae Accurata Delineatio,”
by Françesco Gioseppe Bressani 1657, showing “Tionontate pop.
Seu Natio Vulga del tabaco
” southwest of Huronia

Figure 2.6 Possible Crossing Places on the Nottawasaga River

Figure 2.7 Part of the primary map “Carte Generale de Canada,” by Louis-Armand
de Lom D’Arce de Lahontan, Baron de Lahontan 1703b, showing the principal beaver hunting areas in southern Ontario, and two villages marked “Theonontateronons or Hurons” destroyed by the Iroquois

Figure 2.8 Trails through the Petun Country

Figure 3.1 Participants in the Ceremony of Reconciliation, sponsored by the Midland Alliance Church, Midland, Ontario, June 1999. Charles Garrad is fourth
from the right

Figure 4.1 Inset from the primary map “Novae Franciae accurata delineatio,” by Françesco Gioseppe Bressani 1657 depicting the martyrdom of Jean de Brébeuf
and Gabriel Lalemant

Figure 5.1 The Mission of the Apostles 1639-1641 and 1646-1650

Figure 5.2 The Dispersal 1649-1650

Figure 6.1 Petun clay pipes illustrated

Figure 6.2 Petun clay pipes illustrated (continued)

Figure 7.1 The six knife types found in the Petun Country

Figure 8.1 Map of Southern Ontario showing beaver hunting areas extrapolated from Lahontan’s map of 1703b

Figure 8.2 Percentages of beaver remains on Petun sites, arranged by Glass Bead Period

Figure 8.3 Map of the Petun country with percentages of beaver remains
at Petun village sites through time

Figure 8.4 Lahontan’s “A General Map of New France Com. call’d Canada,” 1703b

Figure 9.1 Map of the Pre-Petun Iroquoian sites in the Petun Country

Figure 9.2 Villages and camps in the Petun Country.

Figure 9.3 The initial entry of the proto-Petun in GBP1

Figure 9.4 Champlain’s Route in GBP2b.

Figure 9.5 Village removal sequences with Glass Bead Periods indicated, ca.
A.D. 1580-1650

Figure 11.1 Western Wyandot dispersal route.

List of Plates

Plate 6.1 Sidey Notched vessel section with decorated body
from the Kelly-Campbell village.

Plate 6.2 Lawson Incised rim section from the Young-McQueen village.

Plate 6.3 Sidey Notched vessel section with decorated shoulder.

Plate 6.4 Sidey Notched vessel section with turret castellation
from the Plater-Fleming village.

Plate 6.5 Seed Incised rimsherd from the Haney-Cook villages.

Plate 6.6 Blue Mountain Punctate vessel section with strap handle from the Glebe village.

Plate 6.7 MacMurchy Scalloped vessel section from the Plater-Martin village.

Plate 6.8 Genoa Frilled rimsherd from the Plater-Fleming village.

Plate 6.9 Sidey Notched vessel section with decorated body from the MacMurchy village.

Plate 6.10 Ceramic pipe bowls: “pinch-face” and bird from the Plater-Martin village

Plate 6.11 Limestone elbow pipes from the Glebe village and pipe blanks broken
in production from the Plater-Martin village.

Plate 6.12 Ceramic pipe bowls: owl and coiled snake from the Kelly-Campbell village.

Plate 6.13 Ceramic pipe apple bowls: from the Plater-Martin and Kelly-Campbell villages

Plate 6.14 Ceramic coronet pipe from the Graham-Ferguson village.

Plate 6.15 Chert triangular arrowpoints and two end scrapers
from the Plater-Martin village.

Plate 6.16 Limestone pipe human face effigies from the Plater-Martin
and Pretty River villages

Plate 6.17 Limestone pipe eagle head effigy from the Rock Bottom village.

Plate 6.18 Bone implements: hairpin(?) from Kelly-Campbell, antler flaker from Plater-Fleming, awl from Rock Bottom, polished beaver femur from Plater-Fleming, antler harpoon from Glebe, and bear jaw tool from Plater-Fleming villages.

Plate 6.19 Marine shell beads from the Kelly-Campbell village.

Plate 7.1 Red siltstone beads from the Kelly-Campbell village.

Plate 7.2 Glass beads: Glass Bead Period 3b from the Kelly-Campbell village and
Glass Bead Period 2 from the Melville village

Plate 7.3 European copper from the Plater-Martin village: arrowpoints, bead,
and kettle lug.

Plate 7.4 Iron goods: Type 1 knife blade from Plater-Martin, Type 2 knife blade
from Kelly-Campbell, arrow point and foreshaft from Plater-Martin,
sword blade modified as chisel from Hamilton-Lougheed,
and fish hook from Kelly-Campbell villages.

Plate 7.5 Iron axes from Hamilton-Lougheed and Kelly-Campbell villages

Plate 7.6 Religious medallion found on the Kelly-Campbell site (ROM 979.181.2).

Plate 7.7 Engraved Type 1 folding knife found on the McAllister site (ROM 979.181.44):
“Le Craindre De Meurir” and “Est pire que La Mort.”

Editors’ Foreword

Petun to Wyandot is a distillation of a much larger volume assembled by Mr. Charles Garrad over the course of nearly 15 years. A copy of that manuscript has been deposited in the Archives of the Canadian Museum of History and is available for public consultation. The interested reader will find in that document additional information pertaining to the Petun and the Wyandot that was judged to be more peripheral to the topic of Petun archaeology but which nonetheless informs the subject.

Petun to Wyandot represents a rare body of knowledge. It is the painstaking and loving accumulation of a lifetime’s work dedicated to learning about one group, the Petun, the ancestors of today’s Wyandot peoples.  It is a very personal approach to the study of the archaeological remains of the Petun region as, some 40 years ago in Oklahoma, Mr. Garrad was formally adopted into the Wyandot Nation. 

While Mr. Garrad is not university trained, he associated with and incorporated into his projects many who were, learning from them and applying the best professional standards available.  Students of archaeology and professionals alike participated in his research, providing valuable feedback and criticism, spurring Mr. Garrad on to new thinking and approaches. Throughout his decades-long research into the Petun past, Mr. Garrad published incessantly with an eye to sharing his information, his thoughts and also in order to elicit constructive commentary.

While this book represents what will likely be Charles Garrad’s last substantial published words on the archaeology of the Petun, let no one think that these are his final thoughts on the many issues embodied by this publication. There are most assuredly more where these came from! 

Working on this manuscript has been a distinct privilege, though cutting the original very long manuscript by nearly 20 percent posed a distinct challenge. In our work, we were always keenly aware of Mr. Garrad’s voice and intent, and tried, with each editorial decision, to respect both of these. We sincerely hope that we have achieved a just balance.

We would also like to thank Rudy Fecteau for photographing the Petun artifacts which grace the pages of this book, as well as Andrew Stewart who drafted the many fine maps which illustrate the distributions of sites throughout Petunia at various times.

But most of all, we would like to thank Charles Garrad who allowed us to roll up our sleeves and participate in the creation of this legacy for the Petun, the Wyandot, and the people of the Blue Mountain region. 

Jean-Luc Pilon
Curator of Ontario Archaeology
Canadian Museum of History
Gatineau, Québec

William Fox
Adjunct Professor
Anthropology Graduate Program
Trent University
Peterborough, Ontario


“Until more research by Garrad and others is published, the Petuns will remain undeservedly obscure in the archaeological literature.” (Trigger 1985: 221)

This volume is a response Bruce G. Trigger’s challenge and is intended to make the Ontario Petun less obscure. My deep regret is that Bruce G. Trigger did not live to see the result.

My hope and purpose is to record something of what I think I know at this time about the Petun Indians when they lived in their Ontario homeland, the “Petun Country,” ca. A.D. 1580-1650, and to trace their Wyandot descendants to the present day. Others may continue the research and build on this knowledge. This book summarises and presents the results of more than five decades of work in the Petun Country and is in fact the distillation of an even more detailed account that was produced in very limited numbers. An electronic copy of this encyclopedic work can be found in the Archives of the Canadian Museum of History.


Borrowing the example and wording of the modern Wendat historian Georges E. Sioui (1999: v), “I dedicate this work to the Great Spirit, Supreme Being,” and then to the Petun, properly tribes of the ouendat (Wyandot), known in history as the Tionnontate or Tobacco Nation, whose story this is. I also respect all descendants of the Petuns, today to be found among the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, and the Wyandot Nation of Anderdon, and of these, especially Cecile Wallace, “Shundiahwah,” Matron of the Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, who raised me up to be “Tauromee” nearly four decades ago in 1975, and also Janith English, Principal Chief of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, who adopted my wife Ella, colleague John Steckley and his wife Angie, and me, into the Bear Clan in 1999, on the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the last full year of the Petun in Ontario.

Ce volume est une étude des Pétuns de l’Ontario et retrace les descendants des Wyandots jusqu’à nos jours.

Acknowledgements and Thanks

To try to assemble into book form some of the knowledge given to me about the Petun over more than a half-century of research with any hope of accuracy is a responsibility indeed. Yet as I write, I feel again, as Ella and I sometimes do on the ancient sites of long-gone Petun villages, the presence of the Ancestors, to whom we both give thanks for teaching us through our archaeological research. We hope we got it right.

For permitting field research to take place, I gratefully record my thanks to the many owners of archaeological sites in the former Petun Country of the Collingwood area of Ontario who have been so hospitable to me, and tolerant of my strange desire to dig large holes with small tools, and shake cubic yards of their farms through ¼ inch mesh screens. I also thank all those who helped with the research, who gave me information, access to their artifacts, and sometimes the artifacts themselves.

I must also acknowledge funding support. In 1974 I received a grant from the Canada Council to compile “Project the Petun,” an inventory of Petun sites. Thereafter, the Ontario Heritage Foundation provided small support grants for several years to explore some of those sites, until support of archaeological research in Ontario was discontinued. The subsequent assistance of private donors has been most appreciated. Currently, no financial support for avocational archaeology, such as has been accomplished in the Petun Country in Ontario, is available from either federal or provincial agencies.

Despite the many years of field work by me and my predecessors, there is much yet to be done. At this time not even a complete Petun longhouse, let alone a village, has been excavated. This is because my emphasis has been on conservation and preservation, and my goal has been to acquire the maximum knowledge with the least destructive excavation. I acknowledge all those who, with me, ensured that all Petun village sites are still in place and substantially intact, awaiting both the necessity and the resources to undertake more extensive and competent excavations.

Many of the names of my numerous friends and colleagues who participated in the more than fifty years of research embodied in this work, who excavated, collected and researched with me, taught me from their own expertise, and made this book possible, will be found in its pages, some of them as authors in their own right. Regrettably, some are omitted as they are too numerous to mention. My thanks go to them all, and particularly to two people, the principal of my many mentors, John “Jay” Allan Blair, nicknamed the Laird of Duntroon, and also to she whose love, tolerance and unwavering support kept me going through the many years that this book required, my wife Ella Louise Olesen Garrad, “White Feather.”

A special mention should go to the 43 colleagues and friends who, nigh three decades ago, had faith enough to collectively endow the work with a 73-volume set of the Thwaites’ Jesuit Relations. I thank you again and trust you find your generosity was justified.

Also to be thanked are those great people who volunteered to read parts of this text, and who made helpful comments and otherwise helped bring this book to its present state, and particularly to Michael W. Kirby, who volunteered to edit the massive tome on which the present book is based. Neither the book nor the work can be regarded as completed and finished, but I am now out of time and it must be left to others to continue the work.

Charles Garrad

Toronto, Ontario

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