Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia





[This text was originally published in 1907 by the Bureau of American Ethnology as part of its Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. It was later reproduced, in 1913, by the Geographic Board of Canada. The work done by the American Bureau was monumental, well informed and incorporated the most advanced scholarship available at the time. In many respects, the information is still useful today, although prudence should be exercised and the reader should consult some of the contemporary texts on the history and the anthropology of the North-West Indians suggested in the bibliographic introduction to this section. The articles were not completely devoid of the paternalism and the prejudices prevalent at the time. While some of the terminology used would not pass the test of our "politically correct" era, most terms have been left unchanged by the editor. If a change in the original text has been effected it will be found between brackets [.] The original work contained long bibliographies that have not been reproduced for this web edition. For the full citation, see the end of the text.]



Hochelaga (dialectic form of Hockelayi, 'at the place of the [beaver] dam'). A former Iroquoian town, strongly palisaded, situated in 1535 on Montreal id., Quebec, about a mile from the mountain first called 'Mont Royal' by Cartier. At that time it contained about 50 typical Iroquoian lodges, each 50 or more paces in length and 12 or 15 in breadth, built of wood and covered with very broad stripe of bark, neatly and deftly joined. Estimating 12 fires and 24 firesides, each of three persons, to every lodge, the total population would have been about 3,600. The upper portion of the lodges was used for storing corn, beans, and dried fruits. The inhabitants pounded corn in wooden mortars with pestles and made a paste of the meal, which was moulded into cakes that were cooked on large hot rocks and covered with hot pebbles. They also made many soups of corn, beans, and peas, of which they had a sufficiency. In the lodges were large vessels in which smoked fish was stored for winter use. They were not travellers like those of 'Canada' and 'Saguenay,' although, according to Cartier, "the said Canadians are subject to them with 8 or 9 other peoples along the river".


Source: James WHITE, ed., Handbook of Indians of Canada, Published as an Appendix to the Tenth Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, Ottawa, 1913, 632p., p. 200.



© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College