Loa’s Journey ‒ Part 5

Mr. W. began showing Tigneny some of the clay objects he had unearthed.

Pot_WJ Wintemburg_Roebuck Site Report

He seemed to think that Tigneny would recognize the intricate chevron patterns carved on the various pot rims. At first Tigneny shook his head, but soon it seemed he liked the look of one of the rims. Mr. W. found another piece with the same pattern. Tigneny laughed, and they started rebuilding what could have been a cooking pot his family had used.

Upon discovering his passion for stone axes, Tigneny gave Mr. W. a few tips on making better axeheads. Mr. W. was happy to learn.

Loa poured tea. Mr. W. began drawing a battle scene. Tigneny nodded, adding some details of his own.

Loa came to understand that they were sitting in a cemetery. Many of the people buried here were probably related to Tigneny. Some of them had died from fighting a battle over power and ownership of the land.

Mr. W. explained that by sleeping among the graves, he was letting the deceased know that he meant no harm. He needed to unearth the bones so they could be studied by experts. This way, they would learn how the Villagers had died. Tigneny seemed to accept Mr. W.’s words.

Mr. W. started to draw a map. He drew the St. Lawrence River and circled in the north where they were now. Then he drew more circles showing the location of other Villages that he had heard about. He hoped Tigneny might know of their existence.

It occurred to Loa that Mr. W. wanted Tigneny to think of returning to another Village ‒ a nearby place in time ‒ where there might be less fighting.

Suddenly, Mr. W. noticed the necklace around Loa’s neck.

Pointe a Calliere Museum_12

Alan had given it to her recently. He’d found the beads in the sand while wandering along the creek. Their neighbours had said that there were all sorts of old bone and clay objects in the earth.

Loa took the necklace off and gave it to Tigneny. She knew that the diggers of the future ‒ the archaeologists ‒ would find similar beads on the lands near her family farm, and now she knew that the Village next to her home had been built some 50 years after Tigneny’s.

Loa appreciated that both Tipler and the beads had brought her to Tigneny. She hoped now that this was what he needed to return to his people. Mr. W. nodded vigorously. He asked Loa, Tigneny, and Tipler to rest, saying it would be better to travel after a good night’s sleep.

The sun had barely risen. Tigneny woke everyone, and showed Mr. W. the animal skin full of plants and hemlock bark that he’d previously gathered.

Pointe a Calliere Museum_8

He looked through the stone objects that Mr. W. had unearthed. Between two of the stones, Tigneny began crushing the plants. He added water, and the result was a reddish face paint which he applied to both himself and Tipler.

Holding Loa’s beads in his hand, Tigneny walked with Tipler to the cave. Loa and Mr. W. followed, keeping their distance. As they waved goodbye, Tigneny and Tipler gave Loa a knowing look. She couldn’t help shedding a few tears.

Loa would never know if Tigneny and Tipler had made it back safely, but Mr. W. suggested she might know, once it was her turn to go. Both understood they must find a meaningful object that belonged to her place in time.

Photos: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000664897 and http://www.pacmusee.qc.ca/en/exhibitions/st-lawrence-iroquoians-corn-people


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