Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 38 > Page 56 - A Visit with Wilfred Prosper, Eskasoni

Page 56 - A Visit with Wilfred Prosper, Eskasoni

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (1115 reads)
 

rived by the house there, at the road. They asked me to get out. I was only young, I didn't know what it was all about. 'You go to the door, Charlie, and see if they're not singing, if they're not saying prayers.' So I went to the door, and sure enough, they were blasting away. They were singing and praying and all of that. I went back and I told them. So, all right. Told the driver to drive on. Because... the spell would be broken, you know. As they'd walk in, they'd walk right up to the re? mains and kneel down and pray and sing. But if they're already singing, you know, this couldn't happen. "So anyway, they asked the driver to keep going. So he drove up to the little school- house. When we got there they filled up their pipes. They lit up. And," he said, "every one of them had a smoke, or they were chewing or smoking. When they were finished--'All right, let's go back now.' So we went back. We parked at the same spot, and I had to do it all over again. I went to the door and checked again, looked out--it was all quiet. So I went back and I told them. We marched in. Went right up to the remains and just started singing and saying the h5niins and that." This was the custom. But there was a little--what would you call it?--a little showmanship involved in it? Competition? Whatever. (Didn't they also used to have a kind of auction?) Oh, they still do. Oh, they wouldn't do away with that. That's one of the greatest things, one of the old tradi? tions that we have left. One of the best. If they do away with that, boy, that'll be the end of us, I guess. (What is the auc? tion?) Well, after the burial, we just go up to the hall or wherever. And they auction off the person's belongings. And a lot of the time, the people take donations. I remem? ber I took a shaving outfit here, to be auctioned off. Same day. We go right from the cemetery to the hall, and there's a Wilfred Prosper in choir, at 5 Ann's Mission, Chapel Island. meal. And either during the meal or after the meal, the auction takes place. My God, there's times they realized--what?--$1500, $1000. (The auction is of things that be? longed to the person who has died?) A lot of them, yeah. (And things that people do? nate?) Sometimes. A lot of the time, peo? ple donate things. And they can buy them back if they want to, or buy something else. (And who does the money go to?) Well, to pay the expenses--the undertaker, the coffin, the digging, all those things. And if there's any money left over, usually they turn it over to the church, or the mission fund at Chapel Island, whatever they want to do. (And you think this is an important part of Micmac tradition.) I think so, yes. I think there's a little bit of brotherly feeling connected with it. (Oh, more than a little. I think that's true. And you say if this would go, if they'd stop doing that....) Well, we've lost so much already, that's one of the last, one of the few things we still have left. And I wouldn't like to see that go. It brings people to? gether, you know, makes a lot of them feel good, that they donated something, or con? tributed. / SAF-WAY / Auto Parts Ltd. ''' 427 Charlotte St., SYDNEY • Phone: 539-9970 BAPCO 193 Charlotte St., Sydney, N. S. m Railings Fire Escapes Room Dividers Spiral Staircases Wrought Iron Furniture 564-2075 Sydport Industrial Park The Iron Shop Ltd, TJke Slc' M'tor Jrotel COMFORTABLE ROOMS Cable Colour TV, All Conveniences LICENSED DINING ROOM OPEN ALL YEAR 'ROUND- P.O. Sunday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (902)625-1300 Box 190 Port Hastings,Cape Breton N.S. BOE 2T0 [Take a Value home today- ', ... A ' CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA -- SYDNEY RIVER ''.A 0Kt M Now We Are 3 Mayflower mall -- grand lake road ''ruJrn i I NV>rvv V vv' r'i v' v-?? pQp.j. HAWKESBURY SHOPPING CENTRE -- PORT HAWKESBURY WjOOICO B ALL OPEN 'TILL 10 PM DAILY P.y,yoTM'Ti.TPc'F,! I (56)
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