Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 47 > Page 56 - Introduction to Micmac Hieroglyphics

Page 56 - Introduction to Micmac Hieroglyphics

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1 (651 reads)

None of the Jesuits, however, thought of organizing these memory marks, or picture writing (which seem to have been common among the Amerindians as a whole) into a writing system. It was the Recollect (i.e., Franciscan) named Christian Leclercq, mis? sionary among the Micmac of the Gasp6 pe? ninsula from 1675 to 1687, who began, about 1677, to make a rational systematization of these marks and thus develop a hieroglyphic writing system. Leclercq's system was apparently not exten? sively adopted, but was taken over and adapted in the following century by Father Maillard, one of the most remarkable and influential of all the missionaries among the Micmac, who began his mission in Cape Breton in 1735. It is Maillard's system that is found in the extant manuscripts and printed books that we possess today. Maillard's mission ENJOY SOME LIGHT READING FROM NOVA SCOTIA POWER Nova Scotia Power wants you to get the most for your energy dollar. That's why we've developed a series of informative booklets to help you make the right electrical decisions. And, we want you to have them. Simply check off which booklets are of particular interest to you and mail this ad to: Nova Scotia Power, Customer Service, P.O. Box 910, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3j 2W5. Or, return it with your next electric service account payment. n Efficiency Plus • D Electric Home A consumer's guide Freezers to home systems D Electric Ranges and appliance D Laundry Equipment maintenance oik .r a t t a nm t a xTr-ico C3 Electric Heat D Water Heaters 'MALL APPLIANCES ' 'j''''.' ''' U Electric Kettles MAJOR APPLIANCES D Broiler Ovens n Refrigerators D Slow Cookers n Electric Dishwashers D Electric Skillets n Electric Household Appliances' POWERFUL ANSWERS SPACE HEATING D Controlling your n Recommended Electric Heating Insulation Levels for System Energy Efficiency D Electric Radia Water Furnace n Heat Recovery Ventilator D Heat Pump Heating Systems n Electric Baseboards n Household Electrical Safety D Electric Meters D Power Interruptions 07-12-87 nova scotia power Making Customer Service a Priority had three lasting re? sults. The first of these was the Chapel Is? land mission, centred around the feast day of St. Ann, on the 26th of July. Contemporary ac? counts from the 1760s report that the Micmacs congregated annually at Chapel Island. The Chap? el Island mission, in fact, would appear to be the oldest continuous Christian festival in North America. (See "St. Ann's Day Mission. Chap? el Island" in Issue 40 Of CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE.) The second result was the establishment of lay readers who baptized, led prayers, heard mar? riage promises, and bur? ied the dead. (Note; These l?ty readers are gkin tQ the "Worthies"-- Pcesbyterign c&techists; whp served the Scottish communities during years that ministers were not available.) The third result was the famous Micmac Prayer Book, written in hiero? glyphics which Maillard taught the Micmac to copy, and which, under the guidance of the lay readers, they continued to copy in manuscript form for another hundred years. The early copies were on birch bark, but by the early 19th centu? ry paper was in use. A beautiful example of a hieroglyphic manuscript book, copied on paper, is in the library of Princeton University. The watermark on the pa? per gives a date of 1830, indicating that the work is 150 years old. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE (56)
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download