Page 26 - European Impact on the Micmac Culture
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
holy occupation"; it was conducted and controlled by spiritual rules. The bond which united these physical and biological components of the Micmac ecosys? tem, and indeed gave them definition and comprehensibility, was the world view of the Indian.... Anthropologists regard the pre-Columbian North American Indian as a sensitive member of his environment, who merged sympathetically with its living and nonliving components. The Indian's world was filled with superhuman and magical pow? ers which controlled man's destiny and na? ture's course of events. Murray Wax ex? plains : To those who inhabit it, the magical world is a "society," not a "mechanism," that is, it is com- Fire Season-April 15toOct.15 What is intensive forest management? Left to itself, a forest will produce wood through natural growth and regenera? tion. Forest management assists nature to produce more wood in a given area than would be produced through natu? ral means. The forest management activities to achieve such a goal are divided into three groups: Planning and administration involves planning the long-term management of the forest. It includes calculating the allowable annual cut or sustained yield and planning harvesting operations. To obtain the necessary information for these activities, an inventory of the forest must be completed. Mapping of forested areas to show the distribution of the various tree species is also necessary. Silviculture could be called forest gardening. A first step might be the selection of genetically superior trees to provide the best possible seeds for seedling production. Improved seed? lings can then be grown in nurseries to provide planting stock for regeneration programs. Site preparation involves cul? tivating the forest floor to improve the growing conditions for the new tree crop. Where natural regeneration is insufficient, foresters prescribe planting to speed up reforestation. During the early stage of growth, thinning is required to eliminate the weaker trees and provide adequate space for the healthier ones to achieve maximum growth. In other instances, manual clearing of undesirable species or vege? tation may be required. Herbicides may be used in certain conditions, Like gar? den crops, forest crops may even have to be fertilized to provide trees with all the nutrijents required for rapid growth, Protection includes programs to facili? tate the detection and suppression of forest fires, disease, and insect attacks on "the forest crop. Educational pro? grams to reduce the number of man- caused forest fires play an important role in forest protection efforts. The goal of forest management is to enhance the production of wood fibre. As more and more management activi? ties are implemented in a forest area, management of the area is intensified. The result is an increase in the quantity and the quality of the forest crop and social benefits for the community. NOVA SCOTIA FOREST INDUSTRIES Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, Canada Telephone 625-2460. Area Code S02. Cable Address STORADOCK Telex 014-27531, TWX 610-272-4440 posed of "beings" rather than "objects." Whether hu? man or nonhuman, these beings are associated with and related to one another socially and sociably, that is, in the same ways as human beings to one another. These patterns of association and rela? tionship may be structured in terms of kinship, em? pathy, sympathy, reciprocity, sexuality, dependen? cy, or any other of the ways that human beings in? teract with and affect or afflict one another. Plants, animals, rocks, and stars are thus seen not as "objects" governed by laws of nature, but as "fellows" with whom the individual or band may have a more or less advantageous relationship. For the Micmac, together with all the oth? er eastern subarctic Algonquians, the pow? er of these mysterious forces was appre? hended as "manitou"--translated "magic pow? er" --much in the same way that we might use the slang word "vibrations" to regis? ter the emotional feelings emanating (so we say) from an object, person, or situa? tion. The world of the Micmac was thus filled with superhuman forces and beings (such as dwarfs, giants, and magicians), and ani? mals that could talk to man and had spir? its akin to his own, and the magic of mys? tical and medicinal herbs--a world where e- ven inanimate objects possessed spirits. Micmac subsistence activities were inex? tricably bound up within this spiritual ma? trix, which, we are suggesting, acted as a kind of control mechanism on Micmac land- use, maintaining the environment within an optimum range of conditions. (26)
Cape Breton's Magazine