Traditional marriage

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I will be talking about marriage and the way the Crees entered into it before the arrival of the priests. Men and women lived together since that is the way of procreation and all life, very much like the animals that live together, and procreate to have more “bear cubs” (mush-ko-shi-sha) The Cree person did the same thing long ago. Long ago marriage was in the control of the parents. There was no marriage ceremony in church as we see today. First, a man’s hunting skills were observed, and a hunter usually had one year to prove himself. It’s not like today where couples date, live together, and later get married. You did not yet speak directly to the woman you desired for marriage. The male would speak to the parents and express his desire to have their daughter as a wife. The parents would want to know the young man first. The man would stay close to the parents for about a year so that the parents may observe the man’s hunting skills, camping skill, snowshoe making skills, toboggan making skills and tracking skills. After one winter, the parents will know whether or not this man can successfully support the daughter. And so, the parents, being satisfied, will offer their daughter for union with the man. That was all there was to it; there was no sacred ceremony. All that was needed was the approval of both parents, and the marriage was done; the man now had his wife. And now, the new couple can go its separate way. A few men, during times of starvation, may have as many as 5 or more wives due to their great hunting skill and this is how unions were made long ago. Due to the inability of older parents to support themselves, and their daughters, and lacking superior hunting skills, the young skilful hunter is very attractive and is greatly respected. So this highly successful hunter would have three or more wives due to his survival and hunting skills.


Traditional marriage Emile Sutherland


Traditional marriage, hunting skills, parents, 5 wives, skills,

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