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French Ethnography In New France

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces one key period in the progress of French ethnographic tradition, that is, its North American colonial episode which spanned from the early 16th century to 1763 when France surrendered that colony to the British Crown. Early 16th century and late-19th century of France's presence in North America were cause for many Catholic priests to find themselves, for the first time in France's history, embedded within diverse and utterly unfamiliar native cultures. This durable exposition has led to some of these men composing major pieces of observation of an ethnological nature, a good many of which today are considered classics of early anthropology. The chapter examines a few of these authors and their texts with an aim to verify the degree of refinement of French missionary ethnographic practice at the time, therefore setting a benchmark of that type of practice in French missionary ethnographic tradition.

Keywords: Catholic priests; French missionary ethnographic tradition

10.1163/ej.9789004139961.i-286.18
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