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Social Life in Acadia
Transcript of Social Life in Acadia
La Hève, with its natural harbour and sheltered inlets, was a very good base for the fishing industry. But in order to survive, the new settlers had to farm as well and La Hève was not nearly as ideal a setting for agriculture as it was for the fishery. Housing The heavy foundation suggests the use of large timbers for the frame of the house. Further, although there is no direct evidence of how the walls were constructed, there is plenty of indirect evidence that they were made of wood. For example, the quantities of stone and brick found on the site were not large enough to indicate they were used for walls. But lots of nails were uncovered. These point to the extensive use of wood as a building material. Family Life Clothing The virtue of the Acadian woman was protected by several articles of clothing. Her dress was made precisely; women wore a long sleeve, a bodice, petticoat, a mantelet, a skirt, an apron and a caline (a headress) all to assemble one outfit.
The man’s dress was much less complex. It consisted simply of an unbleached linen shirt, a fine woolen vest, a pair of pants with a flap front, and a red or grey woolen cap.
Both men and women wore woolen socks in natural color, or dyed grey or blue indigo, then moccasins or clogs, sometimes lined with straw to absorb humidity. Settlement Among the people Sieur Isaac de Razilly brought over from France, many were tenant farmers from inland agricultural areas like Poitou and others from places on the coast of France such as Saint-Onge and Aunis. The settlers numbered about 300 men and 12 to 15 women. In today's world, the family may take on various forms, but for North American societies as a whole between the late 18th and the early 20th century, it was generally comprised of a father, a mother, and several children. Family was the pillar of the community, of its social and economic life, and of its demographic growth. Marriage was the sole context within which children were allowed to be born. This was as important for the unions facilitating existence as for continuation of the family name. Churches The members of the Catholic church had a significant role in Acadian society. The priests traveled the vast territories of this new Acadia as early as the 18th century. Sometimes priests and spiritual guides, sometimes teachers and agricultural advisors, they were conscious of the importance of their presence and the encouragement they represented. Furthermore, from the mid-19th century, Acadians built vast churches. Travel and Communication They did not have the opportunity like us to travel tens of kilometers any day just to go shopping “in town”. Travel was a luxury not available to everyone and was only resorted to when necessary.
Before the advent of the railway in the second half of the 19th century, travel was an activity chiefly practiced by waterway, since roads were scarce and in very bad condition. Because of this limited mobility, the boundaries of the village and of the church parish marked the limits of known territory for most people. News from the family and neighbors was the chief concern and news from the outside world was practically non-existent until the creation of the first newspaper. several decades went by before telephones became widespread in Acadian homes. Schools Until the early 20th century, governments were little involved in the financing and management of schools. Parents, through the trustees, were the first ones to be responsible for the school’s establishment, and, subsequently, of its operation.
Education was considered of little value and schools were scarce, poorly maintained and run by untrained teachers. For most Acadian families. For many young Acadians, the school was a part-time occupation, and survival was precedence. School was attended during the times of year when their services were not required at home. This explains the irregular attendance that teachers had to deal over the course of a year.
Tried to improve the educational system, but material resources were lacking. Important Figures Communities being predominantly Catholic, the missionary or resident priest would be foremost in this leadership role. When doctors were not present, it was the job of resident healers and midwives. Therefore, most children were born from these midwives. The fiddler or the storyteller, were not really official offices, but their roles were nonetheless crucial to the life of their community. Through their musical or verbal talents, they provided Acadians a means of fully enjoying the few moments of leisure allowed in the year. What impact did Acadians have on Canadian social life today? Discussion Question This slideshow is an examination of the social values of the Acadian society.