Hochelaga (dialectic form of Hockelayi, 'at the place of the [beaver] dam'). A former Iroquoian town, strongly palisaded, situated in 1535 on Montreal id., Quebec, about a mile from the mountain first called 'Mont Royal' by Cartier. At that time it contained about 50 typical Iroquoian lodges, each 50 or more paces in length and 12 or 15 in breadth, built of wood and covered with very broad stripe of bark, neatly and deftly joined. Estimating 12 fires and 24 firesides, each of three persons, to every lodge, the total population would have been about 3,600. The upper portion of the lodges was used for storing corn, beans, and dried fruits. The inhabitants pounded corn in wooden mortars with pestles and made a paste of the meal, which was moulded into cakes that were cooked on large hot rocks and covered with hot pebbles. They also made many soups of corn, beans, and peas, of which they had a sufficiency. In the lodges were large vessels in which smoked fish was stored for winter use. They were not travellers like those of 'Canada' and 'Saguenay,' although, according to Cartier, "the said Canadians are subject to them with 8 or 9 other peoples along the river".

Source: James WHITE, ed., Handbook of Indians of Canada, Published as an Appendix to the Tenth Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, Ottawa, 1913, 632p., p. 200.

© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College

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