Library policies Library hours Library catalogue More than 10,000 books in the database!
The Mound Builders
written by "Bryce, George, 1844-1931"
... quantity of the dust taken from one of the shells found in the grand mound, with the microscope, and though I am not perfectly certain, yet I believe there are traces of some farinaceous substance to be seen. On skirting the shores of the Lake of the Woods into which Rainy River runs, at the present time, you are struck by the fact that there are no Canadian farmers there, and likewise that there are no mounds to be seen, while along the banks of Rainy River both the agriculturist is found cultivating the soil and the mounds abound. It would seem to justify us in concluding that the farmer and the mound builder avoided the one locality because of its barren rocky character, and took to the other because of its fertility. Moreover the continual occurrence of pottery in the mounds shows that the mound builders were potters as well, while none of the tribes inhabiting the district have any knowledge of the art of pottery. The making of pottery is the occupation peculiarly of a sedentary race, and hence[Pg 14] of a race likely to be agriculturists. As it requires the building faculty to originate the mounds, so it requires the constructive faculty to make pottery. In constructive ability our Indians are singularly deficient, just as it is with greatest difficulty that they can be induced even on a small scale to practice agriculture. It has been objected to this conclusion that the Indians can make a canoe, which is a marvel in its way. But there is a great difference in the two cases. In the canoe all the materials remain the same. The approximation to a chemical process makes the pottery manufacture a much more complicated matter. Indeed the Indian in token of his surprise at his success in being even able to construct a canoe, states in his tradition that it is the gift of the Manitou. Furthermore the mound builder used metal tools, and was probably a metal worker. It is true the copper implements mentioned, as having been found were b...

This book you can borrow for use directly by visiting our library!