How did people entertain themselves in the early days of New France?

Well, we can assume that many stories were told by the fire in the evening, such as the tales of daring deeds or misadventures during an exploration. There was also music, singing and dancing. On August 14, 1636, Father Le Jeune wrote: “… we had some of our young people dance to the sounds of a stringed instrument that a young French boy had” (Relations des Jesuits, vol. IX, p. 268).

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We also learn from the the accounts written by the Jesuits that a violin was played at a wedding in 1645, and that at Christmas of that same year, a flute was also played. Maisonneuve, the founder Montréal, happened to be a lute player. Lastly, theatre plays were performed by the pupils of the Jesuits and the Ursulines in Québec.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

See also – Traces of the past:

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