Fragments vivants : la collection du Père Saint-Onge – Les découvertes maskoutaines

Fragments vivants : la collection du Père Saint-Onge

Fragments vivants : la collection du Père Saint-Onge

Louis-Napoléon Payant, known as Father Saint-Onge (1842-1901), was a student and then a professor at the Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, before leaving for the western United States from 1864 to 1872. Missionary among the settlers and of indigenous communities, he also became a linguist, a specialist in indigenous Yakama and Cayuse languages, and the Chinook dialect. When he died in 1901, he bequeathed to the Seminary nearly 500 archaeological, ethnographic, zoological and scientific objects, as well as several hundred books. Little information has come down to us about how they were acquired. This collection testifies rather to the interest that Saint-Onge had in other cultures, in the nature that surrounded him and in scientific developments at a time of great political, cultural and intellectual upheavals. It also indicates the existence of colonial power relations, both in the missionary experience and in the transfer of ownership of objects and the development of knowledge, to the detriment of indigenous cultures and knowledge.


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