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Les connaissances montagnaises du lièvre d’Amérique

Daniel CLÉMENT

fr Anthropozoologica 22 - Pages 3-16

Published on 01 December 1995

Montagnais knowledge of the Snowshoe Hare

This paper deals with Montagnais knowledge of the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus). The Montagnais are Native people from northeastern Quebec and Labrador in Canada. Two lagomorphs, Lepus arcticus, and Lepus americanus which is the object of this paper, range in this area. Hunters, fishermen and gatherers by tradition, the Montagnais people have a science of animals that has been very poorly documented. The knowledge of some elders as well as mythical elements concerning the Snowshoe Hare are présentée and analyzed under four main aspects (nomenclature and taxonomy; physical features, locomotion and senses; habits; reproduction). Some of these aspects are also compared with academic zoology. This comparison helps us to understand the hidden nature of some of the mythical elements and also shows us that Montagnais science and academie zoology share more ressemblances than différences.

Keywords :

Hare, Amerindians, Ethnozoology, Mythology.

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