Québec, Québec, Canada (Quebec City) - 1664 - Bathing and such (Quebec)
At this time the colonists rarely bathe, believing a bath would cause colic, headaches and vertigo. This European tradition usually resulted in a May bath with June weddings before they started to smell too bad. The brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hid the body odor. Both male and female wore sachets of dried flowers for the same purpose. The natives bathed fairly often and couldn't understand this strange practice.
The French court was told most of the Quebec population were mainly unmarried males, many of whom interbred freely with the savages, wasting their seed among the pagans, instead of increasing the strength of the colony. Most of these Metis offspring are absorbed into the Indian population and are not recorded in the French records. This situation led to the filles du roi program of sending orphan girls, daughters of debtors, streetwalkers and runaway wives to New France. Only fifteen out of the first 150 could not find husbands and ended up in domestic service.
www.telusplanet.net/ public/ dgarneau/ french19.htm
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