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Volume XLII, No. 1 Winter/Spring - Hiver/Printemps (2013)

L’écriture attachée des Mi’kmaq, 1677-1912

May 9, 2013


From 1677, the Mi’kmaq, a Native American people of the northeastern coast of America, used a logographic writing invented by French missionaries. Studies devoted to it have so far focused on its invention. This article takes the opposite of these approaches and offers a reflection on two centuries of usage of this writing. The documentary sources are first reviewed. It is then shown that Mi’kmaw writing has always been an attached writing: it was intended to transcribe a small corpus of texts from the Catholic tradition that had to be used, in the context of a specific institution, to learn by heart and recite liturgical discourses.