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Volume 85 (2017)

La précieuse « boëte » de Marie-Josèphe. Trajectoire d’une boîte, écrin d’une vie

October 15, 2018


In 1790, in the small village of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, nestled between the mountain and the Saint Lawrence River, a woman lued a handwritten note inside a box. Fearing that the box could be stolen, she threatened anyone who took it with harsh punishment. Why? This article explores the box’s possible origins, its provenance, and its acquisition by ethnologist Marius Barbeau in 1930. Fundamental aspects of the woman’s life will also be addressed, examining various aspects of the sociocultural history of the Charlevoix and Côte de Beaupré regions of Québec at the end of the 18th century. The article covers two intertwining stories: the story of an object, Mi’Kmaq in origin or influence, and the story of a habitante and her world.