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Other names are to be met with which at various historical times were used to designate the Hurons; they made be said without exception to be misnomers.Some are but the names of individual chiefs, others the name of particular clans applied erroneously to the whole tribe, as Ochasteguis, Attignaountans, etc. The Huron Country Many theories have been devised to solve the problem as to what part of North America was originally occupied by the great Huron-Iroquois Family ; much speculation has been indulged in to determine, at least approximately, the date of their dismemberment, when a dominant, homogeneous race, one in blood and language, was broken up and scattered over a wide expanse; surmises to no end have been hazarded relative to the cause of the disruption, and especially that of the fierce antagonism which existed between the Iroquois and the Hurons at the time when Europeans came in contact with these tribes; in spite of all which, the solution is as far off as ever.
Thus, with them the Neutrals, a kindred race, went by the name of Attiouandaronk, that is, a people of almost the same tongue, while other nations were known as Akouanake, or peoples of an unknown tongue.The proper English pronunciation is Wendat, but the modified form of Wyandot has prevailed. cum particula reiterationis significat unitatem unius rei".As for the etymology of the word, it may be said to derive from one of two roots, either ahouénda , meaning an extent or stretch of land that lies apart, or is in some way isolated, and particularly an island; or aouenda , a voice, command, language, idiom, promise, or the text of a discourse. But the verb at , when it enters into this composition, does so with a modified meaning, or, as Potier puts it, " At . The first example given is Skat, with the meaning of "one only thing" (Rad.For, unfortunately, the thoroughly unreliable folk-lore stories and traditions of the natives have but served to perplex more and more even discriminating minds.It would seem that the truth is to be sought, not in the dimmed recollections of the natives themselves, but in the traces they have left after them in their prehistoric peregrinations—such, for instance, as those found in the early sixties of the last century in Montreal, between Mansfield and Metcafe Streets, below Sherbrooke." Thereupon the name Huron was coined, and it was later applied indiscriminately to all the nation.
It has stood the test of time and is now in general and reputable use.
That these two terms were all but identical, may be inferred from the fact that the compound word skaouendat has the twofold significance of "one only voice" and "one only island". Hur., 1751, 197); and, among several other examples which follow, the word Skaouendat occurs.
Skaouendat is composed of the irregular verb, at, to be standing, to be erect, and one or other of the above mentioned nouns, thus aouenda-at , contracted (Elem. Dropping the first syllable, formed with the particle of reiteration, Ouendat remains, with the meaning, "The One Language", or "The One Land Apart" or "The One Island".
As for the unwritten traditions among the Red Men, a few decades are enough to distort them to such an extent that but little semblance of truth remains, and when it is possible to confront them with authenticated written annals, they are found to be at variance with well-ascertained historical events.
In 1870, Peter Dooyentate Clarke, an educated Wendat, gave to the public a small volume entitled "Origin and Traditional History of the Wyandots".
The potsherds and tobacco pipes, unearthed there, are unmistakably of Huron-Iroquois make, as their form and style of ornamentation attest, while the quantity of ashes, containing many other Indian relics and such objects as usually abound in kitchen-middens, mark the site a permanent one.