Feast of the Dead

The Feast of the Dead was held by the Huron whenever a large village shifted location, about every 10-15 years. The bodies of all those who had not died violent deaths were removed from their temporary tombs and buried in a common ossuary - a deep pit lined with beaver robes. The ceremony expressed the great affection the Huron held for their dead relatives and exercised a powerful reinforcement of the alliances among the tribes and villages. The final burial was believed to release the souls of the dead and to allow them to travel westward to the land where Iouskeha and Aataentsic lived.