First Peoples > An Ancient Bond with the Land > Trade Fairs > A Well-Orchestrated Event

An Ancient Bond with the Land

Trade Fairs

A Well-Orchestrated Event

The trade fair was a diplomatic event that had to be negotiated in advance. Once a time and place had been agreed upon, Aboriginal peoples followed careful protocols to show their peaceful intentions.

The Nakoda were the first to arrive and set up camp. As the Nuptadi/Nueta approached, Nakoda warriors went out to meet them. A Nakoda chief came forward holding his ceremonial pipe. He embraced an opposing Nuptadi/Nueta chief, disrobed, and gave the other chief all his clothing, armour and weapons. Then his warriors each selected and embraced an opposing warrior. Shortly afterward, these new friends were led to the Nakoda camp for visiting and feasting.

The trade fair was laid out in a large oval, with each group occupying one end. This left a common central space where ceremonial trade and other events could take place.

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