Jesuit Rings from Michilimackinac and Other European Contact Sites
Archaeological Completion Report Series Number 5
From the book: “This report on Jesuit rings by Judith Hauser combines data from Fort Michilimackinac and other European colonial and Indian contact sites throughout the United States. … Her resulting synthesis adds considerably to our knowledge of colonial life at the Straits of Mackinac and is published here because this research is consistent with the aims of historical archaeology …
A thorough search of historical documents and the archaeological literature indicates that little information exists about Jesuit rings. Primary documents include statements by missionaries themselves that Jesuit rings were used as religious items in New France. However, the archaeological literature suggests that Jesuit rings may have been a standard trade item after about AD 1700.
The largest number of rings recovered archaeologically from any one site are from Fort Michilimackinac (1715-1781) … An analysis of the distribution of Jesuit rings found at Michilimackinac supports the hypothesis that Jesuit rings became a standard item in the Indian trade during the first half of the eighteenth century. Changes in design, quality, and the rate of production of rings over a sixty-year period tend to support the hypothesis that Jesuit rings did indeed become a standard trade item in all of New France.”
“Not only does (Hauser) examine the spatial distribution of Jesuit rings within Michilimackinac, (but) the occurrence of these artifacts at a score of comparative sites is also considered (and) the report adds some very useful information for further (research). Of particular value are the fine, detailed photographs of the Michilimackinac rings, (which) will be a great aid in comparing Jesuit rings from other sites.” – Vergil E. Noble The Michigan Archaeologist