America, by J.F. Lafitau. 1731. 1713-1719
De zeden der wilden van Amerika . . .
Sabin (America) 38598; Borba de Moraes, p.453
Dutch translation of the French edition of 1724, the Moeurs des Sauvages Amériquains, a major work on the natives of America.
Joseph-Francois Lafitau (1681-1746) was a French Jesuit missionary, ethnologist, and naturalist. He is best known for his important discoveries on the Iroquois society. He noticed the importance of women in Iroquois society, the universality of marriage as an institution, age grading, the classificatory system of relationship, and the pulse of Indian politics in the town council. Lafitau also contributed to existing scholarship on the Iroquois Long-house; he details the rules of residence and social organization.
Lafitau is considered the first of the modern ethnographers and a precursor of scientific ethnology for his work on the Iroquois.
The Moeurs des Sauvages Amériquains is Lafitau's major work. It was not until 1974 that Dr. William Fenton and Dr. Elizabeth Moore made the first translation into English available. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography).