First published as the Canada Department of Mines, Geological Survey, Memoir 86, No. 12 Anthropological Series in 1916. This book is the result of personal investigations conducted by the author during the years 1912-1915 among the Iroquois of Ontario, Quebec, and New York. This is one of earliest ethnographic publications on the entirety of Iroquois, or more aptly Haudenosaunee, food ways such as cultivation, preparation and preservation, utensils and materials, recipes, and the social or ceremonial customs surrounding food and sustenance. The author Frederick W. Waugh gathered substantial traditional knowledge from a number of Haudenosaunee informants from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. In addition to material culture, Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation contains valuable linguistic and medicinal information useful for language revitalization and recovery of traditional knowledge. Ironically, Waugh did not publish his research, but left a huge compilation of field notes, manuscripts, photographs and correspondence. He was an ethnologist in the Geological Survey of Canada, which published this ethnographic work.
Largely forgotten today, especially in the annals of northern science, Frederick Wilkerson Waugh was one of the very few Canadians to bridge the gap between amateur and professional anthropology during the discipline’s transitional period in the early 20th century. Waugh was a self-taught ethnologist and natural historian, and his career with the Anthropological Division of the Geological Survey of Canada, founded in 1910, lasted a mere 11 years. Yet over that brief span, he made several original contributions to disciplinary knowledge of indigenous peoples and cultures, including research in Labrador among the northern Innu (Naskapi) and their Inuit neighbours.