Huron Carol: Jesus is Wrapped in Rabbit Skin

huronThe Hurons, who should be called Wyandat, were an indigenous tribe of North America. They settled in what is now Canada and the Northern United States.  They were warriors known for their “Mohawk style hair.”  French missionary priests brought the Indians Christianity.  The word “Huron” was not a nice name, but somehow many people today use the word.  This Carol is called the “Huron Carol” or “T’was in the Moon of Winter Time.”

Bethlehem in the Snow

The Huron had never seen the hot desert land where Jesus was born.  They would never have met shepherds or seen a woman riding on a donkey.  To make it understandable, the priests told the story and set it in the land of the Hurons.  Mary and Joseph become Huron parents and Jesus is born, not in a stable, but in a Huron ‘long house’ in the cold December with snow all around Him.

Instead of shepherds and Wise Men, the priests spoke of warriors and chiefs.  The warriors were the shepherds and the chiefs were the wise men brought gifts of fur and beaver pelts.  Furs were necessary clothing for the harsh and long cold winters.  Jesus was found wrapped in rabbit’s pelts or fur.

The name “Gitchi Manitou” is the name of God in Heaven

unknown-3The Huron often lived in tepees (tents) during the summer hunting season.  In winter, many lived in “long houses” made of wood.  You will see these ‘long houses’ in some of the images.  Midland, Ontario, Canada has as a village set up.  If you are near Toronto, you are not far from Midland.   Have a great Christmas.


‘Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled

That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead
Before their light the stars grew dim
And wandering hunters heard the hymn


Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria

Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty round

And as the hunter braves drew nigh
The angel song rang loud and high

Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria


The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fur and beaver pelt


Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria


O children of the forest free
O sons of Manitou
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy


Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria



**  excelsis gloria is Latin for “Glory to God in the Highest.”

Here is a picture of women and girls in their native custom the church in Midland, Ontario, Canada.  Like many cultures world-wide, people are proud of their heritage.