By Ingeborg Marshall
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Additional info for A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk
18 Since it does not pinpoint the position of the ship at that time, there is only a slender chance that the hostile natives were Beothuk. 19 They were wellbuilt "savage folk" who painted their bodies with tan colours. Their garments were made of furs. The women wrapped the furs more tightly around themselves than did the men and used belts. These Indians wore their hair twisted up on top of the head, secured by a nail and decorated with feathers. They had come in birchbark canoes "from warmer countries" to fish, hunt seal, and collect other foodstuffs.
Their weapons consisted of bows and arrows tipped with stone or fishbone. The east coast of Newfoundland, running north from Cape Race to the Strait of Belle Isle, was less-densely populated. The people who lived there were smaller and friendlier. Crignon's contention that the native people on the south coast were taller and less friendly than those who lived on the east coast has introduced the idea that two different populations lived on the island. Hoffman believed that the south coast was inhabited by Indians and the east coast by Inuit.
The narrative covers the increasing competition between Beothuk and English for resources on the coast, the interference of English trappers with Beothuk hunting activities in the interior, and the resulting hostilities, particularly in the late eighteenth century. Also discussed are conciliatory attempts by private citizens and naval officers to meet with Beothuk, the taking of Beothuk captives, attitudes of the clergy towards the native people, and the various factors touched upon here that contributed to the decline of the Beothuk population.
A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk by Ingeborg Marshall