, Newburyport, MA


November 28, 2013

American Indians, as early Europeans saw them


Women, “In winter time they are their husbands Caterers, trudging to the Clamm bankes for their belly timber, and their Porters to lugge home their Venison. They likewise sew their husbands shooes, and weave coates of Turkic feathers, besides all their ordinary household drudgerie which daily lies upon them.” William Wood, 1634

Women “must dive sometimes over head and eares for a Lobster, which often shakes them by their hands with a churlish nippe …The tide being spent, they trudge home two or three miles, with a hundred weight of Lobsters at their backs.” Roger Williams, 1643

“They keep themselves well principally in Summer by the use of hot rooms and sweat boxes, and by the bath. They also use massage, afterwards rubbing the whole body with seal oil. Jesuit missionary, Maine, 1614

“They have great meetings of foot-ball playing, only in summer, town against town, upon some broad sandy shore…at which they have great stakings [gambling], but seldom quarrel.” Roger Williams, 1643

“I have known many of them run between fourscore or an hundred miles in a summer’s day, and back within two days.” William Wood, 1634

Canoes “Some I have seen will carry twenty persons, being forty or fifty feet in length, and as broad as the tree will bear.” Daniel Gookin, 1676

“For wiping their hands they use the shaggy back of a dog, also powder of rotten wood. The last-named is used by mothers, in the place of wash-cloths, to clean the dirt from their infants.” Jesuit missionary, Maine, 1614

“They think that he the Great Spirit made the earth and all that it contains for the common good of mankind; when he stocked the country that he gave them with plenty of game, it was not for the benefit of a few, but of all.” John Heckewelder, 1800

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