chapter  5
59 Pages

The Northeast

WithAlice B. Kehoe

Northeastern Indians were the true "red men," so called because northern peoples covered exposed portions of their skin with a mixture of bear grease and red-ocher pigment for protection from wind chapping and cold in the winter and mosquitoes and flies in the summer. The "Last of the Mohicans," Hiawatha, Squanto, and Iroquois chiefs "straight as a pine tree" lived in the Northeast. A hint at the life of Middle Archaic people in the Northeast comes from the death of one of their children at the Strait of Belle Isle, where the Quebec and Labrador boundary faces Newfoundland across the sea channel. The boreal forest and tundra of the far northeast interior are underlain by glacier-scoured outcrops of bedrock granite called the Canadian Shield. The Northeast during Late Woodland times remained largely outside principal Mississippian trading networks, as it had been only on the edge of the Hopewell sphere.