By Ingeborg Marshall
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Extra resources for A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk
37 Crignon's is the only account that expressly states that the Indians in Newfoundland did not fish for cod. 38 Generally, by the 15405 a negative image of the Beothuk had been formed. " He also reported that the Newfoundland Indians were called Tabios, a term that is unidentifiable. Since Alphonse appears to have been familiar with Newfoundland, which had, he said, the best harbours of all the places he had visited, his account should be given some weight. DESCRIPTIONS BY JEHAN MALLART AND ANDRE THEVET Around 1545-47 Jehan Mallart, a Dutchman, commented that the natives in Newfoundland were tall men with fine bodies who lived on fruit, fish, and uncooked meat.
Since direct input from Beothuk is limited, the topics in this section are confined to those for which reasonably reliable information is available. In discussing cultural traits I have drawn on comparable practices of other native groups so as to place the Beothuk in the North American aboriginal context. Comparisons were also made to identify cultural traits that may have been unique to the Beothuk. It has been my aim to collect as much ethnographic material as possible from primary sources, artifacts, and archaeological investigations, and to integrate and present this material in a systematic and focused manner.
For this reason every attempt has been made to obtain confirmatory evidence for important points and to take into consideration the context in which a report was written and the reliability of the writer. 4 However, a major problem with the interpretation of Beothuk history is that most of the available material consists of records kept by Europeans who not only consistently presented a one-sided picture but tended to be ethnocentric because they considered the value system and way of life of native populations to be inferior to their own.