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Page 12 - Evidence of Early Man on Cape Breton: Incomplete History of Cape Breton Indians

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1 (554 reads)

Archaics was excavated by Dr. MacDonald on the North Aspy. The Micmacs are a branch of the Algonkian Abnaki of the Laurentian shores. It seems that the Mohawks, the raost dangerous of the Iroquois tribes, were also stretching their country eastward as far as good agricultural land could be found. Ihe legends of the Micmacs include raids which describe the Iroquoian long-house accu? rately. Another story tells of a summer of planted corn, and then the harvest was all eaten, leaving no seed for the coming summer, so farming was ended. Other tales tell of the battles in which the Micmacs always triumphed • but it seems more likely that the Micmacs were gradually pushed southward. Their arrival seems to have been not much from 1000 A.D, The story of the driving of the Red Indians out of Cape Breton fits the period well, though not of the Beothuks. At thaf time there was the shellfish culture in the south half, but shell-heaps stop abruptly at Merigomish and j'-lusquodoboit, as though here was a dangerous line. It seeras that the Micraacs divided, one party taking the south, the other the north. The Micmacs had the advantage of bow and arrows. They did not kill women of other tribes but added them to their families. In the south the women had been accustomed to shellfish and to making Owascoid pottery. We find the Micmacs of the south eating clams and oysters and raaking pottery in both tech? niques of the Owascoid and of the Cord- pots of the Algonquians. It seeras that the Micraacs had not eaten shellfish at their horae. Those who went to the north acquired woraen who knew nothing of shellfish and nothing of pottery, so their only pottery was the Cord-pots, as raade by Micmac wives. Unknown There is a great deal that we do not know. In 9000 B.C. a band of Clovis hunters raade their base on the sands of Debert, Nova Scotia, coraing with the caribou in the spring and going back before the winter and following the caribou. During the sum- raer, wandering hunters lost spear-points or dropped broken ones. One has been found in Kings County, and two broken ones in Prince Edward Island. Probably at that tirae the crossing from Havre Boucher to Paddy??s Island was still passable. It is not impossible that a random Clovis might turn up in Cape Breton. There still re? mains the Plateau (the Highlands) where no one has studied the Indian trails to see the remains of the bands which spent the summers there hunting for caribou. In the summer of 1975 Dr. Ron Nash and his staff had a chance to search a portion of the Plateau, the area affected by the iVreck Cove Hydro-Electric Proiect, Thev*' found the area too overgrown for an effective search. But in the course of the sum? mer they did make finds which seem to be'in to fill the gap between 9000 B.C. and" 3000 B.C,, and which Dr, Nash believes will rank as one of the major finds in N,'S, Best wishes to Cape Breton's Magazine Ken-Mac Plumbing & Heating Englishtown 929-2214 Baddeck 295-2820 Where Better Service Costs No More MacLeod's FINA Baddeck .<''' s'' NEWS % % ' ''''''t/' / 'ov>"d Cot, CBITTELEVISION Channels 2,5,7,8,10,12, and 13 in Cape Breton CBC HAS IT ALL CBI RADIO 1140 on your Dial In Cape Breton
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