Unusual Artifact Found At A Beothuk Site

Unusual Artifact Found At A Beothuk Site

This past summer Penny Wells found an unusual copper artifact during excavations at June’s Cove on Red Indian Lake.  The item has been identified as a snowshoe needle identical to those used by Labrador Innu and other northeastern Indians.  This is the first reported amak, the Innu word for snowshoe needle, at a Beothuk site.

Obviously they used snowshoes in the interior, but maybe they didn’t use amaks when they made them or used ones made from bone.  It is also possible they obtained this object directly or indirectly from Montagnais visiting Newfoundland.  Such visits were not unusual during the 1700s.  Cormack met a Montagnais man, James John, and his Mi’kmaq wife while they were camped on Meelpaeg Lake in 1822.


Submitted by:  Laurie McLean, Consulting Archaeologist
May 2017

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One comment on “Unusual Artifact Found At A Beothuk Site
  1. James Stephen Peyton says:

    Very interesting. My grandfather found a Rama Chert projectile point as a boy on the Terra Nova River near Traytown around 1898. It was confirmed Paleoeskimo Maritime Archaic. 4 to 6000 years old.

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