5. The Separation of the Micmac from the Beothuk:

Long ago the Micmac and the Red Indians were friendly and lived together in a village at St. George's bay, which is now supposed to have been near Seal rocks [near Stephensville]. The place was called Meski·gtuwi·'d*n `big gut,' or it might have been Nudjo'an, inside Sandy point in the bay. The St. George's river was at that time called Main river by the English. Everything went well between the two tribes. They used to have a large canoe at the village in which the people could cross over the bay. One time during the winter a Micmac boy killed a black weasel. As it was winter-time the weasel should, of course, have been white. The occurrence was taken as an omen of misfortune, because the boy should not have killed a black weasel in winter-time, the animal not being in its proper hue. On account of the violation of the taboo a quarrel arose between the boys who were at the time gathered near the big canoe already mentioned. The Micmac boy struck and killed a Red Indian boy and left him there. Soon the Red Indian boy was missed by his people, and after searching for several days they found his body lying near the big canoe. When they examined the wounds the Red Indians concluded that the boy had been murdered. They accused the Micmac of doing the deed, and in a few days feeling became so intense that a fight ensued in which the Red Indians were beaten and driven out. They retreated into the interior and, being separated from contact with the outside world, drifted into barbarism and became wilder. They always shunned the Micmac, who soon after obtained firearms and, although they never persecuted the Red Indians, were thenceforth objects of terror to them. In a few generations those of the two tribes who were able to converse together died out and there was no way left for them to come together. So living in fear of each other, yet avoiding clashes, the Micmac continued to live at Bay St. George and the Red Indians kept to the interior.{8}



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