Maliseet & Passamaquoddy in “Voyages”

The Indians who live there [area around the St. Croix River on the border between New Brunswick and Maine] are few in number. During the winter, when the snow is deepest, they go hunting for moose and other animals, on which they live the greater part of the time. If the snow is not deep, they are scarcely rewarded for their pains, inasmuch as they cannot capture anything except with very great labour, whereby they endure and suffer much. When they do not go hunting, they live on a shellfish called the clam. In winter they clothe themselves with good furs of beaver and moose. The women make all the clothes, but not neatly enough to prevent one seeing the skin under the armpits; for they have not the skill to make them fit better. When they go hunting they make use of certain racquets, twice as large as those of our country, which they attach under their feet, and with these they travel over the snow without sinking, both the women and children as well as the men who hunt for the tracks of animals. Having found these they follow them until they catch sight of the beast, when they shoot at him with their bows, or else kill him with thrusts from swords set in the end of a half-pike. This can be done very easily, because these animals are unable to travel on the snow without sinking in.[…]

Source: Samuel de Champlain, "[Maliseet & Passamaquoddy in] Voyages" in The Works of Samuel de Champlain, H.P. Biggar (Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1922), 308-309.

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