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The Saltwater FrontierIndians and the Contest for the American Coast$
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Andrew Lipman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207668

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207668.001.0001

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Watercraft and Watermen

Watercraft and Watermen

(p.54) Two Watercraft and Watermen
The Saltwater Frontier

Andrew Lipman

Yale University Press

This chapter takes a general look at the material world of the coast between the Hudson River and Cape Cod. An exploration of saltwater engagements of Europeans and Native mariners, both in early contact and in the decades after, uncovers a surprising story about the overlap of maritime traditions. There were two groups of watermen in this corner of the ocean. Newcomers were more hirsute than locals and clad in linen and wool; locals fashioned their hair into elaborate scalplocks and wore tanned leather. Soon both types of men would become similarly skilled at trimming canvas sails and balancing canoes. Noting the asymmetries between ships and canoes leads to the most compelling fact about nautical encounters in this region. Even on the water, the realm where one might reasonably assume that the disparity between tools was the greatest, it would be a long time before colonizers had a clear advantage over the people they hoped to colonize.

Keywords:   Europeans, Native Americans, Indians, colonists, material culture, boats

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