Matthew (Matt) Hallowell
a resourceful, independent thirteen-year-old who has been left alone to watch over his family’s new cabin in the Maine wilderness while his father goes back to Massachusetts for the rest of the family
a hardy, forward-looking pioneer who has taught Matt to be self-reliant; he displays a respectful attitude toward American Indians
a noble, elderly Indian who saves Matt’s life; he is leader of the Beaver clan.
Saknis’s proud fourteen-year-old grandson.
American Indian people most of whom live in Maine and who speak an Algonquian language. (Algonquian is a large group of languages spoken in the eastern United States.) During the period in which the novel is set, the Penobscots, like other Algonquians, were somewhat nomadic and relied mainly on hunting and fishing for their food.
The Fur Trade
The North American fur trade began in the 1500s, when French explorers started trading with American Indians. They bartered manufactured goods such as tools, weapons, and textiles for otter, beaver, mink, fox, and other furs. Soon European consumers developed an insatiable appetite for North American furs, particularly beaver pelts, which were manufactured into heavy, fashionable felt hats for men
"Sign of the Beaver"
by Elizabeth George Speare
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