Todd's and Don Holly's ideas about the role of birds in Beothuk art and religion is generating a lot of interest at the moment. I asked Todd about it...
|Plans and Profiles #9. Todd Kristensen, Birds in Beothuk Beliefs|
|Cape St. Mary's |
|Beothuk Pendant bone pendant drawings and the birds and bird parts that they resemble.|
2) How did you become interested in this particular problem?
|Archaeologists ponder diet|
|Dawn at L'Anse aux Meadows|
3) Has your project changed since you originally began working on it? How?
|Detail of Beothuk Burial scene |
painted by Rae Braden, 2012.
Pendants are being placed next
to an ochre covered skeleton.
I’m really interested in the connection between our thoughts about death and the way we live our lives. My question to a Beothuk person would be: what do you have to do while you’re living to make sure you have a happy afterlife?
5) I can’t imagine doing this research without...
...my wife’s patience!
|Cape St. Mary's Ecological Preserve|
6) Has your research taught you anything about yourself? What?
|Todd, Nature. Nature, Todd.|
Being outdoors. Nature can calm me down, perk me up, and stoke my enthusiasm to keep learning about the world around us.
8) What archaeological discovery or project do you wish that you could have been a part of?
I have ‘finger-in-too-many-pies’ syndrome so I wish I was part of every archaeology project, but in particular, the discovery of the fantastic Danish bog bodies.
9) What books or websites would you recommend if people want to learn more about your area of interest in general? Or your project in particular?
Past Horizons: Lost Beothuk Nation's Religion Takes Flight.
Randy Boswell wrote a nice article for Canadian media: Newfoundland birds were the heart of extinct Beothuk nation's religion, study says.
There are lots of interesting recent books about ancient religion, here’s a good one: An archaeology of the cosmos: rethinking agency and religion in ancient America (by Timothy Pauketat from 2013). The definitive book about the Beothuk is Marshall’s 1996 work: A history and ethnography of the Beothuk. Lastly, Don Holly’s book about Eastern Subarctic archaeology should be out soon; it promises to be perfect for summer beach reading, or to curl up with around the fire in mid-winter… fall or spring would also be good seasons to read it during.
|Depiction of a Beothuk Burial Scene (painted by Rae Braden 2012)|
Do you have an article coming out or a research project that you'd like to promote? Do you know an archaeology student whose research could use a boost? Send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: Todd KristensenPlans and Profiles Banner, Tim Rast based on a linocut by Lori White