From Where Do Red Indians Get Their Name?

The moniker "Red Indians" comes from the fact that this particular tribe of Native Americans used red ochre paint on their bodies and faces. Thinking he had landed in India, Christopher Columbus referred to the painted man whom he saw as "Indios," which means "Indian" in Spanish.

Some people mistakenly refer to all Native Americans or American Indians as Red Indians. However, only certain Native American tribes, such as the Beothuks. used red ochre paint on their bodies. Beothuks not only painted their faces and bodies with red paint, but also their hair and clothing as well. They believed that the color red was sacred. Other Native American tribes used red ochre paint on their bodies for repelling insects.