In the book The Sign of the Beaver, why did Matt mistake Attean for a stranger?

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Matt mistook Attean for a stranger the day he came to invite Matt to the feast at the village. Previously, Matt and Attean had been out hunting when Matt killed a rabbit. As they walked through the wilderness with the rabbit, a bear charged them. Matt tossed the rabbit at...

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Matt mistook Attean for a stranger the day he came to invite Matt to the feast at the village. Previously, Matt and Attean had been out hunting when Matt killed a rabbit. As they walked through the wilderness with the rabbit, a bear charged them. Matt tossed the rabbit at the bear distracting him and Attean killed it. This bear became the reason for the feast as well as "the stranger's" visit.

The next day, Matt sat in the doorway of his cabin, wishing his father was back. Suddenly, a figure emerged from the woods across from the cabin. Matt was not expecting Attean. The stranger's painted face startled Matt and he did not recognize him as Attean at first glance. Once Matt recognized the stranger, he asked about the paint. Attean told him it was to help celebrate the feast which was in honor of the bear they killed. 

 

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