30 Facts About Wampanoag


Wampanoag language was a dialect of Masschusett, a Southern New England Algonquian language.

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From 1615 to 1619, the Wampanoag suffered an epidemic, long suspected to be smallpox.

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Many male Wampanoag were sold into slavery in Bermuda or the West Indies, or on plantations and farms run by colonists in New England.

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Wampanoag is probably derived from Wapanoos, first documented on Adriaen Block's 1614 map, which was the earliest European representation of the Wampanoag territory.

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Wampanoag people were semi-sedentary, with seasonal movements between sites in southern New England.

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Wampanoag had a matrilineal system, like many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, in which women controlled property, and hereditary status was passed through the maternal line.

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Production of food among the Wampanoag was similar to that of many American Indian societies, and food habits were divided along gender lines.

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Wampanoag men were mainly responsible for hunting and fishing, while women took care of farming and gathering wild fruits, nuts, berries, and shellfish.

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Wampanoag were organized into a confederation in which a head sachem presided over a number of other sachems.

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Wampanoag originally spoke Wopanaak, a dialect of the Massachusett language, which belongs to the Algonquian languages family.

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Jessie Little Doe Baird, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, founded the Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project in 1993.

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Wampanoag has produced a grammar, collections of stories, and other books.

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Wampanoag accompanied an expedition to Newfoundland as an interpreter, then made his way back to his homeland in 1619—only to discover that the entire Patuxet tribe had died in an epidemic.

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In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, and Tisquantum and other Wampanoag taught them how to cultivate the varieties of corn, squash, and beans that flourished in New England, as well as how to catch and process fish and collect seafood.

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Wampanoag suffered from an epidemic between 1616 and 1619, long thought to be smallpox introduced by contact with Europeans.

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Wampanoag women were more likely to convert to Christianity than the men.

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Wampanoag asked the legislators in Plymouth near the end of his life to give both of his sons English names.

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The Wampanoag were told that he died of fever, but many Indians thought that he had been poisoned.

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The Wampanoag numbered only 1,000, and Philip began to visit other tribes to build alliances among those who wanted to push out the colonists.

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Philip called a council of war on Mount Hope; most Wampanoag wanted to follow him, with the exception of the Nauset on Cape Cod and the small groups on the offshore islands.

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Slightly more than 2,000 Wampanoag are counted as enrolled members of the nation today, and many live near the reservation on Martha's Vineyard, in Dukes County.

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Wampanoag held the position until Marshall pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal charges of embezzling, wire fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion and election finance law violations.

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Wampanoag steered tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to politicians through the tribe's hired lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was convicted of numerous charges in a much larger scheme.

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The Wampanoag are given a "headstart" to develop plans for a casino in southeastern part of the state.

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In 1972, Aquinnah Wampanoag descendants formed the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head, Inc, to achieve self-determination and federal recognition.

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Under Widdis, the Aquinnah Wampanoag acquired the Herring Creek, the Gay Head Cliffs, and the cranberry bogs surrounding Gay Head during her presidency.

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Aquinnah Wampanoag are led by tribal council chair Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, who was elected to the post in November 2007.

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Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, headed by tribal council chair Melissa Ferretti, is state recognized.

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Royal Wampanoag Cemetery located at 487 Bedford Street in Lakeville is a historical cemetery managed by the band.

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Pocasset Wampanoag band has held lands in Fall River, Massachusetts, since colonial times.

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