For the month of November on my Instagram page, I did daily mini-lessons
on some of our Tribal Nations!
Thought the month of November is over, I am continuing to post
a few of those mini-lessons here, as well as some new lessons that
never appeared on my Instagram. Please enjoy, I had a lot of fun
researching all of these nations.
Today we get to learn about the Wampanoag Nation!
The Wampanoag people's traditional lands are on the North Eastern
coast of the United States. The map above shows their lands in green.
There are 10 nations within the Wampanoag culture. Aquinnah, Chappaquiddick,
Nantucket, Nauset, Mashpee, Patuxet, Pokanoket, Pocasset, Herring
Pond, and Assonet.
The Wampanoag people are fishing people!
The men often traveled north and south along the eastern coast
to fish and whale hunt. Similar to the Haudenosaunee culture, the
Wampanoag also incorporate the "Three Sisters" in their diets. Corn,
Beans, and squash. They are also Matrilineal society, which means
that the children take on the clan of their mothers, and after marriage,
the men would move with his wife into her family home.
Though the communities were governed by a Sachem or "king" it was
the Elder women who had final say over who would be selected to
govern. If the elder women didn't approve, you didn't get the position.
They also maintained the power to remove a Sachem if need be. Sachems
were also not only men. Sometimes a female Sachem would be chosen
over a close male relative.
One well known Sachem is Massassoit ('great chief'; proper name,
Woosamequin [Wasainegin, Osamekin, etc.], 'Yellow Feather'). He
was the Sachet introduced to the Pilgrims when they first sought
to colonize in the "New World." He would also be the one to introduce
them to Samoset, who would teach the pilgrims how to grow corn,
beans, and squash.
Wampanoag people traditionally lived in homes called Wetus. A Wetu
was made of tree branches and bark and had large cutouts in the
roof for smoke to escape from the fires inside. Furs would typically
be laid on the bench-like areas and used as warm beds to sleep on.
The Wampanoag people have been in the news a lot lately with the
recent attempts by the US Government to stripe the tribe of their
That's it for today's mini-lesson!
To learn more about the Mashpee Wampanoag and other Wampanoag tribes
please click below
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay
Corinne Rice (Mohawk/Lakota) has been a writer with powwows.com
since 2014. She lives in the state of CA, and enjoys attending and
photographing many of the Northern CA powwows and events. She owns
her own photography business and is also a Fellow with Changemaker
Initiative in partnership with Ashoka.