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6 Thanksgiving Myths and the Wampanoag Side of the Story -

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The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians did have a harmonious relationship in the early years of the Plymouth Colony. But historians and. The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated Following this advice, my teacher said, the colonists grew so much maize that it When Tisquantum approached the Pilgrims and identified himself by that. The first Thanksgiving feast wasn't as peaceful and cheery as we were With the help of a friendly Native American, they survived their first After the Pilgrims suffered their first winter in , Massasoit decided to follow Squanto's advice. Subtle Signs Of Cheating In Your Long Distance Relationship 0.

Indians spoke a dialect of the Algonquin language. A few spoke some English even before the Pilgrims landed at Plimoth in They learned from the English fishermen who fished for cod. Squanto, a Wampanoag, also spoke English, which he learned when he was in England. When he returned, Squanto served as an interpreter between the English colonists and the Wampanoag people. Eventually, most of the Wampanoags did learn to speak English. Who were some of the Native Americans who spoke English with the Pilgrims?

Samoset greeted the Pilgrims in English in March of He strode into the Pilgrims compound and said, "Welcome, Englishmen. Squanto, a Wampanoag, also spoke English, which he learned when merchants took him to England before He was an interpreter for the Massasoit and the English colonists. He was particularly helpful to the colonists, and the other Wampanoags were suspicious of Squanto's association with the Englishmen. He died a premature and mysterious death.

Did you ever feel at any time that the Pilgrims were your friends? If you did, when did your feelings change? Yes, in the beginning there was a fair exchange of good deeds between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims. During the first harsh winter over half of their number died of cold, malnutrition, and other diseases. During the spring ofthe Wampanoags were very helpful in teaching the English to adjust to the climate, the environment around them, and for this the English were grateful.

They met the Massasoit Osamequin, who provided protection and help during the next few years. As the numbers of English increased and the settlements grew, the English began to make demands on the Wampanoags. Attempts were made to make English the language to be spoken. Plimoth Colony extended their court jurisdiction over the Wampanoag people.

Missionaries attempted to convert the Wampanoags from their religion to Christianity. These things were done in the interest of improving the Wampanoag mind and spirit, but in the process it did much harm to the native culture and spirituality. What did the Pilgrims think of you? The English had been told that the inhabitants of the New World were savages, so they were afraid of the Wampanoags. An Indian named Samoset came into the new village in the spring of and began a friendship with the Pilgrims.

Samoset introduced Miles Standish and William Bradford, Europeans, to the Wampanoag leaders and a friendship was made that lasted for more than 50 years. What kinds of diseases did the Pilgrims expose the Wampanoag to? When the Pilgrims landed inthey brought diseases like smallpox and diphtheria.

Some English purposely distributed diseased blankets to the unsuspecting Wampanoags, thus wiping out entire villages. Eventually the Wampanoag built up a tolerance for some of these diseases and were able to withstand the terrible effects of European diseases. Did the Pilgrims turn against you because you had different-colored skin? The color of their skin did point out the differences. The language differences prevented good communication between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags.

It was obvious from the beginning of the Pilgrim—Wampanoag relationship that there was a complete lack of understanding and mutual respect. The English had been told that the Wampanoag people were savages and needed the help of the white man to become civilized. What were some of the religious differences between Natives and Pilgrims?

The Pilgrims were sometimes called Puritans, a group that had very strong religious beliefs. They were very serious and sanctimonious and felt that the Wampanoags should practice the Puritans' religion, Christianity, and observe their rules of conduct. Keep in mind that these were the same people who were escaping religious persecution in Holland and England. John Elliot was an early missionary who made a valiant effort to Christianize native people. He did not recognize that the Native Americans had their own religion and proceeded to convert them.

John Elliot attempted to learn the Algonquin language, and he translated the Bible into that language. The native people were fascinated with the concept of praying and preaching. To them, the ceremony and ritual of the service was interesting, even though they did not understand it. As the English settlements expanded, the Christian praying villages were used as a refuge for Indians who were displaced by the new settlers.

When the so-called King Philip's War took place, John Elliot's praying Indian village was evacuated and the Natick Indians were banished to a place called Deer Island, where many of them died over the winter. What kinds of weapons did the Pilgrims bring? What kind of weapons did the Native Americans have? When the Pilgrims landed in Plimoth, the military leader was a man named Miles Standish. He and most of the men carried muskets, which were used for hunting and protection of the village.

The Wampanoags had no such weapons and were deathly afraid of the white man's musket. We called it a thunderbolt that could kill. The Pilgrims carried a strange book, their Bible, as they marched to church every day. Each was a weapon in its own way, because the Pilgrims wanted the Wampanoags to embrace the Christian religion and to discard their own religion. The Wampanoags had bows and arrows and spears, which were used for hunting as well as for protection of their territory.

In addition, they had tomahawks made of stone and knives made of shells or sharp shale. Were there ever any confrontations between the white settlers and the Native Americans? If so, what were they?

The Pilgrims - HISTORY

The Wampanoags had many disagreements with the white man, primarily over land issues. At first the Pilgrims were friendly with the Wampanoags, because they helped them learn the environment and how to survive on the land. As the settlers moved in, they often settled on traditional or ceremonial land of the Wampanoags, which was often hotly disputed.

Eventually this led to wars between the English and the Indian tribes around them. Knowing what you know today about how the Native Americans were sent to reservations, do you wish that your ancestors had never welcomed the Pilgrims? Life was good before the English came. I am only sorry that we could not share the bounties of this land in a more equal way. In our culture we feel that no one owns the land. The earth belongs to all of us and we are to take care of Mother Earth.

We now have very little of our land left. The Thanksgiving Feast Tell us about the first Thanksgiving. Inthe Wampanoags were just getting to know the Pilgrims. The English were still learning how to cope with the weather and harsh living conditions. The native people showed the Pilgrims how to gather food, how to fish and hunt. They told them what was good to eat and what not to eat. For those that survived the first harsh winter, we had admiration and helped them to adjust to the new land.

When the Wampanoags helped the Pilgrims bring in their first crop in the new world, there was a great feast during that harvest time. According to the Pilgrims, about 90 Wampanoags crashed the party and brought with them all sorts of delicacies. The Wampanoags usually celebrated their harvests with food and rejoicing. They brought venison deer meatwild turkey, rabbit, woodchuck, lobster, clams, mussels, potatoes, sea bass, bluefish, and many other delicious foods. Wampanoags also brought corn, beans, and squash to the feast, and even showed the Pilgrims how to cook the food.

The Pilgrims were very appreciative of the gifts, and the 90 Wampanoags who crashed the party had a wonderful time. When the first Thanksgiving was celebrated, all of the bounties of the land and the sea were made a part of this celebration. The Pilgrims got on their knees, closed their eyes, and thanked their God in their own way. They remained silent for some time, then opened a book and spoke strange things. The Wampanoags thanked the Great Spirit for the all of the bounties and blessings of food and drink that he bestowed upon them.

This became an annual tradition that Americans call Thanksgiving Day. What was your favorite dish at the first Thanksgiving?

Native Intelligence

My favorite food at the feast was wild turkey and lobster. I also liked the new English dish they called "Indian Pudding. Wampanoags ate wild turkey long before the English came to Plimoth Colony.

In fact, we introduced the delicious bird to the English on the first celebration held in Did the Pilgrims and Native Americans eat with forks and knives like we do?

The Pilgrims ate with their hands and little short tools with which they shoveled food into their mouths. They also used a cloth to wipe their face even as they ate. It was quite strange behavior.

  • Pilgrims and Indians: A practical relationship
  • The Pilgrims
  • 6 Thanksgiving Myths and the Wampanoag Side of the Story

The Wampanoags used their hands and fingers to eat their food. We used the Pilgrims' cups to drink water. What a neat way to drink. Did Hobbamock go to the harvest feast? Hobbamock was a guide for the Pilgrims when they explored places to settle the new people that were coming to the colony. At the celebration, about 90 Wampanoags joined in the feast, and I believe that Hobbamock was included in the group. Did you have to travel far to participate in the first Thanksgiving?

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I traveled just down the beach from Manomet to Plimoth for the first celebration of the harvest. It took me one hour to get there. What other activities occurred at the Thanksgiving feast besides eating? The Wampanoags engaged in games of skill, such as lacrosse and football, but were unable to entice the English to join in the games. What did you wear to the feast? I wore my finest deerskin shirt and leggings.

The shirt was decorated with the purple shells from the quahog that we got from Popponesset Bay. Wampanoag Tribe Who were the Wampanoags? The Wampanoag people were Eastern Woodland people who spoke a dialect of the Algonquin language. While many of the words are similar, there are dialectal differences. The tribes are located from Canada to South Carolina and west to Wisconsin. We are hunters and gatherers and actually cultivated crops such as corn, squash, and beans. We lived close to the ocean and relied heavily on fish and game for our sustenance.

We were a friendly people and enjoyed good relations with the other tribes that lived near us. Some of these tribes are the Massachusetts, the Punkapogs, the Narragansett, and the Nipmuck tribes. The Wampanoags were here thousands of years before the Pilgrims arrived in Plimoth.

When the Pilgrims landed in Plimoth, they landed in the midst of Wampanoag territory and spread their settlements throughout the area. Today, there are still Wampanoag people who live on their land in Mashpee, Gay Head, and other areas in southeastern Massachusetts. How did the Wampanoag migrate to North America? I do not know the migration path that the tribes in the Northeast used.

However, there is evidence that we have been here for more than 10, years. What does the word Wampanoag mean in English? Wampanoag means "land where the sun comes up first. How many people were in your tribe? There were more than 5, Wampanoag people. Many of our people died from disease brought over by the white man.

Later the Wampanoags developed immunity to most of those diseases. What is it like belonging to a tribal group? I am very proud to be a Wampanoag. We have the ocean, bays, rivers, and lakes, which are filled with fish. My family has a good home and we are happy with our Wampanoag way of life. What are some the names of your neighboring tribes? To the west of us are the Narragansett tribe and the Pequot tribe. To the north are the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and the Malisite tribes. To the northwest are the Nipmuck and the Mohawk tribes.

We are all part of the Algonquin-language group, but speak different dialects of that language. How did the Wampanoags travel around? The Wampanoag people traveled mostly by foot. They moved from their winter homes, which were well inland, to a place where they planted their crops in the early spring. After a month or so at the fields, they packed up and moved closer to the ocean, where they caught herring, clams, oysters, and lobster.

Sometimes they had clambakes for the entire tribe during the warm days of summer. They played games, swam in the ocean, and rejuvenated themselves after the long hard winter. In the fall at harvest time, they retraced their steps and harvested their crops and prepared for the winter. Finally, they moved back to their winter place to complete the cycle.

Did the Wampanoags have horses in their villages? The Wampanoags did not have horses before the Europeans came to these shores. What is your chief's name? My chief's name is Osamequin. Osamequin means "Yellow Feather. Massasoit is the Wampanoag word for sachem, or chief.

He is the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag people. Who was the greatest chief of all times? The greatest Wampanoag chief was Osamequin. What was the most popular Indian name? A popular Indian name was Tisquantum, from which the name Squanto derived.

How many Indian tribes are there in all? There are more than federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States, and many more that do not have treaties with the United States. In New England, where the Wampanoag people live, there are 15 Indian tribes.

Most of them have land near the ocean. How did the Wampanoag people communicate without having television, radio, or computers? The Wampanoag people had a communication system that is still used today.

They relied on the spoken word and symbols that told a story and sometimes recorded history. Sometimes they used drums to send messages to tribe members who were some distance away. Smoke signals were also used. The young men were trained in running long distances. The training gave them endurance and strength to carry messages from one place to another. It is hard to imagine a world without TV, radio, and computers, but the Wampanoag children did just fine without them.

They hunted and fished, built wigwams and canoes. They did things that were necessary for survival. What group of people were the first to make contact with the Wampanoags? The first foreign people to come visit my people were the Viking explorers. That is when we first saw metal weapons and tools. The size of their boats just blew our minds. It was a very memorable experience.

Daily Needs of the Wampanoag What are the natural resources that you used to help meet your basic needs? The Wampanoag people were close to the earth and were able to get food and clothing from animals that they hunted.

Wampanoags grew vegetables, such as corn, beans, and squash. These vegetables were called the "Three Sisters. Their shelter was made of cedar saplings and bark. This housing was called a wetu.

It was quite comfortable, even in the winter. The cooking fire was inside, and the smoke was able to get out through a hole in the roof. How did the Wampanoags keep themselves clean? Where did you bathe? They used leaves or grass or other organic material to clean themselves after going to the bathroom.

They took showers when it rained, and bathed in ponds and pools almost every season, except during the extreme cold winter months. Wampanoag people were very clean.

They swam in the warm weather and went to the sweat lodge in the cold weather. How did you brush your teeth? We brushed our teeth with mint leaves and short pine bristles.

The mint leaves a refreshing taste in the mouth. How did you get your water? Wampanoags had a plentiful source of water. Some came from underground springs, but our main source of water was the rivers and lakes in the Massipee area. Can you tell us about your sleeping habits? I am in the habit of going to bed when the sun goes down. I awake at sunrise and love to see the sun rise over the ocean. Morning is special to me.

How were sick people cared for? What happened to people who became really ill? Every tribe had a medicine man or medicine woman who was familiar with remedies for almost every kind of illness. The Wampanoags also had a sweat lodge which was used when illness required it. Wampanoag Children Did Wampanoag children receive their education in a formal school-type atmosphere?

Was education different for boys than girls? We did not have school in the same way you have school. We had no TV, computers, visual aids, radios, or school buses. Before the English came to these shores, Wampanoag children learned how to do things by watching their parents or tribal elders.

The village was the classroom, and the extended family was the teacher. The young girls learned from following their mothers, aunts, and elders of the community. They watched their mothers gather wood, light fires, and cook the food for the family. They also learned how to stretch and tan leather for clothing and also how to sew. They learned how to gather food and berries, plant crops, tan leather from animal skins, make a wigwam, and cook. The learning sometimes took long hours and over many years before the girls grew into young women and had their own families.

Young boys learned at the side of their fathers, uncles, and tribal elders. The adults taught us about the seasons, what animals were good, where the fish were located and how to catch them. We became proficient with the bow and arrow and spear and learned to run long distances.

For boys, our jobs were to be good hunters, fisherman, and protectors of the Wampanoag territory. So the answer to your question is that the Wampanoag lived in a different environment that called for a drastically different way of learning what was necessary to survive. As kids, we played games that developed our skills and body coordination.

We also learned endurance so that we could travel long distances in preparation for future endeavors. Do Wampanoag girls and boys help with the corn planting? Young girls and boys are taught how to gather rocks and sit in the corn watch to drive away birds and animals that get into the garden to steal the seeds.

A corn watch is a tower erected near the cornfields. What games did Wampanoag girls and boys play? Early on, both boys and girls played many games that developed their hand and eye coordination, so they could develop other skills as they grew older. Some of the games were the ring and pin game, lacrosse, football, swimming games, and long-distance running races.

All of these games were used to develop endurance, accuracy, and precision. Did Wampanoag children have pets back in the s?

Wampanoag children had pets such as dogs, which were used for hunting and protection of the village, rabbits, skunk, and some other wild animals that they could train. The children had to keep a sharp eye on their pets lest they wind up in someone's pot for supper. If a skunk was going to become a pet, it had to be de-scented first. After that, the skunk was a delightful friend. They did not have pigs or domesticated cats. Baby bears also made good pets while they were small, but when they got older there were two problems.

One, big bears ate a lot of food. Two, as they got larger they became dangerous. They were returned to the wild.

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When you were a boy, what was the hardest thing in life? As a Wampanoag boy, the hardest thing in life was keeping warm in the winter. To prepare for the harsh months, my family worked hard all year to make sure there was enough clothing and blankets to keep us warm when the snow fell.

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We had to help the tribal adults gather food that could be stored and saved for those hard months. We learned the habits of the winter animals so that we could track them in the snow so we could have meat and fur in the winter. It was my job to gather and store wood for the fire we used for heating and cooking. We had a busy life just to survive. We also had games to keep us occupied so that we would not be bored stiff.

Our elders were great storytellers who gave us the history of our tribe and great stories about our hunters and warriors. Why did year-old boys have to go out by themselves and live in the woods? If their trainer felt that a Wampanoag boy was ready, when the boy was 11 or 12, he was tested to determine if his hunting skills were developed. This was his school, and hunting was a very important lesson to learn.

Food and Hunting How did the Wampanoags get their food? Did the Wampanoags ever face starvation? Traditionally, the Wampanoag women planted food crops such as beans, corn, and squash.

These were staple foods that could remain edible for many months. The Wampanoags also grew potatoes, which were another hearty food that would keep well in the winter months. In addition we were great hunters and fishermen who fed our families deer, rabbit, woodchuck, and duck, as well as all sorts of fish. The saltwater bays near the ocean provided food such as quahogs, clams, oysters, and mussels. We always knew what was in season so that we never went hungry or faced starvation. Wampanoags were also great cooks.

Even the men knew how to make a clambake big enough to feed the whole tribe. For desserts, there were wild strawberries, plums, cranberries, and other wild fruit. Life was good before the Europeans came, and we enjoyed all the bounties provided to us by the Great Spirit. Occasionally, we would have a feast to thank the Great Spirit for the generous bounties he bestowed upon us.

After the Europeans settled on our land, many changes took place which affected all the Wampanoags. But interpreters at Plimoth Plantation say their early contact offers even more important lessons in how strangers and nations really get along. Lesson one, said associate director and Mashpee Wampanoag Darius Coombs: The Wampanoags outnumbered the Pilgrims, while the Pilgrims had muskets and cannon.

But Coombs and deputy director Richard Pickering said a devastating plague and the memory of previous European traders set the stage for an alliance. Ships from England and other countries had stopped along the New England coast for a decade before the Pilgrims set sail. Some captured Indians and sold them into slavery, often to teach them European languages so they could be used as guides and translators on return trips.

The captures left many tribes wary of further contact.

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So did a skirmish between traders and Wampanoags on the Cape in Then the plague struck. Beforeas many as 25, Indians lived in the area. By the time the Mayflower dropped anchor, whole villages had been wiped out, including the one in Plymouth. The English desperately needed help after the starvation of the winter, but the Wampanoags needed help, too.

Native American Perspective: Fast Turtle, Wampanoag Tribe Member

The plague left the rival Pequot and Narragansett tribes to the west untouched and more powerful than ever, with more than 3, warriors against a few hundred Wampanoags. So two threatened groups made common cause — though not immediately.

Then the sachems Squanto and Samoset came calling in Marchas emissaries from Massasoit, the most powerful local chief. Hockomock, another Wampanoag, was fluent in English and lived at Plimoth.