The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years.
About the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe: After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,700 enrolled citizens.
1: a remnant of Algonquian people from Massachusetts and Long Island living on Cape Cod. 2: a member of the Mashpee people.
The Wampanoag are one of many Nations of people all over North America who were here long before any Europeans arrived, and have survived until today. Many people use the word “Indian” to describe us, but we prefer to be called Native People. Today, about 4,000-5,000 Wampanoag live in New England.
From 1615 to 1619, the Wampanoag suffered an epidemic, long suspected to be smallpox. Modern research, however, has suggested that it may have been leptospirosis, a bacterial infection which can develop into Weil’s syndrome. It caused a high fatality rate and decimated the Wampanoag population.
Today there are about four to five thousand Wampanoag. Most live in Massachusetts where there are two federally acknowledged tribes, the Aquinnah Wampanoag and the Mashpee Wampanoag, as well as several smaller bands in areas like Herring Pond, Assonet, and Manomet.
Pilgrims settle at what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod near the abandoned village of Pahtuksut. Three years earlier, the Wampanoag had left after a smallpox outbreak ravaged the tribe.
The Wampanoag tribe was known for their beadwork, wood carvings, and baskets. Here are some pictures of a Wampanoag basket being woven. Wampanoag artists were especially famous for crafting wampum out of white and purple shell beads.
Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures.
Mashpee has an overall crime rate of 12 per 1,000 residents, making the crime rate here near the average for all cities and towns of all sizes in America. According to our analysis of FBI crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of crime in Mashpee is 1 in 83.
Cape Cod was named by Bartholomew Gosnold, an English explorer who visited its shores in 1602 and took aboard a “great store of codfish.” In 1620 the Pilgrims landed at the site of Provincetown, on the hooked tip of Cape Cod, before proceeding to Plymouth.
As was the custom in England, the Pilgrims celebrated their harvest with a festival. The 50 remaining colonists and roughly 90 Wampanoag tribesmen attended the “First Thanksgiving.”
A depiction of early settlers of the Plymouth Colony sharing a harvest Thanksgiving meal with members of the local Wampanoag tribe at the Plymouth Plantation.
Facts: The Wampanoag tribe did not commonly wear large, feathery headdresses (or war bonnets) as commonly shown in commercial photos. Instead, women and men of the tribe might have worn a single feather in their hair. Wampanoag tribe members wore clothing made from the skins of deer and rabbit.
Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America.