The food that the Wampanoag tribe ate included crops they raised consisting of the “three sisters” crops of corn, beans and squash together with Jerusalem artichoke, pumpkin, and zucchini. Meat included deer (venison), black bear, rabbit, grouse, squirrel, duck, geese, muskrat, beaver, otter, raccoon and turkey.
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.
If you’d like to learn to say a Wampanoag word, Wuneekeesuq (pronounced similar to wuh-nee-kee-suck) is a friendly greeting that means “Good day!” You can also see a Wampanoag picture dictionary here. What was the Wampanoag culture like in the past?
The Wampanoag homeland included the territory along the East Coast from Wessagusset (today called Weymouth, Massachusetts ), to what is now Cape Cod and the islands of Natocket and Noepe (now called Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, respectively), and southeast as far as Pokanoket (the area which now encompasses Bristol
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.
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.
Aquinnah Wampanoag own 485 acres of land and are governed by an elected tribal council; the council also has a traditional chief and a medicine man as members. They maintain traditional governing roles by electing a sachem, a medicine man, clan matriarchs, and an elder council.
Wampanoag children have always learned important skills from playing and watching the adults around them. Among other activities, they learned how to swim, shoot and dodge arrows, weave, sew, run swiftly, and play games of skill and chance as part of Wampanoag culture in the 1600s.
Arts and crafts were important in Wampanoag cultural life. Their basket weaving, wood carving, and beadwork became famous. Crafting wampum (white and purple shell beads) were Wampanoag artists’ specialty. Wampum beads were traded as a form currency and an art material.
In the 21st century, however, we know them by different names: Naughts and Crosses is Tic, Tac, Toe and Draughts is Checkers. Can you guess what All Hid and Hop Frog are? They are Hide and Seek and Leap Frog.
Because it was native to North America and grew better in America than English grains, the Pilgrims called it “Indian corn.” The Wampanoag taught the English colonists how to plant and care for this crop. First, they had to clear the land. They chopped down trees and pulled up grass and weeds.
To hunt game such as rabbits, squirrels, or deer, the Wampanoags tribe used bows and arrows just like the Sioux did to hunt buffalo. The Wampanoag tribe often used stone arrow tips and used bird feathers to “fletch” their arrows. This “fletching” process allowed the arrow to fly straight through the air.
A Wampanoag home was called a wetu. Families erected these dwellings at their coastal planting grounds and lived in them throughout the growing season.
All of the pilgrims came on the Mayflower Samoset (ca. 1590–1653) was the first Native American to speak with the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony. On March 16, 1621, the people were very surprised when Samoset walked straight into Plymouth Colony where the people were living.
Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people.