Gay Head was what white explorers called the town, presumably because of its brightly colored cliffs overlooking Vineyard Sound. Gay Head was incorporated in 1870. Six years ago, residents voted 89-36 to keep the name. Three blank ballots also were cast.
Massasoit was the grand sachem (intertribal chief) of all the Wampanoag Indians, who inhabited parts of present Massachusetts and Rhode Island, particularly the coastal regions.
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. Our name, Wampanoag, means People of the First Light. In the 1600s, we had as many as 40,000 people in the 67 villages that made up the Wampanoag Nation.
Many male Wampanoag were sold into slavery in Bermuda or the West Indies, and some women and children were enslaved by colonists in New England. The tribe largely disappeared from historical records after the late 18th century, although its people and descendants persisted.
The Wampanoag name Aquinnah means “land under the hill.”
Where is Martha’s Vineyard? Martha’s Vineyard is a small Massachusetts Island located just 7 miles (11k) off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
When the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrim landing was observed in 1970, state officials disinvited a leader of the Wampanoag Nation — the Native American tribe that helped the haggard newcomers survive their first bitter winter — after learning his speech would bemoan the disease, racism and oppression that followed
The Wampanoag Indians of eastern Massachusetts played a role in helping and teaching the Pilgrims how to survive in this new land. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims along with about 90 Wampanoag Indians, including their chief, Massasoit, celebrated the fall harvest.
A friendly Indian named Squanto helped the colonists. He showed them how to plant corn and how to live on the edge of the wilderness. A soldier, Capt. Miles Standish, taught the Pilgrims how to defend themselves against unfriendly Indians.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Born around 1596, Pocahontas was the daughter of Wahunsenaca (also known as Powhatan ), the powerful chief of the Powhatans, a Native American group that inhabited the Chesapeake Bay region. Little is known about her mother.
Everyone in a Wampanoag family cooperated to gather food for the tribe. Women harvested corn, squash and beans. Men hunted for deer, turkeys, and small game and went fishing in their canoes. Wampanoag children collected other food like berries, nuts and herbs.