Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation.
In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, and Tisquantum and other Wampanoag taught them how to cultivate the varieties of corn, squash, and beans (the Three Sisters) that flourished in New England, as well as how to catch and process fish and collect seafood.
In summary, while not widely credited in history books for his role in helping the Pilgrims following the harsh winter of 1620/21, on 16 Mar 1621, our Council’s namesake, Samoset, an Abenaki sagamore, was the first Native American to contact the Pilgrims.
Two prominent figures in the Plymouth Colony described it as a three-day feast and celebration of the harvest, attended by the colonists and a group of Wampanoag Native Americans and their leader Massasoit.
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.
Squanto, also known as Tisquantum, was a Native American of the Patuxet tribe who acted as an interpreter and guide to the Pilgrim settlers at Plymouth during their first winter in the New World.
The Native Americans welcomed the arriving immigrants and helped them survive. Then they celebrated together, even though the Pilgrims considered the Native Americans heathens. The Pilgrims were devout Christians who fled Europe seeking religious freedom.
(English crops such as turnips, cabbage, parsnips, onions, carrots, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme might have also been on hand.) And for the starring dishes, there were undoubtedly native birds and game as well as the Wampanoag gift of five deer. Fish and shellfish were also likely on the groaning board.
The 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. They were part of a rich tapestry of indigenous people with a vast variety of tribes, societies and cultures numbering many times over those present today.
History of Plymouth Rock The Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Harbor in 1620, after first stopping near today’s Provincetown. According to oral tradition, Plymouth Rock was the site where William Bradford and other Pilgrims first set foot on land.
The Wampanoag suggested a mutually beneficial relationship, in which the Pilgrims would exchange European weaponry for Wampanoag for food. For their part, the Wampanoag were able to defend themselves against the Narragansett.
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.
Language: Wampanoag–also known as Massachusett, Pokanoket, Nantucket, Natick, Massasoit, Nauset, or Mashpee–is an Algonkian language of New England. The language is no longer actively spoken in Wampanoag communities today, although some Wampanoag people are trying to revive it.
The Wampanoags’ enemies were most notably the Mohawks, a rival Native American group in western New England.