The Wampanoags didn’t live in tepees. They lived in villages of small round houses called wetus, or wigwams. Here are some pictures of a Wampanoag wetu and other wigwams.
The Wampanoag environment in Massachusetts In ancient times, all of Massachusetts was a big forest. The Wampanoag people used the large trees from the forest to make dugout canoes. They also used wood and bark to make their houses.
Wampanoag, Algonquian-speaking North American Indians who formerly occupied parts of what are now the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Martha’s Vineyard and adjacent islands.
To protect their exposed shoulders, the Wampanoags smeared them with bear grease. They didn’t wear any hand or head coverings. It was the same winter dress they had worn for tens of thousands of years. Using furs to stay warm almost certainly dates back to prehistoric times.
Today. The relationship went downhill from there, and disease and British attacks killed most of the Wampanoag people. The surviving Wampanoags are still living in New England today.
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.
Chores. Wampanoag boys helped the men hunt, trap, and fish, make bows, arrows and knives, and cut “mishoo n” (canoes) from tall chestnut or pine trees. Wampanoag girls helped their mothers and other women farm, gather and prepare food, make clothing with deerskin, weave mats to construct wetu, and make clay pots.
Where did the Wampanoag live in the winter? The Wampanoag people moved away from the stormy ocean in the winter. They set up their winter homes farther inland in areas that were protected by forests. There they hunted when they could and ate the crops they grew in the summer.
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 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
We were seasonal people living in the forest and valleys during winter. During the summer, spring, and fall, we moved to the rivers, ponds, and ocean to plant crops, fish and gather foods from the forests.
Farmed foods such as corn and beans made up about 70% of the Wampanoag diet. Although the Wampanoag favored meat, meat made up less than 20% of their diet. Roots, berries and other gathered plant materials, as well as eggs, fish, and shellfish (both fresh and dried) made up the rest.
This is a nush wetu In winter the Wampanoag would move inland and built larger multifamily homes called nush wetu meaning house with three fires. Inside both the wetu and nush wetu are bullrush mat wall coverings.
Although the Wampanoags did ride horseback after the colonists gave some to them, the Wampanoags didn’t have horses when the they first encountered the colonists.
The Wampanoag were the first people of Noepe. The ancestors of Wampanoag people have lived for at least 10,000 years at Aquinnah (Gay Head) and throughout the island of Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard), pursuing a traditional economy based on fishing and agriculture.
Wampanoag houses were built in a round shape because that is best to heat or cool a house evenly. This circular shape also represented many things in Creation that are circular, like the cycles of Life. Once built, the houses belonged to the women.