Massasoit (meaning “great sachem”), d. 1662, was the name used by early English colonists for the principal leader of the Wampanoag tribe, traditional inhabitants of present-day Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island.
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.
1581 – 1661) was the sachem or leader of the Wampanoag confederacy. Massasoit means Great Sachem.
9. What is the name of the Wampanoag leader that helped the Pilgrims survive at Plymouth? What was the meaning of his name? The leader’s name was Massasoit, which means Great Sachem or leader.
In 1630, a group of some 1,000 Puritan refugees under Governor John Winthrop settled in Massachusetts according to a charter obtained from King Charles I by the Massachusetts Bay Company.
The English-Indian soldier John Alderman shot and killed King Philip on August 20, 1676, at Mount Hope. King Philip was hung, beheaded, drawn and quartered. His head was placed on a spike and displayed at Plymouth colony for two decades.
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. Our name, Wampanoag, means People of the First Light.
As a leader he took the lead in his tribe’s trade with the colonists. In time, he took the name King Philip to honor the relations between the colonists and his father and even purchased European style apparel in Boston.
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.
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.
In 1621, Squanto was introduced to the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and subsequently acted as an interpreter between Pilgrim representatives and Wampanoag Chief Massasoit.
Helping the Pilgrims Squanto became the interpreter for Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief. When the Pilgrims arrived and built Plymouth Colony, Squanto was the interpreter between the two leaders.
By the fall, the Pilgrims — thanks in large part to the Wampanoags teaching them how to plant beans and squash in a mound with maize around it and use fish remains as fertilizer — had their first harvest of crops.
The original name for the Pilgrims was ‘Old Comers’. They were later called ‘saints’ and then eventually ‘pilgrims’. They left England seeking religious freedom, and originally took the journey to the New World–which is what they called the continental United States–on a ship called the Mayflower.