The name “Massachusetts” is derived from the language of the Algonquian nation and translates as “at or about the great hill.” The hill refers to the Blue Hills southwest of Boston.
English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state for the Massachuset tribe, whose name meant “near the great hill”—believed to refer to Blue Hill, which rises south of Boston in an otherwise flat area.
The Massachusett tribe lived in the area of the Massachusetts Bay, specifically between Salem and Brockton. Both the Massachusetts Bay colony and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were named after the tribe.
The answer is the state of Massachusetts was named after the Massachusetts Indian tribe that lived in the Great Blue Hill region near Massachusetts Bay.
Western Massachusetts was originally settled by Native American societies, including the Pocumtuc, Nonotuck Mohawk, Nipmuc, and Mohican.
The official name of the state is the “Commonwealth of Massachusetts”. While the designation “Commonwealth” forms part of the state’s official name, it has no practical implications.
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.
This land is the territory of the Massachusett and their neighbors the Wampanoag, and Nipmuc Peoples, who have stewarded this land for hundreds of generations. Today, Boston is home to thousands of Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work here.
The Massachusett tribe are the descendants of the original people that the English Invaders first encountered in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We continue to survive as Massachusett people because we have retained the oral tradition of storytelling just as our ancestors did.
The Mashpee 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.
The Wampanoag have lived in southeastern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. They are the tribe first encountered by Mayflower Pilgrims when they landed in Provincetown harbor and explored the eastern coast of Cape Cod and when they continued on to Patuxet (Plymouth) to establish Plymouth Colony.
The Nauset people, sometimes referred to as the Cape Cod Indians, were a Native American tribe, who lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They lived east of Bass River and lands occupied by their closely-related neighbors, the Wampanoag.
Massachusetts has two federally recognized tribes.