The Wampanoag's tribal lands on Martha's Vineyard occupy a fair portion of the tiny town of Gay Head, now called "Aquinnah."
Living on the island for thirty years, I had many friends and acquaintances who were tribal members, and observed many of their events and traditions and loved the colorful and spiritual tales of their early history on the Island.
Now, living in Falmouth, I am aware of their significant presence in this part of the Cape, as well.
Yesterday, after writing writing writing all morning, (and after the carpet guys left, leaving my two back bedrooms finally looking fresh, inviting and ready for guests!) I headed out into the gorgeous warm sun to walk a portion of the Shining Sea Bikeway.
Many surprises along the way. I came across an overlook of sunlit marshlands, with the interesting translation of Wampanoag language, and appreciated the lovely way they described their lands:
"There is this place where the brook, seep8ees, joins in spirit with the little place where the water pours out, Sakoneesut..."
|Further along the Bikeway - Greater Sippewisset Marsh|
Despite their presence all around me, I have not specifically researched the genealogy of the Wampanoags. Their records can be found in numerous online databases and of course, local libraries and historical societies. Here are just two examples of online findings:
NEHGS online records provide, among other sources, an interesting excerpt from the Barnstable, Mass. town records, dated 1675. We read of the sale of land between local Indian Kenecompsit, and citizens Hinckley, Davis, Gorham, and Lewes, who were representing the town of Barnstable. Kenecompsit's land was sold to the town for 5 pounds. I wonder if this was the going rate was for land, in 1675...(click the image for a clear reading)
Below, a sampling of links provided on that page.
Important Web Sites
- Mashpee Wampanoag official web site
- Constitution of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, adopted 1990 and amended 1994 and 1995
- Minnesota State University EMuseum article on Wampanoag Indians
- Wampanoag History from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians...
- Wampanoag History web site by Lee Sultzman
- Wampanoag Language, History, and Culture
- Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head official web site
- Wampanoag - Plimoth Plantation home site
- Wikipedia article on Wampanoag Indians
- Wampanoag Wikipedia