Language: Wampanoag
Family: Eastern Algonquian
Stock: Algonquian
Phylum: Algic
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers None
       The Wampanoag were a sedentary coastal hunter/ farmer nation. They occupied Rhode Island east of Narragansett Bay, east to Plymouth Bay and the western end of Barnstable County; as well as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. They were the first to meet the Pilgrims.  They suffered greatly from early contact with the Whites.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions (Villages)
MA       Annawon, Coneconam, Corbitant, Mankutquet, Massasiot, 2 Nantucket bands, Nohtooklsaet, Pahkepunnasso, Piowant or Piant, Tewanticut, Tispaquin, Totoson, Tyasks, Weetamoe (41)
RI         Massasiot, Sakonnet (4)
Present Locations
MA     Assonet Wampanoag Reservation (from New Bedford to Rehoboth)
           Chappaquiddick Wampanoag Tribe, Martha's Vinyard
           Herring Pond Wampanoag Reservation (from Wareham to Middleboro)
           Mashpee Wampanoag, Mashpee
           Nemasked Wampanoag Reservation, Middleboro
           Pocasset Wampanoag Indian Tribe, Cheshire
           Wampanoag of Gay Head, Gay Head
RI       Pokanket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation, Bristol
Year History
1497 European fishing boats soon began fishing at Grand Bank off of the coast of Maine soon after the visit of Sebastian Cabot
1614 Thomas Hunt kidnapped several Wampanoag and later sold them in Spain; one, Squanto, would eventually make his way back to Massachusetts only to find out his village had been wiped out by an epidemic
1617 Escaped great pestilence, and were increased in numbers by refugees
1620 Pilgrims anchored off  Cape Cod, came ashore and unknowingly desecrated a Nauset burial site by removing corn and gifts left for the deceased; they then escaped and settle at Squanto's old village site, Abenaki Samoset and Squanto helped the Pilgrims thereafter
1621 Wampanoag chief Massiot signed treaty of peace with Pilgrims allowoing them to occupy 12,000 acres; Massiot and 90 of his men were invited to the first Thankgiving bringing five deer
1622 Squanto died, 40 more Pilgrims arrived by ship, food was provided for them by the Nauset
1623 Massiot, extremely ill, was brought back to health by the English
1630 Massive immigration of militant Puritans absorbed Plymouth Colony
1632 English helped Massiot's village repulse a Narragansett attack
1640 The missionary efforts of John Elliot succeeded in converting most of the Wampanoag to Christianity; Indians were placed in "Praying Villages"
1661 Death of Massiot, son Alexander became grand sachem of the Wampanoag only to be poisoned by the Puritans, brother Metacomet or Philip became known as King Philip
1671 Philip tried to build a confederacy with other tribes but was forced to sign a agreement to surrender his arms which he signed but never gave up the arms
1675 King Philip's War over the hanging of three warriors, Wampanoag joined by the Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Abenaki, and Pennacook; neutral tribes provided food and shelter; Philip attacked Swasea, an English column, Taunton, Tiverton, and Dartmouth with more than 1,000 warriors; "Praying Indians" supported Philip; the war continued in Nipmuc territory culminating with the killed of more than 70 English soldiers at Bloody Brook south of Deerfield; fighting force grew to 2,000 and nearly starved during the winnter
1676 Philip launched new raids in the spring at Lancaster, Medfield, Weymouth, Groton, Warwick (Rhode Island), Marlborough, Rehoboth, Plymouth, Chelmsford, Andover, Sudbury, Brookfield, Scituate, Bridgewater, and Namasket and many great successes until the Narragansett and Pocumtucwere repulsed in battles at Northfield and Deerfield.; Narragansett chief Canonchet was captured and executed by the Mohegan marking the turn in the war; Captain William Turner attacked a fishing camp at Turner's Falls killing over 400; Philip's confederacy began to break up; Philip and the Wampanoag returned to their homeland in southeast Massachusetts; Wampanoag were hunted down by Captain Benjamin Church's rangers and Praying Indian scouts, Philips wife and son were captured, Philip was betrayed by an informer in a swamp near Mount Hope where he was shot, beheaded and quartered and his hear was displayed on a pole at Plymouth for 25 years, it was reported that Philip's wife and son were sold as slaves but they apparently  joined the Sosoki (Abenaki) at Odanak, only 400 Wampanoag had survived the war
1673 Nantucket epidemic
1928 Wampanoag reorganized as the Wampanoag Nation
1987 Wampanoag of Gay Head became federally recognized
Year Total Population MA RI Source
1600 4,400 Mooney estimate
1698 1,500 Swanton (Martha's Vineyard
1700 700 Swanton (Wampanoag proper)
1700 2,000 1,800 200 NAHDB calculation
1763 358 Swanton (Nantucket)
1764 313 Swanton (Martha's Vineyard)
1790 20 Swanton (Nantucket)
1800 700 650 50 NAHDB calculation
1807 360 Swanton (Martha's Vineyard)
1809 3 Swanton (Nantucket)
1861 300 Swanton (Partial census @ 258)
1832 393 Swanton (Martha's Vineyard)
1900 700 650 50 NAHDB calculation 
1928 450 Speck
1970 2,000 Census
2000 2,700 2,600 100 NAHDB calculation 
2005 3,000 Snowowl
Other speakers of the same language:
Massachuset, Narragansett, Nauset, Niantic, Nipmuc
Wampanoag Sites:
Chappaquiddick Wampanoag Tribe
Constitution of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
Mashpee Wampanoag
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Mayflower, Pilgrims, and Wampanoag Lesson Plan
National Day of Mourning
Plimouth Plantation
Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe
Pokanoket Tribe, Wampanoag Nation
Priliminary Decision for Mashpee Wampanoag
Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe
Spirit of Place
Squash Names for an Indian Word
Wampanoag:  A Thanksgiving Lesson
Wampanoag Authors
Wampanoag Clothing
Wampanoag Dwellings
Wampanoag Fishing Rights
Wampanoag History
Wampanoag Indian Fact Sheet
Wampanoag Indians
Wampanoag Indians Bibliography
Wampanoag Indian Tribe
Wampanoag Indian Tribe History
Wampanoag Indian Woman
Wampanoag Language
Wampanoag of Gay Head
Wampanoag Linguistic Lineage
Wampanoag Native Foods
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
Wampanoag Tribes
Wampanoag vow to fight non-Native use of "wampum"
Who Are the Wampanoag?

Last updated 10/12/06  Copyright 2006 by Four Directions Press