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The Wampanoag Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the territory of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They befriended the Pilgrims who established the settlement of Plymouth in New England. The first three-day thanksgiving feast was celebrated with them.
See the fact file below for more information on the Wampanoag Native Americans or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Wampanoag Native Americans worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Wampanoag Native American Facts
- Wampanoag is pronounced as Wawm-pah-naw-ahg, which means Easterners or People of the Dawn. They were semi-sedentary people with fixed sites and seasonal movements. They spoke Wopanaak, that belongs to the Algonquian language.
- In 16th century, Wampanoags had early contacts with the Europeans in terms of trading through fishing boats. In 1620, Protestant Separatists from England took the Mayflower voyage and established the first English settlement in New England known as the Plymouth.
- Group of Saints and Strangers now known as Pilgrims were taught by the Wampanoags how to cultivate squash, beans, and corn.
- In addition, the Wampanoag people guided the Pilgrims in how to catch and process fish and other seafood. These skills enabled the Pilgrims to survive their first winter.
- After 1630, expansion of the Puritan population near Boston threatened the Pilgrims and local inhabitants. Unlike the Pilgrims, Puritans were less likely to cooperate and be friends with the Native Americans. Until the mid-1600s, the Indian population continued to decline due to epidemics and new infectious diseases brought by the colonists. Some of them hid in the swamps.
- The Wampanoag people were part of a loose confederacy composed of several nations such as the Aquinnah (Gay Head), Mashpee, Nauset, Natick, Pokanoket, Chappaquiddick, Patuxet, and Nantuckets. All these groups shared a common language, history, and culture but their villages had autonomous governments.
- They lived in small, round houses called wetus or wigwams. Wampanoag men were hunters, fishermen, and sometimes warriors. Women in the community managed the childcare, cooking, and farming. Only men could be chiefs.
- Both Wampanoag men and women wore deerskin mantles during winter. Women wore knee-length skirts while men used breechcloths with leggings. Moccasins were worn as footwear for both sexes. Unlike the Sioux, they did not wear long headdresses, instead they used a beaded headband with a feather or two.
- Cultural tattoos and face paint identified a warrior. Men usually wore their hair in a mohawk style or scalplock.
- Dugout wooden canoes were used for transportation and sea fishing. Hunters were equipped with bows and arrows, and heavy wooden clubs. Nets and bone hooks were useful for fishermen.
- Arts and crafts were important in Wampanoag cultural life. Their basket weaving, wood carving, and beadwork became famous. Crafting wampum (white and purple shell beads) were Wampanoag artists’ specialty. Wampum beads were traded as a form currency and an art material.
- Using wampum beads, Wampanoags traded with other Native American nations such as the Mohicans, Mohegans, and the Delaware.
- The Wampanoag nation has their own reservation in Martha’s Vineyard. They practice their own law, rules, government, and practices but they also obey American law since they are U.S. citizens.
- Today, the Wampanoag community of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and Mashpee Wampanoag group are the two federally recognized nations.
Wampanoag Native Americans Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Wampanoag Native Americans across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wampanoag Native Americans worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Wampanoag Native Americans who were the original inhabitants of the territory of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They befriended the Pilgrims who established the settlement of Plymouth in New England. The first three-day thanksgiving feast was celebrated with them.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Wampanoag Native American Facts
- Mapping Native American Nations
- Famous Wampanoag People
- The Pilgrims and Thanksgiving
- To Martha’s Vineyard
- Wampanoag Nation
- The Three Sisters
- Wampanoag Life
- Gay Head and Mashpee Wampanoag
- Songs of Gratitude
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Link will appear as Wampanoag Indians Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 22, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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