Weaving of the Wampanoag,
Saturday, March 19, 2016
White Crystal Dog/ White Electric Wind - Solar Jaguar Moon of Intention, Day 13
Weaving of the Wampanoag,
The Wampanoag /ˈwɑːmpənɔːɡ/, also called Massasoit and also rendered Wôpanâak, are a Native American tribe. Many Wampanoag people today are enrolled in two federally recognized tribes, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) of Massachusetts, or four state-recognized tribes recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In the beginning of the 17th century, at the time of first contact with the English, the Wampanoag lived in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as within a territory that encompassed current day Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Their population numbered in the thousands due to the richness of the environment and their cultivation of corn, beans and squash. Three thousand Wampanoag lived on Martha's Vineyard alone.
From 1615 to 1619 the Wampanoag suffered an epidemic, long suspected to be smallpox, but recent research alternatively theorizes that it was leptospirosis, a bacterial infection also known as Weil's syndrome or 7-day fever. It caused a high fatality rate and nearly destroyed the society. Researchers suggest that the losses from the epidemic were so large that English colonists were more easily able to found their settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in later years. More than 50 years later, King Philip's War (1675–1676) against the English colonists resulted in the deaths of 40 percent of the tribe. Most of the male survivors were sold into slavery in the West Indies. Many women and children were enslaved in New England.
While the tribe largely disappeared from historical records from the late 18th century, its people persisted. Survivors remained in their traditional areas and continued many aspects of their culture, while absorbing other people by marriage and adapting to changing economic and cultural needs in the larger society. Although the last native speakers of Wôpanâak died more than 100 years ago, since 1993 Wampanoag people have been working on a language revival project that is producing new native speakers. The project is also working on curriculum and teacher development.
Wampanoag means "Easterners" or literally "People of the Dawn." The word Wapanoos was first seen on Adriaen Block's 1614 map and was the earliest European representation of Wampanoag territory. Other interpretations include "Wapenock," "Massasoit" and exonym "Philip's Indians".
Traditionally Wampanoag people have been semi-sedentary, with seasonal movements between fixed sites in present-day southern New England, although men often traveled far north and south along the Eastern seaboard for seasonal fishing expeditions, and sometimes stayed in those distant locations for weeks and months at a time. The women cultivated varieties of the "three sisters," corn (maize), beans and squash as the staples of their diet, supplemented by fish and game caught by the men. Each community had authority over a well-defined territory from which the people derived their livelihood through a seasonal round of fishing, planting, harvesting, and hunting. Because southern New England was thickly populated, hunting grounds had strictly defined boundaries.
The Wampanoag, like many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, have a matrilineal system, in which women controlled property (in this case, the home and its belongings, as well as some rights to plots within communal land), and hereditary status was passed through the maternal line. They were also matrifocal: when a young couple married, they lived with the woman's family. Women elders could approve selection of chiefs or sachems, although men had most of the political roles for relations with other bands and tribes, as well as warfare. Women with claims to specific plots of land used for farming or hunting passed those claims to their female descendants, regardless of their marital status.
The work of making a living was organized on a family level. Families gathered together in spring to fish, in early winter to hunt, and in the summer they separated to cultivate individual planting fields. Boys were schooled in the way of the woods, where a man's skill at hunting and ability to survive under all conditions were vital to his family's well-being. Women were trained from their earliest years to work diligently in the fields and around the family wetu, a round or oval house that was designed to be easily dismantled and moved in just a few hours. They also learned to gather and process natural fruits and nuts and other produce from the habitat.
The production of food among the Wampanoag was similar to that of many Native American societies. Food habits were divided along gendered lines. Men and women had specific tasks. Native women played an active role in many of the stages of food production. Since the Wampanoag relied primarily on goods garnered from this kind of work, women had important socio-political, economic, and spiritual roles in their communities. Wampanoag men were mainly responsible for hunting and fishing, while women took care of farming and the gathering of wild fruits, nuts, berries, shellfish, etc. Women were responsible for up to seventy-five percent of all food production in Wampanoag societies.
The Wampanoag were organized into a confederation, where a head sachem, or political leader, presided over a number of other sachems. The English often referred to the sachem as "king," a title that misled more than it clarified, since the position of a sachem differed in many ways from that of a king. Sachems were bound to consult not only their own councilors within their tribe but also any of the "petty sachems," or people of influence, in the region. They were also responsible for arranging trade privileges as well as protecting their allies in exchange for material tribute. Both women and men could hold the position of sachem, and women were sometimes chosen over close male relatives. Two Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Wampanoag female sachems, Wunnatuckquannumou and Askamaboo, presided despite the competition of male contenders, including near relatives, for their power. These women gained power because their matrilineal clans held control over large plots of land and they had accrued enough status and power—not because they were the widows of former sachems.
Kin 90: White Crystal Dog
I dedicate in order to love
I seal the process of heart
With the crystal tone of cooperation
I am guided by the power of spirit.
Mind consists of six (+1) fourth-dimensional electronic spheres located in the brain: the center of each sphere is constituted of alphas which give rise to thinking.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2015-2016.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Manipura Chakra (Limi Plasma)