The Wampanoag tribe is well known as the tribe that shared a harvest celebration with the Pilgrims from the Mayflower ship. These settlers arrived in Plymouth and formed a small community in the winter of 1620, following a difficult voyage at sea. They weren’t able to plant any food for themselves, and were lost in the new world they had settled in. Some members of the Wampanoag spent time helping the settlers learn how to live in their new home. The two groups of people shared a friendly and cooperative relationship for over ten years, as more English settlers began moving to Plymouth and settling throughout the area. As more and more English Puritan colonists arrived throughout the mid-1600s, they tried to convert the Native Americans to their faith. They moved groups of Native Americans from their tribes to “Praying Indian” villages and forbade inhabitants of these villages to perform any ceremony from their culture. The relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans wishing to continue their traditional way of life became less friendly as more and more English colonists appeared. King Phillip traveled to visit with other tribal leaders and gained support for going to war with the English colonies. From 1675-1676, King Phillip’s War raged between the English colonies and local Native American tribes. Some Wampanoag sub-tribes, including the Wampanoag of Gay Head, did not want to participate in the war and stayed neutral. By the end of the war, there were only 400 Wampanoag. There are about three thousand Wampanoag people alive today,most of whom reside in Massachusetts or on Martha’s Vineyard. The last of the Wampanoag from Nantucket Island died in 1855 following another outbreak of disease through that area.
ANSWER THE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WAMPANOAG TRIBE
1. How could a Wampanoag become sachem?
a. By being a strong warrior
b. By having a large enough family
c. By inheriting it from a parent
d. By killing the previous sachem
2. How many Wampanoag people were left after the war with the colonists?
3. The Wampanoag are well known for…
a. Being great sailors
b. Sharing the “first Thanksgiving” with the Pilgrims
c. Discovering corn
d. Building the pyramids
4. What caused the largest number of lives lost for the Wampanoag?
b. King Phillip’s war
c. Freezing temperatures
5. For at least how long have the Wampanoag’s ancestors lived on the island
of Martha’s Vineyard?
a. 1, 000 years
b. 5,000 years
c. 10,000 years
d. 100,000 years
6. Why do you think King Phillip wanted to go to war with the English