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The Abenaki
Abenaki
(Abnaki, Abinaki, Alnôbak) are a Native American tribe and First Nation. They are one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki
Abenaki
live in Quebec
Quebec
and the Maritimes of Canada
Canada
and in the New England
New England
region of the United States, a region called Wabanahkik ("Dawn Land") in the Eastern Algonquian languages. The Abenaki
Abenaki
are one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy. "Abenaki" is a linguistic and geographic grouping; historically there was not a strong central authority. As listed below, there were numerous smaller bands and tribes who shared many cultural traits.[2] They came together as a post-contact community after their original tribes were decimated by colonization, disease, and warfare.

Contents

1 Name 2 Subdivisions 3 Location 4 Language 5 History

5.1 Abenaki
Abenaki
wars 5.2 Canada 5.3 United States

5.3.1 Vermont

5.3.1.1 Official state tribal recognition

5.3.2 New Hampshire
New Hampshire
and minority recognition

6 Culture

6.1 Hair style and other marriage traditions 6.2 Gender, food, division of labor, and other cultural traits 6.3 Storytelling 6.4 Mythology 6.5 Ethnobotany

7 Population and epidemics 8 Fiction 9 Non-fiction 10 Maps 11 Notable people 12 Footnotes 13 Bibliography 14 Further reading 15 External links

Name[edit] The word Abenaki, and its syncope, Abnaki, are both derived from Wabanaki, or Wôbanakiak, meaning "People of the Dawn Land" in the Abenaki
Abenaki
language.[3] While the two terms are often confused, the Abenaki
Abenaki
are one of several tribes in the Wabanaki Confederacy. Wôbanakiak is derived from wôban ("dawn" or "east") and aki ("land")[4] (compare Proto-Algonquian *wa·pan and *axkyi) — the aboriginal name of the area broadly corresponding to New England
New England
and the Maritimes. It is sometimes used to refer to all the Algonquian-speaking peoples of the area—Western Abenaki, Eastern Abenaki, Wolastoqiyik-Passamaquoddy, and Mi'kmaq—as a single group.[3] The Abenaki
Abenaki
people also call themselves Alnôbak, meaning "Real People" (c.f., Lenape
Lenape
language: Lenapek) and by the autonym Alnanbal, meaning "men".[2] Subdivisions[edit] Historically, ethnologists have classified the Abenaki
Abenaki
by geographic groups: Western Abenaki
Western Abenaki
and Eastern Abenaki. Within these groups are the Abenaki
Abenaki
bands:

Western Abenaki

Amoskeay Arsigantegok (also Arrasaguntacook, Ersegontegog, Assagunticook, Anasaguntacook), lived along the St. Francis River in Québec. Principal village: St. Francis (Odanak). The people were referred to as St. Francis River Abenakis, and this term gradually was applied to all Western Abenaki.[5] Cocheco Cowasuck (also Cohass, Cohasiac, Koasek, Koasek, Coos – "People of the Pines"), lived in the upper Connecticut River
Connecticut River
Valley. Principal village: Cowass, near Newbury, Vermont. Missiquoi
Missiquoi
(also Masipskwoik, Mazipskikskoik, Missique, Misiskuoi, Missisco, Missiassik – "People of the Flint"), also known as the Sokoki. They lived in the Missisquoi Valley, from Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
to the headwaters. Principal village around Swanton, Vermont.[6] Nashua Ossipee, lived along the shores of Ossipee
Ossipee
Lake in east-central New Hampshire. Often classed as Eastern Abenaki. Pemigewasset Pennacook
Pennacook
(also Penacook, Penikoke, Openango), lived in the Merrimack Valley, therefore sometimes called Merrimack. Principal village Penacook, New Hampshire. The Pennacook
Pennacook
were once a large confederacy who were politically distinct and competitive with their northern Abenaki
Abenaki
neighbors. Pequawket
Pequawket
(also Pigwacket, Pequaki), lived along the Saco River
Saco River
and in the White Mountains. Principal village Pigwacket was located on the upper Saco River
Saco River
near present-day Fryeburg, Maine. Occupied an intermediate location, therefore sometimes classed as Eastern Abenaki. Piscataqua Sokoki
Sokoki
(also Sokwaki, Squakheag, Socoquis, Sokoquius, Zooquagese, Soquachjck, Onejagese – "People Who Separated"), lived in the Middle and Upper Connecticut River
Connecticut River
Valley. Principal villages: Squakheag, Northfield, Massachusetts, and Fort Hill. Souhegan Winnipesaukee
Winnipesaukee
(also Winnibisauga, Wioninebeseck, Winninebesakik – "region of the land around lakes"), lived along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.

Eastern Abenaki

Apikwahki Amaseconti, lived between the upper Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers in western Maine. Androscoggin (also Alessikantekw, Arosaguntacock, Amariscoggin), lived in the Androscoggin Valley and along the St. Francis River, therefore often called St. Francis River Abenaki. Kennebec (also Kinipekw, Kennebeck, Caniba, later known as Norridgewock), lived in the Kennebec River
Kennebec River
Valley in northern Maine. Principal village: Norridgewock
Norridgewock
(Naridgewalk, Neridgewok, Noronjawoke); other villages: Amaseconti (Amesokanti, Anmissoukanti), Kennebec, and Sagadahoc. Kwupahag (also Kwapahag) Maliseet
Maliseet
(also Wolastoqiyik, Walastekwyk, Malecite), lived in the inland of upper Maine
Maine
and middle New Brunswick
New Brunswick
along the St. John River. Principal villages: Meductic, Aukpaque. Now a separate federally recognized tribe. Odanak
Odanak
(also known as St. Francis, St. Francois du Lac), lived southwest of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and included settlements along the St. Francois River. Ossipee, lived along the shores of Ossipee
Ossipee
Lake in east-central New Hampshire. Sometimes classed as Western Abenaki. Penobscot
Penobscot
(also Panawahpskek, Pamnaouamske, Pentagouet), lived in the Penobscot
Penobscot
Valley. Principal villages: Penobscot
Penobscot
(Pentagouet), now Indian Island, Old Town, Maine; other villages: Agguncia, Asnela, Catawamtek, Kenduskeag, Mattawamkeag, Meecombe, Negas, Olamon, Passadumkeag, Precaute, Segocket, and Wabigganus. Now a separate federally recognized tribe. Passamaquoddy
Passamaquoddy
(also Peskotomuhktati, Pestomuhkati), lived on the Passamaquoddy
Passamaquoddy
Bay coast and inland, between the St. John, St. Croix and Penobscot
Penobscot
rivers, in present-day Maine
Maine
and New Brunswick. Principal village: Machias. Now a separate federally recognized tribe. Rocameca, lived along the upper Androscoggin River, near Canton, Maine. Wawinak (also Ouanwinak, Sheepscot, Wawenock, Wawnock, Wewenoc), lived in the coastal areas of southern Maine. Wôlinak
Wôlinak
(also Becancour), lived around Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

Location[edit]

Abenaki
Abenaki
wigwam with birch bark covering

The homeland of the Abenaki, which they call Ndakinna (our land), extended across most of northern New England, southern Quebec, and the southern Canadian Maritimes. The Eastern Abenaki
Eastern Abenaki
population was concentrated in portions of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
and Maine
Maine
east of New Hampshire's White Mountains. The other major tribe, the Western Abenaki, lived in the Connecticut River
Connecticut River
valley in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.[7] The Missiquoi
Missiquoi
lived along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. The Pennacook
Pennacook
lived along the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire. The maritime Abenaki
Abenaki
lived around the St. Croix and Wolastoq (Saint John River) valleys near the boundary line between Maine
Maine
and New Brunswick. The English settlement of New England
New England
and frequent wars forced many Abenaki
Abenaki
to retreat to Quebec. The Abenaki
Abenaki
settled in the Sillery region of Quebec
Quebec
between 1676 and 1680, and subsequently, for about twenty years, lived on the banks of the Chaudière River
Chaudière River
near the falls, before settling in Odanak
Odanak
and Wôlinak
Wôlinak
in the early eighteenth century. The name "Abenaki" was derived from the terms w8bAn (light) and Aki (land), which mean "people in the rising sun" or "people of the East". In those days, the Abenaki
Abenaki
practiced a subsistence economy based on hunting, fishing, trapping, berry picking and on growing corn, beans, squash, potatoes and tobacco. They also produced baskets, made of ash and sweet grass, for picking wild berries, and boiled maple sap to make syrup. Basket weaving remains a traditional activity for members of both communities.[citation needed] During the Anglo-French wars, the Abenaki
Abenaki
were allies of France, having been displaced from Ndakinna by immigrating English people. An anecdote from this period tells the story of a Maliseet
Maliseet
war chief named Nescambuit or Assacumbuit, who killed more than 140 enemies of King Louis XIV of France
France
and received the rank of knight. Not all Abenaki
Abenaki
natives fought on the side of the French, however; many remained on their native lands in the northern colonies. Much of the trapping was done by the people, and traded to the English colonists for durable goods. These contributions by Native American Abenaki peoples went largely unreported.[citation needed] Two tribal communities formed in Canada, one once known as Saint-Francois-du-lac near Pierreville, Quebec
Quebec
(now called Odanak, Abenaki
Abenaki
for "coming home"), and the other near Bécancour (now known as Wôlinak) on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River, directly across the river from Trois-Rivières. These two Abenaki
Abenaki
reserves continue to grow and develop. Since the year 2000, the total Abenaki population (on and off reserve) has doubled to 2,101 members in 2011. Approximately 400 Abenaki
Abenaki
reside on these two reserves, which cover a total area of less than 7 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi). The unrecognized majority are off-reserve members, living in various cities and towns across Canada
Canada
and the United States. There are about 3,200 Abenaki
Abenaki
living in Vermont
Vermont
and New Hampshire, without reservations, chiefly around Lake Champlain. The remaining Abenaki
Abenaki
people live in multi-racial towns and cities across Canada
Canada
and the U.S.A., mainly in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and northern New England.[2] Four Abenaki
Abenaki
tribes are located in Vermont. On April 22, 2011, Vermont officially recognized two Abenaki
Abenaki
tribes: the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk- Abenaki
Abenaki
and the Elnu Abenaki
Abenaki
Tribe. On May 7, 2012, the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi and the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation received recognition by the State of Vermont. The Nulhegan are located in the Northeast Kingdom
Northeast Kingdom
of Vermont, with tribal headquarters in Brownington, and the Elnu Abenaki
Abenaki
are located in southeastern Vermont
Vermont
with tribal headquarters in Jamaica, Vermont. The Elnu Abenaki
Abenaki
tribe focuses mainly on carrying on the traditions of their ancestors through their children and teaching about their culture.[8] The chief and political leader of the Nulhegan Band is Don Stevens.[citation needed] The Sokoki
Sokoki
(the Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation at Missisquoi) are located along the Missisquoi River
Missisquoi River
in northwestern Vermont, with tribal headquarters in Swanton. Their traditional land is along the river, extending to its outlet at Lake Champlain.[6] In December 2012, Vermont's Nulhegan Abanaki Tribe created a tribal forest in the town of Barton. This forest was established with assistance from the Vermont
Vermont
Sierra Club and the Vermont
Vermont
Land Trust. It contains a hunting camp and maple sugaring facilities which are administered cooperatively by the Nulhegan. The forest contains 70 acres (28 ha).[citation needed] The St Francis Missisquoi Tribe owns forest land in the town of Brunswick, centered around the Brunswick Springs. These springs are believed to be a sacred traditional religious site of the Abanaki. Together these Vermont
Vermont
forests are the only Abanaki held lands outside of the existing reservations in Quebec
Quebec
and Maine.[citation needed] Language[edit] Main article: Abenaki
Abenaki
language The Abenaki language
Abenaki language
is closely related to the Panawahpskek (Penobscot) language. Other neighboring Wabanaki tribes, the Pestomuhkati (Passamaquoddy), Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), and Mi'kmaq, and other Eastern Algonquian languages
Algonquian languages
share many linguistic similarities. It has come close to extinction as a spoken language. Tribal members are working to revive the Abenaki language
Abenaki language
at Odanak (means "in the village"), a First Nations
First Nations
Abenaki
Abenaki
reserve near Pierreville, Quebec, and throughout New Hampshire, Vermont
Vermont
and New York state. The language is holophrastic, meaning that a phrase or an entire sentence is expressed by a single word. For example, the word for "white man" awanoch is a combination of the words awani meaning "who" and uji meaning "from". In this way, the word for "white man" literally translates to "Who is this man and where does he come from?" [9] History[edit] In Reflections in Bullough's Pond, historian Diana Muir argues that Abenaki
Abenaki
neighbors, pre-contact Iroquois, were an imperialist, expansionist culture whose cultivation of the corn/beans/squash agricultural complex enabled them to support a large population. They made war primarily against neighboring Algonquian peoples, including the Abenaki. Muir uses archaeological data to argue that the Iroquois expansion onto Algonquian lands was checked by the Algonquian adoption of agriculture. This enabled them to support their own populations large enough to have sufficient warriors to defend against the threat of Iroquois
Iroquois
conquest.[10][page needed] In 1614, Thomas Hunt captured 24 young Abenaki
Abenaki
people and took them to England.[11] During the European colonization of North America, the land occupied by the Abenaki
Abenaki
was in the area between the new colonies of England in Massachusetts and the French in Quebec. Since no party agreed to territorial boundaries, there was regular conflict among them. The Abenaki
Abenaki
were traditionally allied with the French; during the reign of Louis XIV, Chief Assacumbuit was designated a member of the French nobility for his service.

Abenaki
Abenaki
couple, 18th-century

Facing annihilation from English attacks and epidemics of new infectious diseases, the Abenaki
Abenaki
started to emigrate to Quebec
Quebec
around 1669. The governor of New France
France
allocated two seigneuries (large self-administered areas similar to feudal fiefs). The first was on the Saint Francis River and is now known as the Odanak
Odanak
Indian Reservation; the second was founded near Bécancour and is called the Wolinak Indian Reservation. Abenaki
Abenaki
wars[edit] Main article: French and Indian Wars When the Wampanoag people
Wampanoag people
under King Philip (Metacomet) fought the English colonists in New England
New England
in 1675 in King Philip's War, the Abenaki
Abenaki
joined the Wampanoag. For three years there was fighting along the Maine
Maine
frontier in the First Abenaki
Abenaki
War. The Abenaki
Abenaki
pushed back the line of white settlement by devastating raids on scattered farmhouses and small villages. The war was settled by a peace treaty in 1678, with the Wampanoag more than decimated and many Native survivors having been sold into slavery in Bermuda.[12] During Queen Anne's War
Queen Anne's War
in 1702, the Abenaki
Abenaki
were allied with the French; they raided numerous small villages in Maine, Wells to Casco, killing about 300 settlers over ten years. The raids stopped when the war ended. Some captives were adopted into the Mohawk and Abenaki tribes; older captives were generally ransomed, and the colonies carried on a brisk trade.[13] The Third Abenaki
Abenaki
War (1722–25), called Father Rale's War, erupted when the French Jesuit
Jesuit
missionary Sébastien Rale
Sébastien Rale
(or Rasles, 1657?-1724) encouraged the Abenaki
Abenaki
to halt the spread of Yankee settlements. When the Massachusetts militia tried to seize Rasles, the Abenaki
Abenaki
raided the settlements at Brunswick, Arrowsick, and Merry-Meeting Bay. The Massachusetts government then declared war and bloody battles were fought at Norridgewock
Norridgewock
(1724), where Rasles was killed, and at a daylong battle at the Indian village near present-day Fryeburg, Maine, on the upper Saco River
Saco River
(1725). Peace conferences at Boston and Casco Bay
Casco Bay
brought an end to the war. After Rale died the Abenaki
Abenaki
moved to a settlement on the St. Francis River.[14] The Abenaki
Abenaki
from St. Francois continued to raid British settlements in their former homelands along the New England
New England
frontier during Father Le Loutre's War (see Northeast Coast Campaign (1750)) and the French and Indian War. Canada[edit] The development of tourism projects has allowed the Canadian Abenaki to develop a modern economy, while preserving their culture and traditions. For example, since 1960, the Odanak
Odanak
Historical Society has managed the first and one of the largest aboriginal museums in Quebec, a few miles from the Quebec-Montreal axis. Over 5,000 people visit the Abenaki
Abenaki
Museum annually. Several Abenaki
Abenaki
companies include: in Wôlinak, General Fiberglass Engineering employs a dozen natives, with annual sales of more than $3 million Canadian dollars. Odanak
Odanak
is now active in transportation and distribution. Notable Abenaki
Abenaki
from this area include the documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin (National Film Board of Canada).[15] United States[edit] The Penobscot
Penobscot
Indian Nation and the Passamaquoddy
Passamaquoddy
People have been federally recognized as tribes in the United States.[16] Vermont[edit] In 2006, the state of Vermont
Vermont
officially recognized the Abenaki
Abenaki
as a People, but not a Tribe. The state noted that many Abenaki
Abenaki
had been assimilated, and only small remnants remained on reservations during and after the French and Indian War, later eugenics projects further decimated the Abenaki
Abenaki
people of America through forced sterilization and questionable 'miscarriages' at birth.[17] As noted above, facing annihilation, many Abenaki
Abenaki
had begun emigrating to Canada, then under French control, around 1669. The Sokoki-St. Francis Band of the Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation organized a tribal council in 1976 at Swanton, Vermont. Vermont
Vermont
granted recognition of the council the same year, but later withdrew it. In 1982, the band applied for federal recognition, which is still pending.[2] Four Abenaki
Abenaki
communities are located in Vermont. On April 22, 2011, Vermont officially recognized two Abenaki
Abenaki
bands: the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk- Abenaki
Abenaki
and the El Nu Abenaki
Abenaki
Tribe. On May 7, 2012, the Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation at Missisquoi and the Koasek of the Koas Abenaki Traditional Band received recognition by the State of Vermont. The Abenaki
Abenaki
who chose to remain in the United States
United States
did not fare as well as their Canadian counterparts. Tribal connections were lost as those Abenaki
Abenaki
who were tolerated by the Anglo population were assimilated into colonial society. What familial groups remained were often eradicated, in the early 20th century, through forced sterilization and pregnancy termination policies in Vermont. There were over 3,400 reported cases of sterilization of Abenaki
Abenaki
having been performed, many of which involved termination of an unborn fetus. No documentation of informed consent for these procedures was found. After this period the only Abenaki
Abenaki
that remained in the United States
United States
were those who could pass for white, or avoid capture and subsequent dissolution of their families through forced internment in "schools" after their sterilization.[citation needed] At the time, many of the children who were sterilized were not even aware of what the physicians had done to them. This was performed under the auspices of the Brandon School of the Feeble-Minded, and the Vermont
Vermont
Reform School. It was documented in the 1911 "Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population."[18][19] Official state tribal recognition[edit] The Vermont
Vermont
Elnu (Jamaica) and Nulhegan (Brownington) bands' application for official recognition was recommended and referred to the Vermont
Vermont
General Assembly by the Vermont
Vermont
Commission on Native American Affairs on January 19, 2011, as a result of a process established by the Vermont
Vermont
legislature in 2010. Recognition allows applicants to seek scholarship funds reserved for American Indians and to receive federal "native made" designation for the bands' arts and crafts.[20] On April 22, 2011, Vermont
Vermont
officially recognized two Abenaki
Abenaki
bands: the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk- Abenaki
Abenaki
and the El Nu Abenaki
Abenaki
Tribe. On May 7, 2012, the Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation at Missisquoi and the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation received recognition by the State of Vermont. New Hampshire
New Hampshire
and minority recognition[edit] In New Hampshire
New Hampshire
the Abenaki, along with other Native American groups, have proposed legislation for recognition as a minority group. This bill was debated in 2010 in the state legislature. The bill would create a state commission on Native American relations, which would act as an advisory group to the governor and the state government in general.[21] The Abenaki
Abenaki
want to gain formal state recognition as a people. Some people have opposed the bill, as they fear it may lead to Abenaki land claims for property now owned and occupied by European Americans. Others worry that the Abenaki
Abenaki
may use recognition as a step toward opening a casino. But, the bill specifically says that "this act shall not be interpreted to provide any Native American or Abenaki
Abenaki
person with any other special rights or privileges that the state does not confer on or grant to other state residents."[6] New Hampshire
New Hampshire
has considered expanding gambling separate from the Native Americans.[22] The council would be under the Department of Cultural Resources,[21] so it would be in the same department as the State Council on the Arts. The bill would allow for the creation and sale of goods to be labeled as Native-made, to create a source of income for the Natives in New Hampshire. The numerous groups of Natives in the state have created a New Hampshire Inter-tribal Council, which holds statewide meetings and powwows. Dedicated to preserving the culture of the Natives in New Hampshire, the group is one of the chief supporters of the HB 1610; the Abenaki, the main tribe in the state, are the only people named specifically in the bill.[23] Culture[edit]

An Abenaki
Abenaki
in Pan Indian (non traditional) clothing

There are a dozen variations of the name "Abenaki", such as Abenaquiois, Abakivis, Quabenakionek, Wabenakies and others. The Abenaki
Abenaki
were described in the Jesuit
Jesuit
Relations as not cannibals, and as docile, ingenious, temperate in the use of liquor, and not profane.[24] All Abenaki
Abenaki
tribes lived a lifestyle similar to the Algonquian-speaking peoples of southern New England. They cultivated crops for food, and located their villages on or near fertile river floodplains. Other less major, but still important, parts of their diet included game and fish from hunting and fishing, and wild plants.[2] They lived in scattered bands of extended families for most of the year. Each man had different hunting territories inherited through his father. Unlike the Iroquois, the Abenaki
Abenaki
were patrilineal. Bands came together during the spring and summer at temporary villages near rivers, or somewhere along the seacoast for planting and fishing. These villages occasionally had to be fortified, depending on the alliances and enemies of other tribes or of Europeans near the village. Abenaki
Abenaki
villages were quite small when compared to those of the Iroquois; the average number of people was about 100.[2] Most Abenaki
Abenaki
crafted dome-shaped, bark-covered wigwams for housing, though a few preferred oval-shaped long houses. During the winter, the Abenaki
Abenaki
lived in small groups further inland. The homes there were bark-covered wigwams shaped in a way similar to the teepees of the Great Plains
Great Plains
Indians.[2] During the winter, the Abenaki
Abenaki
lined the inside of their conical wigwams with bear and deer skins for warmth. The Abenaki
Abenaki
also built long houses similar to those of the Iroquois.[25] The Abenaki
Abenaki
hold on to their traditions and ways of life in several ways. The Sokoki
Sokoki
do so in the current constitution for their government. It has a chief, a council of elders, and methods and means for election to the council and chieftainship, as well as requirements for citizenship in the tribe.[26] They also list many of the different traditions they uphold, such as the different dances they perform and what those dances mean.[6] During several of these dances there is no photography allowed, out of respect for the culture. For several, there are instructions such as "All stand while it is sung" or "All Stand to Show Respect."[6] Hair style and other marriage traditions[edit]

Modernized traditional spiritual hairstyle for a married Abenaki
Abenaki
man

Traditionally, Abenaki
Abenaki
men kept their hair long and loose. When a man found a girlfriend, he would tie his hair. When he married, he would attach the hair of the scalp with a piece of leather and shave all but the ponytail. The modernized spiritual version has the man with a girlfriend tying his hair and braiding it. When he marries, he keeps all his hair in a braid, shaving only the side and back of the head. The spiritual meaning surrounding this cut is most importantly to indicate betrothal or fidelity as a married Abenaki
Abenaki
man. In much the same way as the Christian marriage tradition, there is an (optional) exchange and blessing of wedding rings. These rings are the outward and visible sign of the unity of this couple.[27][28][29][clarification needed] Changes in the hair style were symbolic of a complex courtship process. The man would give the woman a box made of a fine wood, which was decorated with the virtues of the woman; the woman would give a similar box to the man. Everyone in the tribe must agree to the marriage. They erect a pole planted in the earth, and if anyone disagrees, he strikes the pole. The disagreement must be resolved or the marriage does not happen.[30] Gender, food, division of labor, and other cultural traits[edit] The Abenaki
Abenaki
were a farming society that supplemented agriculture with hunting and gathering. Generally the men were the hunters. The women tended the fields and grew the crops.[31] In their fields, they planted the crops in groups of "sisters". The three sisters were grown together: the stalk of corn supported the beans, and squash or pumpkins provided ground cover and reduced weeds.[31] The men would hunt bears, deer, fish, & birds. The Abenaki
Abenaki
were a patrilineal society, which was common among New England tribes. In this they differed from the six Iroquois
Iroquois
tribes to the west in New York, and from many other North American Indian tribes who had matrilineal societies. In those systems, women controlled property and hereditary leadership was passed through the women's line. Children born to a married couple belonged to the mother's clan, and her eldest brother was an important mentor, especially for boys. The biological father had a lesser role.[2][clarification needed] Group decision-making was done by a consensus method. The idea is that every group (family, band, tribe, etc.) must have equal say, so each group would elect a spokesperson. Each smaller group would send the decision of the group to an impartial facilitator. If there was a disagreement, the facilitator would tell the groups to discuss again. In addition to the debates, there was a goal of total understanding for all members. If there was not total understanding, the debate would stop until there was understanding. When the tribal members debate issues, they consider the Three Truths:

Peace: Is this preserved? Righteousness: Is it moral? Power: Does it preserve the integrity of the group?

These truths guide all group deliberations, and the goal is to reach a consensus. If there is no consensus for change, they agree to keep the status quo.[32] Storytelling[edit] Storytelling
Storytelling
is a major part of Abenaki
Abenaki
culture. It is used not only as entertainment but also as a teaching method. The Abenaki
Abenaki
view stories as having lives of their own and being aware of how they are used. Stories were used as a means of teaching children behavior. Children were not to be mistreated, and so instead of punishing the child, they would be told a story.[33] One of the stories is of Azban the Raccoon. This is a story about a proud raccoon that challenges a waterfall to a shouting contest. When the waterfall does not respond, Azban dives into the waterfall to try to outshout it; he is swept away because of his pride. This story would be used to show a child the pitfalls of pride.[34] Mythology[edit] See also: Abenaki
Abenaki
mythology Ethnobotany[edit] The Abenaki
Abenaki
smash the flowers and leaves of Ranunculus acris[dubious – discuss] and sniff them for headaches.[35] They consume the fruit of Vaccinium myrtilloides
Vaccinium myrtilloides
as part of their traditional diet.[36] They also use the fruit[37] and the grains of Viburnum nudum
Viburnum nudum
var. cassinoides [38] for food. Population and epidemics[edit] Before the Abenaki—except the Pennacook
Pennacook
and Mi'kmaq—had contact with the European world, their population may have numbered as many as 40,000. Around 20,000 would have been Eastern Abenaki, another 10,000 would have been Western Abenaki, and the last 10,000 would have been Maritime Abenaki. Early contacts with European fishermen resulted in two major epidemics that affected Abenaki
Abenaki
during the 16th century. The first epidemic was an unknown sickness occurring sometime between 1564 and 1570, and the second one was typhus in 1586. Multiple epidemics arrived a decade prior to the English settlement of Massachusetts in 1620, when three separate sicknesses swept across New England
New England
and the Canadian Maritimes. Maine
Maine
was hit very hard during the year of 1617, with a fatality rate of 75%, and the population of the Eastern Abenaki fell to about 5,000. The more isolated Western Abenaki
Western Abenaki
suffered fewer fatalities, losing about half of their original population of 10,000.[2] The new diseases continued to strike in epidemics, starting with smallpox in 1631, 1633, and 1639. Seven years later, an unknown epidemic struck, with influenza passing through the following year. Smallpox
Smallpox
affected the Abenaki
Abenaki
again in 1649, and diphtheria came through 10 years later. Smallpox
Smallpox
struck in 1670, and influenza in 1675. Smallpox
Smallpox
affected the Native Americans in 1677, 1679, 1687, along with measles, 1691, 1729, 1733, 1755, and finally in 1758.[2] The Abenaki
Abenaki
population continued to decline, but in 1676, they took in thousands of refugees from many southern New England
New England
tribes displaced by settlement and King Philip's War. Because of this, descendants of nearly every southern New England
New England
Algonquian tribe can be found among the Abenaki
Abenaki
people. A century later, fewer than 1,000 Abenaki
Abenaki
remained after the American Revolution. In the 1990 U.S. Census, 1,549 people identified themselves as Abenaki. So did 2,544 people in the 2000 U.S census, with 6,012 people claiming Abenaki
Abenaki
heritage.[3] In 1991 Canadian Abenaki
Abenaki
numbered 945; by 2006 they numbered 2,164.[3] Fiction[edit] Lydia Maria Child
Lydia Maria Child
wrote of the Abenaki
Abenaki
in her short story, "The Church in the Wilderness" (1828). Several Abenaki
Abenaki
characters and much about their 18th-century culture are featured in the Kenneth Roberts novel Arundel (1930). The film Northwest Passage (1940) is based on a novel of the same name by Roberts. Modern Abenaki
Abenaki
writers as well as historical Abenaki-written documents are featured in the anthology Dawnland Voices, edited by Siobhan Senier.[39] The collection features commonly known and less known modern writers as well as historical documents from Abenakis and their ancestors. The collection also includes writings from several other native New England
New England
tribes. The Abenaki
Abenaki
are featured in Charles McCarry's historical novel Bride of the Wilderness (1988), and James Archibald Houston's novel Ghost Fox (1977), both of which are set in the eighteenth century; and in Jodi Picoult's Second Glance (2003) and Lone Wolf (2012) novels, set in the contemporary world. Books for younger readers both have historical settings: Joseph Bruchac's The Arrow Over the Door (1998) (grades 4–6) is set in 1777; and Beth Kanell's young adult novel, The Darkness Under the Water (2008), concerns a young Abenaki-French Canadian girl during the time of the Vermont
Vermont
Eugenics Project, 1931–1936. The first sentence in Norman Mailer's novel Harlot's Ghost
Harlot's Ghost
makes reference to the Abenaki: "On a late-winter evening in 1983, while driving through fog along the Maine
Maine
coast, recollections of old campfires began to drift into the March mist, and I thought of the Abnaki Indians of the Algonquin tribe who dwelt near Bangor a thousand years ago." Non-fiction[edit] Letters and other non-fiction writing can be found in the anthology Dawnland Voices. Selections include letters from leader of the early praying town, Wamesit in Massachusetts Samuel Numphow, Sagamore Kancamagus, and writings on the Abenaki language
Abenaki language
by former chief of the reserve at Odanak
Odanak
in Quebec, Joseph Laurent as well as many others.[40] Accounts of life with the Abenaki
Abenaki
can be found in the captivity narratives written by women taken captive by the Abenaki
Abenaki
from the early New England
New England
settlements: Mary Rowlandson
Mary Rowlandson
(1682), Hannah Duston (1702); Elizabeth Hanson (1728); Susannah Willard Johnson
Susannah Willard Johnson
(1754); and Jemima Howe (1792).[41] Maps[edit] Maps showing the approximate locations of areas occupied by members of the Wabanaki Confederacy
Wabanaki Confederacy
(from north to south):

Mi'kmaq

Maliseet, Passamaquoddy

Eastern Abenaki
Eastern Abenaki
(Penobscot, Kennebec, Arosaguntacook, Pigwacket/Pequawket)

Western Abenaki
Western Abenaki
(Arsigantegok, Missisquoi, Cowasuck, Sokoki, Pennacook)

Notable people[edit]

Jesse Bruchac, author and linguist[citation needed] Joseph Bruchac, author[citation needed] Indian Joe, a scout around the time of the American Revolutionary War[citation needed] Billy Kidd, former alpine ski racer[citation needed] Joseph Laurent, chief and author[citation needed] Henry Lorne Masta, chief and author[citation needed] Alanis Obomsawin, filmmaker and documentarian [42] Donald E. Pelotte, Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Bishop of Gallup (New Mexico and Arizona)[citation needed] Cheryl Savageau, poet [43] Elijah Tahamont, silent film actor Dark Cloud[citation needed] Alexis Wawanoloath, member of National Assembly of Quebec[44] Christine Sioui-Wawanoloath, writer and artist living in Quebec[45]

Footnotes[edit]

^ Abenaki
Abenaki
Archived 2017-12-22 at the Wayback Machine., Encyclopædia Britannica (last accessed October 29, 2017). ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lee Sultzman (July 21, 1997). " Abenaki
Abenaki
History". Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d "Abenaki." U*X*L Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. U*X*L. 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2012 from HighBeam Research: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2012-08-14.  ^ Snow, Dean R. 1978. "Eastern Abenaki". In Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger. Vol. 15 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pg. 137. Cited in Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pg. 401. Campbell uses the spelling wabánahki. ^ Colin G. Calloway: The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600–1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People, University of Oklahoma Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0806125688 ^ a b c d e "Who We Are". Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ Waldman, Carl. Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes: Third Edition (New York: Checkmark Books, 2006) p. 1 ^ "Elnu Abenaki
Abenaki
Tribe". Archived from the original on 26 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.  ^ Stephen Laurent (2014). "The Abenaki
Abenaki
of Vermont". In Senier, Siobhan. Dawnland Voices. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. pp. 293–296. ISBN 9780803246867.  ^ Muir, Diana, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, University Press of New England. ^ Bourne, Russell (1990). The Red King's Rebellion, Racial Politics in New England
New England
1675–1678. p. 214. ISBN 0-689-12000-1.  ^ "Worlds rejoined". Cape Cod online. ^ Kenneth Morrison, The Embattled Northeast: the Elusive Ideal of Alliance in Abenaki-Euramerican Relations (1984) ^ Spencer C. Tucker et al. eds. (2011). The Encyclopedia of North American Indian Wars, 1607–1890: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 249. ISBN 9781851096978. Archived from the original on 2018-02-08. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "Administration". Cbodanak.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-10-30.  ^ "Tribal Directory". U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Archived from the original on December 23, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2012.  ^ "Vermont: Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States". University of Vermont. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.  ^ " Vermont
Vermont
Eugenics". Uvm.edu. 1931-03-31. Archived from the original on 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2012-10-30.  ^ Henrik Palmgren. "The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics". Redicecreations.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-30.  ^ Hallenbeck, Terri. Abenaki
Abenaki
Turn to Vermont
Vermont
Legislature for Recognition Burlington Free Press[permanent dead link] January 20, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011 ^ a b "HB 1610-FN – As Amended by the House". NH General Court. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ "Gambling Bill Would Create 6 Casinos, Allow Black Jack". WMUR.com. March 4, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010. [permanent dead link] ^ "The New Hampshire
New Hampshire
Inter-Tribal Native American Council: Mission Statement". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed. (1900). Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit
Jesuit
Missionaries in New France, 1610—1791. The Burrows Company. Archived from the original on 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2006-11-07.  ^ Waldman, Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes p. 1 ^ Constitution of the Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation of Missisquoi ^ The Encyclopedia of Native American Costume ^ The Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook
Pennacook
Abenaki
Abenaki
People ^ Verbal teachings (Oral Traditions) from the late "Berth Daigle" ^ "Marriage or Wedding Ceremony". Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook- Abenaki
Abenaki
People. Archived from the original on August 19, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ a b "What We Ate". Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook- Abenaki
Abenaki
People. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ "The Consensual Decision-Making Process". Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook- Abenaki
Abenaki
People. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ Joe Bruchac. "The Abenaki
Abenaki
Perspective on Storytelling". Abenaki Nation. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ " Raccoon
Raccoon
and the Waterfall". Abenaki
Abenaki
Nation. Retrieved March 22, 2010.  ^ Rousseau, Jacques 1947 Ethnobotanique Abenakise. Archives de Folklore 11:145–182 (p. 166) ^ Rousseau, Jacques, 1947, Ethnobotanique Abenakise, Archives de Folklore 11:145-182, page 152, 171 ^ Rousseau, Jacques, 1947, Ethnobotanique Abenakise, Archives de Folklore 11:145-182, page 152 ^ Rousseau, Jacques, 1947, Ethnobotanique Abenakise, Archives de Folklore 11:145-182, page 173 ^ Senier, Siobhan, ed. (2014). Dawnland Voices. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. pp. 273–370. ISBN 978-0-8032-4686-7.  ^ Senier, Siobhan (ed.). Dawnland Voices. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. ISBN 978-0-8032-4686-7.  ^ Women's Indian Captivity Narratives, ed. Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, Penguin, London, 1998 ^ "Alanis Obomsawin: the vision of a native filmmaker".  ^ "Cheryl Savageau's Poetic Awikhiganak".  ^ "Biography of Alexis Wawanoloath". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.  ^ "Christine Sioui Wawanoloath" (in French). Terres en vues/Land InSights. Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. 

Bibliography[edit]

Aubery, Joseph Fr. and Stephen Laurent, 1995. Father Aubery's French Abenaki
Abenaki
Dictionary: English translation. S. Laurent (Translator). Chisholm Bros. Publishing Baker, C. Alice, 1897. True Stories of New England
New England
Captives Carried to Canada
Canada
during the Old French and Indian Wars. Press of E.A. Hall & Company, Greenfield, Massachusetts Charland, Thomas-M. (O.P.), 1964. Les Abenakis D'Odanak: Histoire des Abénakis D' Odanak
Odanak
(1675–1937). Les Éditions du Lévrier, Montreal, QC Coleman, Emma Lewis. New England
New England
Captives Carried to Canada: Between 1677 and 1760 During the French and Indian Wars, Heritage Books, 1989 (reprint 1925). Day, Gordon, 1981. The Identity of the Saint Francis Indians, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, National Museum Of Man Mercury Series ISSN 0316-1854, Canadian Ethnology Service Paper No. 71 ISSN 0316-1862. Laurent, Joseph, 1884. New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues. Quebec: Joseph Laurent (Sozap Lolô Kizitôgw), Abenakis, Chief of the Indian village of St. Francis, P.Q. Reprinted (paperback) Sept. 2006: Vancouver: Global Language Press, ISBN 0-9738924-7-1; Dec. 2009 (hardcover): Kessinger Publishings Legacy Reprint Series; and April 2010 (paperback): Nabu Press. Masta, Henry Lorne, 1932. Abenaki
Abenaki
Legends, Grammar and Place Names. Victoriaville, PQ: La Voix Des Bois-Franes. Reprinted 2008: Toronto: Global Language Press, ISBN 978-1-897367-18-6 Maurault, Joseph-Anselme (Abbot), 1866. Histoire des Abénakis, depuis 1605 jusqu'à nos jours. Published at L'Atelier typographique de la "Gazette de Sorel", QC Moondancer and Strong Woman, 2007. A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England: Voices from Past and Present. Boulder, CO: Bauu Press, ISBN 0-9721349-3-X

Further reading[edit] Other grammar books and dictionaries include:

Dr. Gordon M. Day's two-volume Western Abenaki
Western Abenaki
Dictionary (August 1994), Paperback: 616 pages, Publisher: Canadian Museum Of Civilization Chief Henry Lorne Masta's Abenaki
Abenaki
Legends, Grammar, and Place Names (1932), Odanak, Quebec, reprinted in 2008 by Global Language Press Joseph Aubery's Father Aubery's French- Abenaki
Abenaki
Dictionary (1700), translated into English- Abenaki
Abenaki
by Stephen Laurent, and published in hardcover (525 pp.) by Chisholm Bros. Publishing.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abenaki.

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