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Mawooshen Research(tm)
Ethnohistorical Anthropologist
lakes region of maine
Studying the relationships
of the lake & river
with their human communities through time
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Text ©copyright by Alvin Hamblen Morrison PhD 1999-2006. All rights reserved world wide.

Proper Names: Not Sokoki(s); Not Rockameecook(s)--SPAP Report No. I-6
Whose woods these were I think I know. / It's not a simple answer, though. / --RF parody
Introduction | The Problem | Starting the Solution | Windows Onto the Past | The Data | Conclusion | Coda

Sebagoland's "Colonial-Period" Natives too long have been, and unfortunately still are being, misnamed. There now is no excuse to continue the bad habits of calling them Sokoki(s) or Rockameecook(s). But, if anyone still feels uncertain about their specific-group-name, the easy & obvious answer is to call them by their absolutely-certain general-group-name Wabanaki(s). That's the simple bottom-line; now to the details.

This report is about accuracy of group-identifications, not about political correctness. Some Native Americans might scoff at any Euramerican attempts to identify them, accurately or otherwise - Columbus having made such a bad start by mistakenly calling them Indians because of his geographical misunderstanding. [Click for Note 1] Some Native Americans might think "We know who we are & were, and it's no business of Whitefolks anyway".

Nonetheless, in ongoing Encounter affairs, which by definition affect both Natives' and Newcomers' descendants, accurate group-identification of who was (& who was not) where, and when, become the very basis of the justice system's attempts to redress Native grievances about past wrongs suffered. Especially is this issue important in Indian land-claims cases, aimed at belatedly compensating Natives for Euramerican usurpation of lands, and for steal-deals in actual purchases from the Natives. [Click for Note 2]

A: Saco | B: Sokoki
C: Amarascoggin | D: Arosaguntacook

Indian land-claims controversy has not yet rippled the waters of Sebagoland, but this would be a difficult region indeed for making clear group-identification labels for its Native occupants of the so-called Historic Period-meaning the Contact / Encounter Period. Archaeological evidence shows that Prehistoric Period Indians were relatively numerous in the Lakes Region, but both artifacts and written accounts of resident Historic Period Indians in this area are relatively scarce. Furthermore, the written accounts are mostly secondary-source statements at best, often lumping Prehistoric & Historic data together, and using questionable group-names, as will be shown shortly. [Click for Note 3 &
Note 4]

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