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SEBAGO—PRESUMPSCOT
ANTHROPOLOGY PROJECT

Mawooshen Research(tm)
Ethnohistorical Anthropologist
mawushen@maine.rr.com
.
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
THE PROBLEM
Chapters
Introduction | The Problem | Starting the Solution | Windows Onto the Past | The Data | Conclusion | Coda

Peoples Distribution Before 1600 Map A

Abenaki-Pennacook

Etchemin

Kwedech

Mahican

Micmac

Mohawk

Wabanakia(k) - the Dawnland-extended from Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec to Cape Ann (Gloucester) in Massachusetts, and from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia to Lake Champlain inVermont. In SPAP Report No.I-2 (Mapping Mawooshen), MAP A (shown above) showed Peoples Distribution Before 1600, with the Wabanaki then consisting of Micmac, Etchemin, and Abenaki-Pennacook.

Peoples Distribution Circa 1725 Map B

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy

Mohawk

Micmac

Penobscot

Abenaki-St Francis

MAP B (shown above) showed the Wabanaki peoples Circa 1725 as Micmac, Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, Penobscot (a.k.a. Eastern Abenaki), and Abenaki-St.Francis (meaning both the Abenaki remaining in New England and the Abenaki regrouped in & working out of New France - this latter category a.k.a. Western Abenaki). This also implies that, by c.1725, the Etchemin had regrouped as Maliseet & Passamaquoddy, and the (per se) Pennacook (a.k.a. Central Abenaki) had dispersed in all directions to merge with neighboring peoples.

While all of the above may seem complex, it really is quite simple compared with the discussion that follows now, which considers just some, not all, of the sub-groups of the Abenaki-Pennacook. The Sebago-Presumpscot drainage basin, lying between the valleys of the Androscoggin River and the Saco River, long must have been the joint territory of sub-groups of both Abenaki and Pennacook peoples. However, agreement seems difficult to attain about which sub-groups were resident there, and which were not, at least as regards the proper labels to give them.

Why? Because so few primary-sources say little if anything about sub-group names. And because a few relatively early secondary-source authors made some wrong assumptions about sub-group names, which, alas (like Columbus' & others' early booboos), have been repeated so often since, by more-recent writers, as to have become unquestioned "realities" today, irrespective of (in)accuracy. Readers' loyalties to these familiar writers, &/or to "what we've always been told", understandably will hinder quick agreement with what I have to say here. [Click for Note 4]

Yet as new knowledge becomes available, it should be heard out. Of course this applies to tomorrow as well as to today: Herein I am using specialty information not readily available until relatively recently, and surely some of it will be eclipsed eventually by newer information coming to light in the future. The endemic challenges of newly-discovered information, and of reinterpreting older theories, apply to ethnography (description of a culture) & historiography (the writing of history) just as much as to laboratory sciences & technology-e.g., microbiology research & development.

Very often the slow march of learning seems to go from non-concern, to ignorance, to error, to only relative "truth". And when the pace of scholarship seems too slow, less-than-scholarly writers tend to fill the void with less-than-accurate quick-closures that may have quite negative consequences later on. [See tertiary-sources in Note 4]

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