of the lake & river
with their human communities through time
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Time & Water Flow, And We All Live Down-Stream Of The Conseqences(tm)
Where & What are We?
|Text ©copyright by Alvin Hamblen Morrison PhD 1999-2006. All rights reserved world wide.|
A Section For
Considerations of Relevant Matters
Beyond the Lakes Region.
| PURPOSE: To stimulate
for response. To NOTE some interesting dots; and to QUERY--
1) Are there more related dots?;
2) Can these &/or other dots be connected meaningfully?
Historical archaeology research
now ongoing at the Popham Colony site in Phippsburg, the Colonial Pemaquid
projects in Bristol, and even the Chouacoet site in Biddeford, all might
be enhanced by someone's figuring-out the Whom and the Whose
of my sub-title above. Also, in the process, some balm might be found
for helping to calm the pleas from the Davistown Museum website, for some
scholarly recognition of the Wawenocks, ironically despite the
DM's dislike of French sources.
CONTEXT & TIMING
ARE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING
CONTEXT-CALENDAR highlights major events in overall WABANAKI FRONTIER
ENCOUNTERS, from the 1604 French settlement on St-Croix Island
to the 1625 long-belated publication of "Description of the
Countrey of MAWOOSHEN" by English travel-logger PURCHAS. By
1625, all three of the Encounter"s TRIPLE-WHAMMY factors
1st) Native Trade-Wars;Many of these major events became linked together over time, and each of them must be seen in the context & timing of the others to be best understood. The few primary-source Authors' Names are underlined for easy identification.
2nd) European-Disease Epidemics;
3rd) European Usurpation (English Push / French Pull)
Wherever logical to do so in
my CON-CAL, I have clumped obviously-related events, using only minimal
wording for general clarity. However, this has meant omitting some specific
details which did bridge some herein-unclumped events: eg,
WAYMOUTH's Wabanaki captives were taken to England in 1605 not only to
be debriefed of the MAWOOSHEN data to aid the English in choosing
where to locate the POPHAM COLONY, but they also were supposed to be returned
to Maine to act as future guides & go-betweens for the English.
The surviving incomplete POPHAM COLONY account mentions that returned-1605-captives
NAHANADA & SKIDWARRES went off on their own to participate in what
I call the Micmac Sack of Saco in Summer 1607, [ for which the
French at Port Royal loaned MEMBERTOU firearms and shallops (= boats);
otherwise this was only a battle in a totally-Native trade-war, now called
the TARRANTINE War ], but it does not say on whose behalf N &
S participated. Was it just as part of BASHABA's Alliance providing mutual
aid to the Chouacoet band of ARMOUCHIQUOIS? Or was there a third side
(a Mid-Coast faction possibly) involved in that event &/or its aftermath
(as I suggested in my 1975 paper ''Membertou's Raid'')? The ''correct''
answer certainly would be helpful to this present case's outcome.
(Today, we can see that some
easternmost Armouchiquois must have been Abenaki-Pennacook, in
later terminology. A & P are hyphenated here because it is now impossible
to know where & when the two separated if they did.
Indeed, by the mid-17th century, Pennacook superchief Passaconaway
had married-out his kinfolk eastward into his own personal alliance,
as Bashaba had done westward.)
So, according to these three
early French general statements, today's Mid-Coast Maine must have been
ET(E)CHEMIN country at that time (1604-1611). Yet BIARD,
who was a French Jesuit missionary much in need of knowing who the Natives
were and how to learn their languages so as to ''convert'' them, seems
to go against his own (and Champlain's and Lescarbot's)
general statement(s) with his specific remark about sakamo METEOURMITE's
band of Natives whom he met in the Kennebec-Sheepscot Rivers area -- the
implication being both that they dwelt there and that they were
those who had an ''altogether different language'', implying
different than either Etechemin or Armouchiquois (or Souriquois),
but conceivably only a different dialect of Abenaki, distinct
from the Algonquian languages & dialects of other groups around them.
We now see those Tarrantines
as a former alliance of Micmacs and Eastern Etchemins, who either
traded or raided with other, more-westerly, Wabanaki peoples: exchanging
surplus European goods they obtained directly in the Gulf of St-Lawrence
for furs, in return getting maize (= corn) & more furs-to-trade from
the westerly Gulf of Maine peoples. The latter had only belated direct-trade-contacts
with Europeans; the former began them much earlier, in the 1500s. Native
trade-wars were common throughout North America. Haughtiness in trading
of European metal & cloth goods or violence in raiding maize &
furs-to-trade made enemies of traditional Native exchange-system allies.
seems to translate as ''Walking-Together'' -- a fine analogy for a political
Except for naming Bashaba's Alliance MAWOOSHEN and his enemies TARRANTINES, early English accounts tended to name Wabanaki groups after the rivers or villages on / in which they were encountered -- eg: Sheepscot; Pemaquid. Wabanaki seasonal migrations and fluid societies frequently befuddled the rigidly land-tenure-oriented English Colonials and their nomenclature.
In summary, it seems
that the English were too specific, and the French
were too general, in their group-namings of Northeastern
Algonquian peoples -- especially so for Wabanaki subdivisions.
WAYMOUTH's 1605 Five
WABANAKI Captives have been group-named many different ways; herein
I use the ''safest'' name for them -- the general / generic term
WABANAKI (= Dawn-land-ers) -- but even that may not apply to one of
them, whom ROSIER listed last and noted as a ''Servant'', which
could mean anything from a Mohawk war-captive (slave) to an elite
suitor from another band (even from a non-Wabanaki people)
doing ''bride-service'' for his future inlaws. Rosier also noted the first-listed
of The 5 as ''a Sagamo or Commander'' and the next three as ''Gentlemen''.
PURCHAS, in another
listing of The 5, also noted Rosier's Sagamo as BASHABA's ''Brother'',
and the top-listed of Rosier's three Gentlemen as ''his Brother'', implying
that the former was perhaps both older and more prestigious. Indeed, in
1607, we learn that the Sagamo captive, who had been returned in 1606,
was then head-sakamo of Pemaquid village band. This was NAHANADA
(in very different spellings). The #2-man AMO(O)RET is lost to
history, although he may have been returned with Nahanada
and then gone elsewhere. [The mobility of Wabanaki sakamos, both to be
leaders of other bands or villages and to make long-distance visits &/or
trading expeditions, coupled with occasional name-changing, or having
multiple names (beyond European tone-deaf hearing-spelling variations),
complicates our understanding of who was who and where and why -- eg,
SAMOSET in the 1620s (see CON-CAL).]
The Five Captives apparently
were taken by the English while fishing, in the George's Islands area
south of St-George River-mouth, at the southernmost end of the western
shore of Penobscot Bay. In French terms, this was ET(E)CHEMIN territory.
But the vocabulary that ROSIER learned from The 5 is not easily classified
by modern linguistic scholars, because it seems to be a mixture of known
Wabanaki languages-&-dialects and some unknowns. However, labeling
of Rosier's vocabulary with the catch-all term ''Eastern Abenaki'' by
some linguists is simply no longer satisfactory for that
area at that time (1605) -- as if it were then a today's
Penobscot Nation wordlist. The societal movements of the Wabanaki peoples
over time requires fuller consideration here, to make labeling
PURCHAS's noting NAHANADA
and AMO(O)RET as Bashaba's ''Brothers'', and the POPHAM COLONY account's
noting that Nahanada was head sakamo at Pemaquid, together indicate the
extent of Bashaba's kinship influence in the Mid-Coast region. ''Brotherhood''
could be by adoption, or by half-brotherhood through polygyny,
if not meaning by full siblingship. MAWOOSHEN had
to have been a polyglot & inter-ethnic-group alliance to extend
as far as it did, whether in the French three general terms of ethnicity
or in the English much-more-specific group-namings. Bashaba must have
had to know neighboring dialects & languages, or at least have had
an interpreter-corps at work (as today's Wabanaki Confederacy needs:
when not speaking English or French, it might hear any or all: Micmac,
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, Eastern Abenaki, Western Abenaki, or ''Central''Abenaki.).
MAINE'S MID-COAST MESOPOTAMIA
In calling the ''Land Between
the Rivers'' Kennebec and Penobscot Mesopotamia, I am not implying
that a Cradle of Civilization occurred therein -- although it was
a cradle of European fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. I have in mind the
disagreeable aspects of Civilization, terminologically.
This Maine Mesopotamia is a real Tower of Babel, where one person's Mede
is another person's Persian, and the French even misspelled their
Acadia (let alone agreed upon its boundary with the English). There
is so little to be agreeable about, that disagreement is inevitable in
studying the area. Newly available books prove that beyond a doubt! One
tells us Mawooshen means ''to eat noble meat''. This prompts me
to ask: Is it possible both to walk-together [my choice]
and to eat noble meat at the same time?
"PEOPLE OF THE BAYS"
Fannie Hardy Eckstorm (1865-1946),
Maine's first ethnohistorian of the Wabanaki peoples, has left us only
a few tidbits about the WAWENOCKS, mostly without dated historical contexts,
alas: ''According to Dr.[Frank] Speck, the name ... comes from Walinakiak,
the 'People of the Bays', their old homes having been along the deeply
indented coast between the Kennebec and St.George's Rivers, whence their
other name of 'Sheepscot Indians'. '' (Old John Neptune...1945:74)
''The coastwise Wawenocks ... had to retire to Canada ... or mingle with
the eastern tribes.'' (p 79) [ -- retire or mingle meaning
move out, because of English push.]
However, Eckstorm drops a hint
of some importance for us to consider, in an isolated remark whose full
meaning is left undeveloped by her, but on which I think one of our issues
herein depends. It might also help to explain why Eckstorm had so very
little to say about the Wawenocks per se: ''Other tribes would
call them Walinakiak 'Bay Folk,' but not they themselves.'' (OJN p
75) This well could mean that the name Wawenock would not
appear at all in early primary sources, and would start
into usage only after the people it was applied to had moved
in sufficient numbers into an area where they were newcomers and
would need a new name telling where they were from -- eg,
when they moved to a French missionary-village in southern Quebec, because
of French pull.
The earliest primary source
about the Wawenocks that I now know of is the simple reference to their
group-existence, in the 1721 letter written by French Jesuit Sebastien
Rale at Norridgewock mission-village on the upper Kennebec River, for
''the Eastern Indians'', to Massachusetts Colonial Governor Samuel Shute.
Therein, the name ''8AN8INAK'' [''8'' = the sound ''wuh''] is listed
last among eleven total groups of ''the Abanaquis nation'' who were signing
The placement of the Wawenock name at the end of that 1721 list, and just after the name of their current Quebec neighbors the ''ARSIKANTE8'' ( = St-Francis / ODANAK), implies to me that, at that time (1721), most of the Wawenocks already had moved to southern Quebec Province. Today, the WOLINAK Band of Abenaquis still lives at Becancour / WOLINAK, on the Becancour River, near the south shore of the St-Lawrence River -- just east across it from the city of Trois-Rivieres QC. The ODANAK Band of Abenaquis is not far away, to the southwest, on the St-Francois River.
THE PRINCIPLE OF PARSIMONY,
aka OCCAM'S RAZOR
The Principle of Parsimony
(ie, getting the most for the least given) states that the most-likely
explanation is the best explanation, at least until further
evidence can rule it out. Using Eckstorm's ''not they themselves'' stimulus,
I believe that my responses as just stated are both parsimonious
and a good opportunity to rest the case, for the
moment at least -- but I'm still open for other opinions.
Alvin Hamblen Morrison PhD ethnohistorical anthropologist MAWOOSHEN RESEARCH
firstname.lastname@example.org POBox 3 Raymond ME 04071 207.655.4548 December 2005