"There is no question that the Wampanoags were the first inhabitants of "old Seacunke", and that the local sub-tribes were the Wochomoqts, the Seacunkes, the Pawtuckets, and the Wanamoisetts." John G. Erhardt(1)
The Ancient Ones:
Human kind traveled through this area we call today Southern New England long before the establishment of perminent communities. It is probably because of volitile climactic change that the "ancient ones " never called this place home. Nomatic people by nature, the "ancient ones" survived off the hurds of large game that migrated through this area. They traversed the hemisphiere in search of a place of abundant supply of this most vital natural resource.
They "Ancient Ones" survived off the whole use of the animal. The pelt of the animal was removed to protect and to supply warmth, the bone of the animal helped make a better weapon to hunt with, the flesh to quell the hunger of the "ancient ones". Man was the king of the beast and he spread his dominion over the land.
The "ancient ones" were minimalists carrying with them only what they could carry, only what they needed. Not needing a written language they sufficed on oral communication, concious memory, learned behavior and tradition. No need for written instruction, or thoughtful reflections. They would enter and leave an area when the resource they sought came and went.
It is likely that in his mind he always was, and never recollected the thought of not being. Never a remembrance of a beginning, but always a thinking of the next move in the game of survival. In the world of the "Ancient Ones" there was no such tool as historical time beyond the generations that were.
It is the intelectual thought of today that Humans crossed into this hemisphere by walking. Following the large game they sought as a means of survival. They crossed a barren tundras region that may have frozen over to create a bridge between the two worlds. This bridge opening and closing many times through history, this area we today call the Bearring Sea.
A trickle, never a flood, or a wholesale migration but just an average man or family in doing what came naturally, surviving, supplied the populous of this new world. People may have come to be on this side of the world without knowing they had done anything great or dramatic. What to them was just "one small step for man" was really a "giant leep for mankind".
In time as man moved closer to warmer, more stable climates the abundance of game was greater. The time he spent in an area lengthend eventually to stop when by observing his natural enviorment man began to use his inbread tool of self reliance.
Man began to teach himself to plant and use nature, just as he once had tought himself to use the bounty of the large animal. The tool of learning is mans greatest gift. He saw how nature provided for animal and mankind alike by seeding the ground with the fruit and vegitable, and he repicated this process. He perfected this process, and tailored his crop to his specific need.
This process lead to man not needing to travel as far, maybe only traveling in a specific region from season to season. As climate continued to change receeding glaciers opened up new opurtunity. As more of the world became hospitable more areas became settled by people grouped into their common language seperated by their natural diversity.
Communication between mankind began to group those with mutually dependent skills together. The better hunter would hunt, the better tool maker would make tools, those who could plant planted, those who could organize organized. The sharing of the bounty from family to family thus began the gathering of societies.
The ways of the "ancient ones" began to pass as they developed new coping skills. It is estimated that the last bridge may have disappeared some 5-10,000 years ago. As the glaciers continue to receed even today, the modern ancestor of those who would become the Wampanoag were born.
Times before Time:
The Algonquian Family language group spread across Cananda, in and about the great lakes, and predominantly settled in the Northeast as far south as what is called North Carolina today. Much of the traversed route of the language is indispersed by other tribal language groups, such as by the Iroquian Language family group that pushes well up into todays New York State. Thus dividing the Algonquians in and about the great lakes from those in the northeastern part of the United States.
"Tribes were divided into clans. The basis of clan unity was kinship",2 held together by a common language and a diverse set of skills that worked in unison to support the tribe as a co-hesive body.
As those who spoke the Algonquian language migrated across the northern part of this hemisphere some 5,000 years ago the glaciers receeded in areas large enough for some clans to settle and form tribes.
Those tribes that eventually settled into southern New England probably came following game that followed the routes of fresh water to the sea. Climatic changes soon made the area south of the Kennebec river hospitable most of the year round.
Fresh water, warm climate, natural abudance of game and native plant crops made this area very hospitable. The advantage of an ocean teeming with aquatic delights was just icing on the cake. There was every reason in the world for settlement to begin.
The first settlers probably traversed New England seasonally with in its natural boundries. The Ocean to the south and east, the great river to the west, (Hudson) and the Mountians to the North. Eventually as the population base grew clans developed into small bands, bands bound together to create tribes. The language segregated into diverse dialects, and thus borders were bound.
As time developed so did tribes, the need to better survive pushed the unified organizations to use human creativity to develop better systems to supply the needs of the people it served.
Borders created boundrys that could not or should not be crossed without paying tribute to those who survived off the harvest of its bounty. Thus interstate commerse began. Tribes sharing the extra harvest of one crop or the use of a fertile hunting area to supply the needs of the other.
As Tribes developed so did there relations with each other. Those who had much often dominated those who had less, and those who had less often clashed with those who had much. Thus intertribal relations and politics was born.
Tribes would band together either for mutual interest or survival of the domininent tribe in an area. Coalitions and confederations were born. A tribe was often known to others based on its position in the sphere of influence.
It is as sure that others traveled to this hemisphere in other ways, as it is that the Ancient Ones populated this world through their inadvertent migration. Other peoples of this world either purposefully or by accident slipped the boundries of recorded time and known place and entered into this land of the unknown.
Some only visited returning to their homes with stories of unknown, places, and peoples. A place that time forgot, a place of savage existence, or maybe a place where time had not yet begun. Most of these stories ended up in the annals of childrens literiture food for the fantasy of those not yet caught up, those nor yet captive to the record of time.
To be continued ....