Language: Wampanoag
Family: Eastern Algonquian
Stock: Algonquian
Phylum: Algic
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers None
       The Massachuset were a sedentary hunter/farmer tribe. They were located in the region of Massachusetts Bay from Salem south to Brockton. They were destroyed by a combination of smallpox and then war with other tribes because they had allied themselves with the Whites.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions (Villages)
MA    Cato, Chickataubut, Cutshamakin, Manatahqua, Nahaton, Nanepashemet (23)
Present Locations
Year History
1497 Probably visited by John Cabot
1614 First mentioned specifically by Captain John Smith when he explored the coast of New England
1616 Population reduced by smallpox and war with northeastern neighbors
1620 Pilgrims found most of the Massachuset villages in the region were empty and recently abandoned
1629 Puritans said only 500 Massachuset in region
1631 Puritans settled and mission work began by John Eliot, stripped Indians of tribal identity
1633 Second smallpox epidemic
1675 King Philip's War, attacked by other tribes because of close ties with as well as many killed by colonial soldiers they were trying to serve
Year Total MA Population Source
1680 3,000 Mooney estimate
1631 500 Swanton
1700 0 NAHDB calculation
1800 0 NAHDB calculation
1900 0 NAHDB calculation 
2000 0 NAHDB calculation 
Other speakers of the same language:
Narragansett, Nauset, Niantic, Nipmuc, Wampanoag
Massachuset Sites:
Massachuset Authors
Massachuset History
Massachuset Indian Psalter, Boston 1709
Massachuset Indian Tribe History
Squash Named for an Indian Word
Wampanoag Language
Wampanoag Language
Wampanoag Linguistic Lineage

Last updated 12/07/08  Copyright 2008 by Four Directions Press