The Life of a Wampanoag Indian. By: Alexander Tong. My Name, Tribe, and Region. Hello! I’m Tangakwunu , which means rainbow. I am a part of the Aquinnah Wampanoag American Indian Tribe. My family and I live in Northern part of the Eastern Woodlands. This is the story of my life….
By: Alexander Tong
Hello! I’m Tangakwunu, which means rainbow.
I am a part of the Aquinnah Wampanoag American Indian Tribe.
My family and I live in Northern part of the Eastern Woodlands.
This is the story of my life…
Aaahhhhhhhhh. Sorry. I’m really tired this morning. Why are you looking at my home like that? Ohhh yeaahhh, you’re from a different nation. Well, this is my bed, as you probably know already. It’s built into the side of the wall here and raised up so it’s above the sometimes damp ground. That dome frame above our head is made of bent sticks of strong wood. It’s covered with a layer of woven mats on the outside, and also has another layer of mats on the inside to keep us extra warm. It’s called a wetu, or wigwam, in case I didn’t say that already.
Today’s the harvest! We’re going to have a feast to celebrate. We’ll be having mainly maize (corn), beans, and squash because those are the Three Sisters. You don’t know why? They are planted together, so as the beans bring nitrogen to the soil, which nourishes the plants. The squash’s low, broad leaves help keep the ground moist because it shades it from the heat of the sun. Also, the Three Sisters are very healthy to eat together, if you know what I mean. The corn is a good source of carbohydrates, while the beans supply lots of protein. The squash provides lots of vitamin A. So, get moving! If you don’t help harvest you don’t get to eat at the feast!
Wait for me! I need to change because of the feast! Oh yeahh, you’re not used to our customs. Well, I’ll tell you why. Normally, we wear deer skins, like what I’m wearing right now, but for a special occasion like this, well we have special clothes. Body paint, head dresses, and jewelry. You want to try some on? No? Ohh, you’re too embarrassed to! Haha, I see. Fine, I won’t make you wear any.
Mmf, mmf! This food never ceases to impress me with its deliciousness. Don’t you agree? Yeah, I thought so. Why are you staring at the sachem like that? Oh, you don’t know who a sachem is? The sachem is the chief of our tribe. Most of the time the sachem is male, but sometimes the sachem is a woman. He/she makes treaties with the other tribes, decides when to go to war, enforces laws, and settles disputes among the tribe. Yeahh, it’s a pretty big job. Anyway, normal tribe members have jobs, too. Men are hunters and warriors. Women are farmers and cooks. Both genders take part in storytelling, artwork, and music, though. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The children, like me, have loads of chores to do, though. You’re going to have to help me with them after the feast, though. Come on, don’t be so sad, we can play afterwards!
Hey, let’s go down to the beach! It’s nice and sunny outside! What? Ohh, you want to see the cliffs instead? Well, I guess we could. The geography of my tribal region is fascinating and beautiful, isn’t it? I’ll tell you about it. There are beaches, cliffs and hills all over the island of Noepe. I guess you could say we live in a hilly and coastal ecosystem. There’s grass (Obviously on the hills) and a few oaks, hickories, tulip trees, and chestnut trees. We have quite a few animals around here, too. Lobsters and whales live in the waters right off the islands. Deer live on the island. Come on, enough chatter! Let’s go see the cliffs!
Ahh, nice weather, don’t you think? This summer is fairly cool, compared to other places to the south. The springs and autumns are mild and comfortable, in case you ever want to visit at that time. The winters are mild, too. The sunny but not too hot and dry weather is almost perfect weather for growing our Three Sisters: maize, beans, and squash. As I said earlier, in the Housing section, we have two layers of mats on our wetus (or wigwams) to stay snug and warm from the breezes and rains that can pop up out of nowhere. Good thing there are no chilly breezes today, though. Let’s go and enjoy this weather before it ends!
Hmm, I’m growing up, you say? I guess so. Well, I hope I get to be the leader of a hunting party. It’s going to be so cool! I could maybe even teach you how to hunt! I’m going to have to hunt really well in the first place, though. I’ll try my best! I hope it’ll be safe when I grow up, though, ‘cause other tribes are always fighting us and each other. The ecosystem will last, I think. Overall, I think my life will be pretty good when I grow up. Well, uh… nice talking to you! Farewell!
This American Indian project was quite fun, learning about a self-selected tribe and writing from a first-person perspective. That I enjoyed. What I did not enjoy was the lack of information on the internet about my tribe. I spent hours researching, but got very frustrated at times. Nevertheless, I kept working, trying my best, and this is what I ended up with. I would give myself a grade of at least 9.5 out of 10, taking into account my effort, critical thinking, and writing style. Well, this is the end! Hope you enjoyed!