Pequot Indians:By: Samantha Sansone

Area inhabited:
The Pequot were once one tribe. They split up a long time ago, but the Mohegans broke away from the Pequots and formed their own tribe. The two tribes spoke the same language and had some of the same cultural beliefs, but they had different leadership. Then there were two Pequot bands: the Mashantucket Pequots, and the Eastern Pequots. Both of these tribes belong in the same cultural group, but they live in different locations in Connecticut, and each have their own government.
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Everyday Life:
The Pequot were a group of Indians. The word “Pequot” has been translated to many things, and there have been arguments on what it really means. Pequot was an Algonquian word that has been translated as “destroyers,” “the men of the swamp,” or “the shallowness of a body of water”. Scholars also think that it may be similar to the Abnaki-Penobscot word bogwad, or shallow water. The language that they spoke was Mohegan-Pequot which died out over 100 years ago. Now they speak English because of this. Their everyday life was very different from our everyday lives today. For one thing, the children didn’t go to school. They would mostly do chores or they would play. They liked to play with balls, and they used kid-size bow and arrows, and corn-husk dolls as toys. Men were usually hunters, went to war for their families, or were chiefs. They also took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. Women were farmers, took care of their children, cooked, and also took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. The Pequot people lived in small round houses called “wigwams” not tepees like many other Indians did. There are many outfits that men and women of the Pequot tribe wore. Women wore knee-length skirts, and had long hair. Men wore breechcloth and leather leggings, and if they were a chief they would wear a headdress of feathers pointing straight up from the headband they also wore. They wore their hair in a Mohawk hairstyle or shaved their heads leaving a scalp lock. They both wore earrings, moccasins, Indian beaded headbands with a feather or two in it, and in cool weather a deerskin mantle. Food was found in many different ways. For instance, men hunted deer, turkeys, and small game using bows and arrows, spears, and clubs. When fishing on the coast, pronged spears, nets, and bone hooks were used to catch things. Women harvested things such as corn, squash, and beans. They also gathered nuts and fruits, and made recipes including soup, cornbread, and stews.

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Social and Political Organization:
The Pequot started out with a lot of alliances, but soon lost every alliance they had. They started by trading with the Mohegan, their other part of the tribe, the Wampanoag, and also fought against the Narragansett, and the Montauk. They had many other interactions with other tribes, but these were the main ones. The Pequot got in a big war that was later called "The Pequot War." It started with conflicts over trade and colonization inn south-central New England. The Pequot traded with the Dutch, but in the 1630s they tried to control the trading. They were resisted by the Narragansett, Mohegan, and the Dutch. They became allies with English colonists of Massachusetts Bay, but then the Pequot found out that they were forming a new colony in 1636. This is what caused the war to begin in September 1636. The English then snuck into one of the Pequot's town and burned home and crops down after the Pequot besieged Fort Saybrook. April 1637, the Pequot raided Wethersfield, Connecticut, killing nine people, and capturing two. On May 26, 1637, the Mohegan, Narragansett, and the English attack the Pequot town of Mystic. This kills 300-700 Pequot people. They also went to the second camp, which was less than two miles away. By July, the English and the Indians routed the remaining Pequot, and made them slaves among the Indians, and English allies. The war secured Connecticut for English and Indians to stop any further Indian resistance in southern New England until King Philip's War in the 1670s.
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The Pequot didn't have a religion, but they did have certain beliefs. They had a medicine man that helped cure illnesses, by using herbs, sweats, plants, and songs. They had green corn festivals where they would honor their corn, because they believed that the raven brought them their corn. That is why their spiritual animal is the raven. Other than that they believed in different spirits. They had stories about them too. When the European settlers came to North America, they placed pressure on the Indians to change the Pequot to be one of the Protestant religions. Eventually, the Indians converted their beliefs to those of the settlers, and lost much of their own beliefs.
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Arts and Crafts/ Developed Culture/Technology:

The Pequot were known for their arts and crafts. Many things they made, they traded with other tribes. One of the many things they were known for were their beadwork and basketry. They also crafted wampum out of white and purple quahog shells. It was traded as a kind of currency, was thought of as a more culturally important art material, and designs and pictures on the wampum belts told stories or represented a person’s family. Other than the arts and crafts that they made, the Pequot had developed a bad reputation with their neighbors. They were highly-organized, aggressive and war-like. Their neighbors feared them, because they had a strong central authority used by their tribal council and sachem (an Algonquian word for chief) which gave them a military advantage. There were very few ways to get around, but one major ways was they would cut down trees, and hollow them out. This made a dugout canoe. In the winter, they would use sleds, and snowshoes for traveling. Later, when the Europeans came to America, there were horses.
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