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Nobnocket (Tisbury)
TASHMOO OVERLOOK Among the respected people of Aquinnah was Quampechi, whose son Tashmoo was known as a swift runner. Quampechi had a dream - believed to be a gift by Manitou, the Great Spirit - where she saw Tashmoo discover a beautiful, clear spring, such as none that had ever been known before. For many days, Tashmoo searched for the spring. But none he found were like the one his mother had seen in her dream. Finally, as he was about to give up his quest and head back to Aquinnah, he stopped to rest. Here he looked about and saw the land sloped gently to a shore of a small lake whose blue waters sparkled in the sunlight. He had found the water of his mother's dream. Joyously he gave gratitude to Manitou, to the sun, to the moon, and to the stars and then began to run swiftly back to Aquinnah. Today, Lake Tashmoo and the spring provide Vineyard Haven with its water supply. Experts say the water is "the purest in the world." At one time the water was even bottled for nation-wide distribution.      

VINEYARD HAVEN Tribal members have traditionally helped oppressed people - including runaway slaves and persecuted Quakers. One such example is that of Randall Burton, a slave who escaped from a ship in Holmes Hole (the former name for Vineyard Haven) in 1854. Burton was hidden by Aquinnah Wampanoag Beulah Ocoosh in the swamp below Boyer's Hill, the present site of the Tribal Facility. He was then slipped out from Menemsha to New Bedford and on to freedom in Canada. Another example is of two Quaker missionaries, C. Holder and J. Copeland, who were ordered to leave the Island by Thomas Mayhew (who was governor at the time) because of their religious beliefs. Fearing for their safety, the two began to make preparations to leave the Island when a storm arose. With no place to turn, they were taken in by Wampanoag. The storm lasted several days and when the way was clear six Wampanoag men helped the two Quakers get to Sokoneset (Woods Hole/Falmouth area). Arriving at Sokoneset, the Quakers offered payment to the Wampanoag men, which they refused to accept, quoting a scripture, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember they that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body."

 
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Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546
Phone: (508) 645 9265    Fax: (508) 645-3790    Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
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