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Nunne-Pog (Edgartown)
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Chappaquiddick
Martha's Vineyard Historical Society
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Old Whaling Church
Katama
Winnetukqet (Edgartown Great Pond)
CHAPPAQUIDDICK comes from the Wampanoag "tchepi-aquidenet" which means "place of separate island" - although Chappy (as it's affectionately called by Islanders) is sometimes connected to the mainland by a barrier beach. It is home to the Chappaquiddick Wampanoag. In the 1800s, 800 acres of Chappy were Wampanoag lands. By the early 19th century, Wampanoag land consisted of northern neck and a "common" in the middle of the Island. In recent years, tribal members have left due to rising housing prices and development. Milton Jeffers is the last Wampanoag born and raised on Chappaquiddick. When Milton was a youngster, there were two schools on Chappy - one for whites and one for Wampanoag.

FELIX NECK WILDLIFE SANCTUARY is named after a Wampanoag who lived in the late 1600s on the neck that bears his name. This land is now a 200-acre Massachusetts Audubon Society Sanctuary.

2132005_125703_0.pngKATAMA According to tribal history, Katama was a beautiful young Wampanoag maiden, the daughter of Nashamois, chief of the Wintuckets. Katama was in love with Mattakesett, the proud and handsome chief of the tribe whose name he bore. But Katama was promised to marry an old chief of a neighboring Tribe. And so Katama and Mattakesett knew that their love was forbidden. One day, Katama discovered that her tribe was planning a raid on the corn fields of the Mattakesett. Worried that some ill fate might befall her lover, she ran to warn Mattakesett. But even with the warning, the outnumbered Mattakesett were no match for the Wintuckets, and they were driven back in a brutal battle. That night, under the growing light of the moon, Katama saw that all was lost. She could not return to her people (who knew that she had betrayed them); nor could she become the bride of Mattakesett (now that her people had raided his tribe's corn). With the invaders taking the corn to their villages, the weary Mattakesett came to Katama. Since their love was strong and true, he said, surely the sea could help them find happiness. Together the young lovers walked across the sand to the sea. Once there Mattakesett drew Katama to him and together they plunged into the water, swimming down the shining path of the moon. To this day, when the moon shines on the shores of the beach that bears Katama's name, two dolphin lovers can be seen swimming together in the silvery moonlight.     

MARTHA'S VINEYARD HISTORICAL SOCIETY Martha's Vineyard Historical Society features a gallery devoted to the Wampanoag. And every night of the year, the famous Fresnel Lens from Aquinnah Light is lit here.

OLD WHALING CHURCH, like much of Edgartown, was built at the height of the whaling industry in 1843. The English settlers learned whaling from the Wampanoag - who were internationally renowned for the excellence of their harpooning skill. It was considered good luck to have an Aquinnah Wampanoag on board a whale ship. They were usually employed as boatsteerers and thrust the harpoon into the whale. Some also became first mates and captains. The Wampanoag's relationship to the whale was different than the Europeans, who sought only the oil. Wampanoag whalers used as much of the slain whale as possible. In the old days, there were so many whales that the tribe could hunt close to shore from canoes.

WINNETUKQET (EDGARTOWN GREAT POND) means "place of good river" and is a site where the Nunnepog Wampanoag once lived. In 1849, after two hundred years of colonial disease and pressures, only thirteen members in four families remained. Wampanoag presence in this area lessened as the remaining tribal members relocated, often to Aquinnah.

 
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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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