Sachem

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This article is about the Algonquin paramount chief. For other uses, see Sachem (disambiguation).

A sachem or sagamore is a paramount chief among the Algonquians or other northeast American tribes. The two words are anglicizations of cognate terms (c.1622) from different Eastern Algonquian languages. Some sources contend the sagamore was a lesser chief than the sachem.[1][2][3][4]

Etymology[edit]

One source explains:

According to Captain John Smith, who explored New England in 1614, the Massachusett tribes called their kings "sachems" while the Penobscots (of present-day Maine) used the term "sagamos" (anglicized as "sagamore"). Conversely, Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley of Roxbury wrote in 1631 that the kings in the bay area were called sagamores, but were called sachems southward (in Plymouth). The two terms apparently came from the same root. Although "sagamore" has sometimes been defined by colonists and historians as a subordinate lord (or subordinate chief[5]), modern opinion is that "sachem" and "sagamore" are dialectical variations of the same word.[6]

Cognate words[edit]

Family Language Word Notes
Eastern Algonquian Proto-Eastern Algonquian *sākimāw Reconstructed original
Lenape sakima derived from earlier form sakimaw[7]
Narragansett sâchim anglicized as sachem[8]
Eastern Abnaki sakəma anglicized as sagamore[8]
Malecite-Passamaquoddy sakom [9]
Western Abnaki sôgmô [10]
Central Algonquian Proto-Central Algonquian *hākimāw Reconstructed original
Anishinaabe ogimaa [11]
Algonquin ogimà [12]
Ottawa gimaa [13]
Potawatomi wgema anglicised as Ogema
Northern East Cree uchimaa [14]
Southern East Cree uchimaa [15]
Naskapi iiyuuchimaaw [16]

Chiefs[edit]

The "great chief" (Southern New England Algonquian: massasoit sachem) whose aid was such a boon to the Plymouth Colony is remembered today as simply Massasoit.[17] Another sachem, Mahomet Weyonomon of the Mohegan tribe, travelled to London in 1735, to petition King George II for fairer treatment of his people. He complained that their lands were becoming overrun by English settlers. Other sachem included Uncas, Wonalancet, Madockawando, and Samoset.

In popular culture[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

Journalism[edit]

  • One of the oldest weekly newspapers in Canada is called The Grand River Sachem. It has been publishing since 1856 and is located in Caledonia, Ontario.[citation needed]

Literature[edit]

Schools[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "sachem". American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin. 2000. 
  2. ^ "sagamore". American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin. 2000. 
  3. ^ "sachem". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  4. ^ "sagamore". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  5. ^ Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Co. 1973. p. 1018. ISBN 0-87779-308-5. 
  6. ^ Life & Times: Squaw Sachem", Hawthorne in Salem, The Daily Times Chronicle, Winchester Edition (MA), December 1999, accessed 27 Jan 2010
  7. ^ "sakima". Lenape Talking Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  8. ^ a b Goddard, Ives (1978). "Eastern Algonquian languages", in "Northeast", ed. Bruce G. Trigger. Vol. 15 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pg. 75
  9. ^ Francis, David A., Sr. et al. Maliseet - Passamaquoddy Dictionary. Mi'kmaq - Maliseet Institute
  10. ^ Laurent, Joseph (1884) New familiar Abenakis and English dialogues the first ever published on the grammatical system
  11. ^ Nichols, John, and Earl Nyholm. (1995). A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  12. ^ Mcgregor, Ernest. (1994). Algonquin Lexicon. Maniwaki, QC: Kitigan Zibi Education Council.
  13. ^ Rhodes, Richard A. (1985). Eastern Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  14. ^ Bobbish-Salt, Luci et al. (2004–06). Northern EastCree Dictionary. Cree School Board.
  15. ^ Neeposh, Ella et al. (2004–07). Southern EastCree Dictionary. Cree School Board.
  16. ^ MacKenzie, Marguerite and Bill Jancewicz. (1994). Naskapi lexicon. Kawawachikamach, Quebec: Naskapi Development Corp.
  17. ^ Note that this massa- element meaning "great" in the Massachusett language also appears in the name of the Massachusett (i.e. "Great Hills people") and subsequently in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  18. ^ Governor's press release announcing creation of the Sachem
  19. ^ Spurrier, Simon (2006). The Culled. Abaddon Books. p. 198. ISBN 9781849970136. 

External links[edit]