Category:Wampanoag tribe

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The Wampanoag tribe are indigenous Algonquian peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands currently tribally based in present day Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with descendants spread throughout the world.

Many Wampanoag people are enrolled in the two federally recognized Wampanoag tribes: the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in Massachusetts.

The Wampanoag lived in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the beginning of the 17th century, at the time of first contact with the English colonists, a territory that included Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands. Their population numbered in the thousands due to the richness of the environment and their cultivation of corn, beans, and squash (3,000 Wampanoag lived on Martha's Vineyard alone).

From 1615 to 1619, the Wampanoag suffered an epidemic, long suspected to be smallpox. Modern research, however, has suggested that it was leptospirosis, a bacterial infection also known as Weil's syndrome or 7-day fever. It caused a high fatality rate and decimated the Wampanoag population. Researchers suggest that the losses from the epidemic were so large that English colonists were able to establish their settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony more easily.[1] More than 50 years later, King Philip's War (1675–1676) of Indian allies against the English colonists resulted in the death of 40 percent of the surviving tribe. Many male Wampanoag were sold into slavery in Bermuda or the West Indies, and some women and children were enslaved by colonists in New England.