Princess Red Wing

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Princess Red Wing (1896–1987) was a Narragansett and Wampanoag elder, historian, folklorist and museum curator. She was an expert on Native American history and culture and once addressed the United Nations.

Biography[edit]

Princess Red Wing was born on March 21, 1896 in Sprague, Connecticut.[1] She was born Mary E. Glasko to Walter and Hannah Walter Glasko (née Weeden). She said that her mother chose to call her Princess Red Wing after the red wing blackbird "to fling her mission far with grace, for ears that harken for the uplift of my race."[2][3]

Her mother was Wampanoag and her father was Narragansett. Through her mother, Red Wing is related to prominent Indians in American history such as Simeon Simons (who fought with George Washington) and Metacomet (a.k.a. "King Philip") who led a war against English colonists in New England in the 1670s.

She was the co-founder and editor of The Narragansett Dawn tribal newspaper which was published from 1935 to 1936.

She became Squaw Sachem of the New England Council of Chiefs in 1945, a position which allowed her to preside over sacred ceremonies and festivals.[1] She was also a prominent storyteller in the Narragansett community, keeping alive the oral traditions of her tribe. She also preserved their history by founding the only Native American museum in Rhode Island, the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum.[2]

From 1947 to 1970 she served as a member of the Speaker's Research Committee of the under secretariat of the United Nations.

In 1975 she was awarded an honorary doctorate of human affairs by the University of Rhode Island.

In 1978 she was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

She was married twice, firstly to Horace Peek until his death in 1927, then to Daniel Congdon, of Mohegan descent, from 1936 to his death in 1959.[4]

Princess Red Wing died on December 2, 1987 at the age of 91.[1] She was buried in Pascoag, Rhode Island.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cech, John. "Princess Redwing: Many Reasons, Many Thanksgivings". Christian Science Monitor. 
  2. ^ a b Poon, Chris (July 12, 2003). "Princess Red Wing: Preserver of Native American Traditions". Providence Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2013 – via Indian and Colonial Research Center on Facebook. 
  3. ^ John Cech. 1982. Princess Red Wing: Keeper of the Past. Children's Literature Volume 10 pp. 83-100
  4. ^ "Obituary". Providence Journal. December 3, 1987 – via Library of Congress. 

External links[edit]