The people of the Massachuset relied on the sea only half the year. During the other half they lived off the land. Rather than creating one year-round residence like the English, the Massachuset lived in various places to best take advantage of natural resources.
The upland forests provided a plethora of important items for the Massachuset. They used the trees for canoes and firewood, lashing and poles, bows and arrows. They used tree bark for weaving baskets. They built their homes using trees.
The forests also provided abuundant food sources. Berries, grapes, seeds, and nuts were gathered by the Massachuset women. The men hunted deer and game, and gathered valuable furs for trade.
Naumkeag also provided something else of importance for the Massachuset -- it provided a vital link to the Merrimack River, and a highway to their Penacook allies to the north.
As another important territory, Squaw Sachem installed her youngest son Wenepoykin as Sachem of Naumkeag. He was quite young at first and was assisted by an older family member until he came of age.
© 2005 The Menotomy Journal