Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wampanoag and the First Thanksgiving

While you enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie, you can reflect on the linguistic contribution of the first Americans. One theory has it that the word pumpkin comes from the Wôpanâak word pôhpukun meaning "grows forth round". Wôpanâak, along with English, was one of the languages you would have heard at the first Thanksgiving. By the late 1600s, many documents were being produced in the language including a bible and documents of interest to genealogists, like deeds and wills. The language ceased being spoken in the middle of the 19th century, but is now being revived as a part of the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project.

1 comment:

  1. This is a nice post. One of my ancestors had a brother, Experience Mayhew (1673-1758) who was a pastor to the Wampanoag. He did some of the first translations of Psalms into their language. My sister lives in a house on Wampanoag land on Martha's Vineyard, and helped build their new council house. It is still a vibrant community on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.