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Meechgalanne

Information about Native Americans

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Ok well ive become very interested in the Native American tribes that would have stayed in my area. I live in Riverdale, Bronx New York. Im curious which tribes were here. Ive done research but ive only found things that are generalized. I want to learn about the tribe that would have lived here.

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Along the east side of the Hudson River lived the Wappinger. The subnation of the Wappinger most likely in the Bronx was the Wecquaesgeek which lived mainly between the Hudson, Bronx and Pocantico rivers, and on Manhattan Island. The Siwanoy subnation of the Wappinger used the area for travel. Most scholars now seem to consider the Manhattan tribe (named after Manhattan Island) to be just another name for the Wecquaesgeek and/or a subdivision of the Wecquaesgeek though some consider the Manhattan to be an additional subnation of the Wappinger. The main village of the Wecquaesgeek was located in what is now present day Yonkers (at least one reference claims this was the main village of the Manhattan). The Manhattan lived chiefly on Manhattan Island. The Siwanoy subnation of the Wappinger used the area for travel. The Wappinger are linguistically Algonkians and so are related to the Delaware (Lenape) and the Mahican. Both the Unami Delaware and the Munsee (a Mahican subnation) had villages in the greater New York area. The Wappinger territory extended into Connecticut.

 

(a little digression): The island of Manhattan was not sold to the Dutch, as many have learned in school, by the Manhattan Indians. It wasn't actually sold to the Dutch at all. What was sold to the Dutch was the "rights" to Manhattan Island over any claim by any other European nation (in modern parlance, we might call this the right of first offer, right to delvelopment, or a purchase option) - and the rights were sold by the Canarsie indians, who never inhabited Manhattan and likely never even set foot on Manhattan. The Dutch weren't about to deal with the Wecquaesgeek's who actually lived in the area because the tribe was rather hostile to the Dutch (and who wouldn't be when you try to kidnap and shoot at people after a friendly visit - an attempt made by the Dutch after the first encounter between the Dutch and Wecquaesgeek that was met with a hail of arrows forcing the Dutch to retreat).

 

The Bronx County Historical Society may have some up to date information about the tribes from your area (though the reference I found listed dated to the 1930's).

 

CalicoPenn

 

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Well i did some reply and yea i agree i found the Siwanoy tribe to be my best bet. Plus my lodge is a Siwanoy dilect i guess you can say. But now i found the tribe, but i cant find information on their culture. What they wore, houses(wigwams ive found), their food, did they move with seasons, were they offensive or more defensive, how were they affected by whites moving in, are any members still alive today. I cant find things like that. If you know some stuff that would be so helpful.

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Places to start a search for Indian history:

 

1) Google. Go out and set up a search for native american tribal history whatever county whatever state. Something just might come back.

 

2) Anthropology department at nearest university or junior college.

 

3) Area history museums.

 

Have fun with this!

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Well ive been sercheing on google non stop. Finding some things but not all i wanted. Whats an anthropoly departmant? Like is that people who search historys?

 

The American Museum of Natural history i could visit. I'll probaly find stuff there, but its a pain to go there.

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"Well ive been sercheing on google non stop. Finding some things but not all i wanted. Whats an anthropoly departmant? Like is that people who search historys? "

 

History and Anthropology are not the same thing.

 

Anthropology is the study of man and his culture. Archaeology (you've heard of Indiana Jones?) is a subset of anthropology. In North America, the study of indian culture many times falls under the heading of Anthropology. Most large state universities will have a department of anthropology.

 

History is a study of what happened in the past, but is limited to what is recorded (if its not recorded, its not history, its pre-history). History doesn't really get into cultural information, such as clothing and the like. For that, you need to delve into anthropology.

 

Also, get in contact with 'Indian Hobbyists' in your area. Hopefully some are interested in local indian culture, and not generic plains indian stuff.

 

 

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"how can i find indian hobbyists?"

 

Is there no one in your Lodge interesting in indian culture? Indian dance? attending Pow Wows, etc?

 

Check to see if there are any Pow Wows in your area and attend them. Ask questions. There are also organized Indian Hobbyist groups around the country. In the BSA, there are many times OA Lodge's Dance teams who are involved in this, sometimes even Venturing Crews.

 

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From Meechgalanne's posts I deduce we have a relatively young Scout here.

 

Assuming this is a younger Scout (6th-9th grades) we probably need to point him first towards his local school and his history teacher. Teachers are great resource people too!

 

John

A Good Old Owl Too

 

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Try to contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

They would have contacts for all of the Federally Recognized Tribes in their region. This will not give you contacts for tribes that are not recognized or gone, but many Native Americans have other tribal heritages. It is far more interesting to hear from a actual Tribal Elder about his tribe, than to read it in some book or old museum. You also hear a viewpoint that is not sanitized, not PC.

Good Luck!

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