SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:
A Linguistic-Ethnographic Study On The True Identity
Of the Quinnipiac/Quiripi/Renapi Nation Structure
Spe: Biwabiko Paddaquahas
By: Iron Thunderhorse
Quiripi Arkeis Kici Sachemau
Long-Water People Nation Grand Sachem
Pinessiwekit Quinne-kommuk Odoodem
Thunder Clan Long-House Family Totem
Dawnland Traditional Shaman (Ceremonial Leader)
I. THE APPELLATIVE NAME-GAME: Indigenous Self-Identity vs. Outsider Misnomers and Misinformation
A. Place-names misinformation
B. Sachems and the Sachemdom
C. Misnomers and Misinformation
D. QTC PRESS Internet Report Card
II. SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
B. Sociopolitical Structure
C. Removals, Trail of Heartaches
III. INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: THE RETURN OF HOBBOMOCK
A. ACQTC Focus
B. ACQTC Funding
C. ACQTC Current Statistics, Membership
IV. ACQTC, INC. FUTURE
Other than QTC Press Publications (produced by ACQTC, Inc.), there exists only two (2) publications and a dozen or so articles giving details about the Quinnipiac Tribal Nation. The two initial publications have several things in common. They were both published over a century ago, and both were based on information that has been refuted or rejected by contemporary scholars as well as traditionalist culture-bearers of the region.
Two Yale University professors broke through this wall of inaccuracy. The first was Professor Richard Carlson who later created The Eagle (a newspaper devoted to Algonquian news and lore) and Eagle Wing Press, which published an anthology of exemplary writings by or about Algonquian writers/culture of Southern New England. Carlson’s own contribution to that anthology concerned the Treaty-Deed negotiations and primary 1200-acre reservation and was the first to show that many negotiations were encroachments.
The man, who followed in his footsteps, teaching Native American studies at Yale, was John Menta, who published his THESIS on the Quinnipiac and wrote several important journal studies about the tribe which dispelled the notion that the Quinnipiac Tribal Nation was isolated to a single group at New Haven. I worked with him until his untimely death on 11/18/1992 at age 43 from brain cancer.
PERSONAL NOTES: ACQTC, Inc. was keeping an eye on Menta and he happened to field some questions to Carl Masthay about word spellings and definitions (place-names and personal names) from our language. Carl had copied me in on all correspondence. I wrote Menta clarifying some things and, since he lived in Hamden at the time, I asked him if he knew about the lore of the landmark. He did not, so I provided him with copies of my work on the subject. We had just made contact through Dianne Hawkthunder La-France (co-founder of ACQTC, Inc.) when he was hospitalized. Later, Lisa Quintana and Paula Coyne (volunteers at the NHCHS who worked on a Quinnipiac exhibit) helped me gather copies of most of his works and thesis.
These scholars were heavily influenced by the findings of Christopher Collier with Bonnie B. Collier from The Literature of Connecticut History, which indicated “The number of Indians living in what is Connecticut at the time of English settlement has been a subject of recent investigation. DeForest’s figure of 6,000 is no longer taken seriously. Interested scholars should see….”
Several authorities of the DeForest/Townshend period (circa 1850-1900) (whose own findings were well-known but relatively ignored) demonstrate that the DeForest/Townshend data were further tainted whereas they had access to the same data but used only material that was in accord with paternalistic agendas. These scholars include James Hammond Trumbull, who edited the colonial treaties and deeds of Connecticut and compiled a book of place-names as well and Ezra Stiles, who was President of Yale College between 1775 to 1795 when he collected local and regional vocabularies, made maps and drawings, diagrams, and collected statistics, etc., all of which thoroughly destroys the DeForest/Townshend conclusions.
Moreover, in the past 15 years leading scholars have broken through the barriers of language and culture and have published works that finally do justice to the truth and accuracy needed. One of these scholars --- praised by my peers and myself as well --- published Native People of Southern New England, 1500-1650 and The Sachemship and its Defenders. Her name is Kathleen J. Bragdon, Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary. It is by far one of the top five treatises about our people. When I wrote to Professor Bragdon to congratulate her on this book, I informed her of my own works in progress at the time. She responded with a letter of her own, dated October 10, 1996, which said:
“Thank you very much for your encouraging letter…. It was my great pleasure and honor to study your people…. I am glad to learn that you will be working on a similar project, which, given your background and the specialized knowledge you bring to the task, should be an important corrective to previous studies and a welcomed contribution to the field of scholarship. Best wishes in your work.”
What exactly is my background and specialized knowledge? First, I am a direct descendant of the original Quinnipiac Indians from the TOTOKET (Branford) and MIOONKHTUCK (East Haven) Bands where I learned many things. I also spoke six (6) languages by age twelve --- one of which was a pidginized/hybrid version of the Quinnehtukqut lingua-franca. I later learned to master all of the major Algonquian dialects and I now speak 10 languages. I was also mentored by several leading Algonquianists in the science of linguistics and from their teaching I was led to other Algonquianists, such as Gordon M. Day and Frank Siebert, and to ethnologists, such as Frank Speck.
I was also taken under the wing by several spiritual culture-bearers of our eastern Algonquian confederacy, such as the late John Peters (Slow Turtle) and Manintonquot (Medicine Story) from the Wampanoag Nation, and Twylah Nitsch (Yehwehnode) of the Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, et.al. This was an extension of the knowledge imparted by my family.
In the past thirty years I have assembled a vast network of family, extended family, friends, scholars, linguists, students, etc. that reaches throughout this land we know as “Turtle Island” (from east to west, north to south and in Canada). Through this network I began to collect exemplary publications as well as rare works from ethnographic archives to museum and historical society collections. Likewise, anything that appears in print about Algonquian language, history, and lore in general and Quinnipiac in particular, is sent to me. Subsequently, I have the most comprehensive collection extant.
Scholars from Brown, MIT, Yale, Boston College, SUNY, etc., editors of journals, and teachers from regional schools have asked me to edit and comment on their work or curriculum for accuracy and suggestions.
In the past twenty-five years I have written or published dozens of specialized books, studies, and articles --- and I have penned exclusive columns on Quinnipiac history, Algonquian language and lore, arts and crafts, etc.
My Bibliography of Published Works (circa 1985-2005) is in excess of 10 pages. The special 100-column series I wrote for Branford Review (“Quinnipiac Tribal Council Speaks,” “Grand Sachem Speaks,” and “Language and Lore”) is the most comprehensive and specialized series of its kind ever attempted that appears in a mainstream newspaper. My book, We The People Called Quinnipiac has over 100 pages of text and more than 60 pages of rare maps, etchings, and photos. It is the definitive work on the Quinnipiac and is based on a lifetime of work compiling facts and graphics to illustrate the work.
Additionally, my book, The Complete Guide for Learning, Speaking, and Writing the PEA-A WAMPANO-QUIRIPI R-DIALECT (Revised and Expanded Edition 2006), is a 295-page treatise that represents the third stage of an ongoing 30-year mission to make a living language out of a dead dialect.
I. THE APPELLATIVE NAME-GAME: Indigenous Self-Identity vs. Outsider Misnomers and Misinformation
David Hurst Thomas, Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, has written a monumental work entitled Skull Wars which postulated an important question: Who gets to decide and define what official history and tribal names are correct? Those who control the facts and the names of tribal cultures, he insists, have caused public opinion to become the stereotypical catastrophe that it is. “Romantic stereotypes,” he begins, “have defined and directed mainstream American attitudes toward Indian people” to everyone’s detriment.
During the period of exploration in the Dawnland, the French, Italian, Dutch, and English, and later German expeditions found a virtual paradise. Yet major atrocities unleashed by Cristobol Colon, Sebastian Cabot, and Corte-Real (circa 1492 to 1501) resulted in mass kidnappings and enslavement, believing that our ancestors were savages unfit to own land.
The excursions of Henry Hudson and Adrian Block (circa 1605-1614) brought the Dutch East/West India Co. to the Dawnland. This caused major epidemics that wiped out roughly 80 to 90% of our indigenous populations, which caused our Sachemdom to implode. The early Dutch Maps such as the 1656 map of New Netherlands (attributed to Nickolas Visscher drawn from earlier Block maps) shows clearly the Quiripi/Quiripey on both sides of the bend in the Connecticut River. Records of Joannes de Laet, Director of the Dutch West India Co., also recorded a major Quiripi band on the Housatonic and recorded a Munsee R-Dialect (with words identical to Quiripi) in eastern New York.
“Block, the Dutch captain who sailed through the Sound in 1614, found a band of the Quiripey near the mouth of the Housatonic… [However, it was] Roger Williams [who] wrote the name of these Indians collectively ‘Quinnipiack’.”
This Quiripey band was called Wepawaug and is now the town of Milford. J.H. Trumbull also verified that the Quiripey domains, centered at New Haven, extended “to western bounds of the colony.” Finally, Trumbull was the first to recognize that the New Haven band of the Quiripey was only one band or petty sachemship (sub-tribe) and not the entire tribal nation.
Later, in the 20th century, John Menta was the first to understand and expound on this matter and just how vast the Quinnipiac Sachemdom was. In his journal feature about Shaumpishuh, the Menunkatuck Sunksquaw, he confirms that other bands existed.
“The Menunkatuck band departed the reserved lands east of Guilford…. Some joined other Quinnipiacs on their 1200 acre reservation … along the east side of the New Haven harbor…. Other … families moved to reserved lands in Branford or settled in isolated … dispersed villages further removed from the main rivers and estuaries of the immediate coastline. The West Pond region of Guilford was one [more] focus for Quinnipiac Indian settlement … in the eighteenth century (Steiner 1975: 73)”
Newspaper articles published by the New Haven Register in the past decade, however, continued to emulate the DeForest/Townshend disinformation mostly because of financial and political influence on politics by the Townshend family, who cling to the charade that the Quinnipiac are extinct, because their family was involved in the questionable transactions that obtained the last acres of this 1200-acre reservation in East Haven. The Tuttle/Morris families acquired the last acres and agreed to secure a 50-acre reserve in Waterbury as a substitute that turned out to be a subterfuge that caused that group to relocate at Tunxis (Farmington) and then to Stockbridge.
The New Haven Register facts say that the Quinnipiac were isolated to ten (10) square miles and a population of 64 fighting men. Yet, Ezra Stiles recorded that, in 1770, there were “300 Indian men in arms assembled at East Haven at a grand council.”
In Native New Yorkers, Evan Pritchard quoted the following, “Snow estimates that probable population of the Lower Connecticut and Long Island Quiripi… was between 24,700 and 29,000 before the epidemics.” Dr. Dean R. Snow, in 1980, studied this subject and found a regional population of the combined Wappinger-Mattabesec Confederacy at about 25,000 to 51,000, which is in accord with Bragdon, and others. In sum, the flawed data first espoused by DeForest existed only because he failed to know the differences between sub-sachemships and the sachemdom. To him, all Indian groups constituted a “tribe” --- a term rejected by modern scholars.
During the past decades the New Haven Colony Historical Society estimated that the Quinnipiac domains covered at least 250 to 350 square miles and, although this too is inaccurate, it is 30 times the square mileage which most records emulate after DeForest. The fact is that the figures were far different before and after the epidemics. Also, many Indian groups once thought to be separate tribes (for want of a better definition) were, in actuality, sub-sachemships related to the Quiripi/Quinnipiac.
A. Place-names misinformation.
Terry Ballard, Librarian at Quinnipiac University has only one document concerning the Quinnipiac on file and this poses a major obstacle in providing study materials for students. Quite simply, there are no books in print about our nation. The one item on file as of this writing is actually Chapter V in a book. The chapter is entitled “The First Year at Quinnipiac” and contains a collection of historical notations from the early settlers of New Haven. Throughout this chapter it is extremely clear that the name Quinnipiac is the aboriginal place-name and not the name of the people. In the first agreement, known as the Quinnipiac Treaty/Deeds, it begins “Articles of Agreement betwixt Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport and others English planters as Quinnipiac on the one party, and Momauguin the Indian Sachem of Quinnipiac … and others of his council on the other party….” The wording does not say Sachem of the Quinnipiac Tribe but Sachem of Quinnipiac the settlement.
When the Second Treaty was made with Mantowese, he ceded additional land “lying north of that [land]” previously ceded by Momauguin. John Menta later confirmed in his 1988 Journal article how “Shaumpishuh proved to be the ablest bargainer of the Quinnipiac leaders. Unlike Momauguin, or Mantowese, sachem of the Northern Quinnipiacs….” This indicates affirmatively that there were other Quinnipiacs at different locations.
The Second Treaty/Deed sheds additional light on how vast this regional Sachemdom truly was. It begins, “Articles of Agreement betwixt Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport & sundry other English Planters at Quinnipiack [sic] on ye one part and Mantowese, sonne of an Indian sachem living at Mattabesec, and nephew to Sequin, on ye other part….”
Many observers erroneously believed that Mattabesec was a separate tribe. I have shown from J.H. Trumbull’s record reviews that Mattabesec and Sequin were part of the Wappinger-Mattabesec Confederacy and, since Mantowese, Son of Sowheag and nephew to Sequin, was a full sachem that sat on Momauguin’s Grand Council, there is no doubt. The New Haven/East Haven Quiripi were the leaders of the maweomi/central council fire and the outlying sub-sachemships were satellite villages owing allegiance to the main Sachemdom.
Additionally, in the year 1999 I was granted permission to reprint a rare hand drawn map by the Massachusetts Historical Society. It was drawn by Rev. Henry Whitfield in 1639. John Menta explains:
“Securing the services of John Higginson, a twenty-three year-old minister who had been studying southern New England Indian dialects, Whitfield met with Quosoquonch and Shaumpishuh on August 23. Under the direction of Quosoquonch, Whitfield drew a simple but serviceable map of the territory … that stretched roughly from the Quinnipiac River in the West to [beyond] Hammonasset in the east. Quosoquonch told the two white men the native names for the rivers and islands … [landmarks].”
This map has the following words, inter-alia, written in Whitfield’s hand, and is included in my photocopy provided by the Massachusetts Historical Society:
“From Tuxchis [Madison] to Oiocommock [Stony Creek], the land wholly and only belongs to the Squaw Sachem….”
Also in my copy of this map, Quosoquonch included the landmarks extending beyond Shaumpishuh’s Menunkatuck band sub-sachemship. Figure 3 of Menta’s 1988 Journal feature included a typed facsimile with a modern-day map of the coast to correlate the landmarks, showing the map’s overall boundaries from Mainuntaquick in the west (East Haven River) and this was the eastern boundary of Momauguin’s 1200 acre reserve at Mioonkhtuck [per Stiles] which contemporaneously was the western boundary of the Totoket Band Sub-Sachemship led by the elder brother to Momauguin and uncle to Shaumpishuh, named Quosoquonch. The map’s westernmost boundary was Pasboshanke, which is defined by J.H. Trumbull as “Pasbeshauke, alias Saybrooke Forte” and was originally the domain of the Nehantic, a band of the Wangunk, on the western banks of the Connecticut River.
This map confirms that the entire Hammonassett region from the 1200 acre Quinnipiac Reserve at Mioonkhtuck (East Haven) to Pasboshanke (Saybrooke) was part of the Quinnipiac Sachemdom. Also, from Milford to Eastern New York, as J.H. Trumbull confirms in his studies, was part of the Quiripey/Quinnipiac Sachemdom, so essentially all of the land WEST of the Connecticut River after the epidemics.
Menta’s research also confirmed the antiquity of Quinnipiac dominance in western Connecticut:
“While exploring this coastal region, Whitfield discovered a flat, fertile land … called Menunkatuck. This region [up to the Connecticut River and beyond] had been extensively used and settled by [Quinnipiacs] … for thousands of years. Certainly the … ancestors of the Quinnipiac were intimately [connected] to it, having camped along its rivers, estuaries, and ponds for more than five centuries before the colonists arrived…. Obvious evidence of [Quinnipiac] presence --- are abandoned corn fields and wigwams, formerly used burying places and villages, as well as still-occupied settlements….”
Our ancestors moved from prior camps, fields, etc., due to traditional “slash and burn” horticulture patterns. Soil became depleted of minerals, so summer camps were constantly rotated. Menta recognized this and, in doing so, confirms additional Quinnipiac domain.
Directly above the Hammonassett Sub-Sachemship, the Mattabesec Sub-Sachemship was situated and, as J.H. Trumbull identified, Mantowese’s father was Sowheag. In his book on Connecticut place-names, he states:
“Montowese: a railroad station and post office in [North] Haven, named from Mantowese … the son … of Sowheag of Mattabesic, who conveyed to the planters of New Haven, in 1638, his lands north of Quinnipiac; N.H. Col. Rec. [New Haven Colonial Records] i.5. His name (a diminutive of Manito [Mandoo in Quiripi]) means ‘[Little Spirit].@‘"
Other sub-sachemships of the Quiripey Nation are listed below (infra). Menta also confirmed that Menunkatuck (Guilford) was a separate Quinnipiac sub-sachemship:
“On September 29, 1639, … Indians … arrived at the newly founded English settlement called Quinnipiac, modern New Haven, Connecticut. The[se] Indian visitors … were the Menunkatucks, a band of the Quinnipiacs…. The leader of the group, a sachem who had participated in the first treaty negotiated between the English and the Quinnipiacs nearly a year earlier … was Shaumpishuh, the ‘sunksquaw’ or ‘squaw sachem’ of the Quinnipiac.
“Accompanied by her uncle Quosoquonch, the sachem of nearby Totoket (Branford) … Shaumpishuh signed [the third] Treaty … that ceded a large and valuable tract of land, part of modern Branford, and most of Guilford. This Sachem remains relatively unknown to the general public….[1988:32] Shaumpishuh had, however, reserved a tract of land east of the Kuttawoo [Ruttawoo] River (East River between present day Madison and Clinton) for her group [1988:35]…. As the sister of Momauguin, Shaumpishuh was a descendant of a lineage that dominated the leadership of the Quinnipiac Indians….[1988:36]”
To understand this hereditary lineage --- students and scholars alike must first understand the nature of the sociopolitical structure as well as the linguistic roots of the terms “sachem” and “sachemship” as elements of the all-powerful “sachemdom.”
B. Sachems and the Sachemdom.
One of my Branford Review “Language and Lore” columns was entitled, “The Intricate Nature of Sachemdoms.” In this particular column, I showed how the PEA-A dialects included such variations as Sachim (Narragansett), Sunjim (Pequot), Sontim (Massachusetts), Sakema (Lenape) and Zogema (W. Abenaki). These, in turn, are regional variations of the PA-A root words… Ogim (Ojibway), Okimwa (Cree), Okemaw (Menominee), Okimwa (Fox and Sauk) and later it became hybridized or pidginized into Sakimwa.
What outsiders failed to understand, however, is that there exists a dual set of pronunciations of this root word, which was lost along the way during the Trail of Heartaches refugee exodus westward. In A Dictionary of the Ojibway Language, by Bishop Frederick Baraga , he recorded on page 317 the following definitions: “ogima [emphasis on last vowel] chief, chieftain…” “ogima [no stress] she is my mother … kiniwegimigoian, thou who art our mother.” What Baraga does not say, but which J.H. Trumbull noted in his Natick Dictionary of the Massachusett/Narragansett dialect, is that the usage above is modern and in Algonquian traditions the literal translation would be, “I am her offspring” and not “she is my mother.” So, by stressing the last vowel, we are saying, “I am her offspring who has the right to our clan lineage.”
In a rare ethnographic monograph penned by Frank G. Speck, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania entitled, “The Celestial Bear Comes Down to Earth,” it was clearly established how these dual variations were applied by the Lenape/Renapi people. The unstressed Ogima/Sakema/Sachem is known as a “Longhouse Chief” and who represented the “hereditary” Clan lineages. Further on, he also distinguishes the stressed version ogima/Sakema/Sachemau as being known as a “stump chief” which he further defines as “denot[ing] a chief not by right of birth in the line of succession [emphasis mine].”
The hereditary ancestral homelands nucleus, or central council fire, served as the principal otan, and the surrounding villages of the otanwi stump-chiefs were sibling sub-sachemships who all owed tribute to the parent otan sachemdom.
A principal otan served as a safe-haven and refuge for everyone. Professor Bragdon understood the nature of our Sachemdoms, as she confirms:
“Membership within the sachemship(s) was either inherited, along with concomitant land rights, or achieved through marriage or consent of the sachem… The sachemship was made up of those who ‘defended’ it … whether kin or followers of the sachem. Loyalty went beyond that given to the present sachem, and rested with the sachemship.”
Each Algonquian Sachemship consisted of a hereditary [clan] Long House Chief and the kici-otan or principal town capitol of the Sachemdom was always at the center of the domain and called a maweomi. The stump chiefs known as Sagamore/Sagamaugh took charge of operating the outlying summer fishing camps, wampum bead processing, collecting and drying foods, harvesting commodities so that a percentage could be paid as tribute to the Grand Sachem of the Sachemdom, who hosted his regional network in the world trade system that covered “one million square miles” in North America.
As one Dutch historian indicated, “They do not resolve and decide matters hastily and by a small number … persons of distinction in the nation assemble in their councils….”
The principal Long House Chief, or Grand Sachem, was responsible for conducting diplomatic relationships, welcoming runners (news carriers), merchants, etc. Professor Bragdon also confirms what I have written elsewhere about our sub-sachemships.
“These sachemships [especially] in the coastal areas, were associated with specific territories…. Each of these were also divided up into sub-sachemships, under the rule of ‘petty sachems.’ Woods, Williams, et.al. all spoke of the ‘great sachems’ (i.e., ‘Grand Sachems’) whose authority ‘went beyond the bounds of a single community.@‘"
Only the Grand Sachems and Long House Clan Sachems possessed the right to a special name/title that began with variations of the prefixes mawa-, mawe-, mama-, momo-, (all indicating a hereditary leader with the power to “gather” or “assemble the people together at the central council fires”). Some regional samples of these name/titles include the following.
Momauguin, Grand Sachem of the Quinnipiac maweomi at Mioonkhtuck, whose name means: “he assembles them from on high.”
Momoweta, Sachem of Corchaug, and translated by William Wallace Tooker as meaning: “he gathereth or brings together in his house.”
Maweseeman, Sachem of the Scatacook, which means “to bring [them] together”
(his name/title was changed from Old Chuse to this title when he married Sarah Mahwee, who was born at East Haven. Her name includes the title as well as showing she came from a hereditary clan sachemdom, i.e.
Mahweeyeuh, translated as meaning “assembles them together” (Stiles Itineraries), who was the last official Sachem of East Haven, CT at Mioonkhtuck.
I have devoted much more detail to these subjects elsewhere for further reading or study.
C. Misnomers and Misinformation.
To stress again the fact that the appellative given to our so-called “tribe” (a category that does not fit eastern Algonquian Nations)… “Quinnipiac” is the place-name of one location within a vast ancestral sachemdom.
“The first settlers of New Haven bought lands of one of the Quiripi bands or petty tribes, and the name of their purchase appears as Quillipiack, Quinnipiac….” [emphasis added]
“The place-name derives from ‘Quinni-pe-auke,’ meaning ‘long-water-land”…. In the [n-dialects] the first syllable was pronounced ‘quin’; by the Connecticut River Indians ‘quil’; and by the Indians west of the long water ‘quir’; hence the variety of forms….”
There were other names that were true forms of self-identity, which our ancestors called themselves. The term “eansketambawg,” for instance, means “we, the surface-dwelling people,” which is a word applied to distinguish the humans from other “people.” The prefix ean-, een-, denotes humans of the same nation or confederacy. This term, however, applied to all the Algonquians without the prefix, and with the prefix to all the sachemships that were within one’s confederacy, so it could not be used exclusively as a name substitute for the Quiripi/Quinnipiac alone. The term, “Quiripi” today is being used to denote the entire region where our language dialect was spoken, which is all of western Connecticut, part of eastern New York and part of Long Island (this is a post-epidemic estimate, the area included eastern Connecticut and other areas of the Dawnland prior to contact with Europeans).
On the Internet at native-languages.org, it refers to the “Quiripi-speaking tribes like the Quinnipiac, Wampano, Unkechaug, Naugatuck, Mattbesic, Schaghticoke, and Paugussett….” Although this lends credence to the vastness of our ancestral sachemdom, it still fails to include many of the other “sub-tribes” that spoke our dialect and were part of our Nation.
The actual term of our ancestral self-identity is RENAPI, which denotes the Archaic branch of PEA-A Clans that spoke the R-dialect. My research indicates that prior to exploration of the Dawnland (circa 1200-1500 AD), two dialects dominated the NE Woodlands --- the Archaic R-dialect and Y-dialect. These were merged with and later substituted by the L-dialect and the N-dialect --- created by coming into contact with other language groups. Algonquianists Costa, Masthay, Rudes, Whritenour, Goddard, et al., confirm the presence of the older R-dialect. Our ancestors migrated in four waves into what is now the USA and in the first two waves were the Munsee and Renapi, who spoke the R-dialect. Later the Lenape, who spoke the L-dialect and the Pequot and Mohegans, who spoke the N-dialect, merged into a type of pidginization of the language dialects.
Collectively, our allied confederation was known as the Wampano/Wappinger branch of the Wappinger-Mattabesec Confederacy, which was part of the broader Dawnland Confederacy. This included Algonquian and Iroquoian speaking people of the NE Woodlands who met once a year at a Grand Council Fire. Wampum belts, known as Covenant Chain belts, and strings of wampum were carried by the Iroquoian Pine Tree Chiefs, Algonquian Long House Chiefs and Stump Chiefs, who, with wise powwamanitompoag (shamans), met at these large assemblages.
Dr. Carl Masthay, one of my primary linguistic mentors, in a recent paper entitled, “Wabanaki and variants” provides a running etymology of the appellative, which dominates the Dawnland. Carl refers to Dr. Blair Rudes (an Algonquianist Carl and I have worked with in the past), author of Resurrecting Wampano (Quiripi) from the Dead: Phonological Preliminaries, when he wrote the following words: “Archaeologists and ethnohistorians have more recently concluded that there was in fact a greater Mattabesec-Wappinger confederacy…” which linked Connecticut, Eastern New York, and Northern New Jersey.
Carl’s paper calls attention to numerous variations of the term among the Munsee (Woapannachkis) and the Illinois/Miami, originally known as Ireniwa (Waapanahkiiha) along with similar words in Wabanaki/Wampanoag, etc. These words all relate to a group defined by Frank Siebert (deceased) and Blair Rudes as the speakers of “the western Connecticut and central Long Island Algonquian r-dialect language … based on political affiliation and toponomic and linguistic similarities and comprising Potatuck, Weantinock, Tunxis, Wangunk, Quinnipiac (Quiripi), East Haven Quinnipiac [Mioonkhtuck], Nau-ka-tungk [Naugatuck] … Paugusset, and Norwalk, linked to [Long Island Bands such as] Unquachog … Poospatuck and Massapequa.” This is based on historical records and omits dozens of other bands whose vocabularies were never recorded, but who spoke the r-dialect.
D. QTC PRESS Internet Report Card.
A network of scholars from ACQTC Inc./QTC Press/ACLI have been searching the INTERNET/WEB for any and all traces of history, language, and lore related to the Quinnipiac/Quiripi. Key sites and others that carry factual data have been graded in a process of evaluation similar to a scholastic REPORT CARD system. The BEST sites (i.e., those with the most comprehensive data) will receive recognition through our annual WERREGUN AWARDS (i.e. good news) while the WORST sites will receive recognition through our annual MATCHIT AWARDS (i.e. bad news) for inaccurate, or least applicable, erroneous data and misinformation.
The BEST and most comprehensive WERREGUN AWARDS (exclusive of ACQTC.org, of course) for the year 2006-2007 can be found at the following sites.
- WIKIPEDIA has, by far, won TOP HONORS for the WERREGUN AWARD. The following articles on WIKIPEDIA should be studied:
All other website who consider writing about the Quinnipiac or who need to update their inaccurate data should begin by consulting these WIKIPEDIA articles. WIKIPEDIA has earned an A+ on our 2007 Report Card.
- COLD SPRING SCHOOL of New Haven, CT, is next in line. Their website includes a short “Quinnipiac River History” that is well done and the general data provides a description of Quinnipiac hunters, housing, subsistence, and belief systems. There was also a short essay by student Laura Addabbo on Shaumpishuh, who was the Sunksquaw of the Quinnipiac MENUNKATUCK Band at Guildford, CT, as well as a drawing by a student of an Indian man, arms raised facing a mountain. Cold Spring School has earned an A on our 2007 Report Card. Kudos to the students and teachers for their excellent work.
In addition to these websites, there are websites which provide a directory of websites related to Native American topics. We are grateful to the following websites for including ACQTC.org in their directories:
The WORST or Most Inaccurate sites will not be graded nor will they receive the annual MATCHIT AWARD in 2007. In all fairness, we recognize the problem of the past has been the lack of good information. Most of what has been used, rehashed, and emulated ad infinitum was composed over 100--150 years ago by Puritan-influenced hyperbole and their inability to understand our socio-political structure. That factor as the ONLY option no longer exists. So, we’ve decided to give the following sources a year to revise their sites. In June 2008, we will once again review these sites (and all other websites we can find providing information about the Quinnipiac) and present our 2008 Report Card, including Werregun and Matchit awards, in a report published on this website in July 2008. ACQTC is notifying the following sources of their lack of accurate data, and referring them to this website and various QTC Press publications to help them "set the record straight."
- YALE UNIVERSITY was founded by the very Puritan families who tried to force their ethnic cleansing on our ancestors and campaigned to dispossess those who refused to convert to their lifestyle giving up everything that was Algonquian … language, religion, and culture. Nevertheless, ACQTC does recognize that many exemplary figures in Yale history have broken away from these stereotypes … men such as Ezra Stiles, J. H. Trumbull, John Menta, and Richard Carlson were major influences in setting the record straight. Also, Yale’s Beineke Rare Books Library has a copy of our 100-page language guide on file, and they have extended their research facilities to us in the 1980s. We have notified Yale of the problem and we’ll see how it goes for next year.
- QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY is located in Hamden, CT, between East Rock and Sleeping Giant Park, two of the three most sacred landmarks to the Quinnipiac. Their own website suggests that their goal is to honor the memory of the Quinnipiac of the region. ACQTC has written about their choice to change the sports teams' name and logo from the Braves to the Bobcats. ACQTC has also consulted with members of the QU faculty and students and we have learned that they indeed want to have materials relevant to our history, language, and lore; but, they simply do not have anything available. There seems to be some resistance in the upper echelon. It seems to us that the best way to honor the Quinnipiac is to work with ACQTC in developing study materials and a curriculum based on the wealth of information QTC Press has available. So, Quinnipiac University has been sent complimentary copies of QTC Press publications, and we’ll see how it goes for next year.
Help us Set The Record Straight
The NEW HAVEN FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY has also been sent a CD of We The People Called Quinnipiac, and we will see how they process this work over the next year. ACQTC plans to submit grant applications for funds so we can distribute our QTC Press publications free of charge to schools, colleges, and libraries. You can help by purchasing these publications yourself and donating them to your local schools, colleges, and public libraries.
II. SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
The official FACTS, STATS with cultural, linguistic, and hereditary data relative to the Quinnipiac/Quiripi/Renapi Nation of our ancestors, as well as ACQTC, Inc. today are as follows.
- The appellative eansketambawg is the distinction which separates the human people from other species and should be construed as to mean the indigenous tribes of Turtle Island (America). It is a generalized term and with the prefix ean/een denotes the Dawnlanders (i.e. Algonquians). A similarly related word is Rennawawk which refers to humanity and humankind in aboriginal terms. So it is not used exclusively by the Quiripi.
- The name Quiripi/Quiripey is an appellative that derives from the archaic R-dialect and refers to the “Long Water” people and, by adding the suffix Quirripi-okke it indicates Long-Water-Land. My research indicates that the Long Water Land of my ancestors originally means Long Island Sound where a giant lake 100 miles long once skirted the shoreline.
- The appellative combination Wampano/Quiripi today denotes the merging of two terms which combine together to indicate the region where the archaic R-dialect was spoken and correlates to the Wappinger-Mattabesec or Mattabesic-Wappinger Confederacy dominated by the Quiripi.
- The appellatives Quinnipiac/Quillipiac/Quirripokke are dialect variations of the same word meaning “Long Water Land.”
- The appellative variants Wampano, Wampanoo, Wabeno, Wapno, all refer to the Dawnland Confederacy and to an elite shamanic society known as the “Men of the Dawnsky.” The R-dialect variant is Wappinger and was later adopted as Wampano.
- The term Renapi is closest to our aboriginal self-identity. It defines our Nation, indicating in our archaic dialect, the “Real People,” as many names of self-identity across this land attest. Quirripeokke is the place-name of our ancestral Sachemdom and the fact that our dialect and subsachemships were spread across three states is a testament to our status as “grandfathers” in the Grand Council Fires. There were other Renape/Renapi groups, such as the Powhatan of New Jersey and Virginia and the Ireniwa Renapi (Miami/Illinois group) and the original names of the Abenaki and others bear the same self-identity from early linguistic records (e.g., rasles).
B. Sociopolitical Structure.
- Quirripeokke/Quinnipeokke Sachemdom encompassed…
The Quinnipiac/Quiripey Sachemdom included the following Sachemships (circa 1500-1650). Each of the following were otan (main towns) who had smaller otanwi or villages.
- prior to the 1500 AD epidemics, it covered all of what is now Connecticut and half of what is now Long Island (Paumanokke) with an estimated population of 25,000 in CT and an additional 25,000 in Eastern NY and Long Island and another 25,000 in New Jersey (Munsee);
- after the epidemics, our total estimated population and Sachemdom had shrunk by 50% and covered the western half of Connecticut and part of eastern NY and small numbers in NJ.
- Quinni-pe-okke/Quiripey (Quinnipiac River confluence of New Haven);
- Meriden (Meaning “Pleasant Valley” North Haven, Cheshire, Meriden);
- Mioonkhtuck (East Haven, Fair Haven);
- Totoket (Branford, No. Branford);
- Menunkatuck (Guilford, Madison);
- Hamonasset (Clinton, Saybrook);
- Nehantic (Durham, Haddam);
- Mattabesek (Middletown);
- Tunxis (Farmington);
- Mattatuck (Waterbury);
- Naugatunk (Derby, Ansonia);
- Wepawaug (Milford);
- Paugusset (New London);
- Potatuck (Housatonic River);
- Sequin (Hartford);
- Wangunk (Connecticut River, both banks);
- Podunk (Windsor).
- Each Sachemship was led by a hereditary Longhouse Chief and the Sub-sachemships were led by Stump Chiefs who entered into the Bond of the Covenant in a political alliance. The hereditary sachems and their sagamores sat in the maweomi or Central Council Fire. Others were tributaries of these main bands.
- The Sachemdom otan system all had traditional strongholds known as menuhkenum (described in colonial records as “Indian Forts”), which were scattered all along Mishimayagat (Great Trail System). Through the Grand Sachem, the Sachemdom participated in the international trade network.
- The Quinnipiac/Quiripi (Mattabesec) defended the eastern half of southern New England with the Wampanoag as part of our alliance. The Munsee Bands protected the western half. This evolved to include the Iroquois in the Dawnland Confederacy, and the Renapi contingency was known as the Wappinger-Mattabesec Confederation (i.e., Western CT, Eastern NY, and N. NJ). The Ramapo Mountain Region in N. NJ became a refugium after the forced removal of our ancestors began.
C. Removals, Trail of Heartaches.
- Reservation lands of the Quinnipiac.
According to John Menta and J.H. Trumbull, the following areas served as reserved lands for the Quinnipiac Sachemdom and Sub-sachemships.
- 1200 acre reserve at East Haven (Mioonkhtuck);
- reserved land at Totoket (Indian Head);
- reserved lands at Madison (Ruttawoo/Kuttawoo River);
- reserved land in Guilford (West Pond);
- reserved land at Derby/Orange (Turkey Hill);
- reserved land at Waterbury (this was 50 acres supposedly set aside as a result of a transaction with the Morrisses of East Haven, but never did).
- 1770s--1870s --- Red Puritan Converts and Long House Traditionalists split into groups and the Trail of Heartaches begins.
- groups from our Sachemships migrate to reserved land enclaves at Branford, Guilford, Madison, and East Haven as land gets smaller.
- seven removals occur between 1750s to 1870s as half of our refugees migrate from Tunxis to Stockbridge and beyond to Brotherton, NY, Muncie, IN, and New Stockbridge, WI. A small group splits off and goes on to Canada.
- last thirty (30) acres in East Haven sold; promised 50 acres in Waterbury, but it was a ruse and refugees had to go elsewhere. So some went to Derby/Orange and intermarried with the Paugusset and this group migrated to western CT where they became the new Schaghticoke Band. Both Joseph Chuse (Mauweeseman) and his wife, Sarah Mahwee, were born of Quinnipiac Sachemships.
- 1800s--1900s --- Extinction or Genocide?
In the 1800s the state legislatures of CT, MA, RI declare all of the Algonquian tribal bands extinct, sell off their lands at public auctions, and, with the stroke of a pen, wiped our tribal nations out of existence.
- 1900s --- Algonquians Incorporate.
- Descendants of the refugees who migrated west and north begin to return to Connecticut, by now inter-married with other tribal bands and Europeans. In New England Pan-Indian Algonquian Corporations replace original tribal structure and the roots of state recognition are laid.
- 1940s--1950s. After hiding in plain sight with one foot in two worlds, learning to adapt to mainstream America, a handful of traditionalists teach the younger generation what they remember of the language, religion, and culture, as the Indian Affairs Division in CT, MA, NY, RI, etc., are put into the hands of Welfare, Environment and Parks Departments.
- 1970s--1980s. Connecticut Indian Affairs Council (CIAC) is a committee of the tribes. Iron Thunderhorse appointed by Paulette Crone Morange as legal and Cultural Advisor to CIAC. The tribes not in agreement and CIAC falls apart. In 1989 ACQTC, Inc. was incorporated by Iron Thunderhorse and Dianne Hawkthunder LaFrance.
- 1990s--2000. Language, culture, and religion of the Quinnipiac are revived, lineages and genealogies are traced, numerous research papers and booklets written, ACQTC office established in Indiana, annual celebrations in homeland begin July 2000.
- 2000--2007. ACQTC, Inc. offices in CT, MA, NY, PA, IN, and Quebec Canada. Official website developed, Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum opens at Dudley Farm complex, NAGPRA requests begin.
III. INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: THE RETURN OF HOBBOMOCK.
A. ACQTC Focus
Instead of competing for federal recognition, ACQTC used its collective energies and resources to revitalize our Nation by returning to our religion, language, and culture and our aboriginal form of governance.
B. ACQTC Funding
ACQTC, Inc. has not and will not seek to initiate gambling operations. We could have already done so, since several members own their own ships/fleets that do business in the Harbor. We could have easily set up off-shore gambling and high-stakes BINGO on these ships/fleets with funding from 3rd parties. ACQTC is opposed to gambling as a source of revenue. We shall rely on private donations and foundation grants to operate our business and achieve our goals.
C. ACQTC Current Statistics, Membership
ACQTC, Inc. has three (3) types of membership.
- FULL MEMBERSHIP
- Includes any Family who traces their origins to the following Quinnipiac/Quiripi Sachemdom ancestral lineages: Mahweeyeuh, Mauwee, Cockenoe, Nonsuch, Soebuck, Sock, Readhead, Brown, Adams, Griswold, Parmalee, Curley, Skeezucks;
- Includes any Family who traces their origins to the following Mattabesec-Wappinger/Wampano Sachemships in the following ancestral lineages: LaFrance, Ninham, Quinney, Dean, Thompson, Peters, Montour, Marchand, Klingerschmidt, Moses, Cornelius, Higheum, Wampum/Waubuno, Douglas, Anthony, Scott, Butler, Burnham, Rouleau, and Hazel.
- Descendants of these families are the only individuals eligible for Long House Chief hereditary status in the traditional clans. Lines of descent are traced matrilineally through the female lines and shall be subject to the proper odoodem (family totem signs).
- The number of Families who trace their lineages according to a and b criteria in ACQTC is more than 50 and less than 100.
- CONFEDERATE MEMBERSHIP
- Includes any Family who traces their origins to any refugee family, or tribal nations of Algonquian and Iroquoian language, religion, and culture, who migrated to NY, PA, MA, RI, IN, OH, WI, KS and TX.
- Contrary to what most observers believe about identity, once leaving a traditional Sachemdom, as long as the Family was part of an Algonquian or Iroquoian Reserve that governed itself by tribal council, they were not “absorbed” into that tribe, but became an otanwi (lesser village status but nonetheless maintained their roots). Good examples of this are Scaticook/Schaghticoke, Brotehton/Brothertown, Stockbridge, New Stockbridge, Oneida NY and Oneida WI, Kickapoo IL and Kickapoo TX, where parent Sachemdoms gave birth to sibling otanwi.
- Each Confederate Family holds a seat in the Grand Council and acts as an ambassador for their people who live within our sachemdom boundaries or share space where our current ACQTC offices are located. This is similar to regional Native American Community Houses where Urban Indians of All Tribes congregate to function as they did on their reservations. NYC has a large Community House as do over a dozen major cities.
- The number of Families who trace their origins according to Lenape/Renapi, Quinnipiac/Quiripi, and Iroquoian/Tsa-La-Gi/Eastern Cherokee lines are about 100 families.
- HONORARY MEMBERSHIP
- Like adoption and capture in ancient times, this includes any Family who enters into the Ancient Bond of the Covenant and honors, defends our languages, cultures, religions, and political governance.
- The number of Families who have Honorary Membership and who have been adopted by ACQTC, Inc. is more than 25 and less than 50 families.
- Ethnohistorians today, as well as many branches of federal government, recognize there are many ways to gauge tribal identity besides genetics. Language, culture, religion, history, etc., etc. ACQTC, Inc. has written a major study on INDIGENOUS IDENTITIES available from QTC Press.
IV. ACQTC, INC. FUTURE
ACQTC, Inc. is currently developing an encapsulated ON-LINE MILESTONES Section, showing a timeline of how our Nation and Confederacy developed over the past 12,000 years, while we are preparing a collection of words of wisdom spoken by Algonquians from the East. We will continue to provide gratis accurate historical data regarding our great nation to websites, libraries, and historical societies as funds permit. In addition, it is our goal to record our language on audio tapes and teach the R-dialect to so many people that it will never again be threatened with extinction.
Iron Thunderhorse, Quinnipiac Grand Sachem
Ruth Mahweeyeuh Thunderhorse, Sunksquaw
SEAL OF ACQTC, Inc.