Introduction - Shinnecock IndiansThe Shinnecock Indian Nation is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located on eastern Long Island in New York State. They currently have over 1,200 enrolled members. Every summer they hold The Shinnecock Powwow which attracts thousands of visitors and has been called one of the ten best powwows held in the U.S. by the magazine USA Today. On this page is a list of interesting facts about the Shinnecock Indian Tribe. Information on this page, written for both kids and adults, includes the history of this Northeast American Indian Tribe, where their reservation is, what their culture was historically like, and how they survived.
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Interesting Shinnecock Indian Facts
- This tribes name is pronounced "SHIN-nuh-kock".
- Long Island is surrounded by water and the Shinnecock became excellent sailors and fishermen. With the arrival of Europeans on Long Island the Shinnecock began working on their boats.
- In December of 1876 several of the tribe's men died in a heroic effort to save a stranded ship off the coast of East Hampton, New York.
- The Shinnecock Indians are descended from the Pequot and Narragansett tribes of New England who were also located on the east end of Long Island.
- This Native American Tribe historically spoke the Mohegan-Pequot language; now they all speak English.
- Historically the Shinnecock's were farmers, hunters, and fishermen. The women were usually the farmers and grew such food as corn and squash. The men did the fishing and hunting.
- Shinnecock homes were historically small houses called wigwams. Wigwams were dome-shaped huts consisting of materials such as animal skins or bark fastened together and held up by poles.
- Beads made from shells hung on threads, called wampompeag (wampum), were used by the Shinnecock, and many other Northeast Indian tribes, as currency. The Shinnecock Indians wampompeag was regarded as quite valuable and the tribe was known to be raided by other tribes looking to steal it. They also used wampompeag as jewelry.
- The art of the Shinnecock Indians include beautiful beadwork and baskets.
- A Shinnecock warrior's weapons included spears, bows and arrows, and clubs.
- These Native Americans would build canoes by hollowing out large trees. These canoes were often taken out into the ocean for fishing and therefore had to be very sturdy.
- Like almost all the Native American people throughout the Americas European colonization in the 1600s and later brought diseases to the Shinnecock People for which they had no immunity. These highly contagious diseases, such as smallpox, caused epidemics that nearly wiped out the whole tribe.
- To get around in the snow the Shinnecock Indians used snowshoes and sleds pulled by dogs.
Facts about the Modern Day Shinnecock Indians
- In 2010, after a thirty year effort, the tribe finally gained the Federal recognition of the United States government.
- The Shinnecock Indian Reservation is located approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of the village of Southampton, New York; one of the richest areas of the United States.
- The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum located on the Shinnecock Reservation is open to the public and has an exhibition of artifacts and historical objects from the tribes past.
- In 2007 the Shinnecock Tribe made a proposal to build a casino on their land but to this date no deal has been made.