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Abenaki Tribe (Abanaki, Abnaki, Abenakis)

Language: Abnaki-Penobscot is an Algonquian language still spoken in Canada by a few Western Abenaki elders. Eastern Abenaki or Penobscot was another dialect of the same language once spoken in Maine, where Penobscot Indian people today are working to revive its use. The Abenakis call their language Alnombak or Aln8bak (8 is an old Jesuit symbol for a nasalized, unrounded 'o'.)

Names: Alternate spellings of "Abenaki" include Abnaki, Abénaki, Abenaqui, and Abanaki.

People: The Abenaki tribe, together with the Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Mi'kmaq, and Penobscot Indians, were members of the old Wabanaki Confederacy, adversaries of the Iroquois League. These allies from the eastern seaboard spoke related languages, and Abenaki and Wabanaki have the same Algonquian root, meaning "people from the east." Today 2000 Abenakis live on two reserves in Quebec, and another 10,000 Abenaki descendants in the United States. Only the Canadian Abenaki tribe is federally recognized, but there are four state-recognized Abenaki bands in Vermont and several other Abenaki communities located throughout New England.

Bands: There were three important subdivisions of the Abenaki tribe: the Sokoki (or Sokokis), the Cowasuck (Cowass, Koes or Coos), and the Missisquoi (or Mazipskwik.) There were also several Algonquian bands of New England who spoke the same language as the Abenakis and were culturally and/or politically associated with them, including the Caniba (or Kennebec), Norridgewock, Androscoggin, Wawenock, and Pequawket. The Pennacook were also closely related to the Abenakis, although it is not clear whether they were speakers of an Abenaki tongue or of Wampanoag.

History: Modern Abenaki history has been a fugue of attrition and regrouping. Up to 75% of Native Americans in New England died of European diseases in the 1500's and 1600's. Dozens of distinct tribes originally lived in this area, but after each disaster the survivors of neighboring villages merged together, and their identities became blurry even in Indian oral history. Since the Abenaki people retreated into Canada to avoid attacks, the British considered them Canadian Indians, but in fact the Abenakis were original natives of New England--and though their strategy of merging after heavy losses and hiding their existence from more powerful neighbors has hampered the Abenaki tribe's quest for federal recognition, it has also ensured their survival as a people.

Abenaki Culture and History

As a complement to our Abenaki language information, here is our collection of indexed links about the Abenaki Indian people and their society. Please note that Abenakis and other American Indians are living people with a present and future as well as a past. Abenaki history is interesting and important, but the Abenakis are still here today, too, and we try to feature current writers as well as traditional folklore, contemporary artwork as well as archaeology exhibits, and issues and struggles of today as well as the tragedies of yesterday. Please contact us if you have an Abenaki link to add.

Our Abenaki Websites

Abenaki Language:
    Information and language learning materials from the Abenaki-Penobscot language.
Abenaki Indians Fact Sheet:
    Questions and answers about Abenaki culture.
Abenaki Legends:
    Collection of Abenaki Indian legends and folktales.

Abenaki Tribal and Community Websites

Waban-Aki Nation:
    The Grand Conseil of the Abenaki First Nations of Quebec (Odanak and Wolinak.)
Abénakis d'Odanak:
    Homepage of the Abenaki people of Odanak, Quebec.
Odanak Abenakis * Wôlinak Abenakis:
    Government profiles of the two Abenaki First Nations of Quebec.
Missisquoi Abenaki Nation: * Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation: * Elnu Abenaki Tribe:
    Homepages of the state-recognized Vermont Abenaki bands.
Cowasuck Band of Pennacook-Abenakis:
    Massachusetts Abenaki tribe.
Koasek Abenaki Nation:
    New Hampshire Abenaki tribe.
    Maine organization promoting Abenaki culture.
First Nations Education Council:
    Organization dedicated to supporting indigenous schools and students in Quebec First Nations.

Books for sale on the Abenaki tribe
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Voice of the Dawn:
    Excellent book of Abenaki American Indian history by tribal archaeologist Fred Wiseman.
Woven Through The Sweetgrass:
    Engaging stories about Abenaki life from the oral history of an Odanak family.
The Language of Basket Making: * Abenaki Dictionary:
    Language learning books by an Abenaki language revival advocate.
Keepers of the Earth * Hidden Roots * The Winter People * Arrow Over The Door * Heart of a Chief:
    Good children's books by Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac.
Dawn Land:
    An interesting graphic novel based on Abenaki creation myths, by a Native author.
Dirt Road Home * Muskrat Will Be Swimming:
    Poems and a novel by Abanaki writer Cheryl Savageau.
Aunt Sarah: Woman of the Dawnland:
    Biography of a female Abanaki Indian elder.
The Girl Who Helped Thunder * The Wind Eagle: * Abenaki Indian Legends:
    Collections of Abenaki folklore.
Seven Eyes, Seven Legs:
    Pictures and stories from Abenaki artists.
The Western Abenakis of Vermont:
    History of the Abenaki Indians from 1600-1800.
Abenaki Warrior:
    Historical fiction about Abenaki chief Escumbuit.
Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume:
    Photo-essay on Wabanaki textile arts from the Maine State Museum.

Maps of Abenaki Lands

First Nations Map: * Location of Amerindian Communities:
    Maps of the eleven First Nations of Quebec.
Vermont Indian Map * New Hampshire Indian Map * Maine Indian Map * New York Indian Map:
    Tribal maps showing the original territory of the Abenakis and their neighbors in the United States.
Maine Abenaki Culture * Native Americans of New England: * New France: Northern Algonquians:
    Historical maps and facts about the Abenaki Indians and other northeastern tribes.
Abanaki Maps:
    Hypothesized movements of the Abanakis and neighboring American Indians.

Abenaki Lifestyle and Tradition

Abenaki Traditions:
    Ceremonies, pipe smoking, herbs, and food of the Cowasuck Abenakis.
Abenaki Life:
    Customs, dances, powwow, and recognition issues of the Vermont Abenakis.
People of the Dawnland:
    Overview of Abenaki history and traditional culture.
The Abenaki:
    History of the Abenaki nation in Canada.
Quebec History: Abnaki (Abénaki, Abenaqui):
    Anthropology text on the Abenaki people.
Abenaki Tribe:
    Article about Abenaki culture including kinship and religion.
The Abenaki Indians:
    Pictures and cultural information about early Vermont Indians.
Abenakis * Abenaki Profile:
    Abenaki culture and traditions in Quebec.
Finding One's Way:
    A story about Vermont Abenaki heritage, custom, and beliefs.
Canoeing Cultures: Abenakis:
    Canoe-building and traditional culture of the Abenaki Indians and other Wabanakis.
Abnaki Ethnobotany:
    Information on the traditional uses of plants in the Abenaki tribe.
Abenaki Corn Soup Recipe * Nas8b8n (Three Sisters Soup) * Chestnut Cakes * Abenaki Pudding: * Gagnooz:
    Traditional Abenaki recipes.
The Abenaki Today:
    Abenaki Indians in the modern era.
Odanak Abenaki Nation Flag * Saint Francis-Sokoki Abenakis * Abénakis de Wôlinak:
    Koasek Abenaki Flag: * Mazipskwik Abenaki Flag: * Mississquoi Abenaki License Plate:
    Abenaki flags and license plates.
Wabanaki Homes * Algonquian Bark Canoes * Native American Drums:
    Articles on Abenaki and other Native American houses, boats and music.
Abenaki Names * Abenaki Place Names:
    Information about Abenaki naming traditions.
Koasek (Cowasuck) Abenaki: * Traditional Abenaki of Mazipskwik and Related Bands:
    Cultural information from other Vermont Indian communities.

Abenaki Artifacts and Cultural Objects

Abenakis Museum * Musée des Abénakis:
    Pictures and descriptions from the tribal museum at Odanak.
Abenaki Artifacts * Abenaki Tools and Weapons * Abenaki Museum Exhibit * Abenaki Cradleboard Picture
    Photographs of Abenaki Indian artifacts.
Abenaki Clothing * Abnaki Indian Costume * Indian Clothing * Abenaki Moccasins: * Leggings * Abenaki Snowshoes
    Beaded Headbands * Indian Hair:
    Abenaki clothes, regalia and hairstyles.
Wôbôbial Belts * Abenaki Wampum:
    Wampum and its importance to the Abenaki Indians.
Abenaki Indian Games * Abinaki Ring and Pin Game:
    Abenaki games and toys.
Abenaki Archaeology:
    Arrowheads, potsherds, and lithics from ancient Abenaki sites.
Abenaki Petroglyphs:
    Photographs of rock carvings along the Kinnebec River.

Abenaki Religion and Mythology

How Gluskabe Stole Tobacco * Glooskap and the Baby:
    Stories about the adventures of the Abenaki hero Glooskap.
Klooskomba (Glooscap) and Western Abanaki Myth:
    Ancient Abanaki gods, symbols, and myths.
Abenaki Legends:
    Collection of Abenaki Indian legends and folktales.
Native American Spirituality:
    Advice for researching Abenaki religion and American Indian spirituality in general.

Abenaki Literature and Arts

Joseph Bruchac * Books by Joseph Bruchac * Hidden Roots * The Girl Who Helped Thunder * Sweat Lodge:
    Abenaki writer/musician Joseph Bruchac.
Obomsawin at Sundance * Alanis Obomsawin:
    Canadian Abenaki filmmaker/director Alanis Obomsawin.
Cheryl Savageau: * Dirt Road Home * Muskrat Will Be Swimming:
    Abenaki poet Cheryl Savageau.
Betsey Guppy Chamberlain * The Life and Writings of Betsey Chamberlain:
    19th century Abanaki Indian author Betsey Chamberlain.
Native American Authors: Abenaki Tribe: * Sokoki Authors:
    Lives and work of several Abenaki authors.
Keepers of Life * Echoes of the Night: * Gluskabi Stories:
    Audio recordings of Abenaki storytellers.
Morningstar Studio:
    Jewelry, gourd art, and other traditional Abenaki crafts by Coosuk Abenaki artist Jeanne Kent.
Baskets of the Abenakis * Abenaki Basket * Black Ash Baskets * Abenaki Baskets:
    Pictures of Abenaki ash basketry.
Sunrise Drum Arts:
    Contemporary Abenaki jewelry.
Abenaki Honor Song * Odanak Pow Wow * Abenaki Flute Song * Abenaki Drumming:
    Audio and video recordings of Abenaki music and dance.
Native American Art:
    Information, photographs and links about Abenaki and other native art.

Abenaki Politics, Issues, and News

Aln8bak News:
    The Cowasuck Abenaki tribe's online newsletter.
Vermont's Daughter of the Dawn:
    Missisquoi Abenaki chief April Rushlow.
Abenaki Indian Hunters Column:
    Editorial on land and hunting rights in Canada.
Abenaki Recognition Bill * Vermont Abenaki Museum * Abenaki Nation Sovereignty:
    Abenaki in Vermont Press for Recognition * The Abenaki File for Federal Recognition:
    The Abenaki Indians' quest for recognition in the US.
Meanings of Vermont H. 809 * Maslack's Blood Count:
    Opinions on a Vermont bill requiring DNA tests to prove American Indian bloodlines.
Vermonts Secret * Squam Lake Desecration * Repatriation:
    Destruction of Vermont and New Hampshire Indian burial grounds.
Shining a Light on the "Invisible People":
    Reclaiming Abanaki Indian heritage.

Abenaki History and Biography

Wigwam: Ancestral Tribal Histories Of The Abenaki, Micmac, and Nipissing Peoples:
    Abenaki history from ancient times until 1990.
Abenakis History:
    Historical overview of the Abenaki Indians.
Abenaki Tribe:
    Tribal history from a New England Abenaki man.
Abenaki Nation * Vermont's Abenakis:
    Oral history from two Abenaki Indians.
Abenaki Native American Heritage:
    History of the Abenaki Indians in New Hampshire.
Abenakis Culture and History:
    Historical documents about the Abenaki Indians.
Abenaki Ethnography:
    Article on Abenaki history and culture.
Saint Francis:
    Information about traditional Abenaki towns.
Abenaki Tribe History: * Abenaki Tribes in the Merrimac Valley:
    Early 20th century articles on the Abenaki Indians.
The Abenaki Indians and their Treaties:
    Online text of two historical treaties, with Abenaki names and vocabulary.
Tarrateen War: * King William's War:
    History of the 17th-century Abnaki wars with the English and Iroquois.
Maritimes Treaties:
    18th-century English treaties with the Penobscot, Micmac, and Abenaki Indians.
First Nations Treaties:
    Recent treaties between Quebec and the Abenakis, in French.
Abnaki Indians, Jesuits & Pilgrims:
    Father Druilettes, Father Rale, and the history of Catholicism among the Abanaki Indians.
Abenaki Indian Chief Grey Lock * Greylock * Father Rasle's War * Chief Gray Lock:
    Indians 101: Grey Lock's War * Dummer's War:
    18th-century Abanaki chief Graylock and Dummer's War (1721-1725).
Jonathon Dore:
    Sad story of a captive raised by Abenaki Indians, whose young children were massacred by Roger's Rangers.
Canadian Indian Residential School System * Indian Residential Schools * Survivors Await An Apology:
    Aboriginal Healing Foundation * Residential School Resources * Out of the Depths:
    The Indian boarding schools of Canada, and abuses Abenaki Indians and other children suffered there.
Eugenics Victims Heard At Last * The Rise and Fall of Eugenics:
    The Vermont Eugenics Survey and the 1930's sterilization of Abenaki Indians.
Kennebec * Koasek * Odanak * Arosaguntacook * Pigwacket * Wolinak * Nulhegan:
    Information about historical Abenaki bands and villages.
Identity of the Saint Francis Indians:
    History of the St. Francis/Sokoki Abenakis of Vermont.
Abenaki Nation History:
    Timeline for the Vermont Abenakis.
Native Americans of Maine * Wabanaki Indian Collection * People of the Dawn Land:
    History of the Abenakis in Maine.
People of the Dawn:
    History of the New Hampshire Abenakis.
Abanaki Chief Homer St. Francis * Homer St. Francis:
    Information about the late Abenaki chief Homer St. Francis.
Chief Moxus:
    Biographies of historical Abenaki figures.

Abenaki Genealogy

Abanaki Genealogy Help:
    Databases of families and tips for finding Abanaki ancestors.
Louis Annance's Abanaki Genealogy:
    Family tree, photos, and Abenaki genealogy resources.
The Abenaki Paper Trail:
    Compendium of documents about Odanak/St-Francis Abenaki ancestors.
Ancestry: Abenakis * Abanaki Surname Queries * NA-Abenaki List:
    Messageboards and discussion lists for Abanaki and New England Indian descendents.
Wolinak Abenaki Surnames: * St. Francois Abenaki Surnames:
    Canadian census records of Abenaki family names from 1911.
    Genealogy of an Abenaki Indian family.
Native American Genealogy:
    Direction for those seeking Abenaki and other American Indian ancestors.

Additional Resources, Links and References

  Abenaki Documents:
  Texts about the Abenaki tribe.
  Wikipedia: Western Abenaki * Britannica: Abenaki: * Abnaki Indians:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Abenaki Indians.
  Abénaquis ou Abénakis * Abenaquis * Abénaquis * Les Abénaquis * Los Abenaki:
  Information on the Abenakis in French and Spanish.
  Abenaki Resources * Abanaki History * Abenaki Indians * Abenakis * Abenakis:
  Abanaki links.

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