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Native Languages of the Americas:
Abenaki (Abanaki, Abenakis, Alnôbak)

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'.)



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. 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 are scattered throughout New England. Only the Canadian Abenaki tribe is officially recognized, but there are at least three Abenaki bands in the United States: the Sokoki and Mazipskwik Abenakis of Vermont and the Cowasucks of Massachusetts.

Names: Alternate spellings of "Abenaki" include Abnaki , Abénaki, Abenaqui, and Abanaki. There were three important subdivisions of the Abenaki tribe: the Sokoki (or Sokokis), the Cowasuck (Cowass 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/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.
Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation: * Elnu Abenaki Tribe:
    Homepages of the two state-recognized Vermont Abenaki bands.
Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi:
    Website of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Vermont Abenakis.
Koasek (Cowasuck) Abenaki:
    Cowasuck Abenaki band of Vermont.
Traditional Abenaki of Mazipskwik and Related Bands:
    More Vermont Indian bands.
Cowasuck Band of Pennacook-Abenakis:
    Massachusetts Abenaki tribe.
Ne-Do-Ba:
    Maine organization promoting Abenaki culture.
Olidahozi:
    Abenaki messageboards and online communities.
Norm Léveillée * BlueWolf:
    Personal homepages of individual Abenaki Indians.

Books for sale on the Abenaki

Western Abenaki Dictionary:
    Gordon Day's English-Abenaki dictionary.
Voice of the Dawn:
    Abenaki American Indian history by tribal archaeologist Fred Wiseman.
Abenaki Indian Legends, Grammar and Place Names:
    Traditional Abenaki stories with English translations and notes.
Keepers of the Animals * Dog People * The Winter People
    Arrow Over The Door * The Heart of a Chief * Abenaki Children's Literature:
    Children's books by Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac.
Aunt Sarah: Woman of the Dawnland:
    Biography of an Abanaki Indian elder.
Dirt Road Home * Muskrat Will Be Swimming:
    Poems and a novel by Abanaki writer Cheryl Savageau.
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.
Twelve Thousand Years:
    Reference book on the American Indians of Maine.
Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume:
    Photo-essay on Wabanaki textile arts from the Maine State Museum.
Keepers of Life * Echoes of the Night: * Gluskabe Stories:
    Audio recordings of Abenaki storytellers.
Native American Abenakis:
    Books, videos and tapes about the Abenaki Indians.
American Indian Books:
    Evolving list of books about Abenakis and Native Americans in general.

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.
Native Americans of New England:
    Map of Abanaki Indian territory in early New England.
Maine Abenaki Culture:
    Historical maps for the Abenaki Indians of Maine.
Abanaki Maps:
    Hypothesized movements of the Abanakis and neighboring American Indians.
Virtual Museum of New France: Northern Algonquians:
    Historical maps and articles about the Abenaki, Chippewa, Algonquin, and other northeastern tribes.
Saint Francis:
    Information about traditional Abenaki towns.

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.
Algonquians of the Eastern Woodlands:
    Ethnography of the Abenaki Indian Nation and other Eastern Canadian tribes.
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.
Abenaki Corn Soup Recipe * Nas8b8n (Three Sisters Soup) * Abenaki Pudding: * Gagnooz:
    Traditional Abenaki recipes.
The Abenaki Today:
    Abenaki Indians in the modern era.
Flag of the Saint Francis-Sokoki Abenakis * Odanak Abenaki Nation Flag * Mississquoi Abenaki License Plate:
    Abenaki flags and license plates.

Abenaki Artifacts and Cultural Objects

Abenaki Museum Exhibit * Abenakis Museum: * Musée des Abénakis:
    Pictures and descriptions from the tribal museum at Odanak.
Abenaki Pictures * Abenaki Artifacts * Abenaki Picture Book:
    Photographs of Abenaki Indians and their cultural objects (tools, arrowheads, a cradleboard, and a tomahawk.)
Abenaki Clothing * Abnaki Indian Costume * Indian Clothing * Leggings * Abenaki Moccasins:
    Moccasins * 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

Gluskabe Stories and other Abenaki Legends:
    Collection of individual Abenaki Indian legends and folktales.
Klooskomba (Glooscap) and Western Abanaki Myth:
    Ancient Abanaki gods, symbols, and myths.
Native American Spirituality:
    Advice for researching Abenaki religion and American Indian spirituality in general.

Abenaki Literature and Arts

Joseph Bruchac * Abenakis: Joseph Bruchac * Canticle * Sweat Lodge * Books by Joseph Bruchac:
    Abenaki writer/musician Joseph Bruchac.
Cheryl Savageau * Cheryl Savageau * Books by Cheryl Savageau:
    Abenaki poet Cheryl Savageau.
Obomsawin at Sundance * Alanis Obomsawin * Alanis Obomsawin:
    Canadian Abenaki filmmaker/director Alanis Obomsawin.
Betsey (Guppy) Chamberlain * The Life and Writings of Betsey Chamberlain:
    19th century Abanaki Indian author Betsey Chamberlain.
Native American Authors: Abenaki Tribe:
    Six Abenaki writers' lives and work.
Keepers of the Night * Echoes of the Night: * Gluskabi Stories:
    Audio recordings of Abenaki storytellers.
Supernatural Stories of the Abenaki * Tsonakwa's Masks:
    Abenaki artists Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa and Yalaikia Wapitaska.
Abenaki Artworks * Abenaki Art Works:
    Glasswork by Abenaki artist Carmen Hathaway.
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.
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.
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

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.
Abenakis Culture and History:
    Historical documents about the Abenaki Indians.
The Abenaki Indians and their Treaties:
    Online text of two historical Abenaki treaties, with names and vocabulary.
Tarrateen War:
    17th-century Abnaki war.
Maritimes Treaties:
    18th-century English treaties with the Penobscot, Micmac, and Abenaki Indians.
Abnaki Indians, Jesuits & Pilgrims:
    Father Druilettes, Father Rale, and the history of Catholicism among the Abanaki Indians.
Abenaki Indian Chief Grey Lock * Father Rasle's War * Chief Graylock * Dummer's War:
    18th-century Abanaki chief Greylock 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.
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 Obituary:
    Biographies of late Abenaki chief Homer St. Francis.

Abenaki Genealogy

Abanaki Genealogy Help:
    Databases of families and tips for finding Abanaki ancestors.
Ancestor Search:
    Online lookup of Abenaki and other Indian records through the Archives genealogy service.
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.
Léveillée-Blanger:
    Genealogy of an Abenaki Indian family.
Native American Genealogy:
    Direction for those seeking Abenaki and other American Indian ancestors.

Links, References, and Additional Information

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



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