American Indian languages * American Indian cultures * Find Native American ancestors in your family tree

Chief Gray Lock

The English name "Chief Gray Lock" may have actually been referring to two different Abenaki leaders. The first Gray Lock, although a chief of the Missisquoi Abenakis in Vermont, was said to have taken part in King Philip's War, which took place during the 1670's, and may have been a Wampanoag refugee who later became a leader of the Abenakis. His name was given as "Wabantep" in one source, which resembles the words for "white head" in both the Abenaki and Wampanoag languages. Later, in the 1720's, a Missisquoi war leader also known as Gray Lock fought a series of successful battles against Massachusetts colonists. This warrior's personal name was given as Wawenorrawot or Wawanolewat, which resemble Abenaki words meaning "fools the enemy." It is possible that these descriptions referred to the same chief under two different names, since Algonquian men, especially warriors, frequently adopted new names as they accomplished new deeds. However, it seems unlikely that an already gray-haired leader in the 1670's would still be actively leading war parties 50 years later. More likely the second chief was the son or even grandson of the first one, and the appellation "Gray Lock" was given to him by the English in approximation of an English-style last name, since it had been his father's name.

Sponsored Links

Gray Lock Resources

Here are links related to Chief Gray Lock:
 Graylock, Great Chief of the Abenaki
 Gray Lock's War
 The Legend of Chief Gray Lock
 Gray-Lock Biography
 Wikipedia: Gray Lock

Here are links related to the Missisquoi/Abenaki tribes:
 Written Abenaki language
 Wampanoag language
 Missisquoi tribe
 Gray Lock and the Abenakis
 Wampanoag tribe
 Abenaki legends
 Woodland cultures
 Algonquian or Algonquin

Further Reading

Here are a few good books about the Abenakis:
 The Western Abenakis of Vermont
 The Original Vermonters
 The Language of Basket Making

Back to our Native American Indian dictionary

Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?

Native Languages of the Americas website 1998-2015 * Contacts and FAQ page