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Chief Graylock

The English name "Chief Graylock" may have actually been referring to two different Abenaki leaders. The first Graylock, 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 Graylock 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 "Graylock" was given to him by the English in approximation of an English-style last name, since it had been his father's name.

Here are links to our webpages about the Abenaki and Wampanoag tribes and their languages:


 Abenaki tribe language
 Wampanoag language
 Graylock and the Abenakis
 Abenaki chief
 Wampanoag Indians
 Abenaki legends
 Northeast Woodlands cultures
 Algonquian names



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