Language: The language of the Quiripi tribes of Western Connecticut and southern Long Island has been extinct for more than two centuries.
The language was certainly Algonkian and seems to have been closely related
to the Mohican dialects.
We have only
four recorded samples of the language remaining. Because those samples are small and erratically spelled, it is difficult to tell whether the languages
of the Quinnipiac, Wampano, Unquachog, and Naugatuck tribes were identical to each other, related but distinct languages, or dialects of a single language.
Most linguists believe they were dialects of a single language, which they refer to as Wampano, Quiripi-Naugatuck-Unquachog, or just Quiripi.
People: The Native American tribes of Connecticut--the Mohican
and Mohegan tribes, the Nipmuc,
and the Quiripi-speaking tribes like the Quinnipiack, Wampano, Unkechaug, Naugatuck, Mattabesic, Schaghticoke, and Paugussett--were devastated by smallpox and other European diseases.
Some Wampano villages suffered more than 90% casualties. Like other Native Americans of New England, the survivors merged together, and many original tribal
distinctions were lost. This has caused trouble for their descendents who are trying to seek tribal recognition today; though Schaghticoke, Unkechuag, and
Paugusset tribes still exist today, and though no one doubts their Native New England ancestry, they cannot prove a continuous cultural tradition to the federal
government because the different bands merged together so much after their heavy population losses.