Massachusetts means “by the range of hills”
The Indian tribes that originated in Massachusetts were the Wampanoag, Mohegan, and Mohican. The Wampanoag’s inhabited most of eastern Massachusetts and the islands. The Mohegan inhabited the middle and the Mohicans inhabited all of western Massachusetts.
The Wampanoags lived in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was the Wampanoag Indians who met the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and brought them all of the food for the first “Thanksgiving”. Early American settlers did not treat the original Indians well, which led to attacks on them by the British as well as disease brought over by European settlers that the Indians were not familiar with. Disease and attacks on the Indians by the British led to their ultimate downfall. The surviving Wampanoags still live in New England today.
There is a Wampanoag reservation on Martha’s Vineyard with about 300 members still living there, most ended up moving to other parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
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