Published on September 7, 2010 by John
Massachusetts was originally inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian linguistic family such as the Wampanoag, Nauset, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mahican, and Massachuset. While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were generally dependent on hunting, gathering and fishing for most of their food supply. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as long houses, and tribes were led by male elders known as sachems. Large numbers of the indigenous people of the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by waves of smallpox, measles and influenza in the early seventeenth century. In 1617â€“1619, smallpox reportedly killed 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans.
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