Penobscots

by Alexandra

Penobscots are a tribe of North American Indians who live in the middle of the Penobscot River on an island in Maine. It is the longest river that travels through Maine. The Penobscots named the river after them. The Penobscots used to live along the banks of the river.

By the time Columbus arrived, the earliest Penobscots migrated across the country into Maine. The tribe had been moving for thousands of years following the animals they hunted.

When the French settled on Penobscot land and made friends with the Penobscots, the Jesuit priests taught them about the Catholic faith. They believed in a culture hero Gluskabi, the trickster figure raccoon, the seven Thunders, dreaded flying creatures, and most important a spirit power named Manitou.

The Penobscots celebrate a good harvest called the Green Corn Dance, marriages, funerals, and visitors. The Tomahawk was a weapon that had scared decorations on it to give it special power from the spirit world. The calumet is a peace pipe that was smoked by the men to symbolize friendship.

The chief of the tribe inherited his position from his father or male relatives. Boys and girls were taught to make snares, set traps, and shoot bows and arrows. The children also helped catch food in the river. The women prepared the food, made the clothes and they made woven baskets to carry food in. The men caught fish and hunted animals, especially the Bull Moose.

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