Naturalist’s Corner – Wampanoag Language!

Naturalist’s Corner – Wampanoag Language!

Posted November 13, 2019

Written by Kyla Isakson

We have incorporated terms used by Wampanoag people into our current language. “Wampanoag” is defined as “People of the Dawn,” which alludes to how living on the eastern coast made them the first people to see the sun rise every morning. Wareham’s native name is “Nepinnae Kekit”, which translates to “summer home.” Historically, Wampanoag people lived in this area during the summer months to fish and have access to waterways, and it remains a part of Wareham culture, as it is used on the town seal along with an image of a Wampanoag canoe. Massachusetts translates to “place of the big hill,” specifically the Blue Hills south of Boston.

Some rivers in the Wareham area bear names with historical Native American significance. “Weweantic” means “crooked” or “wandering stream,” referring to how the Weweantic River twists and winds through the land. The Agawam River, meaning “land beneath water,” is named after the Agawam people of the area, and it refers to the marshes and various waterways in the area. Take some time to reflect on your relationship to these terms, and find time to appreciate these natural landmarks. The Wampanoag people were the original stewards of the land, and they continue to be active in conservation efforts today.

For more information on the Wampanoag people, visit

To learn more about Wareham Land Trust properties that border these waterways, visit our website

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