For as Long as Anyone Knows, the Wampanoag Have Connected to Their History Through the Fruit and the Bogs Where It Grows
Many know the place I live, an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, as Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation spot for celebrities including Presidents Clinton and Obama. But those of us in the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe know it as Noepe, our home for at least 13,000 years. Though the whole island used to be our traditional homelands, today, our homelands form the westernmost part of the island, centered on the Town of Aquinnah and including many cranberry bogs. It’s there—on the beach, near the bogs—that we celebrate, every second Tuesday of October, Cranberry Day.
On Cranberry Day, we gather to eat, drink, and celebrate together. It’s a day for remembering and maintaining a way of life. The Aquinnah Wampanoag is a small tribe, ...