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Languages and Lore of the Long Island Indians, edition 2, Carl Masthay, linguistics editor, and Gaynell Stone, Ph.D., lore editor: Readings in Long Island Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Vol. IV, 2016, Suffolk County Archaeological Association, P.O. Drawer 1542, Stony Brook, NY 11790, ISBN: 978-1-5323-2090-3. Available from the SCAA for $30.00, plus required $2.60 sales tax for individuals and $5.00 shipping.
This new edition, 36 years after the first one in 1980, contains missing parts of manuscripts, and interpretations not known years ago. A new chapter by esteemed New England linguist Dr. Kathleen Bragdon focuses on the Long Island indigenous languages themselves rather than as an offshoot of the New England languages.
*Volume IV, Languages and Lore of the Long Island Indians, 1980, should be deaccessioned and be replaced with the vastly improved second edition of Volume IV, 2016, completely revised by two leading Algonquianists.
*All original linguistic records are now corrected and complete.
*The Lore section provides new images of the material culture record, belief systems, and Native art.
*There is a succession of early maps of Long Island showing Indian towns.
*Slate tablet from Dosoris Beach, Glen Cove, is now realized to be a map of North Shore Nassau County, also showing their food sources.
*The story of Cockenoe-de-Long Island, translator for Colonials and Natives.
*The story of Samson Occom, teacher and preacher for the Montaukett – only Native American to have his portrait painted.
What was it like back then when nothing was written down but shifting movements of peoples were complex over great lengths of time? Once-important populaces fade away under the onslaught of more aggressive advancing major foreign populaces upon indigenous and loosely scattered groupings of peoples throughout the world. The languages of the old inhabitants usually are ignored, and some curious or trades persons might take down useful words and their meanings before those old inhabitants die or slip away to safe places, and then a long series of changes occurs over the centuries, and the new inhabitants reflect on the customs and languages of the previous stratum they replaced. How did those old ones say things; how did they conduct their lives? Where is the evidence, now meager?
So scholars hunt and search and write papers on real facts and on conjectural possibilities based on documents hidden in libraries, personal papers, bits and fragments gleaned from books, and oral histories. Still it is a scattered, disparate mess needing collecting and synthesizing by a researcher who can organize and write up those ancient ways for the absorbed interest of the latter-day curious person. It takes a lot of grunt work to fish the data out.
There were three or more Algonquian (Algonkian) languages spoken on Long Island. The closest linguistic relatives of these were often across the Long Island Sound or across the East River. The Montauketts and some of the ancestors of the Unkechaugs, as well as presumably the Shinnecocks, spoke like the Mohegans and Pequots (of eastern Connecticut). Other ancestors of the Unkechaugs together with the Matinecocks and Massapequas to their west had a dialect or dialects that resembled that of the Quiripis of the New Haven area in Connecticut. And the people at the western tip (in Kings and Queens counties) spoke the Munsee language of Manhattan and the lower Hudson Valley.
More specifically, according to Ives Goddard, the two women from whom Thomas Jefferson obtained his “Unquachog" vocabulary reported that their “dialect differ[ed] a little from the Shinnecocks “& also from the Montauks, but the two women spoke two different dialects themselves, one with /r/ and one with /y/ (in “fire" for example). So that would be four divergent Southern New England Algonquian (SNEA) dialects or languages on Long Island or possibly three if Shinnecock and Montauk on the east end were essentially the same (which Jefferson’s wording also allows). The place and personal names show that the Matinecock-Massapequa toward the west end was an SNEA language, and this agrees with Ted J. Brasser’s map “Long Island Indian Tribes ca. 1620 (Map 3, p. 170), which was revised from his map in Indians of Long Island, 1600-1964 (1966). So, wielding Ockham’s Razor, we can identify r‑Unquachog (with its Munsee loanwords) as Matinecock-Massapequa (going with r‑Quiripi), leaving y‑Unquachog and Montauk (plus the undocumented Shinnecock if that was different) going with y‑Quiripi-Mohegan-Pequot-Niantic (naming only varieties for which we have useful data). Goddard leaves “going with as a fairly vague concept, and he doesn’t know if it would be possible to determine finer-grained linguistic matchups across Long Island Sound for the y‑languages. His earlier belief (in HNAI 15, 1978) that Matinecock-Massapequa might possibly be Munsee was based on the existence of Munsee forms of their names in the Dutch records, but we now know that this can be explained as simply due to the fact that the Dutch used Munsee-speaking (“Manhattan) interpreters, who gave Munsee names all the way to Montauk.
In 1980 the first edition of Languages and Lore of the Long Island Indians captured almost all the relevant documents for Long Island and the southern New England area just north of Long Island. Many of the documents were retrieved by Nancy Bonvillain, but a few years later I found many hundreds even thousands of misreadings, which I then passed over to Gaynell Stone in 1987 for a revised edition, not realizing that 36 years would pass before the desired second edition would appear. David Costa and I provided a far-better reading for Noyes’s 1690 Pequot list (XIII, pp. 61 to 64) initially in 2001 and then in 2012. Algonquian scholars and linguists require trusted documents to establish correct pathways for etymologies and cultural developments. With this second edition they now have a greatly improved handy comprehensive work.
There is only one document that is extraneous, the one concerning the Ozaws (pp. 167 to 169), which got collected by Styles and was puzzled over later as if a form of Mohegan. I transcribed and augmented it clearly with a map at the end of the language section of the book to prevent any divergent theories despite its no longer being equatable to any tribal name or language on earth.
The new volume contains early maps showing the “Native towns that had existed in the Colonial era as well as of Long Island as shown in a succession of maps through time. The most interesting new finding is that the indigenous people made maps, especially the one seen on a carved piece of slate found on Dosoris Beach, Glen Cove. It is now realized that it was a map of North Shore Nassau County, showing the coastline subsistence base—seals, ducks, eels, etc. on the bottom.
Throughout the volume there are also many illustrations of indigenous art as well as their stories. The stories of Cockenoe-de-Long Island, an early translator between the Natives and the Colonials, and Samson Occom, a teacher and preacher for the Montauks, are included.
We now have a dependable tool for further ethnic studies centered on the Long Island Sound area.
Carl Masthay /MASS-tay/, St. Louis, but originally from Southington, Connecticut
Ives Goddard, Senior Linguist, Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Error: Page 100, midpage footnote: Zeewombayon should be Zeewombayoh
Updating (for p. 234 but to fit in space on p. 235): Manhattan: We call that island Man-ă-hă-tonh, The place where timber is procured for bows [disregard: and arrows]. [Read: *Man-ă-hă-tan-ning]; Albert Anthony 1885 in Ives Goddard: New York History, Fall 2010, 277-293. In short: /manaháhtaan/ ‘place for gathering the wood to make bows’; /manahahtáanənk/ ‘at the place for gathering the wood to make bows’.
Last edited by sschkaak (Jul-22-2017 08:18:am)
For those interested, this book has four Delaware vocabularies, in addition to all the Eastern Long Island Indian language and lore. The four are a short word-list of Zeisberger; the Brotherton Reservation vocabulary of 1792; Heckewelder's list of names of trees and some other plants; and a comparative vocabulary, by Heckewelder, which includes Delaware words. The last three named are photocopies of the actual manuscripts. The first is a typescript.
Last edited by sschkaak (Jul-22-2017 08:20:am)
I had removed this post, for a few weeks, because a corrected edition of this book was being prepared. That has now been completed and it's back in print and ready for purchasing.