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Chief Sachem: a wooden hand carved statue purchased for the purpose of awarding, for display, to the winning team, of the regular season football game between Sachem North and East of the Sachem Central School District.

The Original Indian was stolen from the showcase at Sachem North on May 15 2010 at 1:20am. It has since been replaced by the Sachem North Td Club.



Taken from the Encyclopedia of North American Indians

Sachem facts:

The word sachem, of Algonquian origin, was used among some northeastern tribes to refer to their leaders. In contrast to chiefs, who were chosen for their skill in battle or oratory, sachems held hereditary, civil positions and ruled by consensus. Their responsibilities included the distribution of land, the dispensation of justice, the collection of tribute, the reception of guests, and sometimes the direction of war or the sponsoring of rituals. Only the rare sachem, such as Tispaquin, the "Black Sachem" of Assowampset, was also a shaman. Among the Narragansetts, sachems held sway over villages, which formed the basic political, territorial unit of the society. Villages were governed by a pair of patrilineally related older and younger sachems. Leaders among other northeastern tribes were sometimes also called sachems, but their authority was shared in a council, and some were appointed.

Most sachems were men, but many women are known to have been sachems as well. The most famous of the female sachems was the Narragansett sachem Quaiapen, also known as Magnus or Matantuck. In addition to establishing her own sachemdom after she was widowed in 1658, Quaiapen was the sister, wife, and mother of several other Narragansett sachems. Rumors among white colonists of her marriage in 1649 to the sachem Mixanno aroused fear of an Indian conspiracy. That fear took on a new form in 1675, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony went to war against the Wampanoag sachem Metacom, whom white called King Philip. In an attempt to limit Philip's resources, the Bay Colony called on the Narragansetts to swear neutrality. When the Narragansetts failed to turn over any Wampanoag refugees, they too came under attack. Quaiapen was killed on July 2, 1676, in a battle with Major John Talcott's troops in a swamp near Nipsachuck; killed with her or captured in that battle were 171 of her followers.

The last of the Narragansett sachems was George Sachem, who ruled in the early nineteenth century. In keeping with its preference for employing Indian words, the infamous New York City political machine Tammany Hall called its local leaders sachems. But after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Narragansetts took the title back when they reincorporated their tribe and restored the ancient office.

Did You Know?

There were 13 Indian Tribes on Long Island

When the Island was first settled by the whites it was inhabited by 13 tribes or groups of Indians. The Canarsee, Rockaway, Merrick, Marsapeague, Secatogue, and Unkechaug lived on the South Shore. On the north were the Matinecock, Nesaquake, Setalcott, and Corchaug. On the east end of the Island were the Shinnecock, Manhasset and the Montauks.
The Unkechaug tribe occupied the South Shore of Brookhaven town with headquarters in Mastic, and Tobaccus was the sachem of this tribe in 1664.
The North Shore of Brookhaven town was inhabited by the Setalcott tribe, which had headquarters at Setauket and was a very powerful group.
The Montauks, probably had been the most warlike tribe on the island and had reduced the other tribes or groups to some kind of subjection. Wyandanch, the sachem of the Montauks, was grand sachem of all the tribes on the island and his signature was required to the early Indian deeds in addition to that of the sachem of the local tribe when land was purchased by the white settlers.
In 1659 Wyandanch conveyed to Lyon Gardiner the territory comprising the town of Smithtown, then occupied by the Nesaquake Indians. This was done in gratitude to Gardiner for rescuing the daughter of Wyandanch from the Narragansett tribe who had captured her during an invasion of the Montauk tribe by the Narragansetts from across the sound.
Wyandanch seems to have been the friend of the white men always and it was no doubt this friendly relation which existed between him and the white settlers that made their relations with the Indians of Long Island so peaceful and harmonious. Wyandanch refused to enter into any conspiracy with the tribes from across the sound and always maintained a friendly attitude towards the white settlers. many a monument has been erected to those less worthy of memorial than Wyandanch, the white man's unwavering friend, whose grave lies unmarked in the solitude of Montauk.
The Indian names of Long Island are said to have been Sewanhacky, Wamponomon and paumanake. The first two are said to have come from the abundance of the quahog, or hard clam, the shell of which furnished wampum, which was first used as money in the settlements.
The Indians of the Island were tall and straight, musvular and agile, with straight hair and reddish brown complexion. Their language was the Algonquin, the highly descriptive tongue in which John Eliot wrote the Indian Bible, and was the language which greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth. It is doubtful if there is anyone now living who can speak this tongue, which was used freely in those early days.
At the time of the first white settlement on the Island the Indian poipulation was very large, as shown by the shell banks found at various places around the shores of the bays and coves. Their settlements were always near the shores on the north and south sides of the Island, as there they found most of their food, fish and clams, and their transportation was by canoe along the waters. The forests toward the middle of the Island were their hunting grounds for wild game and clearings were made where they planted Indian corn, placing a fish in each hill for fertilizer.
In 1653 the Narragansett Indians, under Ninigret, one of their chiefs, invaded the territory of the Montauks, and commenced a war which lasted for several years, and would have exterminated the whole Montauk tribe if they had not received help from the white settlers. They were compelled to abandon their villages and flee for refuge to East Hampton, where they were kindly received and protected.
The commissioners sent supplies and military supplies to the towns of East hampton and Southampton, and to the Indians. They also stationed an armed vessel in the sound under the command of Captain John Youngs, with orders to wreck Ninigret's canoes and destroy his forces if he attempted to land on the Island. This war seems to have continued until about 1657. It left the Montauks in a very much weakened condition.



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