Vermont Folklife Center

Abenaki of Vermont

Myths and Misconceptions about the Abenaki of Vermont
Abenaki people in Vermont have often been misunderstood and stereotyped. This page explores some common misconceptions and offers guidelines for better understanding.

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Linguistic Notes and Ethnographic Terms for Abenakis
The Abenaki of New England, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces represent a diverse group of people connected by related culture and history. This also explains the origins and use of such terms as “Indian” and “Native American.”

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Measuring Seasons and Counting Moons in Abenaki

Abenaki Indian people have long measured the year by natural cycles – 13 full moons and 4 seasons – instead of 12 months. The names for these reveal the importance of seasonal natural resources and community activities.

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Abenaki Artisans and Craftwork
Abenaki people have long crafted useful and beautiful artwork and practical items out of wood, stone, bone, and other natural resources. The Vermont Folklife Center offers some examples of contemporary Abenaki craftwork, birchbark makuks, for sale.

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Abenaki Publications by the Vermont Folklife Center
The Abenaki of Vermont: A Living Culture. Greg Sharrow, ed.
This Teachers’ Guide comes with a video or DVD, suitable for elementary, middle, or high school. Topics include hidden histories, ethnobotany, children’s books, etc.

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Visitin’: Conversations with Vermonters
. Meg Ostrum. ed.
Volume VII, November 2001 of this annual publication features the article “North American Passage: The 19th Century Odyssey of an Abenaki Family” by Mali Keating.

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Malian’s Song
. Marge Bruchac.
The Abenaki oral tradition of Robert Rogers’ 1759 attack on the Abenaki village of St. Francis/Odanak, in picture book form. Based on interviews with Jeanne Brink, a descendant of Malian Obomsawin, a 7-year old girl who lived through the raid. (See more resources below.)

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The Abenaki History Behind Malian’s Song

Abenaki Language: Glossary and Pronunciation Guide
The book, Malian’s Song, includes several words in the Abenaki language. This glossary is a guide to the pronunciation and meaning of these and other relevant Abenaki words. It includes a bibliography of sources for the written Abenaki language.

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Errata Sheet for Malian’s Song
The first printed version of Malian’s Song contains a few printer’s errors. This is a list of corrections.

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“Rogers’ Raid in Indian Tradition”
In 1962, ethnologist Gordon Day published his analysis of Elvine Obomsawin Royce’s account of Rogers’ Rangers’ attack on the village of St. Francis in the journal Historical New Hampshire. Here is the full text of that article.

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Other Abenaki Oral Traditions of Rogers’ Raid
A number of other Abenaki individuals and families also preserved oral traditions about Rogers' Raid. The account of Theophile Panadis, which corroborates and expands on
Elvine Obomsawin's account, is transcribed here.

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Reading Abenaki Traditions and European Records of Rogers' Raid
This is a longer and more detailed version of the historical essay included in the book, Malian’s Song. It includes excerpts from a number of primary sources, including Robert Rogers’ journals and French accounts of the raid, and an annotated bibliography for suggested further reading.

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