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The Original People and The Bark Kettle: Native American Tribes of Greenburgh
By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber
In the past, we wrote an article analyzing the town seal which contains all of the following pictures: A black kettle, three crossed sticks which resemble a tepee, rope tying the kettle to the sticks, and a roaring fire directly below the kettle. This article was entitled, A Thousand Words Which You Never Knew: The Forgotten Story of the Greenburgh Town Seal.
As mentioned in that article, one Native American tribe in Greenburgh was the Weekquaeskeek. They were part of the Great Mohegan Nation and therefore spoke the Algonquin Language (https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/28/realestate/if-you-re-thinking-of-living-in-hartsdale.html). They were great hunters and fishermen who also knew how to grow beans and corn. Therefore, they ate a balanced diet consisting of: bread, venison, oysters, sieva beans, and corn (Greenburgh Bicentennial Commission, 1998, p. 1). They used tree bark to make special water-tight kettles (Greenburgh Bicentennial Commission, 1998, p.1). In their native Algonquin language, the name “Weekquaeskeek” means "place of the bark kettle” (https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/28/realestate/if-you-re-thinking-of-living-in-hartsdale.html).
Although they are not reflected in the Town Seal, another tribe present in Greenburgh was the Lenape, also called Lenni - Lenape (https://hastingshistoricalsociety.org/village-history/). Like the Weekquaeskeek, the Lenape also spoke the Algonquin Language, and also like the Weekquaeskeek they ate: corn, beans, and venison, however in addition to these things, they also ate sunflower seeds and squash. Their name means “original people” in Algonquin(MICROSOFT ENCARTA, 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation). These tribes were not the only tribes present in New York State the: Mohawk, Seneca, and Oneida, also lived in New York, but not in Greenburgh. It is also important to note that these other tribes were not members of the Algonquin Nation, but instead part of the Iroquois Confederacy, enemies of the Algonquin Nation.
But how did all these tribes interact with one another? Was there conflict between the Lenape and the Weekquaeskeek? The authors aren’t sure, but think this is unlikely. It is unlikely because the Algonquin Nation was a significant threat to the Iroquois Confederacy. In addition to the Mohawk, Seneca, and Oneida, the Iroquois Confederacy also included the Cayouga, and the Onondaga. While we aren’t sure if these last two tribes lived in New York or not, we doubt the Algonquin Nation as a whole could have kept up such a resistance to the Iroquois Confederacy if their member tribes such as the Weekquaeskeek Tribe and the Lenape Tribe were fighting amongst themselves. Was there conflict between the Weekquaeskeek and one of the Iroquois Confederacy member tribes? Again, the authors are unsure. Was there conflict between the Lenape and one of the Iroquois Confederacy member tribes? Definitely!!!! The Seneca fought with the Lenape a lot, but was Greenburgh the place where this fighting occurred? We don’t know.
Any help residents could provide us in answering these questions would be greatly appreciated Please send any answers you have to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Slices of History include:
About the Authors:
We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.
I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94. It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at email@example.com, or to help me find employment, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at email@example.com. To learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Interviews with the authors:
Greenburgh Bicentennial Commission. (1998). Greenburgh: A Glimpse of Our Past. Greenburgh, New York: Greenburgh Bicentennial Commission.
Hastings Historical Society. (2018, (NOT GIVEN) (NOT GIVEN)). VILLAGE HISTORY. Retrieved from Hastingshistoricalsociety.org: https://hastingshistoricalsociety.org/village-history/
Vizard, M. M. (1991, April 28). If You're Thinking of Living in Hartsdale. New York Times, p. 10010007.
Waldman, C. in Microsoft Encarta. (1993-2003, (Not Given) (Not Given)). Encarta Encyclopedia. Redmond, Washington, United States of America