Language: Abnaki-Penobscot is an Algonquian language still spoken in Canada by a few Western Abenaki elders. Eastern Abenaki or Penobscot was another dialect of the same language once spoken in Maine, where the Penobscot people today are working to revive its use. The Abenakis call their language Alnombak or Aln8bak (8 is an old Jesuit symbol for a nasalized, unrounded 'o'.)
People: The Abenaki tribe, together with the Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Mi'kmaq, and Penobscot Indians, were members of the old Wabanaki Confederacy, adversaries of the Iroquois. These allies from the eastern seaboard spoke related languages, and Abenaki and Wabanaki have the same Algonquian root, meaning "people from the east." Today there are 2000 Abenakis living on two reserves in Quebec, and another 10,000 Abenaki descendants scattered throughout New England. Only the Canadian Abenaki tribe is officially recognized, but there are at least three Abenaki bands in the United States: the Sokoki and Mazipskwik Abenakis of Vermont and the Cowasucks of Massachusetts.
History: Modern Abenaki history has been a fugue of attrition and regrouping. Up to 75% of Native Americans in New England were killed by European diseases in the 1500's and early 1600's. Dozens of distinct tribes originally lived in this area, but after each disaster the survivors of neighboring villages merged together, and their identities became blurry even in Indian oral history. Since the Abenaki people tended to retreat into Canada to avoid attacks, the British considered them Canadian Indians, but in fact the Abenakis were original natives of New England--and though their strategy of merging after heavy losses and hiding their existence from more powerful neighbors has hampered the Abenaki tribe's quest for federal recognition, it has also ensured their survival as a people. .
We rest Abenaki to share caption from antiquity:
Today is: 4th June (GMT), in history on the 4th of June, 1905 AD the following death happened:
Carl Albert Loeschhorn: Composer, dies at 85