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Sagamore (title)

 

Sagamore (title)

This article is about the Algonquin paramount chief. For other uses, see Sachem (disambiguation).

A sachem or sagamore is a paramount chief among the Algonquians or other northeast American tribes. The two words are anglicizations of cognate terms (c.1622) from different Eastern Algonquian languages. Some sources contend the sagamore was a lesser chief than the sachem.[1][2][3][4]

Etymology

One source explains:

According to Captain John Smith, who explored New England in 1614, the Massachusett tribes called their kings "sachems" while the Penobscots (of present-day Maine) used the term "sagamos" (anglicized as "sagamore"). Conversely, Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley of Roxbury wrote in 1631 that the kings in the bay area were called sagamores, but were called sachems southward (in Plymouth). The two terms apparently came from the same root. Although "sagamore" has sometimes been defined by colonists and historians as a subordinate lord (or subordinate chief[5]), modern opinion is that "sachem" and "sagamore" are dialectical variations of the same word.[6]

Cognate words

Family Language Word Notes
Eastern Algonquian Proto-Eastern Algonquian *sākimāw Reconstructed original
Lenape sakima derived from earlier form sakimaw[7]
Narragansett sâchim anglicized as sachem[8]
Eastern Abnaki sakəma anglicized as sagamore[8]
Malecite-Passamaquoddy sakom [9]
Western Abnaki sôgmô [10]
Central Algonquian Proto-Central Algonquian *hākimāw Reconstructed original
Anishinaabe ogimaa [11]
Algonquin ogimà [12]
Ottawa gimaa [13]
Potawatomi wgema anglicised as Ogema
Northern East Cree uchimaa [14]
Southern East Cree uchimaa [15]
Naskapi iiyuuchimaaw [16]

Chiefs

The "great chief" (Southern New England Algonquian: massasoit sachem) whose aid was such a boon to the Plymouth Colony is remembered today as simply Massasoit.[17] Another sachem, Mahomet Weyonomon of the Mohegan tribe, travelled to London in 1735, to petition king George II for fairer treatment of his people. He complained that their lands were becoming overrun by English settlers. Other sachem included Uncas, Wonalancet, Madockawando, and Samoset.

In popular culture

References

External links

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