Wampanoag/Marriage

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  • |Wuskéne.| `A young man.'
  • |Keegsquaw.| `A Virgin or Maid.'
  • |Segaúo.| `A Widower.'
  • |Segoúsquaw.| `A Widow.'
  • |Wussénetam.| `He goes a wooing.'
  • |Nosénemuck.| `He is my son in Law.'
  • |Wussenetúock,| `They make a match.'
  • |Mammaúsu.| `An adulterer.'
  • |Nummam mógwunewò.|- `He hath wronged my bed.'
  • |Pallè nochisquaúaw.| `He or She hath committed adultery.'
  • |Nquittócaw.| `He hath one Wife.'
  • |Neesócaw.| `He hath two Wives.'
  • |Sshócowaw.| `He hath three.'
  • |Yócowaw.| `Foure Wives,' &c.
  • Commìttamus, Cowéewo. (Your Wife.)
  • |Tahanawatu? ta shincommaugemus. `How much gave you for her?'
  • |Napannetashompaúgatash `Five fathome of their Money.'
  • |Qutta, énada shoasúck ta shompaúgatash.|-- `Six, or seven, or eight Fathome.'
  • If some great mans Daughter |Piuckquompaúgatash,|- `ten fathome.'
  • |Nummìttamus, Nullógana (My Wife).'
  • |Waumaúsu.| `Loving.'
  • |Wunnêkesu.| `Proper.'
  • |Maânsu.| `Sober and chaste.'
  • |Muchickéhea.| `Fruiful.'
  • |Cutchashekeâmis? (How many children have you had?)
  • |Nquittékea.| `I have had one.'
  • |Neesékea.| `Two, &c.'
  • |Katoú eneéchaw.| `She is beginning labour'
  • |Néechaw.| `She is in labour.'
  • |Paugcótche nechaúwaw.|- `She is already delivered.'
  • |Kitummâyi-mes-néchaw.|- `She was just now delivered.'
  • |Noosâwwaw.| `A Nurse.'
  • |Noònsu Nonánnis.| `A sucking Child:'
  • |Wunnunògan.| `A Breast.'
  • |Wunnunnóganash.| `Breasts.'
  • |Munnúnnug.| `Milk.'
  • |Aumáúnemun.| `To wean.'
  • |Npakétam.| `I will put her away.'
  • |Npakénaqun.| `I am put away.'
  • |Aquiepakétash.| `Doe not put away.'
  • |Aquiepokesháttous, Awetawátuonck.| `Doe not break the knot of Marriage.'
  • |Tackquiu~wock.| `Twins.'
  • |Towiû ûwock.| `Orphans.'
  • |Ntouwiu.| `I am an Orphane.'
  • |Wáuchaunat.| `A Guardian.'
  • |Wauchaúamachick.| `Guardians.'
  • |Nullóquaso.| `My charge or Pupill, or Ward.'
  • |Peewauqun.| `Looke well to him &c.'

Cultural Observations: The Wampanoag didn't consider sex before marriage to be a sin, but after marriage (which they solemnize by consent of Parents and public approbation publiquely) then they count it heinous fer either of them to be false. In this case the wronged party may put away or keep the party offending: commonly, if the Woman be false, the offended Husband will be solemnely revenged upon the offendor, before many witnesses, by many blowes and wounds, and if it be to Death, yet the guilty resists not, nor is his Death revenged.

They could take more than one wife, yet the chief Nation in the Country, the Narrigansets (generally) have but one Wife.

Two causes they generally given for their many Wives.

First desire of Riches, because the Women bring in all the increase of the Field, &c. the Husband onely fisheth, hunteth, &c.

Secondly, their long sequestering themselves from their wives after conception, untill the child be weaned, which with some is long after a yeare old, generally they keep their children long at the breast:

Generally the Husband gives these payments for a Dowrie, to the Father or Mother, or guardian of the Maid. To this purpose if the man be poore, his Friends and neighbours "pummenúmmin teàuguash", that is contribute Money toward the Dowrie.

They commonly abound with Children, and increase mightily; except the plauge fall amongst them or other lesser sicknesses, and then having no meanes of recovery, they perish wonderfully.

It hath pleased God in wonderfull manner to moderate that curse of the sorrowes of Child-bearing to these poore Indian Women: So that ordinarìly they have a wonderfull more speedy and easie Travell, and delivery then the Women of {Europe}: not that I thinke God is more gracious to them above other Women, but that it followes, First from the hardnesse of their constitution, in which respect they beare their sorrowes the easier.

Secondly from their extraordinary great labour (even above the labour of men) as in the Field, they sustaine the labour of it, in carrying of mighty Burthens, in digging clams and getting other Shelfish from the Sea, in beating all their corn in Morters: &c. Most of them count it a shame for a Woman in Travel to make complaint, and many of them are scarcely heard to groan.

Divorce was common, even for reasons besides adultery, though Roger Williams knew couples that had been together thirty or forty years.