Trade & Communication

For thousands of years the Wampanoag and their neighbors, such as the Nipmuc, Massachusetts, and Narragansett Tribes, were interrelated through dynamic and complex economies, politics, and social interactions. Indigenous communities used long-distance trade networks over water and land routes to exchange goods, news, and information. They also interacted due to warfare or conflict, alliance, and intermarriage, among other reasons. This selection of artifacts speaks to the larger regional society and broader world the Wampanoag and their neighbors inhabited for millennia. When Europeans started coming to the Northeast in the 1500s, they entered this complex political landscape, but also influenced it with their own conflicts, alliances, and trade. When colonists arrived in 1620, the Wampanoag and other Indigenous populations had been recently decimated by a European-introduced plague, with mortality rates estimated as high as 90%. The Pilgrims also influenced trade and communication by establishing themselves permanently in Wampanoag homelands.


  • Fish Hook

    Fish Hook

    Large iron fishhook (ca.1650-1700) with a barbed, hooked end Click to Learn More→
  • Pendant


    Round copper alloy pendant made from sheet cut from a kettle with a hole punched near the edge. Click to Learn More→
  • Susquehanna Broad Point

    Susquehanna Broad Point

    Susquehanna Broad point (3,700 - 2,700 B.P.) with straight sides and a flat base and a broken tip and shoulder; Made of a heavily patinated flint. Click to Learn More→
  • Celt


    Small, flaked rectangular celt with a polished working edge and a red band running through the stone. Click to Learn More→
  • Gorget


    Half of a broken, oval-shaped, banded slate gorget with one hole drilled into it. If complete, there would be a second hole so that the two ends of a cord could be strung through each. Click to Learn More→