Imagine it is the year 1500 in what we now call New Hampshire. This land is populated by the Abenaki, who are Native Americans who lived for thousands of years in this region.
What would you see if you encountered an Abenaki village during this time? You would see wigwams where Abenaki families sleep, fish drying on racks for eating later, kids playing games like lacrosse, and adults tending to crops or working on crafts like making baskets or building canoes. How did the Abenaki use the natural world around them to create the things they needed? How did they build their houses? How did they make clothing? What tools did they use to hunt and fish? How did they survive New Hampshire’s harsh winters?
Although the Abenaki’s history in New Hampshire spans thousands of years, this unit focuses on the period of time starting about 3,000 years ago and going up to the year 1600. During these years, which is called the Woodland period of New Hampshire history, Abenaki tribes spread throughout the area. They built complex societies, developed rich cultural traditions, and adapted to the changing environment in New Hampshire.