Mar 15, 2009

First Nations' name for Sears Island goes from bright to dark.

Just as the European colonists and their descendants have given the island at the top of Penobscot Bay a variety of names, so to have the aboriginal peoples of the Penobscot Bay Area and their descendants named and renamed the island. Penobscots, Passamaquoddies and members of other First Nations visited, lived and loved on Sears Island for the ten millenia they lived here in what we call the Midcoast Maine region - before the European occupation.

Going back in time, Sears Island was Brigadier's Island, was Wasumkeag, was Wasa-umkeag, was Awassawamkeak.

Wasumkeag (variant Wassumkeag) has been translated by some as ‘bright sand beach island’ or "Island of the shining shore."

However, an official of the Penobscot Indian Nation recently notified Maine's Natural Areas Program that the Island's name Wasumkeag , in present Penobscot Indian language, now means "Darkly covered island".

Referenced in Maine Natural Areas Program Sears Island report of 2007 (pdf) HTML version

No comments: