The Narragansett are a Native American tribe of the Algonkian linguistic group and the Eastern Woodlands culture area. In the 17th century they occupied the western shores of Narragansett Bay and were the most populous and powerful of the tribes in New England. Counted with the neighboring Niantics, the population was approximately 7,000 at the time of the arrival of the whites.
Relations with the early settlers were generally friendly in the early years. In 1636 Chief Canonicus sold land to Roger Williams, who managed to persuade the tribe to fight with the colonists in the Pequot War (1637). However, in 1675 the Narragansett settlement near Kingston, Rhode Island, was decimated in a battle known as the Great Swamp Fight (part of King Philip's War). Narragansett numbers and influence were severely reduced.
Narragansett men took responsibility for hunting, fishing and fighting, while the women bore and tended the children, planted and harvested the crops, prepared the food and transported village possessions during seasonal migrations.
See Indian Wars Time Table .
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The Narragansett Indian Tribe
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