Now COMPARE the above details to the Eugenic's Survey Information regarding the Phillips Family Descendants and the following article in the Chronicle Newspaper of March 1995:
The Chronicle Newspaper
May 01, 1995
Abenakis of Northern Vermont today
George "Peskunck" Larrabee
Adopted by Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr.
.....As an "Abenaki"
Perusers of this journal who were interested in reading about the nineteenth-century Abenaki physicial John Baptiste Masta in the November 09, 1994, Chronicle might be interested in learning about some present-day Wobanaki/ Sokoki (i.e. Abenaki) people of northern Vermont. It is for such readers that the following is written. Most of the photographs accompanying this article were taken by me, George Larrabee, a railroad-working adopted by Homer St. Francis Sr. member of the Wobanaki/ Sokoki Nation of Missisquoi (the Abenaki Nation in Vermont). I live in Plainfield with my wife, Phyllis. I am sometimes called by my nickname of "Peskunck" because of my replica collection of muzzle-loading flintlock guns, the aln8ba8dwa (Abenaki language) word for "gun" being paskigan. In my "spare" time I serve as a historical editor of the Stanwood, Washington-based Black Powder Times monthly and as a special features editor of the Texarkana, Texas-based Muzzleloader magazine. Some of the photos shown here were taken by me in the course of fulfilling my historico-journalistic efforts.
The group photo was taken during a family gathering at the home of Misi Kipiwi - or Big Forest, aka Terry LaFar - at Salem Heights in Derby. Terry LaFar is a direct descendant of Greylock - Grand Sachem Chief of all the Abenaki. Greylock was responsible for uniting all Abenaki and Algonquin tribes against the French and English in the late 1600's and early 1700's, the last confederacy to save his people and lands. He fought many battles in Canada, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Terry LaFar is also nephew to Grand Chief Homer St. Francis, also a direct descendant to Greylock.
The occasion for the gathering was during Benibagos, the "Moon of Falling Leaves," October 1994. Terry is holding up the flag that usually hangs from the front-yard flagpole, a version of the U.S. flag that has the figure of a Native American in tribal regalia added to it. On the left, in a red blanket , is LaFar's friend Wild Flower, aka Susan Phillips. In the middle is Susan's brother, Richard Philips or Black Horse, a former resident of Derby, who is a medicine man of the Wobanaki/ Sokoki Nation. The Philipses are direct descendants of (among various New England-area Algonquian ancestors) the famous Massasoit, friend of the "Pilgrim Fathers," and his son Metacomet or "King Philip," great sachem of the Wampanoag federation that was overwhelmed during the "King Philip War" of 1675-76. Mkasiasses - Black Horse - is a worker in Native crafts who specializes in making traditional soapstone - wadam8ganal - pipes. In the photo he is holding one of his King Philip-styled pipes...so called because it is fashioned after the pipe that was used by Metacomet in tribal councils, the original pipe having been larger with a much longer stem.
Susan's son Grey Wolf, or Mike Monteith of Newport, is following in his uncle Richard's footsteps in also handcrafting traditional Northeastern Woodland zoapsen - soapstone - pipes. Pisowaka Pskwasaw8n - Wild Flower - herself helps out with craft work, sometimes assisting Terry in making traditional pendant necklaces, porcupine quill "chokers," keepsake pouches and suchlike items. Big Forest engages in such work when he is between carpentering and masonry jobs. Handmade gourd sisial (rattles), decorated with traditional Wobanaki designs, are another item Terry and Susan display at powwows and similar events in northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The leather pendants that are hung from soem of the necklaces have wildlife likeness - such as a wolf's head, an owl, or even a spider - burnt into them.
I, Peskunck, also engage in craft work, such as examples of the
"Abenaki family gathering: In center is tribal medicine man Black Horse Phillips; on right, holding flag, is Terry "Big Forest" LaFar of Derby; right, kneeling, is Raymond "Running Bear" Brow of Montpelier; left, kneeling, is Mike 'Sun Bear" Bluteau of Swanton; and standing, left, is Black Horse's sister Wild Flower, Susan Phillips of Derby. All photos courtesy of the author, George "Peskunck" Larabee.
aforementioned kw8lwaskw sisial - gourd rattles. But one line of my artistic efforts is quite modern - or at least uses modern intstrument in capturing traditional subjects...that is my employment of a 35mm camera accourtered Wobanaki/ Sokoki (including myself, in some instances) are photographed against backgrounds of natural beauty in northern Vermont or adjacent areas. I market these, mouted in earth-colored mat-frames. Shown here is one such print, entitled "Abenaki Scout Over Lac du St. Sacrement," taken by Chad Alarie of Attleboro, Massachusetts, during Living History exercises at Lake George, New York, which included climbing to the top of 2,665-foot-high Black Mountain, which rises from the east side of the lake. The summit actually was used as a lookout point by scouts during the "French and Indian War" of 1754-60. I have my head shaved back to a scalp "roach" and am holding my kwena t8bi - long bow - with my otter-skin quiver of slate, flint, iron, and bone-pointed pakwal - arrows - on my back and a flintlock pistol tucked under my arm. My pose is as if pointing at an enemy (English) boat on the lake below. The year - 1758?
Another mountaintop photo is (Continued on page nine.)
The Chronicle Newspaper
March 01, 1995
Abenaki battle for sovereign rights
(Continued from page nine.)
being ardently sought. On its own the Nation has recently acquired partial title to a tract of land on the Connecticut River at Brunswick Springs, a sacred site called Nebizonbik - Medicine place - an effort spearheaded by tribal leaders Ed Verge of Island Pond and Dee Brightstar (a maker of porcupine quill earrings and other items) of Fairfax. More than half payment has been made on the site, full payment being delayed only by the fact that the S8koki remain the economically poorest ethnic group in Vermont. The site has also had to undergo a tribal cleanup after decades of the place (which includes a beautiful beaver pond) being used as a trash dump by local Awanoch and a tires-burning rendezvous by partying bikers.
Despite setbacks in the courts and the Legislature the Nation has been making gains through such tribal organizations as the Abenaki Self Help Association. The frequency with which W8banaki/ S8koki schoolchildren would drop out of school has declined in recent years. The Phillipses' nnamonimiz - nephew Running Bear is an example of this. Having dropped out of high school previously, Ray returned and won his diploma from Montpelier High in 1994.
W8banaki migahawinnoak - Abenaki warriors - have fought and died on the behalf of Vermont and the U.S. since the days of Kaptin Azo'i - Captain John's - Company of Abenaki Rangers in the Revolutionary War all the way up to the recent Gulf War. But this has not moved the Awanoch government of Vermont to restore any of the Abenaki people's ancient rights or freely returned an inch of land for a reservation or burial site...Through a bill appropriating monies for a Native American burial ground on the Missisquoi River is supposed to be introduced in the Legislature, its fate remains to be seen - if it ever becomes a bill at all. And even in proposing the bill, it is designated vaguely as a "Native American" site and not specifically as Abenaki, when it is an Abenaki burial ground that is the whole point.
Sportsmen's groups continue to oppose the restoration of hunting and fishing rights, crying "special privilege," apparently not appreciating that historically the S8kokiak were such careful stewards of the land that fish and game flourished here in untold abundance before the arrival of "The Strangers." It may be that real estate invesetors, who apparently send money to state legislators (for electoral campaign spending), fear that restoration of land would take a certain amount of real estate out of profitable speculative circulation.
Nonetheless the W8banaki/ S8koki people continue to lift themselves up, a recent case in point being the 1994 establishment of the Dawnland Center in downtown Montpelier (121 Barre Street), a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for Native Americans, ramodded by Abenaki Nation members Lorraine Landers of East Calais - one more fightback at attempting to push off the heavy Vermont boot that has been pusing the W8banaki/ S8koki people of Ndakinna - Our land - down into the mud of poverty, alcoholism, and despair for a solid two centuries. But finally there is hope.
Editor's note: According to Mr. Larrabee's cover letter, "The S8koki words used are from such sources as Chief Henry Lorne Masta's Abenaki Legends, Grammar, and Place Names, Odanak, Quebec, 1932; Chief Joseph Laurent's Abenaki and English Dialogues, Odanak, 1884; the late author Gordon M. Day's 1964 A St. Francis Abenaki Vocabulary, International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 30 No. 4; and Abenaki Nation member Jesse Bruchac's 1994 alphabetical listing of S8koki words, many taken down at Cicelia (sic) Wawanolett's classes, and from my own notes taken at Nikomis (my grandmother) Wawanolett's classes..."
For more information on the activities and crafts of Vermont's Abenaki people, contact Peskunck (George Larrabee) at RR 1, Box 2050, Plainfield, Vermont 05667, or Big Forest (Terry LaFar) at P.O. Box 226, Derby, Vermont 05829, and include a self-addressed envelope.