Last modified: 2017-08-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: penobscot | maine | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 25 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Penobscot - Maine
The Penobscot of eastern Maine are one of the two easternmost Native American peoples. Penobscot, an Algonquin word meaning "the rocky place" (ENAT, 183-184), refers to the rocky falls of the Penobscot River - home to the Penobscot for centuries.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Penobscot tribal government is white with the tribal seal in black (Letter, Brenda Fields, Tribal Administrator, 16 Feb. 1995). The circular seal shows the bust of a Penobscot warrior, possibly Sockalexis, in profile,
surrounded by an ornate border that resembles three tombstones, each forming a cross. On the arm of each cross is the name of a particular virtue - "PURITY", "FAITH", and "VALOR" - the three constituting the tribal motto. In a ring around the bust is the name of the Tribe in English and in Penobscot "PENOBSCOT INDIAN NATION" and "BUR NUR WURB SKEK". Behind the warrior is a pine forest.
The three crosses symbolize the Holy Trinity (Interview by Dave Martucci with Wayne Mitchell, Penobscot Tribal Land Use Officer). Each cross also carries a year: under "PURITY" is "1605", the year English Captain Weymouth kidnapped five Penobscots and took them to England; under "FAITH" is "1687", the year the first Catholic mission was established on Indian Island; under "VALOR" is "1612", the year of the war with the Eastern Abenaki. At the base of each of the three crosses, outside the circle, are tree branches representing tribal growth.
Two dates appear in a ring surrounding Sockalexis' portrait. At the top is "1669", commemorating the war with the Iroquois, at the bottom is "1749", marking the treaty of peace with Massachusetts that ended King George's War. The twelve flint fire starters in the ring symbolize the unity of the Tribe. The entire seal has a serrated edge, a whole circle to denote the sun.
In addition to the tribal government flag, the Penobscot people have a "tribal flag" which hangs in the Tribal Council Chambers (ibid..), and has been described as multi- colored, bearing a wikiyup and other symbols.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 24 January 2008