) – late November 1622 o.s.), more commonly known by the diminutive variant Squanto, was a Patuxet Native North American known for having been an early liaison between the native populations in Southern New England and the Mayflower settlers, who made their settlement at the site of Squanto's former summer village.One of the last surviving people of the Patuxet tribe—who had lived on the western coast of Cape Cod Bay and were annihilated by an epidemic infection—he acted as a translator, guide, and advisor while he lived with them for 20 months.William Wood noted in his 1634 report that "to speake paradoxically, they be great eaters, and yet little meate-men …" Stanford nutritionist M. Bennett concluded that 60% of their daily caloric intake came from grain products and only 10% from animal or bird flesh (as opposed to more than 20% in the average diet in mid-20th-century America).The proficiency at horticulture allowed the southern New England Natives to accumulate enough surplus not only for their own winter needs, but also for trade (especially to northern native bands), and as the English settlers repeatedly sought, to relieve their distress for many years when the harvests of the English proved insufficient.He soon became attached to the English settlers, whom he assisted in plantings of native vegetables, obtaining trade with local peoples and dealings with other native tribes, in at least one case endangering his safety in the process.He accompanied the settlers on a variety of missions to surrounding Natives as a result of which the English settlers created a peace and trade regime that ensured their security against attack and gave them the opportunity to obtain food supplement when their own supplies became insufficient, which became the case as more unprovisioned settlers were sent by their London commercial underwriters.Or perhaps the name was selected at the time of his 1621 encounter with the English settlers either as a defense to their cultural or religious influence or because he was entering a cultural no-mans-land.Almost nothing is known of Squanto's life before his first contact with Europeans, and even when and how that first encounter took place is subject to contradictory assertions.
The members of this polity were those who pledged to defend not only the sachem himself by the institution of the sachemship itself.
Unlike the native inhabitants living in northern Maine and Canada where the annual growing season was insufficiently long to reliably produce maize harvests (and they, as a result, were required to live a fairly nomadic existence Although their habitations were relatively mobile, being made of striplings fixed in a circle in the ground with their tops tied by walnut bark (with hole for smoke from central fire inside), covered with mats of reed, hemp and hides, the one main migration of the entire population of each tribe (including women and children) was a biannual one and took place only from winter residence (in warmer forested areas) to summer habitation (near the cornfields) and back again.
Maize and other cultivated vegetables made up a substantial part of the Ninnimissinuok diet.
It is therefore unlikely that it was his birth name rather than one he acquired or assumed later in life, but there is no historical evidence on this point.
The name may suggest, for example, that he underwent special spiritual and military training (as a pniesesock, or otherwise), and for this reason was selected for his role as liaison with the English settlers in 1620 (see below).