The following information is from a historical perspective and does not necessarily relate to modern-day Wabanaki People. The information is also very generalized and should not be viewed as set in stone.
- Semi-nomadic, hunter/gathers with some agriculture and a few planting villages
- More nomadic to the east of the Kennebec River
- More dependence on agriculture and settled villages to the south and west
- More settled at mission villages administered by Catholic Priests.
The basic unit of organization is the family band
- A family band might consist of 5 to 40 related people.
- Band membership was very fluid and flexible.
- They had defined family territories for hunting, fishing, maple sugaring, nut & berry harvesting, marketing crafts, etc.
- They traveled extensible throughout the year, covering hundreds of miles.
- Their travels were based on the seasonal availability of natural resources – later it became driven by seasonal employment and tourism opportunities.
- They traveled by canoe when the waters were ice free and by snowshoe when the snows were deep.
- They gathered in large numbers for spring planting and fall harvesting at agricultural “village” sites.
- They intermarried with other Native groups, as well as non-Natives such as French, English, Dutch, Irish, Scottish, German, etc.. This intermarriage often blurs the tribal/cultural lines.
Each family band generally operated from a home base.
- Reservations & villages, Indian owned/rented property, or off reservation communities
- Elders, very young, and those in poor health might stay year round
- Healthy adults travel throughout family territory, returning to home base as needed
- Elders raise the very young here
- Winter camp for most
- A place to build up inventories, repair or replace equipment, regain health, etc.