Monday, August 9, 2010

Cutchogue - a Dive Into History

After writing a post about the beaches, I knew there was a part of me that wasn't completely satisfied.
Truth is that I am a very curious person and my first time in Cutchogue was NOT driven by the search for a nice beach. That just happened.

In fact, what I was looking for were the rests of an old ruin, namely that of Fort Corchaug: the gathering place for the Corchaug, one of the Algonquian tribes, which lived on Long Island before the English settlers set foot in the East End (in the mid 17th Century) and which was decimated either by weapons or disease.

Even though I am not an expert, I find Native American history very fascinating.
Sure it has been a succession of genocide and killings in the past. And in the present it is characterized by a difficult struggle in order to keep alive minorities with their traditions and laws, without creating a group of individuals isolated from a society that - in turn - doesn't recognize nor respect these traditions and laws.

Anyway, if you are interested in knowing more about Fort Corchaug, I suggest you read this article about its history and the cross-cultural history of Cutchogue and Long Island in general.

In Southold you will also find the Southold Indian Museum dedicated to the Algonquian Indians. It has a nice section with traditional toys (which my kids really loved!).

Another must read about the Algonquian people on Long Island today is the book "We are still alive" by John A. Strong.

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