The cultural history of both the Shinnecock and Montauk Indian tribes has been painstakingly documented with special attention to accuracy by the Suffolk County Archaelogical Association who generously contributed their material for our presentation of the local Native American community.
I had the pleasure of meeting with tribal elders Elizabeth Thunderbird Haile and Harriet Gumbs on several occasions who both generously shared their personal history with me. Eugene Cuffee, now a tribal trustee, also provided both trust in me along with his old and beloved photographs of the Shinnecock Nation. Elizabeth Haile, whose father Chief Thunderbird was the last Chief of the Shinnecock Tribe, was nice enough to even come to my house. Bobby Pharoah of East Hampton was the closest in line as Chief of the Montaukett Tribe when I met with him and he too kindly shared old tales of the Montauk Indians that matched up with history. All were eager to help me shed light on the original backbone of our community.
Many of the Shinnecock tribe and the chief of the Montauk tribe provided pictures and are continuing their efforts to build these pages along with us. David Bunn Martine whose beautiful and touching paintings we feature as The Exhibition on these pages grew up on the Shinneock Reservation. His stunning artwork evokes a vivid picture of life as it was out here before the settlers took over their land. We hope you'll enjoy a glimpse at this side of the Hamptons which was here first and appreciate their importance. Please also visit the Shinnecock Museum which was recently built on the reservation as a special dedication to the tribe's ancestral heritage. For info on the upcoming Shinnecock Indian PowWow call the Pow Wow Committee: 631.283.6143
As quoted in POLITICS: Shinnecock Indians Lay Claim to Valuable NY Land on the Above Top Secret website discussion forum ATSNN.com: "The Shinnecock Indian tribe has filed a lawsuit seeking to reclaim 3,600 acres of prime Southampton real estate - along with billions of dollars in reparations. In what is sure to be one of the biggest Indian land disputes in U.S. history - at least in dollar terms - the Shinnecock Indian Nation is claiming that it was swindled out of the land 150 years ago."