Before the Europeans' arrival, Long Island was populated by about 6,000 to 7,000 Indians. Since they spoke the same language and had similar customs, all were considered part of the Algonquian tribe.
The tribe consisted of 13 smaller units - chieftaincies - stretching from Brooklyn and Queens to Montauk. Each was headed by a sachem, or chief.
Today, members of the Shinnecock and Unkechaug carry on centuries-old traditions on two remaining reservations: the Shinnecock reservation in Southampton and the Poospatuck reservation near Mastic.
SOURCES: Long Island Forum, Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
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