Appalachian women of the distant past were strong, determined to survive, and dedicated to their way of life. This is no more apparent than in the indigenous women of the regions who lived a far different life than even the women of the early colony days. The Abenaki women of Appalachia had a very difficult time adjusting to their new way of life brought on by European contact. The transitions they made and the resistance they had to overcome is remarkable. Bunny McBride brings forth the story of four amazing Abenaki women in her book titled Women Of The Dawn.
Women Of The Dawn is a story based on historical facts of four Abenaki women, all named Molly. The women were real and McBride gleaned information from hard to find resources about these women and their way of life. Thorough research from countless sources enabled McBride to bring these women to life. Their struggles, their loves, their families are brought in to amazingly touching and memorable stories. The lives of these women cover a period of over 300 years, beginning with the birth of Molly Mathilde around 1665, and ending with the death of Molly Dellis in 1977.
McBride gives us a book rich in historical detail when she describes the way these women lived, their daily chores, their thoughts and their compelling stories. The energy and power that sustained these women helped them survive the devastating changes that affected their way of life. The Abenaki people lived a fairly peaceful life until the invasion of French and then English changed that forever. The wars between the two foreign governments fighting over land that belonged to the Wabanaki Confederation left the People with little to call their own.
Molly Mathilde, 1665 - 1717, was born in the forest of pine and birch on the banks of the Penobscot River. Her birth name was Pidianiske. Her mother was a chieftain's daughter, of the Kennebec River Valley. Her father was from the Maliseet band.
Molly Ockett, 1740 - 1816, was of the Pigwacket tribe of the upper Saco River at the southern end of Wabanaki Country. She experienced startling changes to the way of life her people had always known.
Molly Molasses, 1775 - 1867, was a Penobscot woman in Bangor, Maine. People were mesmerized by her keen dark eyes and feared her powers.
Molly Dellis, 1903 - 1977, was a raven-haired beauty from the Penobscot tribe in Maine. She was the first to delve into research on the lives of the other three women named Molly, whom she called her foremothers. Her own story is very compelling and heart rendering.
The lives of these four women was profoundly interwoven by common threads and ancient beliefs, which Bunny McBride so beautifully has brought together.
Women Of The Dawn is a poignant and compelling story and a valuable resource for anyone wishing to learn more about the history of the Abenaki peoples and the women of Appalachia in times of great change. The title of the book is what the ancient Abenaki people called themselves. They were the people of the dawn, for, since they lived on the eastern shore, they saw the light of dawn rising in the very early morning.
I purchased my book from Amazon.com and provided a link below for your convenience - or you can check with your local book seller or library.