Collection: Patchogue-Medford Digital PML
Type of Material: Photograph
Copyright: No Known Copyright Restriction
“Though the Montauk Indians of Sag Harbor and East Hampton lived less than 12 miles from the Shinnecocks, there was little social contact between these two bands of Long Island Indians. The Montauks seemed content to confine their visits to Indian groups to those of Rhode Island and Cape Cod and Connecticut. The Shinnecocks seldom ventured to East Hampton or Sag Harbor for social visits to the Montauks.
The notable exception to this rule was Eliza Beaman (Princess Occum) the daughter of George and Melissa Fowler of the Montauk Tribe of East Hampton. She married Anthony Beaman (Running Bull), a Shinnecock, and made her home on the reservation of her husband’s people.
While living among the Shinnecocks, she and Stella Virginia Arch (Corn Blossom) became good friends and used to visit each other across the lots that separated their homes. This photo taken at the Shinnecok Pow Wow in 1953 shows the two ladies standing in front of a teepee. Mrs. Beaman is the tall lady in the Indian Regalia, while the other is Stella Arch known affectionately among the Shinnecocks as Miss Jean.
Both of these ladies were well versed in herbal lore of their forefathers and an evening spent in their company was a rewarding one. It seemed that there was no end to the stories that they could tell of former days. Once, when discussing Indian food recipes, Mrs. Beaman confided that her aunt Eliza Cooper use to use tansy to flavor flannel cakes.
Both of these fine ladies have passed on but I have recorded much of their lore in the Journal of American Folklore.”