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Massachuset(măsəcho͞o`sĭt), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). In the early 17th cent. they occupied the territory around Massachusetts Bay and ranged northward. They then numbered some 3,000, but by 1631, after wars and pestilence, they were reduced to some 500. Soon thereafter they adopted Christianity and moved, with other converts, into the villages of the praying Indianspraying Indians,
name for Native North Americans who accepted Christianity. Although many different groups are called by this name, e.g., the Roman Catholic Iroquois of St.
..... Click the link for more information. . Here they ceased to have a separate tribal existence. The Massachuset owned and occupied the site of Boston.