Through an examination of seventeenth-century English sources and later Indian folklore, this article illustrates the centrality of religion to defining masculinity among Algonquian-speaking Indians in southern New England. Manly ideals were represented in the physical and spiritual excellence of individual living men like the Penacook sachem-powwow Passaconaway and supernatural entities like Maushop. For men throughout the region, cultivating and maintaining spiritual associations was essential to success in the arenas of life defining Indian masculinity: games, hunting, warfare, governance, and marriage. As is stressed throughout the essay, masculinity was also juxtaposed with femininity in a number of important ways in Indian society.

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