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Algonquian-speaking North American Indians who lived on both sides of the Penobscot Bay and throughout the Penobscot River basin in what is now the state of Maine, U.S. They were members of the Abenaki confederacy. Penobscot subsistence was based on hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants, with seasonal movement to obtain food. In winter small family groups lived in hunting camps within separate family territories, rights to which were inherited through the male line; larger camps and villages were inhabited during the summer. The tribal chief embodied little power, generally acting as a tribal representative in ceremonies or in dealings with outsiders and sometimes adjudicating disputes.