Sunday, August 3, 2008

New England part 2 (Sunday)

Sunday we planned on going back into Boston but decided instead to go to Plymouth where we took a tour of Mayflower 2 (a replica that has duplicated the journey of the original twice. Since the kids were uninterested in actually learning much about the boat Phillip and I took tons of picture of all the signs so we could read them later. They loved it!

After Plymouth (and yes, we missed viewing the rock) we went to Plymouth Plantation that had a replica of the settler's village and a Wampanoag village. Since the people in the Wampanoag village were actual Wampanoag and not actors there were signs all over warning us to be sensitive to their culture and to not call them Indians or (even worse) Native Americans. As soon as we saw the first hut Zak and Eliot ran into it exclaiming for all to hear "A real Indian village"!. So much for cultural sensitivity.

One hut we went into had a women explaining how the Pilgrims had been thieves and had exploited the kindness of the Indians. I was a little shocked but in some ways prepared. When we were in the visitor's center I had read about the Day of Mourning that the Native People had started celebrating in 1970 the day after Thanksgiving to remember how their way of life was lost when the Pilgrims invaded their land. Eye opening. I never heard the story that way.

In one of the huts was a friendly Native Person Chief sitting in a motorized wheelchair. He was so friendly and so nice we felt more comfortable asking a few questions. After he was finished explaining about his headdress he paused and looked at Eliot and asked if he had any questions.

Chief, "And what's your name"
Eliot (in awe) "Eliot"
Chief: "My name is Bob, do you have any questions for me?"
Eliot, "I've never seen a real live Indian before," (I cringed, waiting to hear his reply)
Chief Bob, "Well now you have met a really big fat one!"

He was so gracious and funny we stayed there for a while but the kids were disappointed that there weren't any bows and arrow, tomahawks, or spears so we moved on to the Colonial Plantation which I don't have any great pictures of because it was raining and we were asked to go through it quickly since it was raining and they didn't want any of us to get struck by lightening (a real threat over here I guess).

We had a great time in the craft center where we could see artisans throwing pots, embroidering and woodworking. I wished we could have stayed longer but the kids were getting tired and we needed to start our long trip home. It was a lot of work but worth it!!

1 comment:

Wampanoag Native Researcher said...

I'm glad your kids got to meet a real Wampanoag - they are a proud people working to reclaim much of their land and culture.

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