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Plymouth 400, Inc.’s first educational and cultural exhibit “Captured: 1614” unveiled at Plymouth Public Library

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PLYMOUTH, MA— Plymouth 400, Inc.’s first educational and cultural exhibit “Captured: 1614” is now open to the public at Plymouth Public Library, where it will remain through March 2015. This interactive exhibit shines a light on a 400-year-old piece of history that had a significant impact on the Wampanoag tribe, their relationship with the Mayflower Pilgrims, and the founding of Plymouth Colony; cornerstone events that shaped America’s earliest beginnings. Told from the Native perspective, “Captured: 1614” details the 1614 kidnapping of twenty Wampanoag men from Patuxet, the Wampanoag village that eventually became Plymouth Colony, by European explorers who planned to sell them and the additional seven Natives taken from Nauset on Cape Cod as slaves in Spain. Only one of the Native men is known to have returned home: Tisquantum, otherwise known as Squanto, the Native who with his knowledge of English was integral to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ survival during their first winter in 1621.
“This exhibit tells a story that answers the obvious, yet unasked question of; how were Squanto and Samoset so well-versed in the English language that they were able to communicate with and help the Pilgrims survive,” said Paula Peters, an active member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and Plymouth 400 Wampanoag Committee who produced the exhibit with her marketing firm, SmokeSynals. “This is a critical piece of the history of Plymouth that can’t be told accurately without a Wampanoag voice, and I’m excited for this opportunity to tell our story on an international platform.”
Created by the Indian Spiritual and Cultural Training Council Inc. and SmokeSygnals Marketing and Communications, “Captured: 1614” was conceptualized, researched, and produced by a Wampanoag design team with complete editorial and content control. Members of the Mashpee Wampanoag and Aquinnah Wampanoag tribes portrayed historical figures for the exhibit and shared their experiences with media and invited guests at the exhibit’s opening event.
“Being asked to portray our ancestors was a humbling experience but I was proud to be called upon to do it,” said Alexandra Lopes-Pocknett of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who can be seen in the exhibit’s video titled “An Empty Horizon.” “The Wampanoag still feel the effects of that historical drama today.”
Designed to travel throughout the region, “Captured: 1614” will be on display at the Plymouth Public Library through March 2015. It will be exhibited at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum from April through June 2015, with additional plans to be displayed in Mashpee and on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 2015. The exhibit will grow exponentially over the next six years to document other critical historic Wampanoag events leading up to the Plymouth 400 anniversary in 2020.
“We are honored to be working with the Wampanoag tribe to bring their history to light for the public. It is fitting that we open our inaugural season with this unprecedented exhibit in preparation for the 400th anniversary in 2020,” said Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400. “Our mission as an organization is to produce a commemoration that is historically accurate and culturally inclusive, and this exhibit is the first of many programs and events of the Plymouth 400 anniversary in 2020. We look forward to continuing our work with the Wampanoag community to ensure that there is a Native component included in all that we do surrounding the quadricentenial.”
For more information on Captured: 1614, please visit
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the historic 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower voyage, the landing of the Pilgrims,  their relationship with the Native Wampanoag people and the founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped  the building of America. The Plymouth 400 commemoration will honor America’s story of exploration, innovation, self-governance and thanksgiving, the legacies sparked by these historic events that continue today as cornerstones of our nation. The events and programs to be produced by Plymouth 400 will engage audiences in the US and beyond with participation in the millions across communities, and include participation by global leaders, international musical and stage artists, veterans, descendants, and youth. These world-class programs and events will include live televised events, festivals, historical and cultural exhibitions, and educational programming. Events and programs will be funded by public funds for education and tourism and private partnerships with select national sponsors and corporate leaders and leave a legacy that will live beyond the commemoration dates.
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