September 21, 2015
Mashantucket, CT— Plymouth 400, Inc.’s first educational and cultural exhibit “Our Story- A Wampanoag History” will be displayed at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center beginning on September 14, 2015. Told from the Native perspective, this initial installment of “Our Story” details the 1614 kidnapping of twenty Wampanoag men from Patuxet, the village that eventually became Plymouth Colony, by European explorers who planned to sell them and seven Natives taken from Nauset on Cape Cod as slaves in Spain. Only one of the men is known to have returned home: Tisquantum, otherwise known as Squanto, the Wampanoag who, with his knowledge of English, was integral to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ survival during their first winter in 1621. “Our Story” will expand over the next five years to document significant historic and cultural events in Wampanoag life culminating in a complete cultural exhibit for the Plymouth 400 Anniversary in 2020.
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, which was displayed at both Mashpee and Aquinnah Powwows this summer, in addition to several museums and libraries throughout the region. It received international media attention upon its debut for telling “the story of Squanto, and the millions he represents” (Public Radio International) and for “changing Thanksgiving’s history” (The Boston Globe).
“It will be an incredible thrill to share Our Story with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum,” said Paula Peters, a Mashpee Wampanoag who produced the exhibit through her company SmokeSygnals Marketing and Communications. “The significance of the Captured 1614 exhibit is something that will not be lost on the Pequot people who suffered similar injustices and both the tribe and their visitors will benefit from knowing and sharing this story more broadly.”
“The early interactions and relationships between Native peoples and Europeans in the 1600s is an integral and important part of our Nation’s beginnings, often setting the tone for everything that followed,” said Jason Mancini, Executive Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. “These little known and often untold stories are as revealing as they are relevant and we look forward to sharing the story of Squanto and the Wampanoag people.”
“Anyone who celebrates Thanksgiving has some impression of what happened in Plymouth Colony in 1620. The goal of Plymouth 400 is to highlight the lesser-known facts, like the kidnapping of Tisquantum, to further educate and engage the public in the profound effect of this moment in time, and how it has informed centuries of American culture,” said Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400, Inc. “There is a curiosity about the history of Plymouth Colony worldwide. Our goal is to tell an accurate and balanced story of this period and to represent English and Native culture throughout the Signature Events and Programs of 2020.”
The exhibition’s next installment will debut in November 2015 at the Plymouth Public Library and will feature the communication methods of Native peoples in New England in the 17th century. For more information visit www.plymouth400inc.org.
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization in Plymouth, Massachusetts formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony in 2020. The Plymouth 400 Anniversary will highlight the cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples, a story that significantly shaped the building of America.
September 21, 2015