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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Wampanoag Tribe

Since tomorrow is the third Monday of November and thus the day of the Virtual Book Club for Kids, I thought I would do a Multicultural Sunday instead of Monday. This week we are focusing on the Wampanoag Tribe mostly because this week is Thanksgiving and it seems only proper to look at the tribe that celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. So to start, let's say, "Wuneekeesuq" (that is good day in Wampanoag). (Source)
Source
Now we have all heard the stories about the first Thanksgiving. The truth is no one really knows much about it. Our society has romanticized it, but very little fact is known. The picture above is of Massasoit the sachem of the Wampanoag Tribe when the Pilgrims first landed in Plymouth, offering a peace pipe to Governor John Carver. Most of the stories of Thanksgiving discuss how the Pilgrims invited Massasoit to their feast to honor the harvest and to thank him for his tribe's help and Massasoit brought 90 men with him and five deer (to add to the feast). The only references we have to this feast are from Governor William Bradford and Edward Winslow. Governor Bradford (did I mention that my family traces back to him?) mentions the first harvest, but does not mention the feast. Edward Winslow mentions the feast and Massasoit and his 90 men and five deer in a letter to a friend in England.  (Source: The Wampanoag by Laurie Weinstein-Farson)

To familiarize Hazel with the Native American culture I looked for books at the library. You may remember last week we read books on Pocahontas. This week we looked at a book called Algonquian Indians by June Behrens and Pauline Brower. Although a website I found with facts on Native Americans says the Algonquians lived in Canada, many other Algonquian tribes did exist. This book specifically says it was Algonquian Indians that greeted the Pilgrims. Algonquian is also used to describe any tribe that spoke an Algonquian language which stretched from Virginia to Hudson Bay. (Source) This book was about their summer camp. The Algonquians were a group that lived in two types of houses: in winter they lived in long houses and in the summer in wigwams. For the winter they went more inland where they were protected from harsher weather and in the summer they were by the shore where they could get the sea life for food and have more resources. This book was a little bit above Hazel's level of true comprehension. She got bored with it, but did ask questions about the pictures. It at least introduced her to the local Native American lifestyle. 

After reading the book, we pulled out my photo album to look at pictures of Steve's and my trip to Plymouth. After our wedding we spent a couple of nights in Plymouth and then went on a honeymoon later in the year once we were a bit more settled (and the cold weather was here). Unfortunately I hadn't printed the picture above of the wigwam on Plimoth Plantation. She however did ask when she would get to go to Plymouth, so she enjoyed it.
So reading Algonquian Indians gave the image of life similar to the life portrayed at Plimoth Plantation.

The Wampanoag people live in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Now this tribe has a reservation on Martha's Vineyard. (Source) The Mashapee Wampanoag also have a museum. I'm thinking Hazel and I may take a ride to it next time we are going to the Cape.

I also took out some other Native American books. These are definitely above Hazel's comprehension level, but go more into the Wampanoag tribe and some other tribes.
The Wampanoag by Laurie Weinstein-Farson is an excellent resource for older children. It is written with clarification of sources. 

A similar book is The Naragansett by William S. Simmons. The Naragnasett tribe live in Rhode Island, so I figured it might be interesting to read about them as well. 

A book we read earlier in the month is Squanto and The First Thanksgiving by Joyce K.Kessell and Lisa Donze. This book Hazel enjoyed, but still had many questions. Of course she was a bit more excited to learn about Pocahontas, but she already knew her as a princess.


I am hoping to do some Native American crafts with Hazel this week, but we have not had time yet. I will share them when we do them though. 

Today I thank God for all the different cultures of our world which make it such a fun and interesting place to live!