Native America

Mayflower 400 is a true four-nation commemoration between the Wampanoag Nation, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands.

Native America is central to the Mayflower story, as is centuries of Wampanoag history and the voices of those determined to keep the stories of their ancestors alive through a series of commemorative projects, exhibitions and events.

These pages seek to tell their stories.

  • Four hundred years of Wampanoag history

    Four hundred years ago, the Wampanoag People watched on as a ship arrived on their shores.

    It was not the first ship they had seen arrive, nor would it be the last. But this particular vessel and the people on board would have far and long-lasting consequences for their future and legacy.

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  • The story of Squanto

    Tisquantum was born in 1580 and became known as Squanto, though little is known of his early life.

    Some believe he was captured as a young man on the coast of what is now Maine by Captain George Weymouth in 1605. It is thought Tisquantum was liberated some years later, when it is thought he returned to America in 1619 working as an interpreter for Captain Thomas Dermer.

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  • King Philip's War and its impact on America

    When the Mayflower passengers arrived on the shores of North America, it is said that they formed an historic peace treaty with the Wampanoag chief Ousamequin.

    However, over the years the colonies continued to expand into Wampanoag land, and relations soured. What happened next is still considered by many to be the deadliest war in American history, leading to the deaths of thousands of people.

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  • The significance of Wampum and creation of a new belt

    Some 400 years ago, the Wampanoag people met the passengers of the crew of the Mayflower when they arrived in North America. Central to their culture was Wampum - items of huge spiritual significance, made and woven onto belts with extraordinary skill.

    The creation of a new Wampum Belt is a cornerstone of Mayflower 400, with its aim being to unite contemporary indigenous artists and educators in the USA with museums and historic collections in Britain.

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  • The Wampanoag and their crucial role in Mayflower 400

    For almost four centuries, the impact of the colonists’ arrival on the Wampanoag Nation has been widely marginalised in the telling of Mayflower history.

    Today, they are central to the Mayflower 400 anniversary – a true four-nation commemoration between the Wampanoag Nation, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands.

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  • Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America

    The creation of a new Wampum belt by the Wampanoag People is a project of huge cultural significance.

    It will tour at venues across the UK nationally as part of a groundbreaking exhibition.

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  • Event: View from the Wampanoag Nation

    Bassetlaw Museum will welcome representatives of the Wampanoag nation, who will build a traditional wetu in the grounds of the Museum.

    This will then remain as a visitor space and education resource for the 400th anniversary of the ‘first Thanksgiving’.

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  • Read: New dates for touring exhibition that tells story of Wampanoag Native America

    Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America unites contemporary indigenous artists in the USA with historic museum collections in the UK.

    New dates have been announced for the first touring exhibition by The Box, Plymouth as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

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  • The Mashpee Wampanoag

    On 16 September 1620 the Mayflower, with 102 passengers and 30 crew on board, set sail from Plymouth UK, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed on the shores of Massachusetts.

    Four hundred years on, members of the local Mashpee community share their history and culture and describe the impact the arrival of the colonists has had on their way of life.

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  • How the Mashpee Nine became ‘warriors’ of the Wampanoag people

    On the night of 29 July 1976, a group of nine young Wampanoag men were confronted, brutally beaten and arrested by 30 police officers dressed in riot gear.

    These men were not out to cause trouble; they were not seeking to offend anyone. They were simply celebrating their cultural heritage and history in a way that newcomers to the town of Mashpee did not understand.

    This is their story.

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  • Frank James and the history of the National Day of Mourning

    Fifty years ago, a proud Native American man called Frank James took a stand. He took a stand against centuries of history that told a story that simply was not true. A legacy that gave his people no voice.

    This is the story of Frank James and HIS lasting legacy.

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  • The making of the wetu – creating a lasting Wampanoag legacy

    Wetu is the Wampanoag word for house and for centuries has been a traditional home central to the native people's life and culture.

    Members of the Wampanoag Nation are planning to visit Nottinghamshire and construct a wetu as part of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.

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  • Challenging perceptions of Wampanoag culture

    The Wampanoag People have inhabited present-day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for thousands of years.

    Visit Patuxet today and experience the Wampanoag Homesite, which is located along the banks of the Eel River.

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