The Wampanoag People and the Pilgrims
“I am Wampanoag, and my People have lived here on our homeland for over twelve thousand years.”
The people you will meet at the Wampanoag Homesite talk of the past, but their story is also a very current one, told from a modern perspective. Step into a traditional wetu (house) and enter a world that may be new and unfamiliar to you. Surrounded by soft furs, flickering firelight, and artfully woven bulrush mats, learn about traditional Wampanoag family life as well as the arrival of the English from an Indigenous point of view. Walk around outside and enjoy the scent of sobaheg (stew) as it simmers over an aromatic wood fire. Discover traditional Wampanoag plant remedies or help scrape out a mishoon (boat) using centuries-old techniques. Gaze upon the tranquil waters of the Eel River and take this time to glimpse the world of the Wampanoag in the 1600s.
The Wampanoag People have lived in southeastern New England for over 12,000 years. the Wampanoag Homesite explores the story of one 17th-century Wampanoag man, Hobbamock, as well as traditional Wampanoag culture and history. Take this unique opportunity to explore the perspectives of the Indigenous Wampanoag who have lived on this land for hundreds of generations. You may be surprised at what you learn!
It is important to note that unlike the 1627 English Village, there are no “characters” here; the staff dressed in traditional deerskin clothing are Native People and speak in their own modern words about the experiences of the Wampanoag. http://www.plimoth.org/features/homesite
The Wampanoag tribe did not commonly wear large, feathery headdresses (or war bonnets) as commonly shown in commercial photos. Instead, women and men of the tribe might have worn a single feather in their hair.
Wampanoag women were responsible for making the clothing for their family. Wampanoag tribe members wore clothing made from the skins of deer and rabbit. The women and girls usually wore long dresses and sometimes leggings. In warm weather, and when hunting or fighting, men wore only a strip of leather, called a breechcloth, and a pair of moccasins. Boys did not wear this type of clothing in warm weather until they were eight years old. In cooler weather, such as during the Thanksgiving feast, the Wampanoags wore robes made mainly from deer, but also occasionally from other mammals, including black bear, raccoon, beaver, elk, fox or moose.
The Wampanoag tribe used beads to decorate buckskin clothing. They used beads to string and weave necklaces, collars, medallions, and other accessories. The Wampanoags also weaved blankets of sheep’s wool to wrap around them for warmth. The sheep’s wool was also dyed using plant materials and used to make rugs and clothing.
Fact Sources: Calloway, C. (1991). Indians of the Northeast. New York: Facts on File. Weinstein-Farson, L. (1989). The Wampanoag. New York: Chelsea. History Channel online. Plymoth Plantation: The Living History Museum of 17th-Century Plymouth
Hats & Feathers
Most commercial photos present the inaccurate image of all pilgrims in black and white coats, hats and dresses adorned with oversized buckles. Many people believe that pilgrims wore only dark clothing. This is inaccurate. Those who were well-to-do wore red, purple, or gold. The pilgrims that were not as wealthy wore brown, yellow, and other bright colors. Servants often dressed in blue. The Pilgrim men and boys wore long-sleeved shirts, woolen jackets called doublets, and pants called breeches. Women wore bonnets, collars, and jacket or vests over their dresses which were usually red, dark green, blue, violet or gray. During cold weather, most pilgrims wore red or purple capes. The pilgrims only wore black and white for church or formal occasions. Contrary to what is shown in most photos of today, pilgrims did not have buckles on their clothing, hats or shoes. It was much later in the 17th century when buckles became fashionable.