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You know him as Squanto, to the Pilgrims he was Tisquantum, but was he Friend or Foe?

We all have heard the story of Squanto, "friend of the Pilgrims" but what do we really know about this Native man from the village of Patucxet (modern day Plymouth). The story of his kidnapping at the hands of Thomas Hunt, his trip to England and Newfoundland and finally his return to New England to interact with the colonists at Plymouth is even more exciting and interesting than Disney made it. And how much of that Disney movie is true anyway? (Sorry to say he never made popcorn or rode a horse and most of the Pilgrims and many Natives probably did not like him). Tisquantums (Squanto) story is told through the use of the primary sources, the actual written records from the seventeenth century that tell us about him, as we separate fact from fiction. We also discuss what Tisquantums life was probably like before he ever saw his first European.

In our childrens program, participants are able to learn what sorts of things Tisquantum would have done during his childhood and early adulthood before being kidnapped. What was it like living in a Wampanoag community in 1610? Children will explore what he probably ate and the games he may have played. Children will have an opportunity to handle reproduction artifacts of the types that Tisquantum probably knew and learn how to:

  • make pottery like his mother, aunts or grandmother made
  • decorate leather using paints made from charcoal and red and yellow mineral pigment called ochre and glue made from deer hooves
  • track different types of animals in the woods by their paw prints
  • make arrowheads out of stone
  • grind corn
  • plant a traditional type of garden with corn, beans, squash and watermelon

Take home materials include copies of the story of Tisquantum as presented in the primary seventeenth century documents, a list of Wampanoag words that he would have used and activity pages.