Episode 291: The World of the Wampanoag, Part 2: 1620 and Beyond

Image credit: Image of Mayflower II courtesy of Plimoth Patuxet.

This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities.

Before New England was New England, it was the Dawnland. A region that remains the homeland of numerous Native American peoples, including the Wampanoag.

When the English colonists arrived at Patuxet 400 years ago, they arrived at a confusing time. The World of the Wampanoag people had changed in the wake of a destabilizing epidemic.

This episode is part of a two-episode series about the World of the Wampanoag. In Episode 290, we investigated the life, cultures, and trade of the Wampanoag and their neighbors, the Narragansett, up to December 16, 1620, the day the Mayflower made its way into Plymouth Harbor.

In this episode, our focus will be on the World of the Wampanoag in 1620 and beyond.

This two-episode “World of the Wampanoag” series is made possible through support from Mass Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this episode do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.

Episode Summary

On December 16, 1620, the ship Mayflower carried approximately 100 English colonists into the Dawnland and into the World of the Wampanoag.

In this episode we speak with Darius Coombs, Director of Wampanoag and Algonquian Interpretive Training at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums and a citizen of the Mashpee-Wampanoag nation; Carla Pestana, author of The World of Plymouth Plantation; Jade Luiz, Curator of Collections at Plimoth Patuxet Museums and a historical archaeologist; and Andrew Lipman, an Associate Professor of History at Barnard College and the author of the forthcoming book The Death and Life of Squanto.

What You’ll Discover

  • The world of the Wampanoag in December 1620
  • Epidemic of 1616-1619 and its impact on the Wampanoag
  • The members of John Robinson’s Leiden Church
  • Why the members of the Leiden Church chose to migrate to North America
  • How English colonists came to settle in the world of the Wampanoag
  • First contact between the Wampanoag and the Mayflower colonists
  • Ousamequin, the Massasoit, and his strategic governance
  • Tisquantum and his translation work on behalf of the Wampanoag
  • Wampanoag diplomacy and diplomatic strategy
  • The Wampanoag-English Treaty of 1621
  • Wampanoag-English trade
  • Archaeology of historic Patuxet and Plymouth
  • Relations between the Wampanoag and English
  • 400th anniversary commemoration of the arrival of the Mayflower
  • The persistence of Wampanoag life and culture

Links to People, Places, and Publications

Series Music

The original music you heard throughout this episode was composed by Joel Roston, in collaboration with Wampanoag musician Durwood Vanderhoop, with additional music by Narragansett musicians Sherenté Harris, Lynsea Montanari, and Nkéke Harris.

The Wampanoag and Narragansett songs included in the score, and arranged throughout the episode, were composed by Durwood Vanderhoop, Sherenté Harris, and Nkéke Harris.

We'd also like to thank Dr. Charles Shadle, Senior Lecturer at MIT for sharing thoughts on the general Native American musical landscape. Dr. David Hildebrand, Specialist in Early American Music, for a consultation on Pilgrim music. Sara Schneider, Author of The Eagle and the Songbird and host of KMFA's “Early Music Now,” for Florentine music consultation. Rob Jaret, Composer, for emergency music notation services. And, Adam Mazo, Director of the Upstander Project, Michelle Mizner, Filmaker, and Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation, for general consultation.

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