June 28, 2013

6/26/13 - Plimoth Plantation

Just down the road from Plymouth a couple of miles is the living history museum Plimoth Plantation.

Some museums are just exhibits of old stuff; some of them have tours where a guide explains about the old stuff. Living history museums have actors pretending to be historic people who are using the stuff when it was new.
After the standard movie, we headed outside to the Wampanoag Homesite, which is a re-creation of the way a native American family who lived in the area in the 1620s would have lived.  The people here wear traditional native clothing, but speak from a modern perspective, answering questions on how their ancestors lived. (Interesting clothing, no?)  His haircut isn't much different than what you see in this century.  I know that fads in fashion come back every so many years.

George is watching this guy make a mishoon, using fire to hollow out a tree.  It'll end up looking like a wooden canoe (sort of).  He said his ancestors could make one in 4-5 days, using trees that were way bigger than are available now, but it takes him several weeks because he has to put the fire out every day.  Each morning he has to start the fire burning the log again.  I don't think they had that problem in 1627. 

On the left is a bark-covered winter house. Same idea as a longhouse that we see in the NW.  The summer house is made of mats made of rushes.  The extended family lives in the big one in the winter.                        


Next along the trail through the woods is the Craft Center, where artisans create and demonstrate things that would have been used in the 1600s, for both the Wampanoag Homesite or the English Village.  I like this piece.  (I don't think they let the colonists have the fan.)
In the English Village are costumed role players who portray actual people of the period. Since they have 17th century viewpoints, it's a little like time travel to 1627, after a village was built and more people had arrived. It fascinates me how well they stay in character. 

I'm sure you know that we're currently living full-time in an RV.  We often park on grass or dirt or sand, and we're constantly fighting the dirt we drag in. BUT I really couldn't handle dirt floors. (I didn't know they wet them down often to keep down the dust--why that doesn't make mud I don't know!)

And I would HATE having to use herbs to try to kill the bugs--in the walls and the beds and the roof and probably everything and everywhere else! Ugh!  All this history stuff is great, but a lot of it makes me very grateful I was born in the 20th century!

We wandered around a bit looking for Stephen Hopkins, but was "still out in the fields". We did go in his house--and I must say, he keeps a really nasty fireplace.  Maybe his servants are lazy.
We did speak to his daughter, Mrs. Constance Snow, and I told her I was looking for her father because I'm a distant relative. (Four centuries is pretty distant, don't you think?)
More pictures here:  Plimoth Plantation

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