Virtual Exhibit: Listening to Wampanoag Voices: Beyond 1620
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 12, 2020, the Peabody Museum will launch a new online exhibit, Listening to Wampanoag Voices: Beyond 1620, featuring contemporary Wampanoag speakers.
Listen as they share memories, thoughts, and reflections about museum collection items made by their ancestors and relatives, and learn how Wampanoag life and culture continues to flourish today.
Once imagined as a gallery experience, the exhibit will shift exclusively online because the museum remains temporarily closed during the pandemic.
Four hundred years have passed since the Wampanoag Nation encountered English immigrants who settled on the shores of their land at Patuxet–now called Plymouth. Harvard University has had a relationship with the Wampanoag and other local tribal communities for nearly as long, establishing the Indian College on the Harvard campus in 1655.
In 1650, the charter of Harvard College dedicated the institution to the education of Native American and English students to become Puritan ministers; in 1655, the Indian College was built on Harvard’s campus to house students and to achieve those goals.
Wampanoag tribal member, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, Class of 1665, was the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College.
In acknowledgment of this history, the Peabody Museum asked Wampanoag tribal members to reflect on collections spanning four centuries stewarded by the museum. The speakers will include artists and educators who will respond to seven objects including the Sudbury bow, baskets, and a small collection of smoked and dried herring.
- Independent scholar and historian Linda Jeffers Coombs, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
- Artist Elizabeth James-Perry, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
- Culture bearer, leader, historian, artist and professional speaker Jonathan Perry, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
- SmokeSygnals Communications Owner Paula Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
- Traditional artist, educator, and historian Phillip Wynne, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod (Otter Clan)
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