One of the challenges for the Puritans was negotiating with the Wampanog Indians, who had lived on this land for many years. The European explorers who had come previously, had treated the tribe harshly, sometimes taking them as slaves, and nearly wiping out the entire tribe with the diseases they brought with them. However, the Puritans and Wampanog learned to live together peacefully. William Bradford made a noble effort to befriend the Indians, and Massasoit was a great help and friend, teaching them to farm and to deal with the harsh New England elements.
As visitors walk toward Plimoth Plantation, they walk through a Wampanog village, which shows how their camps may have been constructed. One interesting area in the camp was where large logs were being gutted for canoes by keeping a controlled burn going in the log.
Walking down toward the water, one finds the main street of Plimoth. The two pictures below (put them mentally side-by-side) show one of the more well-to-do homes.
The small huts with the thatched roofs are cozy. What always has amazed me is that these houses were constructed with a chimney, but inside the house a fire is built below the chimney opening, but there is nothing to channel the smoke up to the chimney. Can you imagine how often these rooms would be filled with smoke? The woman below was putting vegetables in the pot for a porridge.
I was interested to find out from this Plimoth resident that all the Puritans became farmers, even if they had been weavers, or some other profession in England. Also they did not kill any of their animals to eat, as they kept them to build up a herd. Even by 1627, they still had not put beef on their tables.
Most houses had a small garden area. We also saw some sheep, goats, and chickens.
|Hmmm...I need a costume.|