29 Sep. 2015
We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower
In March of 1621, in what is now southern Massachusetts, Massasoit, the leading sachem of the Wampanoag, sat down to negotiate with a ragged group of English colonist. Hungry, dirty, and sick, the pale-skinned foreigners were struggling to stay alive; they were in desperate need to help Native help. The film was called, “We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower,” it was release in April 13, 2009 – May 11, 2009. The Pilgrims made landfall in Plymouth and provides a brief, but rich window into the way of life for the Wampanoag, the local Native American tribe near Plymouth, before the Pilgrims arrived. What was it like to be Wampanoag, the people of the first light, stretched out along the ocean, clearly aware of your place in the continent, welcoming the sun before all others? We also learn about the broad strokes of their political relationships with other local tribes as well as the plague that arrived just before the pilgrims killing 9 in 10 Wampanoag. Massasoit faced problems of his own. His people had lately been ravaged by unexplained sickness, leaving them vulnerable to the rival Narragansett to the west. The Wampanoag sachem calculated that a tactical alliance with the foreigners would provide a way to protect his people and hold his enemies at bay. He agreed to give the English the help they needed. No one knows for sure what really happened, but I think the reality was different. The local Indians traditionally held a harvest feast every fall. For the Pilgrims' sake, they brought and prepared most of the food. They outnumbered the Pilgrims by something like 2-1. So it might be more correct to say the Indians decided to share their feast with the Pilgrims, not the other way around. After the first Thanksgiving, the episode continues with the events of the next 50 years. It keeps its focus firmly on Massasoit and his son Metacom (Philip). This approach...
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