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Visit from Italy page 5

After lunch, we went down to Plimoth Plantation. This is a historical reenactment village.

There is an Indian village, the Pilgrim's village, a craft house, and a barn. The 1st stop was the Indian village, where native Americans in traditional dress work. Interestingly, there were around 75,000 Wampanoag Indians in this area before Europeans arrived. Most had died from a plague, believed to have been brought by previous European visitors, before the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower. The Pilgrims were able to make use of the abandoned Indian village to start their colony.

From there we went to the Pilgrim Village, where reenactors played the parts of various villagers. Paul and Francesco decided to get into the action.

Oxen didn't come over on the Mayflower, but did arrive on subsequent ships a few years later. They needed the ox to plow the fields. Chickens, goats, pigs, and sheep did come over originally. Most of the houses were one room with a loft and chimney; a couple had been expanded by this point (1627) to have a second room. Corn was a major item in the diet of the Pilgrims. The woman in this picture is making a porridge with corn and other ingredients.

Here I am admiring the very large cooking pot. And Paul was checking out the unusual drinking mug.

The furniture and ceramics used in the houses is made on-site by craftsmen. The Pilgrims would have brought these over from England, since they did not have enough people to specialize; everyone had to farm! (Except perhaps the Preacher; we didn't think to ask that question.) The Pilgrims were all fairly poor, but some decorative furniture would have been in their houses. This chair is an example; it was just recently created. It looks very comfortable, being a good size for sitting. All it needs is a cushion.

In the barn was a rare goat of a type believed to have been brought over by the Pilgrims. It is one of the prettiest goats I have ever seen.

On the way out was a Mayflower Cow.

We had a wonderful weekend. We got to play tourist, and I was able to practice my very rusty Italian. (Ah, very rusty indeed!)


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updated July 2011