Our StoryThe Complicated Relationship of the Indigenous Wampanoag
and the Mayflower Pilgrims
Experience the Exhibit
In partnership with SmokeSygnals, a leading Native American creative agency, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum established a new, permanent exhibit, Our Story: The Complicated Relationship of the Indigenous Wampanoag and the Mayflower Pilgrims.
Experience the Exhibit
Learn How the Exhibit Was Created
“Our Story” was curated by SmokeSygnals, the leading Native American creative agency in the Northeast, led by Paula and Steven Peters, members of the Mashpee Wampanoag and renowned Wampanoag historians.
PMPM: Tell us what to expect with Our Story?
Steven Peters: It’ll be interactive, modern and technological, but most important — accurate. We’re incorporating touchscreen kiosks, video, artifacts and large panels. We’ll have cases with beadwork, wampum and Pilgrim items, too. We’ll keep displays in the center area mobile so we can rotate in new components, pieces from other museums or to create space for special events.
All of it will illustrate the early history of the Wampanoag on Cape Cod, including the 1620 arrival of the Mayflower, which is only part of the story – and one that’s not always portrayed correctly.
PMPM: Could you explain?
Steven Peters: For example, we’re removing the current murals dealing with the first encounter between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag. The Pilgrims are depicted as valiant heroes and the Wampanoag as angry aggressors, which simply wasn’t the case. Also, during their five and a half weeks in Provincetown, the Pilgrims stole corn from the Wampanoag and even desecrated sacred burial grounds. That part often gets left out.
PMPM: How will you set the record straight?
Steven Peters: The exhibit will correct that image, and other stereotypes, and replace it with real history. What people will see is a timeline from 1609 through 1621. Often, the story – as taught in schools and widely understood – begins in 1620 when the Pilgrims arrived. However, a lot happened in the relatively short time span just prior, events that weren’t so pleasant.
Help Us Expand Our Exhibits
Please consider donating to the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum today. Your donation will help us preserve our mission and continue to bring you content that showcases a more truthful look at history.