Around New England

Plimoth Plantation Announces Name Change

July 11, 2020

Plimoth Plantation has announced a forthcoming name change to incorporate the Algonquin-speaking Indians who lived in the area when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620.

The museum, which was founded in Plymouth in 1947 to re-create and explain the Pilgrims’ story, has introduced a new logo that ditches “Plantation” and incorporates “Patuxet,” the name the local Indians gave to their seasonal settlement near Cape Cod Bay before they abandoned it a few years before the Pilgrims arrived.

The new logo has the words “Plimoth” (one of the various period spellings of the place name now known as Plymouth) and “Patuxet.”

A new name is scheduled to be announced later this year, according to a statement from the museum.

“Discussions about a name change for the museum have been ongoing for more than a year as we ask:  ‘Does our name reflect the full, multivalent history that is at the core of the museum’s mission?’ “ museum officials said earlier this week. “The conversations generated by that fundamental question have moved us toward a new, more balanced name demonstrating that the history and culture of the Indigenous people of this region are as integral to the Museum’s educational mission as the history and culture of the English colonists.”

“Multivalent” means “having many applications, interpretations, meanings, or values.”

For years. visitors to the outdoor portions of the museum have had to walk through a re-creation of a Wampanoag village, staffed by American Indians of various tribes in traditional dress, before they get to the English Village staffed by re-enactors who speak, act, and dress like Pilgrims of the 1620s.

Much of the introductory video for the living museum highlights the Wampanoag-village portion, before it describes the Pilgrims portion of the museum.

This past March 31, the museum issued a statement supporting the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s bid to keep federal recognition of the tribe, which is crucial to the tribe’s attempts to build a casino in Taunton.

It’s not enough for the Mashpee Wampanoags.

 “I think the name change is a start. But they need to dig a lot deeper than that, and there are more ingrained issues within that institute that need to shift along with the name,” said Steven Peters, a spokesman for the tribe, according to The Cape Cod Times.

This year is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims, who landed in Provincetown on November 21, 1620 and then in December settled in Plymouth.

 

New logo for Plimoth Plantation

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