The first outdoor living history exhibit you will encounter on your visit is the Wampanoag Homesite, located on the banks of the Eel River. Here you'll discover how the 17th-century Wampanoag would have lived along the coast during the growing season; planting their crops, fishing and hunting, gathering wild herbs and berries for food, and reeds for making mats and baskets. You'll see different kinds of homes including a mat-covered wetu, the Wampanoag word for house, and a bark-covered long house or nush wetu, meaning a house with three fire pits inside. Food is cooked over an open fire using only the ingredients that were available in the 1600s. At the riverside you may see men making a mishoon - the Wampanoag word for boat - using fire as a tool to hollow out a tree.
Unlike the people you’ll meet in the 17th-Century English Village, the staff in the Wampanoag Homesite are not role players. They are all Native People - either Wampanoag or from other Native Nations - and they will be dressed in historically accurate clothing, mostly made of deerskin. They speak from a modern perspective about Wampanoag history and culture. They are happy to see you and will invite you inside a wetu, or tell you what they are growing in the garden, or show you how to play hubbub, an ancient tribal game still enjoyed by many Wampanoag today. The staff in the Wampanoag Homesite are very proud of their Native heritage, and knowledgeable of the traditions, stories, technology, pasttimes, music and dance of the people who have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years. Ask lots of questions! You may be surprised what you will learn.
To learn more about your visit to the Wampanoag Homesite, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.