Mayflower 400 Southampton

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. Working with our Wampanoag partners in Mashpee, Massachusetts we recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of the peoples who were the original inhabitants, explorers and settlers of the United States. 


Wampanoag Young People

In this video, produced by SmokeSygnals, young people explore what it is like to be Wampanoag in 2020. Hear about their favourite hobbies and lessons in school as well as traditional tribal activities they take part in.

Southampton & Native American Heritage

Discover how throughout time, historically famous Native Americans have passed through Southampton’s port. Discover the story behind the Mayors banquet in the Audit House for the ‘Kings of the five nations of the Iroquois’ and how Pocahontas, came to set foot in Southampton. More information soon.

Image: An Indian ‘werowance’, or chief, painted for a great solemn gathering. Drawn by: John White © The Trustees of the British Museum

New Plaque on Mayflower Memorial

This year we have worked closely with the First Nations Wampanoag tribe, they have been a key factor in our approach to the Mayflower 400 and their contribution has enabled us to widen the lens of local history. This month we announce a new plaque on the Mayflower Memorial remembering the original inhabitants of Patuxet, which became Plymouth Colony under the settlement of the ship’s passengers.

The new plaque reads:

Wampanoag “People of the Dawn”

In memory of the Wampanoag of Patuxet who perished in “the Great Dying” plague of 1616 to 1619 introduced by European and English invaders. The decimated village of Patuxet – a graveyard – was settled by the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. They renamed the village Plymouth Colony.

The ‘unveiling’ is accompanied by a filmed prayer from Steven Peters, citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, reflecting on what his ancestors went through 400 years ago in their village of Patuxet.

Film Screenings

Mashpee Nine

On Thursday 19th November 2020, in partnership with Southampton Film Week, Paula Peters’ documentary ‘Mashpee Nine’ was screened. The film recounts details of a police raid, arrest and court trial of nine Wampanoag tribal members who were drumming on the Mashpee Pond campsite July 29, 1976 in Mashpee, Massachusetts. After the screening, Steven Peters led a Q&A session.


On Sunday 22nd November 2020, in partnership with Southampton Film Week, Hit and Run History presented their adventure-travel documentary on Mayflower pilgrim Stephen Hopkins, Stephano: The True Story of Shakespeare’s Shipwreck. The one-hour film follows the story of the only Mayflower passenger who had been to North America previously. A decade earlier, Hopkins had been aboard a Jamestown-bound ship that wrecked on Bermuda, inspiring Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest.

A Passport to Wampanoag culture

The Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers have shared their history, culture and traditions with audiences from around the world. Their performances, led by Wampanoag tribal members, involves a mix of stories, crafts, music and dancing. Throughout the performance the audience is encouraged to join the performers in song and dance; experiencing the art first-hand.

Importance of Song and Dance:
As a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, song and dance are such important parts of our culture and traditions. Too often we are saturated in the contemporary world around us. The sound of the drum and pattern of dance is a great way to keep ourselves grounded in our traditions. It also gives us an opportunity to educate the public about who we are and to breakdown some of the painful stereotypes that have characterized our people for too long.

Share This:

To sign up for updates about Mayflower 400 in Southampton, sign up for the email bulletin below.