Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Russ Cohen

Russell A. Cohen stopped by the Research Library last fall and noticed that we did not have a copy of his book, Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, in our reference collection. He promptly gave us a copy and generously included a large handful of shelled shagbark hickory nuts and some delicious cookies made with hickory nuts. The cookies disappeared the next morning at a staff meeting, but we saved the nuts and shared them during the Native Cooking demonstration on the Farmstead. We all now know how hard it is to crack and pick the meat out of shagbark hickory nuts.

Russ, who is Rivers Advocate, Division of Ecological Restoration, Department of Fish and Game, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is coming the Museum on Wednesday, April 23. At 11:30-12:15 pm, he talks about the food we can find in the spring. From 1-2 pm, he talks about finding and preparing summer and fall foods. Maybe you will be able to "shop" in the fields and forests this spring and summer.

His talks are part of our Earth Week celebration and are free with Museum admission and free to Museum members.  If you have ever wanted to forage for food, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about eating wild plants and to meet an engaging forager.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

John Eliot

Want to know more about John Eliot and the influence of the first bible printed in any language in America? The Museum’s copy of the second edition (1685) of the Eliot Bible is on display in the Research Library, Wed.-Sat., 1-5 pm, through April 26, 2014. In addition to the Bible, we have a small display of works about John Eliot, including a handful of theses devoted to him, and we have many microfilms of historical documents including: A brief narrative of the progress of the gospel amongst the Indians in New-England, in the year 1670, written by John Eliot. London: Printed for J. Allen, 1671.

Eliot Bible

Friday, February 28, 2014

Eliot Bible on Display

Saturday, Mar. 1-Saturday, Apr. 26, 1-5 pm
Eliot Bible on Display in the Research Library

Here’s a rare opportunity to see our second edition of the Eliot Indian Bible, which was printed in 1685, and combines both the Old and New Testament in one volume. Missionary John Eliot translated the Old and New Testaments into the Natick dialect of the Massachusetts language by taking the phonetic form of the Algonkian/Massachusetts language and using the English (Roman) alphabet to convey the words. His translation was aided immensely by Native preacher and Harvard student Job Nesutan, and the printing was made possible by the assistance of James Printer, a Nipmuc printer’s apprentice.  The Bible’s legacy represents a complex history of cultural interaction involving literacy education, religious conversion, and challenges to Native oral tradition. Free.

Saturday, Mar. 1, 1-3 pm
A Conversation about America’s Oldest Bible
Join a conversation in the Research Library about the Eliot Bible with two of the nation’s leading scholars on the intersection of Indians, language, and religion.  Jessie Little Doe Baird, Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project founder and director, vice-chairwoman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and MacArthur Foundation Genius Award recipient presents with Brown University history professor Linford Fisher, author of The Indian Great Awakening. The discussion is in War Theater I and is free with Museum admission, free to Museum members. Plan to visit the Research Library after the talk to view the Bible.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards

2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards

The American Indian Library Association is pleased to announce the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award winners. The awards were created to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians, Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, and Native Hawaiians. The winning and honor titles convey the past and present of the American Indian experience and are given in three categories—Picture Book, Middle School and Young Adult. 

Picture Book
Award Winner:

Caribou Song: 
Atihko Nikamon/Ateek Oonagamoon

Tomson Highway, author
John Rombough, illustrator
Fifth House, 2012

Middle School
Award Winner:

How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story
Tim Tingle
The Roadrunner Press, 2013

Middle School
Honor Book:

Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner
Tim Tingle
7th Generation, 2013

Young Adult 
Award Winner:

Killer of Enemies
Joseph Bruchac
Tu Books, 2013

Young Adult 
Honor Book:

If I Ever Get Out of Here
Eric Gansworth
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rachel Sayet

Moshup: Enduring Aquinnah Wampanoag Stories

Fortunately the snow held off on Saturday, January 25, when Rachel Sayet gave an excellent talk based her extensive research about Moshup which culminated in her Master’s thesis from Harvard University Extension. As a young girl living at Mohegan, Rachel learned traditional stories of giants and little people from her elders. The giant, Moshup, is always connected to the land and sea of southern New England. Mohegan and Pequot people as well as Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoags have many stories about Moshup which have been passed down for hundreds of years. In the 1920s, Rachel’s great-aunt Gladys Tantaquidgeon began recording Moshup stories among the Aquinnah of Martha’s Vineyard. Rachel demonstrated that while many different people have recorded Moshup stories, each from a unique perspective and for different purposes, these stories have always connected the Aquinnah Wampanoag people to the landscape, thereby reinforcing sovereignty for their nation and ensuring their survival. Rachel’s engaging presentation was well received by an interested and thoughtful audience in the Research Library. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Big Read: Love Medicine Book Talk

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2-3:30 pm

Join Lorén Spears (Narragansett/Niantic) at the Research Library to talk about Louise Erdrich’s first novel, Love Medicine. It is the first book about the Kashpaws and Lamartines whom we have gotten to know over the years. Lorén shares an indigenous perspective about Love Medicine, so if you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy and come; if you have read it, here’s a chance to discuss it with others. Free! Call 860-396-6897 for more information or visit to find out about this and other programs.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Managed by Arts Midwest, The Big Read provides competitive grants to support innovative reading programs in selected communities.

 Plan to visit the library again on Saturday, January 25, 1-2:30 pm, to hear Rachel Sayet (Mohegan) talk about her Master’s thesis from Harvard: Moshup: Enduring Aquinnah Wampanoag Stories.

Rachel Sayet

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving Thanks

From the Children's Library...

Here are some excellent books about Native thanksgiving celebrations.

Many Thanksgivings: Teaching Thanksgiving-Including the Wampanoag Perspective.  The Boston Children’s Museum, 2002.
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki).   National Geographic Society, 2001.

Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective, by Doris Seale (Santee/Cree), Beverly Slapin and Carolyn Silverman (Cherokee/Blackfeet). Oyate, 1995.