Native Village 
Youth and Education News

November 1, 2013

Plimoth Plantation makes replica of Native American canoe for Smithsonian
Condensed by Native Village
Massachusetts:  During the 17th century, mishoons were the most common boats in North American waters.
For 40 years, the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation has created these traditional Native American canoes. Now one of their mishoons is housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Darius Coombs is associate director of the Wampanoag Indigenous Program. It was his idea to create and donate a mishoon to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).
Last spring, after the NMAI accepted their offer, the creation of the 16-foot canoe began. Plimoth Plantation selected a white pine for the mishoon project. The tree was wrapped in clay and burned to create a thick bottom and natural keel.
Following the progress was Plymouth Access Cable Television. They filmed a documentary of the mishoom creation process taking place at Plimoth Plantation’s Wampanoag Homesite.
“It has been a fun and educational experience," Coombs said.  "The mishoon is an invaluable piece that will add  depth to the Smithsonian’s already rich representation of Northeast native life.”
In September, members of Wampanoag Indigenous Program presented the mishoon to the museum in a ceremony at the NMAI Cultural Resource Center in Suitland, Md.
 “As a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Native American communities, we’re delighted to welcome a creation like this one that represents a living tradition among the Wampanoag.”  
          Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian

“We have learned a great deal through our partnership with Plimoth Plantation. The gift of this invaluable artifact will add depth to our collections and help us expand our educational offerings.”
                               Harold A. Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations

Historic journey by native people from Plymouth, MA to Martha's Vineyard in a mishoon in 2009


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