We went down to Plymouth to learn more about our Puritan roots. There's a museum called the Plimoth Plantation where actors (they call them interpretors) play the roles of people from the Mayflower and that colonization period. They'll actually each pick a real person that made the voyage, study their life, accent, roots, etc and portray that person 5 days a week, 8 months in a year. The next year, they'll pick someone else, and start all over again! So it was a much more interactive museum experience, and quite enjoyable. I struggled to get through the Prado after 2+ hours, but we were there for about 5 hours today! I still got tired, but needless to say, that shows how interesting it all was.
We learned first about the Native Peoples that inhabited the area when the settlers arrived. We talked to real descendants of these People.
Then we moved on to the Pilgrim settlement. It was fun to walk around and ask questions about the way life was, and individual stories. Brooklyn got really excited about the goats. She rushed up a black one, put her hand on its head, and leaned in to give it a hug. It was really cute.
The view was amazing from the meetinghouse up on the hill (as seen in the opening picture). The most fun was just talking to the people. Celeste instantly coveted their jobs. What a perfect way to stretch your acting prowess than to quasi ad-lib/improvise all day long.
One lady in particular was very nice and fun to talk to. She showed us 2 fascinating children's items they used back then. One was called a 'putting'. It's called a 'putting' because it looks like a sausage which is the same process for making English rice pudding. (You stuff all these tasty ingredients inside pig intestine). Anyway, it is essentially a cloth tube that you slip on a child's head, and fasten under the chin. It protects their head if they fall down, or bump into furniture, etc. Cool idea, if not very aesthetic.
The second item was called a 'letting' I think. I can't quite remember now, but it was basically a child's garment with two long, thin pieces of fabric coming off the shoulders. Since their houses were dirt floored, they didn't want their babies crawling around, so they would hold the kids up with the 'letting' to teach them to walk. Also, they could tie kids down to the table if the mother was super busy, or yank them away from the fire or other dangerous situation. Pretty inventive, says I. We loved it so much, we got a picture.
Brooklyn loved the dress so much, she wailed with grief when Celeste took it off her and took it away. She was grabbing on to it for dear life. That was funny.
After our time at the settlement, we went to Plymouth Rock to visit the Mayflower II, a seaworthy, functional replica of the original. It's amazing that 100+ people traveled for 2 months on this small ship. We got to talking to one of the interpretors and we discussed how she liked the new world. She went on and on about the negative aspects of so many trees. It was shocking to hear that some people back then thought the abundance of trees was making the weather so much colder, and they harbored dangerous beasts and diseases. To make it a civilized land, they needed to cut down the trees and plow the land. Environmentalists, beware the Pilgrims!