Yesterday, my husband and I took the girls to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, CT. We have spent so much time listening to the Little House series on audio CD, I knew it was high time to get a more accurate and complete picture of Native people, especially since I, and therefore my children, have Narraganset ancestors.
Conversations like this between the girls only highlighted my belief in the timing of this visit:
Sophia: “Indians live in our woods.”
Grace: “In our woods?”
Grace: “No they don’t, Sophia.”
Sophia: “Yes they do, they hunt back there.”
Grace: “They do?”
So, off we went. I had a feeling Sophia (who will turn 7 this fall) had reached a point where she would really get something from the experience. I did not underestimate her. Sophia soaked everything in! She wanted everything explained in detail. She watched the explanatory film for “The Hunt” and then wanted to circle the diorama and look for each detail the film had talked about. When we got to the Pequot Village, we were given phones to dial into for the audio tour of the village, and she was so serious and committed to listening to every description of every scene. I have been to the Pequot Museum many times, so I was sort of just following the kids around, not listening much, but Sophia was so excited about it all, she then began narrating back to me all the details of each village scene. That was actually a great chance for her to fully absorb for herself.
I really think the Mashantucket Pequot Museum is a completely undervalued resource in our area. It’s a little historical gem tucked away in the Southeastern corner of Connecticut, just loaded with unrealized value. After spending 2 and a half hours at the museum, we had not yet exhausted its resources and potential, but my husband and I were growing tired and we left for home. We will be back soon, though. Very soon.