The outdoor museum features a 1627 English village beside a Wampanoag home site. The purpose of the museum is to educate visitors (school-children and adults) about what happened between the Native Americans and the colonists, especially during the first Thanksgiving.
The nine-year-old was one of thousands who flock to the colonial museum during the Thanksgiving season. She dressed as an Indian and her friend dressed as a pilgrim to celebrate the occasion.
Linda Coombs, associate director of the Wampanoag Indigenous Program, asked the girl to remove her homemade beaded costume before visiting the site, reducing the child to tears and upsetting her mother, the Boston Globe reported on Nov. 24.
“Native people find it offensive when they see a non-native person dressed up and playing Indian. It’s perceived as us being made fun of,” Coombs told CNSNews.com.
“Costumes are offensive because of what has happened in history--the Hollywood pseudo Indians, the Italian actors playing Indians, the crappy dress they put them in, the Halloween costumes. When other people dress up as Native people it’s offensive, period,” Coombs said.
She compared people wearing Native American costumes to white entertainers who put on blackface in old minstrel shows.
Instead, they prefer to be called Native People or Indigenous People.
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!
Below: Wampanoag Indians in a History Channel scene, filmed at Plimoth Plantation (AP Photo)