“The Wampanoag who lived in the area taught the Pilgrims how to smoke and dry indigenous meat and fish and how to plant the three sisters — corn, beans and squash — in mounds fertilized by fish and blessed by powdered tobacco, which is also a natural insect repellent,” said Kinorea “Two Feather” Tigri, a cultural
The Native Americans helped the Pilgrims learn to hunt, teaching them trapping techniques and animal movement patterns. The Native Americans also showed the Pilgrims how to gather various food items, showing them which foods were dangerous and which ones were edible.
One of the most notable pieces of knowledge passed from Wampanoag to the Pilgrims (besides how to hunt and fish), was exactly which crops would thrive the Massachusetts soil. “They taught the Pilgrims how to grow different plant groups together so that they might cooperate,” she said.
Squanto helped the Pilgrims communicate with the Native Amer- icans. He taught them how to plant corn. He taught them how to catch fish. He taught them where to find nuts and berries.
Native Americans helped Pilgrims by teaching the Pilgrims how to plant corn, where to fish and where to hunt beaver.
These skills included gardening, cooking and preserving food, tending to the younger children, and sewing and mending clothes and bedding. Pilgrim children spent much of their day working, but sometimes, their parents allowed them to play games that improved their bodies or minds.
The English colonists we call Pilgrims celebrated days of thanksgiving as part of their religion. But these were days of prayer, not days of feasting. Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.
“The Mayflower pilgrims were the most extreme kind of reformers. They called themselves Saints, but were also known as Separatists, for their desire to separate themselves completely from the established church.
Squanto and Samoset helped the Pilgrims by trading skins and food with them. Squanto also taught the Pilgrims how plant and harvest native crops.
In 1621, Squanto was introduced to the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and subsequently acted as an interpreter between Pilgrim representatives and Wampanoag Chief Massasoit. The following year, Squanto deepened the Pilgrims’ trust by helping them find a lost boy, and assisted them with planting and fishing.
There is also evidence that he tried to undermine Massasoit’s relationship with the English. The Plymouth settlers were very angry with Squanto in the wake of the fiasco, even to the extent that Governor Bradford admitted to Massasoit that Squanto deserved death for his act of betrayal.
In addition to interpreting and mediating between the colonial leaders and Native American chiefs (including Massasoit, chief of the Pokanoket), Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, which became an important crop, as well as where to fish and hunt beaver.
Instead of violent conflict, most Indians were helpful and generally friendly – providing needed supplies for the pioneers, operating ferries across the many rivers along the trail, helping to manage livestock, and acting as guides.