Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Review of "Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times," by Kate Waters

Review of

Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times, by Kate Waters ISBN 0590202383

Five out of five stars

 The Wampanoag tribes were the Native Americans that lived in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island when the pilgrims landed. When spring arrived, they moved to their summer residence where they hunted, fished and raised crops such as corn. After the harvest when the frosts came, they took their harvest and moved inland among the forest where they would be shielded from some of the harshest weather.

 At the time when this story was to have taken place, there was tension between the settlers and the Wampanoag, although there was no overt hostilities. Generally, the two groups went their separate ways and had minimal interaction. There are hints that the settlers were growing corn by this time, although there is no explicit statement regarding to how long they have been there.

 The story is told via a combination of photographs of modern Wampanoag and text, the main character is a Wampanoag boy named Tapenum and he is depicted in the native dress of an animal skin loincloth. The other boy and the adults are also dressed in animal cloth. Tapenum is disappointed because he was not selected for the initiation to become a warrior. He plans on working harder to develop his body and to be a better hunter.

 Many words from the Wampanoag language are used in the text, making it a bit of a language lesson to go along with the history. This is an excellent book for elementary school study of the other side of the story of the pilgrims.

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