Revisit Thanksgiving Myths at the American Indian Museum

11/22/2021 in
Revisit Thanksgiving Myths at the American Indian Museum

Thanksgiving week is a nice time to spend with family but also a great chance to challenge the preconceived notions of the holiday you thought you knew. To learn the real story, there’s no better place to do so than the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan. 

The Smithsonian’s museum (which has a bigger sister outpost in Washington D.C.) is inviting you to visit — and maybe even become a member — to help correct the historical record of the settlers’ early interactions with Indigenous peoples that inspired the holiday. 

Visiting the museum can help put names to the often anonymous, generic “Indians” that are portrayed in the Thanksgiving story, like how it was the Wampanoag people who first met the Pilgrims at what is now Plymouth. Visitors will also learn about how explorers meticulously detailed their travels and interactions with those Indigenous people; and how the written record of a “Thanksgiving” feast was merely a footnote in a journal, but still became a symbol of cordiality between the two cultures.

The museum will show you what those cultures were like before the English settlers set foot on the continent; it can also help you understand what being a “native” New Yorker truly means. 

The museum is located at 1 Bowling Green and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday–Friday. Find out more information about visiting here

Tags: nmai, thanksgiving

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