The Mayflower Museum is a journey through time with four floors and four centuries to explore.
The new exhibition explores the Mayflower story in new ways. It begins with Wampanoag history and culture, thanks to an on-going partnership with members of the Native American tribal nation. Their insights are shared alongside the stories of earlier English voyages to America, which shaped histories and legacies on both sides of the Atlantic.
The exhibition considers the impact of English colonisation on indigenous communities – then and now. It also reflects on commemorations through time, and England’s changing, and enduring, relationship with America.
An animation – Turtle Island – which was created for children and young people, is also being shown publicly for the first time within the exhibition. Using period objects, maps and music, it tells the story of the emergence of America.
The new exhibition also features the faces of contemporary Mayflower passenger descendants as well as the descendants of the Wampanoag people who met them 400 years ago. The photography is the result of partnerships with the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston, and with SmokeSygnals, a Wampanoag cultural development organisation which led a tribal elders’ image project.
The exhibition also reflects on the Mayflower 2020 year and the range of exhibitions and events, which did go ahead despite the pandemic. These included the No New Worlds light installation, The Hatchling and the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.You can also find new material from the Indigenous Plymouth trail, which reflects on new research into five centuries of Native American arrivals into Plymouth.
Make your way over three floors experiencing history and encounters, exploration and impacts, and commemoration and legacies.
There is also a new children’s trail encouraging younger visitors to learn about more Wampanoag life and culture, as well as the Mayflower and its passengers. This refurbishment of the Mayflower Museum brings together the learning from the Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy exhibition, shown at The Box during 2020/21, and Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America, which toured nationally over the same period.
Both shows were created by The Box in partnership with members of the Wampanoag Nation. The on-going collaboration, and the new exhibition at the Mayflower Museum, are both legacies of the 400th anniversary.
- It takes approx 45 minutes to make your way through the exhibition.
- There are no toilets on site.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible via the lifts.