110 Pequot Trail, off Rte. 214, Mashantucket
By the 17th century the Pequot tribe numbered some 8,000 strong and inhabited 250 square miles of prime land in southeastern Connecticut. By 1638, however, the tribe’s fortune drastically changed when a brutal war with English colonists slaughtered many of its members and sentenced survivors to a life of either slavery or exile.
More than 300 years later, in the 1970s, many tribal members began moving back to Mashantucket to reclaim their homeland and restore their native culture to its former pride. Tribally owned and operated, this state-of-the-art 308,000-square-foot complex dramatically brings to life the tragedies and triumphs of the Pequots and other native people of the Northeast.
The museum’s best exhibit is a re-creation of a 16th-century Pequot coastal village. Visitors will step back in time and experience the everyday life of tribal members, circa 1550. The village includes 12 wigwams, a sweat lodge, dugout canoes, stone tools and weapons, hand-woven cattail sleeping mats, and food-storage pits.
Throughout the village 51 life-size, perfectly lifelike figures, handcrafted from casts of American Indians, show Pequot men, women, and children partaking in daily activities.
Open year-round Tues.– Sat. except winter holidays. Admission charged.
Did you know
The Pequot Museum has collected more than 2,000 Native American objects, most of which come from the tribes that were native to present-day New England.