Honoring The First People of Concord

By Joe Palumbo

November is National Native American Heritage Month and we celebrate as a nation indigenous people’s past and present. 

Concord is a wonderful place to do just that.

For 10,000 years the Nipmuc and Massachusett peoples lived in this area in a thriving area of settlement they called Musketaquid, which in the language they spoke means roughly “land among grassy river”. Just outside the center of town, the  Sudbury and Assabet Rivers come together to form the Concord River in a spot many locals know as Egg Rock. The rivers made this a desirable place to live, providing abundant fish, game, and plant life, as well as convenient transportation. These waterways were the highways of the communities. The indigenous people set up nets in the Millbrook to catch fish. The people of Musketaquid lived here seasonally, following the fish and game for thousands of years.

About 1000 years ago, they began to practice agriculture, with corn, beans, and squash as their staple crops. Although this was the homeland of these peoples and had been for thousands of years, they didn’t see themselves as “owners” of the land. They believed it was to be shared as they had shared for centuries. All life started on the back of a Turtle. The Turtle is the symbol of the Creators’ Wisdom, patience, and longevity. The turtle also represents Mother Earth in all her sacredness and beauty.

This month we are offering a series of specialty tours of the Indigenous Peoples of Concord. This 90-minute walking tour will take you deep into the original settlement area of Musketequid, discuss what we have learned from modern Nipmuc and Massachsett tribal members and explore the difficulties and pain that came with the arrival of the English settlers to the area.  Tour dates this month are :

SUN Nov 13 @ 2pm

SAT Nov 19 @ 11am

SUN Nov 20 @ 11am

FRI Nov 25 @ 11am

SAT Nov 26 @ 11am

Tour can be booked in advance via the link below and walk-in guests are always welcome!

https://visitconcord.org/visit/walking-tours/indigenous-people-of-concord-tour/

 
This November take the time to reflect and honor those who came before us and cared for the beautiful landscape of Musketaquid for thousands of years.

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