This week has all about fine tuning and information gathering. Putting my head down and diving into the research, I was able to get more entries prepped and into the database. I’ve discovered that, although it makes sense to write up our activists first, this can lead to the unearthing of a number of new events to consider. Given the time we have, I am doing my best to track these events without feeling the need to account for them in this first expression of this project.
Although I am aware of quite a bit of Mashpee history, a lot of the history I am learning that originates in other Wampanoag communities is very much new to me. It’s been interesting getting a bird’s-eye view of how the communities interacted— that Wampanoags as far as the Pocasset in Fall River moved to Martha’s Vineyard and joined Aquinnah and Chappaquidick families, for example. I had always known of the Aquinnah and Mashpee connection, my own family has ancestors from both. I’ve also learned so much about the interaction of outsiders, including the Massachusetts anti-slavery community out of Boston, with the Wampanoag. I’ve added that entire topic to the “for later” list…which has admittedly gotten a bit long.
Elizabeth took on the research and write-up of one of the key events for our database. I intentionally stepped away from that event, The Mashpee “Revolt”, because I had some awareness of the events—although I’ve learned so much more working on this project. I also met with Estefany to collaborate on the visual identity which we are aiming to lock in this week. Again, coming from a design background, I intentionally stepped away from fully owning that process in an effort to push outside of my comfort zone, and to practice true collaboration. In the end, this project is impacting me on multiple levels—giving me new historical perspective, helping me better understand the development of a DH project, and helping me stretch my wings into new areas of expertise. I expect to be reaping the benefits of this process for a long time to come.