“Rethinking the Tablescape:
Indigenous Origins of New England Cuisine”

Friday, November 13, 4 p.m. EST

Approx. 105 minutes

Registration is required and space is limited for this online program.
Admission is $15. Indigenous people may attend the program at no charge.
Digitized versions of collection material examined during the program will be shared with participants.
An email with a link and instructions on how to join the event will be sent upon registration.


A manuscript giving instructions to make a winter squash puddingFrom pumpkin pies to johnnycakes, maple syrup, roast turkey, and cornmeal cakes, the history of “traditional” New England cuisine is rooted in Indigenous knowledge and traditional foodways. Join us for a cooking demonstration and discussion that will place Indigenous ways of knowing and tradition-keeping into conversation with AAS archival materials—such as early account books, diaries, broadsides, and pamphlets—to examine the lasting impact of settler colonialism in the Eastern Woodlands region.

Rachel Beth Sayet, Mohegan educator and personal chef, will lead the session with a cooking demonstration and discussion of the thriving Algonquin communities’ cultures and cuisines. AAS curators and library staff will share original materials from the collection to further reexamine the stories told about cooking and eating in New England, from William Bradford’s writings about harvest time in Wampanoag Country to works written by authors such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Harriet Beecher Stowe that elide Indigenous influence. Opportunities for direct interaction between presenters and participants will be provided during the program.

Rachel Beth Sayet or Akitusu (She Who Reads), M.A., is a Mohegan tribal member and Native American educator. She is currently the Exhibits and Event Specialist at Tantaquidgeon Museum, and has a focus on food sovereignty and bringing back traditional Native foods. Sayet uses storytelling and discussions of Native American foods to educate the public and expand awareness of Native New England history and culture. Find out more about Rachel and her work at www.rachelsayet.com.

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