The Pequot people are a Native American tribe with an impressive history. During the Pequot War of 1637, British soldiers massacred many of them at a place called Mistick Fort. However, the Pequot people ultimately became one of the richest tribes in America through shrewd casino operations in Connecticut. The passage of time has cut into those Pequot fortunes, but tribe members still have enough resources to bankroll the work of an archaeologist named Kevin McBride.
One spokesman for the Pequot Nation describes McBride’s important work as “history that’s written by the conquered and not by the conqueror.” In other words, the Pequot people still have important things to do, and Kevin McBride is prepared to help. However, McBride is also soliciting his own type of help from an unlikely source. McBride networks with metal detector enthusiasts to locate precious artifacts in the region.
Normally, archaeologists shun those with metal detectors. Archaeologists worry that folks with metal detectors simply take objects and neglect to document where and when the objects were found. Thankfully, Keith Willie isn’t like this. On a recent metal detecting trip in the area, he found a triangle of brass with a small hole in the middle. Promptly, he took it to McBride. McBride was able to identify the object and its cultural importance.
Willie and McBride get along well. McBride realizes Willie can find objects others lack the training to locate. Willie realizes working with McBride grants him access to areas normally considered off limits for metal detecting. Working together, they help the Pequot people construct an important cultural and historical narrative.
What do you think about this alliance between Native Americans, archaeologists, and folks with metal detectors? Do you think this is a great way to preserve history? Let us know in the comments below!
Categories: Native American, Native American Tribes, Pequot People