Many Hoops Thanksgiving Wampanoag Pilgrim


23 May 2017 - the 4th anniversary of Many Hoops

Many Hoops is the name Paula Bidwell (Native American) and I gave to the heart to heart work we did beginning in May of 2013 and ending in Sept 2016 when Paula made her journey to "the other side camp." Our hearts' wish was to heal our piece of the American dilemma -- the legacy of pain, anger, and distrust. This website is but one of the fruits of our Many Hoops journey and is almost entirely Paula's work. I watched in awe as creative forces moved through her in direct response to each step we took together on our path of healing. I wish to also honor Paula's Irish husband Brian O'Flanagan who journeyed with us and whose humor and insights were an integral part of our shared journey. When you are called to take a chance and work on incredibly hard things heart to heart to heal the world, I hope you 'go for it.' Yes there is pain as you walk towards truth, but that pain takes you so deeply into valleys of love, trust, honor, respect, justice.  Peace! Lea Gerlach (Pilgrim descendant)

This website is many hoops made up of historical and current information, recipes, arts and crafts, and a variety of resources all of which are historically accurate and do not include any form of stereotyping of either the Pilgrims or Indians. For instance, the recipes unless otherwise noted are made of ingredients available in the early 1600's in the Plymouth Massachusetts area. It is an adventure into authenticity that is not readily available elsewhere. Information pertaining to the Wampanoag is from the Wampanoag themselves. The arts and crafts are based on authenticity and do not include activities that are commonly available.
native wampanoag cooking many hoops thanksgiving  three sisters thanksgiving pilgrim indian many hoops thanksgiving  wampanoag cradle board craft many hoops thanksgiving    Wampanoag food recipes many hoops thanksgiving    Native American prayer    What's in a Name?    Thanksgiving food recipes many hoops

This Thanksgiving, be conscious that there is still the dilemma of race; red, black, white and yellow in the United States. Know that we have the materials and tools necessary to focus on the fact that we are now a diverse people sharing a common land. Honor the Indigenous tribes who are still acting as environmental stewards and from whom we have much to learn. This Thanksgiving, share a prayer that honors the lands original inhabitants -- they are still here.  See Native American Prayers for Thanksgiving.    

Let us make a new thanksgiving that joins the sacred hoops of all Nations.

Many Hoops Thanksgiving



Wampanoag Nation and people the people of Thanksgiving and more

Wampanoag Introduction

Introduction and information on the Wampanoag Nation and their people.

Wampanoag historic photographs from Massachusetts.

Historic photographs

Buildings and events include Mashpee, Massachusetts One Room School House 1901, Herring Pond Wampanoag Powwow 1928, Herring Pond Indian Church gathering of people 1918 and more.

Portraits include Abram Quary, Adriana Caesar-Amos-Thompson, James Mye and more.

Wampanoag language, the language of thanksgiving, and Jessie little doe baird from the film we still live here.


The story of Jessie Little Doe Baird and the reclaiming of the Wampanoag language, information on the film “We Still Live Here” and links to Wampanoag language sites.( As a note the accurate spelling of Wampanoag is Wopânâak.)

Wampanoag Tribes the people of Thanksgiving


A list of Wampanoag Tribes and Nations with their locations and websites.

Thanksgiving pilgrim, separatist, brownist, stranger, puritan

What's in a Name?

This page includes a PDF slide show titled "What's in a Name?" which explains the various names given to the Thanksgiving pilgrims. The pilgrims never called themselves "pilgrims" find out why.

Thanksgiving is more than turkey and feathers Many Hoops

More than Turkeys and Feathers is a PDF slide show which relates the real story on how the national holiday we know of as ‘Thanksgiving’ was created, including a biography of Sarah Josepha Hale.

Pilgrim house plimoth plantation thanksgiving many hoops

Pilgrim Houses  - How were the houses built, what did they look like, what materials were used... and more.


Thanksgiving history wampanoag pilgrim many hoops

Introduction with videos from contemporary Wampanoag and Pilgrim descendants

Thanksgiving Sarah Josepha Hale Many Hoops

More Than Turkeys and Feathers  - an informative yet brief slide presentation on how the National Holiday of Thanksgiving was started by one woman.

Pilgrim Separatist Puritan thanksgiving many hoops

What's in a Name?  - a presentation explaining the difference, meanings and origins of the terms Pilgrim, Separatist, Puritan, etc.

Linda Coombs Wampanoag many hoops thanksgiving

Wampanoag on Thanksgiving  - writings and videos of various members of the Wampanoag Nation on the subject of Thanksgiving.

Judy Dow - Abenaki Thanksgiving many hoops

Other Native people on Thanksgiving  - writings and videos by Native Americans across the United States on the subject of Thanksgiving.



Thanksgiving interview from  a Native American Wampanoag man many hoops

Wampanoag on Thanksgiving - this page includes interviews with various Wampanoag people and how they feel about Thanksgiving. Included also are articles and stories by contemporary Wampanoag people. All of the interviews and articles reflect a truthful, yet  compassionate attitude toward an extremely painful topic.

Thanksgiving story article by a Native American many hoops

Other Native people on Thanksgiving - this page follows the example of the Wampanoag on Thanksgiving page. All stories and articles are written truthfully and some full of sorrow and pain, yet they still contain compassion for humanity. We believe each of the stories and articles contain much educational material and well worth reading.

Food and Recipes - Historic and Current - this is the introduction page for the various historic foods and recipes from the Pilgrim settlers and indigenous Wampanoag people. On this introduction page are a few poems, a short story and a humorous contemporary painting by Ojibwe artist David Bradley titled “Pueblo Feast Day.

What food was served at the first thanksgiving from many hoops

What was served at the first Thanksgiving - is an educational page about the actual food that was available during the fall of 1621 at the “First Thanksgiving”.

Thanksgiving cranberry recipes and facts from many hoops

Cranberries - this page has recipes and lots of information on cranberries including the Wampanoag and Pilgrim words for cranberry. There is also information on the Wampanoag Cranberry Day which is celebrated on the second Tuesday in October and other cultural aspects to the cranberry.

Thanksgiving pumpkin from historic recipes to modern many hoops

Pumpkin - this page has recipes and lots of information on pumpkins

Thanksgiving Wampanoag food and Wampanoag recipes from many hoops

Wampanoag food and recipes

- lots and lots of Wampanoag recipes including their names in the Wampanog language and many photos.

Thanksgiving Pilgrim food and recipes from many hoops

  Pilgrim food and recipes

thanksgiving crafts many hoopsCrafts for Thanksgiving - The crafts we choose consist of projects that connect the hoops of humanity through historical and culturally accurate Thanksgiving arts and crafts activities from the Pilgrim settlers and the Wampanoag people. We have been told that this is the first website to go beyond turkeys, feathers and black hats with buckles for Thanksgiving projects. We hope these Thanksgiving craft projects will be of assistance in creating a world that goes beyond separation and a lack of common humanity into a world that celebrates the connectedness of all humankind.

Thanksgiving wampum armbands and bracelets from many hoops

Wampum Armbands and Bracelets explains what wampum is according to the Wampanoag people including many photographs to accompany these explanations. The project uses authentic Eastern Coastal Tribal designs. The instructions are easy to follow and require ordinary materials. Included are PDF downloadable templets and designs.

Thanksgiving Native American Wampanoag cradleboard craft for kids and adults from many hoops

Cradleboard and Baby includes a photograph of a cradleboard by award winning Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation artist - Julie Marden. Our project design was inspired from Julie Marden’s beautiful and exquisite cradleboard. The materials are commonly found in stores everywhere or are already in our households. There are no specialized requirements or skills. Included are PDF downloadable templates and designs.

Thanksgiving Bow and arrow craft many hoops 
Bow and Arrow  This craft is appropriate for all ages. The arrows are made of Q-tips and the bow is made from a popsicle stick and dental floss. This page also explains the traditional bow and arrow of the Wampanoag people. Included are photographs of a contemporary bow and arrow made by a Wampanoag artist.

corn and dirt edible craft thanksgiving many hoops

Corn and Dirt a craft to eat!  This craft is also a learning experience about the method of planting corn, beans, and squash that Tisquantum (Squanto) taught the Pilgrims. Oreo cookies and graham crackers are ground up to make "dirt". In the "dirt" a three pieces of candy corn and a a few graham cracker fish are planted. Then a cornstalk is added with candy pumpkins and jelly beans surrounding it.



Introduction to our coloring pages and books - The coloring pages and coloring books are comprised of historically and culturally accurate images of both the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims. We hope this will be a good start for our children in correcting the vast amount of misinformation and stereotyping around Thanksgiving. We hope these images also stimulate questions and thus created a deeper interest in history.

Thanksgiving pilgrim man and woman coloring page from many hoops
People - these pages include both Pilgrim and Wampanoag clothing and other cultural aspects of the people and the times. All of the coloring pages are historically accurate and portray both Wampanoag and Pilgrim settlers in a dignified manner. Each page is downloadable and free for non-commercial use. We hope that these coloring pages not only serve as an activity but as an educational tool.

Wampanoag capes and coats, Thanksgiving coloring pages, many hoops, native american, american indian

Clothing  - these pages show the various way the Wampanoag and Pilgrims dressed. Included are Wampanoag moccasins and Pilgrim Jack boots and many other clothing items that are culturally and historically correct. Please note the images currently used in almost all classrooms and advertising campaigns depict Pilgrims as Puritans with black hats and buckles which is totally incorrect and Wampanaog people as Plains Indians again this is totally incorrect. We hope our images will help educators and parents to encourage curiosity in our children about cultural diversity and the enjoyment of its many variations.

Thanksgiving Native American Wampanoag and Pilgrim coloring page with corn beans and squash three sisters from many hoops

Foods - these pages include Pilgrim and Wampanoag stories about food and also images of the foods that were available at the “first Thanksgiving”. An example are the pages on the “Three Sisters - Corn, Beans and Squash”. Wherever possible we have placed Native and Pilgrims in interactive settings or in comparative settings where similarities are shown.

Wampanoag drum, water drum, thanksgiving coloring pages, many hoops, Native American, American Indian music and musical instruments.

Music and Dancing - these pages show both the Wampanoag and Pilgrims dancing and their musical instruments


Squanto  - A special page about Tisquantum also known as Squanto. We have included a short story about his life and coloring pages that illustrate it. We are also including cooperative games and activities to go along with the story and coloring page.

Wampanoag Rabbit story many hoops thanksgiving

 The Rabbit Story coloring book -  The story of how the rabbit got it's tail told by a Wampanaog elder.

Squanto - Tisquantum story coloring book many hoops thanksgiving

The Story of Squanto coloring book  - The story of Squanto (Tisquantum) illustrated Thanksgiving history coloring book.

Squanto Baha'i children class coloring book for Thanksgiving many hoops

The Story of Squanto Baha'i Children Class coloring book  - designed specifically for Baha'i children's classes with quotes to illustrate virtues.


Squanto Thanksgiving maze many hoops

Maze  - Help Squanto find his way home.

Thanksgiving quiz many hoops

Thanksgiving quiz - Boring No More!   A quiz that reaches beyond the edges of myth with unusual and interesting facts about Thanksgiving designed for all ages.



Wampanoag Native American prayer Thanksgiving many hoops

Wampanoag prayers and other Native prayers for Thanksgiving


Buddhist prayer meditation thanksgiving many hoops

Buddhist  prayers and meditations about Thanksgiving from Buddhist tradition

Christian prayers Thanksgiving Many Hoops

Christian prayers and meditations about Thanksgiving from Christianity

Islamic prayer Thanksgiving Many Hoops

Islamic prayers and meditations about Thanksgiving from Islam

Baha'i prayers thanksgiving many hoops

Baha'i prayers and meditations about Thanksgiving from the Baha'i Faith



Information about stereotyping and Thanksgiving. Both the Pilgrims and Indians are victim. Learn what is real and what is stereotyping about both. There is also a video on specific stereotyping pertaining to the Wampanoag Nation.


Squanto - Includes the story of Tisquantum (Squanto) with coloring pages and activities.

National Day of Mourning - This page focuses o the Native American National Day of Mourning which occurs every year on Thanksgiving. The Day of Mourning has been in existence since November 26th, 1970 and is an important aspect toward understanding how many Native Americans feel about Thanksgiving. The other focus is on the elimination of stereotyping which some consider to be at it's worst during Halloween and Thanksgiving. The lesson plan is on Tonto and the Lone Ranger, the early television and Hollywood version. But it gives us a model to work on about the stereotyping of Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people around the topic of Thanksgiving.  

Stereotyping -  Using the images in this early stereotyping and it's huge media influence, we learn more about how to apply this sort of lesson plan in our classrooms, homeschool environments and with our own children at home. It is written in a unbiased manner.

Resources for educators and parents -  This page currently contains several very good web links. Lea and I check each web site with both the eyes and minds of Pilgrim and Indian, so there can be no bias or prejudice on these sites. We consult on each resource before we add it. So, unlike many other resources available to parents and educators it may seem we have very few listed and there is a reason for that... Although, we will continue to search and add other resources as we find them.


This page contains our biographies, photos and our families.

many hoops rainbow thanksgiving

Diary of our Journey is about all of our meetings which included Lea traveling from Georgia to Paula’s home in New Mexico and the intensity of these meetings. The journey of healing the past to create a better present and future is one of extreme emotion and courage. There are many photographs that document this journey of two people and two cultures and the evolution that followed. It is a continuing journey and will be updated frequently. The photograph on the left is a double rainbow that appeared on the first day of our third meeting.

Resources -  An introduction page

Web site links -  Links with accurate and culturally appropriate information.

Books - Lists of sources for exceptional books about Thanksgiving, Wampanaog and Pilgrims.

Articles and papers on Thanksgiving  -  The featured article is from the Smithsonian Magazine titled “Native Intelligence”.

Movies - a list of movies that we believe accurately portray Thanksgiving and the people around it. You might be surprised at the movies we do not recommend...

Wampanoag contemporary and traditional artists and crafts people -  a list with web and email contact information for some of the finest work by various Wampanoag Native people in the United States.

 You can contact us at:


 Thanksgiving Many Hoops


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Many Hoops around Thanksgiving is a website about the first thanksgiving, the way the pilgrims and Native American Wampanoag lived and celebrated the first thanksgiving. Many Hoops looks on this subject from an objective and historic view and incorporates a much needed cultural sensitivity. Starting with the historic view and ending with the contemporary view of how the Nation is today and what we can do to improve our relationships through the knowledge of the past.

The national holiday of Thanksgiving  was created by Sarah Jospepha Hale and her history and her contributions to society are told in story form. How the holiday of Thanksgiving was created after many years of effort and how Sarah Josepha Hale created the thanksgiving holiday we know today. Looking back in history and dispelling many of the myths around Thanksgiving will give us a better perspective on the world we live in today as it changes from a strictly national view to a global view.

Explanations are given for the various words used during Thanksgiving, such as pilgrims, puritans, brownists, separatists, old comers, old planters, reformists and also details on the religion of the pilgrims and the puritans and their impact on the history of the United States. Traditional Native American Wampanoag culture and spirituality is discussed to dispel many of the historic references that contained concepts that were misunderstood and misconceived and erroneous by the European and English pilgrim and puritan colonists. A look at contemporary Native American, specifically Wampanoag issues and concerns is also part of Many Hoops around Thanksgiving as we begin to look at cultural sensitivity, elimination of stereotypes and stereotyping of Native Americans. Specific activities and suggestions for the everyday person are given as small steps toward a big change. Education about Thanksgiving and the Wampanoag people is of utmost importance. Especially for our children and future generations.

Included on the Many Hoops around Thanksgiving website are native american crafts and pilgrim crafts for thanksgiving for kids and adults. Also decorations for thanksgiving, coloring pages about thanksgiving, an educational thanksgiving coloring book for children from kindergarten and older.

There are numerous recipes for thanksgiving, articles about the original thanksgiving food, the foods and recipes of the Wampanog Native Americans. There are thanksgiving prayers from Native American and Baha'i. A page dedicated to Native American Wampanoag language and it's revival.