Annawon Weeden Mashpee Wampanoag strawberry thanksgiving many hoops

"Strawberry Thanksgiving" by Annawon Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag

"Early summer brings warmer weather and some of the first fruits to be harvested. The arrival of the strawberry, which grows in great abundance throughout our area, is a sample of things to come. Native people would often gather large harvests of these berries and have feasts with various dishes made from the strawberry and other ingredients. This first harvest festival, held in warm weather (which was something to give thanks for in itself) was called "Strawberry Moon Harvest Festival". Different Native groups would have different names for this celebration, as well as different types of games, feasts and entertainment.

The Strawberry Moon Harvest held in Dovecrest, Rhode Island consists of traditional dancing in regalia, strawberry "johnnycakes" and other festivities. The annual "Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving" at Plimoth Plantation continues to celebrate this harvest with "mishoon", or boat races, a traditional football game, as well as feasting and dancing. This festival continues to be a highly anticipated gathering when many communities come together to celebrate and most important, to give thanks for the Strawberry Moon Harvest."

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Pilgrims and Strawberries

On June 12, 1630, John Winthrop of Plymouth Plantation wrote:

“We supped with a good venison pasty and good beer and at night we returned to our ship but some of the women stayed behind. In the meantime most of our people went on shore, which lay very near us, and gathered stores of fine strawberries.”


  Click on the link below for traditional and modern Wampanoag strawberry recipes

  Please see our Wampanoag recipes page for traditional and modern strawberry recipes.