Squanto - the Survivor EARLY LIFE OF SQUANTUM

Although nothing is known about his place or date of birth or his parents, Squantum (Squanto) was originally from the village of Patuxet (Pa TUK et.) Patuxet once stood on the exact site where the Pilgrims built Plymouth.

A description of Squantum's physical appearance does not appear to exist. The picture at the left is the of a bust of Squantum found Pilgrim Hall Museum, which is the site of the Plimoth Plantation. (Photo was taken courtesy of the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, MA, United States.www.pilgrimhall.org/plgrmhll.htm )

The people who were with him when he first met the Pilgrims are described. It would seem logical to assume that Squantum would look somewhat similar. If Squantum appeared different from the others, the narrator would probably have referred to that fact. (The use of the word "savage" is offensive, but the language helps in understanding the mentality of the English colonists when they first met the native people.) In Mourt's Relation Samoset is described as follows:

"The wind being to rise a little, we cast a horseman's coat about him, for he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with a fringe about a span long, or little more; he had a bow and two arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall straight man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short before, none on his face at all..."1

Clothing similar to Squanto
Summer clothing similar to Squanto - Wampanoag Man, Plymouth, MA United States.

Later when other men return with Samoset , they seem to have been wearing more clothing. Perhaps, for colder weather. Theya were described as follows:

    "On this day came again the savage, and brought with him five other tall proper men; they had every man a deer's skin on him, and the principal of them had a wild cat's skin, or such like on the one arm. They had most of them long hosen up to their groins, close made; and above their groins to their waist another leather, they were altogether like the Irish-trousers. They are of a complexion like our English gypsies, no hair or very little on their faces, on the heads long hair to their shoulders, only cut before, some trussed up before with a feather, broad-wise, like a fan, another a fox tail hanging out. " 1

1. Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web Page from Mourt's Relation which was written mainly Edward Winslow (although William Bradford appears to have written the descriptions above) between November 1620 and November 1621. It was first published in London in 1622, presumably by George Morton (hence the title, Mourt's Relation).