PEOPLE OF THE FIRST LIGHT: THE WAMPANOAGS OF GAY HEAD (TV)

Summary

One in this documentary series about Native American Indians of southern New England. This edition looks at a tribe of Wampanoags from the town of Gay Head on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Earl Vanderhoop, a Gay Head Wampanoag, pilots the island's ferry boat. He opens the program by discussing his job boating in the channel, also bordered by Nantucket. He explains that his tribespeople spend much of their lives on the water, and that although they originally lived all over the island, most of their population is now concentrated in Gay Head. Carl Wittis, a quahoger on Manimsha Pond, demonstrates how he "hogs" using an adjustable rake. He is also a volunteer firefighter, a position he describes as symbolic of the community spirit of Gay Head; he is seen attending a drill with both Indians and non-Indians on the force. Adolescent Julie Vanderhoop talks about the misconceptions perpetuated by Native-American stereotypes and the importance of the ocean to the Wampanoag way of life, and she learns to make traditional Indian pottery at an Indian tribal council class. The program closes with footage of a special event held in Gay Head, at which Indian tribes from various areas of the country are invited to explore their similarities and differences.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 2000.

Details

  • NETWORK: WGBY-TV
  • DATE: 1985
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:55
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:61069
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Indians of North America - New England
  • SERIES RUN: WGBY-TV (Springfield, MA), TV Series
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Dan Kain … Executive Producer
    • Glenn Suprenard … Producer
    • Russell Peters … Director
    • Earl Vanderhoop
    • Julie Vanderhoop
    • Carl Wittis