Defining Tribal History: A Case Study of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

On August 11, 1998, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation opened the doors of its $193.4 million Museum and Research Center to the public. The exhibits present the 11,000-year history of the “Fox People” who are forever connected to their beloved land and who have returned from near annihilation and obscurity to reestablish themselves as a Nation. Through both a personal journey and visitor observation, the exhibits are explored then analyzed against the goals outlined by the Museum. I will demonstrate how this museum fills the void left by scholarly literature which has overlooked the Pequots or limited discussion to the Pequot War of 1637 and how it complements popular texts which provide a contemporary view of the entrepreneurial successes of the Mashantucket Pequots, but fall short in historical perspective. This study also discusses the reconstruction of the Mashantucket Pequot story, and how that story continues to be written.


Kathryn Askins


Nancy Parezo





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 A855d
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences