Monday, April 21, 2008

plimoth plantation, the gimp perspective

So we went to Plimoth Plantation, which I wrote about yesterday, and we started off by touring the Wampanoag homesite.

The ground there was firmly packed, but there were roots and rocks sticking out everywhere. It was a bit rough in spots for using a wheelchair, but you know me--stubborn and independent as shit--I kept at it. That is when this guy....

...asked me if I needed a hand, to which I replied no, but that I did have a question.

"So, I am curious. What did your culture do about people with disabilities? Because there are some tribal cultures on other continents that would leave someone like me out in the woods for the wolves, ya' know."

"Our community would never cast someone out. The village would pull together as a whole in support of someone who had needs."

"Well, I suppose I'd still be able to contribute in some way, right? Beadwork, basket making cooking, tending to the children..."

"Well, actually, you'd probably have done much more than that. Our people believed that when a person was given a physical challenge, it meant that Spirit had gifted them in exchange with some other sacred talent. In our culture, you'd be revered."

Sheesh. Ok. I can deal with that.


Next stop, the 1627 English Village....
oh, and I should tell you about getting to our next stop. You know, when we arrived at the Plantation, I was offered a ride in a golfcart to bring me from village to village. I refused, and was told the there was an accessible path between the two villages, but to stay away from the river. Did I take the accessible path?? No. Of course not. I took the one along the river. The one that had a sign posted with a wheelchair and a big red line through it, and the words "27 steps" printed underneath it. Hahahaha. All determined-like, I went up on crutches and my mom and MyFavoriteKid dragged my wheelchair up. I need to stop involving others when I get stubborn like that.

Ok, so our next stop....
was the 1627 English Village, which being closer to the ocean, was a village full of paths that were covered in sand. Enough sand for a wheelchair to get totally bogged down in. Aside from being totally stuck, I was frustrated, and I ditched my wheelchair and switched to crutches. That is when I ran into this lady (in the red)....



...who'd been watching me struggle through her open doorway, and to whom I said, "I'm guessing there weren't a whole lot of wheelchairs around here. No ADA back then, eh?"

Silence.

So then I said, "So, I am curious. What did your culture do about people with disabilities? Because there are some tribal cultures on other continents that would leave someone like me out in the woods for the wolves, ya' know."

To which she replied, "Well, if the family was well to do enough to keep you, they would have made do. But if they were not, well...we'd have to be leaving you by the side of the road, I'm afraid."


Great.

Quick. Call for the golfcart. I need me the express train back to the land of reverence.

8 comments:

Mouse said...

Yeah.. I'd be back at the other camp if I were you, especially considering which camp was going to be the one surviving winter in warmth and with ample food!

Cecilia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shrinky Inky said...

ah yes, the continentals, sooo much more advanced with their floors and roofs and fancy dress.

and mousie is right, remember who had the food :)

Kim Ayres said...

You mean the villagers wouldn't have rammed your leg into the ground and used you as a scarecrow? Talk about a waste of resources - it's a wonder these early pilgrims ever survived.

jodi said...

Assholes. Just another example of the kind of ignorance and selfishness that has seen one culture well on its way to destroying a land that another culture protected for centuries.

=Tamar said...

I think the person in red was abysmally ignorant of what that culture would have done. It might have been the Poor Farm, but there was sit-down work that could have been done, and crutches, etc., were not unknown.

cripchick said...

mhm by the sounds of it i don't know that THAT much has changed eh? scary how much eugenics is a part of our history

Gray said...

Man, that was chilling!

I am really enjoying this series.