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Clay Peeps

August 24, 2010

The other day Alex, Kevin and I took a rainy day adventure to Aquinnah. The town, featuring the beautiful rust-colored Gay Head cliffs, is as far up-island as you can go and was originally settled by the Wampanoag tribe. It is believed by ancestors of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head that 10,000 years ago during the giant Moshup, the last of the North American glaciers began to melt, leaving behind an accumulation of boulders, sand and clay the natives named “Noepe.”

Over 400 years ago, Europeans settled Noepe, bringing foreign disease and forcing the natives off their land just as in all other parts of the U.S. They renamed the island Martha’s Vineyard and developed it into what it is today. The island may have changed drastically since the giant Moshup, but Aquinnah has been left fairly untouched. The Wampanoags still control the land, and the breathtaking beach surrounding the base of the cliffs is named Moshup after the event that created the island I love.

While the three of us were exploring Moshup, I stumbled across some natural clay at the base of the cliffs that was soft enough to mold. I was like a kid in a candy store. The end result was three clay people that a five year old probably could have done a better job with, dirty hands and soaking wet clothes from the rain. Success!

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