This informant, my best friend, comes from a very Italian family. I interviewed her mother, as well for this project. Informant’s mother is very knowledgable about folklore, Italian and otherwise. She has taught informant much of what she knows, including folk remedies and family superstitions.

My friend grew up on Nantucket island and talked to me about a legend that her mother once told her about how Nantucket was created. She has heard it since then as well, and has recalled the version she remembers best. It is a legend from the Wampanoag tribe, who were native to Massachusetts.


Informant: “So, basically…this giant, I think his name was Maushop… the legend goes that Maushop had been walking and traveling for a long time, and he came to the end of the land, like where Cape Cod is and he was very tired and he decided to lay down, and he lay on his side and the legend says that the shape of his body is what created the elbow shape of Cape Cod where he layed down and his body made depressions that then became lakes. While he was sleeping, he had sand in his moccasins and he threw them off into the water and that became Martha’s Vineyard and one that landed further out was Nantucket.”


[For another version of this myth, see and, subsequently, the book; Spirit of the New England Tribes: Indian History and Folklore (1620-1984) by William S. Simmons]