Buck – real name: Maske Tuspaquin “Walking Bear” is a Wampanoag Native American from the Mashpee reservation on Cape Cod. He is currently employed as an ironworker or “sky walker” in Boston on the United Shoe Machinery Building, High street at 138-164 Federal Street as well as the State Street Trust building on 75 Federal Street. He wears traditional Native American garb “toned down” to fit into modern society. Deerskin pants and shirt with intricately beaded moccasins. He has a large buck knife strapped to his waist and a bulge in the back of his shirt hides a brightly feathered tomahawk.
Buck is continuously being harassed by police and folk everywhere as he has a hard time fitting into the white man’s world. He has a thick accent and speaks English poorly. He sticks out as a native with typical reddish skin and high, prominent cheek bones and a broad, half-circle dental palate. He has a slightly flattened nose and almond shaped eyes. He hides long black hair under his shirt and broad brimmed hat.
It is rumored that Buck scalped a man, but he was never convicted. He can be found drunk at many of the stoops along Federal Street and he is continuously being thrown in the tank for the night from the Boston PD. He walks everywhere and he can be seen caring carcasses of dead animals – typically beavers and such which he sells to local furriers when he is low on drinking money, which is practically all the time. Even so he is known as the best sky walker in Boston, drunk or sober, but is employed on a part time basis due to the fact that the other steel workers don’t trust him and he is not on friendly terms with the Mohawk workers from NYC.
He sometimes disappears for long bouts of time and is rumored to go on a spirit quest halfway across the county. It has been said he mumbles incoherently about tentacle beasts and plots to wipe out his people. He obviously does not trust white people but has been hired by them to find people and perform rituals to rid “evil spirits”. He is rumored to be a sort of lost shaman to his tribe but he seems to be disconnected from them for some reason.
Other equipment: longbow, .308 Winchester Rifle, Totem bag, camping gear, rope $5.00. (All in locker in Boston South Station he keeps in an old military bag.)
The Wampanoags (Wôpanâak "People of the Dawn.”) are most famous for greeting and befriending the Pilgrims in 1620, bringing them corn and turkey to help them through the difficult winter and starting a Thanksgiving tradition that is still observed today. Unfortunately, the relationship soon soured. As more British colonists arrived in Massachusetts, they began displacing the Wampanoags from their traditional lands, particularly by plying Wampanoag men with alcohol and obtaining their signatures on land sale documents while they were drunk. The Wampanoag leader Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English, tried to get this practice outlawed, and when the British refused, a war ensued. The British won decisively, sold many of the Wampanoag survivors into slavery, drove the rest into hiding, and forbade the use of the Massachusetts language and Wampanoag tribal names.
Most northeastern Native people living at the turn of the twentieth century had adapted elements of white culture alongside traditional customs and beliefs. Native people were often invisible to their neighbors unless they were seen demonstrating Indian crafts, speaking Indian languages, or performing in stereotypical Indian “costume.” During this era of deep prejudice against Native Americans and other people of color it was often dangerous to talk about one’s Native ethnicity. In Vermont and New Hampshire, the Eugenics Project started sterilizing Native people and other “undesirables.” Even white reformers argued that Native people could survive only by rejecting their own culture and beliefs and assimilating into white society. Dozens of special boarding schools established for this purpose housed thousands of Native children wrenched from their families and cultures. Paradoxically, non-Natives continued to seek out romantic and exotic ways to interact with Native culture even as they insisted that actual Native peoples conform to the dominant American culture.