Pumpkins, as well as other squashes, are native to North and Central America. They were an important part of Native American cuisine long before the conquistadors “discovered” the Americas.
Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing pumpkin seeds back to the Europe. The Europeans didn’t really know what to do with the strange foods from the new world though. They eyed crops like tomatoes and potatoes with suspicion, fearful that the foods were poisonous. Pumpkins fared slightly better but were held in low regard and only the poorest people ate them.