Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present

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1 Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present Canoe Dance, Virginia Indians (Big Day Out Festival in Kent County, England, July 2006) Edited by Melanie R. Brimhall, Carole Nash, and Karenne Wood (Monacan) Funding provided by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

2 Powhatan Red Cloud Owen, a member of the Chickahominy tribe and a Jamestown events planner, remembers being dressed in regalia as part of the opening ceremonies in 2004 for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. A Kiowa standing next to him turned and asked where he was from, "Virginia," Powhatan remembers answering. "No, where are your people from?" the questioner persisted. Powhatan said, "Virginia. We're the Chickahominy." "Never heard of them, responded the Kiowa. "Well, we're here. We never left, Powhatan replied. After centuries of racial prejudice and personal fears, the Virginia Indians of our history books, until recently, were forgotten peoples. The descendants of Virginia s founding fathers: Powhatan, Amoroleck, Opechancanough and others, were denied their identities when legal documents were altered and oral history fell silent. Today, the eight state- recognized tribes of Virginia (Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Mattaponi, Monacan, Nansemond, Pamunkey, Rappahannock, and Upper Mattaponi) stand at the doors to the Senate, anticipating the final vote that will acknowledge their long-awaited federal recognition. The exhibit, Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present, was developed by Karenne Wood and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, with partial funding provided by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Virginia Indian Heritage Program. James Madison University is privileged to host the exhibit for the fall of Additional support and funding at JMU was provided by the Madison Art Collection, the Edith Carrier Arboretum, the International Beliefs and Values Institute, the Office of International Programs, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, The School of Art and Art History, the College of Education, and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies. This booklet was written as an accompaniment to the exhibit "Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Yesterday and Today and largely presents Virginia Indian history through the words of the Commonwealth's indigenous communities. As you read this, we hope that the voices of Virginia's First People will resonate across years of silence and invisibility. Their powerful story of survival opens the door to a new understanding of today's thriving Indian communities. 2

3 3 Moria Oden (Monacan)

4 Table of Contents Page Map of the State-Recognized Tribes Chickahominy. 6 Eastern Chickahominy.. 7 Mattaponi Monacan. 9 Nansemond.10 Pamunkey.. 11 Rappahannock.. 12 Upper Mattaponi...13 Pamunkey Pottery.14 Powhatan...15 Chief Stephen Adkins...16 Pocahontas. 17 Ashley Atkins..18 Community: Roles of Men and Women...19 Housing (Longhouse and Wigwam)...20 Clothing, Hairstyles and Accessories Transportation (dugout canoe)...23 Languages.. 24 Fishing 25 Fish Conservation Today.. 26 Farming.. 27 Gathering 28 Native Tobacco...29 The Three Sisters...30 Black Birch Oak Dogbane Tuckahoe Sassafras. 37 A Guide to Writing about Virginia Indian History Educational Images and Activities Fast Facts Credits. 48 4

5 Map by Keith Damiani, Sequoia Design When the Commonwealth of Virginia extends tribal recognition by an Act of the General Assembly, the recipient is always known as a tribe, that is, an Indian-descended group that has functioned in specific ways over time (*). Indian-descended groups are not officially tribes until they are recognized by the General Assembly. According to the Code of Virginia ( ), the Virginia Council on Indians shall establish criteria for tribal recognition and shall recommend to the General Assembly and the Governor in its biennial report those groups meeting the criteria that should be given official state recognition. The Council should receive the documents comprising a petition for recognition to carry out this function. (*)The criteria that must be satisfied by a petitioning group in order to qualify for recommendation by the Council for Virginia state recognition can be summarized as follows: 1. Showing that the group s members have retained a specifically Indian identity through time 2. Descent from an historical Indian tribe(s) that lived within Virginia s current boundaries at the time of that tribes first contact with Europeans 3. Ability to trace that tribes continued existence within Virginia from first contact down to the present 4. Providing a complete genealogy of current group members, traced as far back as possible 5. Showing that the community has been socially distinct at least for the 20th century, and farther back if possible from other cultural groups, preferably by organizing separate churches, schools, political organizations, etc. 6. Providing evidence of contemporary formal organization, with full membership restricted to people genealogically descended from the historical tribe(s). 5

6 Chickahominy The Chickahominy Tribe is located in Charles City County, Virginia, midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, near where the tribe lived in When Jamestown was founded, the tribe lived in established towns along the Chickahominy River, from the mouth of the river near Jamestown to the middle of the current county of New Kent. Because of their proximity to Jamestown, the Chickahominy people had early contact with the English settlers, helping them to survive during their first few winters here by trading food for other items. Later, the tribal members helped teach the settlers how to grow and preserve their own food. Captain John Smith made several trade voyages up the Chickahominy River to the land of the Chickahominy. As the settlers began to prosper and expand their settlements, the Chickahominy were crowded out of their homeland. In the treaty of 1646, the tribe was granted reservation land in the Pamunkey Neck area of Virginia, near where the Mattaponi reservation now exists in King William County. Eventually, the tribe lost its reservation land, and the tribal families began a gradual migration to the area called the Chickahominy Ridge, where they now reside. At the time of the English colonists' arrival, the tribe was led by a council of elders and religious leaders called the mungai or "greatmen," rather than by a single person. Today, it is led by a tribal council consisting of twelve men and women, including a chief and two assistant chiefs, all elected by vote of the members of the tribe. There are approximately 875 Chickahominy people living within a five-mile radius of the tribal center, with several hundred more living in other parts of the United States. The Chickahominy Tribe was granted official recognition by the state of Virginia in 1983 and since 1996 has been working hard towards recognition by the federal government. People need to understand who we are today, and the struggles we ve had to go through just to remain who we are, just to live our culture. We re part of mainstream America but we still have to live in two worlds." Chief Stephen Adkins 6

7 Eastern Chickahominy The Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division is located 25 miles east of Richmond in New Kent County, Virginia. European contact with the tribal ancestry of the modern-day Chickahominy Indians and the Chickahominy Indian Tribe Eastern Division is recorded as early as They shared a history until the early 1900s, when it was decided by the Eastern Chickahominy to organize their own tribal government. This was done because of travel inconvenience to tribal meetings of the Chickahominy in Charles City County. We re still here, and we are not going away! We still have a long way to go, and I hope that the Virginia Indians who follow us will be driven to work to improve things. In 1910, a school was started in New Kent County for the Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division. Grades 1 through 8 were taught in this one-room school. In , the tribe was formally organized as a separate tribal government, with E.P. Bradby as the Chief. In September 1922, Tsena Commocko Indian Baptist Church was organized. Church services were held in the school building until a church could be built. In 1925, a certificate of incorporation was issued to the Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division. The tribe is proud of its 26 veterans with service in the Armed Forces since World War I. Today the people of the tribe enjoy employment in the private sector, working in the areas of technology, nursing, business administration, and privately owned businesses. The tribe purchased 41 acres of land in 2002, becoming one of the last of the eight state-recognized tribes in Virginia to own land. Tribal members plan to build a tribal center and museum, where functions can be held in an environment of fellowship and interaction with those who come from out of state. The hope to enrich and educate our people and the people of Virginia is a strong drive to move forward. 7

8 Mattaponi Shad have always been a staple in the Mattaponi diet and at the center of the Mattaponi culture. The Hatchery and Marine Science Facility were funded through grants from a number of foundations and organizations as well as from individual contributions. The facility supports the tribe's traditional work with American shad and began several new programs that include fish tagging, water quality monitoring, and the development of educational materials for schools and communities about protecting water resources. The members of this tribe live on a reservation that stretches along the Mattaponi River in King William County. The Mattaponi Indian Reservation dates back to In those early days, the people made their living completely from nature's resources. In 1646 the Mattaponi began paying tribute to an early Virginia governor. This practice continues to the present day, when on the fourth Wednesday of November the tribe presents game or fish to the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Mattaponi Indian Reservation was created from land long held by the tribe by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in Being one of the oldest reservations in the country, the tribe traces its history back to the paramount chief Powhatan who led most of Tidewater Virginia when Europeans arrived in Since the Assembly's affirmation of the reservation in 1658, the Mattaponi Tribe has maintained its heritage and many of its customs despite strong pressures pushing toward assimilation with the mainstream culture. Through the years, both the reservation's physical size and the number of tribal members have diminished. The reservation presently encompasses approximately 150 acres, a portion of which is wetland. Although the Tribal Roll numbers 450 people, only 75 actually live on the reservation. The Mattaponi Indian Tribe is state recognized and continues to maintain its own sovereign government. The governing body today is made up of the chief, assistant chief, and seven councilmen. The mission of the Mattaponi people is to maintain a sustainable community on the Mattaponi River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, that will extend the thousands of years of Mattaponi history and heritage and, in doing so, demonstrate to all people how they may live successful and rewarding lives in harmony with the earth. The reservation today sits on the banks of the Mattaponi River, one of the most pristine rivers in the Eastern United States. Facilities on the reservation include living quarters, a small church, a museum, the Fish Hatchery and Marine Science Facility, and a community tribal building that was formerly the reservation school. 8

9 The Monacan Indian Nation is composed Monacan of about 1,700 tribal members, located in Amherst County and recognized as a tribe by the Commonwealth of Virginia on February 14, Native habitation in this region dates back more than 10,000 years, and the original territory of the tribe comprised more than half of the state of Virginia, including almost all of the piedmont region and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Monacan Nation is one of the oldest groups of indigenous peoples still existing in their ancestral homeland, and the only group of Eastern Siouan people in the state. Traditionally, Monacan people buried the remains of their dead in sacred earthen mounds constructed over time. Thirteen such mounds have been found throughout the Blue Ridge and piedmont regions, similarly constructed, some more than a thousand years old. Thomas Jefferson observed several Indians visiting one of the mounds on his property in the 1700s. He later excavated the mound and became known as the father of American archaeology because he documented the findings. St. Paul's Episcopal Mission at Bear Mountain is the site of the tribe's ancestral museum and cultural center. The Episcopal Diocese returned the land on which the tribal center sits to the Monacan Nation in 1995, ending nearly a century of church control over this small tract held sacred by Monacan people. Since thattime, the tribe has purchased more than 100 acres on Bear Mountain and has obtained two other parcels of land in the same area. Tribal members have begun a cultural education program, an elders' program, and a tribal scholarship fund. They have obtained numerous grants to fund their projects and have restored their log cabin schoolhouse, circa 1870, which is now a registered National Historic Landmark. On seeking Federal Recognition: Chief Kenneth Branham says he asked his grandmother why the Indian culture wasn't passed on. She explained that in earlier days, it was safer to keep it a secret. "She told me with tears in her eyes if the wrong person heard her talking or teaching us those ways, she might not have a place to live the next day." After getting his grandmother s blessing, he helped change that. "I'm very proud of what you're doing," she said, through tears. "Once she told me that, I knew I was doing the right thing. There was no turning back. You know, I couldn't stop after that if I wanted to." - Chief Kenneth Branham 9

10 Nansemond At the time of their first English contact in Virginia, the Nansemond Tribe lived in several towns along the Nansemond River centered near Chuckatuck, the current location of Suffolk. Their head chief lived near Dumpling Island, where the tribe's temples and sacred items were located. At that time, the tribe had a population of 1200 persons with 300 bowmen. Native American culture and spirituality involve a sincere environmental respect and reverence for land, with the belief that gifts from the Creator emerge from and are returned to the earth. Because they feel that the land owns them, Native Americans are spiritually drawn to the land of their ancestors. For the Nansemond, there is a spiritual connection to the land at Lone Star Lakes Park. My ancestors actually lived, hunted, fished, The arriving English raided the Nansemond town in 1608, burning their houses and destroying their canoes in order to force them to give up their corn, thus beginning the open hostilities between the two communities. As increasing numbers of Europeans poured into the Nansemond River area, the tribal members had to relocate their tribal lands and their reservation on several occasions, losing their last known reservation lands in Currently most Nansemond tribal members still live in the Suffolk/Chesapeake area. The tribe holds its monthly meetings at the Indiana United Methodist Church, which was founded in 1850 as a mission for the Nansemond, and which is adjacent to the site of earlier tribal schools. The tribe was state recognized in The members have operated a tribal museum and gift shop in Chuckatuck, and they have current plans for a tribal center and museum and living history area on ancestral lands along the Nansemond River. They co-host a powwow each June with the city of Chesapeake, and they celebrate their tribal Powwow each August. 10

11 Pamunkey The history of the Pamunkey Tribe has been recorded by archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians, and Native occumpation of their tribal area dates back 10,000 to 12,000 years. Listed as one of the six or more districts inherited by the paramount chief Powhatan, evidence indicates that the Pamunkey district may have been the center among those core tribes, and the Pamunkey people were considered to be the most powerful of tribes who paid allegiance to Powhatan. The Pamunkey lands have been historically established as a place where Powhatan s leaders gathered to rest and restore their spirits. After Powhatan s death in 1618, Pamunkey Indian tradition accords that he was buried on the reservation. The Pamunkey Indian Reservation, on the Pamunkey River and adjacent to King William County, Virginia, contains approximately 1,200 acres of land, 500 acres of which is wetlands with numerous creeks. Thirty-four families reside on the reservation and many tribal members live in nearby Richmond, Newport News, other parts of Virginia and all over the United States. The tribe has maintained its own continuing governing body, consisting of a chief and seven council members elected every four years. The Chief and Council perform all tribal governmental functions as set forth by their laws. Much of the surviving Pamunkey culture is indebted to a subsistence lifestyle centered around pottery making, fishing, hunting, and trapping. Fishing, especially shad and herring, are an integral part of the tribe s economy. Because of the tribe s foresight, the Pamunkey River shad runs have remained healthiest of any of the East Coast rivers that are tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Elections are held every four years, in the traditional manner of using a pea and a corn. A basket is passed around on election night with the same number of peas and corn kernels as voters. The chief is the first to be voted on, and then the seven councilmen. Each person is given a pea and a corn to vote when the basket is passed for a candidate. A corn is for a "yes" vote for the candidate, and a pea is for a "no" vote. The peas and corn are counted for each person. Finally, when the basket has been passed for each candidate for the position, the person with the most corn is elected. 11

12 Rappahannock I think most people, when they think about the history of Virginia and the Indians in particular,... think about these things like the The Rappahannock probably first encountered the English in dinosaurs that existed and died and now we re writing It was likely Captain Samuel Mace who sailed up the Rappahannock River and about them and learning about them. But that s not was befriended by the Rappahannock chief. The record tells us that the ship s the case with the tribes. They captain killed the chief and took a group of Rappahannock men back to have vibrant communities that have been preserved for England. In December 1603, those men were documented giving dugout thousands of years. demonstrations on the Thames River. In December 1607, the Rappahannock -Chief Anne Richardson people first met Captain John Smith at their capital town Topahanocke, on the banks of the river bearing their name. At the time, Smith was a prisoner of Powhatan s war chief, Opechancanough. He took Smith to the Rappahannock town for the people to determine whether Smith was the Englishman who, four years earlier, had murdered their chief and kidnapped some of their people. Smith was found innocent of these crimes, and he returned to the Rappahannock homeland in the summer of 1608, when he mapped 14 Rappahannock towns on the north side of the river. English settlement in the Rappahannock River valley began illegally in the 1640s. After Bacon s Rebellion, the Rappahannock consolidated into one town, and in November 1682 the Virginia Council laid out 3,474 acres for the Rappahannock in Indian Neck, where their descendants live today. One year later, the Virginia colony forcibly removed the tribal members from their homes and relocated them, to be used as a human shield to protect white Virginians from the Iroquois of New York, who continued to attack the Virginia frontier and to threaten the expansion of English settlement. In an effort to solidify their tribal government in order to fight for their state recognition, the Rappahannock incorporated in The tribe was officially recognized as one of the historic tribes of the Commonwealth of Virginia by an act of the General Assembly on March 25, In 1996 the Rappahannock reactivated work on federal acknowledgment, which had begun in 1921, when Chief George Nelson petitioned the U.S. Congress to recognize Rappahannock civil and sovereign rights. In 1998 the Rappahannock tribe elected the first woman chief, G. Anne Richardson, to lead a tribe in Virginia since the 1700s. As a fourth-generation chief in her family, she brings to the position a long legacy of traditional leadership and service among her people. 12

13 Upper Mattaponi For centuries the ancestors of the Upper Mattaponi people lived in towns along the waterways of Virginia. They harvested corn, beans, and squash and hunted deer. They spoke an Algonquian language, and when the British came in 1607 they were prosperous members of the Powhatan paramount chiefdom. Captain John Smith s map of 1612 indicates that the tribe s present location corresponds with an Indian town called Passaunkack. In the mid-1600s, the upper reaches of the Mattaponi River were still frontier, and other tribes had been forced into the area by the expansion of the British. A 1673 map drawn by August Hermann notes the largest concentration of Indians near Passaunkack, home of the Upper Mattaponi. The Peace Treaty of 1677 was signed on behalf of the Mattaponi by werowansqua Cockacoeske, and a reservation of Chickahominy and Mattaponi was established near Passaunkack. During the 1700s, the Chickahominy moved back to their homeland. Those people who remained were the ancestors of the Upper Mattaponi. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, the Upper Mattaponi were known as the Adamstown Band, because so many of the tribal citizens had the last name Adams. By 1850 a nucleus of at least 10 Adamstown families were documented in the area, farming and hunting. A Civil War map of 1863 In 1919 the tribe built a small one-room designated the area as Indian Land, and by the 1880s the Adamstown Band had built its schoolhouse, Sharon own school. Because of the racial climate, Indian people had few rights and found it Indian School. This building served them difficult to prosper. Even so, they valued an education, and the first federal funds were until 1952, when a requested in 1892 for education of the Adamstown Indians. In the early 20th century, a brick structure was erected adjacent to cultural revival spread throughout the tribes of the region, and the band changed its the original building. name to the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. The new school was closed in 1965 with the policy of desegregation, and it is now on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Buildings. It is the only public Indian school building still existing in Virginia. 13

14 Pamunkey Pottery: An Unbroken Tradition Archaeology attests to the fact that the potter's craft has been practiced by the (Pamunkey) Indians for many centuries. Pre-Columbian (before European people came to North America) vessels and shards found on the reservation today are very similar to pieces made at the end of the nineteenth century. The traditional Pamunkey clay deposit provides a firm link with the past, for this clay deposit has been in documented use for at least 200 years, and it is most likely that clay has been dug here ever since the community was founded. Today, the place is called Lay Landing. According to Mr. Edward Bradby, who was born there at the turn of the century, the original name could have been Clay Landing, the contemporary name being merely a contracted form. When Pollard interviewed Terrill Bradby at the end of the nineteenth century, he recalled digging clay when he was a boy before the Civil War. The basic Pamunkey vessel is flat-bottomed. The potter first takes a small quantity of clay and constructs a disk, which forms the bottom. Morsels of clay are then placed on this simple base, and the vessel's walls are formed with the assistance of a mussel shell. Once the desired height is reached, the final shape is given to the vessel. All is accomplished with the hands in concert with a mussel shell. Large vessels are commonly beaten with a cord-wrapped paddle until the walls reach the desired height and thinness. The newly constructed pot is then rubbed with a damp rag, the designs incised or impressed, and the vessel is then allowed to dry slowly. Then the potters turn to the open fire, as was customary with their ancestors and in the tradition as it existed before the advent of the Pottery School. The traditional Pamunkey clay deposit provides a firm link with the past, for this clay deposit has been in documented use for at least 200 years, and it is most likely that clay has been dug here ever since the community was founded. In former times, the opening of a clay mine was a great feast day with the Pamunkey. The whole tribe, men, women and children were present, and each family took home a share of the clay. -Chief Terrill Bradby Today, the Pamunkey pottery tradition survives despite the trauma of a changing culture. Over the years, its products have become traditional in their own right. 14

15 Powhatan When the English arrived in Virginia in 1607, Powhatan, whose informal name was Wahunsunacock, was the acknowledged paramount chief, or mamanatowick, of many tribes. These tribes ranged from the Rappahannock River in the north to just south of the James River in the south, and from the fall line of the rivers in the west to the Atlantic Ocean. Powhatan, who was probably in his 60 s when he first met the English, had acquired leadership of these tribes through inheritance and coercion that was frequently reinforced with family or marriage ties. He held his position not only through military strength but also through great personal and spiritual charisma as well as a complex system of social rules not fully understood by the English. The tribes under Powhatan s leadership paid tribute to his treasury in food and goods, which were then used for redistribution, trade, rewards, and ceremonial display. Powhatan s tributaries (the tribes that paid tribute to him) are best referred to as a "paramount chiefdom" or by using generic terms such as the Powhatan tribes, when referring to these tribes at the time of English contact. They did not constitute a chiefdom, a "confederacy" or a nation. In the early years of the English colony, Powhatan s first intent was probably to incorporate the English into his polity as another tribe. Thwarted by the English, who had another agenda, he retired from leadership around 1616 and died in April Deanna Beacham, Virginia Council on Indians 15

16 Chief Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy) I was born in my childhood home in Charles City County, Virginia. My siblings and I went to church and school, normal activities for most children. However, as teenagers, many of us had to leave home in order to attend high school in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Virginia embraced the Racial Integrity Act which labeled all people as either white or colored. We were the third race in a two-race state. Through many of our school years our preprinted report cards had two options to check for race. One option was white the other was colored. Of course Indian was a write in. We finally moved up to forms with the preprinted option other. Our underground joke, albeit painful, was What tribe are you? The answer was other. Each year our families would make the homecoming circuit, visiting all of the Native American Baptist Churches as they kicked off a week of revival. While also serving as the social hub of each Indian Community, the church was a place of praise and worship where strong moral values and the Christian Faith were nurtured. The annual Chickahominy Indian Fall Festival and Pow Wow attracted members from all of the Virginia Indian Tribes as well as people from the mainstream society, providing a way for us to share our culture. For the last several years, my primary focus has been toward federal recognition for my people. I believe in 2008 the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, along with the other Virginia Indian tribes seeking federal recognition will take their place(s) alongside the other 562 federally recognized tribes in the USA by being formally acknowledged as sovereign nations by the United States Government. I want to see Indians receive due classification in a state and country that has marginalized them for 400 years. I remember once traveling with my father, and we pulled into a gas station because I had to go to the bathroom and there was one marked white and one bathroom marked colored. I said, Dad, what do I do? Dad would usually choose the closer one. -Chief Stephen Adkins As a leader of my tribe, my main goals are to inspire our young tribal members to seek higher education in order to effectively compete for meaningful jobs, to be fully engaged citizens in today s society, e.g., voting and running for public office, to be morally upright, and to be spiritually grounded with a deep faith in our Creator. For the future, I would like to see my people continue to help guide and shape the emerging generation into principle driven people of character and courage who will bring honor to their heritage. 16

17 Pocahontas Pocahontas, a daughter of the Paramount chief Powhatan, was about 10 years old in 1607, when the captive John Smith was brought to her father s headquarters at Werowocomoco. She was noted for being bright and curious. Opinions differ as to whether the famous rescue of John Smith incident actually happened, but if it did, it was most likely a form of ritual misunderstanding by Smith. During the next two years, Pocahontas sometimes accompanied her father s councilors on trips to Jamestown. In 1613, while she as visiting with the Patawomeke people in what is now Stafford County, the teenager was kidnapped by the English and help for ransom. During her captivity, Pocahontas met the Englishman John Rolfe, who wanted to marry her. After the English made peace with her father, she agreed, with her father s approval, to accept their religion and marry Rolfe. She took the name Rebecca. The peace that followed lasted for several years, during which the English steadily added to their land holdings from her people s territory. In 1616, the Rolfes went to England with their young son Thomas, where Rebecca Rolfe was presented to the English court. She died there of an unknown disease in 1617, and she was buried in Gravesend. In 2006, a delegation of Virginia Indians visited her grave and honored her as one of our ancestors who faced difficult decisions and did her best for her people. Deanna Beacham 17

18 Ashley Atkins, Pamunkey Indian I grew up just like every other child. I went to public school in Chesterfield County. I always really liked school; I enjoyed learning especially about history which is something that has definitely stuck with me. I think enjoying school helped me in becoming an honor roll student. My favorite school activities were the ones related to music. In middle school, I was a trombone player in the school band as well as a singer in the school choir. I was a member of six different choirs throughout high school and I also participated in multiple high school drama productions. One of the fun things I experienced growing up was spending summers and holidays on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation. My grandparents and great-grandparents lived on the rez (reservation) when I was growing up and my brother and I and our cousins would go there often to visit family. We would go swimming in the Pamunkey River, ride bikes, and go fishing which was one of my favorite things. Some of the foods that that I ate, such as wild turkey, deer, fish and eel, may be different that what most children eat. One of my favorite childhood experiences, that I still enjoy today, is going to powwows to see family and friends perform. Music was my initial focus when I began college at James Madison University. However, archaeology and history have always been a part of my life and this was the path I knew I needed to follow. Currently, I am a graduate student at the College of William and Mary studying anthropology and archaeology. One of the reasons I specifically chose to focus on archaeology is the lack of Virginia Indian involvement in archaeology, which in turn creates an absence of the Virginia Indian perspective in the portrayal of their past and history. I want to be an advocate for the inclusion of Native One hope and dream that I have for is that the federal government will give the Virginia tribes the recognition they deserve. Ashley Atkins Americans in indigenous archaeology. Currently, the tribes of Virginia are only recognized by the state of Virginia and not the United States of America. The Virginia tribes have been trying for years to obtain Federal recognition and have been unsuccessful. 18

19 Community Life: Roles of Men and Women Among the Virginia Algonquian people (Coastal Virginia Indians, which included the Powatan tribes), daily tasks were divided by gender. Men spent most of their time hunting, fishing, engaged in military actions, and protecting their towns. When they were home, they had to mend fishing nets, construct fish weirs, sharpen blades, construct bows and arrows, whittle fish hooks from bones, carve dugout canoes, help to clear new fields for planting, tan hides, and keep a watchful eye over the town in case of outsider attack. Most of the time men were out hunting. Men proved their worth by becoming accomplished hunters. Before they could marry, young men had to demonstrate proficient skills in hunting in order to win the confidence of a potential wife and her family. Venison was the most important meat to the Virginia Indian tribes. Deer skins provided clothing, footwear and bedding for their families, especially important in the cold winter months. In the early 1600 s, Europeans raised domesticated animals such as cows, pigs and chickens, eliminating the need to hunt for meat. Hunting and fishing became leisurely activities for European men. When the historian, Gabriel Archer, wrote that the Powhatan women did all of the work and the men simply hunt and goe at their plesure, he did not fully comprehend their Because of cultural culture or way of life. Because of cultural differences, the colonists believed differences, the that Virginia Indian women were over-burdened, while the men were often colonists believed that idle. However, unlike the European women of the 1600 s, Virginia Indian Powhatan women women had more freedom to make important decisions, and their opinions were over-burdened, were valued by the men. According to Karenne Wood, in many tribes the while the men were women were in charge of the crops, which meant that they had power over the tribes food supplies. They were also able to inherit leadership through often idle. their family bloodline, enabling some women to become chief. The Virginia Algonquian women were skilled in a variety of tasks that made them invaluable to their families and to their husbands. As young women, they learned from their mothers how to make baskets, rope, pottery, wooden utensils, plates and grinding stones. They were taught how and when to plant the gardens, making them a vital part of the production of a valuable commodity: corn. When a man asked to marry a young woman, he would bring meat and furs to impress her. Only after she was convinced that he was a good provider would she agree to marry him. The women constructed, and may have also owned, the houses. When the town was moved to a new location, the women carried all of the family s possessions so that the men could shoot game or protect them from attack. However, the most important role that a woman could have was that of being a mother. 19

20 Housing Architectural shapes and construction techniques varied among the native tribes, on both the east and west coast; however, they both built versions of the longhouse. Among the Eastern Woodland tribes, construction began in late spring when the sap level in the tree was high. Green bark allowed for easy cutting, folding and stitching the complex shapes which were implemented in the construction of items such as containers, trays, and shields, as well as houses, temples, and work areas. Tall, thin saplings were used to create a barrel-vaulted framework. The common home was covered with woven grass mats; more elite members of the community would use large pieces of bark. For additional insulation in the winter, the walls would be double layered. Inside, the homes were comfortably furnished with fur bedding, storage areas, and fire pits with ceiling ventilation. Frequently, several generations would share one longhouse. Monacan houses were often circular, shaped like wigwams. Cherokee houses were sometimes made using the wattle and daub method, in which sticks are mixed with mud to make an adobe-like paste. The Virginia Indians divided up their territory in a way different from the English. They saw watercourses as centers of districts, not boundaries. Waterways were major sources of food and avenues of transportation, and if a waterway was narrow enough (a mile or less), the people in a tribe would build on both sides of it much the same way that we would build on both sides of our highways. Town center was wherever the weroance s (chief s) house stood usually built outside the towns. --Helen Rountree 20

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