Encyclopedia Virginia: Precolonial History http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Don_LuA Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:36:46 EST Don Luís de Velasco / Paquiquineo (fl. 1561–1571) http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Don_LuA Paquiquineo, later Don Luís de Velasco, was a Virginia Indian who encountered Spanish explorers on the Chesapeake Bay in 1561 and returned to Spain with them, either voluntarily or as a captive. There, he appeared before King Philip II and was granted permission to lead a Catholic mission back to the Chesapeake, a land the Spaniards believed the Indians called Ajacán. A brief stop in Mexico City turned into a years-long stay after Paquiquineo became ill. During that time he converted to Christianity, taking the name of the viceroy of New Spain (present-day Mexico), Don Luís de Velasco. After two failed attempts to return home with Dominican missionaries, Don Luís sailed again to Spain, where he joined a group of Jesuit priests, and finally landed on the James River in September 1570—more than nine years after he had left. He initially aided the Jesuits, but quickly reunited with his family and, in February 1571, led an ambush that killed the missionaries save for an altar boy, Alonso de Olmos. While contemporary Spanish chroniclers demonized Paquiquineo, at least one modern scholar has suggested that the violence may have been a symbolic and predictable reaction to violations of the Indians' gift-exchange economy. In 1572 the Spanish dispatched soldiers to Ajacán. They hanged a handful of Indians but did not find Paquiquineo, who subsequently disappeared from history. Based on Jamestown-era rumors, some historians have argued that Paquiquineo and Opechancanough were the same person.
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:36:46 EST]]>
/Gift_Exchange_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:34:06 EST <![CDATA[Gift Exchange in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Gift_Exchange_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Algonquian-speaking Virginia Indians during the Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1650) practiced a gift-exchange economy. All Indians were required to give, accept, and, at a later date, reciprocate; failure to do so could lead to punishments of varying kinds. Rather than value the goods being exchanged, Indians valued the relationships of the people exchanging, with participants in the economy collecting personal debts rather than material wealth. In fact, goods were not owned but continuously passed from gift-giver to receiver. This system contrasted sharply with the commodity-exchange system with which Europeans were familiar, and each culture's unfamiliarity with the other's economy led to tensions and even violence. In 1571, a baptized Virginia Indian named Don Luís led a party that killed a group of Jesuit missionaries, an act of violence that can be best explained as a response to a violation of gift-exchange protocol. The Jesuits had declined to offer gifts to Don Luís's people while trading with neighboring groups, an act of humiliation that led to their deaths. At Roanoke, the Indians allowed such slights to pass, instead manipulating the English colonists for their own political advantage. At Jamestown, however, English ignorance of the gift exchange unleashed more violence, which was often symbolic. In one case, the mouths of English corpses were stuffed with bread, a repeated gift of sustenance for which the English had failed to reciprocate. The derisive term "Indian giver," the meaning of which has changed over time, has come to represent the frustration that resulted from each group's ignorance of the other's economic system.
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:34:06 EST]]>
/Rappahannock_Tribe Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:33:52 EST <![CDATA[Rappahannock Tribe]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Rappahannock_Tribe The Rappahannock tribe is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose tribal area is located in Indian Neck in King and Queen County. In the late twentieth century, the tribe owned 140.5 acres of land and the Rappahannock Cultural Center and had about 500 members on its tribal roll.
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:33:52 EST]]>
/Monacan_Indian_Nation Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:27:46 EST <![CDATA[Monacan Indian Nation]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Monacan_Indian_Nation The Monacan Indian Nation is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose tribal area is located near Bear Mountain in Amherst County. The original territory of the Siouan-speaking tribe and its allies comprised more than half of present-day Virginia, including almost all of the Piedmont region and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Early in the twenty-first century about 1,600 Monacans belonged to the tribe, one of the oldest groups of indigenous people still existing in its ancestral homeland, and the only group in the state whose culture descends from Eastern Siouan speakers.
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:27:46 EST]]>
/Nansemond_Tribe Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:58:33 EST <![CDATA[Nansemond Tribe]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Nansemond_Tribe The Nansemond tribe is a state- and federally recognized Indian tribe whose members live mostly in the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. In 2009 about 200 Nansemond tribal members were registered in Virginia.
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:58:33 EST]]>
/Paleoindian_Period Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:04:45 EST <![CDATA[Paleoindian Period (16,000–8000 BC)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Paleoindian_Period The Paleoindian Period (16,000–8000 BC) came toward the end of the Ice Age, a time when the climate warmed and the largest mammals became extinct. Likely having originally migrated from Asia, the first people in Virginia were hunter-gatherers who left behind lithic, or stone, tools, often spearheads. At the Cactus Hill Archaeological Site in Sussex County, these date back to 16,000 BC, or well before the better-known Clovis culture. The so-called Paleoamericans likely banded together in groups of thirty to fifty and located themselves near high-quality stone resources, especially in Dinwiddie and Mecklenburg counties. While keeping a base camp, they may have established smaller settlements for more specialized tasks such as tool-making and hunting. The bands probably lacked central leadership, moved often, and traded with one another. Based on the religious practices of the later Virginia Indians, they likely were animists, investing various natural forces with spiritual power.
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:04:45 EST]]>
/Cactus_Hill_Archaeological_Site Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:02:19 EST <![CDATA[Cactus Hill Archaeological Site]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cactus_Hill_Archaeological_Site Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:02:19 EST]]> /Crab_Orchard_Archaeological_Site Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:02:46 EST <![CDATA[Crab Orchard Archaeological Site]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Crab_Orchard_Archaeological_Site Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:02:46 EST]]> /Powhatan_d_1618 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:47:51 EST <![CDATA[Powhatan (d. 1618)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Powhatan_d_1618 Powhatan, whose given name was Wahunsonacock, was the paramount chief of Tsenacomoco, a political alliance of Virginia Indians whose core six groups all settled along the James, Mattaponi, and Pamunkey rivers. Introduced to the Jamestown colonists in 1607 as Powhatan, he was for a decade the most powerful point of contact for the English; in 1614, the marriage of his daughter, Pocahontas, to John Rolfe, helped end, at least temporarily, years of war. Coming to power in Powhatan, the Powhatan Indians' principal frontier town on the James River, Wahunsonacock likely was raised much as any other Algonquian-speaking Indian would have been—learning archery and hunting from the men of his village. By 1607, he was paramount chief of Tsenacomoco, having expanded it, through a combination of force and diplomacy, to between twenty-eight and thirty-two tribes and petty chiefdoms. Powhatan negotiated with the English, and especially John Smith, attempting to reach accommodation with the colonists and, when he could not, attempting to intimidate or kill them. In 1609, he moved his capital from Werowocomoco to Orapax, which was farther west, and intensified his efforts to kill Smith and expel the English. Pocahontas's marriage ended that stage of the conflict, and relations were peaceful until Powhatan's death in 1618. When his brother, Opechancanough, became leader of Tsenacomoco, he launched the attack that inaugurated the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622–1632).
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:47:51 EST]]>
/Pocahontas_d_1617 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:38:59 EST <![CDATA[Pocahontas (d. 1617)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pocahontas_d_1617 Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of an alliance of Virginia Indians in Tidewater Virginia. An iconic figure in American history, Pocahontas is largely known for saving the life of the Jamestown colonist John Smith and then romancing him—although both events are unlikely to be true. She did meet Smith several times, sometimes serving as Powhatan's silent figurehead and a symbolic liaison between the chief and the English colonists; she was not, however, a "princess" or a diplomat in any modern sense. Sometime around 1610, she married an Indian named Kocoum, and in 1613 she was captured by the English and confined at Jamestown, where she converted to Christianity and married the colonist John Rolfe. The marriage, approved by Powhatan, brought an end to the First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609–1614) and set the stage for Pocahontas's visit to London in 1616. At the request of the Virginia Company of London, she met both King James I and the bishop of London, after which she reunited briefly with Smith. Early in her return voyage to Virginia, she became ill and died at Gravesend in March 1617. In the centuries since, Pocahontas's life has slipped into myth, serving to represent Virginia's early claim to be the foundation-place of America. Many elite Virginians, meanwhile, have tenuously claimed her as a relative, even leading to a "Pocahontas clause" in the Racial Integrity Act of 1924.
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:38:59 EST]]>
/Indians_in_Virginia Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:36:25 EST <![CDATA[Indians in Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Indians_in_Virginia Indians have lived in the area now known as Virginia for thousands of years. Their histories, ancestral connections, and traditions are intertwined with the 6,000 square miles of Tidewater land the Algonquian-speaking Indians of Virginia called Tsenacomoco. The early inhabitants of Virginia were hunter-gatherers who followed the migratory patterns of animals. Over time, and as the region warmed, they settled into towns along riverbanks and outlined their homelands, developing intimate, balanced relationships with the animals, plants, and geographic formations. They hunted, fished, and farmed, and developed complex social and religious systems and vast trade networks. By the early 1600s, Virginia Indians lived in three broad cultural groups based on the language families found in the area: Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Siouan. Scholars know most about the Algonquian-speaking Indians of Tsenacomoco, who eventually grouped together into a paramount chiefdom. Led by Powhatan, the polity ultimately included twenty-eight to thirty-two small chiefdoms and tribes, stretching from the James to the Potomac rivers and encompassing much of Virginia's coastal plain. In 1607, Englishmen arrived and changed Indian life forever. In the midst of a severe drought, the colonists' demands for food and their inability to fully understand Indian cultural practices led in part to three protracted and violent conflicts over four decades, ending in 1646 with the Algonquian-speaking Indians largely subject to English rule. The General Assembly set aside land for the former tribes of Tsenacomoco, although in subsequent years some Indians were forced to move and some groups became dispersed. In the years that followed, they contributed to the developing American culture while working to maintain their own traditions during difficult periods of disease, hunger, forced relocations, and restrictive colonial and later statewide policies that curtailed their rights to travel unmolested through lands now occupied by settlers, to visit their traditional hunting and fishing grounds, and to testify in court on their own behalf. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a cultural renaissance bloomed and some scholars began to study Indian history more closely. At the same time, the General Assembly did much to deny Indian identity, including passing in 1924 the Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, which criminalized interracial marriage and separated Virginians into two simplified racial categories: white and colored. These wrongs were addressed in part by the Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967) and by state legislation in the late 1980s that allowed Virginia Indians to change the racial designation on their birth certificates without cost. Virginia Indians in the twenty-first century actively cultivate their own culture while educating others about their history.
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:36:25 EST]]>
/Bermuda_Hundred_During_the_Colonial_Period Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:13:37 EST <![CDATA[Bermuda Hundred during the Colonial Period]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bermuda_Hundred_During_the_Colonial_Period Bermuda Hundred was established by Sir Thomas Dale in 1613 at the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers. Virginia Indians had occupied the site for at least 10,000 years before Dale planted a settlement there. The term "hundred" comes from the English practice of locating ten towns, or tithings (groups of ten families), at a settlement. One of Bermuda Hundred's most famous residents was John Rolfe, who may have grown his first marketable tobacco there—Nicotiana tabacum, a West Indian plant with which he had been experimenting since 1612. Rolfe may have lived there with his wife Pocahontas, the daughter of the Powhatan Indians' paramount chief, Powhatan. The population of Bermuda Hundred, like that of other early English settlements in Virginia, was nearly wiped out by a massive assault orchestrated by one of Powhatan's successors, Opechancanough. The settlement survived, however, becoming one of Virginia's first ports in 1691, the site of a tobacco inspection in 1731, and the site of a new ferry to City Point in 1732. In 1738, the General Assembly considered Bermuda Hundred for the colony's new capital. After 1780, when Richmond became the new capital of Virginia, Bermuda Hundred began to decline.
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/_The_people_of_America_crye_oute_unto_us_an_excerpt_from_Discourse_on_Western_Planting_by_Richard_Hakluyt_the_younger_1584 Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:09:56 EST <![CDATA["The people of America crye oute unto us"; an excerpt from Discourse on Western Planting by Richard Hakluyt (the younger) (1584)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_The_people_of_America_crye_oute_unto_us_an_excerpt_from_Discourse_on_Western_Planting_by_Richard_Hakluyt_the_younger_1584 Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:09:56 EST]]> /Howell_Henry_E_1920-1997 Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:10:21 EST <![CDATA[Howell, Henry E. (1920–1997)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Howell_Henry_E_1920-1997 Henry E. Howell served in the House of Delegates (1960–1962, 1964–1965) and the Senate of Virginia (1966–1971), representing the Norfolk area. He was lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1971 to 1974. Howell ran unsuccessfully for governor three times, losing in the Democratic runoff primary in 1969 and in the general elections of 1973 and 1977. Howell was a harsh critic of Virginia's conservative Democratic political organization headed by U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr. Howell's principal achievements were as a member of the General Assembly and as an attorney representing clients in federal courts and before the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Howell was an avowed populist, a champion of the ordinary citizen against big economic interests and their political allies. He challenged the poll tax and represented plaintiffs seeking greater representation for urban areas in the General Assembly. Howell also sued the governor to stop the commonwealth from deducting the amount of federal appropriations to "impacted area" school systems from the State's aid to those school systems. Howell's consumer advocacy included numerous rate cases that resulted in rebates from automobile insurance, electric power, and telephone companies. Howell campaigned for Democratic candidates in his later years and died in 1997.
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:10:21 EST]]>
/Pamunkey_Tribe Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:10:45 EST <![CDATA[Pamunkey Tribe]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pamunkey_Tribe The Pamunkey tribe is an Indian tribe that the Commonwealth of Virginia has recognized since the seventeenth century. In 1983, while granting recognition to several other tribes, Virginia again acknowledged the Pamunkey tribe's status. In 2015, the federal government officially recognized the tribe. The tribe has a reservation located on the Pamunkey River in King William County and is one of the nation's oldest, dating back to 1646. Of the reservation's 1,200 acres, 500 are wetlands. In 2012 about eighty Pamunkey tribal members lived on the reservation, with many more residing in nearby Richmond and Newport News, as well as throughout Virginia and the United States. Pamunkey people have served in every American war and major conflict, beginning with the Revolutionary War (1775–1783).
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:10:45 EST]]>
/Opechancanough_d_1646 Thu, 07 May 2015 09:32:36 EST <![CDATA[Opechancanough (d. 1646)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Opechancanough_d_1646 Opechancanough was paramount chief of Tsenacomoco, a political alliance of Virginia Indians, and famously led massive assaults against the English colonists in 1622 and 1644. The younger brother (or cousin) of Powhatan, who was paramount chief at the time of the Jamestown landing in 1607, Opechancanough was possibly chief of the Youghtanund Indians and, as such, protected one of Tsenacomoco's most critical territories. Still, when another chief seduced his favorite wife, neither Opechancanough nor Powhatan had the power to return her. Although the colonist John Smith portrayed Opechancanough as immediately hostile to the English, the chief actually treated Smith well upon the Englishman's capture. As Powhatan aged, Opechancanough filled the apparent power vacuum, and while he did not immediately become paramount chief upon Powhatan's death in 1618, he appeared to wield the most power. He organized a large-scale assault on the English colonists in March 1622, starting the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622–1632); another assault, this time in April 1644, inaugurated the much shorter Third Anglo-Powhatan War (1644–1646), which ended with Opechancanough's capture. Neither attack deterred English expansion, and Opechancanough died in English custody. By early in the 1700s, the defeated Powhatans were distancing themselves from his memory, and popular writing about him since has tended to downplay his military and diplomatic achievements.
Thu, 07 May 2015 09:32:36 EST]]>
/Little_Ice_Age_and_Colonial_Virginia_The Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:35:21 EST <![CDATA[Little Ice Age and Colonial Virginia, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Little_Ice_Age_and_Colonial_Virginia_The The Little Ice Age was a climatic period, lasting from about 1300 to 1750, when worldwide temperatures cooled slightly, leading to extreme weather that, in turn, affected the colonizing ventures of Europeans in America. Before their arrival, Europeans assumed America's climate would match that of lands situated along the same lines of latitude elsewhere. Instead, the New World was both hotter and colder than they expected. And as a result of the Little Ice Age, the weather was marked by wet springs that led to flooding, hot summers that led to long droughts, and particularly cold winters. Scientists disagree over the causes of the Little Ice Age, although an environmental scientist at the University of Virginia has pointed the finger at human activity. Regardless, scientists agree that the effect on weather was pronounced. In January 1607, a massive flood struck southwestern England even as the Thames River was frozen over. Both the areas around Roanoke and Jamestown were suffering from millennial droughts when the colonists arrived demanding food from local Indian populations. The resulting scarcity of food contributed to disease and conflict, both of which ended the venture at Roanoke and threatened the survival of Jamestown.
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:35:21 EST]]>
/Tsenacomoco_Powhatan_Paramount_Chiefdom Fri, 30 May 2014 17:53:06 EST <![CDATA[Tsenacomoco (Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Tsenacomoco_Powhatan_Paramount_Chiefdom Tsenacomoco, otherwise known as the Powhatan paramount chiefdom, was a political alliance of Algonquian-speaking Virginia Indians that occupied the area first settled by the English at Jamestown. The origins of Tsenacomoco date to the Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1650). By 1607, twenty-eight to thirty-two groups, each with its own chief, paid tribute to Powhatan, the paramount chief of Tsenacomoco. With boundaries that stretched from the James River to the Potomac and west to the fall line, Tsenacomoco had a population of around 15,000 people. The name of the paramount chiefdom was first reported by the early English settler William Strachey and, while some scholars disagree, it may be translated to mean "densely inhabited place." Living in riverside towns, the Indians of Tsenacomoco cleared land for farming and used the forests for hunting. The wide, slow-moving rivers, meanwhile, provided means for travel, trade, and war. After the English arrived in 1607, Powhatan attempted to subsume them into Tsenacomoco, and, when that failed, he fought them in the First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609–1614), which ended only with the marriage of his daughter Pocahontas to John Rolfe. A successor to Powhatan, Opechancanough, fought two more wars, both of them unsuccessful. With Opechancanough's death in 1646 came the end of Tsenacomoco.
Fri, 30 May 2014 17:53:06 EST]]>
/Towns_and_Town_Life_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 17:50:59 EST <![CDATA[Towns and Town Life in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Towns_and_Town_Life_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Much of what is known about towns and town life in early Virginia Indian society is drawn from archaeological investigation, the observations of English settlers, and the work of Captain John Smith, who between 1607 and 1609 explored and mapped the Chesapeake Bay area. Through a combination of these sources, we know that most Virginia Indian towns were located close to fertile soil and along waterways, which were both a source of food and drinking water and a means of transport. Towns generally conformed to one of two layouts: a dispersed settlement pattern, in which the houses were scattered according to which fields were being cultivated at the time; and a nucleated settlement pattern, in which a palisade surrounds a tightly packed group of houses. The latter layout was usually found in frontier areas, where the threat of attack by enemy tribes was greater. Indian towns were busy, intensely social places and each resident, regardless of age or sex, was expected to play a particular role. This resulted in a tight-knit community that could be supportive, but constricting. Privacy was limited, so great emphasis was placed on manners and politeness and on releasing tension through a nightly group activity like singing and dancing. The quality of life in Indian towns declined in Virginia after the English arrived and began to encroach on Indian land.
Fri, 30 May 2014 17:50:59 EST]]>
/Religion_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 17:31:30 EST <![CDATA[Religion in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Religion_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Knowledge of religion in early Virginia Indian society largely comes from English colonists like Captain John Smith, who stated that all Indians had "religion, Deare, and Bow and Arrowes." Because Smith and his countrymen almost exclusively dealt with the Powhatans of Tsenacomoco—an alliance of twenty-eight to thirty-two petty tribes and chiefdoms centered around the James, Mattaponi, and Pamunkey rivers—the most is known about them. The Powhatans worshipped a number of spirits, the most important of whom was Okee. Men cut their hair in imitation of Okee's. To assuage his anger in times of crisis or court his pleasure before the hunt, they made sacrifices. Other spirits included the benevolent Ahone, the Great Hare creator god, an unnamed female divinity, and the Sun god. In charge of managing relations with these various spirits were the kwiocosuk, or shamans, who lived apart from common Powhatans and wielded the society's ultimate authority. Quiocosins , or holy temples, housed the shamans and hosted various rituals. When weroances, or chiefs, died, they were reduced to bundles of bones and, for several years, stored in the temples. The Powhatans also had a variety of rituals associated with eating, hunting, male initiation, and the killing of prisoners of war. Smith described what appeared to be a "conjuration" and, on another occasion, a three-day dance that may have been a yearly harvest festival.
Fri, 30 May 2014 17:31:30 EST]]>
/Political_Organization_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 15:26:54 EST <![CDATA[Political Organization in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Political_Organization_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Political organization in early Virginia Indian society likely was similar across the several distinct and culturally diverse groups that lived in the area; however, due to the records left by the English colonists, the most is known about the Powhatan Indians of Tsenacomoco. The alliance's six core groups lived along the James, Mattaponi, and Pamunkey rivers, with their capital, Werowocomoco, situated on the present-day York River. Each constituent group consisted of one or more towns ruled by a weroance, or chief, whose position was inherited matrilineally. For guidance, the weroance consulted his council, or cockarouses, and whenever he acted he was first obligated to seek the approval of his one or more kwiocosuk, or shamans. The mamanatowick, or paramount chief, ruled all of Tsenacomoco and likely combined the authority of weroance and kwiocosuk. He lived an opulent and exalted life—bejeweling himself in necklaces, bracelets, and a crown and traveling with a fifty-man bodyguard—but he was not an absolute ruler. He, too, consulted his council and, lacking a standing army or police force, he was not always able to enforce his will on subordinates. In the end, the ultimate authority in Tsenacomoco was religious, not political. Although the paramount chief was seen to own all of the land and its wealth, the shamans were empowered to intervene with the gods, mollifying them with sacrifices on the occasion of famine, flood, or other disasters.
Fri, 30 May 2014 15:26:54 EST]]>
/Personal_Names_by_Virginia_Indians_During_the_Precolonial_and_Colonial_Eras_Uses_of Fri, 30 May 2014 15:20:33 EST <![CDATA[Personal Names by Early Virginia Indians, Uses of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Personal_Names_by_Virginia_Indians_During_the_Precolonial_and_Colonial_Eras_Uses_of Early Virginia Indians—the Algonquian-speaking Indians of Tsenacomoco, in particular, and possibly other groups—used multiple personal names. Although these names had specific meanings, most were not translated by English colonists at Jamestown, and many of those meanings have been lost. Often, Indians held more than one name simultaneously, with different names used in different situations. Pocahontas, for instance, had a formal given name; a "secret," or highly personal name; and nicknames that were updated throughout her life, sometimes commenting on her personality or her position within the community. Indian men and boys were expected to earn names that described their feats as hunters and warriors. Chiefs, such as Powhatan, often took new names when assuming power and sometimes even changed their names again after that. After the mid-seventeenth century, Virginia Indians began to adopt English first names, which they sometimes paired with shortened versions of their Indian names.
Fri, 30 May 2014 15:20:33 EST]]>
/Paint_Lick_Mountain_Pictograph_Archaeological_Site Fri, 30 May 2014 14:18:39 EST <![CDATA[Paint Lick Mountain Pictograph Archaeological Site]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Paint_Lick_Mountain_Pictograph_Archaeological_Site Fri, 30 May 2014 14:18:39 EST]]> /Marriage_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 14:11:31 EST <![CDATA[Marriage in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Marriage_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society What is known of marriage in early Virginia Indian society is limited to the observations of Jamestown colonists, visiting English observers, and later American historians, and is mostly applicable to the Algonquian-speaking Powhatans of Tsenacomoco, a paramount chiefdom of twenty-eight to thirty-two groups living in Tidewater Virginia. Marriage was crucial for survival in Indian society, because men and women needed to work as partners in order to accomplish their many daily and seasonal tasks. The man initiated courtship and looked for a woman who would perform her assigned tasks well. The woman could decline a marriage offer, but if she did choose to accept it, her parents also needed to approve the offer. The groom's parents, meanwhile, paid a bridewealth, or marriage payment, to the bride's parents to compensate them for her lost labor. Men were allowed to have additional wives, so long as the husband could afford to provide for them; for chiefs especially, these wives served as symbols of wealth. It is estimated that the paramount chief Powhatan (Wahunsonacock) had as many as one hundred wives during his lifetime. While a man's first marriage was expected to last for life, additional marriages were likely negotiated for shorter terms. Unless a woman was married to a chief, she was allowed to conduct extramarital affairs, provided she had her husband's permission (which was usually given). Punishment for dishonesty on this score could be severe, however. Virginia Indians held onto their marriage traditions long after contact with the English, and marriage between Indians and the English was rare.
Fri, 30 May 2014 14:11:31 EST]]>
/Manners_and_Politeness_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 14:09:44 EST <![CDATA[Manners and Politeness in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Manners_and_Politeness_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Manners and politeness, as dictated by custom, were an important aspect of early Virginia Indian society. What is known about the subject is limited to the observations of Jamestown colonists, visiting English observers, and later American historians, and is mostly applicable to the Algonquian-speaking Powhatan Indians of Tsenacomoco, a paramount chiefdom of twenty-eight to thirty-two groups in Tidewater Virginia. Although regulation among the Virginia Indians tended to be informal, the line between good and bad manners was nevertheless clear and the consequences for crossing it were severe. The Powhatans did not tolerate interruptions in formal situations, and tended to refrain from speaking until the appropriate moment. In instances of minor personal conflict, they chose either to withdraw from the situation or to bear any imposition without complaint. Powhatan society had various outlets for aggression and frustration, but in the end, self-control, even under torture, was most valued.
Fri, 30 May 2014 14:09:44 EST]]>
/Law_and_Justice_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 14:08:06 EST <![CDATA[Law and Justice in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Law_and_Justice_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Law and justice in early Virginia Indian society were not well understood by English observers, whose main concern was replacing the native system with their own. William Strachey wrote that the Indians ruled not by "posetive lawes," but by custom, and Henry Spelman, who lived among the Patawomeck Indians and spoke their language, wrote that he thought that the "Infidels wear [were] lawless" until he witnessed five of them brutally executed by being beaten and thrown into a fire. In fact, most of what is known about the laws and punishments among the Powhatan Indians can be reduced to a series of often graphically violent anecdotes in which men and women are killed for the crimes of infanticide, stealing, carrying on unsanctioned affairs, and even interrupting a weroance, or chief, while he is speaking. Powhatan custom demanded that revenge be exacted for wrongs against the person and against the chiefdom; the chiefs and paramount chief were powerless to intervene. This led to nearly constant, small-scale warfare, but it also caused problems with the English. Whenever a slight was made against an Indian, revenge was likely and was sometimes directed at the entire group rather than just at the individual. In the end, the English copied this practice, passing a law in 1641 giving colonists the power to hold otherwise innocent Indians hostage when the guilty party eluded capture.
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/Late_Woodland_Period_AD_900-1650 Fri, 30 May 2014 14:06:23 EST <![CDATA[Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1650)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Late_Woodland_Period_AD_900-1650 Fri, 30 May 2014 14:06:23 EST]]> /Languages_and_Interpreters_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 14:04:47 EST <![CDATA[Languages and Interpreters in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Languages_and_Interpreters_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Early Virginia Indians spoke dialects of Algic, Iroquoian, or Siouan, three large linguistic families that include many of the more than eight hundred indigenous languages in North America. Among Virginia's Algic-speakers were the Powhatan Indians, who lived in the Tidewater and encountered the Jamestown settlers in 1607. Little is known of their language—a form of Algic known as Virginia Algonquian—although Captain John Smith and William Strachey both composed influential vocabulary lists. The Nottoways and the Meherrins lived south of the James near the fall line and spoke Iroquoian. Although the Meherrin language was never recorded, it has been identified as Iroquoian based on geography. In 1820, John Wood interviewed the elderly Nottoway "queen" Edie Turner and created a word list that eventually was recognized as Iroquoian. Virginia's Siouan-speakers, meanwhile, largely lived west of the fall line and included the Monacans, the Mannahoacs, and the Saponis. Many Virginia Indians, encouraged by the requirements of trade, diplomacy, and warfare, spoke multiple languages, and when the English arrived, they and the Powhatans eagerly exchanged boys to learn each other's language and serve as interpreters. By the twentieth century, most if not all Virginia Indian languages had become extinct, meaning that no native speakers survived. In 2005, the Terrence Malick film The New World presented a form of Algonquian based on the Smith and Strachey lists and the work of the linguist Blair Rudes.
Fri, 30 May 2014 14:04:47 EST]]>
/Hygiene_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era_Personal Fri, 30 May 2014 13:56:25 EST <![CDATA[Hygiene Among Early Virginia Indians, Personal]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hygiene_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era_Personal Early Virginia Indians practiced personal hygiene that included daily baths in all seasons and all weather. They also engaged in occasional sweat baths in sweat lodges, which likely were presided over by a priest and which they believed to be healthy and invigorating. Despite a lack of soap, elite Powhatan Indians washed their hands before eating, according to Jamestown colonists and other European observers, whose writings don't comment on the practices of common people. At least one late seventeenth century European traveler remarked on Virginia Indians who never washed their clothes, a practice that probably originated when they dressed in tough deerskin but which became less seemly after switching to European-style garb. Regardless, by modern standards, Virginia Indians were far more sanitary than the Europeans who arrived in 1607.
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/Huskanaw Fri, 30 May 2014 13:54:50 EST <![CDATA[Huskanaw]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Huskanaw The huskanaw was a rite of passage by which Virginia Indian boys became men. While such rituals were common among American Indian societies, the huskanaw was conducted by, among others, the Algonquian-speaking Powhatan Indians of Tsenacomoco, an alliance of twenty-eight to thirty-two petty tribes and chiefdoms centered around the James, Mattaponi, and Pamunkey rivers. Aligning it with various other religious rituals, they referred to the huskanaw as a sacrifice and told the Jamestown colonists that if they did not perform it their powerful god Okee would be angered and disrupt their hunting or cause natural disasters. Although the English colonists at first took this ceremony to be a literal sacrifice of boys, they quickly learned that the term was metaphorical. The word huskanaw refers to the youth of the initiates and to the fact that they were to be transformed into men.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:54:50 EST]]>
/Houses_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:51:51 EST <![CDATA[Houses in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Houses_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Houses in early Virginia Indian society became necessary after the Ice Age, when the Indians began depending less on the hunt for survival. Among the Powhatan Indians, especially, but elsewhere in the region, too, a house, or a yi-hakan in Algonquian, typically had a circular or oval floor plan and was rarely if ever longer than forty feet. (The Powhatans designed special houses for their weroances, or chiefs, and their kwiocosuk, or shamans.) Built by women, Indian houses consisted of long, bent sapling poles that were covered with either woven-reed mats or bark. They had a single door, which also served as the only source of light and ventilation. Construction was labor-intensive and time-consuming, and Englishmen, who often were hosted by the Powhatans, complained that they were dark, smoky, and flea-infested. Within a hundred years of the landing at Jamestown, the Indians had begun to adopt English-style houses, but adapted them to native methods and materials (building, for instance, bark-covered cabins). After another hundred years, Indian houses had become largely indistinguishable from those built by non-Indians.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:51:51 EST]]>
/Games_by_Early_Virginia_Indians_Uses_of Fri, 30 May 2014 13:45:34 EST <![CDATA[Games by Early Virginia Indians, Uses of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Games_by_Early_Virginia_Indians_Uses_of Early Virginia Indians played a variety of games, with some of these games reserved especially for men and others for women, girls, and boys. The men and boys had wrestling, footraces, and a game that resembled modern-day football, but the rules were never described in detail by the Jamestown colonists and later English settlers who observed them played among the Powhatan Indians. Gambling among Indian men, along with alcohol consumption, seems to have increased as a form of escapism with the arrival of the Europeans and was made worse by the availability of European trade goods. That behavior seems to have waned over time, however, and was not observed in the twentieth- or twenty-first-century Virginia Indian communities.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:45:34 EST]]>
/Fishing_and_Shellfishing_by_Early_Virginia_Indians Fri, 30 May 2014 13:44:02 EST <![CDATA[Fishing and Shellfishing by Early Virginia Indians]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fishing_and_Shellfishing_by_Early_Virginia_Indians Virginia Indians living around the Chesapeake Bay and other people living along the bays and rivers of the Chesapeake region have long relied on harvesting fish and shellfish. Lacking long-handled tongs, Indian boys encountered by the Jamestown colonists dived for oysters in the Chesapeake, in addition to gathering clams and mussels and turning the byproducts of consumption into jewelry. Hard clamshells were crafted into cylinders and beaded, and by the seventeenth century this so-called wampum was being used as money. Indians fished using rods, line, and bone crafted into fishhooks; in shallow water, they speared fish with javelins. Spying Atlantic sturgeon asleep on the water's surface, Indians sometimes noosed the giant fish, requiring them to hold on, at risk to life and limb, as the sturgeon darted and dived in an attempt to escape. Powhatan Indians also used small fires, set in hearths aboard canoes, to throw bright lights and attract fish close enough to the surface and to the boat to be speared. Weirs and V-shaped rock dams also trapped fish. Ill-equipped to feed themselves, the English colonists generally expressed surprise and admiration at the Virginia Indians' expertise in fishing, eventually hiring Indian men to do the job for them.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:44:02 EST]]>
/Fire_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era_Uses_of Fri, 30 May 2014 13:39:42 EST <![CDATA[Fire by Early Virginia Indians, Uses of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Fire_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era_Uses_of For early Virginia Indians, fire was difficult to make, requiring a stick, a small piece of wood, and a lot of arm strength. As such, the Powhatans tended to keep their household fires going year round and even in the hottest weather. These indoor fires provided heat and produced smoke that repelled insects and hardened the reed mats that covered the houses, thus making the mats last longer. Separate fires were kept just outside the house for cooking. Absent draft animals and iron cutting tools, Virginia Indians used fire to burn into wood and shells to scrape away the resulting charcoal, a technique that could fell a tree and hollow out a canoe. Fire was the center of any ritual, religious or otherwise, that involved singing and dancing, and was used to punish and sometimes execute criminals and captives. On the hunt, Indian men used numerous small fires to direct herds of deer into smaller and smaller circles, making them easier to kill. The light from fires on boats even brought fish within spearing distance. The work of maintaining fires, especially household fires, often fell to women, which brought them constantly in and out of town and away from male supervision. The English colonists at Jamestown found this to be odd and concluded that Indian men were "lazy."
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:39:42 EST]]>
/Education_Early_Virginia_Indian Fri, 30 May 2014 13:35:10 EST <![CDATA[Education, Early Virginia Indian]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Education_Early_Virginia_Indian Early Virginia Indians educated their children for the purpose of preparing them to be adults. Boys and girls were expected to absorb the community's values, including stoicism in the face of hardship, and master the skills necessary to survive and thrive. For men that included hunting and warfare and for women collecting plants, building houses, and making household furnishings. English colonists had little to say about how Indian girls were reared, either out of lack of interest or because such knowledge was considered to be none of their business. Powhatan boys were trained in hunting and warfare by their fathers and older male relatives in order to win personal names, learn marksmanship, and earn the right to join the hunt. Between the ages of ten and fifteen, they engaged in the several-months-long huskanaw ritual, in which they were ritually—but not actually—killed and then given a drug which turned them briefly violent and ritually erased their memories of boyhood. The English colonists saw this sort of training for boys as frivolous; they believed that boys, instead of girls, should plant and farm. Although education practices among the Virginia Indians changed in the years after contact with the English, what remained was an ingrained reluctance to send their children outside the family for instruction.
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/Domesticated_Plants_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society_Uses_of Fri, 30 May 2014 13:26:46 EST <![CDATA[Plants in Early Virginia Indian Society, Domesticated]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Domesticated_Plants_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society_Uses_of Virginia Indians began domesticating plants to be used as a food source following the Ice Age. As the climate warmed, their lives became less nomadic and the conditions improved for husbanding certain plants—sunflower, knotweed, and little barley at first, and then the so-called three sisters of maize, beans, and squash. Eastern North America is one of ten sites in the world where independent plant domestication occurred, but because of other abundant food sources in the Chesapeake Bay area, maize, or corn, was not widespread until as late as AD 1100. Plant domestication coincided with increasing populations, improved weapons technology, and more complex social and political systems. Already a high-status food among the Indians, maize was held in particularly high regard by the Jamestown colonists, who had never seen it before. Scholars disagree how much of the Indian diet it comprised, but it seems clear that only the highest-ranking of the Powhatan Indians of Tsenacomoco ate domesticated plants year-round.
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/Domesticated_Animals_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era Fri, 30 May 2014 13:17:46 EST <![CDATA[Domesticated Animals by Early Virginia Indians, Uses of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Domesticated_Animals_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era Virginia Indians did not domesticate animals, in large part, because good candidates for domestication did not live in the Eastern Woodlands of North America. The one exception was wolves, which the Indians domesticated into dogs. Likely about knee-high and with an average weight of twenty pounds, these animals were not specialized or even especially tame, and were used only in hunting land fowl such as wild turkey. According to the Jamestown colonists, the Powhatan Indians did not eat their dogs but may have sacrificed them ritually. With no horses or oxen, Powhatans were unable to clear forests easily or practice plow agriculture. English colonists concluded that the Indians were "lazy" and "backward"; in fact, they had great physical endurance, although many suffered from arthritis while relatively young. Colonists brought horses, cows, goats, pigs, and large dogs from England, but because most of these animals required grass or other pasture vegetation for grazing, the Indians did not adopt them. Pigs, however, were turned loose into the forest and hunted by both Indians and colonists.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:17:46 EST]]>
/Divorce_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:15:50 EST <![CDATA[Divorce in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Divorce_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Divorce was permitted, if not common, in early Virginia Indian society. What is known of the practice is limited to the observations of Jamestown colonists, visiting English observers, and later American historians, and applicable mostly to the Algonquian-speaking Powhatans and possibly speakers from other language families. A divorce among common married people could be obtained in cases of mere "disagreement." Because daily labor was divided between the sexes and every adult needed at least one opposite-sex partner to get all the work done, marriage was encouraged among the Indians as a means of survival. If a married person divorced or was widowed or abandoned, remarriage was therefore expected. If a spouse was captured and did not return, a divorce was assumed in order to encourage remarriage. The paramount chief Powhatan divorced each of his wives as soon as she gave him a child, sending her either to one of his under chiefs or back to her home, but eventually taking the child into his household. Among nonchiefs, the children were raised by one of the parents; accounts differ as to how custody was settled. English colonists reacted to the relative ease by which Virginia Indians obtained a divorce by characterizing them as sexually promiscuous. In the centuries following the settlement of Jamestown in 1607, however, divorce among the Indians came into line with English and new American practices, becoming much more difficult.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:15:50 EST]]>
/Diet_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:13:25 EST <![CDATA[Diet in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Diet_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Diet in early Virginia Indian society changed significantly from the Ice Age to the English colonists' landing at Jamestown in 1607, from initially relying more on meat to over time increasingly combining wild game, fish, nuts, and berries. The Indians' eating patterns were shaped by the seasons, and for the Powhatans there were five, not four. In the early and mid-spring (cattapeuk), they ate migrating fish and planted crops. From late in the spring until mid-summer (cohattayough), they split their time between the towns, where they weeded the fields, and the forests, where they foraged. Late summer (nepinough) was harvest time, and the autumn and early winter (taquitock) the occasion for feasts and religious rituals. This marked a second time in the year when the Indians abandoned their towns, this time for communal hunts. Meats were prepared and stored for the late winter and early spring (popanow), when shortages made life difficult and even dangerous. "They be all of them huge eaters," the colonist William Strachey observed of the Powhatans, but the Indians also lived intensely physical lives, requiring a large number of calories. Their metabolisms, meanwhile, were slow enough to store nutrients and then, during shortages, use them slowly while the people remained active. The colonist John Smith described the Powhatans as living "hand to mouth," but they were often better fed than the colonists with a diet that was low in fat, sugar, and salt, and high in protein and fiber.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:13:25 EST]]>
/Cooking_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:11:07 EST <![CDATA[Cooking in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cooking_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Early Virginia Indians hunted, fished, and collected wild grains and berries, which they prepared in various ways. Meats were roasted, while grains and tubers were pounded into ashcakes and then baked. For many millennia, boiling water was difficult, but by the Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1600), technology had improved among the Powhatan Indians of Virginia such that a large ceramic stew pot became the focus of family eating. Roasted meats, shellfish, and wild berries were all added to the stew, which boiled throughout the day. Rather than prepare set meals, family members who spent the day gathering food or doing chores added to the stew as able and ate from it as necessary. Wild grains and, later, domesticated corn were harvested and baked into bread. The Powhatans generally avoided seasonings, including salt, and likely enjoyed food for its texture rather than its flavor. Although the Indians domesticated beans and squash, they ate more corn (maize) than any other crop, sucking unripe ears for their sweet juice, baking cornbread, or roasting it. They also made cooking wrappers, baskets, and mats out of the husks. What is known of Indian cooking in this period is based on research from paleobotanists and paleozoologists about what wild foods were available, as well as eye-witness accounts from English colonists. Most of these accounts concern the Algonquian-speaking Powhatans, but they likely apply to the speakers of Siouan and Iroquoian languages in Virginia.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:11:07 EST]]>
/Cockacoeske_d_by_July_1_1686 Fri, 30 May 2014 13:08:48 EST <![CDATA[Cockacoeske (d. by July 1, 1686)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cockacoeske_d_by_July_1_1686 Cockacoeske, also known as Cockacoeweske, was a Pamunkey chief, and a descendant of Opechancanough, brother of the paramount chief Powhatan. After the death of her husband, Totopotomoy, chief of the Pamunkey from about 1649 until 1656, Cockacoeske became queen of the Pamunkey. In 1676, a few months before the outbreak of Bacon's Rebellion (1676–1677), the insurrection's leader, Nathaniel Bacon, and his followers attacked the Pamunkey, took captives, and killed some of Cockacoeske's people. That summer she appeared before a committee of burgesses and governor's Council members in Jamestown to discuss the number of warriors she could provide to defend the colony against frontier tribes. She gave a speech reminding the colonists of Pamunkey warriors killed while fighting alongside the colonists. In February 1677 she asked the General Assembly for the release of Pamunkey who had been taken captive and for the restoration of Pamunkey property. An astute politician, Cockacoeske signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation on May 29, 1677, reuniting under her authority several tribes that had not been under Powhatan domination since 1646. Cockacoeske ruled the Pamunkey until her death in 1686.
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/Chauco_fl_1622-1623 Fri, 30 May 2014 13:06:01 EST <![CDATA[Chauco (fl. 1622–1623)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chauco_fl_1622-1623 Chauco was one of several Virginia Indians who saved the lives of English colonists by warning of Opechancanough's plans to attack their settlements on March 22, 1622. He is named in no more than two known documents, leaving details about his parentage, birth, death, and tribal affiliation unknown. It is possible that he was the person referred to in 1624 as Chacrow, an Indian who a decade earlier had lived with an English colonist and knew how to use a gun. The story of a Christian Indian who, like Pocahontas, helped the Virginia colonists survive the hostilities of their own people is a popular Virginia legend.
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/Ceramics_Virginia_Indian Fri, 30 May 2014 13:04:17 EST <![CDATA[Ceramics, Virginia Indian]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ceramics_Virginia_Indian Fri, 30 May 2014 13:04:17 EST]]> /Bridges_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era Fri, 30 May 2014 12:57:56 EST <![CDATA[Bridges by Early Virginia Indians, Uses of]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bridges_During_the_Pre-Colonial_Era Fri, 30 May 2014 12:57:56 EST]]> /Patawomeck_Tribe Fri, 30 May 2014 11:51:31 EST <![CDATA[Patawomeck Tribe]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Patawomeck_Tribe The Patawomeck tribe is a state-recognized Indian tribe based in Fredericksburg. Dating its presence on the south bank of the Potomac River to about AD 1300, the tribe lived relatively far from the English settlement at Jamestown but nevertheless played a major role in the politics and warfare of the early colonial period. In an effort to maintain its own independence, the Patawomeck tribe regularly played its more powerful Indian neighbors and the English colonists against one another. Tribal members traded food to starving colonists in 1609; hosted an English boy, Henry Spelman, for a time; and helped the English kidnap Pocahontas, daughter of the paramount chief Powhatan. Not only did the Patawomeck not participate in the weroance, or chief, Opechancanough's attack against the English in 1622, they possibly helped the English to poison Opechancanough the next year. (He survived.) English settlements did not encroach on Patawomeck land until the 1650s. At first the county courts and General Assembly defended the Patawomeck against bad English behavior that included an attempt to frame the Patawomeck weroance for murder in 1662. But just four years later, in 1666, the governor's Council called for the Patawomeck Indians' "utter destruction." The tribe disappeared from colonial records after that. In February 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia granted the Patawomeck Indians state recognition, against the advice of the state-appointed Virginia Council on Indians.
Fri, 30 May 2014 11:51:31 EST]]>
/Relation_of_Bartolome_Martinez_October_24_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:56:57 EST <![CDATA[Relation of Bartolomé Martínez (October 24, 1610)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Relation_of_Bartolome_Martinez_October_24_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:56:57 EST]]> /_In_wishing_him_well_he_killed_him_excerpt_from_Relation_of_Juan_Rogel_ca_1611 Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:56:15 EST <![CDATA["In wishing him well, he killed him"; excerpt from Relation of Juan Rogel (ca. 1611)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_In_wishing_him_well_he_killed_him_excerpt_from_Relation_of_Juan_Rogel_ca_1611 Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:56:15 EST]]> /The_Huskanaw_Ritual_an_excerpt_from_The_History_of_Virginia_by_Robert_Beverley_1722 Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:54:30 EST <![CDATA[The Huskanaw Ritual; an excerpt from The History of Virginia by Robert Beverley (1722)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Huskanaw_Ritual_an_excerpt_from_The_History_of_Virginia_by_Robert_Beverley_1722 In this excerpt from The History of Virginia (1722)—an expansion of History and Present State of Virginia (1705)—Robert Beverley describes the male-initiation rite known as the huskanaw among the Algonquian-speaking Indians of Tsenacomoco and Tidewater Virginia.
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:54:30 EST]]>