Assignments for Week 5: The Initial Peopling of Virginia
- "Indians" of Virginia - The Real First Families of Virginia (they did not speak with a British accent...)
- They left virtually no written materials about their culture - but the first Virginians left material other than written documents, especially stone points that were used for spearpoints, scrapers, and arrowheads (occasionally - most Virginia "arrowheads" were never associated with arrows). Those stone tools and the Native American pottery did not decay rapidly, but the baskets and clothing used over the last 15,000 years has long since rotted away in the humid Virginia climate.
- One item that we still can see is Powhatan's Mantle. Think those 4 deerskins were used as clothing, or for a different purpose (such as recording historic events, using deerskin as "parchment")?
- If you read all the way to the bottom, you will see that "Randolph Turner has suggested that the thirty-four roundlets perhaps represented the districts under Powhatan’s control." Also, "The use of circles to represent human social groups, from the level of villages to entire tribes, is the single most widely shared symbolic feature of southeastern Indian maps... The distribution of roundlets is essentially symmetrical, suggesting that there was no attempt to show the actual geographical distribution of the tributary chiefdoms."
- Recent excavations at Jamestown are revealing organic materials that have survived nearly 400 years: 400-Year-Old Jamestown Well Preserves Environmental Data and Rare Objects
- The First Virginian
- From Paleo-Indian to Woodland Cultures: Virginia's Early Native Americans
- Paleo-Indians in Virginia
- Archaic Indians in Virginia
- Woodland Indians in Virginia
- Think the First Virginians lived in peace and harmony with nature and each other? If so, how would you explain the effort invested in constructing palisade walls around Native American towns, when the primitive tools to cut trees were bone, stone, and fire and there were no wheeled vehicles to haul the logs to the town?
- reconstruction of palisaded Wolf Creek site (dating back to the 13th Century). Read the very short history and this excerpt from the Brown Johnston Archeology Report:
- PALISADE (Feature 31) This was a irregular circle 130' by 140' across, composed or 229 postmolds, enclosing all of the houses and most of the pit features. The individual posts were spaced about one foot apart and were mostly small saplings, usually three or four inches thick. These were set vertically in holes which usually did not exceed a total depth of fifteen inches - twelve inches of topsoil, plus the top three inches of the subsoil. Such positioning and depths indicate that the posts extended out of the ground for about eight to ten feet.
- Since the gaps between posts would have permitted a slender person to slip through, it is likely that the spaces were filled with brush, branches, vines, and so on, woven parallel to the ground up to the height desired. This would have made the palisade look like a wicker basket, but it would have stopped an arrow. It would also have prevented the undetected entry of an enemy seeking to penetrate the town to attack sleeping occupants. The noise made by anyone trying to climb over or through the palisade would have awakened dogs, at least. One weakness of the palisade, though, would have been its flammability. (Any enemy attacking the town would have almost certainly have set fire to the flimsy, dry and combustible palisade as an essential part of his attack. This would have alarmed the occupants, however, and the advantage of surprise would have been lost.
- explanation and graphic of a fortified town near the Roanoke Colony in the 1580's
- palisade at reconstruction of Totero site at Explore Park near Roanoke
- Explore Park is now closed, but at one time it offered a living history exhibit where interpreters constructed a Native American village based on an understanding of the Totero tribe's lifestyle over 400 years ago... and the modern-day reality of building a house from bark, vines, and saplings with stone and bone tools and a great deal of muscle power. Building a pallisade with tall tree trunks woluld have been exhausting labor. Maybe the town "walls" were composed of a circle of close-but-not-squeezed-tight-together poles. Those would require less work than building wood-intensive barriers equivalent to modern-day back yard fences.
- palisade at reconstruction of a Monacan site at Natural Bridge near Lexington
- What did the pallisades around Virginia's first towns look like? We do not know. Archeologists can map the location of posthole molds of dark soil spots, and that tell us where the posts were located - but not if the posts were wrapped together tighly with vines. Maybe some tribes wove sticks between the posts to create a stronger barrier, while other tribes left the posts unconnected so the occupants could see through the palisade and even escape through it, if needed.
- Re-creation of Monacan Town
- Why Didn't Virginia's Natives Sail East to Europe, First?
- Who Was First?
- The Three Linguistic Groups of Colonial Virginia
- What Changed When the Europeans Arrived?
- A Guide to Writing about Virginia Indians and Virginia Indian History
- Note: some scholars think Powhatan's control over subordinate tribes was so great that he was the head of an empire or a confederation.
- The Virginia Council on Indians says Powhatan's tributaries (the tribes that paid tribute to him) are best referred to as a "paramount chiefdom" or "paramountcy" 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 "confederacy" or a "nation." They were not subtribes, but individual nations that paid tribute to the same paramount chief. The only "Powhatan nation" was the tribe located to the east of Richmond on the James River, where the paramount chief came from originally.)
- The Contact Period
- Treaty Between Virginia And The Indians, 1677 (annual reservation taxes are defined as "three Indian Arrowes" - but near Thanksgiving, watch for the chiefs to give the governor a deer and turkeys in a ceremony designed for media coverage)
- compare Indian territories in 1600 and today
- read How the Fall Line Shaped Powhatan's Area of Control (could the Monacans get to the oysters that grew only in the brackish Tidewater?)
- Pocahontas (Is the Disney version of the Pocahontas story still shaping your perspective?)
- Pocahontas (from Preserve Virginia)
- Images of a Legend (get a sense of how our the cultural perspective of a particular time can affect the way we perceive the past?)
- remember how to use the Geographic Names Information System to find locations? Enter "Marlborough" as the Feature Name... and you'll get a shorter list of results if you select "Virginia" as the State. Also, note that the USGS database does not refer to Marlborough as a "point." According to USGS, it is a "cape" and a "populated place."
- Where Are the Natives in Virginia Today?
- From Jamestown the Old-Fashioned Way (Washington Post, May 27, 2006)
- Virginia Council on Indians: State Recognition of Indian Tribes
- The Tribes of Virginia: American Indians in the Commonwealth (Bacon's Rebellion, July 2, 2007)
- Virginia Council on Indians: Virginia Indian tribes fight for federal recognition (Statehouse News, September 10, 2010)
- Federal recognition of Virginia tribes, allowing access to federal grants and support services, has still not passed through the Congressional or the Executive Branch administrative process... but Virginia has recognized tribes.
- Bureaucrat ripped hole in tapestry of Indian history (Virginian-Pilot article that explains why 6 Virginia tribes requested special legislation, rather than followed the normal administrative process established for requesting Federal recognition)
- Cheroenhaka-Nottoway in Southampton County
Examine the Virginia Historical Society's exhibit on Invented Scenes for Narratives specifically the Abduction of Pocahontas scene. Why would the European engraver portray the king of the Patawomecks as - well, think he's presented as a devil?
Using the Library of Congress versions, use John Smith's original map of Virginia to find modern-day Marlborough Point, where Pocahontas was seized in 1613. The Cheroenhaka/Nottoway tribe says John Smith noted their presence - what name do you think John Smith first assigned to that tribe?
Watch "Neabsco Creek" on GMU-TV streaming video.
Find the building or archeologic site closest to your home, job site, or area of special interest associated with the Native Americans who lived in Virginia before the Europeans arrived. (If you are having difficulty finding a site, check out the Virginia Tourism Corporation website, Virginia Is For Lovers and type "Native American" or "Indian" into the search box). Is the Native American site near you open to the public, or highlighted in some way for the public to recognize its historical value?
Now identify the location of the oldest building or archeologic site closest to your home, job site, or area of special interest that is associated with European settlers in the colonial era. Compare the attention dedicated to the two sites:
- how close is a Native American vs. colonial site?
- how well advertised is the Native American vs. colonial site, with highway signs and on the internet?
- how detailed is the information on each site about the Native American history vs. the colonial history?
- what additional advertising/information would you create for the Native American site, in order to generate more tourist visits? Be creative; propose an advertising campaign with slogans, how you would "market" the site to specific visitors (local residents? other people living in Virginia? residents of nearby states? international tourists?) and determine the budget you would require to implement the campaign.
The deadline to register to vote or update your address for the November 8, 2011 General Election is Monday, October 17, 2011. You can check your voter registration by going to the State Board of Elections website where you can enter your name and other information, and it will let you know that you are registered and also tell you where your voting precinct is located. Finally, you can also get a copy of the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application.
Geography of Virginia (GGS380)