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Strachey's A Dictionarie of the Indian Language

Smith's Vocabulary of Indian words

Weroances and Their Tribes

English Observers

William Strachey' s Description of Critters in the Chesapeake Bay

Henry Spelman, Relation of Virginia, 1609


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What are the Powhatans doing today?

The Chickahominy tribe is Virginia's largest, with approximately one thousand members. It was recognized by the state of Virginia in 1983. Their land includes a 25,000-acre enclave that has:

  • a 500-acre tract that holds what once was known as Samaria Indian School, now known as Charles City Primary School.
  • a tribal center for meeting and recreation.
  • a 225-acre tract set aside for younger tribe members who wish to live and raise their families within the enclave.

The Eastern Chickahominy tribe was formed in 1925 after splitting with the Chickahominy tribe. Located in New Kent County, about twenty-five miles east of Richmond, the tribe has approximately 150 members.

The Mattaponi tribe is located in King William County along the Mattaponi River near West Point, Virginia. Their reservation dates back to 1658 and is one of the oldest in United States history. The Mattaponi prevailed due to their strong traditions, ceremonies, and leadership qualities that held the tribe together. The reservation has a museum, trading post, and a craft shop in the heart of the village. There are approximately 100 members.

The Monacan tribe is located in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. They were one of the enemies of the Powhatans. They became the eighth tribe to be recognized by the Virginia General Assembly in 1898. The tribe uses a form of self-government, which includes a chief, two assistant chiefs, and five elders. The Nansemond tribe sold its last 300 acres, on the Nottoway River in Southhampton County, in 1792. The Nansemond Indian Tribal Association received recognition from the Virginia General Assembly in 1985. The Christianized group of Nansemond settled in the Bowers Hill, Deep Creek area on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp.

The Pamunkey reservation is located in King William County on the Pamunkey River. It was one of the most powerful of the tribes. Chief Powhatan, and Pocahontas, lived among the Pamunkey. It is one of few tribes east of the Mississippi that has continually made pottery since aboriginal Times. It has approximately 100 members.

The Rappahannock tribe was originally called the Toppahannock tribe by Captain John Smith. They originated in present day Richmond County and moved to King and Queen County. They have kept their dancing traditions alive through a group known as "The Rising Water Dancers." The tribe has approximately 750 members and was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly in 1983.

The Upper Mattaponis were non-reservation Indians. They originated from several different Powhatan tribes including the Mattaponi and the Pamunkey. They settled in an area close to the Upper Mattaponi River in King William County. The Virginia General Assembly recognized them in 1983.

November 25, 1998 was declared Day of American Indians in the Commonwealth of Virginia by Governor James S. Gilmore in his Certificate of Recognition.



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