Powhatan Featherwork

Chief William Terrill Bradby, Pamunkey

We now come to what is perhaps the most interesting topic in the material life of the southern tribes, the woven feather technique. An art so ancient and so elaborate can hardly be expected to have persisted from colonial times down to the present day where the process of deculturation among the conquered tribes has



Powhatan Pottery

Recent Pamunkey pipes.

First let us look over the material from the Virginia tidewater area. Everywhere here from the southern boundary of Virginia by actual observation, north-ward even through the Delaware valley, the pot-sherds are almost identical in material, decoration and color. Holmes has appropriately called the ceramics of the tidewater “the Algonquian type.” On the Pamunkey, Mattaponi, Rappahannock, James, and Chickahominy rivers it is all the same, the rims, decorations, and ingredients being practically uniform within a certain range of variation.



Powhatan Canoes

Dugout canoe of the Pamunkey in course of construction.

The means provided by the Powhatan tribes for transporting themselves about in their marshy wastes was the dugout canoe. This article describes these canoes, their method of manufacture, and provides pictures of them and their paddles.



Pamunkey Hunting Grounds

Map of the Pamunkey Reservation Showing the Tribal Hunting Grounds

Perhaps the most striking feature of all in the natural history of the modern Pamunkey comes before us in the survival of the controlled hunting and trapping rights: the custom by which each hunter in the band controls an assigned and definitely bounded area within which he enjoys the exclusive privilege of setting his traps for fur-bearing animals.



History of the Powhatan Government

Old Pamunkey spring and ancient dance place.

An overlook of the Powhatan government system in historical times including a list of tribal chiefs in the 19th and 20th Century.



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