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Collection: Native Burials in Mendocino County California

Monacan Burial Customs

During the autumn of the year 1608 a party of the colonists from Jamestown, led by Capt. Newport, ascended the James to the halls, the site of the present city of Richmond, and leaving their boats, continued westward “into the Land called the Monscane.” This was the territory of the Monacan, a Siouan people who were ever enemies of the Powhatan tribes of the tidewater region, which extends eastward front the line of the Falls to the Atlantic. Moving westward from the Falls the party discovered the Monacan villages of Massinacak and Mowhemenchouch. Although the eastern boundary of this tribal territory was so clearly defined its western limits are not known, but at some time it undoubtedly extended westward to the mountains beyond the Jackson Valley. The Rivanna was near the center of this region, and at or near the mouth of this stream, on the left bank of the James, in the present Fluvanna County, Virginia, was one of the most important Monacan towns, Rassawek as indicated on the map prepared by Capt. John Smith. An Indian village seldom remained for many years on a, given spot, its position being shifted back and forth, as certain causes made necessary; therefore, it is more than probable that remains of an old settlement encountered on the river bank some 3 miles above Columbia indicate the site of Rassawck during some...

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