Indians in Seventeenth-Century Virginia
by Ben C. McCary
This booklet has been written to give a brief history of the most important aspects of the culture of the Indians of Virginia in the seventeenth century. Due to the lack of space, certain less important facets of their culture have been omitted.
The purpose of this work is to offer a comprehensive summary, prior to the Indians' disappearance, of all manner of life and culture of the Algonquians and of the other tribes known to have inhabited 17th-century Virginia, namely the Iroquois and Sioux. Following his description of the principal tribes within the Powhatan confederation, tribes such as the Nansemond, Pamunkey, Pissaseck, and so on, the author's primary focus thereafter is with the social organization of the indigenous population, and the topics covered are legion: village structure, housing, foods, hunting and fishing methods, tobacco cultivation and usage, ornamentation and decoration, tools, pottery and furniture, implements and weapons, methods of warfare, music and games, marriage and burial customs, crime and punishment, religious beliefs, seasons and festivals, and more.