Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures

By Frederic W. Gleach | Go to book overview

Introduction

There is an etiquette of respect and homage that, if followed, serves to unite and empower people. Such deference does not mean that one must forsake one's own cultural roots. We can all learn from each other. It is important that people be knowledgeable of their own tribal information, but they should be equally knowledgeable in the information of an adopted homebase. And they should respect their hosts--just as we all believe non-Indians should demonstrate respect of American Indians in general.

We don't want English, Germans or Italians to become Indians, and neither should Lakota become Mohegan. But, in Mohegan land, or Paugussett land, others should demonstrate respect. After all the years of destruction it is important now that surviving indigenous nations survive, and we all must assist each other.

-- Karen Cooper, "When in Rome, or in the Woodlands"

THE SELF-CONSCIOUS STUDY of European perceptions and constructions of non-Europeans has been a dominant theme in anthropology in recent years (e.g., Said 1978; Bucher 1981; Todorov 1984; Clifford 1988; Hulme 1992). Perhaps partly in response to the implicit Eurocentrism of studies that define the non-European as Other ( Gleach 1990b), there have also been occasional studies of Native American perceptions of Europeans and Euro-Americans (e.g., Brotherston 1979:28-60; Gleach 1990b; Kugel 1990, 1994; O'Mack 1990). The application of such studies to colonial Virginia is problematic; there has long been a feeling that relatively little could be known of the early Powhatans because of the paucity of early colonial records, particularly of any recording from Powhatan perspectives. In the past, models of Powhatan understandings have been based primarily on generalized psychological models that are ultimately rooted in western culture. I have developed here an approach to reconstructing aspects of a Powhatan world-view, based on Algonquian cultural patterns and on careful attention to details in the historical records,

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Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Methodology and Previous Research 1
  • 1 - The Native Context 22
  • 2 - The English Colonial Context 61
  • 3 - Prolegomena 88
  • 4 - The Birth of Virginia in Tsenacommacah 106
  • 5 - Virginia Before the 1622 Coup 123
  • The Great Massacre of 1622 148
  • 7 - Virginia Between the Coups 159
  • 8 - The Coup of 1644 and Its Aftermath 174
  • 9 - A Survey of Virginia Indian Relations After 1646 184
  • Conclusion 199
  • Introduction 207
  • References 213
  • Index 235
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