Profs & Pints: Rethinking the Rappahannock Tribe
Profs and Pints presents: Rethinking the Rappahannock Tribe, a fascinating look at archeological research on a local native people, with Julie King, professor of anthropology at St. Marys College of Maryland.
The Rappahannock Indians, from tidewater Virginia on the river that bears their name, remain virtually unknown in the narratives of early American history. Instead, its the Powhatan Indians on the York and James riversthe people of Pocahontasthat that typically command our attention. In the few instances when accounts by the early colonists mention the Rappahannocks, who lived just beyond their range, it's usually in relation to their alleged fear of the Powhatans.
Come hear a great talk by researchers who are working to give the Rappahannock people their due. Through a combination of archeological digs, the analysis of data through geographic information systems, and a critical reexamination of the surviving documents, theyre revealing how poorly weve understood the indigenous people of the Chesapeake region.
Among crucial things suggested by their uncovered evidence: Not only was the Rappahannock River valley more densely populated than most river valleys in the region, its native people were politically powerful, with a history stretching back millennia. Rather than fear the Powhatans, the Rappahannock groups constituted a formidable set of nations respected by them. In the face of a relentless settler colonialism carried out through territorial dispossession, political chicanery, and physical violence, they used local knowledge, political savvy, and European goods to adapt, innovate, and survive.
Youll learn how Rappahannock Indian society is reflected in the landscape, still visible if you only care to look. Today, the descendants of these first Americans form the Federally-recognized Rappahannock Indian Tribe.
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