Topic: Chickahominy

Recent Pamunkey pipes.

Powhatan Pottery

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.

Dugout canoe of the Pamunkey in course of construction.

Powhatan Canoes

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 fishermen returning from their nets.

Powhatan Fishing Customs

The Powhatan tribes still adhere to some fishing practices worth mentioning. Until not long ago fish fences were employed. These were chiefly for sturgeon, but now this splendid fish is so scarce that whereas thirty years ago from three to six a day during July and August would be taken, now the record is three a season by six boats fishing the same period. Captain John Smith mentions 52 and 68 being taken ”at a draught.” 1Smith’s account of Virginia in Tyler, L. G., Narratives of Early Virginia, New York, 1907, p. 85. The Virginia explorers noted the great abundance

Powhatan Bradby, Chickahominy boy of Windsor Shades, Va.

Chickahominy Tribe History

The Chickahominy tribe history offers a problem in its political and social aspects, which seem to have been somewhat different from those of the Pamunkey.

Chickahominy Tribe

Chickahominy Indians (from K’chick-ahän-min’-nough, ‘course-pounded corn people.’ ‘hominy people’ Tooker; or from Tshi-ke(jäme(n, a place name meaning ‘swept,’ “cleared,’ and implying a clearing—Gerard). A tribe of the Powhatan confederacy, formerly living on Chickahominy River, Virginia. It was one of the most important tribes in Virginia, numbering 250 warriors, or perhaps 900 souls, in 1608, and was not so directly under the control of Powhatan as the other tribes over which he ruled. In 1613 they entered into an alliance with the English and assumed the name of Tassautessus (sic), or “Englishmen.” In 1669 they were still estimated at 60 warriors,

Powhatan Tribe Divisions

Appomattoc. A tribe of the Powhatan confederacy formerly living on lower Appomattox River, Virginia. They had 60 warriors in 1608, and were of some importance as late as 1671, but were extinct by 1722. Their principal village, which bore the same name was on the site of Bermuda Hundred, Prince George County, was burned by the English in 1611.  Appomatox was also one of the terms applied to the Matchotic, a later combination of remnants of the same confederacy. Consult Further: Appomattoc Tribe Chickahominy (from K’chick-ahän-min’-nough, ‘course-pounded corn people.’ ‘hominy people’ Tooker; or from Tshi-kĕjämĕn, a place name meaning ‘swept,’