Where it happened: inside Jamestown's interpretation of Native Americans

Staff writer

Inside the wooden-walled confines of James Fort on Jamestown Island visitors are able to explore the past where it happened.

One program on the island looks to show how the first inhabitants likely lived. The program doesn’t show English colonists rather the Powhatan Indians as interpreted by Maryland Eastern Shore Nanticoke Tribe member Daniel Firehawk Abbott, according to Historic Jamestowne’s director of education and interpretation Willie Balderson.

“He's one of the best regional Native American interpreters,” Balderson said of Abbott.

During his interpretation, Abbott will showcase the everyday activities and material culture of the Native Americans who lived on the James River and inhabited Jamestown long before the English arrival in 1607, Balderson said.

“He knows how to flake points,” Balderson said of Abbott. “He can take wild fibers and turn them into cordage, he can make bags and baskets.”

Abbott will tell the stories of the Tidewater Algonquins and their evolving relationship with the English after the latter’s arrival, Balderson said.

“(Abbott) studied with cultural anthropologists at Virginia Commonwealth University who taught that sort of thing. He's just a wealth of knowledge. People are mesmerized by him.”

Afterward, folks can visit the archaearium on the island and see artifacts found through Jamestown Rediscovery’s archaeological digs.

The program will run at no additional cost from a regular admission ticket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 7, 15, 21 and 29.

Tickets are $20 for visitors ages 16-years-old and older. Children ages 15-years-old and younger can visit at no cost.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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