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Profs and Pints presents: “Rethinking the Rappahannock Tribe,” a fascinating look at archeological research on a local native people, with Julia King, professor of anthropology at St. Mary’s 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, it’s the Powhatan Indians on the York and James rivers—the people of Pocahontas—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, they’re revealing how poorly we’ve 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.
You’ll 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. (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15. save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk begins 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself plenty of time to place orders and get seated and settled.)
Advance tickets available at https://profspintsrappahannock.brownpapertickets.com