Saturday, July 13, 2024

Organizers: This celebration honors American Indian history and culture

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)

It’s called the “American Indian Heritage Celebration,” and Jamestown Settlement is presenting it on Oct. 10-11.

The event will feature song, dance, music, storytelling, demonstrations and children’s activities honoring American Indian history and culture.

Activities will “incorporate protective protocols and social-distancing procedures to ensure a safe environment for visitors at Jamestown Settlement,” according to a news release.

Special activities

  • Storytelling from Grace Ostrum of the Accohannock, sharing an assortment of stories from various Indian nations from across America.
  • Quillwork presentations that educate about this uniquely American art form that long predates European contact, covering the history, regional differences, techniques and how quillwork is created.
  • Flute performances from Emerson Begay of the Diné, sharing the sounds of the American Indian flute.
  • Powwow singing with Lowery Begay of the Diné, demonstrating the different styles, types of songs and translation of lyrics at traditional powwow events. At the 11:30 a.m. presentation, visitors can view a special American Indian hoop dance.
  • Performances from the Aztec Dancers, sharing the music, dances and regalia of the Aztec people of Mexico.
  • Children’s activities that include demonstrations and discussions of games played by the Powhatan Indians, and pre-packaged craft projects to take home (while supplies last).

Outdoor living history

Accessible from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., outdoor living-history areas bring the 17th century to life in re-creations of a colonial fort, 1607 ships and Paspahegh town – based on archaeological findings at a site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest to Jamestown, and descriptions recorded by English colonists. In a wooded setting of reed-covered houses, crops and a ceremonial circle of carved wooden posts, visitors can engage in the Powhatan way of life as historical interpreters discuss and demonstrate how they grew and prepared food, made tools and wove natural fibers into cordage, and learn how Virginia Indians of the past connect with those of present day.

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)

Indoor gallery exhibits

Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., indoor permanent galleries feature artifact-filled exhibits, immersive experiences and innovative films that explore the convergence of Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures in early Virginia and their lasting legacies on America today. Discover Virginia Indian history and culture in new exhibits that combine digital interactives and period objects to examine the myths and realities associated with the life of Pocahontas, incorporate historical research and archeological findings on Werowocomocco (capital of Powhatan, leader of 30-some Algonquian-speaking tribes in coastal Virginia) and share the story of Cockacoeske (recognized as “Queen of the Pamunkey” by the colonial government) as her role in “Bacon’s Rebellion” unfolds onscreen in the 4D experiential theater.

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jamestown Settlement)

Access to “American Indian Heritage Celebration” is included with museum admission: $17.50 for adults, $8.25 for ages 6-12 and free for children younger than 6. Parking is free.

More information about this special event and safety and social-distancing protocols at Jamestown Settlement is available here.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

Related Articles