Explore the Powhatan way of life
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Explore the Powhatan way of life in a re-creation of Paspahegh Town, based on the archaeological findings at a nearby site along the James River once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest to Jamestown, and descriptions and illustrations recorded by English colonists in the 17th century.
Among a wooded clearing of reed-covered houses dotted with cooking circles, crops and a ceremonial circle of carved wooden posts, discover the world of Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan, powerful leader of 30-some Algonquian-speaking tribes in coastal Virginia and their culture. Inside expansive exhibition galleries, you can view a scale model of Paspahegh along with a collection of artifacts donated by the Governor’s Land Association.
In Paspahegh Town, costumed historical interpreters discuss and demonstrate how the Powhatan culture grew and prepared food, processed animal hides, made tools and pottery, and wove natural fibers into cordage. You might even learn some common Algonquian words, like raccoon, moccasin and opossum.
‘FOCUSED’ Special Exhibition Inspires Interpretations of Feather Weaving
In conjunction with the “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience” special exhibition, historical interpreter Roger Ballance re-created a turkey feather mantle in Paspahegh Town. In this video, he shares the process of feather weaving and the significance of a lost-technique being passed down through cultural traditions and oral history. You can see a turkey feather mantle hand-woven in the 1930s by Mollie Adams, a leading member of Virginia’s Upper Mattaponi Tribe, on display in the special exhibition through March 25, 2022.