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Jamestown Settlement Hosts 'American Indian Heritage Celebration' October 10 & 11

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., October 1, 2020 — Jamestown Settlement is proud to present an “American Indian Heritage Celebration” on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, featuring song, dance, music, storytelling, demonstrations and children’s activities honoring American Indian history and culture.

Discover new ways to connect with the stories of our shared history during this special two-day celebration, offering activities that incorporate protective protocols and social-distancing procedures to ensure a safe environment for visitors at Jamestown Settlement.

Throughout each day, visitors can enjoy:

— 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).

Accessible from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., outdoor living-history areas bring the 17th century to life in re-creations of 1607 ships, colonial fort and a 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.

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 use period objects to examine the myths and realities associated with the life of Pocahontas, incorporate historical research and archeological findings on Werowocomoco (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 a 4D experiential theater.


Jamestown Settlement, located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg, is administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, featuring world-class exhibitions, immersive galleries and films, and living-history experiences in re-creations of a Paspahegh town, three 1607 ships and a 1610-14 fort. The museum connects visitors with stories of the Powhatan, English and west central African cultures that converged in 17th-century Virginia. The Jamestown Settlement Café, open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, will feature special menu items throughout the two-day American Indian Heritage Celebration, including a new black bean and sweet corn soup, buffalo chili, peanut soup, cornbread and fry bread.

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 under 6. Parking is free. Event activities incorporate new protective protocols and social-distancing procedures to ensure a safe environment for museum visitors. For more information about this special event and safety and social-distancing protocols at Jamestown Settlement, visit jyfmuseums.org/heritage-celebration.

“American Indian Heritage Celebration” is supported in part by the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, James City County and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund.