Friday, September 30, 2016

Red Crystal Serpent/ Red Electric Earth - Electric Deer Moon of Service, Day 11

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Chickahominy Family, 1900.

The Chickahominy are a tribe of Virginia Indians who primarily live in Charles City County, located along the James River midway between Richmond and Williamsburg in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This area of the Tidewater is not far from where they lived in 1600, prior to English colonization. They were officially recognized by the state in 1983.

The Eastern Chickahominy split from the main tribe in 1983 and were recognized separately by the state. They are based in New Kent County, about 25 miles (40 km) east of Richmond. Neither tribe has an Indian reservation, having lost their land to English colonists in the 18th century, but they have purchased lands that they devote to communal purposes.

Both tribes are among the 11 who have organized and been officially recognized by Virginia since 1983. Neither has received recognition from the federal government. In 2009, a bill was proposed in Congress to federally recognize six "landless" Virginia tribes already recognized by the state, including these two. Although passed by the House, it did not gain Senate approval.

The Chickahominy ("The Coarse Ground Corn People") were among numerous independent Algonquian-speaking tribes who had long occupied the Tidewater area. They were led by mungai ("great men"), who were part of a council of elders and religious leaders. The Chickahominy's original territory consisted of the land along the Chickahominy River (named by the English after them), from the mouth of the river at its confluence with the James River, near Jamestown in present-day Charles City County, to what is now known as New Kent County, Virginia.

They encountered settlers from the first permanent English settlement founded at Jamestown in 1607. The tribe helped the English survive during the first few winters by trading food for English goods, as the settlers were ill-prepared for farming and developing their frontier site. The Chickahominy taught the English how to grow and preserve crops in local conditions. By 1614, the tribe had signed a treaty with the colonists; it required the tribe to provide 300 warriors to fight the Spanish, which had an established colony in Florida and the lower East Coast.

Over time, the English began to expand their settlements and crowded out the Chickahominy from their homeland. The peoples had earlier come into conflict over uses of land, as the Chickahominy expected to travel freely for hunting, and the English wanted to preserve some property as private. Following the Anglo-Powhatan War of 1644-46, the tribe was forced to cede most of its land to gain a peace treaty. The tribe resettled on reservation land set aside by the treaty in the Pamunkey Neck area, alongside another Virginia Algonquian tribe, the Pamunkey, between the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers.

They stayed there until 1661, when they moved again to the headwaters of the Mattaponi, but their reserved holdings continued to suffer encroachment by the expanding English colony. In 1677, the Chickahominy were among the tribes signing a peace treaty with the King of England.

The people lost title to the last part of their reservation lands in 1718, but continued to live in the area for some time. Those who did not merge with the Pamunkey and other tribes, slowly migrated back to New Kent County and Charles City County, closer to their original homeland. In the 20th century, descendants of these people organized to form the current Eastern Chickahominy and Chickahominy tribes, respectively. The migrations happened before the end of the 18th century, and few records survive in this "burnt-over district," disrupted by major wars, by which to establish their dates of migration.

While independent, the Chickahominy were at times allied in the 17th century with Chief Powhatan, and his paramount chiefdom, a confederacy of 30 or so Algonquian-speaking tribes. Records found within The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, West London, indicate the Chickahominy tribe may have served in a "police" role, used by Powhatan to quell rivalries and bring an end to infighting amongst other confederacy tribes. In return, they enjoyed some benefits, such as trading with the confederacy tribes. As part of the alliance between Powhatan's confederacy and the Chickahominy, it appears they were to act as a buffer "warrior force" between the confederacy tribes and other less friendly or hostile tribes in the event of an attack, thus giving Powhatan's forces time to mobilize. Some 20th-century sources say the Chickahominy joined the Powhatan Confederacy in 1616. Others contend they did not become tributaries of the paramount chiefdom until 1677, when Cockacoeske signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation. The treaty acknowledged her as leader of the Chickahominy and several other tribes.

In the early 21st century, the Chickahominy tribe consists of about 840 people who live within a five-mile (8-km) radius of each other and the tribal center, in an area known as Chickahominy Ridge. Several hundred more live in other parts of the United States, including California, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Current tribal lands of about 110 acres (0.45 km2) are in the tribe's traditional territory, present-day Charles City County. The tribal center on the land is the location of an annual Powwow and Fall Festival.

The Chickahominy are led by a tribal council of 12 men and women, including a chief and two assistant chiefs. These positions are elected by members of the tribe, by vote. The current chief is Stephen Adkins. He served as Director of Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the administration of Governor Tim Kaine. Wayne Adkins is an assistant chief, along with Reggie Stewart.

Most members of the Chickahominy Tribe are Christian; many attend Samaria Baptist Church, formerly called Samaria Indian Church, in Charles City County. The church was built upon tribal grounds and once served as a school for the children of the tribe. The church sits directly across from the tribal headquarters.

The Chickahominy were recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1983, but have not been federally recognized. Since the 1990s, the tribe has been seeking federal recognition through an act of Congress.*


Kin 25: Red Crystal Serpent

I dedicate in order to survive
Universalizing instinct
I seal the store of life force
With the crystal tone of cooperation
I am guided by the power of navigation.

What is hidden or non-manifest exists in a world beyond human perception, which we know as the imaginal world.*

*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.

The Sacred Tzolk'in 

Svadhistanha Chakra  (Kali Plasma)

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