Descendants of the Great Dismal

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The Great Dismal Swamp and its surrounding communities have an incredibly diverse history. As a near coastal region with numerous inland waterways, many different types of people traveled through, settled in, and migrated out of the area—including multiple indigenous groups and people from throughout Europe and Africa. Prior to the influx of newcomers, the identities of indigenous people were self-controlled. There were tribal differences between natives but there was no need for… Read More

This is my photo collection from the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow held at Mattanock Town (1001 Pembroke Lane, Suffolk, VA 23434) on August 20, 2016. The day before the event we visited Norfolk and Camden counties and, by traveling across U.S. Route 158 and up North Carolina Highway 32 (through Gates county), we were able to see all four corners of the Great Dismal Swamp before arriving in Suffolk for the Pow Wow.

The Nansemond are a Native American tribe whose ancestral land surrounds the Nansemond River in southeastern Virginia. During the early 1600s, the tribe was briefly part of the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom along with approximately thirty other Algonquian-speaking tribes in the area. The arrival of English settlers and the subsequent Anglo-Powhatan Wars led to land loss and displacement for thousands of native people. The majority of the tribe’s present membership traces its ancestry to the early intermarriage… Read More