Sunday, May 1, 2022

THE PLACE OF THE CAUCUS

 … and the BLACK PANTHER 

© Michael Auld- powhatanmuseum.com


-Breaking the code of a Capitol’s History-

First, we begin with a Land Acknowledgement by Washingtonian Native, Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent), from the leading nation in the historic Powhatan Paramountcy.


Today, strolling around a peaceful Capitol Hill grounds recently stormed by violent insurrectionists just a couple of Januaries ago, it’s hard to envision that this was Wahunsenacawh’s quiet, wooded, multi-stream coursed Place of the Caucus. Yet, there is still a horrific reminder of a ghostly past. However, one does not have to wait for a European-inspired Halloween for a Native American event.


What if you were walking down the hallway of the US Capitol Building and came across this guy?



Well, there is a Black Panther stalking the building! He just doesn’t crouch and growl. He grows menacingly gigantic… Rushes towards you, then SPRINGS!!! Doesn’t floor you, but jumps over your head … And disappears!


Many a Capitol  Hill guard has seen one just like this!


This could happen to you as it reportedly has to a number of people in this white marble building during a National crisis. A black cat appearance has not yet been reported during the Insurrection. Although the story is well known in DC, it is only told on the radio on October 31st’s All Hallows’ Evening when ghosts and goblins roam the streets of the city.


A little goblin

But, what the Washington DC skeptics forget is that this Black Panther story only occurs on the Native American land of Washington, DC's Powhatan Paramountcy. As it also does on Powhatan's Mantle. 


Powhatan Mantle's crouching panther.


Jaguars and their black offspring, the panther, once roamed in the climes of North America before the connecting Central American land bridge was formed. Then they migrated south into the wet and dry forests.


The US Capital was built on the once large cat’s domain on what we now call “Capitol Hill”,  Wahunsenacawh’s favorite place to Caucus.


The word “caucus” is his Algonquian term for a Powhatan councilor or a caucauasu, and the occasion was blessed by a shaman’s ceremony called a pauwau or curing dance which the English named a powwow, or “to gather” for a meeting.



POWERFUL MEN HAVE POWERFUL TOTEMS



Above: Wahunsenacawh beside the Tiber Creek at the Place of the Caucus his favorite location on Capitol Hill to meet surrounding nations as the Powhatan or “Dreamer.” 


Wahunsenacawh had many beautiful places in his domain, but Capitol Hill’s Tiber Creek was special to his eyes. As seen, it was his favorite place to caucus with surrounding Algonquian nations, even after Captain Jonh’s Smith and the other employees of the British Company of London arrived in Attan Akamik in 1607. Wahunsenacawh’s title was the Powhatan or the  “Dreamer”, the largest name which Smith placed on his map of the entire area of the territory which became “The Virginia Territory.” Smith’s Powhatan Territorial map included most of eastern Virginia, Southern Maryland, a northern portion of North Carolina, and the extensive   Tauxenent, and beaver pelt-trading Nachocthank’s Federal City, which then became Washington DC. Captain Smith’s impression was that the Nachocthank’s “Anacostia” neighborhood was at one time a part of Powhatan’s vast domain.


What Was Powhatan’s Territory? 


What can we believe about the area which John Smith recorded on his map as “Powhatan”?

An examination of John Smith’s pivot map shows the largest word “Powhatan” was placed over an entire area which includes all the tribes of DC. How did he know to whom territory belonged? The people whom he met and recorded were the primary informants who told him so. 


Early and contemporary writers have many differing opinions and interpretations of this history. However, they were not there in 1607. The only outsider to record information about the Powhatan Paramountcy was Captain John Smith, via his map and his journal. 


So, what about the haunted Capitol large cat’s paw-prints?


More than one person in the US Capitol has seen the panther-sized cat! The term “reality” comes from the corroboration of an incident. That is, if only one person saw the large cat, the sighting could be considered fiction. This is not the case with our friend, the Black Panther. And we’re not talking about the willing suspension of Hollywood disbelief here.


When a phenomenon is corroborated it is considered a reality. Yet the repeated sighting of the image of a large panther-like cat in the halls of the Capitol is usually referred to as a Halloween story. These real-life occurrences are passed off in our culture as inexplicable phantoms. Nothing to see here is the official refrain. But what if the explanation goes deeper than ghostly appearances which have shaken s number of Capitol Hill guards? What if there is concrete evidence of a cat’s footprint like the one in the photo below?



Possible paw prints on the U.S. Capitol floor (@ChatPergram)— The US Capitol Historical Society blog. October 28, 2021


Are these paw prints associated with Powhatan’s Mantle? 


To understand the history of paw prints embedded in the floor of the Capitol, one must know the history of a mountain lion on Capitol Hill.



“One of the most well-known and oft-repeated Capitol ghost stories is that of the Demon Cat. Stories about the Cat date back to at least 1862, when Union soldiers were temporarily housed in the Capitol building. Night watchmen claimed that there was a black cat who could grow to unworldly proportions before it pounced on its victim. Physical evidence of the Demon Cat might even exist in the paw prints that are visible today on the Capitol floor, as well as the initials, “DC,” scratched into the ground. The Demon Cat reportedly appeared before national tragedies, such as Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, the Stock Market crash in 1929, and John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.”


CAPITOL HILL WAS WAHUNSENACAWH OR POWHATAN’S FAVORITE PLACE TO CAUCUS-


A composite rendering of Powhatan's Place of the Caucus next to the Goose or Tiber Creek on Capitol Hill, composed from Captain John Smith's 1608 drawings.


Can you imagine the fanfare when Wahunsenacawh traveled with his entourage of warriors, advisors, priests, some women, and children from his densely populated southern capital of Werowocomoco on today's York River, to the northern land of the Tauxenent of contemporary Washington DC and Northern Virginia? Canoes were waiting in DC to ferry him back down to America's first capital of Werowocomoco. 


He did not have to travel with his entire retinue of 100 wives and their nursing children all the way along the Cohonkarutan River. The elderly, warrior/hunters remained back in their villages to protect and oversee daily lives. The Werowance could visit his northern wives' villages along the way. If Pocahontas traveled with him, she could have stayed in her half-brother, Taux Powhatan's village of Tauxenent. This was his mother's village, not too far from the Place of the Caucus across the Cohonkarutan River, much later named the “Potomac” by the English for their Patawomeck allies in today's Stafford County.



This enlarged segment of Captain John Smith's map of Algonquian tribeswhich he located next to or near the rivers within the approximated later 10-square-mile (in the green area) 1791 demarcation of the Federal City. The Potomac and Anacostia Rivers are in blue. Smith did not go inland from the large rivers and missed hundreds of locals affiliated with the main longhouses whose villages were next to wooded inland streams. Similar to the forested Tiber and other creeks of DC's Capitol Hill.

In Wahunsenachawh's day, the Patawomeck were a crafty bunch. They were not unlike the Rappahannock man who also became an English confidant and who ratted out Wahunsenachawh's brother, the War Chief, Opichancanoegh's plans in one of his coordinated attacks during his three Anglo-Powhatan wars of Homeland Security. The Patawomecks conspired with Governor Samuel Argyll to kidnap Princess Pocahontas for a ransom of life-saving corn. The Powhatans seemed to have considered the Englishmen to be worthless farmers whom they associated with the noisy cohonks. The English invaders also seemed to be lazy gold hunters whose greed for the yellow metal caused them to hunt for it instead of planting their own corn for survival. The English pests continued to raid and steal corn from Powhatan farmlands. Also, the Powhatan valued trade copper from the north more than gold, since this jewelry metal’s color represented the life-giving sun. 


To the Powhatan, the pale-hued seemingly entitled foreigners were mostly rude city folk with coarse manners, and who were mostly from a crowded, smelly metropolis. They were only distantly controlled by businessmen of the Virginia Company of London. After all, if the Englishmen who came to Attan Akamik were successful entrepreneurs, why risk their lives in a wilderness of savages? What type of person would place their lives in a formidable, distant, dangerously wooded, and fearsome wilderness with a plethora of unfamiliar beasts locally called mussascns, the '"white beast" aposoum, the masked aroughcun, mountain lions, wetland mosquitoes, and the like. Not to mention angry savages poised to end a "civilized" man's existence with a sneaky arrow from the dark woods, or a Powhatan tamahaac to the head. To the English of the time, even in their own country, the deep, dark woods was a foreboding place of wood fairies, ogres, and the like.

The corn-hungry English Governor had to conspire with the minor Patawomeck chief, Japazaws, and his wife to lure the young married girl, Matoaka, a.k.a. Pocahontas, to be kidnapped for the price of a copper pot. You might think this a trivial ransom payment, but to these Powhatan Patawomeck, as seen, copper was more valuable than gold. Besides, they got to have the Cohonkarutan River named after them by the grateful English invaders. 


Pocahontas and her baby child, possibly a girl, had uncharacteristically been moved to her husband, the young war captain Kokum’s village to hide her from roaming Englishmen who sought to do the Powhatan’s minor daughter harm. Except for the Werowance, Wahunsenacawh, the Powhatan custom was that married men moved to their wife-owned house and village. The crafty pair of royal Patawomeck opportunists succeeded in their joint Anglo plot. Matoaka arrived at the Patawomeck village in today’s Stafford County, Virginia, next to the Cohonkarutan. She was coaxed on board Samuel Argyll’s ship for a pretend tour of the English vessel. Depending on the storyteller’s motive, the rest of the tale is in the painting below. 


The composition of the Capitol’s giant painting is both history and fiction created in a less rustic, but a more Roman-like setting. For Disney and The New World moviemakers though, the real 11-year-old Princess Pocahontas had a fictional pedophilia affair with the 27-year-old Captain John Smith, whom she called “father” upon their later reacquaintance in London. Besides, no romance here. Smith had to curtail his American visit, to return to England for treatment of a lap injury. Messing with gunpowder in his lap, the explosive blew up, causing him "to lose a lot of flesh." 


[Our poor misinformed children of the future will have to be re-educated about both trashy renderings of the Pocahontas stories and the equally misguiding Capitol painting below.] 



Above:  fictional love affair movie between a little girl and a brave “adventurer” whose later writings concocted a story about Pocahontas’s “saving” of John Smith from her father’s “savagery.”



Above: An idealized painting with Senate-like onlookers and ground-sitting savages, titled “The Baptism of Pocahontas” hangs in the Capitol Rotunda near her father’s Place of the Caucus. The composition speaks volumes. Dressed in a virginal white gown, this portrayal of the Princess is a subtle but serendipitous acknowledgment of her as Washingtonian royalty.


Her capture and forced conversion to the Church of England’s protester Catholicism, now called Protestants, she was held as a hostage and succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological illness, later caught by Patty Hurst. The Malady was Pocahontas’s undoing and contributed to her death at the County of Kent’s Gravesend, England.


Although she did not die from the Stockholm syndrome, she did die from the Englishman’s disease, called an immigrant’s disease, as London’s mortal filth often killed foreign arrivals who came to town.


Pocahontas' a half brother, Taux Powhatan of today's Arlington and Fairfax County had been luckier than his sister. He remained in his mother’s village of Tauxenent where she was visited by Wahunsenacawh on his pilgrimages up and down the yearly raucous Cohonkarurtan River, the favored place of the noisy Fall-arriving Canadian cohonks or geese. The only remnant of that powerful river’s original name is the derogatory name for white people (“honkeys”), their loud honky-tonk music, and the sound, honk, made by an automobile’s equally loud horn. 


DC's Menacing Large Black Cat

The only large cat to have visited the Tiber Creek on today’s Capitol Hill within the original Federal City’s boundary stone markers which became Washington, DC, was on the Mantle of the second Powhatan, Wahundenachawh. We don't know much about his father, Powhatan the First, who had originally organized seven to eight Algonquian-speaking tribes presumably near Werowocomoco on the York River. We can only surmise that he and his entourage were from the Mayan south. The Maya were also seafarers one of whose trading vessels Columbus had contentiously encountered in the Gulf of Mexico. Columbus's ship had been stuck on a sandbar when a Maya trading vessel tried to wave off the pesky Italian and his Spanish crew. The Powhatan "Dreamers" or, we believe Pauhtuns, were men who the Tidewater people had told the English, were ruling "men who came up from the south."




Children's tour Powhatan's Mantle, London, England.

In the images on the map-like Powhatan’s Mantle, the large robe is made from four deerskins embossed with over 7,000 shells. The design is of a man flanked by his two totems, a deer and a "mountain lion", surrounded by the number of nations within his expanding Paramountcy. 


I believe that it is the Powhatan Mantle's depiction of a Spirit Cat on the large robe which, as previously described, haunts the Capitol Building


However, the black panther, a color variation of the jaguar, is sacred to Central American warriors and is a Maya protector. Large cats are also revered by Native Americans throughout our hemisphere. It is no mystery that Wahunsenacawh’s protective totem was thought to be a mountain lion, but, because of his legendary ancestral line to the Maya civilization, his protector was possibly a black jaguar, the one saw angrily stalking the Capitol hallways and believed to have left its footprints there.

But, is this myth or reality? Only the paw marks can tell.


THE BLACK PANTHER THEORY


Large stone head of a Mayan Bacab or Pauhtun god.


Panthers, jaguars, and mountain lions are integral parts of Amerindian cultures as are large cats in worldwide beliefs as objects of power. The Powhatan people told the arriving Englishmen that their leaders had come from the south. Some writers believe that they were descended from the Pauhtun, Four Bacabs or gods which, according to the Maya who revered the strength of the Jaguar god, held up the four corners of the world. The Pauhtun/Powhatan were pyramid and mound-builders. Powhatan or Wahunsenacawh is buried in a mound on the oldest reservation in the USA, the federally recognized Pamunkey Reservation. He was Pamunkey a.k.a. “Place of the Sweat” a religious temple village, exactly like his other three villages of that name located in his territory of St. Mary’s, Prince George’s, and Charles Counties in Maryland. Charles County is still the home township of Pomonkey. Wahunsenacawh’s burial mound in King William County, Virginia is covered with herbal sassafras trees. His over 100,000 descendants from his 100 wives are still here, as many have never left DC and the DMV. His son, Taux Powhatan’s mother’s tribe still resides in Fairfax County, some are descendants of the werowansquaw (female leader), Keziah Powhatan who burned down the Fairfax County’s courthouse in 1752.



DAR plaque at Tyson’s Corner, Fairfax County, Virginia acknowledging the event.


It seems that Keziah Powhatan and her warriors who did the deed felt that they could get no English justice since King Charles I gave over seven million acres of her people’s land to his cousin, Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. A party animal, he has many mixed-race descendants in the DMV, some of whom carry his name.



Fairfax County, Virginia's namesake, Thomas Fairfax, 6th lord and baron of Cameron, was the friend and patron of George Washington's early life, born in Leeds Castle, Kent, England, 1693; died at his seat at "Greenway Court", Frederick County, Virginia, December 12, 1781; son of Thomas, Lord Fairfax of Cameron, and of Catharine, daughter of Lord Culpeper.

AND, WHAT OF DC’s SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE TO WAHUNSENACAWH?


Hidden Washington: Cohonk/Goose or Tiber Creek 

The Tiber Creek and Capital's view.


When Wahunsenachawh arrived at Capitol Hill's "Cohonk", a.k.a. Goose Creek (renamed the Tiber), based on a report that this was his favorite locale to caucus, he must have fallen in love with what he saw. and undoubtedly returned many times. He would have been greeted with a fanfare of dancing, whooping, and drumming in a well-watered and verdant landscape, fit for a formidable royal highness, negotiator of the amalgamation of over 30 individualistic tribes


This chosen topography had numerous streams coursing through wetlands with at least over 260 species of animalsnot including insects, just around the surviving Rock Creek Park alone.


A signed verdant but missing wooded view of the Capitol with James Creek in the foreground and the Capitol in the background where 70% of DC's streams have disappeared. Artistic photo by De Lancey Gill, Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Winged relatives would have been fluttering and sailing in the air and maneuvering through trees, males serenading mates, some before daybreak. Some of these birds would have been newly arrived flocks of songbirds from South America and the Caribbean. Carrier pigeons that would blacken the sky in 1607, had not yet been hunted into extinction. On the forest's floor, there would have had crawlers of various kinds, not all venomous, but like the box turtle or their swimming cousin laying on logs over similar smooth streams. One main creek, Wahunsenachawh's favorite, would have tumbled off a hill that rose up to portend the place for deliberation that he would make famous in his lifetime. We now call that locale Capitol Hill.


If this was his chosen time for the caucus during spring, the forest would have come alive with white and pink flowering Dogwoods, and red-violet Redbuds. Later, gigantic medicinal Catawba trees would have been covered with snowy white and purple blossoms. Equally tall Tulip Poplar with green-tinged blooms would later follow. Fauna would have abounded, both in the form of the four-legged herds of whitetail deer, the fat winged ones such as waterfowl, and the water's shad would make the Cohonkarutan boil on their way to spawning grounds near the fall line. This was the bounty on which his Indigenous band of Algonquians would also have feasted. Centuries later the lush hillock that he cherished would become the center of a new Nation's Capital.


Both the names Capitol and Tiber were imposed on the American landscape alluding to a Greco-Roman ideal by Euro-Americans, of duplicating Europe in the Americas, probably also the sentiment of French-loving Jefferson. Except for the African-inspired obelisk named the Washington Monument, governmental buildings are Neo-classical renderings of an ideal “New Roman Empire”. 


Laying out a city in the grid format is from one of the world’s oldest Central American civilization's achievements of Teotihuacan in ancient Mexico. However, newly arriving Europeans in the Americas, then ignorant of this hemisphere's antiquity, used a Eurocentric model, based on Africa’s ancient Egyptian metropolis’s concepts of city planning. The construction of a Federal City over the Powhatan Paramountcy was a typical custom of eradicating the “Savage Beuty” of the original landscape. 


However, how did Powhatan see his Amerindian domain?


A map of the four sources of the Goose or Tiber Creek which was near Wahunsenacawh’s Place of the Caucus, reveals a concept that is not alien to the Americas. Capitol Hill rose like a Maya pyramid mound, a possible auspicious location of Four Waters which flowed into the mighty Cohonkaruton or the English renamed “Patawomeck” River. This Eurocentric pension for renaming Indigenous place names added to the almost complete obliteration of the Amerindian landscape. One cannot overlook the spiritual references that the unspoiled topography of Washington DC had on the Dreamer, bringing a more profound understanding of why Wahunsenacawh favored this converging location within his Paramountcy. DC was indeed a perfect and auspicious location for an intertribal caucus.


"Just inside the Soldiers’ Home’s fence along Rock Creek Church Road, NW, one can still see the bricked channel of the Tiber’s headwaters." - Hidden Washington Tiber Creek


WHAT BECAME OF WAHUNSENACAWH’S DESCENDANTS?


Many Powhatan people, as warriors, have fought in all of America’s wars since before the American Revolution. Some of them helped to build the major icons of The Nation’s Capital. In spite of Segregation and the 1924 Racial Integrity Act enacted to eradicate off-reservation  Indians, and, by extension, the DMV's remaining Indigenous descendants, the extended families have prospered. Some Native Americans from the Powhatan Paramountcy and affiliated tribes either remained poorly educated on tribal lands, built their own schools, or moved away to Oklahoma and other states to be educated, but returned to their tribal areas to become leaders.  


Some hid out in more prosperous Black or White communities, still retaining knowledge of or their ties to the land of their ancestors. By leaving the reservations their race was changed from "Indian" to "colored" or mulatto, a way of document genocide. Although many lost a lot of land to that and displacement, the Indigenous descendants of the DMV survived in a variety of rewarding professions. However, today, there is a resurgence among indigenous descendants of the Americas.


Joseph Mills (Pamunkey), did not become a stonemason or Area quarry miner as did some of his relatives. They quarried mines such as the one which is off Quarry Road in Lenair  Heights, DC where the National Zoo built the bear cages over thousand-year-old, ancient ancestral bluestone mines. Their labors produced stones for the DC canals, bridges, the interior of the Washington Monument, and the infamous spooky “Exorcist Steps" in Georgetown. Their mined stones built the floor and eves of the Capitol Rotunda which houses their ancestral cousin, Pocahontas’s Baptism. Joe went into businesses for himself, owning a laundromat in Southwest, DC, as well as a lucrative business in prized spirits on the side. Many of his customers were the DMV's wealthy and those in the legal establishment.




Above: (Top) A composite illustration of Joseph Mills (Pamunkey) as Wahunsenacawh, superimposed over a Powhatan Territorial map of the DMV’s 10-square-mile Federal City. An astute entrepreneur who had businesses in both Fairfax County and Southwest Washington, DC in one trade which he had learned on the Pamunkey Reservation. He also spoke Greek with Nick Chaconas, his partner during Prohibition, and was the father of 21 Washingtonians.

(Below) A collection of photographs of just a few Powhatan Paramountcy descendants, of which there are thousands, The photos cover from the late 1800s Pamunkey Reservation School and the the1907 "Pocahontas Pagent" reenactment to today's powwow participants at the bottom.




A photograph of the Powhatan Museum's powwow booth at the annual Chickahominy Festival & Powwow, Charles City, Virginia. This is an example of the continuation of the Powhatan Confederacy/Paramountcy's educational outreach. The wearable items and prints were designed by Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent) and the author, provided educational information on the People of the First Encounter, the Taino (1492), and the Powhatan Paramountcy (1607}.



NOTES

(1) Recent attempts on YouTube to restore some of the streams around DC's neighborhoods. See what downtown streets and buildings are covering up.


(2) The contemporary removal of controversial Confederate statues is but part two in the process of correcting historical mistakes. In 1958, Native Americans were the first to protest imagery which diminished their value as human beings. Offensive 1844 ant-Native American statues titled the "Discovery of America", and "The Rescue", were removed in 1958 by the actions of the National Congress of American Indians and individual activists, an Indigenous woman, Leta Myers Smart (Omaha} of Nebraska. American-born sculptor Horatio Greenough who created The Rescue wrote that the statue below was meant “to convey the idea of the triumph of the whites over the savage tribes."

Controversial dispariging Columbus statue titled "Discovery of America" showing a cowering Taino woman which was removed from the Capitol steps in 1958.

"The Rescue", an 1845 sculpture portraying that century's sentiment about the saving of America from the "savages" for the white man's civilizing purposes. No mention of the Amerindian Genocide was ever made.
 





Friday, March 18, 2022

The INDIGENOUS WOMAN: March 1 to 31

The Horrendous Beginnings: 

Copyright 2022 by Michael Auld (Yamaye)

“Invisible Indian” A graphic illustration that portrays the reality of the convenient invisibility of Native Americans from the National discourse, is based on guilt.


The Encounter Period  

Print by Jodocus van Winghe, published in 1598 is of the Murder of Anacaona (Golden Flower) the Taino provincial leader of Jaragua, showing the carrying out of the order by Governor Nicolas de Ovando, successor to Columbus on the island of Hispaniola (Ayti Bohio/Kiskeya) in 1504. Anacaona, Queen of Jaragua had invited Ovando to a reception on her homeland. Ovando accepted, and upon arrival at Anacaona's large Caney (chief's house), he ordered his crossbowmen to surround the house of 100 assembled sub-kacikes. His men took Anacaona from the Caney, set it afire, and shot anyone attempting to escape. He offered Anacaona to become a concubine. She refused and was hanged. This Spanish pattern of annihilation of the Indigenous leadership was copied in the Conquest of the Americas.


The Role of Indigenous Women of the Americas

Indigenous women have always held a place of honor among their people. From Earth Mother to goddesses, tribal property owners, and matrilineal icons. Even our planet was seen as "Mother Earth.” Native women have occupied the highest rung in endemic societies.  However, after the arrival of the first Spanish Europeans, the Indigenous woman became survivors of violence and dismissal. The Caribbean was the first to experience this chauvinistic horror.



  
Atabey, the Taino virgin goddess of
childbirth and freshwaters.

HONORING OUR INDIGENOUS AMERINDIAN WOMEN

In March, we honor the First Women of the Americas, some who paid the ultimate price for leadership or for just being the first to, unfortunately, encounter a hemispheric invasion


The first recorded atrocity, a rape, occurred in 1493 on Columbus' return trip to the Caribbean. We know of her, but we do not know her name. She was a young Kalinago woman from Ay Ay, (meaning the "River" in Taino), a Leeward Caribbean Island which we now call St. Croix, (ironically meaning the "Holy Cross" in French). A similar concept to the Christ crucified on a cross, she was the first Indigenous victim of a Christian crime in her homeland. Michele da Cuneo flogged and raped an Amerindian woman. 


Surprised at the arrival of the Spanish ships, while in a Kalinago canoe and fighting off a boatload of Spanish seamen from Columbus’ flagship, one of whom she shot an arrow through his shield with such force that it penetrated three inches into the attacker's chest, killing him. After a skirmish, she was captured by da Cuneo, an Italian lieutenant and a childhood friend of Columbus’ from his flagship, one of the 17 to 19 arriving vessels. The ensuing rope whipping and rape took place in da Cuneo's cabin on the Admiral's flagship. Ripping her attacker with her nails, her loud screams brought no help from Columbus or his crew.


"Rape of a Kalinago Girl: 1493", Sculpture by the author



The first martyrdom of an Indigenous woman in our hemisphere to be recorded occurred in 1503 in Ayti Bohio, meaning "High Mountain Home," or Kiskeya, meaning "Mother of All Lands." Anacaona is our first named honoree who was the kacike or ruler of over 100 sub-kaciles in her province of Jaragua (Ha-rag-wah) located in today's Haiti on the second largest Caribbean Island. This island was the center of the Taino Civilization, whose vast Bagua, or the Caribbean Sea to the north, included hundreds of islands and cayaos (keys). In 1492, on the east shore of their northern island of Guanahni, or Island of the Iguana, land of the Lucayo or Lukku-Cari, i.e. "Small Island", they encountered men from Spain headed by the Italian wool merchant called Cristobal Colon by his Spanish employer, Queen Isabela. His real name was Cristoforo Colombo in his native Italian but was later Latinized as Christopher Columbus by English speakers.

Above: Kacike Anacaona (seated on a ceremonial dujo stool) while in a cohoba trance communing with the ancestors. --By the author.

Below: A book illustration by the author of the hurakan/hurricane which is seen as an angry woman goddess, Guabancex, Rider of the Winds. She is part of a triad that includes the twins, GuatauBA! the Herald lightning and thunder. Coatrisque the Deluge, follows her yearly arrival from Africa’s Sahel Desert where she is born.





Above composite sculpture by the author.



CHESAPEAKE WOMEN IN 1585 

The Second Amerindian Pandemic

Ethnic watercolors by John White also included men. We must remember these women of the Chesapeake Bay region of Secotan who first encountered the English in 1585. They may not have lasted beyond a week after these watercolors were made. Villages were decimated by a European disease soon after being revisited by John White's expedition.


   


The Powhatan Paramountcy 1607 to the Present 

The Powhatan Paramountcy was the second Indigenous Encounter in North America in 1607. This is where the United States of America began. Founded as an eight Algonquian confederation by the first “Dreamer" or Powhatan I, his son, Wahunsenachaw was the second Powhatan who expanded the Algonquian political group into a 32-34 nation Paramountcy which the arriving English called a “Kingdom.” Their territory included affiliation with the Nanticoke or Kuskarawaoks people of Maryland and Delaware to the north. The ensuing conflicts between the Powhatans and the Virginia Company of England’s representatives and the English Crown ended in three Anglo-Powhatan Wars in Virginia, Maryland North Carolina, and Washington, DC. In suing for peace, Cockacoeske, the Queen of Pamunkey whose 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation at Williamsburg, Virginia, ended the conflicts with the invading English and their ever-continuing violent expansion. This is the story of the great women of the Powhatan Paramountcy. 


 

DC once had an Indigenous Queen,--Washington Post article. Illustration of the late Georgia Mills Boston Jessup (Pamunkey) as her relative Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey. --By the author.



Sculpture of Pamunkey Queen, Cockacoeske in the honored Women’s Monument at Capitol Square, Richmond, VA. She holds the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation as the major signatory on behalf of her people and the many Indigenous nations under her governance. The treaty ended the last of the three Anglo-Powhatan Wars of Homeland Security and set the stage for the American Revolution.


Shaman” collage painting by Georgia Mills Boston Jessup a Pamunkey painter and ceramicist. The painting was used as an invitation to a family exhibit at the Fondo del Sol Museum in DC. The contents of a pouch incorporated into the painting, include spiritual objects from her cousin Pamunkey Chief Paul Miles’ medicine bag, given to Georgia by her late cousin, Chief Bill "Swift Eagle" Miles.



Rainy Night Downtown”, is a painting of her DC city hometown by Georgia Mills Boston Jessup. Included in the Permanent Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.






Urban Renewal”, is a collage painting by Georgia Mills Boston Jessup that comments on the removal of people of color in DC to make way for gentrification.



Georgia Mills Boston Jessup (Pamunkey) was an artist, teacher, and administrator from Washington, DC, and its Metropolitan Area. She was number 13 of 21 siblings and a family of over 29 members in various local and national arts disciplines.




Above: This is a video of a Land Acknowledgement given by Washingtonian Wisdom Keeper, Rose Powhatan a Pamunkey and Tauxenent descendant of the historic Powhatan Paramountcy in her yard in North West Washington, DC. Capitol Hill is known as the “Place of the Caucus” where Wahunsenachaw or Powhatan II, met in caucuses to promote solidarity with the surrounding Algonquian nations. Chroniclers during his lifetime said that “Powhatan never left his area.” The 32-34 nation Algonquian Paramountcy was governed by both women and men.


 

Above: Artist, tribal historian, and storyteller Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent) with her “Firewoman Warrior” ancestor totem, Keziah Powhatan, the Tauxenent leader of the 1752 burning of the Fairfax County, Virginia courthouse. 

Below: Tysons Corner D.A.R. plaque about the event. Kezia's people's land was given to Lord Fairfax by his cousin the King of England. So, she and her warriors burned the building down. This story was passed down in her Fairfax County's extensive family.
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Storyteller” an acrylic painting by Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent) is also an example of a mother passing on inspirational stories to her daughter. 


MYTH & REALITY

(1) Will the real Pocahontas please stand up!

America’s iconic Native American has been mostly interpreted by non-family members for decades. All that we know is that she was a little girl of 11-years-old in 1607 when the 27-year-old English Captain John Smith arrived in Attan Akamik as an employee of the Virginia Company of London. Almost everything else is conjecture since she never spoke for herself. She is either idolized by Eurocentrists as a Christianized princess collaborator or despised by some Native Americans as a sellout of her father’s Powhatan Paramouncy’s territory. Or a victim of the Stockholm syndrome, where the kidnapped becomes a supporter of the kidnappers.

Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey/Tauxenent) stands next to one of two commissioned sculptures of Pocahontas. A Fulbright Scholar and exchange teacher for the school year 1994 to 1995 she also worked with the high school students at the St. Georges Church of England School, Gravesend, Kent, England,  Here she is next to her ancestral cousin, Pocahontas' monument at Gravesend, England in 1994.  The British acknowledged Native American princess is buried at the nearby St. Georges Church, possibly under the altar area, and is the town’s main tourist attraction.


Rose Powhatan's “Pocahontas Unmasked” print by a Native American Pamunkey family member questions the portrayal of the iconic young woman’s physical interpretations. "Pocahontas was a full-blooded Native American young woman, not a European," the artist said.


(2) The Island of Women

Indigenous women in the Americas were seen by the arriving Spanish as earthly members of the place of unequaled beauty which their awestruck men called the Terrestrial Paradise, technically identified as the biblical Garden of Eden. This impression was concretized when Columbus first arrived on Guanahani (renamed San Salvador) in October of 1492. By sign language, he was introduced to the Taino epic of Matanino, the Island of Women, and Guanin, its twin Island of Gold. Father Pané later recorded this epic in more detail on Hispaniola.

(Above): A montage print titled, "La California," with a Taino image of Atabey, the goddess and virgin mother of Yucahu, god of the sea, and the life-giving yuca or cassava. Her image is overlaid by an early Spanish woodcut of a drawing by Fernández de Oviedo, 1526 of the Taino method of panning for gold, as introduced to Europeans.--Silkscreen print by the author.

(Below): Left side enlargement showing the early Spanish map of La California as an island, thinking, as Hernan Cortez did in 1519 when he saw the California Mountains in the distance from Mexico's Baja California, after the conquest of Montezuma's Mexica or Aztecs. Cortez was familiar with the recently published Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo's book "La California." He thought that this was the abode of Queen Califia's golden island. Coincidentally, gold was later found in those California Mountains which caused the California Gold Rush.





An illustration of Queen Califia of the Island of "Black" Amazons called La California protected from men by griffins, and whose only weapons were made of gold. This story was adapted as Las Sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián) a popular novel written by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. It was probably adopted by the Spanish 16th-century novelist from Fray Ramón Pané’s recorded manuscript on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola (Kiskeya/Ayti Bohio) titled "Account of the antiquities of the Indians." 

In about 1498 after the Tainos began attacking the Spanish invaders, Pané compiled and presented to Columbus his Relación acerca de las antigüedades de los indios ("Report about the antiquities of the Indians"). This account was known to have contained accurate and unbiased descriptions of the Taino beliefs and was used by Peter Martyr, las Casas, and Ferdinand Columbus.


  WOMEN OF POWER

Frida Khalo was a Mexican painter, proud of her Indigenous ancestry and dressed in their style, whose feminism is still admired by many. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists abroad for her depiction of the female experience and form. 

"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone because I am the person I know best."



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Representative Sharice Lynnette Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin) was born May 22, 1980, was raised by a single mother, who served in the Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School. As a first-generation college student who worked the entire time she was in college, Rep. Davids understands the importance of quality public schools and affordable higher education. It is that foundation that allowed her to go on to a successful career, focused on economic and community development, which included time as a White House Fellow under President Barack Obama.

When she was sworn into the 116th Congress, Rep. Davids became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.




Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo). Interior Secretary Deb Haaland made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. She is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th generation New Mexican. 

Secretary Haaland grew up in a military family; her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving six lives in Vietnam, and her mother is a Navy veteran who served as a federal employee for 25 years at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As a military child, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque.  

As a single mother, Secretary Haaland volunteered at her child's pre-school to afford early childhood education. 


An Hour-long Congressional Condemnation of hatred by some men against women: https://youtu.be/jUIbIWgBWo8


In January of 2019, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez who is descended from the Taino People of Puerto Rico (Borinquen) was sworn in as the youngest woman and youngest Latina ever to serve in Congress.   Her first piece of legislation was the Green New Deal resolution, which envisions a 10-year national mobilization, akin to FDR’s New Deal, that would put millions to work in good-paying, union jobs repairing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing air and water pollution, and fighting the intertwined economic, social, racial and climate crises crippling the country.

Over her first term, she introduced a total of 23 pieces of legislation. Among them is her Loan Shark Prevention Act, which would cap credit card interest rates at 15%. The Congresswoman also introduced a group of bills collectively titled ‘Just Society,’ which would raise the federal poverty line, include immigrants in social safety net programs, require federal contractors to pay a living wage, strengthen renters' rights, and decrease recidivism.

“There are some politicians who are very good on policy, and there are some politicians who are good communicators, and there are some politicians that have a way about them that relates very well to ordinary people. Alexandria has all three of those characteristics.” – Senator Bernie Sanders




Wilma Mankiller, in full Wilma Pearl Mankiller, (born November 18, 1945, TahlequahOklahoma, U.S.—died April 6, 2010, Adair County, Oklahoma), Native American leader and activist, the first woman chief of a major tribe.

Mankiller was of Cherokee, Dutch, and Irish descent; the name Mankiller derives from the high military rank achieved by a Cherokee ancestor. https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/wilma-mankiller


“One of the things my parents taught me, and I'll always be grateful . . . is to not ever let anybody else define me; [but] for me to define myself. ” 



NOTES:

Some Indigenous ladies I adore...

(Top) The Next Generation.

(Bottom Left) A Geriatrician mother of three, of Mixtec Mexican ancestry and who works with New York City's elderly patients heavily hit by COVID. 

(Bottom Right) A Navajo or Diné meaning "the People", and a mother of three who is promoting Indigenous cultures in the DC Metropolitan Area.