Interested in learning about Indian artifacts from Virginia? Do you want to discover which Indian tribes created these artifacts? Read our guide for more facts and information…
Within the state of Virginia many Indian tribes made their home; however, this large number of tribes can actually be grouped into three general families. The main groupings of Indians who lived in Virginia were the Siouan, the Algonquian and the Iroquois. The Algonquian Indians were the largest of these three groups. The Indians of Virginia survived off of the land as they utilized the natural tools offered by their forest home to create shelter and food. The Indians of Virginia like the natives of the rest of the United States struggled to adapt to life with European settlement. Today only eight organized tribes exist in Virginia and only 2500 persons are on the register.
Cooking was important to the Indians of Virginia and their reliance on gathering food required the creation of many artifacts. Berries were a common source of food; the berries were gathered in a collection of nets and baskets that were hand woven from grasses and weeds. Corn was also a staple in the diet of the Virginia Indians. Artifacts such as stone mortars and pestles have been discovered as these tools were important in the process of grinding the kernels of corn into cornmeal to create bread. Clay pots are also common artifacts as they were used in cooking. The Indians of the region used clay despite the fact that it was easily broken as it was also easily replaced. Due to the fact that many clay pots were broken it is common to find shards of pottery rather than the intact artifact.
The Virginia Indians also supplemented their diet with meat obtained through hunting and fishing. The bow and arrow was a commonly used artifact as if used with strong aim it was a highly effective weapon. The bow and arrow was used by the Indians from Virginia to hunt turkeys, deer, and other animals. The Indians from Virginia also constructed traps for small animals such as raccoons and possums. These traps were built out of sturdy sticks and vines. It is also common to find artifacts that are sharpened bones. These bones were used as fishing hooks or small spears.
Ceremonial Indian artifacts are also interesting as they were important in the lifestyle of the tribes. Tubular pipes carved of wood have been discovered in Virginia. These wooden pipes often feature effigies or other designs to personalize the artifact. It is believed that these artifacts were used not only in ceremonies by the Indians from Virginia, but also for personal use. Artifacts that are classified as jewelry have also been discovered. These artifacts are frequently made of either stone or wood. The Indians decorated their jewelry through beads and paint as the pieces were not only for adornment but were also believed to have had spiritual qualities.