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Mysteries of the Lost Colony. A New World: England’s First View of America Displayed at the North Carolina Museum of History Courtesy of the British Museum Mrs. Hardee’s AIG Class. A Bit of Background….

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mysteries of the lost colony

Mysteries of the Lost Colony

A New World: England’s First View of America

Displayed at the North Carolina Museum of History Courtesy of the British Museum

Mrs. Hardee’s AIG Class

a bit of background
A Bit of Background…
  • Great for images… mute sound…
  • Museum You Tube
why are we going
Why are we going…
  • Explore one of history’s most astonishing unsolved mysteries in a major exhibition.
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit.
  • This is the first time in more than 40 years that the complete collection of John White’s watercolors will be show outside of England.

Journey back to the 16th century, and embark on an adventure to the New World in the footsteps of John White. Search for the lost colonists, view an Algonquian Indian village, and follow the history of the outdoor drama “The Lost Colony”


Mysteries of the Lost Colony examines England’s first attempts at a permanent settlement in America and what may have happened to the colonists at Roanoke Island.

every north carolinian knows about the legend of the lost colony
Every North Carolinian knows about the legend of the Lost Colony….
  • More than four centuries ago, English colonists challenged the wilderness of North America when Sir Walter Raleigh authorized two colonies at a site on the northern end of Roanoke Island protected by barrier islands from the Atlantic Ocean and from marauding Spaniards.
One group of colonists gave up and returned to England. A second colony vanished without a trace, creating the “Lost Colony” mystery– the genesis story of North Carolina and English North America.
john white
John White
  • John White, a gentleman and artist, was appointed governor of the Roanoke Island colony in 1587. That same year, his granddaughter, Virginia Dare, became the first English child born in America. Weeks after her birth, White traveled to England for supplies. When he returned three years later, the entire colony had vanished.
the mystery
The Mystery…
  • Today, the Lost Colony mystery remains—as do White’s detailed renderings of New World flora and fauna and Algonquian Indians. These extraordinary images provide the only surviving visual English record of America at the time of European contact. London’s Daily Telegraph has called A New World: England’s First View of America “enthralling” and “unmissable.”
  • At its heart is A New World: England's First View of America, featuring more than 70 watercolor drawings made by John White on the voyages to Virginia (now North Carolina) in the 1580s. This is the first time in over 40 years that this complete collection of White's original watercolors is on view outside of England.
indian village of pomeiooc http www virtualjamestown org quicktime flash pomhi html
Indian Village of Pomeiooc

A bird's-eye view of an Indian village enclosed by a circular palisade of quite irregular light poles, with two entrances, one in the foreground and one in the background at bottom and top left.

The path leading to the front entrance is bordered with hooped sticks. The village consists of eighteen buildings of pole and mat (and perhaps bark) construction, many of them with open ends or sides or both, and some with door openings at the ends, usually off-centre. Most are rectangular in ground-plan, but some may have rounded ends. Several are seen to contain an interior platform along one or both sides and across one end, supported by two rows of posts independent of the house posts. All have simple arched roofs, except the largest, where the cupola-like roof is constructed on ridges springing from the corners and coming to a point in the centre. In three houses the open sides seem to be shaded by an arched section of roof supported on longer vertical poles. The houses are grouped irregularly about a large open space in the centre where a fire is burning and around which a number of apparently naked Indians are sitting with rattles in their hands (see no. 43 (A), pl. 39). Other groups of men, women and children are seen standing or walking near the houses, several of them making signs with their hands towards the fire and one man is splitting timber with an axe, another is carrying wood on his back, yet another carries a bow, while a cloaked figure is dimly seen emerging from a house to the left of the fire. A dog with longish legs and tail is also shown.

Yellow, crimson and gold body-colours, various shades of brown and grey water-colours, touched with black, over black lead; 22.2 x 21.5 cm. or 8 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.


Inscribed in brown ink, at the foot, "The towne of Pomeiock and true forme of their howses, couered | and enclosed some wth matts, and some wth barcks of trees. All compassed | abowt wth smale poles stock thick together in stedd of a wall."

  • A woman is standing to the front with her head turned half-right and with a child standing at her left side, facing half-left. The woman is wearing an apron-skirt of fringed skin of which only the part in front is visible, edged at top and bottom with a single row of white beads. Her hair is fringed in front, long behind and caught up at the nape of her neck. A headband, probably of woven beadwork, is shown running across her forehead and under the hair at each side. A close-fitting three-string necklace with a pendant is either worn or suggested by painting or tattooing on the skin. She also wears a long three-strand bead necklace hanging to her waist, through which her right hand is thrust. Painted or tattooed decoration is visible on her forehead, cheek and chin and on her upper arms. She holds in her left hand a large bottle-shaped gourd vessel. The girl's head reaches almost to the woman's waist and her hair is fringed on the forehead, hanging free at the sides and back. She wears a necklace of at least three strands of red and blue or black beads, with a tongue-like pendant which she is holding in her right hand. Her sole article of clothing is a thong or string passing round the waist, where it is tied in front, and through her crutch where it secures a small pad. In her left hand she holds a doll dressed in Elizabethan female costume.
  • Black, various shades of grey and brown water-colours, touched with white and crimson body-colours, over black lead; 26.3 x 14.9 cm. or 10 3/8 x 5 7/8 in.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top,

"A cheife Herowans wyfe of Pomeoc. | and her daughter of the age of .8. or. | .10. yeares. "

  • The man is standing to the front, his face half-left, with feet apart. His greying hair is drawn flat at the sides and caught up in a knot at the back, leaving a roach down the middle of his head. Some facial hair is visible on his chin, cheeks, and upper hp. He wears a large fringed deerskin mantle thrown over his left shoulder and reaching below the knee, leaving the right shoulder bare, with the top edge turned down to reveal the hairy side. A neat seam is visible down the left side. His right hand lies across his body clasping his mantle, his left is extended at the side and points down with the index finger. He is perhaps wearing an ear ornament.
  • Black, touches of brown body-colour, various shades of brown and grey water-colours, heightened with white (partly oxidized), especially along the edges of the feet, hands and shoulder, all over black lead outlines; 26.1 x 15 cm. or 10 1/4 x 5 7/8 in.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, along the top, "The aged man in his wynter garment.
  • The woman is standing to the left, her back to the observer, her head turned towards the front, looking over her left shoulder. She carries a naked child on her back who grips her shoulders with both arms and whose left leg is tucked under and through her left arm, while the right hangs down. Her hair forms what now appears to be a grey cap (almost as if it were a wig--an effect caused by the removal of the surface wash by water) and from it some straggling hairs emerge in a fringe at the front and loosely at the neck. Her upper arms are decorated with bands of zigzag and other patterns, either painted or tattooed. She wears a double apron-skirt of fringed skin which reaches half-way down her thighs.
  • Black, brown and grey water-colours in several shades, touched with white (partly oxidized), over black lead; 25.7 x 14.1 cm. or 10 1/8 x 5 5/8 in.
  • Inscribed in brown ink, along the top, "The wyfe of an Herowan of Pomeiooc. "
  • A bird's-eye view of an unenclosed Indian village of thirteen houses of light pole and mat construction. At the top, a path leads from water (a stream or pond) to the main group of houses where it widens into a central thoroughfare running down through the settlement. On the street, in the centre of the main group of houses, a spoke-shaped fire attended by two Indians is burning and below, further down the path, are shown mats spread out on which are three large circular eating vessels and six small objects of indefinite form. One squatting and two sitting figures are seen eating and one man armed with a bow stands by. To the right of the path and street are three cornfields each at a different stage of growth. The top field of ripe maize contains a small hut, open at one side, which may shelter a seated figure and is mounted on a platform with four legs. A path to the right separates this field from the two lower ones in which crops of unripe and very young maize are growing. The last has faint indications perhaps representing hills around the bases of the plants. To the left of the unripe maize is a house with a small fenced yard before the door which is in the centre of the end wall. The houses to the left of the road are set among (or near to) birch-like trees. Among the trees to the left are two houses with three figures nearby, two of them apparently carrying bows. Four other figures are to be seen among the main group of houses, which are shown with open ends, several revealing the pole framework and side platforms, while a few have small window-like openings. At the bottom right a path separates the lowest cornfield from the ceremonial area and is bordered by a row of seven posts. Below this is a circle of seven posts, the tops of which are possibly carved in the form of human heads, and on a path around it nine Indians (apparently all men), with feathers in their hair and waving gourd rattles, are dancing. Some wear a single apron-skirt and others apparently are naked or wear breech-clouts only. One Indian crouches beside a post outside the circle to the right and six others squat or sit in line on the roadway to the left. A further path is indicated at the bottom right, below the dancers. To the left of the roadway, opposite the circle, a path surrounds four posts within which a spoke-shaped log fire is burning, a fifth post being seen to the right near where the path joins the road. The heads of the posts are again possibly carved like the others. To the left of the fire is a but with the end covered and below, at the bottom left, is a house taller than the rest which may have openings in the end wall. A short path leads from it to the road.
  • The woman is standing, facing half-right with arms folded. Her hair is fringed in front and hangs in wisps at the side and back and is secured by a headband of twisted material. There is a suggestion of an ear ornament. She is wearing a double apron-skirt of fringed skin, ornamented with a double row of beads or pearls. The tassels of the fringe below the waist are heightened, as they are on the lower fringe, with white (oxidized) and show traces of gold. The skirt reaches nearly half-way down the thighs. She is elaborately painted or tattooed with bluish lines on her cheeks, forehead and chin, a simulated necklace, and patterns on the upper and lower arms and on the calves and instep.
  • Black, blue and crimson body-colours, brown and various shades of grey water-colours, heightened with white (oxidized) and touched with gold, over black lead outlines.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, along the top, "The wyfe of an Herowan of Secotan.
  • A rectangular building (20 x 13.5 cm. or 7 7/8 x 5 3/8 in.) of pole and mat construction with curved roof, is raised perhaps 6 feet above the ground on eleven timber posts. The front end is open and the mat covering thrown back over the roof. The raised floor is made of either narrow poles or cane. Below it, in front, is a border or pelmet of cane or mat, perhaps 18 inches deep. On the raised floor lies a row of ten pale, naked and emaciated bodies placed close together on their backs, their arms by their sides and their heads almost reaching the front edge of the floor. Their hair is shown drawn out from the scalp to a point or knot. At their feet, four large rectangular bundles of matting with curved tops lie two by two against the end wall of the building. The figure of an idol ('Kywash') is represented sitting slightly elevated, with legs flexed and hands on knees, close to the right-hand wall and some little way back. It appears to be dressed in black throughout with a white streak or opening on the chest (giving the effect almost of a jacket and trousers with a white undergarment showing in front). Its feet and hands are black and on its head is a large round hat, brownish in colour, with a rolled brim, coming to a point at the top. The face is pale and looks to the front. Under the floor of the building, inside the wooden posts, are two reddish-brown skins spread out on the ground, one on top of the other. In front a small spoke-shaped wood fire is burning. The building stands on a levelled foundation a little wider than itself and extending to the front of the drawing.
  • Black, various shades of brown, reddish-brown, pink and grey water-colours, heightened with gold on the flames, over black lead outlines; 29.5 x 20.4 cm. or 11 5/8 x 8 in.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top, "The Tombe of their Cherounes or cheife personages, their flesh clene taken of from the bones saue | the skynn and heare of theire heads, wch flesh is dried and enfolded in matts laide at theire | feete. their bones also being made dry, ar couered wth deare skynns not altering | their forme or proportion. With theire Kywash, which is an | Image of woode keeping the deade. "
  • Seventeen Indians (ten men, seven women) are dancing within and around a circle of seven upright posts, somewhat taller than a man, defined on the ground by a path outside them. The tops of the posts are carved in the form of human heads which appear to be draped and to have the features painted in pale grey and reddish colours, touched with white. The dancers may be divided into three groups: the two figures standing between the posts in the foreground, whose clasped hands hold a leafy twig; the circle of men and women dancers moving outside the circle of posts; the three women in the centre of the circle clasped closely together, facing inwards.
indians numbers 1 3
Indians Numbers 1-3
  • Numbering the dancers clockwise from a post at the bottom, left of centre: (1) a woman, to the right of the post, is balanced on her left leg, her right foot crossing it behind. She is dressed in a fringed skin mantle which hangs over her left shoulder and reveals the fur on the fold. The mantle appears to be tied round the waist with a band or string into which is tucked a skin bag with fringed ends which hangs down behind. Her hair sticks out in a fringe at the front and is tied behind at the neck and she probably has a headband. She appears to have a small bracelet on her right wrist. She is tattooed or painted on the upper arms and holds in her left hand a gourd rattle with a stick handle; her right hand clasps that of her neighbour; (2) a man to the left of the post, seen from the back, his head turned to the left, is balanced on his right foot with his left leg raised high, the knee fully bent and his right arm raised above his head, a twig in his hand; his left hand is thrust behind his back and holds a gourd rattle. He is wearing a single apron-skirt, secured by a thong round his waist, from which a skin bag hangs over his right hip. His hair is short at the side with a roach down the middle into which two feathers are stuck. Apparently, from his right ear an ornament (or tobacco pipe?) protrudes. On the left side of his back are three or four designs, perhaps downward-pointing arrows; (3) below the post furthest to the left a man seen from the back is in a similar posture, but with his right knee raised, the rattle (in red body-colour) in his right hand held above his head, and a twig in his left which he holds away from his body. His dress is also similar but he wears his bag on the left. The sides of his head are seen to be shaven and the roach comes to a point on the nape of his neck. He seems to be wearing five feathers on his head, one above each ear and three sticking in the roach. On his left shoulder there is a design, perhaps a small animal within a shield-like border
indians numbers 4 7
Indians Numbers 4-7
  • 4) a woman, facing front and to the left of the post, is balanced on her right foot, the left pulled up behind her, and is holding a twig in her right hand and another in her left which is stretched across the front of her body. She is wearing a double apron-skirt. Her hair is fringed on the forehead, worn long and caught up at the neck. An ornament is just visible near her left ear, which may be a string of beads or pearls hanging down on the left side of her head. She has a two- or three-strand necklace and tattooed or painted ornaments on her left upper arm and wrist; (5) a man facing front, to the right of the next post, his right leg thrust out behind him, is balanced on the ball of his left foot. His left hand is raised above his head and holds a twig, while his right grasps a rattle held out from his side. He apparently wears a single apron-skirt. His hair stands in a roach into which are stuck three feathers, and he wears another above each ear. He has a long two- or three-string necklace; (6) a man, facing half-right, and to the right of the post, has his left knee raised up towards his left arm which is stretched out in front. His right hand is raised above his head and holds a gourd rattle. He is wearing a breech-clout lapped over a thong round the waist, into which is tucked a skin bag hanging over the right hip. His hair is dressed in a similar fashion to that of the other men already described, and a single feather is stuck in the roach, another appearing above each ear. He wears a long necklace, the three strands of which are joined just above his waistband to form an ornament; (7) a man facing half-right to the left of the top post, is balanced on his right leg, with his left leg raised and fully flexed, and his right arm bent and raised above his head, his left crossing his body in front. His dress is similar to that of no. 6 as is his hair. He wears, apparently, a two-strand necklace from which hangs a round ornament
indians numbers 8 10
Indians Numbers 8-10
  • 8) a man to the right of the topmost post, facing half-left, is balanced on the left foot and his right leg is stretched out to the right. His right hand is hidden by the post to the left of which the top of a rattle is visible. His left arm holds out a long arrow or spear, the barbed point facing downwards, the butt missing off the top of the page. He is wearing a single apron-skirt, and his hair has a single feather sticking up from the back of his roach and another from his left ear. He appears to be wearing a necklace which hangs across his chest and under his left arm; (9) a man, to the left of the top right post, is balanced on his left foot, his right leg raised to the side and flexed. He is holding up a twig in his right hand and a rattle in his left. He wears a breech-clout giving the effect of a reddish mottled skin, lapped over a thong round the waist. There are three feathers in his roach and one above each ear, and he wears a three-strand necklace; (10) a man to the right and below the post is balanced on his right leg, his left leg bent up behind. He holds a twig above his head in his right hand, and another in his left near his side. He is wearing an apron-skirt and has four feathers stuck near the front of his roach. He wears a long three-strand necklace
indians numbers 11 14
Indians Numbers 11-14
  • (11) a woman, to the right of the right-hand post, is facing left and is balanced on her left leg with the right raised behind. With her right hand she holds up a rattle to her chin, while her left arm is bent, the hand resting on her hip. She is wearing a fringed skin dress or mantle, hanging from the shoulders, ornamented with beads or pearls around the bottom and the neck line (and extending down in strings on to the chest), which is secured at both shoulders, leaving her arms bare and reaching below her knees. Her hair is worn long, fringed in front and caught up at the back. She has tattooed or painted ornaments on the upper arms, and the suggestion of a bracelet on her left wrist; (12) a man below, and to the right of the post, is balanced on his right leg, his left leg drawn up behind. He is brandishing in his right hand a long arrow showing both barbed point and fletching, and holds up a gourd rattle in his left hand. He wears only a waistband into which a skin bag is tucked on the left side and, apparently, a twig stuck into it on the right. His hairstyle is indeterminate. He appears to have one long feather sticking from the middle of his head and one above each ear; (13) a man, viewed from behind, his head turned left, in profile, is balancing on his left foot with his right foot raised. His right hand is held close behind his back, grasping an upright twig, and in his left hand is a rattle partly hidden by his left thigh. He is wearing only a thong round his waist, through which is tucked a skin bag hanging down on his left hip. His hair is smooth at the sides and is caught up in a knot at the back of the neck. He has a high roach from which two feathers stick up in front and one behind. He appears to be wearing a large ear ornament but its form cannot be clearly distinguished. On his right shoulder-blade is a design representing two arrows pointing downwards, and there is a painted or tattooed ornament on his left wrist; (14) a woman, viewed from the back, is standing to the left of the lower right-hand post with her head facing left. In her right hand she holds a twig upright, while her left reaches out to clasp that of no. I, as described above. She is unclothed except for a waistband through which are stuck a number of long twigs reaching from her knees to above her head. Her hair has a fringe in front and hangs down loosely to her neck. She appears to have a small bracelet on her left wrist. A tattooed or painted ornament can be faintly distinguished on her left upper arm and perhaps on her right wrist
indians numbers 15 17
Indians Numbers 15-17
  • 15) in the middle of the circle a woman, viewed from the back, is seen standing, balanced on the balls of her feet. Her head is turned half-left and her arms are clasped round the necks of two other women (16 and 17). She is wearing a single apron-skirt tied at the back round the waist, leaving her buttocks bare. Her hair hangs down loosely on her neck; (16) a woman, turned to the right, is seen to the left of no. 15 . Her left foot is on the ground and she is balancing on the ball of her right foot which is extended behind her. One arm rests on the left shoulder of no. 15, the other is not visible. She appears to be wearing a single apron-skirt, or possibly a mantle (like that of no. 1). A tattooed or painted ornament can perhaps be distinguished on her right forearm; (I7) a woman, turned to the left, her face half-front, is seen on the right of no. 15. Her right foot is on the ground and she is balancing on her left foot. Her left arm is closely clasped round the waist of no. 15 (and her right may be linked to no. 16). She appears to be wearing a single apron-skirt, but, again, it may be a mantle. Her hair is smooth and is apparently caught up at the back of her neck, leaving a large wisp hanging down. She is perhaps wearing an ear ornament, and possibly has a headband. The inner circle is about 16 feet in diameter. In the centre of the ring a small circle, about 3 feet across, has been made (or worn) on the ground.
  • Ten Indians, apparently six men and four women, are seated or kneeling in a circle round a spoke-shaped log fire. Five are holding gourd rattles. Four of the men wear feathers in their hair which is cut short at the side to leave a roach in the middle. The women wear their hair somewhat longer and looser. The figure (a man?) seen behind the flames has long, untrimmed hair. Several men and women are wearing one-, two-, or three-strand necklaces and there is a suggestion that some have ear ornaments. One man clearly wears a breech-clout, one is evidently entirely unclothed, and two wear skin mantles draped over one shoulder. One woman wears a single apron-skirt, one has either a single or double apron-skirt, and one seems to be wearing only a cord around her waist. One woman is painted or tattooed on her arms and one leg, and another on one arm.
  • A man on the left and a woman on the right are seated facing each other on a strip of matting some 4 feet wide, which appears to be stitched across at about one foot intervals. It extends beyond the left-hand edge but the end on the right is finished with a double row of stitches. They are eating with their right hands from a large circular dish containing large grains of food. The man has his hair shaved at the side, with a roach running from front to back in which he wears a turkey(?) feather. A small knot of hair is gathered at the back of the neck. His ear ornament is apparently a piece of skin, passed through a hole in the right ear lobe and hanging down several inches on either side. Each end is marked with a streak of yellow, perhaps representing cylindrical pieces of shell or bone. Lines of red paint are visible on his face and forehead. His fringed deerskin mantle is worn over the left shoulder, the top folded over, showing the hair on the inside. The woman's hair is worn long, with a low fringe in front, perhaps hiding a headband or tattooing, and is tied in a knot at the neck. She also wears a three-string bead or pearl necklace, and a fringed skin robe over her left shoulder. A few plants are lightly indicated in the background behind the mat.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top, "Theire sitting at meate. "
  • An elderly man stands facing half-right, his right foot placed slightly in front of his left, wearing a short cloak which covers his left shoulder and arm. It is tied with a string on the right shoulder leaving the right arm bare. It reaches barely to the thighs and is made of narrow strips of light brown fur, with hem and neckband probably of reversed skin. His right hand is raised and points downwards with the index finger. There is a suggestion of veins (or body painting (?)) on the right forearm. His hair is shaved close at the sides leaving a stiff roach from the forehead to the nape of the neck and also a fringe projecting from his forehead. A few wisps of facial hair can be seen on his chin and upper lip. Some of the wrinkles on the face would appear to have been emphasized with red paint. He is wearing an ornament consisting of a strip of skin threaded through the lobe of the ear, tied below the ear and marked at each end with a grey streak, probably representing a bone or shell bead.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top, "One of their Religious men. "
  • A wide stretch of water is represented as a channel between two shore-lines, one in the immediate foreground, one in the distance. On the former sand and turf are shown with sea-shells, grasses and a number of flowering plants which are not depicted sufficiently clearly for identification. Close to the edge of the sand are shown, on the right, a King Crab 1 and part of another at the right-hand edge, and between them a small fish. To the left of the King Crab are two shells, the one on the right apparently containing a Hermit Crab. 2 Beyond the King Crab is a Hammerhead Shark 3 to the right and a largish fish to the left. An Indian dug-out canoe occupies the centre of the drawing. It is stoutly constructed with the stern and bows curved, the latter slightly more sharply. An Indian is standing at the bows wielding a long shovel-bladed paddle to starboard and another Indian stands at the stern holding in the water to port an implement with a long handle and a fan-shaped end-piece, formed by six sticks held flaring apart by two crosswise sticks or rows of twining, the distal end being hidden in the water. In the middle of the canoe two Indians are crouching over a small fire surrounded by piles of large fish (Shad(?)). 4 A small dip-net hangs over the stern to starboard. The two standing Indians are wearing longish breech-clouts secured by strings round the waist, hanging down between their thighs, their hair short at the sides and caught up at the back with a roach in the middle (the right standing figure has reddish hair and breechclout). The hair of the crouching Indians is similarly dressed and the one on the left is wearing a skin mantle over his left shoulder, while the one on his right may be wearing an apron-skirt. The head of a Catfish 5 is visible to the left of the canoe, beyond the bows; towards the centre are three small fish and, beyond, a Burrfish; 6 in the centre is a Hammerhead Shark, and towards the right a large fish. From the middle of the left-hand edge a fish-weir extends obliquely right to the farther shore. At the nearer end a rectangular fish-trap protrudes from it in which a number of fish can be distinguished including a Skate or Ray. To the right, in the centre, a naked Indian, in water up to his calves, is about to throw a long fish spear held in his right hand. In front of him are two jacks (?) 7 and, beyond, a large fish (a Sturgeon (?)) 8 and two smaller fish to the right. Another Indian, similarly posed, is shown on the right facing left, while behind him part of another fishweir is visible at the right-hand edge. In the distance, near the far shore, is another canoe containing two figures. On the shore are low undulating sand-hills with a few trees or large bushes. The sky is washed with pink and blue to indicate light clouds. On the left, above the land, two swans 9 are flying towards the left and, on the right, nine duck(?). In the top left corner flies a Brown Pelican. 10
  • Inscribed in brown ink, above the far shore, in the centre, "The manner of their fishing., " and across the canoe, "A Cannow."
A large cylindrical earthenware pot with conical base, the sides near the base somewhat concave, with horizontal parallel lines on the walls, is resting on a small fire made of stout trimmed pieces of timber. It contains liquid of a bluish colour in which ears of maize and other foodstuffs are cooking.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, to the left and right of the pot, in the centre, "The seething of their meate. | in Potts of earth. "
  • Four corner stakes, forked at the top, enclose a wood fire and support four sticks, across which six others are laid from front to back to form a simple grill or barbecue (7 cm. or 2 3/4 in. square). On this are laid to cook, from right to left, two large fish, 1 bluish in colour, occupying the full width of the grill. At the right-hand side two fish, each impaled by the gills on a small upright stick, are also being broiled. From the fire reddish tongues of flame arise but little more than the smoke reaches the grid.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the bottom, "The broiling of their fish ouer th' flame of fier. "
  • An elderly man stands facing half-left, his feet somewhat apart and his arms folded. He is wearing a single apron skirt of fringed deerskin edged with blue (or black) beads or pearls. His hair is thin at the sides and caught up at the back, leaving a roach down the middle of his head. He wears an ear ornament consisting of at least nine dark blue beads or pearls hanging by a loop of skin from the lobe. Around his neck is a short single-string necklace of bluish white pearls or beads and a string suspending, through a hole, a rectangular gorget of yellowish metal, some 6 inches square, which hangs on his chest. He also wears a single bracelet of pearls on the right wrist.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top, "A cheife Herowan. "
  • A woman stands facing half-left, with the right foot crossed behind the left and her arms bent, her hands resting on her shoulders so that her forearms partly cover her breasts. She is wearing an apron-skirt of fringed deerskin, apparently single. Her hair has a fringe in front and is caught at the neck behind, while beneath the fringe, a headband is visible. Her ear ornament consists of two or more blue beads hanging from the lobe. She wears a short, two-string necklace of alternate black and blue beads (or pearls?) from which hangs a large bead (with two others) to form a pendant. She is tattooed or painted on the forehead, cheeks, chin, wrists, the left upper arm and the calves. Her left foot, as drawn, has the toes on the wrong side.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, at the top, "One of the wyues of Wyngyno. "
  • A man stands to the front, his face half-left, his feet well apart, the back of his right hand resting on his right hip. He is wearing a single apron-skirt of fringed deerskin and a grayish (puma?) tail which hangs down at the back and is seen between his legs from the thighs almost to the ankles. His hair is worn short at the sides leaving a central roach and is caught up at the back. Two feathers are stuck in his hair by his left ear and one is visible by his right, while a tall feather stands upright from his forehead. From his right ear protrudes what seems to be a bone ornament, and from his left hangs an ornament which appears to consist of a stone (or bead) enclosed by a strip of yellowish metal from which depend three small metal balls; one ball may also be seen above the stone. Around his neck he wears a long six-string necklace of blue or near black pearls or beads of even size, and two bracelets of the same materials are worn round his right wrist. He is elaborately painted in reddish-brown and white on the face, neck, chest, upper arms and calves. Around the neck the painting simulates a necklace from which hang three circular plaques with double outlines, the lowest of these having a central boss. Round the nipples and on the shoulders are similar circular designs, from the latter of which stripes are carried down to the forearm. He is armed with a strung bow somewhat taller than himself which he holds upright in his left hand. On his left wrist is a folded band or wrist-guard of skin, secured with a button, while from his left side projects a basketry quiver inside which the tips of arrows are visible. This is supported by a string or thong probably suggested by the line on his left shoulder.
  • Inscribedin dark brown ink, in the upper left-hand corner, "The manner of their attire and | painting themselues when | they goe to their generall | huntings, or at theire Solemne feasts. "
  • The man, facing half-right, is shown in a dancing posture with the left leg raised behind, the right arm lifted, and the left arm above his head. He has a girdle of skin (or string) around the waist from which hang his breech-clout and bag. The former is a reddish skin reaching nearly to the knees and folded over the girdle to leave the animal's mask hanging down in front. The bag of greyish-white colour at his right side is also made of pieces of skin sewn together, the ends of which make a long fringe hanging down below his knee. Little of his hair is visible but a small roach can be seen. To the right of his head is attached a bird (6-7 in. long in life), seen from beneath, with wings outspread, a long bill and plumage of dark brownish-grey, possibly a small woodpecker.
  • Inscribed in dark brown ink, in the upper left-hand corner, "The flyer. "
  • The map covers the coastline of North America from some way south of the modern Cape Lookout to the north side of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and inland to approximately longitude 77° west. The windrose is shown near the upper right-hand edge and is offset towards the tap right-hand corner. A scale of leagues from 1 to 10 (1 league=about 3 miles or 1/20°) appears in the bottom right-hand corner. Three English ships lie outside what are now the Carolina Outer Banks, one at anchor with the sails furled off 'Hatrask', arid the two others under sail south-west from 'Wococon'. Within the sounds four pinnaces are shown, one at the head of Albemarle Sound, one sailing north in Pamlico Sound near 'Mentso', and two others heading north from the vicinity of 'Secataóc'. Eleven dug-out canoes, a number with the Indian occupants visible, are shown in the sounds, three off the north share of Albemarle Sound, one north-west off Roanoke Island, one near 'Aquascogoc', one near 'Secotan' and five more in the mouth of the Neuse River. On the mainland, between Chesapeake Bay and Albemarle Sound, are shown the royal arms and between Albemarle Sound and Pamlico River those of Sir Walter Raleigh. Indian villages are marked by red dots. The greater part of the mainland is left white but there are washes of light colour on the coastline from Cape Henry south to 'Hatrask'. The lower part of the island of 'Páquiac' has touches of brown and crimson and the islands of 'Croatoan' and 'Roanoac', together with a small island near Cape Lookout and part of the mainland shore facing Roanoke Island, are coloured crimson. Shoals are indicated between Roanoke Island and the mainland, in Pamlico Sound south of 'Wococon', and off Cape Lookout by brown markings. What appears to be a buoy is visible in the channel from Port Ferdinando, north of 'Hatrask', just inside the sound. 1
  • Inscribed in brown ink, on the land, from the upper left-hand corner to the lower left-hand corner, "L | A. | VI | R | G | I | NEA. | P | A | R | S." Along the coastline from the top, the names of villages and physical features: " Combec, Mashawatec., Skicóac., Chesepiuc., Sho., Titepano." ; then to the left, along the north coast of Albemarle Sound, "Masequetuc., Ricahokene., Cautaking., Weapemeoc., Mascomenge., Warowtani., Chawanoac." Right, along the south coast of Albemarle Sound, "Moratuc., Tramaskecooc., Dasemunkepeuc, Roanoac." South, along the coast, "Nausegoc,, Pomeyooc." and left, on a lake, "Paquippe." Continuing south, "Mentso., Aquascogoc., Seco, Secotan., Secotaóc, Newasiwac." and to the left, "Marasanico." Along the Carolina Banks, south from the mouth of Albemarle Sound, "Croatamung., Etacrewac., Hatràsk, Páquiac., Croatoan." and "Wococon."
john white s art lesson plan
John White’s Art Lesson Plan
  • Teach your students how to “read” images while examining the paintings of John White. These paintings and the engravings of them by Theodor de Bry will help students understand American Indian culture and the interaction of Indians with their environment. Courtesy of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Middle Grade Resources. (Download pdf)
what can we learn from john white s artwork
What Can We Learn From John White’s Artwork?

The first landing on Roanoke Island in July 1584. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC

  • Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of England’s attempts at colonization and offer several perspectives surrounding the colonists’ disappearance. Exhibit items, such as Algonquian Indian artifacts and other 16th-century objects, offer clues to the unsolved puzzle. For example, a 1583 English sixpence that was likely brought to North Carolina on a Roanoke voyage and various objects from America’s first “science laboratory” set up by the colonists will be on view.
the ring
The Ring
  • One of the most recent artifacts found that has been linked to the colonists at Roanoke is the ring…
the croatan project
The Croatan Project
  • The island identified as "Croatoan" on White's 1586 map of the North Carolina coast includes the southern part of Hatteras Island, extending from Buxton, site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, to Hatteras Village and at least part of Ocracoke Island. Dr. David Phelps, professor emeritus at East Carolina University, is director of the Croatan Project, started in 1995 to study the culture of the ancient Croatan society on the island and the interaction with the English during the 1580s. Most significant among the Hatteras Island sites is Cape Creek at Buxton, the probable location of the Croatan capital town.
Before White left the colonists, the Croatans indicated they did not have the resources to support anyone else, so is it likely they would have taken on the care and feeding of the entire 1587 colony? Phelps's working assumption is that one or two of the colonists were dispatched to Croatan to wait for White, the intent being for them to lead him to the rest of the colonists.
  •  From 1997 to 2000, grants from the Richard J. Reynolds III and Marie M. Reynolds Foundation and the Michael W. Kelly Foundation, along with private donors, funded fieldwork at the Buxton site, yielding many artifacts, including gun flints, copper farthings, lead bale seals, glass beads, and brass pins of European origin. But grabbing headlines was the discovery of a gold signet ring found in the area of the late 17th-century American Indian workshop/trading center. The ring bears a crest used by the Kendall family of England during the 16th century. A "Master Kendall" is recorded as a member of the 1585-86 Lane colony, but no Kendalls were associated with the 1587 Lost Colony. Phelps speculates Kendall may have been part of a 20-man group sent by Lane to live temporarily with the Croatans when supplies ran low. Could Kendall have lost the ring there or given it away as a gift? Or did the ring belong to Abraham Kendall, one of the captains in Drake's fleet?
first immigrants native american settlement of north carolina
First Immigrants: Native American Settlement of North Carolina
  • Discover what archaeologists have learned about the origins and everyday lives of American Indians in North Carolina. Find out how European settlement pushed Indians westward, sparking conflicts. This article (pdf) originally appeared in the spring 1995 issue of Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine.
theodor de bry
Theodor de Bry
  • In a rare appearance, several engravings from the 1500s by Theodor de Bry, a Flemish publisher who engraved prints based on White’s watercolors, are on exhibit. De Bry’s engravings were used to illustrate Thomas Harriot’s written account of the 1585 Roanoke voyage, A brief and true report of the new found land of Virginia. An exceptional 1590 German hand-colored version of Harriot’s manuscript is featured.

virginia dare
Virginia Dare
  • Whatever happened to Virginia Dare? Learn the legend of her transformation into a ghostly white doe that still haunts the site of the Lost Colony. This article (pdf) originally appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer, 9 January 2004.

The August 24, 1587 baptism of Virginia Dare, the first Christian born in the New World. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.

virginia dare and the lost colony fact and legend
Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony: Fact and Legend
  • No one knows the fate of Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony. Stories and legends have been created to help explain what might have happened. Explore one of these legends. This article (pdf) originally appeared in the spring 2000 issue of Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine.
roanoke voyages
Roanoke Voyages
  • Learn about England’s three attempts to establish a permanent English settlement on Roanoke Island. This article (pdf) originally appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer, 16 May 2007.
the lost colony
The Lost Colony
  • The tale of the Lost Colony is often told in North Carolina, but what do some people think really happened to the missing settlers? This article (pdf) originally appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer, summer 2004.
outdoor drama
Outdoor “Drama”…
  • Visitors can follow the 70-year history of the famous “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama and walk through an Indian village made with set pieces from the production, where North Carolina star Andy Griffith began his career. The Indian village will feature hands-on activities and the opportunity for further exploration with museum docents.
the lost colony1
The Lost Colony
  • Visit the Website of the longest running outdoor drama in North Carolina.
additional links
Additional Links….