Friday, August 1, 2008
Engraving of the American Indian town of Pomeiooc, published in Thomas Hariot's 1588 book A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. (Illustration by Theodor de Bry. More about the illustration)
The towns of this country are in a manner like unto those which are in Florida, yet are they not so strong nor yet preserved with so great care. They are compassed about with poles stark fast in the ground, but they are not very strong. The entrance is very narrow as may be seen by this picture, which is made according to the form of the town of Pomeiooc. There are but few houses therein, save those which belong to the king and his nobles. On the one side is their temple separated from the other houses, and marked with the letter A. It is built round, and covered with skin mats, and as it were compassed about with curtains without windows, and has no light but by the door. On the other side is the king’s lodging marked with the letter B. Their dwellings are built with certain potes [sticks] fastened together, and covered with mats which they turn up as high as they think good, and so receive in the light and other. Some are also covered with boughs of trees, as every man lusts or likes best. They keep their feasts and make good cheer together in the middle of the town as it is described in the 17 figure. When the town stands far from the water they dig a great pond noted with the letter C where hence they fetch as much water as they need.
“The Towne of Pomeiooc.” Theodor de Bry’s engraving of the American Indian town of Pomeiooc, published in Thomas Hariot’s 1588 book A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.