WAMU 88.5 : News

Native Americans Still Pay Tribute To Va. Governor In Centuries-Old Tradition

Play associated audio

The tradition of native American tribes paying a Thanksgiving-time tribute to Virginia's governor dates back to 1677. Even with fewer numbers attending the ceremony, the tribes are doing their best to keep it going. 

The ceremony dates back to a 1677 treaty. Every year, each tribe offers a deer and gifts to the Governor and the First Lady in lieu of paying taxes and performs a ceremonial dance afterwards. This year, the Pamunkey tribe offered a goose in addition to the deer. The governor even joked about it at the ceremony earlier this week.

"What we have here is a buck buck goose," McDonnell said. 

But the crowd seemed thinner, the media presence was lighter, the dance was shorter and the tribes represented were down to just two — as opposed to many others in previous years. But Assistant Mattoponi Chief Mark "Falling Star" Custalow said that doesn't mean the tradition is fading.

"There's a different style of dance, different people dancing, and then some of the people are getting older and not being able to come and make it for the tribute," he said.

Some very young members of his tribe also attended, the next generation who are learning the meaning and significance of the tribute and dance, Custalow said. And the tribe's ongoing discussion includes how to keep the tradition alive and relevant despite ever-changing times.

NPR

Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.
NPR

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.
NPR

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.
NPR

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.