Monacan Indian Nation

14 images Created 27 Feb 2018

This project explores the cultural identity of Monacan Indian Nation and its people by documenting their daily lives and confronting the Native American stereotype.

The Monacans made contact with European settlers in 1608. In the ensuing 400 years they have mixed with Europeans and defy the classic American Indian archetype forged in the 1800s by George Catlin and Edward Curtis which persists to this day. Defying stereotypes doesn’t mean Monacans have been exempt from discrimination. The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 removed Virginia Indians from all official government documentation based on the false notion that no Indians truly existed in Virginia. Monacans were barred from Amherst County public schools until 1963. Virginia's reliance on stereotypes resulted in public policy designed to disenfranchise an entire ethnic group.

The largest Indigenous tribe in Virginia, with 10,000 years of archaeological history in the Virginia Piedmont, Monacan Indian Nation was only recently granted federal recognition in January 2018.
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