Roanoke residents offered 18th Century life experience

November 25, 2013 by  

Roanoke, Virginia, residents who are curious about life as Native Americans lived it 200 years ago will soon have an opportunity to go back in time and explore.

Daily during the week of Thanksgiving, interpreters in period dress will prepare a traditional harvest feast of trout, turkey, corn bread, corn on the cob, and mixed berries. They will cook in metal and clay pots on hot stones placed over an open fire on raised grates, the way the Monacan people cooked hundreds of years ago. The Monacans are a local tribe of about 1,700 members.

As the westernmost tribe in Virginia, the Monacans have created a typical village in cooperation with The Natural Bridge – a National Historic Landmark. The festival takes place here, and visitors to the Bridge can follow Cedar Creek Trail to find the village.

In addition to the feast already mentioned, the Monacans will teach visitors about fishing and hunting, agriculture, and the way in which their ancestors gave thanks. The Monacan culture saw fall feasts held, using the food harvested before winter began.

The Monacan participants will stage their demonstrations in a house covered with cattails, (known as an ‘ati’) and in work shelters throughout the village. The fall feast will be prepared daily beginning November 26 and running through December 1, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.

Festival organizers might consider working with brochure printers to create a mailer for local residents, describing the festival and inviting them to attend.