Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Smithers

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Shively

Third Advisor

Dr. Jason Sellers


This thesis employs the interdisciplinary methodologies of ethnohistory and oral history to examine the legacy of the 1957 Jamestown Festival through the experiences and memories of Rappahannock people. “Recovering Lost Voices: The Rappahannock Tribe and the Jamestown Festival of 1957” adds to the historiography of Virginia Natives by revealing that Rappahannock participation in the Jamestown Festival was the culmination of centuries of cultural preservation, greatly influenced and made immediate by their experiences in “Jim Crow” Virginia during the twentieth century. This research establishes that the enduring legacy of the Festival for the Rappahannock Tribe was political influence, culminating in state and federal recognition of their community. For the first time in a scholarly setting, contemporary members of the Rappahannock Tribe share their memories of the Festival, and the meaning they give to the experiences of their relatives who worked there. Narrators include Chief Anne Richardson, tribal member Jamie Ware-Jondreau, and Tribal Council Chair Barbara Williams. These oral histories complement archival sources by documenting Rappahannock voices revealing how their involvement in the Festival built upon an existing sense of community, and inspired efforts on the part of longtime Rappahannock tribal members to publicly assert their Indianness.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission