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Towne of Secota

This engraving by Theodor de Bry, based on an earlier watercolor by explorer John White, shows the sophistication of the Algonquian civilization the English encountered in the New World. Although White and de Bry's illustrations cannot be assumed to be entirely accurate, particularly in terms of proportion and scale, their depiction of the Algonquian village of Secota nonetheless conveys a society with an advanced and diversified system of agriculture, a wide array of building and architectural styles, and a highly developed and ritualized belief system. In de Bry's illustration, small plots of tobacco (E) and a pumpkin patch (I) coexist with larger fields of fully-grown and recently harvested corn (F, G, H), while the inhabitants are shown hunting (in the background at upper left), tending to ritual bonfires (B and K), feasting (D), and performing religious ceremonies (C).

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Source | Theodor de Bry, "The Towne of Secota," 1590, engraving, The British Museum, London; from Virtual Jamestown,
Creator | Theodor De Bry
Item Type | Poster/Print
Cite This document | Theodor De Bry, “Towne of Secota,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed October 2, 2023,

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