Festival gives visitors inside access to lives of settlers, Native Americans

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Saturday at Henricus Historical Park, visitors got a chance to peek into how Native Americans and early English settlers used to live life in central Virginia hundreds of years ago.

“When the English get here, they’re in need of food and information. So we’re talking about how the English worked with the Powhatan Indians not only to get the food, but also to create these relationships, these trade networks that allowed the English to be successful here.”, explains guide Andrew Rowand.

With real life houses and demonstrations, both kids and adults got a first-hand glimpse at everything from cooking to staying warm in colonial times.

“The houses, they have a little fire in them to make the smoke up, so it’s warm up there and they can store food.”, says Nikita Abul, visiting with his parents from Buffalo, NY.

Guides also explained how both cultures learned from each other.

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Rowand says, “Both cultures are going to send teenage boys to learn with the Powhatan, the Powhatan are going to send young boys to learn from the English. So, they’re getting two things out of that. They’re getting language and culture and knowledge.”

The Friendship, Trade and Feast Festival proved to be a family fun event to keep everyone in the holiday spirit.

Natalia Abul says, “It’s really nice how they set everything up for Thanksgiving.”

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