A short film has just been released about Werowocomoco, an important Powhatan Indian town on the Chesapeake Bay. And the film is already drawing attention and awards.
The National Park Service and Chesapeake Conservancy made “Werowocomoco: Protecting a Powhatan Place of Power” in cooperation with tribal community members. The film premiered at the Virginia Film Festival on November 1, and won the Commonwealth Award for Best Virginia Short Film.
Watch it now:
Werowocomoco, which means “place of leadership” in the Virginia Algonquian language, was established more than 400 years before English settlers built Jamestown. It is an archaeological site under permanent protection by the National Park Service (NPS). It’s part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. It will not be open to the public until NPS completes its planning with American Indian tribes who hold the site as sacred. The film offers a rare chance to see Werowocomoco close up.
“Werowocomoco is a powerful and sacred place in the history of Native people in the Chesapeake Bay region and beyond,” said National Park Service Superintendent Kym Hall. “We hope that people can experience the significance and beauty of Werowocomoco through this film while NPS and our tribal partners prepare Werowocomoco for visitors.”
Chesapeake Conservancy CEO/ president Joel Dunn calls the film the “first of many chances to share the story of Werowocomoco with the public and help us preserve it for future generations.”
Filmmakers will take Werowocomoco to the upcoming Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival in Richmond next.
-Meg Walburn Viviano