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The symbolism embodied in the Mantle tribute to Virginia Indians at the State Capitol in Richmond is complex. In geological terms, the "mantle" represents the layer of the earth between the crust and the outer core. In relation to mollusks, such as…

As visitors wend their way through the path at the state capitol in Richmond, their movements evoke the circular dance formations found in the American Indian cultures. Alan Michelson, a Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River and an…

Located on the grounds of Virginia's State Capitol and currently under construction, the Mantle tribute is one of only a few monuments to Native peoples on any state grounds in the U.S.
Oriented to the earth and incorporating existing trees in…

These flutes were made by Ken Custalow, a skilled wood craftsman and member of the Mattaponi tribe. Various types of wood were used, including red cedar, black walnut, and apple.

Ken noted that he could tune a flute to the desired pitch but…

Kenneth Custalow demonstrates how to play a flute he made, at this home on the Mattaponi Reservation, in 2006.


Archer Kenneth Custalow Sr. was an active member of the Mattaponi tribe throughout his life. He was a skilled wood carver who made Native flutes from various types of wood. He also carved other items, which he enjoyed giving to family members.


These beaded neck pieces were created by Christine Custalow, a Mattaponi potter and bead worker. The bolos are worn by men, as is the beaded necktie on the right.


Christine Custalow is a Mattaponi woman known for her pottery and her beadwork. She lives on the Mattaponi Reservation in King William County.

Mildred Moore is a well-known Pamunkey potter who has demonstrated her work in numerous venues across Virginia and beyond. Here she is shown with one of her blackware pots.

Mildred Moore, a Pamunkey potter, is well known for her blackware and for pictograph bowls and plates such as the one shown here. The pictographs tell a story that can be interpreted with an accompanying key.

Mildred has demonstrated her pottery…