The wyfe of an Herowan of Secotan

Title

The wyfe of an Herowan of Secotan

Description

The wife of an Indian weroance, or chief, crosses her arms in this watercolor painting by John White, the English artist who in 1585 accompanied a failed colonizing expedition to Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina. The body art on her breast, arms, and legs was normal for women, not men, in Algonquian-speaking cultures. The tassels of the fringe on her skirt, which have oxidized to black over time, may have originally appeared white, perhaps representing pearls or some type of bead.

Creator

John White

Date Created

ca. 1585

Source

The British Museum

Format

Watercolor on graphite

Physical Dimension

10.25" x 5.5"

Coverage

sixteenth century, North Carolina, Virginia