Where is Pocahontas when we need her?

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 07:41:43 PDT
There was a fascinating article in the Washington Post on July 3 which, in a way, has some relevance to bulb enthusiasts.Here's the opening two paragraphs of the article: "More than 400 years after their ancestors greeted John Smith and other English settlers, Virginia's Pamunkey Indians have won recognition from the federal government that they are a Native American tribe.The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs announced Thursday that the Pamunkey tribe's decades-long quest for recognition has been approved, making the tribe of Pocahontas the first in Virginia to receive the coveted designation. Six other Virginia tribes are seeking recognition through an act of Congress."The article goes on to say that the tribe currently has 208 members who live on a 12,000-acre reservation east of Richmond, Va. So what in the world, you are perhaps wondering, does this have to do with bulbs?The seventeenth-century  Pamunkeys were an Algonquin-speaking people, and some words from their language came into English: raccoon for instance. And here's the bulb connection: this is the language group which gave us the name atamasco, as in Zephyranthes atamasco. That word has been in use in the English-speaking world for about four hundred years. Did Pocahontas bring that word with her during her 1616-1617 stay in England? 
Jim Mc KenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7 where eight-year-old seeds of Welwitschia mirabilis (no, not a bulb) are germinating this week.  I'm excited! 
pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list