Original Author: John White
Created: ca. 1585
Medium: Watercolor
Publisher: ©The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved.


This watercolor by English artist John White shows a bird's-eye view of the Indian town of Secotan in the Outer Banks region of present-day North Carolina. White visited the town in July 1585. White's detailed rendering of the town shows that the houses the Indians lived in were rounded structures with walls made of bark or reed mats that could be lifted to permit more light and air. He also indicated fields of corn—one of which is being tended by a guard—at varying stages of growth ("newly sprong," "greene," and "rype"). The village bustles with activity: participants in a ceremony at bottom right dance about "posts carved on the topps lyke mens faces" while several people eat a meal nearby ("sitting at meate").