The towne of Pomeiock


The towne of Pomeiock


This watercolor by English artist John White shows the fortified Indian town of Pomeiock, or Pomeiooc, in the Outer Banks region of present-day North Carolina. White visited the town in July 1585. The Indians who resided there were closely related in language and culture to the Indians of Tidewater Virginia; thus, White's painting, and others he made at the time, are an important source of historical and ethnographic information about both groups.

The bird's-eye view allows one to see the spiral shape of the enclosure with two entrances on either side. Inside the palisaded town were round houses of the same type the Powhatans in Virginia used, as well as longhouses with the sides open, revealing benches for sleeping. The houses are covered "some with matts, and some with barcks of trees," according to John White's inscription at the bottom of the drawing. Residents gather around the fire at the center of the town. A few Indians can be seen carrying a bow, another an axe; a dog is seen in the upper left.

Description courtesy of Encyclopedia Virginia.


John White

Date Created

ca. 1585


The British Museum


Watercolor over graphite, with gold

Physical Dimension

8.75" x 8.5"


sixteenth century, Virginia, North Carolina