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Natishma, Shaman of the Chesapeakes, Friend of the Roanoke Colony by Richard Proescher

Natishma, Shaman of the Chesapeakes, Friend of the Roanoke Colony

by Richard Proescher

266 pages
The connection between the Chesapeake Indians and the Lost Colony.

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Category: Fiction:Historical
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About the Book
What if the majority of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island moved fifty miles north, as originally intended, and became assimilated into an Indian tribe there?

In his novel, Natishma, Shaman of the Chesapeakes and Friend of the Roanoke Colony, Richard Proescher offers a fictional answer to this question, and the world of a Native American culture is revealed at the time of first contact with English people.

Natishma is a boy from the Chesapeake tribe of Tidewater Virginia. He is taken into the spirit or upper world after fainting from heat exhaustion, and told that a moon-colored people will arrive among his people by the time he is initiated into manhood in the harsh huskanaw ritual. His grandfather Opechantough, the most respected shaman of the tribe, trains Natishma for his future role.

Although he has a physical deformity and is bullied by his peers, he is chosen to be the shaman who will attempt to lead his and the surrounding tribes to accept the new arrivals. He has several journeys to the spiritual realm to receive instructions on how to carry out his task.

Natishma’s vision quests reveal to him that if the tribes resist the new people when they arrive, the tribes will disappear from the earth. Their spiritual life will survive only if they walk the path of peaceful coexistence with the people they see as a backward and unclean race. The English, who come from a land where they are as numerous as leaves on trees, have barking sticks that kill, and often after they leave a village a large portion of the population is wiped out by mysterious diseases.

Natishma is instructed by his spiritual guide to travel to the land of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Indians). Here, he learns of the teaching of Aiontwatha (Hiawatha) and the Peacemaker. He introduces their teaching to the surrounding Tidewater tribes. Powhatan’s favorite daughter is influenced by Natishma’s message of peace.

In 1586, when it becomes too dangerous for the English colonists to remain on Roanoke Island, the majority choose to move north and live among the Chesapeakes. The colonists intermarry and live with the tribe for twenty years before they and the Chesapeakes are destroyed by Wahunsonacock (Powhatan) who believes a prophecy foretelling of his destruction by a people to the east.

Before dying, Natishma has a vision in which he sees the sacred way of life reawakening many generations in the future to save the world from the people who have forgotten their deep spiritual roots.



About the Author
Richard was a columnist for the New Thought Magazine (Norfolk, VA). His articles have appeared in newspapers and his poetry in numerous magazines. He has written about nuclear issues and the environment. Richard belongs to the VA Beach Writers and Hampton Roads Writers (HRW). He lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.



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