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Painted Tobacco Bag

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Native Americans introduced tobacco to Europeans. Tobacco was, and is, one of the most powerful Native plants used in social, religious, and political settings. Native men tended several varieties of indigenous tobacco, which was mixed with other plants like bearberry and lobelia for smoking. Men commonly carried it in personal decorated pouches like this one. Arosen gave this bag to his English brother-in-law, the Reverend Stephen Williams. Stephen Williams' sister, Eunice, was one of many Deerfield residents taken captive during a raid by French and Native Americans in 1704. Upon her adoption into a Kanien'kehaka family, Eunice Williams became Kanenstenhawi, resolutely refusing to return either to her old religion or to her old way of life. She and her husband made four visits to her brother Stephen in Longmeadow, Massachusetts


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