Monacan Heritage

As we observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day for 2022, the society is thinking about the Monacan people who called this area home for more than a thousand years, and our Monacan friends of today, including Chief Kenneth Branham, pictured here with a quartz stemless knife.

Recently Monacan ties to Fluvanna were brought to public notice as they fought to preserve the historic Monacan capital Rassawek at the confluence of the James and Rivanna Rivers from development by the James River Water Authority as a water-intake and pumping station.

After a four-year battle, led by the Monacan and Cultural Heritage Partners, and supported by national, state, and local preservation organizations—including the Fluvanna Historical Society—as well as a grassroots organization called “Save the Point,” Rassawek is safe. Here are some relevant notes:

To learn more about the Monacan, visit their web site  or read the incredible book by UVA Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Dr. Jeffrey Hantman, entitled “Monacan Millennium: A Collaborative Archaeology and History of a Virginia Indian People.”

Map showing historic location of Monacan capital, Rassawek

Map showing historic location of Monacan capital, Rassawek