Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

July 17, 2012

Native American Guest Artists Headline A Special Production Highlighting “Return of the Cherokee” July 18-22

Two Native American guest artists headline a special one-time-only production highlighting “Return of the Cherokee” to Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City.

Guest artists Wes Studi and Irene Bedard lead an ensemble all-Native cast for the special presentation, “The Beloved Woman” at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21. As the war of American independence rages along the east coast, another war of survival plays out on Virginia’s western frontier. While the Cherokee fight to protect their homelands, Virginians and the British compete for Indian allies. Torn between the need for trade and preservation of their lands, their hunting grounds and their way of life, Cherokee headman Attakullakulla and his niece, Nanyehi, come to Williamsburg to broker a peace with Patrick Henry, the governor of the fledgling Virginia Commonwealth.

Veteran actor Studi is best known for his movie roles in Dances With Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo and most recently, Avatar. Bedard is most remembered as the voice and model for the animated feature film, Pocahontas, and its sequel, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. The all-Native cast also features the Warriors of Ani Kituhwa from Cherokee, N.C.

Immediately following the “The Beloved Woman,” guests join members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee as they share stories and dances of the Cherokee people in “Friends and Bretheren,” a program demonstrating the use of stories and dance not simply for entertainment, but also for the transmission of traditional knowledge and teaching of values and history. “The Beloved Woman” and “Friends and Bretheren” are presented at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21 on the grounds of Bassett Hall. Tickets are $18 and seating is limited.

Guests are welcome to join members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee for “…the Camp of the Cherokee” from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 2–4 p.m. Saturday at the Magazine in the Revolutionary City. There, guests find the Cherokee interpreting the culture and diplomacy of the 18th century, a period when numerous Cherokee delegations visited Williamsburg to negotiate trade and alliances. Temporary camps and accommodations provided quarters for dozens of Cherokee men and women to rest, cook, repair packs and moccasins, and enjoy the camaraderie of the camp. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket is required.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s Warriors of Ani Kituhwa present “Return of the Cherokee: A Public Dance” at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 22 on Palace Green as they recreate traditional dances that were seen by Williamsburg’s 18th century residents. Presented weather permitting. No ticket is required.

Additional “Return of the Cherokee” presentations:
The five-day “Return of the Cherokee” presentations begin Wednesday, July 18 with British imperial history scholar Dr. John Oliphant as he explores the significance of the Cherokee delegation that travelled to London in 1762. Dr. Oliphant’s presentation is at 5:30 p.m. in the Hennage Auditorium of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or museum ticket is required.

R. Scott Stephenson, Ph.D., director of collections and Interpretation for Philadelphia’s American Revolution Center, presents “The Indian Fashion: Getting Dressed in 18th-century Native America” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19 in the Hennage Auditorium of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or museum ticket is required.

Barbara Duncan, Ph.D., folklorist and education director at North Carolina’s Museum of the Cherokee Indian, explores the history of “The Cherokee War Dance: From Timberlake to the Twenty-First Century” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 20 in the Hennage Auditorium. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or museum ticket is required.

All “Return of the Cherokee” presentations Wednesday through Sunday, July 18 – 22 are part of Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian Initiative in concert with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian recognizing the 250th anniversary of the Cherokee Emissaries of Peace to London in 1762.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in The Revolutionary City and through the award-winning Revolutionary CityTM presentation. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281