ABSTRACT

This chapter examines more closely the idea of social power, specifically its implication in creating new categories of person, which in turn reinforced existing power relations. It examines the growth and development of a racial ideology that enabled the enslavement of African Virginians, whose role in the production and consumption of pipes has been the object of such discussion. To say that power was unevenly distributed in the seventeenth-century colony is an understatement. Ethnohistoric accounts suggest that the apparatus of rural farming life in seventeenth-century Virginia would have represented only a minor shift to many of the Africans who came into this new world. They were familiar with hoe agriculture, had an appreciation for tobacco, and perhaps had even used the former to fulfil the latter. The chapter argues that the 'who' of the pipemakers has become our problem in part because of the imperatives that enabled, among other things, the settlement and domination of colonial Virginia.