Are the Monacan the Tutelo?

A Tutelo Heritage: An Ethnoliterary Assessment of Chief Samuel Johns’ Correspondence with Dr. Frank G. Speck by Jan Hansford C. Vest (2006)

This paper by Jay Vest is most interesting, but within it, may well be an unpolished gem and the answer to a riddle about another group of Indian descendants.

In the paper, Vest writes the following:

“Speck further reports that Johns informed him of the “Tutelo nickname Papacik, said to mean “Devil,”  As a descendant of the Indian people from the central Blue Ridge Mountains of Rockbridge and Amherst Counties, Virginia, I can recall the apparently similar term, Piskey, being used for the weak and sickly, as well as an appellation for evil.”

If Vest is accurate and these two words share a common Tutelo rootstock, he may well have found the first definitive evidence of the historic tribal heritage of these people.  Today they form the Monacon Tribe.  You can read more about this tribe at this link:

You can read about the Tutelo here:


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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