top of page

Manteo was a Croatoan from Hatteras Island on the coast of what is now the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  He was the first indiginous person to encounter Sir Walter Raleigh and the first English colony as they arrived in the New World. Manteo was instrumental in providing the settlers with the knowlege of how to farm and survive in the New World.  He traveled to England with Raleigh, where he met Queen Elizabeth and learned the english language.  Upon return to the New World, Manteo was Raliegh's interpreter and ambassador to the tribes that surrounded Roanoke Island and the new colony.


To my knowledge, no one has attempted an honest depiction of Manteo, certainly not in sculpture. John White's famous watercolors of the Roanoke and Croatoan tribes are the only depictions from the 1500's.  White's images were carefully adapted to English tastes.  Most European explorers from that time depicted people in the way they wanted the European people to interpret them.  When they wanted to laud or celebrate the people they encountered, they would depict them with European facial features and pose the people in classic European aristocratic positions, which is what they did with Manteo.


My vision of Manteo was created to depict a more honest view of what a typical Eastern Algonquin tribal man would have looked like.  The men of the Eastern Algonquin tribes, of which the Roanoke and Croatoan tribes were branches of, were known to average around 6'2" tall.  Historians believe that Manteo would have been in his 20's when the English arrived.  Since he was from a coastal tribe, he would have had an impressive physical body due to the rigors of travel by canoe across the sounds and up the rivers of what is now eastern North Carolina.  It is believed that while John White did alter Manteo's facial features to appeal to the Englishmen he wanted to attract to settle in the New World, he would have depicted his clothing and adornments with reasonable accuracy.  Therefore, I have relied on the clothing and adornments that he used, but I have used the facial structure of what a typical young adult male Croatoan man would have had.

Manteo, The Croatoan

bottom of page