24MDFF Folklife

Pocomoke Indian Nation

Indigenous traditions Delmarva Peninsula
Photo Credit: John Brinton
24MDFF Folklife

The Pocomoke Indian Nation demonstration will be hosted indoors at the Museum of Eastern Shore Culture located at 218 W. Main Street (close to the Salisbury University Locals Stage).

Composed of descendants of one of the Indigenous populations of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Pocomoke Indian Nation is a large, widespread group that exercised significant influence in the region as they lived along the Annemessex, Manokin, and Pocomoke rivers and bays, and Chincoteague Bay. Today, the Pocomoke pass on the heritage and lifeways of Delmarva’s Indigenous peoples, offering oral presentations and demonstrations on Indigenous skills, arts, and customs, including flint knapping (shaping) and artifact displays.

Chief Norris C. Howard Sr. is a tradition bearer, interpretive artisan, descendant of a Pocomoke Indian, a 1956 graduate of Crisfield High School, a local historian, a past member of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs, a bluewater sailor, past commodore of Eastern Shore Sailing Association and 2004 Bluewater Sailor of the Year. He is also past president and treasurer of Allen Lions Club, equestrian owner and driver, a member of Delmarva Driving Association, an Eastern Shore yacht broker, a real estate broker and owner of Howard Real Estate since 1977.

Philip L. Goldsborough is a cultural ambassador for the Pocomoke Indian Nation Inc., a tradition bearer and interpretive artisan, a historian, and was involved in establishing the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University. He is a 2022 recipient of the Crisfield Heritage Foundation Heritage Award, a business owner of Goldsborough Marine in Crisfield, Maryland, and a member and board member of the Crisfield Fire Department for 50 years.

Cheryl Doughty is a tradition bearer and interpretive artisan, descendant of a Pocomoke Indian, a 1976 graduate of James M. Bennett High School, an alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Salisbury University, a Wicomico County Public Schools educator for 38 years and a community volunteer.

Sam Doughty Sr. is a tradition bearer and interpretive artisan; a 1974 graduate of Washington High School; a business owner in the seafood industry during the 1970s, including two years on several working skipjacks; manager for a wholesale HVAC company in Berlin/Ocean Pines from 2000 to retirement in 2018; and a woodworking craftsman, including model skipjacks.

Brenda Howard – Hailing from the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland her entire life, Howard has treasured the history and natural splendor of the region. After college, she opted to remain here and serve the local communities through a career in civil and judicial service, which spanned over 40 years. As a Pocomoke Indian Nation Inc. tradition bearer, Howard demonstrates lifeways such as traditional cooking and using indigenous plants and animals for food and medicine, as well as for crafting objects.

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