Find out how America's original inhabitants lived

The native Americans

The colonists who sailed to North America were expecting to find an empty land they could claim as their own.

They were in for an unexpected surprise. The coastline was already home to the Algonquins, the native population of this part of North America.

The villages around Roanoke were ruled by a tribesman named Wingina: many of the stories about him in Children of the Wild are taken from diaries written by the Elizabethan colonists.

The leader of the colonists, John White, was a skillful artist. He made many paintings of the native men and women, with their extraordinary haircuts, tattoos and animal-skin clothes.

The natives were highly skilled farmers who lived in well-ordered villages. They grew crops, hunted for deer and were extremely good at fishing with spears. The hunting stories in Children of the Wild are drawn from original accounts, written more than 400 years ago.

Wingina and his people were alarmed when the English colonists arrived, for they quickly realized there wouldn’t be enough food for everyone.

It wasn’t long before the English were demanding supplies from Wingina. He gave them as much as possible: when he had nothing more to give, the colonists resorted to violence.