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At Pearlstone, we strive to live in balance and harmony with all life. 

Grounded in principles of caretaking and responsible stewardship, we grow and share healthy food, we go into the wilderness to heal and gain new perspectives; we learn, pray and engage with our traditions in chorus with the forests and living waters.

Long before we began these practices on this land, this was the sacred home of the Susquehanna and Piscataway peoples. For more than five hundred years, Indigenous communities across the Americas have demonstrated resilience and resistance in the face of violence, colonization, displacement, and genocide- all efforts to separate them from their lands, cultures, and communities.  Too often their history is erased.  Today Indigenous peoples remain at the forefront of the global movement to build a just and sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants.

We honor the ancestors and living descendants of the Susquehannock and Piscataway peoples, and all Indigenous peoples throughout the world.  As we work towards justice, we can and will make mistakes.  We will continue to work towards making it right.

Photo & description Credit: Ashmolean Museum | click to enlarge

Powhatan’s Mantle is a large deer-hide hanging with shell beadwork decoration that dates to the first period of contact between Indigenous North American peoples and British colonists. It was probably made in the early 1600s in the southern Chesapeake Bay region of North America, by the Algonquian speaking peoples of the Powhatan Confederacy who lived in the Pearlstone campus area.

The Mantle consists of four hides of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that have been trimmed and sewn together with sinew. The shell beadwork consists of a central standing human-like figure flanked symmetrically by two opposed four-legged animal figures in profile. One of these figures has claws, short ears and a long tail, and has been interpreted as a wolf. The other has hooves, larger ears and a shorter tail, and may be a white-tailed deer. The three figures are surrounded by thirty-four circles. The mantle is unique with no known parallels.

Powhatan’s Mantle is named for Wahunsenacawh (around 1550–1618), the powerful paramount chief of the Powhatan people, who was known to the English as ‘Chief Powhatan’. He is also known as the father of Pocahontas (Matoaka), the famed North American woman who married one of the English settlers, and visited England in 1616–17.

Pearlstone is an inclusive Jewish organization anchored in universal values, welcoming people of all backgrounds from across our bioregion, continent, and planet.

Jews have experienced exile and persecution, bigotry and violence—and while this painful history helps stir empathy with all Indigenous peoples,  Jews are not indigenous to this land and therefore cannot truly understand the unique historical journey and contemporary reality of the Indigenous peoples here.  What Jews—and all people—can do is authentically honor Indigenous peoples who have stewarded this land for thousands of years and express our love for and solidarity with Indigenous peoples, and our commitment to Indigenous rights and justice.  With open ears and open hearts, we walk alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters on the path ahead.

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We teach through motivating, joyous, and hands-on experiences.

We connect people to the land so they can understand and value the connection between people and earth, and easily focus on the fundamental elements of life. We embrace everyone with warmth and sincerity and strive to facilitate the interconnectedness of people no matter their background or affiliation.

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