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See also: Roanoke


Alternative forms[edit]


From Powhatan rawrenock (things rubbed smooth by hand).



roanoke (uncountable)

  1. (US, historical) White beads of low value made from shells, formerly used for ornaments and currency by Native Americans of colonial Virginia.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 94:
      Cuscarawaoke, where is made so much Rawranoke or white beads that occasion as much dissention among the savages, as gold and silver amongst Christians []
    • 1656, John Tradescant, Musaeum Tradescantianum, pages 47 and 51, different spelling as printed:
      Pohatan, King of Virgiania's habit all embroidered with shells, or Roanoke (p. 47); Virginian purses imbroidered with Roanoake (p. 51)
    • 1993, Joseph Douglas Deal, Race and class in colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore during the seventeenth century, page 23:
      The king of Machepungo was ordered to deliver over twice as much roanoke in graduated payments over the course of eight months.