Born around 1596, Pocahontas was the daughter of Wahunsenaca (also known as Powhatan), the powerful chief of the Powhatans, a Native American group that inhabited the Chesapeake Bay region. Little is known about her mother.
Pocahontas was a Native American woman born around 1595. She was the daughter of the powerful Chief Powhatan, the ruler of the Powhatan tribal nation, which at its strongest included around 30 Algonquian communities located in the Tidewater region of Virginia.
Pocahontas was not black. Rather than being of African descent, Pocahontas was a Native American from the Powhatan Tribe living in what is now
Pocahontas was a Powhatan Native American woman known for her involvement with English colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. In a well-known historical anecdote, she saved the life of Englishman, by placing her head upon his own at the moment of his execution.
Unlike most Disney princesses, Pocahontas was a true life person. She was a native American, the favourite daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Indians. As she grew up, her life became entangled with those of the English settlers who were arriving in her land.
The Powhatan Indians were a group of Eastern Woodland Indians who occupied the coastal plain of Virginia. At the time the English arrived in 1607, ancestors of the Powhatans had been living in eastern Virginia for thousands of years.
Native Americans for so many years have been so tired of enthusiastic white people loving to love Pocahontas, and patting themselves on the back because they love Pocahontas, when in fact what they were really loving was the story of an Indian who virtually worshipped white culture.
Smith did have a relationship with Pocahontas, but nothing like in the Disney movie. “It was a very interesting relationship, although it wasn’t a romantic attachment,” says Firstbrook. “She also taught John Smith [her language] Algonquin and he became a great admirer of her,” says the author. “He also used her.
And yet, many people who know her name do not know much about her. Pocahontas was born about 1596 and named “Amonute,” though she also had a more private name of Matoaka. She was called “Pocahontas” as a nickname, which meant “playful one,” because of her frolicsome and curious nature.
Pocahontas became the first Native American Disney Princess and the first woman of color to be the lead character in a Disney film. As of 2014, she remains the only Disney Princess to be based on a historical figure.
The majority of the film’s cast members are of Polynesian descent: Auliʻi Cravalho (Moana) and Nicole Scherzinger (Sina, Moana’s mother) were born in Hawaii and are of Native Hawaiian heritage; Dwayne Johnson (Maui), Oscar Kightley (Fisherman), and Troy Polamalu (Villager No. 1) are of Samoan heritage; and New Zealand-
As can be seen in the image above, the only racial princesses Disney has advertised are Mulan, Pocahontas, Tiana, and Jasmine. Mulan is Chinese, Tiana is African American, Pocahontas is Native American, and Jasmine is Indian.
Legitimate descendants of Pocahontas include Harry Flood Byrd, a U.S. senator and governor of Virginia, and his brother, Richard Evelyn Byrd, discoverer of the South Pole.
The Powhatan Indian lands encompassed all of the tidewater Virginia area, from the south side of the James River north to the Potomac River, and parts of the Eastern Shore, an area they called Tsenacommacah.
Smith first met Pocahontas when he was captured a few weeks after the first colonists’ arrival in the area. He was brought before the Great Powhatan, where he encountered men with clubs ready, he thought, to beat out his brains. The English learned, many years later, that Pocahontas was only a nickname.