The Powhatan Indians called their homeland “Tsenacomoco.” As the daughter of the paramount chief Powhatan, custom dictated that Pocahontas would have accompanied her mother, who would have gone to live in another village, after her birth (Powhatan still cared for them).
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 the daughter of the Algonquian chief Powhatan. She and her tribe lived in the wilds of Virginia at the time of the founding of the first permanent European colony, Jamestown. She was by all accounts remarkable and important to relations between the English settlers and the Native tribe.
Pocahontas was not black. Rather than being of African descent, Pocahontas was a Native American from the Powhatan Tribe living in what is now
1618), whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh (alternately spelled Wahunsenacah, Wahunsunacock or Wahunsonacock), was the leader of the Powhatan, an alliance of Algonquian-speaking American Indians living in Tsenacommacah, in the Tidewater region of Virginia at the time when English settlers landed at Jamestown in 1607.
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.
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.
4. Myth 4: Pocahontas and Smith fell in love. Despite what Disney (and numerous authors going back to the early 1800s) would have you believe, there is no historical basis for the claim that Pocahontas and Smith were romantically involved.
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, as the daughter of a Native American paramount chief of the Powhatan paramountcy, is the first American Disney Princess.
The Disney movie, Pocahontas, is accurate in many respects. And last but not least, John Smith wrote that he was saved from execution by Powhatan, when Pocahontas threw herself between Smith’s head and the stone clubs of the Indians. The rest of the movie is pure fiction.
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.
It is estimated that the paramount chief Powhatan (Wahunsonacock) had as many as one hundred wives during his lifetime. While a man’s first marriage was expected to last for life, additional marriages were likely negotiated for shorter terms.