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March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, native-american studies


When Disney released an animated film about a young Indian princess who fell in love with an Englishman , it brought another account of the true story of Motoaka , better known as Pocahontas . Several stories abound about the life of Pocahontas and her contribution to US history . For one , she was unjustly portrayed in history as a supporter of the invading settlers , giving her the reputation among American Indians as an apple or sell-out . However , contrary to these accounts Pocahontas was a strong supporter of her people . Even at such a young [banner_entry_middle]

br age , she was already placed in a difficult position of acting as interpreter and ambassador between two cultures . As the English colonists saw the significance of her political position , she was kidnapped and held her as a political prisoner . Unfortunately though despite showing the colonists how remarkable an Indian woman can be this was lost to these people as she was exemplified as a princess by the British . It is unlikely that the “celestial princess ” concept was known to the Indians before Englishman bestowed that title upon Pocahontas . Yet the images and roles generated by a misinformed Europe continue to dominate the popular concept of who Pocahontas was

Pocahontas was born Motoaka in 1595 . She was the daughter of Powhatan chief of the Algonquian Native Americans . She is better known as Pocahontas because it was believed that it was dangerous if outsiders learned their tribal names . As the chief Powhatan had many wives , little is very known about Pocahontas ‘ mother as she was sent away right after giving birth . According to The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiques , Pocahontas was considered a representative of Virginia Indians ‘ She made sure colonists received food from the Native Americans and intervened to save lives when tensions rose between the Native Americans and the colonists

Among the popularized and romanticized stories about Pocahontas involved an Englishman named Captain John Smith . Contrary to the story portrayed in the Walt Disney movie , Pocahontas was only 10 or 12 years old when she allegedly saved ‘ Smith from imminent death . The account goes that when the English arrived in Virginia in 1607 and started building houses , Captain John Smith went on an expedition and was taken captive by Powhatan ‘s people . As he was brought back to the village and laid on a rock surrounded by the Indians with clubs , Pocahontas was said to have rushed in , placing herself between her tribe and Smith . In his General Historie , published in 1624 , Smith details his controversial rescue ‘ by Pocahontas “Having feasted him . A long consultation was held , but the conclusion was , two great stones were brought before Powhatan : then as many as could lay hands on him , dragged him to them , and thereon laid his head , and being ready with their clubs , to beate out his braines Pocahontas the Kings dearest daughter , when no intreaty could prevaile got his head in her armes , and laid her owne upon his to save him from death : whereat the… [banner_entry_footer]


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