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.
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
The Powhatan Indians were a group of Eastern Woodland Indians who occupied the coastal plain of Virginia. They were sometimes referred to as Algonquians because of the Algonquian language they spoke and because of their common culture. Some words we use today, such as moccasin and tomahawk, came from this language.
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.
Pocahontas might be a household name, but the true story of her short but powerful life has been buried in myths that have persisted since the 17th century. Born about 1596, her real name was Amonute, and she also had the more private name Matoaka.
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.
Many other Powhatan Indian and Virginia Indian descended tribes are still living in Virginia, and elsewhere, today. Several who still live in Virginia are currently seeking state recognition.
Some of them had previously joined the Nanticoke. Despite all these odds, however, the Powhatan have survived. Today there are eight Powhatan Indian-descended tribes recognized by the State of Virginia. These tribes are still working to obtain Federal recognition.
Now Virginia archaeologists think they have found the site of the large village, Werowocomoco, where Pocahontas and Powhatan lived in the early 17th century. As the seat of the paramount chief of the region, it was the most prominent village in coastal Virginia.
Chamberlain observed: ‘The Virginian woman Pocahontas, with her father’s Counsellor hath been with the King, and graciously used’. Tradition has it they also visited Heacham in Norfolk, where Rolfe’s family lived, before setting sail in March 1617 for Virginia.
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.