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Many moons ago, an Indian girl was not yet born but there were many problems with Indians and the white man as the Indians. This unborn child would become a huge part of colony history between the Indians and the English; this child was to be recognized in history by many different names the most famous name would be Pocahontas. The book I read was about Pocahontas by Grace Steele Woodward. This book covers many different subjects in Pocahontas’s life.
The book begins with a background of The Powhatans, Pocahontas’s people. She was not just a little Indian girl but the daughter of a very powerful chief. Before she was born Chief Powhatan claim many of the lands around and near the James Pensile and up through the Chesapeake Bay area. He kept a tight fist with all of his new tribes that he has acquired during his conquest; by placing family members in charge of the new land. Powhatan had the respect of all his people and his people knew not to try to over throw him or question his authority.
The Powhatans Indian tribe were part of the woodland culture; a culture of pressure-flaked projectile point, stone-headed hatchets and war clubs, and primitive farm tools constructed of stone and bone. The Wood land “culture” was actually an amalgam of various tribes that belonged to different linguistic families not related by blood, their only common ties being certain tools and implements marked by great stands of pine, cypress, and walnut trees and productive in cleared areas of pumpkin, maize, and beans (pecctatoas). (Woodward, 9) The Powhatans were made up of different combinations of Indian tribes some included the Cherokees, Iroquois, Monacans, Siuuan, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, and the Muskhogean.
The Powhatans dress was different between the sexes and classes of the tribe. Members of the royal household would wear many feather and deerskins on their bodies and usually painted themselves in bright colors. Men of lower standards wore just breechcloths covering their “privities”; it was usually made of rabbit skins or beaver skins.
Pocahontas was born into the Powhatan tribes in either 1596 or 1597 historians aren’t exactly sure when she was born. Her place of birth is to be Werowocomoco, Powhatan’s principal residence until 1609. Powhatan had many wives and historians aren’t sure of Pocahontas’s real mother, her whereabouts and name is unknown. Pocahontas had two names given to her at birth. Pocahontas, the name given to her by her father, was translated by English to mean “ Bright Stream Between Two Hills” but in her own language it meant “Little Wanton”. Her secret name only known by her tribesmen was Matoax meaning “Little Snow Feather”. (Woodward, 20)
During The first days of Jamestown, Pocahontas started to watch and observed the new strangers in her land. She starts to see how they ran life and govern themselves. Pocahontas was still very young when the first settles land at Jamestown. When she starting visiting the colony there were only about 100 Englishmen, the Anglican chaplain, and the twelve labors. Pocahontas was mostly intrigue with Captain John Smith. Smith was a dashing young 26-year-old. Captain Newport arrested Smith on route to Jamestown for inciting mutiny among some of the crewmen on the ship Susan Constant. Smith was released after landing at Jamestown but Smith could not take the oath of allegiance to King James or sit with the council until June 10, when he was cleared of all charges. (Woodward, 55)
John Smith, to Pocahontas, was the most approachable of all the English colonists. He took the initiative to learn the Powhatan language and try to communicate between the Indians and the colonists. Smith also knew that the Indians could help the colonists in their time of need.
Pocahontas’s father was a little less interested in talking t the white man. He felt that they would bring destruction to his great empire and his region. He really didn’t want anything to do with them. He had John Smith capture and was to have Smith executed by clubbing, but Pocahontas knew she could not let that happened. She covered John Smith’s body with hers saving him from the death of clubbing. This changed her father attitude for awhile but he was still uncertain with what the white man wanted. Soon after
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American folklore, Disneys Pocahontas, Pocahontas, Tribal chiefs, James River, Powhatan, John Smith, Jamestown, Virginia, Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage, John Rolfe, Anglo-Powhatan Wars, The Indian Princess
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