POCAHONTAS HISTORY LESSON
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Pocahontas, or Matoaka which was Pocahontas' tribe name, was born around 1595 in present day Gloucester Country, Virginia. She was one of the many daughters of Powhatan. Powhatan was one of the most powerful tribal chiefs, ruling more than 25 tribes in his time. Pocahontas had two names because the American Indians believed that if anyone spoke your tribe name outside of your tribe, you would become cursed.
Many people are familiar with the cartoon version of Pocahontas' life though the Disney movie was almost entirely fiction. Since most of the story was fictional this means that most of it was not true. It is true that Pocahontas became a friend to some of the English colonists that had settled in the Chesapeake Bay area. Her new friendships with the area colonists began around 1607.
Pocahontas was fascinated as she watched the colonists move in and build an area to live in. She, along with many of the other tribe members, watched the colonists that year as they would search for food while they were learning to live off the land.
In 1608 Pocahontas met John Smith. John Smith had been captured by Pocahontas' brother, Opechancanough. Once John Smith was delivered to Powhatan the tribe decided John Smith would be executed. However, Pocahontas did not allow this to happen. In an attempt to save John Smith's life, Pocahontas placed herself in front of him. She did this with the hope that the tribe would not kill him. (continued)
Pocahontas History Lesson
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