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How Much Do We Really Know About Pocahontas?
The Smithsonian ^ | 11-3-13 | Tony Horwitz

Posted on 11/03/2013 3:30:17 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic

Historian Tony Horwitz tries to separate the truth from the myths that have been built up about the Jamestown “princess”

Pocahontas is the most myth-encrusted figure in early America, a romantic “princess” who saves John Smith and the struggling Jamestown colony. But this fairy tale, familiar to millions today from storybook and film, bears little resemblance to the extraordinary young woman who crossed cultures and oceans in her brief and ultimately tragic life.

The startling artwork (above), the oldest in the National Portrait Gallery collection, is the only image of Pocahontas taken from life. Made during her visit to London in 1616, the engraving depicts a stylish lady in beaver hat and embroidered velvet mantle, clutching an ostrich feather fan. Only her high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes hint at her origins far from London. The inscription is also striking; it identifies her not as Pocahontas, but as “Matoaka” and “Rebecca.” In short, there seems little to link this peculiar figure, peering from above a starched white ruff, with the buck-skinned Indian maiden of American lore. So which image is closer to the woman we know as Pocahontas?

She was born Matoaka, in the mid-1590s, the daughter of Powhatan, who ruled a native empire in what is now eastern Virginia. Powhatan had dozens of children, and power in his culture passed between males. But she did attract special notice for her beauty and liveliness; hence Pocahontas, a nickname meaning, roughly, “playful one.” This was also the name she was known by to the English who settled near her home in 1607. John Smith, an early leader in Jamestown, described her as beautiful in “feature, countenance, and proportion” and filled with “wit and spirit.”

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Education; Health/Medicine; History
KEYWORDS: americanhistory; americanindians; godsgravesglyphs; jamestown; johnrolfe; johnsmith; lazwouldhitit; matoaka; pohatan; powhatan; rebecca; virginia; women
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1 posted on 11/03/2013 3:30:17 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; SunkenCiv

2 posted on 11/03/2013 3:30:58 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
indian costume photo:  leg-avenue-indian-princess-costume.jpg

That she likes Jello shots so much that she did 10 of them and passed out on the couch at the Friday Halloween party?

3 posted on 11/03/2013 3:34:42 PM PST by Snickering Hound
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Indian gambling casinos were her idea?


4 posted on 11/03/2013 3:35:52 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (All your health decisions should be between a provider bean counter and the IRS - Obama)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I drove by a trailer park out in Powhatan County the other day and I think that was her out in the yard. She waved.


5 posted on 11/03/2013 3:36:05 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Poke a what?


6 posted on 11/03/2013 3:36:54 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator; afraidfortherepublic

Allegations of her musical spirit filling some of the places where Lawrence Welk stayed put forth by reports of the residents. Whereby they claim that “Polkahauntus.”


7 posted on 11/03/2013 3:39:57 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I know she got me so drunk at the casino one night that I was splitting 10s on the blackjack table.


8 posted on 11/03/2013 3:42:41 PM PST by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I know she’s probably a distant cousin (my family is Pamunkey, of the Powhatan nation). A print of that engraving hangs in the church on our “reservation”.

Yeah, most of the Pocahontas stories are just that, stories. My Nana used to laugh at them, and the Disney movie was ridiculous.


9 posted on 11/03/2013 3:48:22 PM PST by twyn1
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To: afraidfortherepublic

She was Elizabeth Warren’s cousin.


10 posted on 11/03/2013 3:51:22 PM PST by MUDDOG
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Pocahontas is an interesting person. Her line almost died out as she only had one Son and I think only one survived for several generations then one had a bunch of kids and then her descendants flourished.

I have read that nearly all the first families of Virginia were descended from her including Robert E. Lee.


11 posted on 11/03/2013 3:52:51 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Are we talking about Pokeofhontas or Sackofgewea?


12 posted on 11/03/2013 3:53:23 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (On the evening of 10/16/13, the ailing republican party breathed its last breath.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

By the shores of Gitcheegoomie,
By the shining big sea water,
Lies the crib o’ Pocohantas.
The End


13 posted on 11/03/2013 4:23:05 PM PST by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
When I was a boy growing up in Virginia, stories of Powhatan, Pocahontas and Capt. John Smith were part of our education. Every story a morality tale, of cooperation among different peoples, strong work ethic (”If you will not work, you will not eat.”), and the fact that colonists got down on their knees, and prayed to God, thankful for their deliverance. Ahem, that was before God got kicked out of the public school system. My fondest memories as boy are those of wandering Virginia's Eastern woodlands, in the late autumn, under a soft pattering rain upon leaves of rust and gold. Every spooked whitetail darting through the trees, and every distant crow call was pure magic. Powhatan and his people were surely still there behind every tree. I can still smell the aroma of wood smoke from the hearth, and my father's pipe tobacco, as we carefully examined an arrowhead retrieved from the deep woods, and he would tell me stories of the Indians that once lived there.
14 posted on 11/03/2013 4:32:42 PM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Smithsonian can’t be trusted. They have a political ax to grind.


15 posted on 11/03/2013 4:38:55 PM PST by DManA
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To: yarddog

The first families of Virginia were so interbred that it’s probably true.


16 posted on 11/03/2013 4:41:15 PM PST by sphinx
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To: afraidfortherepublic

She had mild schizophrenia?

17 posted on 11/03/2013 4:50:13 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ..

Thanks afraidfortherepublic.

18 posted on 11/03/2013 4:53:08 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Uh, she is a non-Indian, who lied about it and got elec..Oh,no; that’s Fauxcahontas. Sorry.


19 posted on 11/03/2013 5:01:22 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Hollywood won’t care, they could make a 200-episode series about someone based on a single sentence in a diary.


20 posted on 11/03/2013 5:02:28 PM PST by GeronL
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To: afraidfortherepublic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jang_Geum

A female doctor to the King, all that is known about her is those 7 entries into the official Chronology. That is it.

That did not stop a Korean TV network from doing a 54 episode series about her life. lol. All embellishment really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dae_Jang_Geum

And if that wasn’t enough they followed that up with a 52-episde cartoon series, about her childhood. Of which nothing is known in reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jang_Geum%27s_Dream

You can find these online with subtitles I bet.


21 posted on 11/03/2013 5:08:48 PM PST by GeronL
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To: PowderMonkey

Abandoned some self-imposed computer work, today, in order to remain outside and think about much of what you wrote; thank you.


22 posted on 11/03/2013 5:12:45 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: GeronL; afraidfortherepublic
they could make a 200-episode series about someone based on a single sentence in a diary.

I've seen a few of those: The Genuine True Life Story of ____________, Told In His Own Words, If He Could Have Lived & Written It As Conceived By Our Writers And Producers!

23 posted on 11/03/2013 5:30:17 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: GeronL
Hollywood already made a version of Pochahontas.


24 posted on 11/03/2013 5:32:41 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I saw that before. That is pretty amazing and so true.


25 posted on 11/03/2013 5:39:34 PM PST by GeronL
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To: ApplegateRanch

Yes. It COULD have been a true story.

lolz


26 posted on 11/03/2013 5:40:24 PM PST by GeronL
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To: ApplegateRanch

:’)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3084030/posts?page=41#41


27 posted on 11/03/2013 5:54:51 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: tumblindice

AFAIK Pocahontas was never anywhere near Gitcheegoomie- that is the Huron name for Lake Superior.


28 posted on 11/03/2013 6:22:05 PM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: dfwgator

Yup, that’s the Avatar plot. Just as in Disney’s Pocahontas, the American Marines in Avatar are murderous savages.


29 posted on 11/03/2013 6:23:43 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Squawk 8888
AFAIK Pocahontas was never anywhere near Gitcheegoomie- that is the Huron name for Lake Superior.

I only know that because of Gord's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

30 posted on 11/03/2013 6:25:20 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Only her high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes

Are high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes unknown in England at that time?

31 posted on 11/03/2013 6:49:14 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: PowderMonkey

Injun Summer

Yep, sonny this is sure enough Injun summer. Don't know what that is, I reckon, do you? Well, that's when all the homesick Injuns come back to play; You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here—thousands—millions, I reckon, far as that's concerned. Reg'lar sure 'nough Injuns—none o' yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They wuz all around here—right here where you're standin'.

Don't be skeered—hain't none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year.

They all went away and died, so they ain't no more left.

But every year, 'long about now, they all come back, leastways their sperrits do. They're here now. You can see 'em off across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o' hazy misty look out yonder? Well, them's Injuns—Injun sperrits marchin' along an' dancin' in the sunlight. That's what makes that kind o' haze that's everywhere—it's jest the sperrits of the Injuns all come back. They're all around us now.

See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o' look like corn shocks from here, but them's Injun tents, sure as you're a foot high. See 'em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires a-burnin' and their pipes a-goin'.

Lots o' people say it's just leaves burnin', but it ain't. It's the campfires, an' th' Injuns are hoppin' 'round 'em t'beat the old Harry.

You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin' over the hill off yonder an' the harvest fields is all swimmin' in the moonlight, an' you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a little while.

Jever notice how the leaves turn red 'bout this time o' year? That's jest another sign o' redskins. That's when an old Injun sperrit gits tired dancin' an' goes up an' squats on a leaf t'rest. Why I kin hear 'em rustlin' an' whisper in' an' creepin' 'round among the leaves all the time; an' ever' once'n a while a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes floatin' down to the ground. See—here's one now. See how red it is? That's the war paint rubbed off'n an Injun ghost, sure's you're born.

Purty soon all the Injuns'll go marchin' away agin, back to the happy huntin' ground, but next year you'll see 'em troopin' back—th' sky jest hazy with 'em and their campfires smolderin' away jest like they are now.

John T. McCutcheon 1907

32 posted on 11/03/2013 6:53:44 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: twyn1
If you want a chuckle look up "Jokahontas" by the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister).

It don't make fun of the history but boy does it sock it to Disney.

33 posted on 11/03/2013 6:55:36 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Pocahontas “Matoaka” & son Thomas (2 1/2 years old)

This Sedgeford portrait of Pocahontas and her son, Thomas Rolfe, carefully preserved through the centuries, although its travels and whereabouts have been been shrouded in mystery. Presently at Kings Lynn Museum.


34 posted on 11/03/2013 6:58:01 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: GreyFriar
Don't ever do that again.

EVER.

35 posted on 11/03/2013 7:07:32 PM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Squawk 8888

I musta been thinking about Sacajaweewee ....


36 posted on 11/03/2013 8:22:49 PM PST by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: PowderMonkey
Seventh grade history was Virginia history only. We were led to believe that no other state existed but “The Old Dominion”, Commonwealth of Virginia.
37 posted on 11/03/2013 8:28:25 PM PST by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: tumblindice
I remember that song.
38 posted on 11/03/2013 10:24:14 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: higgmeister
Seventh grade history was Virginia history only.

I was and remain shocked to learn that every state does not teach Texas history.

I'm sure other states have something resembling history.. but really.. who cares?

39 posted on 11/04/2013 3:25:14 AM PST by humblegunner
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To: twyn1

Her uncle, Opechancanough, half brother of Powhatan, is supposedly a who-knows-how-many-great great grandfather of mine, not a pretty story though. No movies would ever be made of that one.


40 posted on 11/04/2013 3:38:27 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: humblegunner

Virginia history is the history of much of the early population of North Carolina, including the part of NC that was ceded to form Tennessee in 1796. Many of your own early Texas settlers and historical figures arrived via that same route over two centuries, VA to NC to TN to TX. I have many distant cousins in TX, my line stayed, been in NC since the mid-1700s, VA and MD before that. The TX bunch descend from several younger brothers who struck out for the NC backcountry and over the Blue Ridge into what became TN in 1792.


41 posted on 11/04/2013 3:46:13 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: PowderMonkey; yarddog

I’ve often wondered if any of my ancestors actually knew her, since the oldest one that we can trace arrived on First Supply. But, I think that one died (disappeared,at least) and his daughter from England came over to assume his estate and established the line from there.


42 posted on 11/04/2013 6:21:50 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

“Rolfe, who “much lamented” her death, returned to Virginia and later married an Englishwoman. His son by Pocahontas, Thomas Rolfe, inherited his father’s plantation, married a colonist and joined the militia, which vanquished his mother’s people when they rose up a last time in rebellion.”

Rebellion, in the sense of “Attempted genocide” aka “the Indian massacre of 1622”, where they arrived with trade goods and foods to share, and for breakfasts, and then proceeded to slaughter approximately 1/4 of the population of the Jamestown colony in a highly coordinated attack through the whole penninsula. It was only because of a last-minute warning that they had been blocked from passing beyond the wall protecting the town-proper before the attacks began. It was originally thought the slaughter was even worse, as many women and children were taken into slavery and only discovered as having survived in captivity more than half a year later.


43 posted on 11/04/2013 6:50:05 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: RegulatorCountry

I am pretty sure that Opechancanough was Pamunkey — and definitely not a pretty story there. Our offshoot of the Powhatan were the “mean” ones who killed off a lot of the settlers (including women and children), rather than helping them :)


44 posted on 11/04/2013 10:11:52 AM PST by twyn1
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To: PowderMonkey

Nicely written. I too have fond memories of Virginia woodlands.


45 posted on 11/04/2013 11:58:09 AM PST by Pelham (Obamacare, the vanguard of Obammunism)
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To: Pelham; All
Thanks…



NewWorld photo new-world-Tomocomo.jpg

 photo 445bb5bc-3e6c-49b0-b749-c5ab5db248c8_zps530e1343.jpg

 photo awesome-autumn-5_zpsefb66e49.jpg

 photo BlueRidgeAutum_zpsf2bc129b.jpg

Osage Dreams photo Osage.jpg  photo cervo-centra-ciclista-500x344_zpse247a780.jpg

 photo PocahontasStatePark_zps6cc18acb.jpg


46 posted on 11/04/2013 12:15:18 PM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: PowderMonkey

Beautiful. Few things rival Virginia forests in the autumn. There’s certainly nothing like it in southern California.


47 posted on 11/04/2013 12:45:34 PM PST by Pelham (Obamacare, the vanguard of Obammunism)
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To: SunkenCiv

“I would give a thousand pelts,” Neil Young wailed in his ballad “Pocahontas,” to “find out how she felt.”

&&&
Wow! This is the final sentence of the piece at the link. Under that is a blurb about the author that mentions that he has written 7 (I think that was the number) books.

Seven books written, yet he chooses to conclude his piece with this reference. I do not know which one I am more embarrassed for — the idiot Neil Young for writing that stupid line or this idiot writer for quoting it.

Oh, well, Smithsonian...what was I expecting?


48 posted on 11/04/2013 1:05:30 PM PST by Bigg Red (Let me hear what God the LORD will speak. -Ps85)
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To: SunkenCiv

“I would give a thousand pelts,” Neil Young wailed in his ballad “Pocahontas,” to “find out how she felt.”

&&&
Wow! This is the final sentence of the piece at the link. Under that is a blurb about the author that mentions that he has written 7 (I think that was the number) books.

Seven books written, yet he chooses to conclude his piece with this reference. I do not know which one I am more embarrassed for — the idiot Neil Young for writing that stupid line or this idiot writer for quoting it.

Oh, well, Smithsonian...what was I expecting?


49 posted on 11/04/2013 1:05:42 PM PST by Bigg Red (Let me hear what God the LORD will speak. -Ps85)
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To: tumblindice

I think that’s the “Song of Hiawatha”


50 posted on 11/05/2013 11:59:26 AM PST by armchairadmiral
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