If you say the name Pocahontas, people would usually think of that young girl who fell in love with an American. Yes, a story reduced to center on romance. Although the movie also mentioned something about American tribes and leaders, it did not clearly depict the real identity of Pocahontas, a Native American. The movie talked less about her role as a Native American, but more on her romantic encounter with Jon Smith, which apparently, is completely fictional. The real Pocahontas’ Life is more or less different from all these romantic chick flicks going around.
Pocahontas’ Life Outside the Movie
Pocahontas was a daughter of a Native American Chief of Powhatan. She was born in 1596 and was named Amonute. She was a woman of many names, but Pocahontas was the most famous. It was considered as her nickname, a name that means “the playful one”. This alone reveals the vibrant character of Pocahontas. Pocahontas was naturally a curious woman, a character not that common in women during their times. Just like accounts on other tribes, women are often being viewed as subordinates, sometimes as one that has no right to make their own decisions. Women are supposed to be bound by more customs and restrictions than men were. According to the culture of Powhatan, Pocahontas should have been sent to a different village with her mother upon birth, and then come back once she is already weaned. However, there appears to be little account regarding her mother; thus, there is no concrete basis whether this has been followed in the case of Pocahontas. Take note, this thing was definitely not mentioned in the movies ever shown by Disney.
Every day of Pocahontas’ Life
In the movie, Pocahontas was wearing a somehow normal tribal attire, right? A mixture of sexiness and fierceness. It was one of the reasons why the image of Pocahontas was different compared to reality. For the real Pocahontas, she was close to being naked. Not only that, she was also almost bald! Only a small part is left to grow, and it is usually braided. Fortunately, due to her status as a Chief’s daughter, she can wear deerskin during winter. This not a privilege that others can easily get because the said clothing was very expensive.
As part of the requirements for being a woman in their tribe, Pocahontas was taught many crucial women responsibilities that adult women should be an expert on. Some responsibilities that were taught to Pocahontas includes the building of houses and farming. Women can eventually own the houses in they built as per Powhatan culture. She was also taught cooking, making handicrafts, and even collecting firewood. It is also part of their cooking responsibilities to clean the meat brought by their male counterparts. At the same time, they are the ones who cut the hairs of the male population. Basically, men and women in the Powhatan tribe have clear responsibilities, just like men.
John Smith’s Role in Pocahontas’ Life
To all of you that watched the movies, John Smith was Pocahontas’ love interest. It was one love that was against the world. A relationship between a Native American woman and an English is somehow a taboo, with all the conflicts going on between the two groups. However, in real life, John Smith only played a small role in Pocahontas’ life. Yes, they met. John Smith was a general in Jamestown Colony. John Smith was captured by one relative of the Powhatans.However, in some way that remains unclear today, Pocahontas ended up saving him. Also, she was active in sending the colony with some provisions weekly. It his clear that Pocahontas has established a fascination to the English culture. However, there was no indication of any romantic relation between her and John Smith.
Pocahontas’ Affiliation to the English Culture
In 1612, Pocahontas was captured by the English people in the hopes of acquiring some ransom from the Powhatans. Considering that she was a chief”s daughter, she was indeed a good target. With the tribe not succumbing to the demands, Pocahontas remained captive. During her captivity, for survival purposes, she agreed to everything. Through that, she learned the English language. An English man named John Rolfe took interest on her, and she ended up marrying him after her release as captives.
The Movie Versus Reality
Despite the difference in the movie and real life, one thing is clear, Pocahontas was one strong woman. In the movies, she fought for her true love, and in reality, she did her best to survive captivity. One of the many Pocahontas quotes worth pondering on is this: “You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” This is a strong life lesson that makes the movie worth watching despite the inconsistencies with the real thing.