Arts & Crafts Magazine

The Real Pocahontas

By Bambileigh

So, I was trying to remember how the original version of Sleeping Beauty went(I’m not sure why), got frustrated and googled it. I found a pretty long list of the original stories that the Disney versions we know and love (because they aren’t disturbing) are based on.
The majority of them I’d already heard of, although not in such gruesome detail if I’m honest, but I’d never heard of the true story of Pocahontas… I need to share this with someone. This post may well change your life, and you’ll have to throw your copy of the film in the bin.

Please do not let children, and some adults, read this post.

I’m going to assume that you’ve seen Disney’s version(s) of Pocahontas, the beautiful Native Indian princess meets English bloke blah blah sob sob. But it is actually based on a true story…

When John Smith first made contact with Pocahontas’ tribe (the Powhetans), Pocahontas was only ten years old and she and Smith never fell in love, he didn’t get shot etc. Smith was captured by her tribe but in his original tale he said that he was treated kindly by the tribe folk. Then when Pocahontas’ name became known back in England (they obviously let him go) he changed the story completely and said that she saved him from execution – which is what we see in Disney’s version… he must of been quite the douche bag.


When Pocahontas was 17 she was then captured by the English (although they are still in Virginia). In the film her father wants her to marry Kokoum, but in the original tale they’re already married. He is then killed and she is raped frequently by the English and becomes pregnant (if I could word this better, I would). She is then forced into Christianity and baptized as ‘Rebecca’.

She is then forced to marry a guy named – you guessed it – John Rolfe to make the pregnancy appear legitimate. He took her to England, made her wear a corset and presented her as the ‘tamed savage’. After two years of being in England they were set to return to Virginia, but during those two years Pocahontas had become aware of plans to slaughter the Native Indian tribes and take their land.. Pocahontas died painfully before they had even left English waters.

Historical accounts say they the cause of death is unknown, but it’s a bit strange how she died before she even had chance to tell her people what was being planned! Pocahontas was only twenty-two years old when she died.I’m glad they left the vast majority of that out of the Disney version!


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