Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

What Disney and others get wrong about Pocahontas


Dressed as an English gentlewoman in 17th-century London, Pocahontas was pressed into service as a human advertisement for the success of the Virginia colony—living proof that American Indians could be persuaded to “renounce idolatry” and live as Christians.

For 19th-century Americans, she tugged heartstrings as the chaste and compassionate intercessor who threw her own body down to prevent her father’s men from clubbing the English Captain John Smith to death. (That episode is so central to America’s founding myth that an artist’s depiction of it, along one with Pocahontas’s subsequent baptism, appear in the frieze of the US capitol rotunda.)


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