16 Facts About the Real Pocahontas

16 Facts About the Real Pocahontas

Shannon Quinn - September 28, 2018

Many people think they know the story of Pocahontas from watching the Disney animated movie. The true story of the Powhatan princess is actually much darker and far more tragic than what they showed in the kid’s movie, and not enough people know the entire truth about what happened to her.

16 Facts About the Real Pocahontas
Pocahontas was just a nickname at first until she chose to made it her official name at her coming-of-age ceremony. Credit: The Atlantic

16. Her Real Name Wasn’t Actually Pocahontas

In 1596, a young girl named Amonute was born to a mother who was called Pocahontas and her father, Wahunsenaca, who was Chief Powhatan. He was the overseer of the other chiefs Powhatan tribe. There was a total of 25,000 people, who had 30 lower-level chiefs under Pocahontas’ father.

Even though her birth name was Amonute, the name she was given later in life was “Matoaka,” which means “the flower between two streams”. In Native American culture, it is common to give someone a new name once they get older once they learn more about their personality. The name Pocahontas is actually a Powhatan nickname that means “playful one”, and this is what both she and her mother were called in their tribe. As the name suggests, she was very energetic, cheerful, and playful. She did cartwheels and ran through the forest on a daily basis.