One of the wonderful things about Halloween is that it gives you a chance to be someone else for the night. Are you going trick or treating this Halloween? Or perhaps you have a fancy dress party? A Pocahontas Indian costume would make you stand out. You can imagine you are the daughter of an Indian chief. (Pocahontas was at Jamestown in the early seventeenth century and helped the settlers there.
It’s said that she was born to a Virginian Indian chief called Powhatan around 1595. She helped the English colonists who began to arrive in Virginia and to build their settlements. John Smith, one of the colonists, was in danger of being executed by the Powhatan Indians and only the intercession of Pocahontas saved him. She is remembered for this act. Unfortunately, Pocahontas was taken captive by two colonists who thought to trade her for English prisoners. In spite of Chief Powhatan releasing English prisoners, Pocahontas was held onto for a year and during that time met John Rolfe. John Rolfe decided he wanted to marry her. However, Rolfe was very religious and the Native Indians were considered heathens at that time. So the idea of marrying Pocahontas was not without problems. He felt that if he married her he would save her soul and indeed Pocahontas converted to Christianity.
They lived together on his plantation for two years after their marriage. She gave birth to Thomas. It was fortunate that their marriage helped to create peace between the colonists and the Indians. After two years, along with some other native Indians, the Rolfe family returned to England. Pocahontas was undoubtedly unique in those days in England. As a result she was invited to many social events. In fact, she met King James himself at Whitehall Palace. During this time she met again with the man she had saved from execution, John Smith. In 1617 Rolfe and Pocahontas decided to return to Virginia, but unfortunately she became ill and died before even leaving shore. Her place of burial was the parish of Saint George’s in Gravesend, England.
There is a Disney animated movie about Pocahontas and John Smith which was released in 1995. However, it’s a rather fictionalised and romantic version of the story.
For a great Pocahontas costume and other native Indian costumes take a look at my Indian Halloween costume website.