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Legacy Wisdom Keeper: Pocahontas
'Pocahontas' (Matoaka), known as Amonute was born in 1596 in the village of Werowocomoco, on the 'densely-populated' (Tsenacommacah) of the Powhatan, present-day Gloucester County, Virginia,. She passed away in March 1617 in Gravesend, an ancient town in northwest Kent, England, situated 21 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross (central London) on the south bank of the Thames Estuary and opposite Tilbury in Essex.
What's the real story of 'Pocahontas', daughter to Chief Powhatan (c. 1547 – c. 1618), whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh, the leader of the Powhatan, an alliance of Algonquian-speaking people living in Tsenacommacah, in the Tidewater region of Virginia at the time English settlers landed at Jamestown in 1607?
What makes Pocahontas a consideration as Legacy Keeper? As time passed and with the birth of a new nation, John Smith, an 'alleged' important Englishman in the Chief and his daughters lives 'became an American hero while Pocahontas story changed from an ideal model for nostalgic, pro-intermarriage sentiments to one relegated to the status of a minor incident in her life'.
Whatever one wants to believe to be true in the 'stories' that arose from Chief Wahunsenacawh and John Smith, to Pocahontas' capture and the struggles between the Powhatans and the colonists, there is a precedent of sorts from what transpired in Mexico with Moctezuma's daughter, Doña Isabel, and Cortes'.
The similarities are outside intrusion onto indigenous lands, unwarranted and unwanted infringement and a huge culture clash. In Cortes' case, he is said to have given his word to Moctezuma to take care of Doña Isabel in the event of his death, then having a child with her out of wedlock. Her sons founded a line of Spanish nobility. The title of Duke of Moctezuma de Tultengo still exists.
How can we be sure of any valor on the side of invaders who from the time of arrival were treated well by their hosts until provoked and then eventually presented with a choice of questionable religious redemption or death and 'Manifest Destiny' as the goal.
Demonstrating how hard the religious ball was being played by the Colonists (and in Mexico and Peru via Conquistadors), there is the story out of King Philip's War. King Philip known as Metacomet, was Massasoit's second son. Massasoit was the leader of the Wampanoag's Confederacy. He formed an alliance with the colonists at Plymouth for defense against the neighboring Narragansetts. It was through his assistance that the Plymouth Colony avoided almost certain starvation during the early years.
Metacomet, was killed and quartered, his head publicly displayed in Plymouth for 20 years.
Surely, some of the critical-thinking, good colonists of the day found the gruesome fate of a Chief of the Wampanoag Confederacy, whose father and tribe helped colonists survive certain death, a bit heavy-handed.
In keeping this article from being too lengthy, we leave it to the reader to review the following link, which includes her European tour and meeting of the King and Queen. One interesting story involves Pocahontas. Upon talking to her tribe after being held captive in Henricus, Virginia, she is 'alleged' to have scolded her father for valuing her "less than old swords, pieces, or axes". She's reported to say she preferred to live with the colonists "who loved her".
While this particular re-telling can be seen as one-sided, her assuring her father that she was 'okay' with the settlers probably saved a lot of lives. Both of them knowing their heritage and teachings of love and respect for all life through the Algonquian-speaking people, who were subdivided across large portions of North America. United they were in beliefs such as 'no orphans' in their midst (as well as a belief in immortality, charity, brotherhood and morality). Among the Iroquois Confederacy arose a Great Law, founded by the Great Peacemaker in 1142, is the oldest living participatory democracy on Earth.
Iroquois Great Law of Peace:
Native American's and Freemasonry:
Conflicting reports notwithstanding the Legacy that Pocahontas left for humanity was to choose love and life over her own personal desires and certain good happy fortune within the Powhatans, to rise above the 'noise and confusion' of her time and become the 'flesh and blood' image of Peace. Her marriage to John Rolfe created a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan's tribes; it endured for eight years as the "Peace of Pocahontas"
Inevitably, the ocean would be crossed by increasingly large numbers of people looking for a fresh start; a new beginning, out from under the English King's rule and the Dutch's revolt with Spain.
"The particular, highly successful marriage of Pocahontas and Rolfe had provided the early colonists with an opportunity that they failed to grasp, and by the eighteenth century was providing historians with the opportunity to discuss this wonderful chance that had been missed at the beginning of the colonial enterprise." ~Robert S. Tilton, Pocahontas: The Evolution of an American Narrative, 1994
It was 'Pocahontas' courage and vision that gave both sides hope for a peaceful existence. Native Americans knew that all human life was created equal by the Creator.
Let's reflect for a minute on Tilton's quote from '94, that IF the early colonists had actually grasped what the 'highly successful' marriage of Pocahontas and Rolfe meant for others who wished the same fate, to live peacefully in towns and villages in relatively close proximity - sharing bloodlines, hunting and fishing expeditions..or a truly meaningful annual Thanksgiving in the center of town or village. The barGAIN then would have been potentially much better for everyone.
A huge opportunity was lost and the world has suffered for it - Imagine a world without World Wars or any wars.
Here we are 8.13 generation's from the founding of the United States of America (2020 - 1776 / 30 = 8.13 generations. 30 years/generation).
Eight and Thirteen. The numbers echo forward through Crazy Horse's 'time of seven generations beneath the Sacred Tree of Life' to now as we head into the Seven fires prophecy to light the Eighth fire.
(In the prophecy, the people decide to take neither road, but instead to turn back, to remember and reclaim the wisdom of those who came before them. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood.)
"Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, Thus should we do. For this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World." ~Black Elk
Article researched/written by Jon Gilbert