The name of Pocahontas' mother or even her tribal origins are unknown. Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas, had many wives. He was the paramount chief of the alliance of Virginia Indians in Tidewater, Virginia.Continue Reading
The custom of the Virginia Indians during the era decreed that Powhatan could only keep a wife until she became pregnant with his child. Once pregnant, the wife was sent back to the tribe and supported by Powhatan until she remarried. Once the child reached the age of 8 to 10 years old, he or she moved to the capital of Powhatan to allow the mother to find another husband.
Pocahontas likely had many half-brothers and half-sisters, but no direct siblings. As a child, Pocahontas would have moved to the large household of Powhatan and engaged in the traditional duties of women, which were collecting food and firewood, cooking, cleaning and farming. Despite the large household, Pocahontas became the favorite of Powhatan.
By 1610, Pocahontas married an Indian named Kocoum and 3 years later, she was captured by the English and confined at Jamestown. While in captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity, changed her name to Rebecca and married the English Colonist John Rolfe. The marriage was approved by Powhatan, and it was instrumental in putting an end to the Anglo-Powhatan War, which lasted from 1609 to 1614.Learn more about US History