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Posts Tagged ‘Pocahontas’

Wearing jewelry, feathers in her hair, and a doeskin dress, Pocahontas (Her Mattaponi nickname meaning Tomboy) attends her huskanasquaw, coming of age ceremony. She receives her adult name, Amonute (Butterfly). With her at the head, they parade to the powwow grounds.

She attends her pauwaus—celebrating her ceremony. At a courtship dance, young eligible men stomp dance around a fire. The drumbeat quickens—they dance into the crowd and choose an eligible young woman. Kocoum, Little Chief, chooses Pocahontas—they dance together.

Months later, they wed and have a daughter, Ka-okee, Little-Goose. But that is another story.

 

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Pocahontas was a nickname meaning, playful one. Could her playmates have been Pukwudgie? They are elf-like creatures, sometimes tiny, sometimes child-size. They still dwell in the eastern woods. If you meet a Pukwudgie, you best step aside. Though they can be playful, they tend to be ill-tempered.

[Editor’s note: Mr. Suddeth has been downing coffee all morning]

 

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Pocahontas was a chief’s daughter, but she liked to cook.

Pungnough AKA corncob flour. Make a dough by combining corncob flour and water. The dough was formed into a flat cake and covered with leaves. Next, hot ashes were added on top of the leaves, which baked the cake. Talk about a smart use of resources! The dough could also be formed into balls and boiled as dumplings. [John Smith wrote in his journals that he didn’t like Pungnough] (she is said to be my great…great grandmother, but that is another story)

 

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Pocahontas was a chief’s daughter, but she ate with everyone else.

Hobbenis AKA hopniss or groundnuts (early settlers likened them to turnips) are underground tubers similar to potatoes and cooked the same way. They were common along the east coast and were likely at the first Thanksgiving.

(she is said to be my great…great grandmother, but that is another story)

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A Conversation with Pocahontas

Pocahontas: “Sá kir winkan?” Pocahontas asks. (pronounced saw-keyd-WINK-on) How are you? Literally, Are you well?

 

I reply, “Kupi.” (pronounced kuh-PEE) I am well. Literally, yes.

 

“Nuturuwins Pocahontas,” she says. (pronounced nuh-tuh-DUH-wins) My name is Pocahontas. Literally, I am called Pocahontas.

 

“Kentucky nunowám,” I tell her. (pronounced nuh-NO-wawm) I am from Kentucky. Literally, Kentucky I come from.

 

“Apis!” she replies. [AH-peace] ‘Sit down!’

 

“Nunohum,” I whisper. [nuh-NO-hum] My grandmother.

 

She smiles. “Kuwumáras” [kuh-wuh-MAW-dahs] I love you.

[she is said to be my great…great grandmother, but that is another story]

 

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Pocahontas was a chief’s daughter, but she did her share of snacking.

Hog peanuts AKA ground beans—hagiach are similar to peanuts. The underground seeds/beans can be cooked or eaten raw. Roots also used.

(she is said to be my great…great grandmother, but that is another story)

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

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Pocahontas was a chief’s daughter, but she did her share of digging up potatoes.

Duck potato aka wild potato AKA Indian potato—woapipen. Grows in swampy area. Eaten raw or cooked like a potato.

(she is said to be my great…great grandmother, but that is another story)

 

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