Young People's Opinions on Pocahontas

Page Navigation Buttons---

Indian young people express their opinions of Pocahontas-the-film, the merchandising of products, and related topics.

Few Indian kids go to summer school or have parents with computers, modems and InterNet at home. Little Green Rising and her brother Star Rising are the first Indian young people to write something for these pages. So this is a special occasion, a beginning, and to honor that,and both these young people, I am sending them a gift for their home computer--not a program, but full-screen computer graphics that are "pictures" of what their Indian names meant to me. I used to make beadwork jacket "name patches" for people occasionally, but beadwork's getting hard on my eyes and anyway I'm really more of a computer-head!

--12, is Tsalagi, an enrolled member of the North Alabama Band of Cherokee. She writes:

Dear Paula,

I got a Pocahontas book for my birthday from my friend. When I saw it I said thank you and tried not to hurt her feelings by saying I don't like Pocahontas.I read it so if she asks if I read it I will not hurt her feelings.

I see lots of Pocahontas stuff, like Pocahontas barbie dolls, shoes, clothes and even more things. I don't like any of this. It is so stupid. I think this because it is insulting.

And the book has some lies in it. Like that she is 17 and she was really 12 years old when she saw him, and that she was beautiful , when in real life, she was really ugly when she was that age and when she got older. (We looked at real pictures of her.)

I like that in my Disney Adventures magazine they had showed what she looked liked when she had white man's clothes on, and that they talked to the people who were the voices of them. But I don't like the comics they had that issue (which was about the movie). My new issue has a quiz for you to take. If you get a question right your like Pocahontas and if you get all of them right your like all the good characters. I think that is really not true and that know one is really like them.

I feel like this is insulting to Indians, and I don't think anyone would want to really be like them, anyway.

I think the movie and the book are just lies, if someone knows what Pocahontas was really like. You don't even know if she was nice, or plain mean, in the movie or book. They just want to keep it nice and pretty.

I don't have anything else on my mind about it right now. I am tired. If I think of anything else, I will write again.

Thank you for putting us on the Pocahontas Page. I like it, because it gives Indians a chance to say what they think.


PS: I would like to see the movie to see what it is like. I definitely will _not_ be getting any of the Pocahontas Merchandising.

Picture of Green Rising's Name--The one I sent her is bigger, and the greens in water, woman-spirit and sky "rise" while the star flashes through all the shades of green. (A little computer program does this.)

This is a woman spirit of life --plant life, the first -- who is arising green from the first water on the early barren, rocky earth. In reality, the first widespread life on the early planet was blue-green algae, billions of years ago. Blue-green algae, those tiny single-celled water plants, created the conditions for all other life. Members of this oldest family of living things are still around after more than a billion years.

I can't really draw, especially scenery, but computers help make up for lack of talent. A program called VistaPro for either PC's (as I use) or Macs takes contour maps that have been converted into numeric data and generates scenery by projecting everything to its height. You can set "camera angles", colors, sky, trees. The map used here is of Crater Lake, but I turned off trees, clouds, water, except for the little pool, waterfall, and Green Life-Spirit Woman Rising, which I drew on it with a paint program (the star too) that I loaded my finished scene into.

Green Rising suggested plants. I thought the picture would be a growing plant, or perhaps a forest--but I dreamed this instead, the first green of the very first plant life, arising like a spirit-woman from a small pool in a barren, rocky crater. It is an appropriate picture for her name, Green Rising, and also to honor the occasion of her being the first young woman here.

--11, is Tslagi, an enrolled member of North Alabama Cherokee; he's Green's brother. He writes:

Dear Paula,

I think Pocahantas shouldn't have even been made. I don't think Disney should make money off our History. (BTW, I wonder why it's called History insted of Herstory). I think this because most of the things in there are not exactly facts, and stuff.

I haven't seen it, but I have read a lot about it. If they are going to tell her story, then they should tell the truth. In real-life, Pocahontas met John Smith at the age of ten, was not wearing clothing, and had her hair buzzed. In the movie, she met John Smith when she was a full-grown woman, had long good hair, (but not nearly as good as my Mom's), and was wearing clothing. She was wearing tight clothes, too. I don't exactly think they were supposed to be that tight.

I do plan on seeing the movie, to see how dumb it really is. I would _not_buy any of the merchandise. That is a definite no! N-O!

I think some of the money from the movie should be donated to some Indian things, since they made the money off of Indians. I don't like the merchandising either, like making Pocahontas purses. The reason I don't like this is that they used to make purses out of Indians skin, so I think this is really offensive. What is the next thing they are going to be making? Pictures of Pocahontas on Oreo cookies? They already have them on Nestle's bars. It's so stupid. (A little sarcasm, I'm sorry!)

If anyone writes to me on the Net, I will answer as soon as possible.

Thank you very much:
Your friend:
Majik Star Rising

Picture of Star Rising's Indian name--This is a picture of the first, and oldest computer -- a type called analog rather than digital like ours now -- on the North American continent. Star Rising's picture is full-screen, and when the computer program runs, a rainbow ray cycles down the path from the sunrise notch to the central marker (gnomon) to the main rock altar. The centers of the 3 dawn-rising stars (their scientific names are Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius, I don't know any Indian names for them) also go through rainbow colors.

I scanned a black-and-white photo of this Medicine Wheel taken by a low-flying plane many years ago, then traced the Wheel and mountains in FreeHand, drew an imaginary placement of the 3 stars and sun, and the young warrior up there for spiritual reasons. (I spent the night of summer Solstice in 1978 up there alone and saw the sun rise against a tree branch I placed there myself. These days there's crowds up there all the time, the Park Service wants to make it a National Park for tourists. I hear it's become quite a mess.)

The Medicine Wheel was built more than 1,000 years ago on Medicine Mountain in Wyoming. Cheyenne and Crow elders say instructions were given by a person who came there from neither of their tribes, who brought with him instructions for the first Sun Dance. The oldest Sun Dance lodges had 28 rafters like the rays of stone on this Medicine Wheel. They represent the 28 days of the lunar month. Only at summer solstice, the rising sun in the notch of distant mountains exactly lines up with a tree branch in the central cairn of stones, when seen from the main rock altar. Smaller rock altars line up rays of stone with 3 dawn-rising stars, and it is the those stars--whose dawn-risings don't stay the same as centuries pass--that tell us the age of this computer.

Computer? Yes, it's called an analog computer (ours are digital). There are no moving parts; the motions of the earth, sun and stars, and its own geometry, are why it points to those key positions on the special, sacred date, around June 20, the longest day of every year. So this Medicine Wheel indicates 4 stars (the Sun is also a star) rising on a special sacred date. It is an appropriate picture for Star Rising's name, to honor the occasion of his being the first young man here on these pages.

Young people, you can submit Pocahontas opinions, stories (see STORIES Page), Book Reviews (see BOOKS page), software reviews (see TOOLS page) and as you learn how to do it, your own illustrated pages. For now, you'll need to EMAIL them to me (be sure to put FOR INDIAN WEB PAGE in the subject field of your EMAIL). You can also go to my NEWS page and "register" for one of the K-12 student CHAT newsgroups there. There aren't too many kids on this summer, but there are some.

Navigation Buttons

--TOP of THIS page




Copyright 1995, Paula Giese. Opinions expressed here by other people are each respectively copyright the person expressing it, have been used here by permission of their authors, and require permission of those people to use on other pages except by linking here.

Last updated: Wednesday, February 21, 1996 - 5:16:16 PM