Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas': 5 things to know about the historical figure

United States President Donald Trump called political rival Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" on Monday (Nov 27).
United States President Donald Trump called political rival Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" on Monday (Nov 27). PHOTOS: AFP

United States President Donald Trump called political rival Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" on Monday (Nov 27), at a White House event to honour Native American veterans.

It was not the first time Mr Trump referred to the US Senator by that nickname.

Some Native American leaders accused him the following day of insulting their heritage.

Here are five things to know about Pocahontas.

1. Not a real name

Her name was not actually Pocahontas.

It was a nickname given to her which means "the mischievous one", because 11-year-old Pocahontas used to visit the settlers' fort at Jamestown and do cartwheels with the English children.

She later converted to Christianity and her name by baptism became Rebecca.

2. Not a Disney princess


The animated film Pocahontas by Disney in 1995 is based on a fictional account of a Native American woman's encounter with an Englishman named John Smith. PHOTO: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS 

The animated film Pocahontas by Disney in 1995 is not based on real life.

The plot is based on a fictional account of a Native American woman's encounter with an Englishman named John Smith and the Jamestown settlers who arrived.

3. Probably saved a man's life


It was claimed that Pocahontas stopped Smith's execution by shielding him with her own body to protect him. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS 

In December 1607, a leader of the Powhatan - the Native American people in Virginia - named Opechancanough, captured John Smith who was a key figure in establishing the Jamestown settlement.

Opechancanough, who was also Pocahontas' uncle, had captured Smith while he was exploring the Chickahominy River.

It was claimed that Pocahontas stopped Smith's execution by shielding him with her own body to protect him.

4. Possibly a rape victim

Pocahontas was lured onto the ship of English captain Samuel Argall and taken hostage during the First Anglo-Powhatan war in 1613.

She was separated from her husband and daughter, and was allegedly raped in captivity.

5. The reason there was peace


Pocahontas married a settler named John Rolfe in April 1614. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS 

She married a settler named John Rolfe in April 1614 - her second marriage - and had a son named Thomas.

The union became known as "the Peace of Pocahontas", as it led to a pause in fighting between both sides.

The Virginia Company, who were low on funds, wanted to promote the couple as a symbol of peaceful relations between the natives and the settlers. So Pocahontas, Rolfe and their son Thomas sailed to England in 1616 for a publicity tour.

She later died from illness on a ship on the way back to North America in March 1617, at the age of just 21. SOURCES: Business Insider, Newsweek, Wikipedia