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In sixteen hundred seven

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By shoomlah   |   
Published: May 13, 2011
© 2011 - 2020 shoomlah
UPDATED VERSION CAN BE FOUND HERE: shoomlah.deviantart.com/art/I-… Please share that one in lieu of this outdated inaccurate version.

Oh, Pocahontas. Really not one of my favourite Disney films, but it posed an interesting challenge. Note that this is the Disney character, not the historical figure, so while I tried to make the outfit accurate to 17th century Powhatan clothing (yes, one-shouldered dresses and split skirts existed, YE GADS) she is, most definitely, not a 12-year-old. It's my happy middle ground when drawing a historical version of an inaccurate portrayal of a historical person. That's a mouthful.

My one big cheat on this was her necklace- the shell necklace should in theory be a deep purple (turquoise is a much more Southwestern commodity), but you lose so much of the Pocahontas visual identity without the splash of teal around her neck.

...And not the belabor the point, but she learns English by way of MAGIC? Come on, Disney, even Tarzan had the sense to do a heavy-handed language montage.
-C

(Photoshop CS4)

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Comments898
anonymous's avatar
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Dropthepizza's avatar
One of your best drawings.
Shellquake's avatar
ShellquakeHobbyist General Artist
Barely even human.
moonlitinuyasha1985's avatar
...Yeah, there're some things about Pocahontas that never made sense to me, too. :|
VIETNAMBEATBOXRAPEST's avatar
VIETNAMBEATBOXRAPESTProfessional Writer
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VIETNAMBEATBOXRAPESTProfessional Writer
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Jaz-Merigold's avatar
I love both versions, but I think I prefer this one :3
LizzyChrome's avatar
LizzyChromeHobbyist General Artist
Browsing these comments it seems Native American commenters like this piece. I don't understand why you decided it was too "offensive" to be featured in your "Historical Princesses" section. This is one of your best drawings. 
N30N1C's avatar
N30N1CHobbyist Digital Artist
putting "offensive" in scare quotes to imply that an artist learning and growing is some travesty is just silly, isn't it? anyways... "historical" is literally in the title. people wanting more historically accurate and appropriate representations of this amazing kid is a good thing. chill. 
InkSock's avatar
InkSockHobbyist General Artist
ooooh omg 

holy fuck nice job aaaaa
RobertoTheBear3991's avatar
RobertoTheBear3991Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
While the dog-stock matchlock is certainly correct to the period, firearm trade didn't officially begin until well into the 17th century, closer to around four decades later with the Dutch to the Mohawk. So a black locust Cherokee-style or Delaware-style longbow would be much better (google Sudbury bow), with a double (not triple) fletched arrows with deer bone points held in a woven wicker quiver made of split American bamboo (river cane). Also, while certainly less family-friendly/safe for work, having her topless would also be much more accurate, as it wasn't until the 1770's through trade that shirts for women became more common in the humid American South with Southeastern tribes. You should also based on accounts and art from the era have her hair in a topknot with her bangs in a fringe, like Creek and Seminole women. Imagine a bowl-cut in front of the ears with everything else in a bun on top. You're right about the purple, as they would likely use quahog shell for necklaces for men and women. Purple with fox teeth/lynx claws in between segments would be very accurate. The Delaware are the closest surviving nation with much semblance to the Powhatan Confederacy, so use them as your guide. :) 
shoomlah's avatar
shoomlahProfessional Digital Artist
Oooh, thanks for the additional info!  As per the description (and why this piece isn't even in my gallery anymore), I don't consider this by any means inaccurate and ended up redoing it several times over - I've learned a ton over the past five years. :D

-C
RobertoTheBear3991's avatar
RobertoTheBear3991Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You're quite welcome. I also saw the 12 to 15-year-old version of her you did, and may I point out from the historical John Smith's own diary he speaks of how she would shamelessly skinny-dip in front of the shocked, prudish Europeans as well as wear (as I pointed out earlier) a simple wrap-around miniskirt with fringes and nothing else with large porcupine quills worn like spike gauges for earrings plus a quahog necklace intermingled with wildcat claws. She is described as are the rest of her tribe as going barefoot in warm weather, with moccasins only worn in the winter as well as blankets made from doeskin. A neck knife made by taking the femur bone of a deer or bear and splitting it diagonally lengthwise in a wampum sheath hanging between her cleavage would a cool addition as both sexes carried one for skinning, field-dressing, eating and all purposes. 
BumbleCat1's avatar
I didn't enjoy the film but this is something much better
chaos-angel5's avatar
chaos-angel5Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like both versions, but honestly I do like this one better, although slightly inaccurate the true point is, it's a Disney character still. You have to be true to both sides of the image. On one hand make it more historically accurate, on the other hand keep true to the character it is, or else what's the point. 
thefreespirit24's avatar
thefreespirit24Student Traditional Artist
Good point. It's is a concept that a lot of people don't seem to recognize. Usually with these historically accurate representations, the artists are taking the Disney character and portraying her as if she existed in a real world setting. They're not trying to portray the original characters from the legends, folk tales, and fairly tales.
chaos-angel5's avatar
chaos-angel5Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your comment. Nice to hear your opinion as well :)
TeaGem's avatar
TeaGemHobbyist Digital Artist
I like this version better than the updated version.
shoomlah's avatar
shoomlahProfessional Digital Artist
That's your prerogative, but it's inaccurate and culturally insensitive.
TeaGem's avatar
TeaGemHobbyist Digital Artist
I understand what you're saying.

You're style is still very beautiful both ways.
dbkit's avatar
dbkitHobbyist Digital Artist
Since she's a princess. It could be said that her necklace, and the rarity of the turquoise, makes it a status symbol. Like a princess tiara.
grisador's avatar
It's still awesome
anonymous's avatar
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