Pocahontas is one of the most popular Disney movies ever made. For this reason, the Pocahontas tattoo is one that seems to be popular for fans of Pocahontas and Disney movies in general. There is a lot of meaning in the form of some of these Pocahontas tattoos and we want to talk about some of the different variations along with their meanings. By the end of this post, we hope you have some ideas on different ways to get the Pocahontas tattoo.
The story of Pocahontas is primarily known by the Disney film of the same name. Though often thought to be based off of true events and characters, the film is fictitious.
Set in the 1600s, Captain John Smith commandeers the Susan Constant in search of the “New World”, as well as gold on the orders of the power-hungry and greedy Governor Ratcliffe.
Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Powhatan Indian tribe, is an adventurous, free-spirited 18-year-old who fears being forced to marry Kocoum, a very serious and stern but well-respected warrior who is the right-hand man to Chief Powhatan. After Susan Constant lands in what eventually becomes Virginia, the English settlers begin digging for gold while John Smith, less concerned with money, explores the new territory in search of adventure. Eventually coming across Pocahontas, the two quickly fall in love, sharing their different worlds with each other.
At a time of enormous racial bias and intolerance, love is forbidden by both sides. Kocoum, who is overwhelmed with jealousy and rage by the relationship between his beloved Pocahontas and John Smith, attacks the captain in an attempt to kill him but is killed himself by a settler protecting Smith. John Smith is captured by the tribe for the death of Kocoum and sentenced to death.
Through Pocahontas’s pleas, Chief Powhatan is convinced to seek peace instead of retaliation and calls off the execution. Despite Governor Ratcliffe’s orders an attack the tribe, the settlers refuse to shoot, seeking peace themselves after seeing the release of John Smith.
Angered by the actions of the settlers, Ratcliffe attempts to kill Chief Powhatan himself but the shot is thwarted as Smith jumps in front of the chief, taking the bullet instead. Smith survives the gunshot but is in desperate need of medical attention and the settlers are forced to return to England. Smith asks Pocahontas to come with him but she can’t bring herself to leave her father and the tribe so she chooses to stay.
Pocahontas Tattoo Meanings
Below are some of the Pocahontas tattoos that we have seen and the meanings behind them. We are going to leave it up to you to create some new ideas for the Pocahontas tattoo. Until then, here are a few examples of the more popular Pocahontas tattoos.
Colors of the Wind Tattoo
There are various versions of the Pocahontas tattoo that people tend to get when they head into their local tattoo shop. The most common tends to be a portrait of Pocahontas in the midst of the vibrantly colored leaves floating in the wind seen during the song “Colors of the Wind,” a song expressing the Native American way of life in which it is considered that humankind is closely connected to nature.
Pocahontas’s animal friends tend to also be included in tattoos of the “Colors in the Wind” style, as the characters – Meeko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird – show her deep connection with nature. Flit and Meeko are fun and light-hearted characters with a playful rivalry between each other. They have a very close relationship with Pocahontas and are very protective of her towards new people and situations.
Watercolor Pocahontas Tattoo
Pocahontas tattoos are often done in the same illustration style as the movie or in a watercolor style, which lends itself to the vibrant colors and accentuates the appearance of movement. In keeping with the film’s aesthetics, Pocahontas’s tattoos tend to be very bright and colorful with a very clear sense of movement and animation. This can typically be seen in the form of the wind blowing the leaves and Pocahontas’s long black hair, a defining characteristic portraying her free-spirited nature and the inability of anyone or anything to restrain her from being true to herself.
This can also be seen in flowing water, another frequent theme in the film, usually specifically in reference to the song “Just Around the Riverbend,” which declares Pocahontas’s longing for excitement and adventure.
Red Arm Band Tattoo
Another common tattoo is of Pocahontas’s red armband, which encircles her upper arm and has multiple spikes coming off facing downward. Tattoos are traditional for Algonquian/Powhatan women and are widely associated with Native American culture.
Another popular tattoo is of a compass wrapped in leaves floating in the wind. Pocahontas’s uncertain path in life is frequently referenced in the film which is made even more uncertain when John Smith enters her life. The compass symbolizes the search for true north in her life and makes frequent appearances indicating the state of Pocahontas’s confidence in her choices and life path.
Grandmother Willow Tattoo
Similarly, the character of Grandmother Willow acts as Pocahontas’s guiding light, which Pocahontas is lacking as her mother died while she was young. Pocahontas comes to Grandmother Willow often seeking guidance and is often reminded to stay true to her heart to figure out what she wants in life, even if it isn’t the easiest choice to make. Grandmother Willow is a great choice for a tattoo that symbolizes the importance of being true to yourself.
Pocahontas and John Smith Tattoo
Though not as common, a tattoo of Pocahontas and John Smith together is a great representation of true love. Similar to Romeo and Juliet, their love persisted against friends and family specifically forbidding them from being with each other. It also represents the acceptance of others and their differences, especially in the face of widely believed racial stereotypes.