Today is Main Event Monday! It lives up to that name today, this is the biggest single gif album I have made(114 images). This is by no means a complete index of Atlantis' career, but I feel like I provided links to most of his bigger singles matches, I'd love to watch and share some of his bouts with Dr. Wagner Jr, but I couldn't find any. At over 25,000 characters this will be split into 3 comments, hope you enjoy and let's get to it! Entrance Entrance Theme :
5 ft. 8 in. Weight:
181 lbs. From:
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico Trained by:
Diablo Velazco Debut :
June 12, 1983 Promotion History:
EMLL/CMLL 4 Life
Various other indie promotions and some cross promotion, but he has never left CMLL/EMLL
Little change in format for this edition. I went through all the mask vs mask matches I could find while also trying to give a retrospective of his career. In light of this I haven't really gifed moves as much as I gifed various matches of his career below.
Still, here are his main moves, but borrowed from other gifs of various matches so you will see them again in context. Finisher : Atlantida Sharpshooter(used as an alternate finish) Signature: Tilt a whirl backbreaker
Career rundown/summary :
Atlantis would play mostly a technico over his 30+ year career. His nickname even being El idolo de los Niños(The idol of the children), a name that stuck with him even as a rudo. He is a fan favorite and is very akin to Hulk Hogan or John Cena. A man that is incredibly hard to beat and even turned rudo to spice up his character similarly to the Hulkster.
Atlantis would capture his first singles title the Mexican National Middleweight championship versus Jerry Estrada
about a year and a half after his debut, didn't gif because of the water mark. It's a decent match, if a little old school, but it was 1984... so that's to be expected. He would hold this title for 457 days, a reign that would help build his reputation as a good worker. He would drop it on March 2, 1986 to Talisman(who he had unmasked in '84).
In 1988 Atlantis had formed a regular tag team with Ángel Azteca and on March 6, 1988, the duo defeated Los Infernales (Masakre and MS-1) to win the Mexican National Tag Team Championship, which they would hold for 811 days. Despite this long reign I had a hard time finding them working as just a 2 man team. Instead I suggest watching : PantheFuerza/Pierroth vs. Atlantis/Astro/Azteca in the CMLL World Trios Championship tournament quarterfinals (11/8/91) Atlantis takes out Pierroth A unique armdrag by Angel Azteca Rebound arm drag by Angel Azteca Fuerza don't want none Atlantis saved the match Conclusion
That was after Atlantis, Octagon and Mascara Sagrada already captured the Mexican National Trios titles from a group called 'Los Thundercats
in 1991. This trio wouldn't last long though as after dropping the belt 112 days in, both his partners would leave for AAA shortly after, Atlantis was offered a contract as well. He decided to stay in CMLL where he had built his career thus far.
His second singles title he would win from Kung Fu, someone else he had unmasked. The NWA World Middleweight Championship, at the time the most prestigious middleweight title in Mexico. He and Emilio Charles, Jr. traded it back and forth for the next 2 months before Emilio Charles, Jr. eventually walked away with it in the end.
He would win the NWA WMC a 3rd time from El Dandy on August 1st 1990, this would lead to him holding the title 945 days crushing his previous longest reign with it of 37 and his record for longest singles or tag reign of 457/811 days. During this reign he would make famous defenses against the likes of : Emilio Charles Jr.(3/22/91) First fall Tilt a whirl backbreaker Second Fall Emilio Charles Jr does the classic 'Nope' lucha dodge Brutal splash Dropkick into a suicide dive Senton off the apron spills right onto Atlantis Emilio Charles Jr dives onto Atlantis again Conclusion Blue Panther (8/9/91)
I'd highly recommend checking out other matches from these two as they had great chemistry. One of my favorite matches that I watched when researching this. You can find other 1 on 1 matches between these two on Youtube. The wheels start turning Tilt a whirl backbreaker sold brilliantly by Blue Panther Sharpshooter for the first fall Clothesline wrecks Blue Panther Blue Panther hits a double underhook back breaker, which he transitions into a rack over his knee to get a fall Sharp shooter is fought out of Blue Panther is drop kicked out of the ring then dived upon Conclusion Atlantis vs. La Fiera (4/3/92) Fiera dodges, gets dodged then eats tiltawhirl backbreaker First fall La Fiera kicks the taste out of Atlantis mouth 2nd fall Finish
The man that usurped him? Mano Negra(The Black Hand)
, a rudo who's signiture feature was the one black glove he wore. Later that year(1993), the two would meet at CMLL's 60th anniversary show in a mask vs mask match. I have gifs of the mask vs mask match in that section.
I already have his mask vs mask match vs Mano Negra and needed a good match to highlight his tag team with Rayo De Jalisco Jr. Atlantis is CMLL first and foremost, but he has worked in this indies some and here he is competing in WWO : Atlantis & Rayo De Jalisco Jr vs Mano Negra & Sangre Chicana
not sure of the exact date, but I would assume some time after October 1, 1993 where Mano Negra lost his mask.
1994 would see Atlantis take to a different weight class as he jumped from Middleweight to Light Heavyweight taking on Dr.Wagner Jr on March 2, 1994 for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship and winning the strap. Which he would hold for 655 days before dropping it to Dr. Wagner Jr. The two of them would feud over the belt for the next few years before a 3rd party finally won it off Atlantis on November 22, 1999. Yet again, this would lead to Atlantis fighting another mask vs mask match in 2000 vs Villano III.
The Villano III mask vs mask match would almost happen at CMLL 66th anniversary card on September 24, 1999. Where the duo were in a Parejas Suicidas tag team match, where the losing team would work the immediate main event in a mask vs mask match. Shocker & Mr Niebla vs Villano III & Atlantis CMLL 66 Aniversario 8 99
, a fun match but the quality of this source is iffy. Only 1 highlight from this one
Then at Juicio Final(Final Judgement) Villano 3 and Atlantis had what many called "The biggest Apuesta match of the decade", it won WoN's MOTY 2000(the only time a mexican promotion has won that honor). This is covered below in the mask vs mask section.
Atlantis and Blue Panther would win the CMLL Tag Titles for the third time with 3 different partners Atlantis held this title. They would later drop them to the team of Averno/Mephisto 251 days later. Wikipedia says Atlantis turned during this match, but I didn't see it. Soon after though Atlantis would turn rudo for the first time in his career, helping kick start it while it was starting to get dull. Atlantis/Blue Panther vs. Averno/Mephisto for the CMLL Tag Titles CMLL 4/1/05 First fall Team Blue get insync Fall 2 Team Blue work together Atlantis is double teamed Double dive Blue Panther and Atlantis lose the tag titles
From there Atlantis now a rudo would go to join Los Guerreros del Infierno(The Warriors From Hell)
, who changed their name to Los Guerreros de la Atlantida(The Warriors of Atlantis) to reflect their new co-leader, Atlantis sharing the duty with the other veteran who founded the group Ultimo Gurerro. Shortly after turning heel and joining Los Gurerreros, Atlantis would win the International_Gran_Prix_2005
which featured 16 other talents from around the world and Mexico. In a 16 man Tornero Cibernetico(Elimination match). There are 2 teams of 8 who can come in and out like a normal lucha tag match. The three big international names being Nakamura, Tanahashi and Ultimo Dragon. video Atlantis and Tanahashi square off Atlantis eliminated Tarzan Boy Atlantis eliminates Rey Bucanero Finish
Rudo Atlantis continued to have a great year by also winning LEYENDA DE PLATA 2005
Which was covered earlier this month, but for those who missed it : Leyenda de Plata is a tournament where 2 8 men elimination matches happen and the winners of those take on each other, or sometimes 1 larger elimination match happens with the winner taking on the winner of last years.
In 2005 it was 2 matches then a main event between the two winners. This particular year the two finalists were Atlantis and El Hijo del Santo
, which made Atlantis winning even more heelish as he was beating the son of the man the tournament is dedicated to. Santo is not permitted a full entrance Ultimo hands Atlantis a tiny version of himself to use as a weapon Atlantis tries to steal a win Santo makes his father proud with some great offense Conclusion
and Gran Alternativa 2005
, which is a tournament where teams of veteran and rookies take part in a one night single elimination tournament. In 2005 Atlantis teamed with La Macara and took on Dr. Wagner Jr and Misterioso Jr. in the finals.
Next year in 2006 the rules for Leyenda de Plata changed again. As the 2006 edition had 2 elimination matches, with the winner of those fighting and the winner of that taking on last years winner which was Atlantis of course. So the winner of the semi-finals the white hot talent Mistico took on a still rudo Atlantis in the finals of Leyenda de Plata 2006. Mistico is attacked before he gets to the ring, just like Atlantis did the year before to Hijo Del Santo Unique suplex on Mistico Mistico botched bomb Conclusion of the match Atlantis takes the trophy and Mistico's mask, loss or not
Los Guerreros de la Atlantida would continue to tag team and trio for the next 4 years or so gaining the trio titles twice and the tag title once all three teams consisting of both Atlantis and Ultimo(& a 3rd for trios).
Atlantis would also hold the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship for the first time, breaking his longest reign record with a reign of 988 days, just topping his last long reign of 945 days with the NWA Middleweight title. He would win it from Dr. Wagner Jr in 2006 and lose it to Texano Jr in 2009.
In 2010 a recently returning Rayo de Jalisco Jr. commented on how strange it was to see his old tag partner Atlantis as a rudo. This lead to a feud between the two of them that would run throughout the year. 77th CMLL anniversary show
saw Ultimo and Atlantis placed into a 14-man elimination steel cage match main event. The rules of the bout being Mask vs mask for the 2 men that don't escape the cage. Atlantis and Ultimo both escaped the cage without having to put their masks on the line.
A little less than a year later after tensions between Ultimo and Atlantis have been building August 11th see's CMLL hold a press conference where Atlantis officially turned back to the technico side and left his stable that he had been a part of for the last 5 or so years as a bad guy(rudo).
Then come November he formed the stable, Los Reyes de la Atlantida ("The Kings of the Atlantis") with Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr. The team would win the Trios titles twice and Atlantis would gain the tag titles from Ultimo and Dragon Rojo Jr. with partner Diamante Azul in the next few years 2011-2013.
In early 2013 Atlantis was a last minute replacement(Mistico II injured) for the 2013 cross-promotion event with NJPW Fantastica Mania 2013, where he had 3 matches :
Atlantis, Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask vs Gedo, Jado and Mephisto, Atlantis vs Euforia and on the last night Atlantis, Tanahashi, Devitt vs Euforia, Kazuchika Okada and Mephisto. I couldn't find video of any of these three, but assume it'd be easy enough to find or download.
The next major story for Atlantis was his rivalry with Ultimo Guerrero heating up. The two were chosen to be a part of the 2013 Parejas Increible(Incredible pairs) tournament, an annual event where CMLL pairs a rudo and technico for a single elimination tag tournament.
Where Ultimo and Atlantis vowed to set aside differences and work together. Which mostly was true as the team met Volador Jr and La Sombra in the finals on March 15, 2013.
They lost and after fought tearing one another's match with Atlantis taking the first step by challenging Ultimo to a mask vs mask match. This would be more annoying for Atlantis because he is so well known as being 'THE' guy for Parejas Increible winning 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 had he and Ultimo won here, he could have had 5 years in a row. First fall Chaos unravels 2nd fall Atlantis and Ultimo almost seal their victory Atlantis and Ultimo get at each other and their opponents take advantage to win the finals Ultimo and Atlantis tussle after their loss
Ultimo wouldn't agree right away, but eventually would sign a contract. However, the contract didn't specify a date and so it was left open. That the two would me up one vs one for their masks, just not exactly when that would happen.
At the 30th Atlantis anniversary special CMLL Friday show after a match ended Ultimo Guerrero came out to berate Atlantis only for another Ultimo to come out and attack Atlantis from behind. Ultimo would announce his brother would be joining his faction
, Gran Gurerro becoming the newest member of Los Guerreros del Infierno. The 2014 Leyenda de Azul a 16 man Torneo cibernetico
saw the two rivals butting heads once again as the last man eliminated was Ultimo Guerrero by the winner Atlantis on June 20, 2014. Though the means by which Atlantis won were less than clean he still stayed a technico. Atlantis uses underhanded tactics to seal the Leyenda de Azul win Atlantis poses with the Leyenda de Azul prizes
This would lead to Atlantis and Ultimo Guerrero both agreeing to take place in a Relevos Suicidas(Suicidal Reliefs) match stipulation at CMLL 80th, where the two would once again take on La Sombra and Volador Jr in a tag team match, the winners of which would go on later in the night to main event the show vs their tag partner and rival in a mask vs mask match.
Warning mute your sound if you open this next link. It was the only video I could find, but the sound is shot La Sombra/Volador Jr. vs Atlantis/Ultimo in a Relevos Suicidas match CMLL 80th
They would not win, much to the dismay of the crowd who would have prefered to see the two vets in a long drawn out brawl for their valuable masks, rather than see the two relitively low worth masks being put on the line. Still, by this point Ultimo and Atlantis had a mask vs mask contract signed and it was only a matter of time.
The next 2 major matches I'll cover below as they are both Mask vs Mask matches. A year later when Atlantis would take on Ultimo Guerrero for their hotly anticipated mask vs mask match that has been about a decade in the making at CMLL 81st. Then between CMLL 81 and 82 it was announced that the winners of the main event of 80th and 81st will meet at 82nd in a third mask vs mask match. The young gun Sombra and the old timer Atlantis mono a mono for their masks.
His latest notable singles win would be against a now unmasked Ultimo Guerrero in the Universal Championship tournament finals. The Universal Champion crowned yearly in a tournament that pits NWA/CMLL/Mexican champions in a single elimination tournament to crown the one true champion. Ultimo was carrying the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship at the time while Atlantis had the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship. Ultimo vs Atlantis in the 2015 Universal Championship tournament finals 1st fall 2nd fall Ultimo jumps on Atlantis from the ramp Thunder costs Ultimo Guerrero the Universal Championship
Luchas de Apuestas record:
First all the ones I could find tape on and highlights from them : Atlantis (mask) and El Satánico (hair)(Black tanktop) vs Tierra Viento y Fuego (mask) and MS-1 (Hair)(Red tanktop) on September 22, 1989 at EMLL 56th Anniversary Show in Mexico City, Mexico First Fall 2nd fall Fall 3-1 Fall 3-2 Tierra unmasks MS-1 gets his head shaved Atlantis (mask) vs Kung Fu (mask) on October 26, 1990 in Mexico City Mexico First fall Tiltawhirl backbreaker Finish of the match Kung Fu fucks around unmasking so Atlantis assists him Lizmark and Atlantis (mask) vs The Animals (masks) on November 25, 1990 in Mexico City, Mexico
Could only find a highlight video so not making gifs for this one Atlantis (mask) vs Mano Negra (mask) on October 1, 1993 at CMLL 60th Anniversary Show in Mexico City, Mexico Tiltawhirl backbreaker 1st fall 2nd fall 3rd fall Mano Negra attacks Atlantis post match and gets his mask pulled off Atlantis (mask) vs Villano III (mask) at the 2000 Juicio Final on March 17, 2000 in Mexico City, Mexico Great write up going more in depth about this match. The two headbutt on a suicide dive opening Atlantis up Atlantis' finisher fails to pick up a win Conclusion of the match Villano III unmasks Atlantis (mask) vs Silver Fox (mask) on June 18, 2000 in Guadalajara, Jalisco 1st fall 2nd fall 3rd fall Atlantis takes Silver Fox's mask Atlantis (mask) vs Ultimo Gurerro (Mask) at CMLL 81st Anniversary Show on September 19, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico First fall Fall 2 Gory Lock and close fall Ultimo reverses Atlantis' finisher Ultimo goes for two, which turns out to be a mistake Top rope powerbomb Atlantis goes for his finish, but can't keep Ultimo up Guerrero special 3rd fall Ultimo unmasks Atlantis (mask) vs La Sombra (mask) at CMLL 82nd Anniversary Show on September 18, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico Handshake Suplex on the outside Rush lends a hand Atlantis chokes Rush saves La Sombra Fall 1 Sombra scores the 2nd fall Atlantis plays possum Atlantis suicide Atlantis dives over the barricade Sombra takes a spill and dive Sombra costs himself the match Lariat Back breakers! Rush distracts the ref 3rd fall La Sombra unmasks
The ones that are for the most part verified(not like some mask vs mask records that have unknown place and unknown time), but I cannot find video of :
Atlantis (mask) vs Talismán (mask) on September 21, 1984 at EMLL 51st Anniversary Show in Mexico City, Mexico
Atlantis (mask) vs Hombre Bala (mask) on December 5, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico
Atlantis (mask) Rey Pirata (mask) on March 22, 1999 in León, Guanajuato
Atlantis (mask) vs Gran Markus, Jr. (hair) on July 19, 1999 in Guadalajara, Jalisco
Atlantis (mask) vs El Boricua (mask) on June 19, 2000 in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
Atlantis (mask) vs El Boricua (mask) on August 15, 2001 in Celaya, Guanajuato
Atlantis (mask) vs El Boricua on August 16, 2001 in Cuernavaca, Morelos
Atlantis (mask) El Hijo de Gran Markus (mask) on 2003 at location unknown
Atlantis (mask) Fidel Sierra (hair) on October 23, 2004 in Woodburn, Oregon, United States Notable Championships & Accomplishments:
CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship (2 times), CMLL World Tag Team Championship (5 times) – with Rayo de Jalisco, Jr. (1), Lizmark (1), Blue Panther (1), Último Guerrero (1), and Diamante Azul (1), CMLL World Trios Championship (4 times) – with Mr. Niebla and Lizmark (1), Mr. Niebla and Black Warrior (1), and Último Guerrero and Tarzan Boy (1), Último Guerrero and Negro Casas, Mexican National Middleweight Championship (1 time), Mexican National Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Ángel Azteca, Mexican National Trios Championship (4 times) – with Octagón and Máscara Sagrada (1) and Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr. (3), NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time), NWA World Middleweight Championship (3 times, Torneo Gran Alternativa (2005) – with La Máscara, Copa Bobby Bonales (2011), Copa Victoria (1997), Forjando un Ídolo: Guerra Continúa (2011) – with Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr., International Gran Prix (2005), Leyenda de Azul (2014), Leyenda de Plata (2005), CMLL Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) – with Máscara Dorada (2010, 2011), Mr. Niebla (2012) and Euforia (2014), Torneo Increibles de Parejas, Arena Puebla – with Volador, Jr., Universal Championship (2015), CMLL Tag Team of the Year (2010) – with Último Guerrero, Fantastica Mania 2015 Tag Tournament – with Máscara Dorada, Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship, Fukumen World League (2003) WON's Match of the Year: 2000 (Atlantis vs. Villano III in Mexico City on March 17), and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2013). Current Gold :
Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current)
A fairly prestigious belt he has held since 2013 when he beat Mephisto, held longest by El Dandy. Don't you underestimate El Dandy!
I haven't explained this well yet so I'll do it here.
CMLL vs NWA vs Mexican National
CMLL are belts own and controlled by CMLL and the highest on the CMLL pecking order.
NWA belts are controlled by NWA and were pulled from CMLL from NWA Mexico president Blue Demon Jr in 2010 who didn't want CMLL holding them anymore since they weren't part of NWA.
Mexican National titles are titles that have been used in both AAA/CMLL because it's controlled by the the Comisión de Box y Lucha Libre Mexico D.F. (Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Commission). So CMLL isn't booking Atlantis as the Mexican National Light Heavyweight champion, but they will still have him defend it and such at shows... I think they have to pass belt changes by the boxing commission.
Youtube Playlist I made most of the gifs from : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4RBbnOtbPs8vGCZebFflzovRpmmqJ1f7
Main Event Mondays - Big masked players Dr. Wagner Jr.(1st) Atlantis(8th)
Technico Tuesday - A look at a good guy masked wrestler from Mexico. Angel de Oro(2nd)
Tomorrow : Rey Cometa
Weird Wednesday - Weird masked men from around the globe. Super Delfin!(3rd)
Throwback Thursday - Classic luchadors/masked men Super Strong Machine(4th)
Fresh Fridays - A rookie talent... with 5 or less years in the business. Dragon Lee II(5th)
Short Saturday/Sundays - Shorter subjects. So young talent or lesser known/harder to find guys. Will probably be less informative. Australian Suicide(6th) Thunder(7th)
Feel free to discuss Atlantis or share matches/things I might have missed.
Addressing the Pocahontas story dives into the creation myth of the United States. As with all creation myths fact and fiction blend into a narrative embedded in the public consciousness that fundamentally influences how we view our history. The Pocahontas story has been modified, amended, re-interpreted, and debunked countless times in the course of 400 years to suit the needs of the authors and the time. My dissection and discussion of the Pocahontas mythology will be spread over two reviews; this review of Disney’s Pocahontas will introduce the narrative, and a forthcoming review of Malick’s The New World (2005) will address the later portion of the story. I will review the movie based on what we know from English accounts and Mattaponi oral tradition. When possible, I will address what aspects of the myth were added by later sources. I tend to aim for ~2,000 words with these posts so this is not an exhaustive review. Please add more information and discuss further. Forgive me for any rants against common tropes of Native Americans on film. As a caveat to this post, I am not primarily a Powhatan or Jamestown historian and there are reams of published material on this topic. Please identify any mistakes so I can learn from my errors. Reedstilt
specifically can school me in this area, and I’ve learned so much from his posts.
One quick note… Disney did not attempt to accurately depict history with this film, and their stated goals were to depict people of different backgrounds learning to live together. However, we badhistorians know the influence movies have on the perception of the past. Now to the movie…
1:00 For glory, God, and gold and the Virginia Company! Three ships, not the singular one seen in the film, departed England in late 1606. A line of young males sign up to head to the New World. The majority will die within a year of arriving in Virginia.
1:06 John Smith
, the most interesting man in the world. The movie alludes to Smith’s previous experience in the New World. In New England Smith’s bushy red hair and beard made quite a sight to Tisquantum and the Patuxet while he was puttering along the New England coast fishing and bartering for furs. He returned from this voyage, shamelessly self-promoted his adventures and provided a map for future exploration of the Massachusetts coast. Plymouth colonists would use that map to direct their travels, and eventually found the colony in 1621. In the movie he is voiced by Mel Gibson (pre-crazy person mode).
1:39 I like the rat climbing the lines to get on the ship. Good reminder that not all aspects of the Columbian Exchange were intentional.
3:27 Establishing John Smith as a hero and man of action. Isn’t he dreamy? The real John Smith would be pleased. Also, the real voyage was difficult, and took five months to cross the Atlantic, with a brief stop in Puerto Rico.
5:48 Our first glimpse of the New World, to the accompaniment of beating drums. Why do Hollywood Indians always mean drums?
6:50 Wow, so many things in this opening montage I don’t know where to begin. First, I didn’t know tidewater Virginia featured so many dramatic cliffs. Second, how the hell is an armed male able to run through a herd of deer so near Powhatan settlements? Coastal Virginia was known as Tsenacomoco (densely inhabited land) and the Powhatan were certainly not vegetarians. Those deer would be dinner, and their hides would be used for clothing tribute for upper and middle class Powhatans. To compensate for overhunting along the coast the Powhatan shifted their hunts further west, away from the densely inhabited coast, but closer to their enemies.
Anywho, the song references squash, corn and beans while we see women working the fields and men fishing (because hunting those deer would make them seem mean, I guess). Most /badhistory
readers know this, but I like to mention that not all Native Americans were hunter-gatherers. In the Eastern Woodlands sunflower, squash, marsh elder, chenopod, sumpweed and goosefoot were domesticated between 2000 and 1000 B.C. Between 500 and 800 AD corn began to spread up from Mexico and through the Eastern Woodlands. Cultivation of corn, squash, beans, and other plants, combined with hunting white-tailed deer and fishing, allowed for a population increase in the Eastern U.S. Fieldwork did tend to be women’s work in Powhatan society while men hunted larger game. I dislike the implication in the song that Native Americans “try to live in balance all our days.” This oft-repeated trope of one-ness with the earth conceals the fact that Native Americans dramatically changed the landscape to suit their needs. The New World wasn’t a pristine Eden, but had been transformed by human habitation for thousands of years.
7:18 The men return from a raid. The onscreen depiction seems to indicate the tidewater was sparsely inhabited with this village as an island of humanity in the happy forest. We only see one Powhatan village throughout the entire movie even though the chiefdom included over thirty allied groups. As previously stated, the tidewater was heavily populated, and instead of one village of roughly 100 people as depicted in the movie more than ten thousand Powhatan would be in the area surrounding Jamestown.
8:14 Matoaka/Pocahontas was born in 1595 or 1596, the daughter of Wahunsenaca/Powhatan, a mamanatowick (paramount chief) of an Algonquian-speaking confederacy of thirty-four groups in Virginia. She would have been roughly ten years old when Jamestown was established. The name Pocahontas was a nickname meaning “naughty one” or “spoiled child”.
The one shoulder, form-fitting, short dress with a high thigh seam is a Disney-fied take on period-appropriate clothing for a Powhatan adults. Off topic, but why does Disney sexualize heroines? Pocahontas, as daughter of the paramount chief, would have access to the finest deer-skin apparel while lower class Powhatan would wear woven hemp. Men and women could wear a topless
or one shoulder covered style like this modern interpretation
8:15 Hummingbirds and raccoons were not domesticated, unfortunately.
8:20 And here completes our introduction to Pocahontas Protectress of the English, Angel of Purity, the Boasted Beauty of the Wilderness, and Inventor of Cliff Diving.
10:00 Introducing Kocoum. Mattaponi oral tradition states Pocahontas was married to Kocoum, a Patawomeck werowance, but his only mention in English documents is from 1616 where he was said to be married to Pocahontas. There appears to be some debate on his existence. Perhaps you guys know more of the story.
10:52 We see Powhatan’s house for the first time. The exact construction is a little difficult to determine, though inside it does seem quite roomy. Commoners would have smaller, dome-like homes covered in mats. Wealthier Powhatans, like the paramount chief, would have a bit more of a long-house style design
covered with bark.
14:30 Raccoon, otters, deer, rabbit, and beaver all happily living so close to a major settlement. Again, the Powhatan were not vegetarians, they needed protein, and the high population density in the tidewater would have stressed prey populations through overhunting.
15:00 That appears to be a weeping willow, native to northern China, and introduced to the New World in the years after contact. It would not have been available to provide sage advice to Pocahontas in 1607.
23:00 Jamestown was founded on May 13, 1607. Though Jamestown is sometimes portrayed as first contact in the public consciousness, European interaction with the inhabitants of the Virginia coast began soon after the discovery of the New World. Traders and slaving raids along the Florida coast preceded officially sanctioned entradas in the early 16th century, and Europeans gradually moved further north along the Atlantic Coast. Mattaponi oral tradition indicates a young Powhatan boarded a ship bound for Spain in 1559 or 1560, and returned home roughly a decade later. An unsuccessful Spanish attempt to found Dominican missions on Chesapeake Bay found themselves lost along the Virginia coast in 1566. In 1570 a small party of Jesuits, armed with an Algonquian interpreter captured during the first voyage, sailed into the mouth of the James River, five miles from the future site of Jamestown. The Jesuits crossed to the York River where they established a small wooden mission close to where the English would later find Powhatan’s village, and quickly began to starve. Algonquians indicated “six years of famine and death” depleted food stores, and left them unable to aid the Jesuit missionaries. The Algonquian captive (Luis del Velasco/Opechancanough) escaped, and in early 1571 returned with an armed party that martyred the three Jesuit fathers (Weber 1992).
Mattaponi oral tradition states the growing Spanish threat encouraged Powhatan/Wahunsenaca to build alliances with neighboring groups as a way of enlarging the Powhatan nation, and to eventually befriend the English as potential allies when they arrived in 1607. Powhatan might have been a tiny bit surprised at their arrival and intention to stay, but the Jamestown settlers were not the first Europeans in the area, and unlike the film where he states “Let us hope they do not intend to stay,” they were coveted as partners against the Spanish, Monacans and Susquehannocks. The English eventually exhausted the Powhatan good will, and a state of constant tension, occasionally erupting into outright war, emerged after the first initial years.
The site of Jamestown itself was relatively uninhabited at the time. It was a swampy peninsula too poor for agriculture, plagued by mosquitoes, with brackish river water unfit for drinking. The one benefit was its defensibility, but the Powhatans must have thought the English were crazy for trying to live there. Arriving in May meant there was little time to plant crops. The movie provides us with a brief glimpse of Governor Ratliff’s table, which appears to be sumptuous. In reality, more than half the Jamestown settlers died before the First and Second Supply missions arrived in 1608, and during the period from 1609-1610 (Starving Time) only 61 of the roughly 500 colonists survived.
30:31 John Smith and Pocahontas meet at a secluded waterfall and they fall in love at first sight. We have no evidence of romantic involvement between Smith and Pocahontas. She was 10, after all, and for all his faults there is no evidence Smith had affections for her. The first expression of romance between Pocahontas and Smith comes in 1755 from Edward Kimber’s “A Short Account of the British Plantations in America.”
33:09 Pocahontas suddenly speaks English. That was fast.
34:17 In the movie first contact between the main body of the English and Powhatan ends violently. In reality, Smith functioned as an intermediary between Jamestown and the Powhatan after his “capture” in late 1607. Starving colonists attempted to raid their neighbors for food in 1608, resulting in more hostilities, and by 1609 the Paspahegh were raiding the fort at Jamestown. An uneasy truce followed, and Starving Time began for the inhabitants of Jamestown. Wide scale warfare begins with the First Anglo-Powhatan War in 1610.
40:12 Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind? How I hate this “one with nature” trope surrounding Native Americans.
44:54 “Wiggins, why did the Indians attack us?” “Because we invaded their land, cut down their trees and dug up their earth.” I like Wiggins.
1:00:00 Kocoum is not a fan of interracial dating. John Smith was “captured” by the Powhatans in December of 1607. The “capture” was really a ritual ceremony dedicated to securing the relationship between the Powhatan and Jamestown by appointing Smith as a local chief (werowance), and not as a result of Kocoum’s murder. Kocoum would be killed by the English later on, in 1613, after Pocahontas was kidnapped. Mattaponi oral tradition states Smith knew he would be released in four days, and there would be absolutely no reason to kill a werowance initiate on the eve of establishing such a critical ritual bond.
1:01:00 Women and children were not allowed in the ceremony so Pocahontas would not have been there to intercede for him. The werowance established Smith as a local governor of an individual town within Powhatan influence, and by extension the English at Jamestown as members of Powhatan society.
1:07:45 Iconic image of Pocahontas saving John Smith. The only problem is, this moment likely didn’t happen at all. As stated earlier, women and children were not allowed at the werowance ceremony. Also, Smith’s own accounts fail to mention Pocahontas interceding for him until nearly 20 years after the event and Smith included three different “saved by a woman” stories about his travels. Smith’s first mention of Pocahontas was made in is his 1608 True Relation
. Nothing is said of her saving him from death. The first published mention of her interceding on his behalf appears in Smith’s 1622 New England Trials
. In 1623 his testimony before a royal commission investigating the Virginia Company Smith retells his rescue by Pocahontas. By the 1624 publication of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles
the rescue story has emerged into a full detailed and dramatic account. Smith suddenly amending his story to include his rescue by Pocahontas could have simply been a publicity move, or could represent a modification inspired by the Second Powhatan War. In the rescue narrative Pocahontas was an Ideal Indian (protective of the English, converted to Christianity, adopted English customs and dress, etc.).
1:09:55 Governor Ratliff didn’t actually shoot Smith. Smith was injured in a gunpowder accident in October of 1609, likely igniting a bag of powder he was wearing. He then departs Virginia for medical attention in England, never to return to the colony.
1:12:27 Finally, Percy the Pug goes native.
The movie ends on a happy sad note. Smith leaves for England, Pocahontas stays with her people, and we don’t learn how conditions in Jamestown deteriorate from here. I’ll get more into the deterioration with The New World review, but briefly Pocahontas is held captive in Jamestown before marrying John Rolfe. She is taken to England where she arrives to a royal reception, and is quite the curiosity. She dies in England in 1617, right before her planned return home. Disney of course omits the worst details.
Thanks for reading.