This book tells the story of Matoax, an American Indian princess, who lived from about 1595 until 1617. Matoax means 'little snow feather'. She also had another name, Pocahontas, and it is by this name that she is usually remembered. She was the daughter of the great Chief Powhatan, who ruled over a large number of tribes and villages in south-eastern America, in the state now called Virginia. He was a wise ruler and a brave warrior, who governed his people with the help of local chiefs and shamans, or priests.
In 1607, three ships appeared on the great river which ran through Powhatan's territory. They brought men who seemed very strange and threatening to the Indians. These 'strangers' had pale skins, wore peculiar clothes, carried dangerous 'thundersticks', or guns, and spoke an incomprehensible language. It also seemed, to the Indians, that they were trying to take over their land.
The strangers were not very skilled at farming or hunting, and chose an unhealthy site on which to build their settlement. Soon they fell ill, and were in danger of starving to death. But Matoax was very curious about them, and wanted to learn all she could about their way of life. She also felt very sorry for them, and wanted to help them. What happened next is told in this book.
This book is based on a true story, and you can find out what happened to Matoax when she grew up by turning to page 30. At the end of the book, you will also find more pictures of Virginian Indians and their way of life. There are also some ideas for places to visit and books to read.