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I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food.
Q'Orianka Kilcher needs to learn to be gentler and less of a perfectionist with others and with herself.
She is emotionally expressive and often dramatizes her feelings by acting them out or blowing them out of proportion.
On Friday March 17, 2017 Karenne Wood, director of Virginia Indian programs at Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, delivered the keynote lecture at a conference in London marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas.
The conference, Pocahontas and after: historical culture and transatlantic encounters, 1617-2017, was organized by the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London and was supported by the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, The British Library, and The University of Warwick.
Growing up in Hawaii, Kilcher was inspired by the local culture and started hula dancing at the age of five years.
She also trained in Tahitian dance and West African, as well as ballet, Hip Hop and Modern Dance.
And yet what do we receive in most histories of Native people in the Americas during colonial times—characters pulled out of cultural context, because the European men who wrote about them seldom knew or even tried to understand what it meant to be Native then?
In popular culture, we receive worse: characters that have been manipulated to suit the agendas of media and marketing agencies, bearing little resemblance to their origins beyond, perhaps, their names.
As both a Native poet and a historian, I am often caught in this dilemma, aware that the mainstream stories concerning our people are deeply flawed but unable to find more authentic accounts, usually because the American Indians remain voiceless or were deliberately silenced.
Very often Kilcher's love for someone is expressed by her wish to help her, do something tangible to benefit her or serve her in some way.
It is also difficult for her to receive warmth, affection or appreciation, for she often feels that she does not really deserve it or that "they do not really mean it".