In addition to cultivating crops, women bore and cared for children and the homes, which they often helped to build. The work of Pamunkey women extended to all areas of life except war and hunting. Because they had so much responsibility, women had a larger say in tribal governance and decision-making than did most contemporary European women. Women’s views were especially important in decisions on whether prisoners of war would live or die. Pocahontas’s historic role was thus not uncommon.
Pamunkey women also were businesswomen. Products they made, especially pottery made of clay from local rivers, were traded with other tribes. Remnants of this pottery have been found in several places where that type of clay does not exist. This inter-tribal trading system meant that Pamunkey goods were carried several hundred miles away.