October 15, 2006

Are you a dreamcatcher?

Are You a Dreamcatcher? No.I can't think of anything more annoying or degrading than a huge billboard sign with the allusion of ladies gambling and a huge caption over it reading, "Are You a Dreamcatcher?"

Amazingly, this eyesore of a sign can be viewed right before one takes a little journey on Highway 49, into a beautiful, quaint valley with a historic significance all its own. I suppose the only more annoying thing would be a Home Depot plopped within the view shed of historic Jackson.

The popping up of American Indian casinos all over the nation is causing a slow, inevitable death of real Native American culture and tradition--a tragedy, for sure, almost as tragic as the genocide of Native Americans themselves. Quite frankly, I wish more cared. Billboard signs like these don't help.

5 comments:

Not a Sioux said...

My main criticism about casinos and Native culture is that I have not seen more of it presented at casinos, in the form of cultural centers or museums attached to the casino itself. I'm sure they exist, I have just not seen them yet. I'm much more interested in that than I am in dropping a few (and I mean literally a few) quarters in slot machines on the occasions I go there.

Rob said...

Indian casinos sometimes have a museum or cultural center nearby, but I don't recall seeing one in the same building. The most you can expect is Indian-themed furnishings or items in the gift shop.

Casinos are pretty ruthless about maximizing profits, and Indian casinos are no exception. But you have a point. They'd be wise to integrate more cultural displays into their properties, even if it hurt their profits. Not only would this educate visitors, but it would forestall criticism that today's Indians care only about money.

Not a Sioux said...

After I made this post, I did recall seeing one with a museum nearby (and nearby is close enough to satisfy my criticism). However, I was not able to catch it when it was open, and it did not even keep its posted hours.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
If there really were any kind of concerted effort of a given casino tribe to incorporate their Native culture into the casino itself, the main result would be further polarization of the tribe. As in the post complaining about 'real Native American culture' being used in casino advertising, more and louder protests would go up because such a incorporation would be viewed as disrespectful and degrading. There was a 'movement' (by guess who!) afoot in the 1980s here in Oklahoma and other states that tried to end powwows and pageants (no lie!) because the dances portrayed there 'all were sacred and thus were being misused and violated.' AIM was laughed out of town on that one, mostly. But that kind of slavish opinion that anything and everything of Native culture somehow was 'sacred' never has gone away. Trouble is, there are so many who speak out against supposed cultural abuse while doing very little to preserve the culture with their own participation.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
POSTSCRIPTUM: I added a ghost story to the posts at 'Natives Speak-um Funny In Spoof' topic of Sunday 15 October.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'