October 23, 2007

Bare-breasted Natives okay or not?

Murals with topless Indian women to be covered in B.C. CapitolA British Columbia legislative committee has decided to make a coverup permanent.

Twice this month, blue curtains have been placed in front of frescoes which show bare-breasted Indian women in colonial times.

Once was for a ceremony in the rotunda to welcome British Columbia's first aboriginal lieutenant governor. The other was last week when a landmark treaty was introduced.

Then the curtains were taken down and the murals painted in the 1930s were on display again.

Now, Aboriginal Relations Minister Mike de Jong says a committee has decided to keep the murals covered if they can't be removed intact. He says covering them only for certain ceremonies sends an inconsistent message.
Comment:  Yes, the message is inconsistent. The images aren't wholesome enough to appear in official ceremonies, but they're okay the rest of the time, when politicians are around.

It would be interesting to know if there actually were any bare-breasted women in British Columbia. It seems unlikely except in the warmest summer months. Is the mural some white man's fantasy of Native women, or does it depict some reality?

2 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Or, perhaps, an incontinent message...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Coast Salish women did not run around bare breasted but wore cedar. This mural is a bad case of National Geographism-bare breasted "primitives." The mural was covered up for the swearing in og BC's first Aboriginal Lieutenant governor.