October 19, 2007

Indians as living fossils

Media seeing red on Wahoo debateMore than any other ethnic group in the United States, American Indians are often associated with a past existence. From Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West Show” to the cowboys-and-Indians dramas of the 1950s, there is a pervasive sense that American Indians are leftovers from some previous age—a group of breathing fossils that once gave us corn, Thanksgiving, and James Fenimore Cooper novels.

It’s no wonder, then, that the most common excuse offered in defense of Wahoo is that he is intended not as a slight but as an “honor”—as if Wahoo is a memorial to some once-great civilization, not unlike the glitzy casinos and their new museums. It only goes to underscore the point that the contemporary American Indian is as forgotten as the Ghost Dance.

1 comment:

DB Dowd said...

Interesting perspective. I have enjoyed checking in at Newspaper Rock since last summer, when I actually visited the place in question, and stumbled over the blog after the fact. Fascinating. The Chief Wahoo subject has gotten some sustained engagement over at my blog, Graphic Tales, and I would invite visits and comment. See http://ulcercity.blogspot.com/2007/10/indian-summer-roundup-wahoo-meets.html for a trackback through several posts on the subject.