December 13, 2010

Eight worst Native portrayals?

8 Worst Native American Portrayals in Pop Culture

How?  White men...

By Rob Wieland
8. The Na’vi--Avatar
7. Hakawi Tribe--F-Troop
6. Weird Naked Indian Guy--Wayne’s World 2
5. Crying Roadside Indian
4. Disney’s Pocahontas
3. Apache Chief
2. Billy--Predator
1. Village People Indian
Comment:  I haven't seen 2) and 6), but I've seen the others. I wouldn't classify most of them as the worst. The Hakawi from F-Troop and Apache Chief are probably the only two I'd even consider.

I presume Wieland tried to limit himself to significant figures in popular forms of entertainment. Even so, there are many he missed. From the 1940 to the 1960s, Indians in in movies, TV shows, and cartoons were often terrible. Examples: the early Lone Ranger, Peter Pan, and The Go-Go Gophers.

Nor have things change much in recent years. Examples: South Park, Apocalypto, Comanche Moon, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Dudesons.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies and TV Shows Featuring Indians.


Anonymous said...

Rob those links are all broken.

Burt said...

How does one define worse? Is it defined from an anglo perpective or a native view? There are multitudes of cartoons; books; lithographs from old newspapers and other media that are not included here that hold obscene and insulting influences non-natives consider legitimate definitions of native people.

and as for film portrayals, there should be a list for natives portraying natives in a way that keeps stereotypes alive and kicking before we go after the ridiculous and acceptibly ignorant non-native portrayals.

And why just eight? Surely there is a bigger list than that?

Iron Eyes Cody (Italian born Espera Oscar de Corti from immigrants from Sicily, Italy), portrayed being Indian his whole life and was accepted and even honored by some native people.

Sonny Landham played Billy in Predator. He is supposedly Cherokee and Seminole native whom was a porn star? His role in Predator was not significant enough to land any critique. It was brief and unmoving as a performance.

dmarks said...

I agree with Burt that there are far worse than Iron-Eyes Cody.

Rob said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the links. Actually, only a few of them were broken. And it's stupid Blogger's fault. The blogging software has stopped forwarding links beginning with "" to the corresponding links beginning with ""

Anyway, I fixed them.

Rob said...

Wieland didn't say how he determined the entries. I presume he arbitrarily decided which ones he thought were the worst.

But clearly he was thinking of major media roles in the last half a century or so. Therefore, items such as old cartoons, books, and lithographs wouldn't qualify.