June 29, 2011

"Native American tribes" on Jeopardy

As you may recall, Jeopardy featured the National Museum of the American Indian as a category six months ago. Surprisingly, a recent episode (airdate: 6/22/11) featured "Native American tribes" as a category. Someone on Jeopardy seems to like Native topics.

The contestants didn't save this category till the very end, as they did last time. They did avoid it for most of the round, though. And they didn't do very well when they tried it.

Interesting that these educated people know so little about Indians. And scary for what it suggests about less educated people.

The clues

Here's how the category went:

$1200:  "Its subtribes include Chiricahua, Mescalero & Kiowa."

Incorrect guess:  "What is Cherokee?"  [Cherokee...seriously?]

Alex Trebek says:  "They're all Apaches."  [Duh. But the Kiowa and Kiowa Apache are separate tribes, so this question is a bit confusing.]

$1600 (Daily Double):  "'Hau' in this tribe's language is a friendly greeting in both the Lakota & Dakota dialects."

Correct guess:  "What is Sioux?"  [Sioux isn't a tribe, of course. It's a group or family of tribes.]

Simplified question:  Synonym for Lakota.

$2000:  "In 1877 this tribe, including Chief Joseph, was removed from Idaho to Oklahoma for 8 years."

Incorrect guess:  "Who are the Seattle?"

Correct guess:  "Who are the Nez Perce?"

Simplified question:  Chief Joseph's tribe.

Finishing the board

After doing rather poorly, the contestants finished the rest of the board before returning to the last two clues:

$800 (video clue from the NMAI):  "A popular figure in the Southwest, Mudhead is a cultural and spiritual deity specific to this family of Indians, whose western tribes include the Hopi and the Zuni."

Incorrect guess:  "Who are the Navajo?"

Alex Trebek says:  "Who are the Pueblo...Indians?"

Simplified question:  Hopi or Zuni.

$400:  "This tribe was formed in the 18th century from refugee Creeks & and other Georgia Indians who moved into Florida."

Correct guess:  "Who are the Seminoles?"

Simplified question:  Florida tribe.

All the questions were pretty easy. I'm sure Newspaper Rock readers would've gone five for five.

Even an average American should get the Seminole and Sioux questions right. It's kinda lame that America's knowledge of Indians is this thin.

For more on the subject, see Bonus NMAI Jeopardy Questions and NMAI on Jeopardy.


Anonymous said...

I do find the use of an apostrophe in "hau" a bit weird; usually it's used as a glottal stop. But you can't really say it's "misspelled". Seriously, Chiricahua Cherokee?

Rob said...

"Hau" doesn't have an apostrophe. It has single quotation marks around it because it's within a quote. The original text said:

"Hau" in this tribe's language is a friendly greeting in both the Lakota & Dakota dialects.

Shadow Wolf said...

First and foremost, I'm going out of my limb here. I like to know why you are still use the term "Indian"? I don't call myself an "Indian". Even if the "American" is placed before it. I am either "Native", a Native American, First People, First Nation member(my tribe) or Indigenous.

But "Indian"?.....No thanks.

I refuse to take a mistaken name given to us by a tyrannical mass murderer, who supposedly discovered the Americas in 1492. There was a poll I saw somewhere, where most U.S. Indigenous prefer the more latter--Native American(or "Native") over American Indian or "Indian". I think this label issue needs to be addressed properly.

Jaine said...

really Shadow Wolf, I'm from NZ and the term Native American we speaking of indigenous Americans is the mainstream usage, but then I read (in several sources) that the majority of Native Americans prefer "Indian". Not trying to be argumentative, people have the right to self identify and I would rather call people what they prefer.

Shadow Wolf said...

Jaine call yourself what you want. If you want to be called the classic misnomer of yore--"Indian", then so be it. There is no hard evidence that "Indian" is a preferred term among the U.S. Indigenous populace. Both American Indian/Native American are more acceptable terms. I am also aware of the younger generational movement, such as myself as being a part of it, are adapt at using "Native" or Native American. This is because we were born in this phrase when it was created in the 60's or 70's. We own these titles despite the fact that both "Indian" and N.A. are given to us by the oppressors. I don't see "indian" in modern day paperwork, applications, driver's license and other government forms. Instead on these papers, you are either Native American/Alaskan Native.

Many Indigenous today are also aware of the endless racist disparaging stereotypes associated with the term "Indian" from the last century.

Let's not forget the socia-demographic changes within our society. We are seeing a surge in the number of Indian-Americans/Indian immigrants(both legal and illegal) arrive here from India. These foreigners alos prefer "Indian". After all, that is what they are actually called. Not a mistaken misnomer from a tyrant of 1492 circa.

I don't really care where you are from jaine, but my point is there no evidence that the old stereotypical "Indian" is preferred idiom over Native Americans. But I think the latter is far more appropiate. This is something that Natives should think about.

dmarks said...

Shadow Wolf said: "There is no hard evidence that "Indian" is a preferred term among the U.S. Indigenous populace."

Actually, there's a lot of hard evidence. We can start with all the recently-recognized tribes that have "Indian" in the name. This is what the people of these tribes wanted to be called, in recent times. And then there's the popular "NDN" version... which is still Indian.

Do you want some specific examples of these newly-recognize tribes with Indian in the official name?

"I don't see "indian" in modern day paperwork"

I do all the time, in an area of the country with multiple tribes that recently chose to be called "Indian" as I mentioned earlier.

"These foreigners alos prefer "Indian". After all, that is what they are actually called. Not a mistaken misnomer from a tyrant of 1492 circa."

I agree it is a misnomer, of course: but one modern Natives still embrace much more than you think. As for those from India, if there is going to be any confusion I use "India Indian".

dmarks said...

"Simplified question: Synonym for Lakota."

Where did this come from, as "Sioux"? Not correct, as they do not mean the same thing.

Jaine said...

Shadow wolf - it was a genuine question and being truculent in your answer only reflects poorly on yourself. As dmarks said there is a lot of evidence that shows many Native American people prefer to be called Indian. I would prefer to call people what they like and am happy to call you Native American (so your rant was really unnecessary and preaching to the converted).

Jaine said...

actually Shadow Wolf, I think there is a misunderstanding, possibly because of a typo I made "we speaking of.." should be "when speaking of". I stated where I'm from NZ - New Zealand because I wanted it to be clear that as a non-American I do not know what is the most preferred term and your post was going against what I had mainly seen and read (as dmarks as pointed out) in recent times.

dmarks said...

Shadow is right about the origins of this and how it is ultimately a misnomer.

However, most Natives I talk to personally tend to use "Indian" or their actual tribe/nation/etc name more often than they use "Native American" or "Native".

I am not defending the term "Indian" out of any preference of mine. However, I am defending the preference of so many Indians whom, for whatever reasons, choose to use this name in the here-and-now and are definitely not any sort of David Yeagley or "Uncle Tomahawk".

As a non-Native, it's really not my choice or my place to dictate a term. So I listen instead to and respect the terminology Natives use, and this often includes "Indian".

Here are two more examples:

- The web site indianz.com
- One tribe mentioned in Wikipedia: "In 1982, the tribe reorganized and took the name Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians". Note how they used the more modern, more correct version of Odawa. But these modern Natives also judged "Indian" to be a suitable word in their official name.
- AIM. A controversial group, true. But no one can deny their devotion to Native causes. And see what the "I" stands for in the name this organization STILL chooses to use.

All of the above examples of "Indian in modern-day paperwork".

Jaine said...

Cheers Dmarks, I know Shadow Wolf is right about the origin being a misonomer, I never said otherwise.

I absolutely prefer to call groups of people by what ever they self identify as. My question was simply in light of what I've read and seen (plus websites like "India country today" in which contributors use Native and Indian aswell as tribal names.)

I have no issue with disagreement within groups either - it's just good to know about in advance.

Rob said...

Every term is a misnomer, Shadow Wolf. "America" comes from an Italian navigator. "Native" is flawed because (scientists believe) Paleo-Indians migrated from Asia. Etc.

I've addressed this issue properly several times. For instance, in:

"Indian" term dying out?
"American Indian" vs. "Native American"

There's a ton of evidence that Indians prefer the term "Indians," so that's what we use here.

Rob said...

I made up the "Simplified question: Synonym for Lakota," DMarks. Synonyms are related words, not exact matches, so the question works.