April 03, 2007

Muppet Babies say "how"

"How!" is NOT the way American Indians say 'hello'I agreed to field a set of questions about American Indians (submitted on a blog) from a classroom of second graders. It is far more labor-intensive than I anticipated!

What is most striking to me is the repeated question, from a majority of the students....They want to know what "How" means, why Indians use that word to say hello, and why Indians hold up their hand when they say that word.

What they are describing is the stereotypical kind of thing in Hollywood westerns, but is also shown in an episode of a Muppet Babies TV show. It is the one about the Transcontinental Railroad. In it, one of the Muppet's is shown in a headdress, on a horse, and he holds his hand up and says "how" and then says "that's how the Indians say hello."
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 3/30/07.)

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