July 26, 2009

Indians, Smurfs, and fairies

Latitude Festival, reviewImpressive crowds gathered to catch contemporary ballet and new orchestral works by the river, while sheep with fluorescent fleeces munched the grass.

People enter into the spirit with colourful costumes: there were parties of American Indians, Smurfs and an engaging posse of pensionable old dears dressed as fairies. The audience is, it has to be said, overwhelmingly white and middle-class (and probably predominantly middle-aged).
Comment:  In Brits and Americans, Imagining Indians, educator Debbie Reese notes how Indians are sometimes grouped with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. They're also grouped with pirates and cavemen, not to mention talking animals. As Reese put it, Indians are cast in "that particular framework---of things-not-real."

1 comment:

dmarks said...

On the "Indians and fairies" end, Sally Oldfield's album "Water Bearer" has a suite of songs that conflates Native Americans with Tolkien's Elves.

To some, both are mysterious magical races who vanished into the West.