October 02, 2009

Wine holders still for sale

Native wine holder still available in the Hills

By Barbara SoderlinA Deadwood casino gift shop sells the same Native American wine bottle holder that was removed from a Rapid City shop in July amid controversy, but the store manager does not find the item to be offensive.

Madame M's Unique Boutique and Gifts, upstairs in the Deadwood Frontier Club casino, sells the bottle holder, which depicts a Native American man in traditional clothing tilting a bottle of wine into his mouth.

The casino's general manager, Dahna Allard, herself an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said she heard about the controversy in Rapid City but decided not to remove the item from the store because she doesn't find it offensive.

Owners of the Gold Diggers shop on Mount Rushmore Road in Rapid City, Roger and Cindy Thompson, removed the same wine holder in July after Mayor Alan Hanks wrote a letter to them saying it was "in poor taste and disrespectful."

The mayor had received a complaint about the item, saying it was insensitive given the stereotypes that have arisen because of problems with alcoholism among Native Americans.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Souvenir Demonstrates Rapid City Racism and Indian Chief Wine Holders.

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