November 14, 2009

Indians mocked stereotypes in 1959

The Satirizing Americans

Matt Weinstock, Nov. 10, 1959The persons probably most amused by the movie and TV stereotype of the American Indian are the scores of Indians themselves now working in industry in the L.A. area.

Many of them take a quiet delight in satirizing the phony characterization. Among these is Carl Gorman, technical illustrator at Douglas Aircraft's publications department in Lawndale. [Note: Gorman was the father of Native American artist R.C. Gorman -- lrh]. Gorman is also well known for his paintings of Indian life and Arizona desert scenes under his Navaho name, Kin-Ya-Onny-Beyeh.

It is frequently necessary for supervisors and coordinators to hold policy conferences, which may cancel or change work already done. Not long ago the brass had their heads together in spirited debate and the hired hands, watching from a distance, feared the worst in revised plans. One workman, Frank Terry, brightly suggested that maybe they were discussing a promotion list.

Carl went into his Indian act. "Much noise, much wind," he mocked solemnly, "but no rain."
Comment:  As if there were any doubt, here's printed evidence that Indians were aware of Hollywood stereotypes 50 years ago. So much for the claim that this issue is a PC invention by liberal do-gooders.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

Below:  Carl Gorman.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

They were probably aware of the stereotypes earlier than that, such as in the proto-"media" of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows.

And here is one in fact:

click here.

Looks like something you have not mentioned before!

Looks like interesting material concerning Indians even back then facing issues of portraying stereotypes in order to get good money.