December 10, 2009

"Woo Woo Indians"

Correspondent DMarks writes:I was conversing with a friend from India last night, and at one time he used the term "American Indians." It turns out that that is what he call Americans of whose parents/ancestors are from India. I explained to him that in the US, "American Indians" always refers to the indigenous people, and the term "Indian-Americans" is what is used for those whose parents/ancestors are from India.

He then told me that he and his friends referred to Native Americans as "Woo Woo Indians." I'd never heard that one before.
He adds:I googled the phrase Woo Woo Indians, and found this page, with old stereotypical grape juice mascots:

Tick Tock Toys--Welch's Grape Juice

WooWoo! An entire series of cartoons for you....
Comment:  I'm sure I've heard parents call Indians "Woo Woo Indians" to their children. Along with doing the silly "woo woo" gesture to make the point clear to the young'uns. But I haven't heard anyone seriously call them "Woo Woo Indians."

The Welch's Grape Juice packages show two stereotypical Indians named Pow and Wow chasing a fox named Foxy Loxy as he takes Welch's products. They're about what you'd expect from a mid-20th century ad: big-nosed, half-naked caricatures speaking in Tonto talk. The image below is representative.

For more on the subject, see Native Comic Strips vs. Comic Books.

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