June 27, 2010

Custer re-enactor at veterans powwow

Veterans Administration powwow fiasco

Custer re-enactor participates in color guard

By Stephanie Woodard
On May 30, Guy Jones, Hunkpapa Lakota, was emceeing the Selma Walker Memorial Day Powwow in Columbus, Ohio, when he received a text message. “You’ll never guess who just entered the arena here in Dayton,” was its gist, recalled Jones.

He quickly learned that an actor costumed as George Armstrong Custer was participating in the color guard for a powwow occurring simultaneously on the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center campus. “Send photos,” replied Jones, who is a lecturer, author, and co-founder of The Miami Valley Council for Native Americans.
How the Indians reacted:Jones called the incident a hate crime. “Custer and his men killed the wife and children of my grandfather, Gall. This so-called man–this baby killer, this woman killer–should never have been allowed within our circle or honored by inclusion in the color guard. Would you take a Hitler impersonator to a synagogue? Would you take a KKK member to an African-American church?”

“Blasphemy” was the term used by Dayton powwow vendor Rick Haithcock, Saponi, a genealogist and author of numerous books on Native American lineage and history. “It was a disgrace and an act of discrimination against Native Americans. Why didn’t they honor Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, or other figures of Native history?”
Comment:  The article's a little vague about how this came about. Apparently the unnamed "organizer" invited the Custer re-enactor and wasn't sorry about it. He thought it was such a good idea that he was ready to fight to defend it.

Which is kind of scary. I don't know how he explained himself...but really, what explanation could there be? How in the world do you justify having a Custer figure at a powwow? Who's next...Andrew Jackson? Christopher Columbus?

I'm not sure what Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee imitators were doing at a powwow either. Grant prosecuted the war against independent Indians and Lee prosecuted the war to keep blacks enslaved. The only common theme I see is white pride over the subjugation of minorities.

For more on the subject, see Custer Country in Montana and Custer's Last Stand and Ethnic Studies.

Below:  "A Custer re-enactor participated in the color guard for a Memorial Day powwow on the campus of the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center. Accompanying the Custer figure were General Richard E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant lookalikes."


The United States of War said...

The Custer Tribe of Ohio?

This is why most "legitimate" dances held by most strict traditional natives have ARENA DIRECTORS to guard and coordinate what goes on inside the dance grounds arena.

Obviously natives across the country are becoming more and more apathetic about traditions and protocol with regards to respect of what millions of dead native women, children and elderly have involuntarily sacrificed their lives for.

Surely not so Custer can be part of an honor guard within the circle at a pow-wow.

This is embarrassing and disrespectful.

First we have scantly clad sorority girls at pow-wows and now this.

Rob, this is what you call a real off-tribe of a dance.

Why didn't they give the Custer actor an honor dance and have their tribal princess make a porn film with him as well?

GENO said...

It was definately a traitorous act. Worhy of someone being fired for whoever was responsible for allowing them in. If I was there as an organizer, I would most certainly ask those KKKuster Clowns to leave the premises and make it clear to them that they are not welcome or invited. At least not in their Custer satire.

dmarks said...

I didn't know that clown outfits were part of pow-wows.

Maybe this is an import from the "authentic" pow-wows of Europe.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the term "clowns" is used as a pejorative when describing fools who are irrelevant to the events or topic of discussions. It doesn't necessarily mean clowns in general. (duh!).

Traditional Clowns said...

Just to let you all in on an important fact, "clowns" are vital and central participants with many of the Hopi dances; the Apache Mountain Spirit dancers or Fire Dancers as well as some southwest tribes.

Usually with the Apache "Crown" dancers, the clown wears a large (cow) bell on the backside and is the last dancer in the procession while the Hopi clowns are striped from head to toe.

They are awesome.

Just thought I'de throw that fact at you guys so you'd know that the concept of "clowns" is more indigenous than you may have thought!

Custer's KKKlowns said...

Likewise, generally these self-described KKKlowns are indeed "indigenous" to Europe and other Slavic Nations. They just love to pretend they are something or someone. These KKKlowns are most notorious for their "code of the west" logic, they would show up at events in cowboy attire, to entertain themselves. Akin to their sport teams counterparts, dressed in customed made KKKlown attire. They are quite laughable.

Why am I using the triple K when using the word clown? The KKK is a referrence to a bunch of White males dressed as casper the ghost. The analogy seems to befit accurately with clowns.

Sure, its awsome because ironically and evidently, these are the KKKlowns who appear at sports events.

I just love these KKKlowns because they are suppose to be funny and they are. We laugh at them all the time. After all, isn't that what a KKKlown is all about? They buck of bulls and horses, wear chaps, chew tobacco and drink beer. And sometimes they do their usual-- methamphetamines. Nevermind the fact that they would occassionally speak incohorently.
But KKKlowns are a fun sight, because in hindsight, they are actually fools and this is why they are KKKlowns. Perhaps this could be the reason why they want so badly to be something/someone that they are not? If KKKlowns are good for anything, its for imposters and imposters=JoKKKer.

The origin and history of the KKKlown/joKKKer dates back to Europe before Christ. So in other words, these KKKlowns are White.

m. said...

Well, this is actually a gathering of wannabes to begin with. So the powwow itself is more offensive than this.

Rob said...

My impression is that clowns appear in some tribal dances, especially in the Southwest, but not in powwow-style dances.

Anonymous said...

Whoa now don't go bashing all clowns jjust because you dont understand native culture Custer