April 23, 2012

"Wolf" the British wannabe

Here's Dennis Grinsted, another British wannabe who thinks he's Apache:

Pensioner: 'I am an Indian in a white man's body'

By Omar OakesKnown within his adopted tribe as “Wolf”, he said: “I don’t how to explain myself other than I am an Indian in a white man’s body--this is who I am and my life journey has been about realising that.

"It started when I met Geronimo’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Anne Skidmore.

"I would volunteer at the Apache Indian museum in Arizona every year for three or four weeks.

"The sixth time I visited, I was invited to attend a ceremony where the witch doctor called me into the middle of a circle of Apache Indians and announced I had been accepted in their tribe.
And:He added: "My wig is from a traditional wig-maker and it cost well over £100.

"All my face paints are authentic too.
Comment:  How many of these morons are there in Great Britain? This "Wolf" resembles the "Mangas Colaradas" whom I mentioned previously.

You gotta love how these wannabes always latch onto the Apache--perhaps the most widely known "warrior" tribe. The "Wolf" name is the same idea. These idiots want to show everyone how brave and noble they are, so they go for the most stereotypical names and images possible.

In other words, no peaceful Hopis for these sheep in wolves' clothing!

Apache "witch doctor"?

And the ceremony involving a "witch doctor"...priceless! I'm sure the Apache love people who call their priests and medicine men "witch doctors." That shows a real understanding of Native religion...not.

Did "Wolf" understand the ceremony's meaning? Did the ceremony even happen? If it did, was it conducted by a bunch of New Agers and wannabes, not real Apaches?

Several Apache tribes have cultural centers and museums. If Grinsted isn't lying outright, he's presumably talking about a particular Apache tribe. But the fact that he hasn't specified a tribe is telling.

That tribe has a tribal government and enrollment process. Is he aware of this? I'm guessing not. But unless he has proof of enrollment from an Apache tribal government, he's nothing.

I also love how he's bragging about his wig and facepaint. A couple of problems there. One, hair doesn't make the Indian. Today's Apaches generally don't have long hair. Two, I don't think Apaches generally wore facepaint. If they did, it was during warfare--which isn't a condition that applies to "Wolf."

The fact that he thinks he needs long black hair and facepaint to be an Indian kind of says it all. His thinking is nothing but pure, ignorant stereotyping.

"Wolf" the human mascot

This posting led to a discussion about Grinsted on Facebook:Thing is, if you truly give a shit, then shut up, move to the reservation, and work to make things better there. Otherwise, you're just a poser appropriating indian culture.I don't think he even has to move for this to be a valid criticism. Let's say the choice is 1) dress right but don't help others or 2) help others but don't dress right. I think most Natives would say the second approach is more Native. They value how people act more than how they look.I think the fact that his favorite movie is "Dances With Wolves" says a lot. "Thank goodness this white guy has shown up to teach us poor indians how to fight"--barf.Right. He's basically a human mascot.

I've read about the German hobbyists whom this guy resembles. Some have the nerve to say things like, "We're more authentic than real Indians." The implication is that authenticity means emulating Indians of the distant past accurately.

I wouldn't be surprised if this guy was the same. He thinks being "Apache" in costume is cool because of the imagined mystique (warrior...wolves...nature...eagles!). If he has a connection to anything Native of the 20th or 21st century, it isn't obvious.

For more on wannabes, see Fur-Trade Reenactors in Photo Exhibit and Wannabes Obscure Real Indians.

Below:  "Dennis Grinsted, 72, aka 'Wolf'."

No comments: