July 25, 2014

Savage Arms logo stereotypes Indians

I gather Savage Arms is a company that makes or made deadly weapons with the slogan "One Shot, One Kill." As you can see, their logo is a stereotypical Indian chief. The inescapable conclusion is that Indians were killers just like the guns.

This is exactly as false as Indian mascots and other stereotypical representations. It sends the same negative and arguably racist message: that Indians are primitive people of the past, uncivilized and savage, little more than predatory animals.

For more on the subject, see Native Military Names Assuage Guilt.


Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late to comment because your blog is years old and Savage Arms has changed their logo within the last few years also. The "stereotypical" chief you speak of was a real Chief in upper New York named Chief Lame Deer that made a deal with Auther Savage in trade for guns for his tribe. They've used the logo for near 100 years and in that time they have helped and supported the native community in many ways. During much of the last century the majority of hunting style gun manufacturers advertised using cowboys, especially when western movies was popular like 1940's into the 80's. If you were a Native American hunter during that time for sure you'd pick the company that showed proud Native Chiefs in their advertisements instead of a gun like Winchester using the slogan "The gun that won the west." So even though their old logo might be viewed racist and outdated today, at one time in history not that long ago it was actually the least racist gun Native Americans could buy for that same reason.

Rob said...

It's the company image that was stereotypical, not the chief himself.

But the whole Wikipedia-style story sounds like a myth. No one repeating this story has identified Lame Deer's tribe. "Lame Deer" isn't an Iroquoian name and the Haudenosaunee didn't wear Plains headdresses. The narrative seems at least partly false on the face of it.

Until someone provides a biography of the alleged chief, I'd take this legend with a big grain of salt. Until then, it's an unproven claim, not a fact.