Native American culture and history has been used for the enjoyment of audiences over many years in film, literature, television, and other forms of media. Not surprisingly, directors and writers hardly ever portray Native Americans accurately. In the play, “Foghorn” by Hanay Geiogamah, and in Mary Tallmoutain’s poem The Last Wolf, reader scan trace their influence into modern day media, even though almost none of it is accurate. The play, “Foghorn” is a satirical play created to criticize the way Native Americans are portrayed in pop culture. It contains humor and satire in order to allow white audience members to laugh at the pain and suffering they’re seeing without even realizing they might be being criticized. The play features a version of Pocahontas that closely resembles the character portrayed in the Disney version. She is a full woman, instead of a small child, and she is interested in John Smith like in the Disney Movie. …show more content…
The real Pocahontas was younger, like 14 or 15, and she was married to a different man than John Smith. By making her older and in love with the white man who is stealing her land, Geiogamah is making a point about the Americanized version of Native American history. The white man uses history and culture to make a profit and to spread their own message. This play proves that more often than not, the stories we hear about Native Americans are not true at all. Instead, they are made up versions of what we want to believe; they are mythical American Indians who didn’t exist in the real world centuries ago. In Mary Tallmoutain’s poem, The Last Wolf, she writes about a lone gray wolf, which is an important symbol in Native American culture. Many films and stories today use the wolf as a symbol of Native American culture. In fact, if you go into a shop that sells any kind of Native American decorations, they almost always have some with a wolf on
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Concerning the 2012 film “Crooked Arrows” and its use of natives and native culture, the film features an unexpected yet flawed representation of the natives role in the modern world and the noble savage archetype. The film achieves these representations through the use of music, shot selection, and editing. The film “Crooked Arrows” presents natives as a people that are more than able to survive and live in modern society, however it also chooses to embrace the noble savage archetype and the idea that natives are in tune with nature. The native lacrosse team featured in the film are presented in a way that is unexpected.
“If we want to live at peace with ourselves, we need to tell our stories” (3). In Richard Wagamese’s novel, “Indian Horse”, a man named Saul Indian Horse is introduced and he tells his story. He faces a lot of hardships on his journey, including racism, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. He is exposed to violence multiple times. Saul’s experiences help readers understand what it is like as an Indigenous person growing up in Canada.
In Camilla Townsend’s historical monograph, Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma, Townsend points out that there are several historical inaccuracies and myths that are associated with the story of Pocahontas. Using historical evidence to support the story of Pocahontas, Townsend attempted to create an accurate timeline bringing the past to the present. This monograph attempts to recapture the humanity that the myth of Pocahontas stole from Amonute. We learn about the Native American girl behind the myth but also the about Virginia’s founding. Townsend’s thesis argues that the Algonquin girl took on the role of Pocahontas to serve the settlers and backers of the Jamestown expedition.
In particular, the writer’s use of metaphor and symbolism works to highlight the way that Europeans and their capitalistic systems have influenced First Nations and their culture. “When a meat eater becomes a sugar eater”: Mike was forced to become a sugar eater, just like the First Nations were forced into dependency on Europeans. First nations used to exist eating natural foods, such as different meats and fish, which they killed themselves. The First Nations were forced into a situation where they became dependent on grocery stores and were moved into a white-washed world where they were unable to live a traditional self-dependent life like they used to. In the same way, Mike, who grew up eating natural foods, became dependant on white-washed food for survival while he was at school in the south.
Not until the past one hundred years did Native American basketry, beadwork, instruments, paintings and music become appreciated and valued. The art of storytelling recently is in literary (written) form, demonstrating the desperate need to preserve and protect the unique artistry that the Native American community has in American History. The timelines indicate the valued art work starting around 1900. The deeply enriched culture is visually seen in the timeline
Many native peoples, tribes, and communities were underdeveloped in comparison to countries such as England and France, and this film showed that some natives desired the European way of life. In the film, there is a clear divide within the Native tribes with those who feel it was best to act based on
Neil Diamond 's documentary “Reel Injun” depicts the historical portrayal of the treatment of the First Nations in America. It brings awareness to the truth behind not only First Nations, but other stereotyped groups. For example, that many people often mistake all members of the Muslim community as Extremists who commit inhumane acts of terrorism. Small percentages of the population who fit the stereotyped criteria may often unintentionally represent their background negatively and as a whole. These are then misinterpreted by society ultimately having a biased view on groups of people.
Once European men stepped foot onto what is now known as North America, the lives of the Native Americans were forever changed. The Indians suffered centuries of torment and ridicule from the settlers in America. Despite the reservations made for the Natives, there are still cultural issues occurring within America. In Sherman Alexie’s, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, the tragic lives of Native Americans in modern society are depicted in a collection of short stories taking place in the Spokane Reservation in Washington state. Throughout the collection, a prominent and reoccurring melancholic theme of racism against Native Americans and their struggle to cope with such behavior from their counterpart in this modern day and age is shown.
Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma written by Camilla Townsend introduces the historical period of seventeenth century Native Americans and the journey of their survival. Townsend is known for her multiple books mostly focusing on the lives of indigenous people and their stories. This book, however, goes through the specific life of Pocahontas herself. The author uses not only tragedy but also romance when recapping Pocahontas’ life throughout the years. The book successfully teaches and emphasizes the struggles Pocahontas and her people went through and educates the audience of the real history behind this time period.
The Legacy of the Historical Oppression of Native Americans To gain a true understanding of Native Americans and their culture, historians must not only examine the trials and tribulations Indians endured in the past, but also the contemporary issues the group faces. Currently, physical illnesses, psychological disorders, economic instability, and negative stereotypes continue to plague Native American communities. Popular sayings, like “Indians will be Indians” and “noble savages,” continue to haunt the culture. The use of the stereotypical Indian or “uncivilized savage” in toys, books, cars, foods, and sports teams, demonstrates how the American society is unfortunately accustomed to the prevalent stereotypes against Native Americans.
In the Native American culture, oral tradition has proven to be an imperative aspect that contributes to the continuation and spread of their beliefs among future generations. In both Tracks by Louise Erdrich and The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, there is a representation of how oral tradition contributes to being Native American. Each novel has its own unique portrayal of this; however, both novels are illustrations of the different ways that oral tradition strengthens one’s feeling of belonging to the Native American culture. In the essay, “The Man made of Words” by N. Scott Momaday, he says that “there is no way in which we can exist apart from the morality of a verbal dimension”. Essentially, he says that a story’s, tradition’s, and culture’s existence is dependent on the verbal telling of it and this is prevalent in the two novels being discussed.
The first television series on the NBC network starred a Native American as a law enforcer of white law and order. Now, Native Americans were viewed as civilized men. More films were made that promoted Native Americans. Though the positive stereotypes were introduced, it still didn’t warrant problems. In the 1971 Advertising Council’s Keep America Beautiful public service announcement is sincere, it still confines the Native American chief to the past, as he is representing a by-gone era and a by-gone people.
The power of stories manifests itself in literature, film, and more generally life. Stories inspire, provide hope, and bring understanding. Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony permeates the strength of stories. Ceremony follows the story of Tayo, a half white Native American plagued by the invasion of European culture, as well as his own past of war and loss. However, through the folk stories of his Laguna culture, as well as the advice he has been given to embrace his past, Tayo is able to see the world more clearly.
Throughout history, there have been many literary studies that focused on the culture and traditions of Native Americans. Native writers have worked painstakingly on tribal histories, and their works have made us realize that we have not learned the full story of the Native American tribes. Deborah Miranda has written a collective tribal memoir, “Bad Indians”, drawing on ancestral memory that revealed aspects of an indigenous worldview and contributed to update our understanding of the mission system, settler colonialism and histories of American Indians about how they underwent cruel violence and exploitation. Her memoir successfully addressed past grievances of colonialism and also recognized and honored indigenous knowledge and identity.
In all the different tribes, none of the women are seen as less than the men, however in European culture at the time, the women were seen as weak and lesser beings. Gunn Allen tackles this issue using ethos logos and pathos by appealing to the readers through logic, emotion and her personal experiences. With Ethos Gunn Allen makes herself a credible source by mentioning that she is a “half breed American Indian woman. ”(83) making her story worth paying attention to rather than if it were a story by an outsider who truly has nothing to do with the American Indian women.