Stereotypes And Misrepresentation Of Native Americans In Film

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Stereotypes and Misrepresentation of Native Americans in Film Movies have become an ingrained part of American society. Ever since the first motion picture cameras were made in 1890, the film industry has had a steady growth in overall popularity. Stereotypes have a variety of effects on people and have been around long before movies. Misrepresentation in films has been around for the last 50 years for Native Americans, but the effect has been much more impactful. All of the past actions and portrayals have had a lasting effect on Native Americans throughout the country. With the importance of films/tv in the world today, stereotypes shown have made a negative impact on Native Americans everywhere. Stereotypes have been around…show more content…
As the complications arose, one of the original Native American stereotypes was made, the savage. When the colonists needed their help for battles, they were considered noble savages; however, if they got in the way of the colonists, they were thought of as animalistic, bloodthirsty savages. Colonists viewed the natives as an unnecessary obstacle in their never- ending pursuit of more land. There are three commonly used stereotypes of natives in film: The Indian Princess, The Native Warrior, and The Noble Savage. The stereotype of the “Indian Princesses (Media Smarts)” was made as a way for colonists to marry and to try to help with civilizing and integrating her people into “their” society. However, Native Americans do not have anything relating to a monarchy in their tribes and the creation of the princess was made as a way for Europeans to try to understand and relate with the various native groups. Most representations did little to correctly represent women in tribes. Another common stereotype is known as “The Native Warrior. (Media Smarts)” These characters tend to be bare- chested, with war brandishing to represent savagery and go against all that “is good” in the story, such as fighting against Western colonization. Recently in film, many are presented as a strong, silent type looking for a white woman…show more content…
In 1939, one of the most popular western movies, Stagecoach, was released. This movie became the first of many westerns starring John Wayne. The story revolves around The story revolves around a group of people on a stagecoach heading west. One of them is Wayne playing the outlaw Ringo Kid. He escaped to get revenge for the murder of his family and his false conviction. He is eventually caught and as he is brought back, the group encounters an Apache group, led by Geronimo, after Ringo sees the Apache war signals. Following this, a battle is fought against the Native American group. This is one of the first full motion pictures that presented the Natives as bloodthirsty and on the bad side. The viewer of any movie is led through the plot to always root for the protagonist, Ringo Kid. This led to the viewer resentment of the Apache side in the movie. The combination of stereotypes and a visual representation leads to a more lasting impact on everyone that watches the movie. However, by 1970, the film industry had become a much more widespread form of entertainment and became less one- sided than in previous years. Beginning in 1970 with the film Little Big Man, a new era of Native representation began, “The Sympathetic Other. (Schnupp)” In the movie, Jack Crabb’s parents are killed and he is raised by a group of Cheyenne Indians. Throughout the movie, he is brought back into the

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