Dressing in Feathers: The Construction of the Indian in American Popular Culture

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S. Elizabeth Bird
Westview Press, 1996 - Social Science - 321 pages
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One hundred members of NatChat, an electronic mail discussion group concerned with Native American issues, responded to the recent Disney release Pocahontas by calling on parents to boycott the movie, citing its historical inaccuracies and saying that “Disney has let us down in a cruel, irresponsible manner.” Their anger was rooted in the fact that, although Disney claimed that the film’s portrayal of American Indians would be “authentic,” the Pocahontas story their movie told was really white cultural myth. The actual histories of the characters were replaced by mythic narratives depicting the crucial moments when aid was given to the white settlers. As reconstructed, the story serves to reassert for whites their right to be here, easing any lingering guilt about the displacement of the native inhabitants.To understand current imagery, it is essential to understand the history of its making, and these essays mesh to create a powerful, interconnected account of image creation over the past 150 years. The contributors, who represent a range of disciplines and specialties, reveal the distortions and fabrications white culture has imposed on significant historical and current events, as represented by treasured artifacts, such as photographic images taken of Sitting Bull following his surrender, the national monument at the battlefield of Little Bighorn, nineteenth-century advertising, the television phenomenon Northern Exposure, and the film Dances with Wolves.Well illustrated, this volume demonstrates the complacency of white culture in its representation of its troubled relationship with American Indians.
  

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Review: Dressing In Feathers: The Construction Of The Indian In American Popular Culture

User Review  - Bernadette A. - Goodreads

An excellent text for upper-level undergraduates, or for grad students. Focuses on the portrayal of Native Americans, not only on TV and in film, but also at museums, in plays, and in many other ... Read full review

Contents

Bailey Dix Meads
29
American Indians in NineteenthCentury
45
Austens Oswego Bitters 1882
52
Images of Native People
65
Athabasca District
71
Native American Representation
79
The 1926 Haskell Homecoming
97
Alcohol and American
111
of the Little Bighorn
172
How News Frames Define Legitimacy in
181
Discovery Adoption and Renaming Toward
195
The Current Sexual Image of
211
Leanin Tree Inc
215
Cultural Heritage in Northern Exposure Annette M Taylor
229
The Persistence of Indian Imagery
245
Some Thoughts on Stereotypes and Image
263

United States
118
Representations
129
Florida Seminoles and the Marketing of the Last Frontier
149
The Colonial Contours of the Little Bighorn
167
What Does One Look Like? Debra L Merskin
281
About the Book
303
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

S. Elizabeth Bird is professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida.

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