It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

In popular US film: Why are the Lakota (Sioux) "good", and the Crow, Pawnee "bad"?

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 03:56 PM
link   
From "Dances with Wolves", to "Into the West", it seems that the
"Sioux" have become emblemic Western Indians.
Yet the Crow and Pawnee are portrayed as sell-outs and traitors.
In the contemporary spirit of rebellion against power the "Sioux" have been much celebrated - but it is almost as if they require 'lesser' tribes as an ontological comparison.
What do others think on this much repeated standard sterotype?




posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 04:19 PM
link   
A couple of thoughts. One, the Sioux were a pretty diverse people geographically, linguistically, culturally. We need to guard against making any monolithic ascriptions to the myriad of people that we put under that label.

Second, I'm willing to bet that most portrayals of Sioux and Pawnee have not been by representatives of either of those people, but by others. So, the real question might be why do non-Lakota and non-Pawnee constantly portray the Pawnee as "sell outs" and the Lakota as "good" or "brave" or whatever popular descriptor is used.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 04:29 PM
link   
reply to post by Toromos
 

Yes, well said, which begs the question.
As a complete outsider from the US, but yet exposed to its media, I would say it has something to do with AIM and wider counter-cultural resitance.
There is little doubt that modern media is slanted. So in "Into the West" one finds seductively heroic Lakota, but alos murderous Crows. To an extent, it makes the West out as a site of civil war between native tribes, rather than Western conquest.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 04:39 PM
link   
For lack of a better comparison....

One is more like honey bees

The other much like Hornets!

Both very fierce , but one is more likely to be terittorial/aggressive.

Just hope my native friends don't take offence!



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 04:48 PM
link   
reply to post by halfoldman
 


Although I have no data to reference stated cultures, may I ask a question that I don't understand?

Why is the white man good, and the red man a savage? Considering what has transpired on this rock.


[edit on 12-11-2009 by PaulKCA]



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 05:06 PM
link   
reply to post by halfoldman
 



It's most likely that the screen writer, or the person that came up with the plot for the movie... bumped elbows with a person having Lakota blood & heritage.

Most all the friends & aquaintances with native blood were either Lakota or Blackfoot, ... a couple people said they had some Cheerokee.


I don;t think many Apache or Hopi would aspire to bump elbows with Hollywood types... so that reason alone would make possible the meet-ups or passing associations between Anglos' & Lakotas'.


I'm pretty sure no in-depth studies, of the cursery 'research' tried to be 'exactly' historically factual ... unless it was a specific historical account film/documentary... so the general theme of Lakota as friendly, & cordial deep-thinkers, who displayed character & civilized status has evolved as the Whites' method of sanitizing their past actions with Native populations.

a good 'try' but no cigar as i'm concerned



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by PaulKCA
reply to post by halfoldman
 


Although I have no data to reference stated cultures, may I ask a question that I don't understand?

Why is the white man good, and the red man a savage? Considering what has transpired on this rock.


[edit on 12-11-2009 by PaulKCA]

In older Wetserns that is true - whites were good and Indians bad. However, Into the West and especially Dances with Wolves is not that simplistic. Many of the white characters are evil. Even some Indians (I'm using that term for sake of brevity) of the Lakota are morally complex - however all Crow are evil! It's almost like they cartoonishly mediate older stereotypes. I checked all I could google on the Crow, and I'm still not sure if they ever had conflict with the whites. Some sites say so, but then change the subject. It appears some tribes regard them as sell-outs, who scouted for Custer. They in turn regard this as historical hypocrisy - many of these tribes scouted against the Nez Pierce. The portrayal in film is very problematic.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:51 PM
link   
reply to post by halfoldman
 

In "Dances with Wolves" the Pawnee come across as the "punks" of the West, and yet it appears as if that hairstyle was not limited to one particular nation. We never see Crow or Pawnee villages or domestic scenes for example, that would humanize them.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:51 PM
link   
Even saying that the term evil applies to the crow is overly simplistic.

For the most part is didn't come down to evil but to enemies.

Enemies usually see each other as evil.

In most movies and stories the concept of good versus evil is simply a by product of showing the target audience something that will evoke the desired emotional responses.



posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 01:05 AM
link   
I'm part Shumash, so I think I can answer the question of why, even today, indians are portrayed as "bad" and white's are "good."

This is just my opinion, but I believe americans are being conditioned to forget that they MURDERED the indians and STOLE the land that is the US today. Can't seem all goodie two shoes with indians reminding everyone, but now indians are just casino lovers right? Who cares if the "evil savages" got their land stolen right? Seems simple enough.



posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 01:10 AM
link   
reply to post by Toromos
 


Hi Totomos,

Is that Edward Abbey in your avatar? Sorry to be off topic.

Peace!



posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 02:47 AM
link   
reply to post by badgerprints
 

Of course "evil" applies here to film (mis)representation, and not to people in reality.
Since the 1990s there has been a change in Western films and series to show more "accurate' and sympathetic portrayals of Native Americans: that is, SOME Native Americans (paticularly the Lakota and Apaches).
In the 1950s the "wagon burning" Indian was very much one element of the untamed, threatening landscape, which had to be subdued and conquered. The dismal treatment of the Lakota is now very much a major theme. (Most lately in "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", and even going into modern problems, such as "Thunderheart"). It is very much the white establishment that is "evil" in these films (and the Indians who side with them). In "Dances with Wolves" the Pawnee sadistically kill an old man and his donkey. They also murder a family of settlers without justification, and end up tracking the "angelic" Lakota with the cavelry in the closing scenes. In "Into the West" a Lakota village is shown as having been massacred by the Crow, and a main female character has her husband murdered by them. Despite this, some history books claim the Lakota were themselves invading the plains from Eastern forests, and conquering the local tribes. The Indian/white conflict does seem over-simplified, since "pan-Indianism" between various nations only develpoed in the 20th century. Just like Cortez and Pizarro did in Latin America, it seems that whites exploited whatever conflict existed in a divide and rule strategy.
Although these stereotypes are just plot conventions, I wonder how modern Crow and Pawnee feel about this. Will we ever see a film that shows the Crow side of the coin?
Or maybe these issues can be ignored since the films at least give a general exposure to the victimization of Native Americans?



posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 03:01 AM
link   
reply to post by Genus
 

True. And this leads me to re-phrase the thought: Does Hollywood still practise divide-and-rule and tribalism in film?
Does the politically correct portrayal hide an underlying continual from of mental conquest?
Arguably the larger truth of colonialism is undermined by the presence of one-dimensional "bad" Indian charaters.



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 01:33 AM
link   

Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by Genus
 

True. And this leads me to re-phrase the thought: Does Hollywood still practise divide-and-rule and tribalism in film?
Does the politically correct portrayal hide an underlying continual from of mental conquest?
Arguably the larger truth of colonialism is undermined by the presence of one-dimensional "bad" Indian charaters.


Strange, came across a site of "traditional" (I suppose 19th century) native tribes, their alliences and enemies: "Native Americans of the Mountains" www.davemcgary.com... . I could have sworn these were plains tribes, and it seems to favor romance over fact. Interestingly the Dakota speakers are here represented as having no enemies, and yet many other tribes have them as enemies!
This repeats the curious film situation, which makes me wonder how much history is imposed from white outsiders, and how poorly it is understood.
Strangely the last major "Lakota" peoples who were the final native military threat to the US receive some kind of patronizing honor in popular information. Or do they?



new topics

top topics



 
1

log in

join