Re: Hi Elaine and Rebecca! - and about fakes

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Posted by Dana S. on October 05, 1999 at 08:42:55:

In Reply to: Re: Hi Elaine and Rebecca! - and about fakes posted by Elaine on October 05, 1999 at 07:26:37:

: : Hi you two!

: : No, Rebecca, I didn't take any pictures, I know I should have, hehe. I wonder if there is any other race of people that is as much imitated by whites as American Indians. It seems that especially in places where there are not too many real Indians, there are fakes abound, even in Europe. Here in AZ, I would think that there are maybe not too many who call themselves by some fancy animal name to impress others because any Joe Normal next to you may turn around and turn out to be "real". And here, people go by looks, which of course may give rise to some prejudice and stereotypes too, but that's just how it is. Indians here tell me they can often tell what (Arizona) tribe someone is just by the way they look. I guess, just like I can often tell from what European country someone is even before I hear them talk. Is it the same in Canada, Rebecca?

: : Petra

: Hi Petra!

: Fancy Animal Name people - it's a funny thing, to be sure. No, I don't think you'd have too many of those in Arizona. You know where there are many though? The southeast has A LOT. The northeast has WAY too many! The rule of thumb does appear to be, the less "Real" Joe Normals in the region, the more Fancy Animal Name people!!!!!!

: I wonder why ....

: Petra, you know I like to read your posts!!!! :)


You made an interesting observation about so many whites imitating American Indians. It brought to mind something I saw at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon this past week-end. Three boys, maybe 10 or 11 years old, walked past me all talking excitedly about what they had at home that they could add to their costumes. They were already dressed to the hilt in what looked to be their entire collection of American Indian ragalia. Each of the three boys looked completely different... had his own distinct personality. To me, these boys seemed to have the most "authentic" costumes of the day. They reminded me of descriptions of soon-to-be warriors I have read about in Eckert's books. This scene made me wonder the same thing, albeit in a slightly different context. What is the draw for these young ones? What is the draw for me. I'll admit, when I was young the whole thing was very romantic. As an adult, though, I think I'm trying to "catch up". I'm trying to fill a void left in my education. I hope that what I learn about American Indians historically will help me understand American Indians today. Do I want to be a "faker"? Nope. Do I want to be an imitator? In the Means interview on this site, Mr. Means told what he thinks being an American Indian is about. He said its not just pow-wows and such, but about community and family. THIS I would like to imitate.


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