Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pocahontas Stereotypes

Now what are your first thoughts when you think of Native Americans?
Savages?  Noble People? Alcoholics? Sexually crazed beings? Idiots? Foolish? Naive? 
Most of these thoughts about Native Americans are major stereotypes about Native Americans which we have learned as a society through our media such as movies and films and books.
For example in the movie Pocahontas in the song "Savages" Native Americans are portrayed as not being human as being like one of the characters says "devils" Watch this clip to get the look on how Native Americans are portrayed in movies.  

Think of some of the lyrics in the song here are some examples: "filthy little heathens" "They're only good when dead" "Dirty redskin devils" "Their whole disgusting race is like a curse"

Peter Pan Stereotypes of Native Americans

Another film which many of the children of the United States are familiar with is Peter Pan which was made by Disney. Peter Pan is yet another example of movies stereotyping Native Americans.
First of all it shows lots of stereotypes of Native Americans, this video shows them as uncivilized people who just like to shout and dance around. Notice how the only Native American who speaks in this video is Red Man who when he talks he talks in incorrect dialogue. Also notice some of the lyrics in "What Made the Red Man Red" : "He kissed a maid and start to blush.And we've all been blushin' since.You've got it from the headman.The real true story of the red man. No matter what's been written or said. Now you know why the red man's red." After reading this part of the song it seems that they are portraying Native Americans as dumb because in the song they believe that their skin color is different because one man blushed and that made the rest of them that color. Which throws out any genetic reason why they are the color that they are. This makes the viewers of this movie think that Native Americans are both idiots and savages. 

Sand Creek Massacre

In school many of us learned about conflicts between the Native Americans and the US Government regarding to land ownership which caused many battles to be fought because although the land was originally the Native American's the US Government wanted that land for themselves. Most of what we learned was on the viewpoint of the US Government but what we really didn't know was certain events that the US Government did to the Native Americans for example the Sand Creek Massacre.
This event which happened in 1864 was a horrific and sad event. Here is a primary document of one of the people who were there that day.  Colonel Chivington and his men who were volunteers from the US Government attacked a Cheyenne and Arapaho when they attacked the village they killed over 200 Native Americans and two thirds of those deaths were of women and children. Before the attack Black Kettle thought they were safe because they had a American flag which marked  the village as friendly and not a threat but that did stop Chivington and his men to attack this village.

Massacre of the Marias

Another unspoken event in the conflict between the Native Americans and the US Government would be the Massacre of the Marias which happened in 1870.

Colonel Baker and his men were after Mountain Chief's camp to catch and kill a fugitive. On that day Colonel Baker was drunk and when they approached the camp, one of his men told him he was at the wrong camp. But Baker didn't care he said "That makes no difference, one band or another of them; they are all Piegans(Pikunis) and we will attack them."(Welch 31) So they attacked the camp and killed 173 people who were mostly still in their lodges. After that they collapsed the lodges and burned them to the ground with the people still inside. Most of those killed on that day were women and children. One commander said that this massacre was "the greatest slaughter of Indians ever made by US troops."


Bent, George. "The Sand Creek Massacre." Digital History. Digital History, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <>.

Disney, Walt, prod. Peter Pan. Disney, 1953. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.

Hellinger, Dean. Discover Lews & Clark. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <>.

"Native Americans Legends." Legends of America. Legends of America, 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"Sand Creek Massacre." History net. Weider History, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <>.

Walt Disney Feature Animation, , prod. Pocahontas. Walt Disney Pictures, 1995. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <>.

Welch, James, and Paul Stekler. Killing Custer. New York: W.W Norton &Company, Inc., 1994. 31-33. P