It's Hair-Raising Stuff

Daily Mail (London), April 6, 2011 | Go to article overview

It's Hair-Raising Stuff


Byline: Compiled by Charles Legge

QUESTION Is it a myth that Red Indians (or Native Americans, as we must now call them) introduced scalping? ANYONE who grew up watching Westerns is familiar with the notion of a frontiersman or one of his womenfolk being scalped by a barbaric Red Indian.

But while Red Indian tribes certainly went in for scalping, the settlers were at least as culpable. There is even evidence to suggest that royalists encouraged the tribes to take scalps against the settlers during the Revolutionary Wars.

The primary objective of scalping at the outset was to serve as a bounty, although it was also a useful way to strike fear into the enemy and act as a warning.

In the American Revolutionary War, Henry Hamilton, the British lieutenant-governor of Province of Quebec (1763-1791), was known by American patriots as the 'hair-buyer general' because they believed that he encouraged and paid his Red Indian allies to scalp American settlers.

When Hamilton was captured by the colonists, he was treated as a war criminal instead of a prisoner of war because of this.

Our perception that scalping originated among the tribes is wholly down to Hollywood's shamefully onesided treatment of Red Indians. The 1966 Burt Reynolds spaghetti Western Navajo Joe opens with a Red Indian massacre in which a white profiteer scalps an Indian woman, and the 1990 film Dances With Wolves shows Pawnee Indians with scalps hanging from their bows or lances. Timmons the teamster is also scalped after being ambushed by the Pawnee.

Similarly, in the 1992 film The Last Of The Mohicans starring Daniel Day-Lewis, there are many acts of scalping, notably in the battle scenes between the Red Indians and European troops. It is clearly time that this imbalance is addressed in more historically representative movies.

Jim McBride, Dublin.

QUESTION I was intrigued to see that Les Dawson's daughter has become a model (Mail). I used to love his mother-in-law jokes, but was he the first comedian to corner this market? LES DAWSOn made the motherin-law joke his own, but the wife's mother has been the subject of men's vitriol probably since the days of Adam and Eve's descendants.

There is evidence that the joke dates back to roman times: Satire VI by Juvenal, written in the late first or early second century, says that one cannot be happy while one's motherin-law is still alive.

Most of the mother-in-law jokes are easily translatable to other languages and are easily understandable in most European cultures.

A study of mothers-in-law by Dr Pamela Cotterill found that 'they tended not to be upset by jokes because they seemed so far fetched they couldn't apply to them, but they didn't find them funny'.

Compiled by Charles Legge She also found that daughters-inlaw didn't find them funny either, probably because they saw themselves as mothers-in-law one day. As ever, the politically correct brigade have had their say.

Compiled by James Black A London council brought out a leaflet called 'Cultural Awareness: General Problems' advising against such gags. The leaflet states that 'mother-in-law jokes, as well as offensively sexist in their own right, can also be seen as offensive on the grounds that they disrespect elders or parents'.

My own favourite is: I haven't spoken to my mother-in-law for 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

A close second is: The doorbell rang this morning. When I opened the door there was my mother-in-law on the front step. She said: 'Can I stay here for a few days?' I said: 'Of course you can.' And shut the door in her face.

Of course my mother-in-law is an angel, although my brother is fond of saying: 'You're lucky, mine is still alive.' Terry Conroy, Cork.

QUESTION I love the song MacArthur Park, as sung by Richard Harris and played by the James Last Orchestra. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

It's Hair-Raising Stuff
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.