Staging Difference: Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama

By Marc Maufort | Go to book overview
develop.3 The Wild West shows simply carried on the well-established practice of marginalizing and simplifying Native American cultures into the single category "Indian," and helped to reduce that image to include only the Northern Plains tribes. Such "Indians" could be viewed as noble or barbaric, but not as complex human beings from diverse cultures.
Notes
1.
See Robert Berkhofer Jr. The While Man's Indian ( New York: Vintage Books, 1979) for a complete analysis of these images. For information on how these images effected public policy see Angle Debo, A History of the Indians of the United States ( Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 1970).
2.
See Don Russell, The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill ( Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 1960); Sarah Blackstone, Buckskins, Bullets, and Business: A History of Buffalo Bill's Wild West ( Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1986); Raymond Thorpe, Spirit Gun of the West ( Glendale, CA: A.H. Clarke Co, 1957); Glenn Shirley, Pawnee Bill ( Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1965); and, Collings and England, The 101 Ranch ( Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 1937) for complete descriptions of the structure of various Wild Wests.
3.
The most notable of these relationships was that formed between Black Elk and a Parisian family who nursed him back to health after he was abandoned by Buffalo Bill and mistreated by "Mexican Joe." See John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks, ( New York: Willam Morrow and Co., 1932) for a full accounting of this relationship.

Works Cited
Annual Report, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1899. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899.
Dorchester Daniel. "62nd Annual Report of the Commisioner of Indian Affairs," in U.S. Congress, House Executive Documents, No. 1, Pt. 5, 53rd Congress, 2nd Session, 395.
Fee Chester Anders. Chief Joseph: the Biography of a Great Indian. New York: Wilson-Erikson, 1936.
Foreman Carolyn. Indians Abroad. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1943.
Neihardt John G. Black Elk Speaks. New York: Pocket Books, 1972.
New York Journal, 25 June, 1894: n.p.
Rennert Jack. 100 Posters of Buffalo Bill's Wild West. New York: Darien House, 1976.
Russell Don. The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1960.
_____. The Wild West: A History of the Wild West Shows. Fort Worth: Amon Carter

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