Going Native

>> Sunday, November 11, 2007


"Hey, you look like those guys from TV!"

"That's right!"

After watching a bit of Baraka the other night (thanks to a fine suggestion from Rimarama), Elizabeth decided to decorate her body a la the tribal peoples. If this was National Geographic, then imagine a photo of the Native Lizzy, naked down to her undies, with green stripes across her legs, geometric shapes on her feet, red dots on her stomach, and lines streaming down from her eyes to look like tears. (Only, she used red marker so it looked like bloody tears. That's my sweetheart.) Of course Samantha wanted to go native, too, and ended up with a nice tribal “smiley face” on her back.

This must be the Modern American Native -- one in which Dora undies replace loin cloths, the war cry is the theme from Barney, and body paint comes care of Crayola instead of natural pigments and guano.

Coincidentally (speaking of tribal peoples), a Native American Indian visited Elizabeth’s school last week. He demonstrated native dance and hunting techniques, and apparently he was funny as well as informative. At one point he took off his hair.

“He took off his hair?”

“Yea. I thought he had long black hair, but then he took it off and he had short black hair.”

That explains Elizabeth’s shortly-cropped depiction of the Indian she drew for us later that evening. (Of course, the question I ask myself is, why wouldn't he have short hair? I mean, come on. 21st century.)

Despite the visitor’s modern representation of the Native American, within minutes of getting into the car the girls were singing “What Makes the Red Man Red?” Which makes me wonder -- what makes the red man red? Well, I suppose singing this song makes him pretty damned red.

I can only blame that politically incorrect moment on Peter Pan which is currently Samantha’s favorite Disney movie. I suppose we could toss Peter Pan into the garbage and forbid the girls to watch it, but then what would they talk about with their friends around the water fountain?

Maybe I should check some of these out before I go to Hell:

Native Americans (web site)

Good Indian Movies That Don’t Suck (Amazon List)

An Expanding View of Indian Country (Amazon List)

I guess Elizabeth was right to draw red tears.<




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