The Fight Against Native American Mascoting

Ben West and Aviva Kempner’s Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting is a brilliant, powerful, provocative and evocative exploration and deconstruction of the depiction of North America’s Indigenous people in popular culture, primarily in the sports world, but also in other arenas as well. Cowboy and Indian movies – or the “Western,” as the genre depicting First Nations people came to be known – has long been among Hollywood’s most popular productions. Shortly after the invention of cinema, filmmakers started shooting Native Americans. By 1894 Thomas Edison Studios shot the seconds’-long Sioux Ghost Dance and Buffalo Dance, featuring Sioux members of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show performing the title dances to be viewed via kinetoscopes. 1898 also saw Edison’s Indian War Council.

To read this article, log in here or subscribe here.
If you are logged in but can't read CP+ articles, check the status of your access here
In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

Ed Rampell was named after legendary CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College and is an L.A.-based film historian/critic who co-organized the 2017 70th anniversary Blacklist remembrance at the Writers Guild theater in Beverly Hills and was a moderator at 2019’s “Blacklist Exiles in Mexico” filmfest and conference at the San Francisco Art Institute. Rampell co-presented “The Hollywood Ten at 75” film series at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and is the author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States and co-author of The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.    

CounterPunch Magazine Archive

Read over 400 magazine and newsletter back issues here

Support CounterPunch

Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation and enjoy access to CP+.  Donate Now

Support our evolving Subscribe Area and enjoy access to all Subscribers content.  Subscribe