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  1. #31

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    Re: An honest question

    Quote Originally Posted by fkurucz View Post
    These Native Americans have a very "south of the Border" look to me.

    What is interesting about this is that these sort of shows are quite common in Mexico. Of course, there is no Aztec nation in Mexico anymore (in fact, there are no reservations/nations at all) , so I suppose that means that there is no one to be offended with the use of a religious ceremony as entertainment. Performers in these just tend to be your run of the mill Mexicans.
    Wow, I know many a proud Mexican of Aztec descent who'd take offense to this post.

    What exactly is a "run of the mill Mexican"?

  2. #32

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Yes.

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


  3. #33

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    I think you're trying to. I think you're trying to have your cake and eat it, too. You're basically saying "let's bring back the Indian Village but make it all touchy-feely and honest, yet be dishonest by not talking about the bad stuff that White people did to Native people, since it might make the White people feel bad" and worse, you're using children as a excuse. Why should children be lied to about history? I can understand your desire to not focus on the more violent aspects of European/Native interaction, but why lie to kids (presumably non-Native kids, who more often than not learn the truth from their families)? Besides that, why assume that any sort of presentation of Native culture is necessarily going to involve discussion or presentation of massacres and the overall genocide of Native peoples?
    The mere mention of building an Indian Village will likely spark protests of this kind from various groups. I remember protests over Zorro, Evita, and Zapata, in all cases because the actor or actress wasn't native of (name country)... funny I thought "acting" meant that you pretended to be that individual. Even IF, and that is a big IF, tribes agreed to do this there would be some protest over it and the history would come pouring out! I remember the dissent over Knott's decisions (both the circle and Mystery Lodge) trust me there will be protests no matter how well intended it may be.

    I am not hiding behind children, and I am not advocating lying to anyone. I believe in the innocence of the child, fostering the imagination and giving them a meaningful cultural experience. It would be a display, a demonstration for kids, not a lecture or class on the history of the American Indian and the many atrocities committed... this is for kids not college students. As far as people either feeling guilty, or feeling better about themselves, that would be up to the individual, some would feel guilty regardless.

    I would love a gift shop that sells a variety of Indian merchandise including music, books, videos, and various handicrafts.

    And I am well aware that cartoon talking animals and spirits are two very different things. I also realize that if they decided to tie everything in to Pocahontas and Brother Bear then it would probably work better in CC.
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  4. #34

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    What if they removed the Redwood Run Challenge (I think that's what it's called...across from GRR) area? It's a pretty large area it can become it's own land as there is only one entry/exit...


  5. #35

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by krystledm View Post
    What if they removed the Redwood Run Challenge (I think that's what it's called...across from GRR) area? It's a pretty large area it can become it's own land as there is only one entry/exit...
    Why remove Redwood Creek? It's one of the few fun and intricately themed areas in DCA for kids, let's just leave it alone.

  6. #36

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    Why remove Redwood Creek? It's one of the few fun and intricately themed areas in DCA for kids, let's just leave it alone.

    well...weigh the two

    intricatly themed play ground.....


    Indian villiage to help teach generations to come about the american indian culture...

    play ground....culture.....


  7. #37

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by krystledm View Post
    well...weigh the two

    intricatly themed play ground.....


    Indian villiage to help teach generations to come about the american indian culture...

    play ground....culture.....
    I'd vote for the intricately themed playground... it's a theme park, not a natural history museum. Conflating entertainment and education is bound to fail practically every time.

  8. #38

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fkurucz
    These Native Americans have a very "south of the Border" look to me.

    What is interesting about this is that these sort of shows are quite common in Mexico. Of course, there is no Aztec nation in Mexico anymore (in fact, there are no reservations/nations at all) , so I suppose that means that there is no one to be offended with the use of a religious ceremony as entertainment. Performers in these just tend to be your run of the mill Mexicans.


    Wow, I know many a proud Mexican of Aztec descent who'd take offense to this post.

    What exactly is a "run of the mill Mexican"?
    Native Americans populated the Americas, not just the United States.

    If not for Santa Ana, Anaheim might still be located in Mexico...

    Everyone makes at least a few good points. If it's too accurate, then the average guest sees it as preachy and overbearing. Not accurate enough, and Disney is pandering to the masses with who could be seen as cultural misappropriation. If they gloss over history (Golden Dreams...) they're playing Pollyanna. Too poignant and they're propagandists with an agenda.

    I'm sure we as Disney fans would like to see this in some way or another, but the suits have to look at this from the broader guest perspective. Do they want to placate the Internet-scouring Disneyphile who knows when the trash cans at Redwood Creek Trail have been painted a darker shade of green? Or do they want to please the greater (some say MUCH greater) hoi polloi? It's not a difficult decision there.

    I think that the company has indeed reached a point of no return. There are just some things, that, much as they might like to, just can't be addressed. In many ways we've advanced as a society in terms of tolerance, but in others we've gone too far.

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  9. #39

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Getting rid of Redwood Creek Trail is a silly idea, rather, put the Indian Village in Frontierland in the space north of Thunder Mountain OR where the animatronics are today, make it be something you canoe to or build another keelboat and use those. Or simply have a trail that follows the route of the Railroad and connects with Big Thunder Mountain walking along the north end of Rivers of America.

    As far as entertainment, in Seattle not far from where I live is a place called Tillicum Village that has a nice salmon dinner, shows, music being played throughout the area and crafts for sale while being made. Another place I've been to in Hawaii is called the Polynesian Cultural Center, which has live performers, dances, shows, crafts and REALLY good food. Check out the Link again.

    There are three interesting things about these places: 1) Both do a good job of presenting Native Culture in an interesting way without being called stereotypical or insensitive and 2) they talk about their culture, and focus little on contact with Anglos and 3) both were starting by organizations run by non-native groups, but by reaching out to the natives of the area they got local support. I think Disneyland could do the exact same thing, start some kind of Indian Village, give it an appropriate theme (either plains or cliff-dwelling) and then have a restaurant, living village area and dances with a couple of nightly shows. If they stopped running Fantasmic at night then you could have a tall fire in the center and stories being told. I honestly think that this could be the most intriguing area in DL if done well.

    http://www.tillicumvillage.com/
    http://www.polynesia.com/
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  10. #40

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    Conflating entertainment and education is bound to fail practically every time.
    Fortunately for us, "conflating" was actually Walt Disney's recipe for a successful Disneyland.

  11. #41

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    Why remove Redwood Creek? It's one of the few fun and intricately themed areas in DCA for kids, let's just leave it alone.
    COMPLETELY AGREE... I have 3 little ones and it is one of the few places they can burn off energy. It reminds me of the old TSI! If anything I pitched a thread a while back about improving it and adding to it.
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  12. #42

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    The mere mention of building an Indian Village will likely spark protests of this kind from various groups.
    What groups? Any in particular you'd expect to hear some protest about building an Indian Village at Disneyland? I'm not saying there wouldn't be someone protesting it, but on what basis might they protest it, and would they be largely isolated views or would those views have widespread support throughout Native America?

    Keep in mind that any protests would have to be based in facts (such as knowledge of Disney's thematic aim in building an Indian Village) for it to be truly effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I remember protests over Zorro, Evita, and Zapata, in all cases because the actor or actress wasn't native of (name country)... funny I thought "acting" meant that you pretended to be that individual. Even IF, and that is a big IF, tribes agreed to do this there would be some protest over it and the history would come pouring out! I remember the dissent over Knott's decisions (both the circle and Mystery Lodge) trust me there will be protests no matter how well intended it may be.
    Well, the issues surrounding Zorro and Evita (Zapata? don't remember that one) pretty much went away after the films were made.

    Anyway, considering that real Natives were employed before at the park, it would stand to reason that they might be employed again. The only reason the Village disappeared had to do with a union issue with the Native performers, which was most likely related to payments and benefits.

    Agreements could be made that sufficiently benefit the tribes being employed contract-to-contract. A percentage of profits made in the land could earmarked for the tribes as well. Disney has deep enough pockets for any concerns to be a non-issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I am not hiding behind children, and I am not advocating lying to anyone. I believe in the innocence of the child, fostering the imagination and giving them a meaningful cultural experience. It would be a display, a demonstration for kids, not a lecture or class on the history of the American Indian and the many atrocities committed... this is for kids not college students. As far as people either feeling guilty, or feeling better about themselves, that would be up to the individual, some would feel guilty regardless.
    So a pow-wow-like celebration of Native tribal cultures would be welcomed, then, right? I can't see how anyone would honestly protest a positive-themed, respectful and culturally uplifting mini-land.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I would love a gift shop that sells a variety of Indian merchandise including music, books, videos, and various handicrafts.

    And I am well aware that cartoon talking animals and spirits are two very different things. I also realize that if they decided to tie everything in to Pocahontas and Brother Bear then it would probably work better in CC.
    Which is a good argument for them not to do so.

    Speaking of Pocahontas, though, the voice actor of Chief Powhatan was famous Indian rights activist Russell Means. I'd bet that if he found Disney's newer version of the Indian Village respectable, most other Native peoples would have little to protest about it.

  13. #43

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Fortunately for us, "conflating" was actually Walt Disney's recipe for a successful Disneyland.
    Very good point. Walt was one of the pioneers of "edu-tainment," and that's what the Indian Village should basically be - a mix of education and entertainment. Why not? There's nothing wrong with having fun while learning. It's one of the best ways to learn.

    The important thing is not to sacrifice the edu- for the -tainment. Everyone's so worried about it not being entertaining enough if it's educational. That's hogwash. It can be both, equally, and it should be. Just don't mess with the accuracy of the education for the sake of entertainment.

  14. #44

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Kudos to techskip for starting a great thread!

    As a coonskin-cap-wearing kid in the 50's, the Indian Village was one of my favorite places in the Park. As Disneyland is currently managed, I don't think it could be revived in any form.

    The Indian Village was a fantasy of a fantasy, a conflation of already conflated cultural myths of the "taming" of the American West. Its icons were drawn from the fantasies-of-fantasies presented in Hollywood films.

    As sources for theme park entertainment and edutainment, there's romance and fun in the ocean depths, outer space, inner space, and the realms of fantasy. There's nostalgia in our own romanticized cowboy West, and our turn of the century urban past.

    But there is no romance in what happened to the first Americans in the 400 years after European contact, only tragedy. Political correctness and liberal politics have nothing to do with it; the fact is that it is a history filled with horror, and we simply know too much of the truth to pretend otherwise.

    Techskip and others have suggested shows that could focus on other aspects of native culture. Each year, across the country, there are any number of excellent, Indian-produced powwows that do so. But at Disneyland? Seeing how Disney management mangles almost everything it touches of its own historic culture, I think it is a fantasy to think they wouldn't do the same to someone else's.

  15. #45

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    As a Disclaimer I am listening to The Who "Magic Bus" so I am not responsible for the rather upbeat feelings about to be expressed. so...
    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    What groups? Any in particular you'd expect to hear some protest about building an Indian Village at Disneyland? I'm not saying there wouldn't be someone protesting it, but on what basis might they protest it, and would they be largely isolated views or would those views have widespread support throughout Native America?
    This would be highly dependent on the media's spin if Disney were to announce such a venture. Protests spread by media, and word of mouth, so if people do not support or believe in certain aspects of the project there would be a turnout. The size and demographics of the crowd would be largely dependent on the impressions given by Disney as reported by media outlets.

    Keep in mind that any protests would have to be based in facts (such as knowledge of Disney's thematic aim in building an Indian Village) for it to be truly effective.
    If only this were the case. Many protests have been based on legitimate facts, others have been based on one's interpretation of the facts. There is no way to definatively know what would be said, what would be supported and what would be protested.

    Well, the issues surrounding Zorro and Evita (Zapata? don't remember that one) pretty much went away after the films were made.
    Because there is no point in protesting once the "damage" has already been done. Three things that get people riled up fast are; politics, religion, and cultural heritage... and the Indian Village has two of the three (religion and cultural heritage)... someone would say something and because it is Disney it would likely be very public, and possibly ugly.

    Anyway, considering that real Natives were employed before at the park, it would stand to reason that they might be employed again. The only reason the Village disappeared had to do with a union issue with the Native performers, which was most likely related to payments and benefits.
    A fact that Disney would likely cite, and protesters could possibly twist into a variety of arguments.

    So a pow-wow-like celebration of Native tribal cultures would be welcomed, then, right? I can't see how anyone would honestly protest a positive-themed, respectful and culturally uplifting mini-land.
    I didn't understand why people protested against Antonia Bandaras, Anthony Hopkins, and Madonna. But the argument was that they were not of said culture and could not represent said culture... somehow I consider the ideal of "acting" is to convince others of an emotion you do not have or a person you actually aren't. Then you can toss in Pocahontas, Brother Bear (we already had a talking cartoon vs spirit comment on here), Peter Pan, and a variety of shorts done by Disney including Pecos Bill... Disney would be a prime "You hate us" target if someone wanted to spin it that way.

    Which is a good argument for them not to do so.
    Didn't say it was good said it would be an argument and likely protest.

    Speaking of Pocahontas, though, the voice actor of Chief Powhatan was famous Indian rights activist Russell Means. I'd bet that if he found Disney's newer version of the Indian Village respectable, most other Native peoples would have little to protest about it.
    Who said it had to be the Native community that would protest? Most would consider that to be the likely demographic, but there are plenty of "rights" groups who would gladly protest to get publicity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    The important thing is not to sacrifice the edu- for the -tainment. Everyone's so worried about it not being entertaining enough if it's educational. That's hogwash. It can be both, equally, and it should be. Just don't mess with the accuracy of the education for the sake of entertainment.
    Completely agree. It is one of the sticking points I have with the current trend in the park, the sacrifice of everything for the sake of what is currently popular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    But there is no romance in what happened to the first Americans in the 400 years after European contact, only tragedy. Political correctness and liberal politics have nothing to do with it; the fact is that it is a history filled with horror, and we simply know too much of the truth to pretend otherwise.
    We know it, and as our children grow they will know the truth as well. HOWEVER there is a time and place to learn such events. Personally I don't agree with telling a 5 year old about the Trail of Tears, or how many children died on that trial, no matter how truthful it is. I will not lie, my comment would simply be that a lot of horrible things happened, but to ruin a child's innocence... and for what?...

    That was my point. It would be wonderful, and children could learn a great deal about a variety of cultures (multiple tribes). They could learn a great deal, and not be exposed to the horrors of the past. Save that for school... let Disneyland be Disneyland.

    Techskip and others have suggested shows that could focus on other aspects of native culture. Each year, across the country, there are any number of excellent, Indian-produced powwows that do so. But at Disneyland? Seeing how Disney management mangles almost everything it touches of its own historic culture, I think it is a fantasy to think they wouldn't do the same to someone else's.
    That was kind of my point... could they do it? what would happen if they tried? and what would the end result be?

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    Last edited by techskip; 02-27-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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