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  1. #46

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins
    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?
    To me, one way to answer those questions would be to imagine Jay Rasulo and the rest of WDC using Native American culture and heritage to make money, and then to ask, "is there anything wrong with this picture?"

  2. #47

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    This is a very touchy subject. I feel that Disney hasn't represented the Indian culture that well in the park or in the movies it has released. The fact that our nation has treated this culture with little dignity and filled their life's with false treaties and promises gives me a hard time if it would be a good idea or not. I'm all for learning about the cultures of people, but so much has to be learned about their culture since relocation and termination in the 50's and 60's. Many Native Americans have denied their own culture because of such happenings in the past. I feel if it was done right it could be an amazing experience, and shouldn't be subjected to much commercialism.
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  3. #48

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    To me, one way to answer those questions would be to imagine Jay Rasulo and the rest of WDC using Native American culture and heritage to make money, and then to ask, "is there anything wrong with this picture?"
    Or... you could simply look back on everything as a whole. You could look at the decisions made by the company, and the society in which those decisions were made. You could look at Pecos Bill, Peter Pan, various Disney shorts, as well as Pocahontas, Brother Bear, and several Disney live action films. Some of this could also be seen as a sad reflection of society at that time. Many colleges had Indian logos which at the time were acceptable (50's, 60's etc.) that have since been deemed demeaning (some with good reason) and changed. Others have taken on a more cultural approach and honored, rather then possibly degraded, their chosen representative.

    It should also be noted that Disney has softened a lot of stories, not just Pocahontas. The majority of the "Classics" were Brothers Grimm... and the originals would in some cases make Steven King proud!
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  4. #49

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    I wouldn't have any problem with it if it were done respectfully, but I think the entire vibe of the park has changed too much for it to really work today. I think the edutainment aspect of of DL has diminished considerably since the 50s and I believe it would be pretty tough to reignite that interest with today's DL guests.

  5. #50

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Or... you could simply look back on everything as a whole. You could look at the decisions made by the company, and the society in which those decisions were made. You could look at Pecos Bill, Peter Pan, various Disney shorts, as well as Pocahontas, Brother Bear, and several Disney live action films. Some of this could also be seen as a sad reflection of society at that time. Many colleges had Indian logos which at the time were acceptable (50's, 60's etc.) that have since been deemed demeaning (some with good reason) and changed. Others have taken on a more cultural approach and honored, rather then possibly degraded, their chosen representative.

    It should also be noted that Disney has softened a lot of stories, not just Pocahontas. The majority of the "Classics" were Brothers Grimm... and the originals would in some cases make Steven King proud!
    Good points. I think the key thing to consider here is that the Indian Village, Pecos Bill and Peter Pan were not only products of their times, but were made under a very different management than the self-serving accountaneers who run the company now. The sensitivity of current management to matters of cultural heritage varies between that of a brick and a harder brick -- their tone deafness to their own corporate heritage is a prime example.

  6. #51

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Good points. I think the key thing to consider here is that the Indian Village, Pecos Bill and Peter Pan were not only products of their times, but were made under a very different management than the self-serving accountaneers who run the company now. The sensitivity of current management to matters of cultural heritage varies between that of a brick and a harder brick -- their tone deafness to their own corporate heritage is a prime example.
    Which is sad, because those who came before had limited respect for the culture (be that as a byproduct of society or personal reasons) yet presented what many argue was a well intentioned village. It is questionable if they as a whole were as sensitive as Walt appeared to be. Those now are deaf due to what primarily appears to be greed.

    Without crossing a line, I would venture to say Walt allowed his movies to support and inspire the attraction. Current management appears to believe in letting the movie be the attraction. The few attempts they have made at trying to be original have been dismal at best. Many managers now appear to feel that anything successful needs a movie tie-in.

    FYI a while back many questioned "Who would protest?" and "What arguments would they have?" What I presented above in the previous post is exactly what they would protest. They would bring up the past and most likely imply that the record would continue. I am not sure of the average age of the MC's on here... but in the early 90's there was a HUGE protest over a series of college mascots that eventually forced many of them to change. Some of them IMO needed to be changed, others were just swept up in the tide, and some were not even remotely offensive. My own H.S. almost changed their logo of "Brave" even though it depicted an actual Brave warrior! Those protests made a lot of companies nervous, and the thought of building an Indian Village would likely echo these concerns within Disney's management. I also remember smaller protests at Knott's over it's Indian circle and Mystery Lodge. Regardless of what side I reside on, someone will say something if they ever decide to build another village, no matter how well intentioned or presented.
    Last edited by techskip; 02-28-2008 at 04:39 PM.
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  7. #52

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Being of Indian descent, I'd welcome a well-done Indian Village back into Disneyland. Any entertainment endeavor that doesn't relegate the Indian into being a "bad guy" foil to the white man's protagonist role is always a welcome in my book. I think what is in order at DL is an area that is an "all nations" dance as opposed to favoring one tribe over another. These sort of dances or Pow Wows are held all the time all over the US. In fact, there will be an All Nations Pow Wow on April 5-6, 2008 at El Camino College in Torrance, California. It is their 10th annual dance and it has free admission and is not only open to the public... the more the merrier! Dancing starts 11am each day. If you are interested, more info can be obtained by calling (310) 630-9765.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    I would love to see more of the Native American culture represented in Frontierland. They are an integral part of the history of that place and time period. The American Cowboy is represented nicely, the influence from Mexico is represented, but the Native American is not.

    I wonder if part of that is the guilt we as modern Americans feel about the way we acted back then.

    As far as I know (which isn't super far) not all of the dances that Native Americans do are religious and sacred. I'm sure they all are tied to their beliefs and as such do have religious elements to them, but I think celebratory dances could easily be performed without any sort of question of disrespect to their religious beliefs being brought in. Native Americans have a deep and rich culture that I think can only add to Frontierland.

    If you look at how popular entertainment represents Native Americans you can see a shift away from the "Tonto" style of the 50s and 60s to a more accurate representation of them as a people and a culture. Their culture is full of amazing stories and tales that are all about the great plains and the mountains and the land. I think that an attraction and/or a show could be built around some of these mythologies and that it could be done very respectfully and in a way that doesn't trivialize them. Part of this would include NOT having a gift shop.

    I think that it is something that Disney should very seriously consider as Frontierland desperately needs something new and engaging and this is an entire culture that tends to be shrouded in misconception and vague shadowy "I-think-I-know"s.

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  9. #54

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyandme67 View Post
    there will be an All Nations Pow Wow on April 5-6, 2008 at El Camino College in Torrance, California. It is their 10th annual dance and it has free admission and is not only open to the public... the more the merrier! Dancing starts 11am each day. If you are interested, more info can be obtained by calling (310) 630-9765.
    Thank You, my family and I hope to be in attendance and look forward to anyone else who would like to meet there.
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  10. #55

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    I want the bad indians to return across the river from the good indians. Only this time I want better animatronics and flaming arrows. The canoes and Mike Fink Keel boats would really get exciting them!

  11. #56

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    I want the bad indians to return across the river from the good indians. Only this time I want better animatronics and flaming arrows. The canoes and Mike Fink Keel boats would really get exciting them!
    Hello Left Field, how are you this evening...

    Forget the canoes or the keel boats, think of the Twain... THAT would be a ride! Honestly though they should add the blow cannon effect to the native attack on Jungle!
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  12. #57

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    It is almost impossible to conflate well entertainment and education. One only need look at Hollywood movie adaptations of history to see that entertainment will win out over accuracy (education) every single time. Just watch Braveheart and then read the actual history. Mel Gibson has even admitted as much in interviews.
    The best one can hope for is that the experience of DL, or a Hollywood movie, inspires the audience to seek out the education aspect afterwards. Education is not entertainment. They are two separate entities. Education is tough and hard as it challenges the mind to think in new ways. Becoming a surgeon, lawyer, engineer, etc. is not entertaining and will never be.
    DL's lands were never meant to be accurate depictions of the past. They are idealized simulacra not accurate simulations. In that vein, making a stylized Pocahontas Indian village based on scenes and characters from the Disney film can work, but an accurate one will not in a park that contains a mountain with a snow monster, anthropomorphic mice, tea parties in giant cups, etc.

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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.
    Inspiring people to learn more through an entertaining experience is different from education. Walt Disney created a theme park of iconic simulacra, not a museum (or school) of reality and simulation for a reason. They are two different things.

  14. #59

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    It was Walt who helped pioneer the concept of Edutainment. To entertain, inspire, and educate all within the same show... Mr Lincoln is a great example of this, as are the Steam Trains... as to learning it can be extremely fun depending on the individual and their instructors.

    As to the Indian Village, from what I read the shows were authentic. I don't know for sure because it was gone before I was born. It lasted a very long time and was incredibly popular which would go against the theory that an accurate show wouldn't draw in the numbers.
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  15. #60

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    Re: An honest question [Indian Village]

    Can Disney do a respectful display on native peoples? Yes.
    Can it do it in Fronteirland? No.

    I don't think authenticity is the key issue, its placement. In identity politics there is never a singular, monolithic "authentic." Everyone expresses their beliefs differently, even if those beliefs are similar. Inherent in the conception of the fronteir is manifest destiny and the domination and destruction of native peoples and their belief systems. To place native peoples in that context without acknowledging that is extremely disrespectful. I don't think being sensitive to that needs to be slapped with the label PC. Its just respect.

    How do you create a space where the people who enacted violence on another people are glorified and romanticized and still create a respectful environment for their victims? In my opinion it can't be done.

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