Indians in Unexpected Places

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Deloria shows how popular culture continues to interpret images of Indians as though we are frozen in time!

 

 

Why do white expectations of Indians remain frozen in time? What’s ironic about Red Cloud Woman, in full regalia, sitting under a hair dryer? What’s strange about Geronimo’s wearing a top hat, sitting in a Cadillac? Focusing mainly on the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Deloria shows how popular culture interpreted (and continues to interpret) images of Indians, while Indian communities were engaging in the same kinds of modernization that were enveloping white society.

 

In bringing together these images with the realities of power and place, continuity and change, tradition and modernity, Deloria tells some achingly beautiful stories of the kinds of lives his own relatives managed to carve out in the face of these expectations. For the Indian communities at the turn of the 20th Century, US colonialism manifested itself in shrunken land bases, forced acculturation “devastating legal decisions, political helplessness, grinding poverty, white racist antipathy—all of these combined to place Native peoples in a truly desperate state.” With Indians in Unexpected Places following his Playing Indian, Deloria’s trenchant work in identity representation is eminently readable, and touches a nerve besides.

 

 

Author: Philip J. Deloria (Lakota)

Illustrations: Black and white archival photos

Binding Availability: Paperback or Hardcover

Published: 2004

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Various U.S. tribes, Lakota (author)