Richard Thornton | Aug 9, 2017 | 5
To which tribe do these Natives Belong?
To which tribe do these Natives belong?
A member of POOF took these photos while on vacation. From studying the motifs on their clothing and regalia, can you guess which tribe they are members of?
Hollywood movies have given Native Americans physical stereotypes. About five years ago a friend from college made a point of stopping in Ocmulgee, OK to see the town models that I built for the Muskogee Creeks. Afterward, he said that his teenagers complained that none of the full blooded Creeks looked like “real Indians.” The kids described the Creeks as looking like “giant Filipinos.”
No, this photo was not taken on the commercial strip in Cherokee, NC – although the “Indians” do look exactly like Cherokees.
The “American Indian” performers are in a city in the Czech Republic!
People of One Fire member, Dennis Partridge, took the photographs. Dennis wrote, “The town I was in is called Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic (I keep forgetting what I knew as Czechoslovakia as a child is now called Czech Republic… 🙂 It was my German Uncle who stated specifically that the Armenian’s would dress up as Native American’s . . . I thought the resemblance was uncanny at the time and snapped their photo… now I know why… LOL”
(Ani-Haïer in eastern Anatolian)
If you recall the Brainfood article on the early Middle Eastern and Iberian settlers in the Southeast, I mentioned that several Mongoloid ethnic groups settled in eastern Anatolia when the Roman Empire was falling apart, so Armenians from that region often have some Mongoloid facial features. Understanding the genetic makeup of the Cherokees has just gotten even more complicated however. An increasing number of geneticists believe that the Jews originated in what is now northern Armenia. They were not Canaanites as long believed, but just as the Bible says, came from the northern mountains of Mesopotamia. Thus, Anatolian descendants in the Southern Appalachians will carry DNA markers common to both Jews and Armenians – plus those of the Celts and Scandinavian Goths who settled in Turkey.
Caucasian Hollywood actors have traditionally been men shorter than average. Unfortunately, that was a problem when filming Westerns because Southeastern, Algonquin and Plains Indian men tended to be much taller than the white actors. That would send a subliminal message to movie goers that perhaps Native Americans were not innately inferior to whites. The film companies used Armenian, Jewish and Italian actors to portray Native Americans so the “Injuns” wouldn’t be taller than the “good guys.” Tourists then would visit the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina and see people who looked just like the Hollywood Indians. They therefore assumed that the shared physical features of these people were what real Injuns were supposed to look like.
There is hope for aspiring actors in the other Southeastern tribes though. I understand that will be a need for thousands of extras in the new Indie horror film . . . Attack of the Giant Filipino Zombies.
OH MY GOSH!
All work and no play makes Bubba Mountain Lion a dull boy!
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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