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New TNT Movie: Into The West

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  • #16
    Originally posted by OLChemist
    ...Then there was the whole new Age white man "becomes" an Indian thing...
    What they were trying to portray was a Lakota ceremony called Hunka, or making of relatives by choice. The Hunka ceremony is an ancient Lakota ceremony that used to be called the Alo'wanpi ceremony, (Alo'wanpi meaning "to sing for someone") in which two persons adopt the Hunka relationship toward each other and thereby both assume a closer relationship than some blood relationships. The Hunka relationship could be brother to brother, father to son, etc. These Hunka ceremonies still take place today.

    "Be good, be kind, help each other."
    "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

    --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

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    • #17
      I have to say I was entertained. I wasn't setting down to watch this with wanting to see everything authentic nor correct and accurate. It's a movie, it didn't say it was a true story nor did they call it a documentry. So in that they have room to play around with what ever they want.
      There should be a law against stupid people being able to breed!

      Comment


      • #18
        I understand what they were trying to show. My family taught me about these things.

        It wasn't the ceremony that bothered me. It was more the underlying tone. The easy identification with the Native ethos that denies the major intellectual currents of American culture at that time. The attitude of the young man was a historical.

        This setup seems a bit like a lead in for one of those good white guy feels completed by Indian ways so ultimately he becomes more Indian than the Indians. The reverse captivity narrative that is so part of modern American mythology. A narrative which I think allows Americans to distance themselves from history, by thinking they'd have been the good guy and let the Indians keep their lands and their lifeways.

        It seem to me there is an increasing movement, often cloaked in the guise of tell our side of the story, to make the whites villians in a way which allows the viewer with their modern sensiblities to deny kinship to the ethos that spawned Manifest Destiny. It is harder but more honest to paint the whites was people doing what they thought right, with horrible consequences.

        Understand, I am not projecting all of this into Into the West. But I do see this trend in pop culture depictions of history. And I think I see elements of this type of narrative in Into the West.

        That's my two cents worth. Obviously, an inflated two cents in many folks opinion, LOL.

        I am sorry if my flippant tone ticked people off.

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        • #19
          Actually, I thought it was entertaining, and sure beat the **** out of the usual rubbish found on TV these days.... There is always a 'slant' in ANY media..book, tv, movie, whatever...and historical accuracy isn't usually typically stressed...but I didn't see this as trying to 'defend' what happened in History....or make people 'feel good' about being 'above' such greed and evil nowdays. I'm not convinced modern people are any more benevolent than they were then...it's just not as blatant.
          And it SURE shows progress over the typical Hollywood fare...where the NDNs are savages..to be killed at all costs...or are like new age hippies...(and are played by Ricardo Montalban, Burt Lancaster, Sal Mineo etc...or whites as NDNs...or worse, whites 'becoming' NDN...in the plot) and everybody is seen as one dimensional...without the full range of human emotions and behaviour. Will be interesting to see how this story line plays out....

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          • #20
            Don't think it is available up here. Will probably get it next year on Aboriginal People's Television Network. We will complain about the authenticity then. We are always behind here.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by OLChemist
              It seem to me there is an increasing movement, often cloaked in the guise of tell our side of the story, to make the whites villians in a way which allows the viewer with their modern sensiblities to deny kinship to the ethos that spawned Manifest Destiny. It is harder but more honest to paint the whites was people doing what they thought right, with horrible consequences.
              How about the kinship he felt with the christian fur traders? I actually found that part of the story more interesting than any other part of it because of the characters. I also thought that it was just bit too realistic looking to see that bear scalp that guy and his scalp just flapping on the side of his head LOL!!
              Part of the story though was from the beginning how the Wheeler character was not feeling too kinly to his own kin because of the strict order of how their family was run and how they would fight and tear each other down every sunday. He went searching for something more than that and in what he felt was an ironic twist, found himself being made a part of a family that was'nt even his own culture, totally accepting him in when he knew his own would never accept his bride. He claimed he felt more at home with the indians than his own family.. and well it's obvious why LOL!
              Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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              • #22
                all i know is i am enjoying looking @ michael spears, and soon to be eddie spears....lord have mercy they are fine!!!

                the 1st installment was pretty good to me - i'm gonna hold off on a final critique until i get the whole 12 hour account -
                but, just think, steven spielberg got flack for "schindler's list", a movie about his own people....so you're not going to please everyone, and this isn't the definitive, be-all, end-all version of Native history - just one account....... but, you're right, it is important to get it right - but in hollywood, that's a cardinal sin - so i take it at "face value" and call it entertainment

                but, to me.....so far, so good.......
                Last edited by geronimo; 06-13-2005, 09:40 PM.
                No one can make you feel inferior w/o your consent-Eleanor Roosevelt

                Comment


                • #23
                  It is entertainment, and GOOD entertainment. I'm not an expert on anything, so I can't speak about the authenticities of anything. I am an artist though, and I can appreciate the symbolic references that are used through out the movie. I love the pseudo-sundance/wiggling through the cave scene. It showed great strength and endurance on the part of both young men. Steven Spielberg did a good thing, taking on what could have been a controversial project. In fact, I think after episode 5, we might be hearing some of that controvery being cried out on, concerning the Indian School travesty. My great grandfather went to that school. He told my grandpa how sad and lonely he was all the time, and how he felt stupid because they expect him to know things that he never heard of before, and could barely understand them. Then he was brought home and dumped off. It makes me want to spit and cry, and I have to remind myself that the white people I associate with today are not like that. But I still have to remind myself....and that is sad.

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                  • #24
                    I was impressed with how they showed that the railroad was not completed by white men, but built on the backs of ethnic people, a huge portion being chinese, and yet the railroad people took the credit for it in the end. Things like that are overlooked in the history books left and right. I don't think he really showed just how bad the indian schools could be though. That was just a bit PC compared to how the students were really often treated.
                    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Song Woman is right. Whether the outfits are as authentic as museum pieces (they aren't), or sad immitations (they are), or whether historcial events are presented exactly as they happened (some miss the mark), it is not a documentary, it is a TV show for entertainment value. However, one of the best things to come out of this series is perhaps an awareness of real historical events not given very much exposure in mainstream history books. Perhaps this may generate discussion when kids start going back to school. We can only hope.

                      "Be good, be kind, help each other."
                      "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

                      --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        FYI - Carlisle Indian Industrial School

                        It's founder, Richard Henry Pratt spent eight years (1867-1875) in Indian Territory as an officer of the 10th Cavalry, commanding a unit of African American "Buffalo Soldiers" and Indian Scouts. During this time, he was stationed at Ft. Sill, OK, 60 miles east of the site of the Battle of the Washi'ta where Black Kettle (Cheyenne) was killed in 1867.

                        By mid 1879, Pratt had secured the permission of the Secretary of the Interior, Carl Schurz, and Secretary of the War Department McCrary to use a deserted military base as the site of his school. Carlisle Barracks in central Pennsylvania was chosen. It was a former cavalry post that had been closed after a petitioning campaign by the local community found the Sunday parades disruptive to their church going activities. Sensing potential trouble from the townspeople, Pratt approached the town fathers of Carlisle for approval for his school and was able to get the support of the community which provided him with favorable petitions. In September 1879 - Pratt, accompanied by Miss Mather, a former teacher and interpreter from St. Augustine, headed to Dakota Territory to recruit the students he had been instructed to enroll in his new Carlisle school. These were to be children from Spotted Tail's Rosebud reservation and Red Cloud's Pine Ridge Agency. Pratt's instructions were to recruit 36 students from each reservation.

                        He arrived at Rosebud first to meet with Spotted Tail, Milk, Two Strike and White Thunder. Spotted Tail was skeptical. He was reluctant to send his and others' children to be trained in the ways of the men who had violated their treaties and trespassed in their Black Hills. But Pratt was persistent and urged Spotted Tail to reconsider, using the argument that had his people been able to read the white man's words, the treaties would have been better understood and such violations might not have occurred.

                        Pratt illustrated the problem of communicating such important decisions by insisting they could not speak in confidence, just the two of them - owing to Spotted Tail's inability to speak the white man's language. It was necessary for an interpreter to translate the words spoken, and perhaps the interpreter was not truly conveying the real meaning of their words. It seems not to have occurred to Pratt that had he been able to speak the language of Spotted Tail, greater understanding might have taken place.

                        Pratt also predicted that no matter what happened, the white man would keep coming and coming and that Spotted Tail's people must "be able to meet him face to face and take care of themselves and their property without the help of either an interpreter or an Indian agent." Spotted Tail consulted with his tribal headmen and after a long time, returned with his consent. "It is all right. We are going to give you all the children you want. I am going to send five, Milk will send his boy and girl, and the others are going to send the rest."

                        After persuading Spotted Tail, Pratt headed west for Pine Ridge. There he met with Red Cloud, American Horse, Young-Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses and other leaders. He told them of Spotted Tail's consent and got the approval of the Pine Ridge head men. Red Cloud had no children to send, but sent a grandson. American Horse sent three children. All in all, 82 children from both agencies were sent to Carlisle after medical examinations determined their fitness.

                        While Pratt was securing the children from Dakota, two of his former prisoners were recruiting potential students from their nations. Both Etadleuh (Kiowa) and Okahaton (Cheyenne) agreed to find more children to send to the first off reservation boarding school for Indian children.

                        Luther Standing Bear was among the first wave of students to travel to Carlisle. He described the journey east in his book, "My People, the Sioux". He talked of traveling on a moving house - his first experience on a railroad car. As they pulled into stations along the way, crowds of curious people peered into the trains, anxious for a look at these 'wild' children. Pratt had telegraphed Chicago of their stopover and the newspapers had publicized the journey. This was only three years since the Battle of the Greasy Grass in which Custer had been killed.

                        The group arrived at Carlisle in the middle of the night, October 6, 1879. They stepped off the platform to be greeted by hundreds of townspeople, welcoming them and accompanying them to the army post. But when Pratt, Miss Mather and the children arrived at the empty military post, tired and hungry, there were no provisions awaiting them. No bedding, no food, no clothing - none of the requested necessities. Once again, Pratt had been thwarted by the BIA. The children slept on the floor in their blankets.

                        Teachers were waiting at the school to begin their work. Pratt had hired a full complement of staff, both for academic and industrial instruction. They had been carefully selected and were ready to begin as soon as the children arrived. Pratt left immediately to collect the second wave of students - the Cheyenne and Kiowa recruited by his former prisoners. During his absence, Mrs. Pratt and several teachers took charge of the children to begin the process of assimilation. One of their first responsibilities was to hire a barber to cut the children's long hair. For the Lakota, the cutting of hair was symbolic of mourning and there was much wailing and lamenting which lasted into the night.

                        Upon arrival of the second wave of Cheyenne and Kiowa children, the requested provisions had still not arrived but for the least important item - an organ. The children were housed in dormitories and classes began immediately. The school was structured with academics for half day and trades, the other half. Half the group learned reading, writing and arithmetic in the mornings, and carpentry, tinsmithing, blacksmithing for the boys, or cooking, sewing, laundry, baking, and other domestic arts for the girls in the afternoons. The other half learned their trades in the mornings and academics in the afternoons.

                        School life was modeled after military life. Uniforms were issued for the boys, the girls dressed in Victorian-style dresses. Shoes were required, as no moccasins were allowed. The boys and girls were organized into companies with officers who took charge of drill. The children marched to and from their classes, and to the dining hall for meals. No one was allowed to speak their native tongue.

                        Discipline was strictly enforced - military style. There was regular drill practice and the children were ranked, with the officers in command. A court system was organized in the hierarchical style of a military justice system, with students determining the consequences for offenses. The most severe punishment was to be confined to the guardhouse. The old guardhouse, built by Hessian prisoners during the Revolutionary War, still stands.

                        An ambitious printing program was developed at the school and the school newspapers were popular among the local folk, available at the post office and by subscription throughout the country. This became a small source of income to supplement funding by the government which was always inadequate. The publications also provided Pratt with a platform from which to publicize his experiment and perpetuate his views on education.

                        Funding was also secured from the benefactors who had tracked Pratt's activities since his days at Ft. Marion. Among his supporters were former abolitionists and Quakers who were eager to be involved in his success and who often visited the school. They were treated to special programs - concerts and dramas, written and performed by the students. Brochures for these programs were printed at the school and publicity for special programs were spread via the school newspapers.

                        By 1900, Carlisle was averaging 1,000 to 1,200 Indian students per year. Nevertheless, rising costs, resistance from parents, a preference for institutions closer to Indian populations, and World War I led to the decision to close the school in September 1918. The Indian Office returned the school buildings to the army. In the 39 year history of Carlisle, 10,604 children from 79 different tribes, went through the system.

                        "Be good, be kind, help each other."
                        "Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

                        --Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Historian
                          FYI - Carlisle Indian Industrial School

                          Pratt illustrated the problem of communicating such important decisions by insisting they could not speak in confidence, just the two of them - owing to Spotted Tail's inability to speak the white man's language. It was necessary for an interpreter to translate the words spoken, and perhaps the interpreter was not truly conveying the real meaning of their words. It seems not to have occurred to Pratt that had he been able to speak the language of Spotted Tail, greater understanding might have taken place.


                          By 1900, Carlisle was averaging 1,000 to 1,200 Indian students per year. Nevertheless, rising costs, resistance from parents, a preference for institutions closer to Indian populations, and World War I led to the decision to close the school in September 1918. The Indian Office returned the school buildings to the army. In the 39 year history of Carlisle, 10,604 children from 79 different tribes, went through the system.
                          Sure it occurred to Pratt, but that would've defeated the whole purpose...remember, we were just 'savages' and any 'language' we might have was considered 'primitive'.


                          10,604 'wounded' souls that went out and passed along the pain of attempted assimilation to their descendants. No wonder we have generations of 'walking wounded' to this very day.
                          Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

                          The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

                          The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Voices that Carry

                            Watch out for Nakota Larrance (sp?) from the Hopi Tribe. That kid is on the money & I hope to see him w/an Academy Award one day. Wouldn't that be something? I thoroughly enjoyed his acting performance in this installment. And, Eddie Spears was looking righteous! Made me feel better after boo-hooing thinking about these talents up on the screen.
                            Last edited by geronimo; 07-19-2005, 11:22 AM.
                            No one can make you feel inferior w/o your consent-Eleanor Roosevelt

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Personally, I think Eddie's got his brother beat!!!
                              Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

                              The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

                              The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Blackbear
                                I was impressed with how they showed that the railroad was not completed by white men, but built on the backs of ethnic people, a huge portion being chinese, and yet the railroad people took the credit for it in the end. Things like that are overlooked in the history books left and right. I don't think he really showed just how bad the indian schools could be though. That was just a bit PC compared to how the students were really often treated.
                                Hi
                                I saw the scene too. They had a indian working on the railroad too they should done that part better put more indians working on the line too.
                                Asema Is Sacred
                                Traditional Use, Not Misuse
                                Wakan Tanka please have compassion on me.
                                OK Niji we are running a train with red over yellow at this powwow.

                                Comment

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