Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

From a correspondent:

Aired Sun 12/7/03 8:00 Central time on Comedy Central.

The Commies Award show.

It is an award show that had a spoof on Native Americans where a half naked white guy with black braids came on claiming to be "Chief Tomahay of the Hopi Tribe" with an important message. He began to ramble about how women should shave their personal areas. When questioned he said he wanted to talk (in broken halting dialect) about the urgent need to get back ancestral lands for burial ceremonies but he thought female hygiene was a more appropriate topic. He was told to leave the stage by one of the award winners. He began to ramble about being told to leave was another insult on top of having his lands stolen. African American actress Wanda (Phsycs, Sychs, Psychs. I do not know how to spell her name) made a comment about this not being a casino. One of the other actresses told him to get his feathered butt off the stage.

All in all, this was not a very funny sketch and in turned made fun of a race and a spirituality. I am also pretty sure that the chief of the Hopi tribe did not dress in a stereotypical shirtless outfit that included buck skins, fake black wig, and exaggerated bone armor plate.

Rob's comment
The stereotypes here are self-evident. The picture to the right isn't "Chief Tomahay," but it might as well be. The picture to the left is of two Hopi chairmen. Clearly there's no resemblance.

Traditionally speaking, the Hopi don't have one chief. Their tribe is a series of autonomous villages governed by religious leaders. A tribal government has existed since 1936, but it's headed by an elected chairman, not a "chief." The villages still operate semi-independently of this US-sanctioned government.

If the Hopi did have a chief, he wouldn't be called "Tomahay," a non-Hopi name. He wouldn't be dressed like a stereotypial Plains Indian. And he wouldn't be talking about a personal subject like feminine hygiene in public.

Incidentally, the actress's name is Wanda Sykes.

Related links
Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes

* More opinions *
  Join our Native/pop culture blog and comment
  Sign up to receive our FREE newsletter via e-mail
  See the latest Native American stereotypes in the media
  Political and social developments ripped from the headlines

. . .

Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.

Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.