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.
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.
Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes
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