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

Tonto Talk

The picture to the right is an excellent example of "Tonto talk"—the kind of semi-literate English spoken by Tonto and other Indians in old radio and TV shows. As with other stereotypes, this speech was meant to convey that Indians were less intelligent and civilized than the rest of us.

Tonto talk in the Stereotype of the Month contest
PAC satire:  Sitting Bulldozer, Kosher Horse talk like Tonto
I-892 cartoon depicts Indian saying "keep 'um cigarette tax"
Novel employs "embarrassing" Indian dialog, mysticism
Futurama's Indians talk like Tonto, misuse peace pipe
Video-game Indian has wigwam and "big heap magic" pool
Thanksgiving script has Indian in headdress saying "ugh"
Comanche character in new novel speaks Tonto-style
Howard Stern mocks Indians in Son of the Beach spoof
Mardi Gras:  "To be an Indian is a very special calling"

More on Tonto talk
Indian really says "How"
Tonto talk was real?

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

Readers respond
"And yet there were Native people who spoke almost dead-on to what is called stereotypical when writerfella was growing up in the late '40s and early '50s."

* 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.