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?
Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes
"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."
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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
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