Date of Award
Sociology & Anthropology
Rather than depict American Indians as they historically were and now are—a people whose worldview encompasses social, cultural, political, religious, and economic systems that rival, influence, and often transcend the Euroamerican worldview, Hollywood recast them to fit the mold forged by European philosophy and literature and refired by American literary genres. "The Indian became a genuine American symbol," contends essayist Ted Jojola, "whose distorted origins are attributed to the folklore of Christopher Columbus when he 'discovered the 'New World.' Since then the film industry, or Hollywood, has never allowed Native Americans to forget it. The Hollywood Indian is a mythological being who exists nowhere but within the fertile imagination of its movie actors, producers, and directors" (12).
McGill, Jana, "American Indians In Film: How They Became Mythical Beings Of The Hollywood Western" (2000). Sociology and Anthropology Undergraduate Theses. 13.