A Pawnee Vision of the Future
Hollywood has treated the Pawnee Indians of Nebraska badly. In both Little Big Man (1970) and Dances with Wolves (1990), films that generally present Indians in a favorable light, the Pawnees are portrayed as villains. The Pawnees in Dances with Wolves are one-dimensional stereotypes, playing violent villains to Kevin Costner’s Lakota heroes; ironically, the Pawnees are playing roles identical to those the Lakotas used to play when the heroes were all white. In reality, the Pawnees were a sophisticated people who sought to order their universe and renew their world through complex rituals.
KeywordsWild Animal Favorable Light Indian Agent Pawnee Vision Complex Ritual
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