Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American Women in Film

By M. Elise Marubbio

Killing the Indian Maiden examines the attention-grabbing and sometimes annoying portrayal of local American girls in movie. via dialogue of thirty-four Hollywood movies from the silent interval to the current, M. Elise Marubbio examines the sacrificial position of what she phrases the "Celluloid Maiden"―a younger local lady who allies herself with a white male hero and dies because of that selection. Marubbio intertwines theories of colonization, gender, race, and picture stories to floor her examine in sociohistorical context all in an try and outline what it potential to be an American. As Marubbio charts the constant depiction of the Celluloid Maiden, she uncovers basic characterizations―the Celluloid Princess and the Sexualized Maiden. The archetype for the unique Celluloid Princess seems in silent movies reminiscent of Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw guy (1914) and is carefully verified in American iconography in Delmer Daves's damaged Arrow (1950). Her extra erotic sister, the Sexualized Maiden, emerges as a femme fatale in such movies as DeMille's North West fixed Police (1940), King Vidor's Duel within the sunlight (1946), and Charles Warren's Arrowhead (1953). the 2 characterizations ultimately mix to shape a hybrid Celluloid Maiden who first seems to be in John Ford's The Searchers (1956) and reappears within the Seventies and the Nineteen Nineties in such movies as Arthur Penn's Little great guy (1970) and Michael Apted's Thunderheart (1992). Killing the Indian Maiden finds a cultural iconography approximately local american citizens and their position within the frontier embedded within the American psyche. The local American girl is a racialized and sexualized other―a conquerable physique representing either the seductions and the risks of the frontier. those movies exhibit her being colonized and soreness by the hands of show up future and American expansionism, yet Marubbio argues that the local American lady additionally represents a hazard to the belief of a white the US. The complexity and sturdiness of the Celluloid Maiden icon―persisting into the twenty-first century―symbolizes an identification main issue in regards to the composition of the yank nationwide physique that has performed again and again all through assorted eras and political climates. eventually, Marubbio establishes that the continuing illustration of the Celluloid Maiden signs the continued improvement and justification of yank colonialism.

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What฀makes฀an฀฀ Apache฀so฀pretty? ฀Her฀Spanish฀blood? ” NITA:฀ “Maybe฀her฀love฀for฀you. ” BANNON:฀ “That’s฀her฀Spanish฀blood฀acting฀up. ” NITA:฀ “We฀drink. ” BANNON:฀ “Against฀the฀law฀for฀an฀Indian฀to฀drink. ” NITA:฀ “I฀drink฀in฀Spanish. ” 140 ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ ฀ Killing the Indian Maiden BANNON:฀ “Mexican. ” NITA:฀ “Mexican-Spanish. ” BANNON:฀ “Mexican-Spanish-Apache. ฀(They฀drink. )฀If฀only฀you฀฀ were฀ugly. ” NITA:฀ “I฀love฀you,฀Bannon. ” BANNON:฀ “What฀you’d฀love฀is฀for฀me฀to฀tell฀you฀what฀Bannon฀฀ heard฀in฀his฀mind฀while฀he฀was฀out฀in฀the฀field. ฀Did฀he฀hear฀฀ Apache฀drums,฀did฀he฀hear฀the฀singing฀of฀the฀wise฀men? ฀฀ How฀much฀does฀he฀know? ฀Does฀he฀know฀what’s฀going฀to฀฀ happen฀tomorrow? ” NITA:฀ “Bannon฀is฀wrong. ฀My฀brother฀and฀I฀were฀cast฀out฀by฀the฀฀ Apaches฀because฀our฀blood฀was฀not฀pure. ” BANNON฀(grins):฀ “You’re฀here฀for฀them฀to฀keep฀an฀eye฀on฀me. ฀฀ That’s฀all฀right—I฀can฀keep฀an฀eye฀on฀them฀through฀you. ฀It฀฀ depends฀on฀which฀of฀us฀gives฀something฀away฀first. ” This฀dialogue฀focuses฀on฀the฀various฀minority฀ethnicities฀that฀contribute฀ to฀Nita’s฀ambiguous฀identity,฀which,฀within฀the฀context฀of฀this฀exchange,฀ offers฀a฀valuable฀cover฀for฀espionage. ฀To฀everyone฀at฀the฀fort฀except฀Bannon,฀Nita฀appears฀Mexican-Spanish,฀and฀her฀brother’s฀name,฀Spanish,฀ reemphasizes฀ that฀ connection. ฀ In฀ addition,฀ one฀ by no means฀ sees฀ Nita฀ with฀ Apaches;฀rather,฀the฀film฀associates฀her฀with฀them฀through฀her฀brother’s฀ actions—he฀“goes฀over฀to฀them”—and฀through฀this฀conversation฀with฀ Bannon. ฀But฀clearly,฀Bannon฀realizes฀that,฀even฀though฀she฀is฀a฀mixedblood,฀ her฀ tribal฀ historical past฀ can't฀ be฀ underestimated;฀ it฀ fuels฀ her฀ hidden฀anti-American฀sentiments. ฀Thus,฀although฀her฀beauty฀and฀sexuality฀ seduce฀him,฀his฀comment฀“It฀depends฀on฀which฀of฀us฀gives฀something฀ away฀ first”฀ underscores฀ his฀ wisdom฀ of฀ the฀ hazards฀ concerned฀ in฀ their฀ sexually฀charged฀spy฀game฀and฀his฀need฀to฀control฀both฀her฀and฀himself. ฀ Like฀Nita,฀Bannon฀cannot฀afford฀to฀give฀anything฀away. Nita’s฀sliding฀ethnicity฀and฀her฀relationship฀with฀Bannon฀also฀emphasize฀ a฀ colonial฀ background฀ in฀ which฀ Spanish฀ conquistadors฀ sexually฀ conquered฀ indigenous฀ girls฀ of฀ significant฀ America,฀ growing฀ mestizos. ฀ Bannon฀keeps฀Nita฀as฀a฀sexual฀partner฀to฀control฀ her฀ activities฀ and฀ her฀ access฀to฀information. ฀This,฀in฀conjunction฀with฀his฀preoccupation฀with฀ her฀race,฀rekindles฀colonial฀history. ฀His฀continual฀referencing฀of฀her฀as฀ Spanish-Mexican-Apache฀ categorizes฀ those฀ ethnicities฀ hierarchically,฀ with฀Spanish฀at฀the฀top฀and฀Apache฀at฀the฀bottom฀of฀a฀social฀and฀racial฀ The฀Only฀Good฀Indian฀Is฀a฀Dead฀Indian฀ ฀ 141 scale฀in฀which฀he,฀like฀the฀Spaniards,฀is฀considered฀superior฀to฀the฀Indians. ฀Read฀within฀the฀milieu฀of฀the฀global฀insurgency฀movements฀among฀ brown-skinned฀peoples฀at฀the฀time฀of฀filming,฀the฀narrative’s฀deliberate฀ rhetorical฀maneuvering฀to฀focus฀on฀Nita’s฀Apache฀heritage฀and฀her฀occupation฀as฀a฀spy฀suggests฀a฀connection฀between฀the฀Apache฀and฀thirdworld,฀brown-skinned฀anti-imperialists฀and฀Communists.

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