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Redskins Pay Tribute to Big Chief Harding (1921)

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Treasures Vol. 5: The West
2 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

Native Americans in Newsreels (2012/1921-38)

This section of the Treasures from American Film Archives, Vol. 5: The West collection contains a brief history of Native Americans and how they were often seen in newsreels. For a complete and more detailed history you can check out the extras to these five newsreels but the basic facts is that they were often overlooked and most of the time these type of events were just created for the cameras. We also learn about how the word "vanishing" was quite often used in reference to Indians and the five films selected each bring something different to the table.

REDSKINS PAY TRIBUTE TO BIG CHIEF HARDING (1921) was apparently longer in its original version but here we see President Harding and his wife paying tribute to a group of Indians. Apparently the original version featured around thirty or more Indians but the only thing that remains is the final few seconds. INDIANS BURY HATCHET ON CUSTER BATTLEFIELD (1926) was filmed fifty years to the day of the June 25, 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn and features all surviving members, which include 11 troopers and 80 Indians. This here is certainly pretty interesting to see and I'm sure history buffs will love it. INDIANS INVADE NATION'S CAPITAL (1936) is a Hearst Metrotone Newsreel from May 13, 1936 and features some Pueblo Indians from New Mexico asking some government officials with help in regards to their issues. Elmer Thomas, William C. Rogers and John Collier sit in with the Indians and you can tell by their faces that they're not interested in what's going on. MANMADE NIAGARA OF WEST AMAZES RED MEN! (1938) shows the Indians walking around Kerr Dam, which they allowed to be build in exchange for about half a million a year. VANISHING REDMEN NET VANISHING SALMON! (1938) talks about the Celito Falls salmon fishing, which is coming to an end due to another dam being built further upstream.

In total, these five newsreels last less than five minutes but each of them is worth viewing for history buffs or fans of such material.


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