Ideal What-Nots --- "Real Americans" (1934)

*Culturally insensitive content.* Various Native communities perform ceremonial dances and compete in games in festivals at various locations like Tesuque Pueblo/Tetsʼúgéh Ówîngeh. Also features a Wampanoag marriage ceremony.
Cultural Narrative: 

NOTE: This film contains demeaning and condescending language that is a product of the historical period of its creation.  These attitudes are not endorsed by the Tribesourcing team.



Opening credits: “Morris J. Kandel presents Ideal What-Nots — ‘Real Americans’, Copyright MCMXXXIV by Ideal Pictures Corp. N.Y., All Right (sic) Reserved, Passed by the National Board of Review”; a field of (Apache?) tipis and horses and 1920s-era cars; different view of same from between two tipis, mountains and trees in background, a woman runs by; a (Apache?) man wearing a headdress and a younger man and girl sitting in a tipi entrance; (Apache?) man on horseback riding along a riverbank and meets up with several others as they cross the river, mountains and trees in background; a group of men in headdresses and others sit in a circle while they eat and drink; various shots of a huge plaza in front of the [yet to be determined pueblo] full of ceremonial performers (some closer views of Zuni Pueblo/Halona Idiwan’a) from various tribes parading through and lining up; view of the same from above, bleachers in background, man in headdress holding a baton or walking stick in the foreground; an Apache/Nde/Ndee woman sitting on a blanket and bundling a baby into a cradleboard; another Apache woman bouncing a baby boy on her lap and smiling and pointing at the camera, then close-up of the baby; a Navajo/Diné woman holding a crying baby; various shots of a Navajo woman weaving at a loom (dah iistłʼǫ́), a little girl standing nearby; a group of Hopi men and women performing the Butterfly Dance; a group of (Hopi?) men in headdresses drum and watch small Hopi boys performing the Eagle Dance; a line of Hopi women grinding corn (naadą́ą́ʼ) with manos and metates to the beat of a drummer, conical shaped adobe ovens and tipis in the background; the women tending to their ovens as one carries a tray of bread loaves on her head, then closer views of the women putting loaves in and removing them from the ovens with wooden paddles; two older Hopi women weaving baskets, then closer views of one holding up her work-in-progress; on a dirt playing field groups of young Hopi and Navajo women from different tribes playing tug-of-war, onlookers watching; various views of a group of Wampanoag sitting and standing facing the camera, including close-ups of some men smoking a pipe; the group and some onlookers in non-traditional clothing watch as two men drape a blanket around a man and woman’s shoulders for a marriage ceremony; close-up of the couple, then a man (the officiant) blesses the four directions, and back to the crowd as the smiling couple walk away; a huge crowd of people lining a dirt field where Navajo girls race towards the camera, then young native men race; young Navajo men racing by on horseback and picking up potatoes from the ground (a potato race); young boys playing football and then others running across a field playing lacrosse; Cherokee boys running down a field playing a game of Stickball; various shots back at the plaza from the scene early on where different tribes are dancing before onlookers; various shots of a group of Sioux (no indication of which type) on a grassy field; close-up of a man in headdress (identified as “Chief Muskrat”) speaking to the crowd; a large group of onlookers watch Yaquis performing a religious dance, a wooden cross placed in the ground at one end, then closer views of the performance as men dressed as spirits run around; a man tending to a burning effigy of Pontius Pilate, and more dancing by men and women; back to various tribes dancing (including a Deer Dance); dancers at Tesuque Pueblo/Tetsʼúgéh Ówîngeh, including close-up a drummer and dancers; close-up of a line of native men who look at the camera one by one, then super close-up of a Native man talking and smiling; close-up of three different men smiling, then one in profile with a body of water behind him who then turns and looks at the camera; view from below of a man standing on a rock, wind blowing his headdress and buckskins.

End credits: “The End, Ideal Pictures Corp., New York, Morris J. Kandel, Pres.”

Chief Muskrat

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