Indians & Wolves

Hey, it’s 2004’s Crash, back in the nineties! Not really. Well, kind of. What happened, I suspect, was someone got tasked with making this music video for the Judds (see: way below), then heard the line  “tribes of men” in there, then made the old Indians-are-in-tribes, aren’t they?-association, and bam, this video was born in a blaze of glory, up on that same mesa Bon Jovi had their “Blaze of Glory.”

And, yes, there’s so much going on in this music video that I’m not even going to talk about, since where’s the room and what’s the purpose, but what I want to showcase, it’s early on in it, when that same old thing happens that always happens, like dominoes falling: Indians used to live in “nature” / Indians are close to nature / Indians are nature / Indians must be wolves. It’s some good rational colonial thinking, showcased in such wonderful & accurate & respectful truckstop shirts as:

And . . . here’s that wonderfully-conceptualized excellently-executed music video. Of course I suggest watching all of it, for the full sweep and scope and majesty, but early on (bit after the minute mark) is that Indian-to-wolf thing I’m talking about, which is kind of why I wrote Mongrels:

I mean, I didn’t write Mongrels because of THAT music video, because of THOSE shirts. But because of all of it.

Where it starts for me, the first time I became aware of all this? I think it was that “Poachers” ep of CHiPs, way back when, where Ponch and John (“John,” yes?) are on the trail of some animal things (attacks? sightings? can an animal loiter?), and they finally find this flannel-shirt headband-wearing Indian dude who, with the help of some flute music, is suddenly replaced by this big regal wolf, because: obviously.

And so were a thousand truckstop t-shirts born. And so was a book called Mongrels.


hey also: I’ll keep editing under this line, will keep stashing this kind of stuff when I stumble onto it. which is like every six seconds, here in Merica )

  • saber86

    omGhu, thank you so much for this post. I’d long been attracted to those kinds of t-shirts, being an ignint wite womyn at the time. My mom was so right: she taught me to learn something new every day. I’d love to show support for indigenous peoples in the US and the rest of the world, but have 0 $$ to donate. I’ll keep looking. Btw, this is NOT a request for you to provide info. Learned a long time ago that that is not a thing to be doing.