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The Invention of Thanksgiving

An interview with National Museum of the American Indian curator Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche).  From the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian exhibition “Americans.”

The images are everywhere, from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, and from classic Westerns and cartoons to episodes of Seinfeld and South Park. American Indian names are everywhere too, from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile. And the familiar historical events of Pocahontas’s life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn remain popular reference points in everyday conversations.



One Comment

  • John Kavanaugh

    I really appreciate the honest and uncompromising conversation of this video. I love how the style and design incorporates and reconfigured, repurposes kitsch. And how it not only enacts (often quite literally what is being said) but is almost constantly moving a nice parallel to the keen idea near the beginning that Thanksgiving is a holiday like no other with an insane amount of travel, motion, and activity.

    Thanks for posting this for folks who may not be able to physically visit the exhibit, but would like to!

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