Friday, July 27, 2007

Frontierland Viewmaster, 1956

A few weeks ago, I posted some scans from a scarce set of Frontierland Viewmaster reels. Here are three more images from that same set...they all feature Disneyland's resident Indians.

Am I the only person who finds this first image a bit odd? The U.S. was not very kind to Indian tribes, to put it mildly. I wonder if this was a photo of a regular flag-raising ceremony in Frontierland, or if it was staged for the Viewmaster photographer on this one occasion? Anyway, the Indians are being good sports, to say the least.


These Indians are migrating in order to follow the buffalo, I guess. And they're all dressed up for the occasion! There are a couple of kids among them, they look like they're about eight years old, while two more are reclining on a travois. The Yellowstone Coach is bringing up the rear.


I think I've seen this fellow in a number of photos from the early 50's, usually on his Pinto, waving at the passing Stagecoach. That strange little structure next to him looks like it belongs in the Alice in Wonderland attraction. Any ideas what it's purpose was?

8 comments:

Matterhorn1959 said...

It looks like one of the air vents for the Rainbow Caverns. Now what it is supposed to be themed as is a different story, maybe a Navajo or Hopi Kiva entrance?

dreemfinder said...

Looks like an oven to me...

TommyTsunami said...

Is it my imagination or does the "strange little structure" appear in the background of your second photo?

Chris Merritt said...

I think these shots are all pre-'56, there were a few settler & indian "props" out on the wagon trails pre-Rainbow Caverns...

Tannerman said...

Always love View-Master scans.

Musiken said...

I recently found a cache of early Disneyland View Master sets that my parents bought. They look incredible in stereo!

Trish said...

It looks like maybe a forced perspective prop out of whack due to "the fellow" standing next to it.

Anonymous said...

I always hated when amusement parks would exploit Native Americans like this. Knott's Berry Farm still does this in the western town part of the park. I know they are trying to educate kids about this culture, but these photos are completely wrong and humiliating for these people.
Sometime last year (2011)I finally rode the canoes aroung the river at Disneyland and saw that the park had reduced the Native Americans to mannequins setup in little wild west scenes before they were driven to reservations. The guide made horrible and rascist jokes about Native Americans when we pass these scenes. I was at the back of the canoes and I wanted to knock the guide over with my paddle.