Thursday, August 20, 2015
Frontierland has mostly had a fairly progressive view of Native Americans throughout its history - especially in the 1950's; Walt Disney and his Imagineers made a point of portraying the indigenous people as peaceful and industrious, with a rich society and culture of their own. But we know that things were not always so peaceful as settlers began to invade Indian territories.
In this first photo, we get a pretty good view of some Indians at the top of a hill beside the Rivers of America - they are on the lookout for potential trouble as various boats passed on the water. And who can blame them?
Here's a closer look. This photo is from 1958, and I don't think that this tableau was there for much longer; perhaps the plants just grew too lush for them to be seen?
I remembered a photo in LIFE magazine that sort of reminded me of this, but (once I found it) it turns out that it is a posed photo with live people rather than fiberglass mannequins.
Meanwhile, things didn't go so well for this settler, who lies on his back with an arrow through his chest while his cabin is ablaze. Compared to earlier photos, the maturing foliage makes this feel more like part of a huge wilderness.