Friday, April 22, 2016

Indian Village, 1959

Let's start today's photos with this beautiful shot of the old Indian Village in Frontierland (from 1959, probably early in the year). Our photographer would have just emerged from the tunnel entrance. Doesn't it look fantastic? To our left is the "wigwasigamig", a birch bark lodge house that looks very authentic. Except for the dun-colored tarp on top. I love all of the details, from the ladies in their 1950's outfits, to the colorful teepees, to the skull on a pole.  Do you think that that is a torch next to the tree stump trash can? I see a few others in the distance; this area must have looked very moody and romantic at night.

Say hello to two fun gals. The one on the left has a movie camera. I wish I could see what she captured! Hopefully she didn't use too much film on the Indian dancers nearby. Those teepees are pretty big - much bigger than the vinyl toy teepee that I had in my backyard as a kid. Who knew.  I suppose I should mention the babushka!


Alonzo P Hawk said...

The return of Babushka friday! Thanks major. These shots of the Indinan village are cool (and rare). These two ladies are crusin for trouble (with a capital T). Saddle shoe babushka gal is the flashy go getter and her friend the more selective wingwoman.

If only Melissa were here to offer a sonnet to their attire/impending good times. Oh well, now I'm getting too nostalgic. Thanks again.

Pegleg Pete said...

That first photograph is a great view of the entrance to the Indian Village. Your comment on the torch in the image set me to thinking. I had always assumed that the Indian Village closed at dusk. I suppose my belief was due to the fact that I've never seen night time photos of the area – although, given the limitations of film and cameras at that time, the lack of evening images proves little indeed. I had a look back at some old guides and found that, at least in 1968, Native American dancing went on until 8pm but as I can't find any sign of torches or alternate lighting in images of the ceremonial dance circle I suppose this applied only during the summer months. Does anyone know if the Indian Village remained open after the dancing finished? I can imagine that the area must have been particularly atmospheric in the evening. Do any GDB readers have strong memories of the Indian Village at night?

K. Martinez said...

I really like the second photo of the two women standing in front of the teepee. Very nice. Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

The torch kind of looks like those old-time oil burning road flares that road construction crews used at the time. Who doesn't love a Tiki torch?

Irene said...

My Dad loved the Indian Village and the dancers and I sure do wish I had stronger memories of the experience but I don't sadly. I will ask my brother who is older than me if he remembers. And speaking of using too much film on the dancers, that's what my Dad did. There are times I wish he would have filmed much more than he did but on my one film, there is a lot of time spent on the dancing.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I had once heard that the ground in early Frontierland used to be dirt, but I never really believed that until now. It does seem to be packed dirt, and not the smooth, colored slurry we're used to. There even seems to be a little sprout of green next to that lodge in the first photo.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the area was closed at night but the torches burned to provide illumination. But someone may came after me and prove me wrong. Let's see. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo, I sent Melissa an email about a month ago (to the only email address I have for her) and didn’t get an answer, so I can only hope that she is OK.

Pegleg Pete, I haven’t ever heard that the Indian Village was open after dusk, so I am assuming that it probably was closed. But those torches got me to thinking! During the winter it can get dark by 4:30, so perhaps at certain times of the year you could be there at night time.

K. Martinez, I like that one too!

Patrick Devlin, it’s probably filled with that foul-smelling citronella oil to keep the ‘skeeters away!

Irene, I don’t think my family ever made it to the Indian Village… I wonder if they even knew about it. I think a LOT of people were compelled to use more film in the Indian Village, to the point where they had none left by the time they got to Tomorrowland.

Steve DeGaetano, I wonder what it was like over there when it rained? Maybe there was lots of gravel beneath the thin layer of dirt so that it drained. Either way it seems like a bad idea.

KS, that makes sense to me, though I still wonder if it didn’t stay open after the dark (even for an hour or so) in the winter.

Snow White Archive said...

Love both photos!

Oh my! Wearing high heels to DL? It certainly was a different era.