Sunday, January 06, 2019

Indian Village, May 1966

Today's post has two fairly standard photos of the Friendly Indian Village, circa 1966. While there are many Disneyland features that were photographed a lot, the FIV has to be way up near the top of the list!

There it is... a modest gathering of teepees in a clearing by the river. You should practically know it by heart by now! 

As we moved further along, we can see that something is going on in the background...

... there is a construction wall, cleverly disguised to resemble stretched buffalo hides. Through the trees, bulldozed earth hints at a massive project; the railroad tracks were being moved further out, and the large "It's a Small World" building was underway.


JC Shannon said...

Wow, you totally forget where you are in the park. I had to look at some aerial photos to orient myself to IASW. A testament to Walt and the Imagineers for sure, the illusion is that good. I never tire of ROA and all the well crafted sights and scenes. Gimme an old Instamatic, and an afternoon on the Mark Twain, and I bet I would take all those photos all over again. Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

I wish they had done more with the Unfriendly Indian Village. You know! Show a scalping or two with "life-like" audio-animatronics. Give 'em the ol' "hard facts that created America" stuff. Now Frontierland is kinda quaint. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, this post set the internet ON FIRE! Ha ha. I love the old Indian Village, but I may have to start culling some from my collection (not scanning them, in other words)... there are just too many that are exactly the same! As dumb as it is, one of my dreams is to be able to do just what you said... go back in time armed with a camera, and take tons of photos.

K. Martinez, I would be all for more of those gruesome "hard facts", but the mothers of the world might not be so keen. I was just watching Ken Burns' "The Civil War", and there was a mention of a Confederate officer who went around with troop, scalping Union soldiers. So brutal!

Nanook said...


That'll keep the young-ins from growing their hair long - like a girl-!!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, Ha, ha! Now you sound like my grandma. That drudges up a memory of when my grandma saw my lengthy hair and said "You look like a sissy. If God wanted boys to have long hair, he wouldn't have invented scissors" after which I replied "but what about Jesus?" and my dad would promptly tell grandma "leave the boy alone, mom. You're agitating my troops".

Major, I was half kidding. I know there are limits to what you can present to your target audience, but there's a fine line between showing history and sanitizing it to death. I loved the arrow-in-chest dead settler at the burning cabin. What's wrong with showing some of the violent conflict in our history. And yes, our history contains a lot of brutality in all facets of our country. But it's still our country warts and all.

Melissa said...

They could do a Columbus Day overlay where all the native people get smallpox.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, this is why I shave my head. As you know, I look pretty much like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

K. Martinez, my grandma hated my “long” hair, which was short compared to many in my school. I love your “What about Jesus?” query, ha ha. Or some of those rugged old frontiersmen who had long hair (Buffalo Bill Cody, General Custer). I know you were kidding about the scalping, but I personally really would like things a little more intense! It’s not “Disney” though.

Melissa, yikes! :-)

JG said...

Shiny Boy is particularly shiny today. I never get tired of the FIV.

Again, spent some time with Daveland's extensive library following the minute changes of the diorama over time. The background sets and props like the buffalo hide come and go, and are occasionally re-arranged, but the essence always remains. Like a fine wine, or maybe a mint julep, the River only got better with age until the Wookie Rebellion.

Major, don't do anything rash with your collection. Every piece of old Disneyland has value, and seeing them arranged in more or less chronological order makes it clearer than ever. These shots are especially valuable documenting the construction of a major park upgrade and the minimal effect on the River. I guess this is where Chief Wavy and his entourage made their exit?

Thanks for these pictures.