Thursday, June 11, 2020

Indian Dance Circle, July 1969

In 1966, the Ceremonial Dance Circle where Native Americans performed traditional dances had been  transformed, with "stadium-style seating" added making it easier to see for large crowds, and providing shade. The kids in this 1969 picture don't care about shade though, they want to be right up front! (Actually, I believe that kids were asked to come down to the front so that they could all participate in the final dance). 

Love the souvenir hats; bucket hats, sailor hats, cowboy hats, beanies, and Donald Duck hats. Next show: 2:30.

You probably think that you've seen this photo of the Columbia before, but I swear, this is a new one!


Nanook said...

You're not kidding about all those hats - it's quite the menagerie. (And one, daring young gal, sporting white-framed shades). And of course, the train, making its 'grand circle tour...'

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

WHAT on earth is that kid, on the lower left, wearing on his/her head?!

TokyoMagic! said...

The next Ceremonial Dance will be at long as Kurt Russell doesn't show up and mess with the hands on that clock.

stu29573 said...

I was going to say the same thing, lol! My only question is did it just speed up the time at the dance circle, or did all reality shift? Far too little research has been done on this event!

DrGoat said...

Not one but two Donald Duck hats! I think I'm going to swoon.
You know Lou & Sue, I'm not sure what those parents are making that
child wear. Looks like some kind of shower cap for a larger person. I don't think it's a Disney souvenir hat, but I'm not sure.
In any event, that is one great pic Major.
Digging on the white shades too.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I really wish there was some way to know how much the park made on souvenir hats on a busy day. I’ll bet they cleaned up!

Lou and Sue, I think it’s a bucket hat made from an old pair of bloomers.

TokyoMagic!, just think of the good Kurt Russell could do with his ability to control time?

stu29573, I’d like to picture everything in the world speeding up for just a few moments, as if we were living in a “Benny Hill” sketch.

DrGoat, I still have my Donald Duck hat from childhood; I used to think maybe it would be worth some money on the collector’s market, but those things were indestructible, so many have survived. I don’t remember seeing a souvenir hat like that pink ruffled thing before, is it possible that the girl already owned it when she came to the park?

Anonymous said...

Kids and their funny hats. Something about Disneyland that makes everyone look good in a funny hat.

I'm guessing that hat came from home, and it is probably very dear to her, or she wouldn't wear it otherwise.

I very much like the Columbia view, it is none the worse for being familiar. I'm pretty sure we visited the Park right around the time this photo was taken, Summer of 1969. I can almost hear Thurl Ravenscroft singing the "Come All Ye..." Good times.

Thank you, Major. Very fine views today.


Omnispace said...

That's a beautiful photo of the Columbia, and look how crowded the deck is with guests! I honestly enjoy this simpler version of Frontierland, before the buttes of Big Thunder Mountain competed for our attention.

I remember sitting on the edge of the dance circle around this time - kind of an intense experience for the smaller kids. I'm sure I chickened-out on the participation dance.

I think that pink bucket hat might be made out of that polystyrene or polypropylene "straw" that was popular during that time.

Matthew said...

Oh my gosh! Both of these images are beautiful!! The color on both is so crisp. It does feel like a warm inviting summer day in '69.

@Nanook... you saw the train too. Just adds that little extra something to the dance circle.

This new image of the Columbia is stunning! I love it!! Thank you Major for sharing it.

@JG... WOW! "Come all ye..." That shot back a memory! Most of the soundtrack on the A tape comes from the Norman Luboff Choir and their album, "Songs of the Sea." The best summer of life occurred in 1987, when I worked the summer shift aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia. If there was ever a summer to relive... that would be the one.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Melissa said...

The two blonde girls who are wearing similar but not identical blouses are driving me crazy! Go home and change into something matching!

I love the sun on the 2:30 clock.

Anonymous said...

Shame that Disney doesn't have live entertainment like this anymore. It's entertaining and enlightening. I only hope that they hired real Native Americans to perform these dances and not people simply dressed as natives. Then again, since this was the "old days", I can't hope too much in that regard.

JG said...

@Matthew, I'm glad that sparked a memory for you, it is a great feeling when that happens. It is so cool that you were able to work the Columbia. Were you the skipper, or a deck hand? Those tracked vessels fascinate me, maybe you couldn't steer too far off track, but there still had to be some skill involved in the throttle and slowing down etc. How did one acquire that skill, was there an apprentice helmsman training?

I loved that song as a kid, the Columbia soundtrack was the only place I ever heard it, wanted to learn it, couldn't find anything about it, and then had forgotten it for years.

Then I found an old copy of "Songs of the Sea" by Luboff, I was stunned to hear it. "That's the song from Disneyland!!"

I love the Luboff choir style of choral music, of any band or group, they would be the ones for which I want all their recordings. There were other albums in this series, "Songs of the South" and "Songs of the West". All of these and many more in my favorite playlist. They did a beautiful album of Hawaiian songs, all in Hawaiian language.

So, now after years of forgetting, thanks to the Major, and other Disney bloggers and commenters, I have learned all about Thurl, his career, and connections to other Disney soundtracks, "Grim, Grinning Ghosts, for example. Sometimes, the passing of time does bring knowledge, if not wisdom.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, the last time I took my mom to Disneyland, I was so surprised that she bought herself a Goofy hat. It just seemed so unlike her, but it was awesome to see her with that silly hat (with the two buck teeth on the bill) throughout the rest of the day. The summer of 1969 had some big things going on - the opening on the Haunted Mansion being among the biggest. Those were some special times, in so many ways. Ha ha, yes, I can hear those sea chanties (with accordion) in my brain!

Omnispace, I would assume that they were probably running the Columbia and the Mark Twain at the height of the summer, but you aren’t kidding, I don’t think they could have squeezed another person on the deck of the Columbia. I probably would have been just like you - nervous at the prospect of participating, but probably wanting to at the same time. I guess I was neurotic! My sister had a green and yellow bag (sort of a satchel) made of that plastic “straw” stuff, I know exactly what you mean.

Matthew, I admit that I didn’t notice the train, sometimes I am in too much of a hurry to write several posts if I can manage it. Then I get sloppy and misspell things and miss details. Luckily I have you guys to pick up the slack! Oh man, if you worked aboard the Columbia, you must have all of those songs memorized to the smallest detail. What a fun time that would have been.

Melissa, but Melissa, they’re not twins!

The Magic Ears Dudebro, the park still has musicians in some areas (New Orleans Square for instance), but not as many as they used to have. Guess it’s too expensive, and maybe they don’t want guests clogging up the walkways to stop and listen. They definitely did hire genuine Native Americans from many different tribes. For all of the flack that Disney gets about being conservative or even racist, they were actually progressive in some respects.

Anonymous said...

It’s 1969, the rafts’ departure point has long been moved to in front of the Haunted Mansion and yet this RO has guided his particular raft around the tip of the island to the landing near the (former) fishing pier. That landing was originally called Tom’s but when the take off point moved northwest, the landing directly across from the Mansion was renamed Tom’s. When I worked at the park, the landing over by Catfish Cove had been (re)named Huck’s.



Matthew said...

@JG. Oh my gosh, thanks for all the really great questions. Regarding my role on the Columbia; I was trained to work all three/four positions, "Captain", "Hawk-Eye" (look out), and the Dock/Turnstile. Regarding "skill" involving the throttle and how we acquired it. No, there was no apprentice helmsman training. Instead, every front line position at Disneyland has a Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P.), to which we were trained. Cast Members would apply to become trainers and selected by supervision. Trainers were taught how to train (train the trainer) according to the S.O.P., and the Disney way. It was their level of training and service that caused me to pursue a career in Organizational Development.

Throttling up and down did take some skill and even more so when the sails were unfurled (as you see in this picture), as the Columbia would actually become a sailing ship... sometimes much faster than you expected and sometimes even backwards with too much headwind. Docking the ship was the most difficult.

Finally, yes, we did have the songs committed to memory. The Cast Members who worked attractions in Adventureland/Frontierland have a Facebook page (who doesn't these days?), and I once asked, "What did you learn while working at Disneyland (not necessarily Disney related)?" With nearly 400 comments, many of them quite funny, "learning the lyrics to sea shanties of the 1700's" made the list. "So remember that if you enjoy the songs ye be hear'n aboard the Columbia mates, they are all available to ye, on 'Columbia Records... and Tapes'."

Always your pal,

"Lou and Sue" said...

Matthew, thank you for sharing your personal experiences! I LOVE when you and the other Junior Gorillas share past and present Disney-employee (cast member) details and funny stories here. More, more, more, please! (Have you even spotted yourself in any posted pictures?)


JG said...

Matthew, let me echo Lou and Sue's comment. Thanks for the detailed response. Really makes the attraction come alive for me, I've always been fascinated by the "Back-of-House" insider info.

Now I'm going home to listen to Norman Luboff Choir.


Matthew said...

@JG... Too funny. "Rollin' Home" is calling! I too love hearing stories from other Cast Members.

@Lou and Sue (and JG), I promise to chime in with those stories as often as I can. I cross my heart promise. :) I was blessed to be an Attractions Host in Adventureland/Frontierland, a trainer, a Working Lead, and a Supervisor with the Disney University but all of that was between 1986 - 1994. So my knowledge is sometimes as old as these photos.

Strangely enough, I have not found myself in any of Major's, Daveland, or Matterhorn's (Stuff from the Park), photos. I know I'm in a bunch of photos... I remember posing for them with Guests... but they haven't shown up here yet. ;-)


Melissa said...

Melissa, but Melissa, they’re not twins!

They COULD be, if they just put in the effort!

(I also love the CM stories.)