An Authentic Exhibition : Authentic and Fictional Native American Representations in the Wild West
|Year of publication
|Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
|MU Faculty or unit
|The last few decades of the 19th century in the USA saw a rapid growth in interest in Native American cultural practices and the history of interaction between the domineering and original populations - as a part of the development of the Western as a genre. As a result, a number of fictionalized stories of encounters, such as battles, between the two ethnic groups were published as fiction and performed as live shows. A development in the frontier led to several paradoxes: the same audiences on the one hand feared perpetrators of historical crimes and on the other hand enjoyed re-enactments of these events - performed by the same actual participants in them; an understanding of an "authentic" Indian became a product of a fictional construct of an idealized character type, and thus "authentic" and "fictional" representations often blurred, as much as fiction often beat authenticity. In my talk, I will discuss how the entertainment of the era present a challenge to our understanding of the boundary between an authentic and fictionalized representation of actual events.