Appropriations at Disney World: Part 1 (Magic Kingdom)

January 25, 2010 — 2 Comments


Friday night, 7 pm, my friend Monica and I decided to buy plane tickets to fly to Orlando for the weekend. She had scored some free all park passes, so we figured there was really no reason not to abandon all our school responsibilities and go. She was a trooper all weekend and put up with my random outbursts of “ohmygod, are you kidding me?!” and helped me spot all the images of Indigenous People throughout the parks–and believe me, there were a lot.

I’m going to post most of these without any extensive analysis, I think they speak for themselves. I apologize for the sometimes fuzzy/awkward photos, a lot of them were taken from moving boats/cars/elephants/pirate ships.

Lilo and Stitch (Lilo is Native Hawaiian), note the leis

Cowboy and Indian on “It’s a Small World”

I think this is an Australian Aboriginal? Judging by the Birds?
Update: He’s supposed to be Maori! That totally makes more sense. (Thanks Alia)
Hawaiian dancer (I thought it was interesting they had the auana style along with the more stereotypical grass skirts below)

They wiggled their hips too.

on the carousel, interesting combination of the Indian head with the eagle/US shield…

Now we get to the Jungle Cruise (exotic!) where I really wish my pictures were better.

This scene was accompanied by our “guide” saying something like “up here on the beach you’ll see one of our many Native…uh oh! They’re gone! hear those drums? That means they’re preparing for the hunt..and I think we’re invited to lunch.” Jokes about cannibalism are awesome!


Those are the angry Natives “war dancing”

That’s “Trader Bob” (?) who sells shrunken heads at the end of the ride.

Native style blankets at the shooting range in Frontier Land

I found a friend in front of the trading post in Frontier Land

The full Pocahontas outfit for sale in (of course) Frontier Land

“What makes the red man red?” Indians on the Peter Pan ride

Not stereotypical at all, right? geez. (This is also Peter Pan)

Frontier Pluto’s got some moccasins

The same Indian from Frontier Land also resides on Main Street USA.

Believe it or not, there are actually way more. I’ll save Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Disney Wilderness Lodge for additional posts. Hope you enjoyed your magical ride through the happiest place on earth!


Adrienne K.

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  • Alia

    nice post. very interesting. I feel as though a lot of the stuff in Disney World has been the same since the 1950s but they haven’t bothered to even think about changing it. Also, the third picture, I think its is supposed to be a Maori boy judging by his outfit and the birds look like Kiwi.

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever seen shrunken heads? Crazy stuff! I went to an indigenous museum in Ecuador that was FULL of interesting stuff. There was no Trader Bob involved. Google “tsantsa”

    -MK