Trans-Bridge Bus Lines Mascot, "Hi-Yo"

October 13, 2010 — 2 Comments

This guy comes to us from reader Chris, who spotted a Trans-Bridge bus sporting the logo in Pennsylvania. The “about us” portion of their website gives this background on the logo:

In case you can’t read it, the text says:

“If you have ever driven behind a Trans-Bridge Lines’ bus, then you must have seen painted on the rear window, a picture of HI-YO in all his splendor. HI-YO, an Indian Chief, has been adopted as the mascot of Trans-Bridge Lines. He is also the Mascot of the Fugowees Jazz Club founded in 1962, who gave Trans-Bridge permission to use Hi-Yo over 25 years ago. And so it is said, Trans-Bridge drivers are never lost, as long as they have Chief HI-YO to guide them.”

So, we’ve got the stereotypical “Indian Guide”–wearing a feather, loincloth, and mocassins, of course–who, like all Indians (right?) has natural and expert abilities of navigation and tracking. And his name is HI-YO. Sigh.

And that “Fugowees Jazz Club” seems like a winner too–in addition to using “Hi-Yo” as their mascot, the leader goes by the title of “Chief” and name “Big Red,” and apparently they didn’t let women in the club until 1997. Awesome. (All that info was in this article)

So Trans-Bridge Bus lines, I re-wrote your “Fun Fact” for you:

If you have ever driven behind a Trans-Bridge Lines’ bus, then you must have seen painted on the rear window, a picture of a hurtful, stereotypical “Indian Chief” who we have named “Hi-Yo”, because we think that all Indians have strange, nonsensical, syllabic names. HI-YO has been adopted as the mascot of Trans-Bridge Lines, because we all know that Indians make great mascots, since they aren’t real people, don’t exist anymore, and are just like animals. He is also the Mascot of the Fugowees Jazz Club founded in 1962, who are a misogynist and racist club, but don’t worry, they gave us permission to use the image (though we didn’t think to talk to any actual Indians, lol!). And so it is said, Trans-Bridge drivers are never lost, as long as they can look through their rear-view mirror and see this awesome image that forces all drivers on the road to forget that Indians actually exist, and think of them only as cartoons and mascots! 

Oh, and don’t give me the “honoring” argument. That cartoon character is in no way an honor, I don’t want to be associated with a half-naked cartoon on the back of a bus, thanks. Just because it’s a “positive” image doesn’t mean it’s any less hurtful or harmful.

 (Thanks Chris!)

Adrienne K.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12074340962347314499 Sarah

    You should e-mail this to the company. I think that little blurb is brilliant.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16067001413974796180 Newt

    Ditto, Sarah.

    Just started reading this blog and love it. Good work.