Show Indians

Show Indians, or Wild West Show Indians, is a term for Native American performers hired by Wild West shows, most notably in Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders.


Show Indians, or Wild West Show Indians, is a term for Native American performers hired by Wild West shows, most notably in Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders. "Show Indians" were primarily Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. Performers took part in reenacting historic battles, demonstrating equestrianism and performing dances for audiences. Many veterans from the Great Plains Wars participated in Wild West shows, during a time when the Office of Indian Affairs was intent on promoting Native assimilation. Many went on to act in silent films.
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