Ernest Alfred Dench, in his book Making the Movies (1915), wrote that "a few white players specialize in Indian parts . . . by clever makeup they are hard to tell from real Redskins . . . "To act as an Indian is the easiest thing possible, for the Redskin is practically motionless." Dench would like the tribes to be "motionless" perhaps, the cigar store wooden varieties, but few Native Americans, urban or reservation, mixedblood or traditional, are stalled by his blunt insensitivities. Gretchen Bataille and Charles Silet, editors of The Pretend Indians, have not been motionless in the cigar store either. The authors, professors at Iowa State University, studied the literature on tribal people in the movies and leaped from their front row seats to examine frontier fantasies and racist images in an outstanding collection of articles.
University of California Press
Racism in film, Gretchen Bataille, Charles Silet
Film Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Summer, 1981), p. 36