First contact… with film

This Thomas Edison-produced 14 second clip from 1894 is the first cameo by Native Americans on film. There’s no audio in the post, but it does sort of fall in line with my Youtube home video snooping, since it depicts Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show (a sort of “Disneyland fireworks” equivalent for its time).

“According to Edison film historian C. Musser, this film and others shot on the same day featured Native American Indian dancers from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, and constitutes the American Indian’s first appearance before a motion picture camera.” – Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division

Let’s  imagine the music they danced to that day…


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