Indian Humor

Ryan Red Corn

Ryan Red Corn

Sure, Indians have a sense of humor.

Just ask Ryan Red Corn.

Red Corn, a fellow Osage with Renaissance qualities—graphic artist, filmmaker and improv actor—has created videos that highlight Indian humor and is a member of the 1492s, an Indian troupe.

Their video, Smiling Indians, bumps up against the stoic faces of Edward Curtis’ 19th century Indians. Instead, we see image after image of smiling and laughing Indians at

Red Corn’s work links directly to the issues I’ve raised during Native American Heritage Month: we need to expand our visions and view issues through a Native lens.

The lens of photographers like Curtis helped construct the notion that Indians are fierce. Noble. Dated.

But we’re still here–in all forms—both serious and silly.

Red Corn ends the video short with a line he considered after wondering how he will be remembered:

“If you remember nothing else about me, remember that I smiled.”

[Blog 24 in honor of Native American Heritage Month.]

Photo from Red Corn’s twitter page @ryanredcorn


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, authenticity, ethics, film, framing, Indian, native american, Native Science, Osage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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