The Stoics (with a capital S) were Greek philosophers known for their austerity, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
It gets better.
Being stoic means someone who “practices repression of emotion, indifference to pleasure or pain, and patient endurance,” says the OED.
So, Indians—particularly men—are characterized in literature, film and nonfiction, as dispassionate.
The stoic Indian is skewered in Chris Eyre’s film Smoke Signals, written by Sherman Alexie. In one scene, Thomas Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams) gets instruction in how to be a real (stoic) Indian by pal Victor Joseph (Adam Beach).
Thomas is told to ditch his spectacles, unbraid his hair, stop chatting and cease smiling.
But in order to be an “authentic” Indian, Thomas is inauthentic to his true persona.
A lovely 5-minute video by Ryan Red Corn and Sterlin Harjo of the 1491s breaks the stereotypes by featuring smiling Indians.
Take a look.
Blog #13 for Native American Heritage Month
See the youtube clip from Smoke Signals at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bctCV38FfU
Smiling Indians is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga98brEf1AU