I have personally experienced the level of ignorance that results from one’s only exposure to a culture being what one sees in movies. During my orientation week freshman year in 2006, many of my classmates, when they discovered my Navajo heritage, seemed to think I lived in a teepee and hunted buffalo in the plains on horseback. (For the record, Navajos are primarily farmers and shepherds. Our traditional houses, hogans, are used mainly for ceremonial purposes. We drive cars to get to places. So, no.)
Further, they wanted to know why I didn’t wear any feathers or have long, black hair. I was shocked by how little my fellow students knew about Native Americans, and how much they based their perception of me and my heritage on what they had seen in westerns.
The most troubling aspect of The Ridiculous Six is how the script depicts Native American women as promiscuous, by using names such as “Sits-On-Face.” This may be presented in a spirit of levity for an audience that appreciates fart jokes as much as Sandler, but it undermines the dire circumstances of Native American women, who experience high levels of sexual assault and violence.