A Native American Humor Primer / 2009

Blog Entry A Native American Humor Primer Aug 9, ’09 10:11 PM
by Ann for everyone
American Indian Humor


Native American humor can be divided into two categories- mixed and Native audiences. Mixed company Native American humor usually involves historical references to displacement of land. Also, such humors show to differing world perspectives between dominant Western and Native cultures. Native humor among themselves (ourselves) revolves with among tribal differences. Additionally, humorous anecdotes are told that often placed in uniquely Native scenarios/locations- BIA schools, tribal offices, dances, 49’s.

Powwow MC’s

Powwow Master of Ceremonies are your host when you visit powwows. They keep everyone abreast of what is happening at the dance- dancers, singers, visitors, staff, everyone. Among their duties is to keep everyone entertained. Between songs, they often tell jokes or funny stories to keep a good feeling going at the dance. This gives the drum time to relax, staff to get ready for specials, dancers to rest, and the hosts to sell raffle tickets. Remember at the powwow you are on Indian Time, so don’t expect precision but you can expect humor. Powwow MC’s are uniquely Native humorist, and new material is a must for them. However, over time they can dig into the archives, which can be fun.

Ay (pronounced as a long “A”)

An expression noting a joke has been recognized. Either the receiver of a joke or prank can call Ay, noting they recognize that a joke or con has been played on them. Or the deliverer of a joke or prank can use the term to note that what they said was in jest. I believe Ay is a uniquely Oklahoman expression, which probably proliferated back in the days of BIA boarding schools. In Oklahoma, boarding schools like Riverside, Sequoyah, Chilocco, and Ft. Sill, brought people from different tribes not only from Oklahoma but nationwide. Surely other pan-Indian BIA efforts such as relocation (with urban centers), higher education (Haskell University, IAIA, SIPI). All together helping to drive this expression to across the nation.


A Navajo/English fusion word predominately, obviously, where Navajos and non-Navajos mix (see previous mention of BIA’s pan-Indian efforts). Sh is a prefix in Navajo denoting the possessive my. English word of buddy, again obviously, meaning friend . Hence, sh-buddy means my friend. The comedic value of its usage typically is used not as a term of endearment, but one of casualness to evoke a response. Such as, “Hey sh-buddy, can I borrow $5.00 dollars.”

Indian (as an modifier- adjective or adverb)

Indian time, Indian car, Indian home, Indian love, etc. Usually used (sadly) in a derogatory manner. Indian time meaning to be late and laissez faire about schedules. Indian cars describing old cars with multiple “issues.” As the term is a negative, should be only used by Natives, who use it to lighten despair. Have heard similarities among African-American usage of ghetto as an adjective; however, unlike ghetto, not ever used as a singular noun- “that’s so ghetto,” could not substitute “that’s so Indian”.

Earth Day / 2007









YouTube – Re: Native American Indian EARTH DAY Added: April 25, 2007 From: kosmikB. EARTH DAY CELEBRATION IN NYC. Category Music … Native American Indian Dance Theatre – Hand drum song …






YouTube – Re: Native American Indian /love the earth This is a video response to Native American Indian women’s fancy shawl Pow wow dancers … Added: April 26, 2007 From: kosmikB. earth day celebration in nyc …





YouTube – 13th Native American Film + Video Festival Promo

I offer this film as a gift to any Native American , You Tube website. The film can be accessed Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy Native American Indian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvQsE43fCx8 – 93k










Film: When Your Hands Are Tied / 2007

Film: When Your Hands Are Tied May 23, 2007 8:28 PM

Eric willie

A documentary film that explores the unique ways in which young Native Americans are finding to express themselves in a contemporary world while maintaining strong traditional lives.

Since native youth do not often see reflections of themselves or their communities in mainstream media, we wanted to make a film that features native young people and role models who are finding exciting and positive ways to direct their lives. We also wanted the youth to learn the importance of self-motivation in combination with traditional teachings to help prepare for the challenges of everyday life.

Spirit’sTheatre : Lets go in and watch a Video Movie! 7

documentary Standing Silent Nation


Honor Our Ancestors
A video Montage from NDN News

Pueblo Heritage (20 min)
1950s movie  traces the history of the Pueblo peoples from the Mesa Verde to the 50s.

Navajo Canyon country
1950s documentary movie of the Navajo Indians that reside in Arizona and New Mexico

**The Trail of Tears, A Cherokee Legacy
A photo slideshow of the new Rich-Heape film.

** The Monument of Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder
Free online film about Chief Thunder’s artistry which captures the tragedy of his life, his painful isolation, the beauty of his work, and his creative process.

**The Invaders
Online 1912 movie about a broken treaty between Native American tribes and the US by encroaching railroad men.


*The Sacred Land Film Project
Reflections of Hopi, Wintu and Lakota elders on the spiritual meaning of place.

* New World, New Trailer
The teaser trailer for this latest cinematic retelling of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas.

Film Free Spirit

Its a flick I am working on as well. (Free Spirit) I’m Second Camera for this shoot. But it’s a interesting project since the flick is about a Lakota women whos body was found under a bridge in Denver Colorado in the mid 90’s.





Re: Collection of Videos Thursday, 6:10 AM

Floyd Red Crow Westerma n about Blood Quantums


The “Harlem Indian” interviews his Uncle from the Sisseton Wahpton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Robert Upham from Fort Belknap asks … [more]


Harlem Indian- movie project


short trailer of assorted content and themes of Robert Upham’s “Harlem Indian” movie project about American Indian identity. The movie will … [more]


Muckleshoot Pow Wow


Harlem Indian attends Muckleshoot Pow Wow


University of Washington Pow Wow


Men’s Championship round at the University of Washington First Nations Pow Wow 2007


Keith Secola performing


Keith Secola performed recently visiting the Puyallup Indian Reservation for the first time. He sang the song – “This Land Is My Land”-his … [more]


Speakers at Peltier Rally


American Indian Movement veterans remember fallen Warrior, Joe Stuntz at Leonard Peltier Rally on Saturday February 11, 2007.


N. Scott Momaday on American Indian Identity


The “Harlem Indian” asks question of N. Scott Momaday about our American Indian identity.


Executions of Dakotas in Mankato


Floyd Red Crow Westerman speaks about the holocaust of the American Indian in the United States. He shares the history of the execution of … [more]


Movie: OLDER THAN AMERICA Trailer/ Interviews



A woman’s haunting visions reveal a Catholic priests sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that occurred at a Native American boarding school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide that occurred at Indian boarding schools across the U.S. and Canada

Older Than America – Movie Interview – Wes Studi


Older Than America – Movie Interview – Georgina Lightning


OLDER THAN AMERICA is the story of one woman’s journey of discovery and her
desire to understand the dark secrets of her family and her people’s history
in order to reconcile their past, forgive and have strength to move on.
OLDER THAN AMERICA was directed by Cree Indian actress turned Director
Georgina Lightning and stars Georgina