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somos indios?
July 11, 2005 9:21 PM   Subscribe

El Indio in Hispanic proverbial speech "The proverbial speech of Hispanic America preserves, even today, numerous traces of the interaction between explorers, conquerors, or settlers and the native populations they found in the various regions of the so-called New World"
posted by dhruva (6 comments total)

 
Yet another widely disseminated stereotype regarding the Native American appears in the phrase Indian giver, referring either to someone who violates social rules by seeking to retrieve an item previously bestowed or--particularly in its earliest occurrences--to one who gives a gift in the expectation of receiving an even more valuable one in return. As a childhood taunt the phrase is no doubt repeated by its young users, as in the case of many such slurs, with little real awareness of its ethnic application; but the record of its currency in adult discourse, in more serious contexts, is a substantial one, dating back at least to the early eighteenth century

Wow, given the history between the US and native groups that's a pretty ironic phrase.
posted by delmoi at 9:28 PM on July 11, 2005


delmoi: "Wow, given the history between the US and native groups that's a pretty ironic phrase."

Where I was growing up (in Northern Indiana, right close to the Tippecanoe battleground), it was clearly understood that the term "Indian giver" was meant to disparage the white man.

Of course, that might have just been what my hippy parents taught me.
posted by ewagoner at 6:50 AM on July 12, 2005


Not a proverb, but in current-day Chile, “indio” means dumb, wild, out of control, or ignorant.
One of the many ways in which my country embarrasses me.
Especially since like 90% of the population is mestizo. I’d say it’s ironic, but the irony police might be lurking.
posted by signal at 7:03 AM on July 12, 2005


great link, can't wait to read this. by the time i finish, the thread will probably be buried, however.
posted by ism at 9:53 AM on July 12, 2005


Nice find, dhruva. I particularly appreciate the section on Argentina, where I used to live and where people like to pretend that there were never anything but whites living there. (Little do they know tango would never have existed without black porteños.)
posted by languagehat at 10:17 AM on July 12, 2005


> Not a proverb, but in current-day Chile, “indio” means dumb, wild, out of control, or ignorant

Its the same in Mexico (city anyway).
posted by ernie at 11:31 AM on July 12, 2005


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