This essay examines four images from the Apostle Islands Indian Pageant staged on the Red Cliff Ojibwe Reservation in northern Wisconsin in the mid-1920s. The essay argues that these photographs embody the gendered, racialized, and sexualized tropes of American Indians wherein indigenous bodies and indigenous histories were used to justify conquest and colonization. Painting Indians as exotic, erotic “others” served a dual purpose: not only did it rationalize colonialism, but it also created a market demand for cultural tourism in which non-Natives leapt at the opportunity to see live performances of traditional songs and dances and to traverse the country to see productions of Indian history performed by Indians. The Apostle Islands Indian Pageant symbolizes the juncture of race, sex, empire, and indigeneity in the early twentieth century.

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