Chief Thunder Voice

Bing Crosby being invested as Squamish Chief Thunder Voice.

In 1948, Bing Crosby, then a first-rank international star, visited Vancouver – and ended up being invested as Squamish Chief Thunder Voice, among other civic performances.  The Vancouver City Archives has the video (1.00 minute in).

By the way, what is up with coastal First Nations adopting feather war bonnets?  Is this a kind of weird double reverse emulation: trying to look more stereotypically Chiefly in the eyes of the majority population?  Is it intra-aboriginal cultural appropriation?  Or do they just look freakin’ awesome?  Note the tomahawk as well in the picture above.  Someone should write a paper on “Plains Paraphernalia as  Signifiers of Rank on the Historic Northwest Coast”.  Or maybe they have, already.  I’d read it.

One response to “Chief Thunder Voice

  1. Your 2009 post on Bing Crosby as Chief Thundervoice – a still from a news clip – it is an image I put up for an on-line exhibit I curated in 2008 titled, Aboriginal Art in the 1960s in Vancouver: Fine and Popular, and I am writing about Northwest coast uses of Plains headdresses for public/political/entertainment purposes as part of my dissertation – and as far as I know, no one has ever featured that film clip or that image in any scholarly work, so I’d love to know where you found it. see:
    best, Marcia Crosby, writer, historian, curator and PhD candidate, UBC


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