Smithsonian, disco and Native Americans

Sometimes, even the simplest of gestures will generate positive coverage for a once ubiquitous celebrity - now working the big rooms opening for Cher.

    "Felipe Rose, the Indian dude from the singing group the Village People, presented the National Museum of the American Indian with a framed, gold 45-rpm single of the disco group's 1978 megahit "Y.M.C.A." on Wednesday afternoon.

    And the museum happily and ceremoniously accepted it (a Lakota prayer was sung first, then everyone danced to "Y.M.C.A."), on the precept that sooner or later they might need such an artifact of a bygone era, perhaps to flesh out a future exhibit on the folkloric value of disco, and native cultural responses to it.

    (No, you shut up. It could happen. Why not? There are only so many ceramic pots, war bonnets and kachina dolls that people can stand to look at, and so when the day comes that someone asks, Hey, what about the Indian dude from the Village People? the Smithsonian, as ever, will be ready.)"

That's all from Hank Steuver of the WPost.

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