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Spectacle of Otherness

by Kate Fortmueller

Many of Thomas Edison's film feature a spectacle of otherness. Many early films feature "primitive" people recorded by modern technology. This is a reflection of growing interest in the 19th and 20th centuries in images and spectacles of foreign people or racial and ethnic others. The combination of primitive people with modern technology also serves to reaffirm the wonder of the technology by subtly pointing out, "look how far we have come." This sequence features the performance of a Sioux Ghost Dance.

Sioux Ghost Dance (1894)

Sioux Ghost Dance was filmed in the Black Maria studio at the same time as Buffalo Dance (1984)

from Sioux Ghost Dance (1900)
Creator: William K.L. Dickson and William Heise
Distributor: Kino Video
Posted by Kate Fortmueller