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The American Dream

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"The American Dream"

A personal study exploring the exploitation of Native American crafts focussing on the Pequot tribe of Connecticut as an example of many hundreds of tribes.

Jasmine Dye

Through the development of the United States, Native American people or indigenous peoples have always been there and tried to adapt their society and culture to the Modern American way by exploiting their own cultural traits. This has been done by the Natives for hundreds of years and has proven to be a good way of survival through change for them as their population still reaches to 1.3% of the entire American population in Northern America alone.

More recently the Native tribes of Northern America have invested their time and money into the gaming industry due to a national ban on gambling in all states bar Nevada (where many American tribes reside or have resided). In doing this tribes have managed to accumulate staggering amounts of profit including the Pequot tribe, with a net worth of over one billion dollars and a population of only 300 people. They exploited their opportunities in Nevada by building and running 'Foxwoods', Las Vegas, in February 1992, one of Las Vegas' largest casino chains.

Pequot stands for 'Destroyers' and they were known as the scariest and most dangerous tribe to European settlers in Connecticut though they were faced with defeat after defeat until in the 1970's they were reduced to a population of only two; an elderly woman, Ms. Plouffe, who lived on the tribe's reservation ground in Ledyard and her off-reservation sister. When Ms. Plouffe died in 1973, her distant grandson, Richard Hayward strove to keep the reservation from reverting to the state by living there and persuading his relatives to do the same. With this the reservation was granted as their land and so they began to build games halls, bingo halls and small casinos and after many years of battling the law they became one of the richest native tribes in the USA.

This knowledge and success gained does not only apply to the Pequot tribe either, it seems that dozens of native tribes are trying their hand at cards and acting their revenge upon the white man by lavishly supplying his vices. Once cigarettes, then moonshine and now the addictive thrill of gambling; the exploited are exploiting their exploiters in a giant vicious cycle.

Another way in which the natives captured our attention and coaxed us from our money is through native art forms passed from generation to generation. Including tapestries, dream catchers, pottery and bead work the natives of Northern America have been busy striving to keep their cultures alive by watering them down and selling them for the general public to hang and display in their homes.

The prospect of needing a ceremony or ritual



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