Those confusing brands of Indians




Images by ANNU PALAKUNNATHU MATTHEW,  in a show called "Annu Palakunnathu Matthew: An Indian from India,'' at the Art Gallery of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth's New Bedford campus Nov. 13-Jan. 25.


The gallery's notes say:

 "The idea, though humorous at first glance, is actually a challenging mediation on the legacies of colonial pasts that were marked by painful attempts to 'civilize' native people - if not reduce them to nameless types.''
The naming of Native Americans (a more precise phrase would be Siberian Americans) as "Indians'' by Columbus, who thought he had reached India instead of a whole new hemisphere, speaks to this comical/sad confusion.