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Bill Cotter, May 13, 2018 in The 1939-40 New York World's Fair
This is just a guess. Might it be the Cuban Village in the Amusement Zone?
Hmm, not seeing that myself.
Well, the trouble is, there just weren't native villages as with previous fairs. A look at Amusement Zone attractions provides proof of this. And it would not have properly fit into any national pavilion in the government zone. It would have been far too tacky and inappropriate for those rather straight laced venues.
I find no other exhibit that offered any glimpse into a living native exhibit. In fact, the Cuban Village is the only such listed native exhibit in the entire Amusement Zone other than Miracle Town populated by midgets and that ain't it.
Possibilities (and these are a real stretch) might suggest Frank Buck's Jungleland or NTG Sun worshippers, or Strange as it Seems, or the Savoy Ballroom, or Henieken Zuider Zee, Living Magazine or Sun Valley or Wall of Death or Merrie Old England or Bob Sled or Frozen Alive and the list continues and none --not one--fit the photographs. Nor would they. But the Cuban village seems to punch some of the basic native village exhibit cards that appear on your two photographs.
It's not the elite Terrace Club, the Savoy Ball Room or the Queens Host House and the photos sure don't belong in the Tru Blu Inn. Unless the list is incomplete, this has to be "the authentic Cuban village".... "where Cubans performed the exotic Yanego rites dance." If it' not, I'll eat my Trylon and Perisphere souvenir salt and pepper shakers.
Do you have a suggestion, Bill?
Very peculiar, to my eye. So messy, and so many artifacts, it seems like it was ripped up, transported to New York, and dumped at the fair, not a newly constructed representation. And, also, a stark contrast to the pictures of dancers and musicians I can find.
No, Jim, scratching my head. These don't seem to fit the descriptions or photos of the Cuban Village here: http://1939nyworldsfair.com/worlds_fair/wf_tour/zone-7/Cuban_Village.htm
Aha! They looked more like Indians to me so I did a search and found this page: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/collections/new-york-worlds-fair-1939-1940-records#/?tab=navigation&roots=6:b1838fb0-c532-012f-ee4d-58d385a7bc34/b2adb010-c532-012f-eafe-58d385a7bc34/2:db630b60-c532-012f-1884-58d385a7bc34/128:19eb1b10-c545-012f-ca66-58d385a7bc34
I went through each of the images and found there was evidently a Hopi Indian Village in 1939. I imagine it was in the amusement area but have yet to find it on a map.
Not Hopi, but probably Seminole, judging by the costumes.
It doesn't appear on my map either. However, a series of amateur films of the 1939 NYWF known as the Medicus films may contain brief footage of this village. The film of the Amusement Zone pans the exhibits across the entire zone. A number that do not appear on any map I have do appear in this film. There is a reference to a Seminole Village.
I searched the Internet Archive Medicus Films NYWF Seminole Village and there it is. Reel Two. Part One. 3:44 into this film--crowds outside of the Seminole Village.
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