Indian Head Nickel Navigation on this Site Indian Head Nickel

As the navigation icons for this site, we have selected the most widely circulated stereotypical images of Native Americans and of one of the items sacred to at least some of these people. The St. Joseph County Public Library, in South Bend, Indiana has an Info File Database on the Web. One of the items in this database tells us that the Indian head nickel (also known as the buffalo nickel) was designed in 1912 and featured a profile of Chief John Big Tree of the Iroquois Tribe. These coins were minted from 1913 through 1938 and were in wide circulation much later than that, at least through the 1960's. The portrait on this coin fixed the facial characteristics to be associated with Native Americans so firmly in the minds of the people of this country that Indians were unable to get jobs in Hollywood, playing Indians, because they did not look Indian enough! The info bite from the St. Joseph County Library tells us that Chief John Big Tree had bit parts in over 100 movies. More typically, Italians and Jews were cast as Indians, simply because their noses were bigger. And, of course, the buffalo, whose gratituous slaughter was a major factor in the destruction of the culture of the Plains Indian, is shown on the reverse side of the coin.

Now you may purchase watches made from these coins or jewelry, right here on the Web.

The image of the "heads" side of this coin will be used to indicate a link forward to the page indicated. The "tails" side of the coin will indicate a return back to the index page from which you reached your current page. In the same spirit, to return to the "home" page, the image of the older Indian head penny, minted from 1885 to 1909, will be used.

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