000796 shelf 0131 / 1263 WF502 NS20666 (folder "1263-64 Wichita"

People from tribes living at the fair were recruited to participate in Anthropology Days athletic events. 

Photo courtesy of Missouri Historical Society

 

The Anthropology Department set up Anthropology Days in which they recruited people from the International villages and tribes people to compete with one another in athletic contests, such as a greased-pole climb, “ethnic” dancing and mud slinging — for the amusement of Caucasian spectators, Abbott writes. She cites a disapproving observation by Pierre de Coubertin, a French historian and founder of the International Olympic Committee, about these events: “As for that outrageous charade, it will of course lose its appeal when black men, red men and yellow men learn to run, jump and throw, and leave the white men behind them.”

Amy Bertrand 314-340-8284

@abertrand on Twitter

abertrand@post-dispatch.com