March 22, 2007

Wiping 'Squaw' off the Map

Is the word 'squaw' a sexual epithet? Can and should it be scrubbed from the country's geographic landforms like 'nigger' and 'jap' before it? Gelf investigates.

Hadley Robinson

Many Native American groups have been trying to eradicate the word "squaw" from more than 800 American geographic landforms. That's because, under certain interpretations, the term is a sexual epithet. "It's a French perversion of the word that is vagina," Wendy Kelleher, an instructor of English at Arizona State who conducted a study on Phoenix's change of the name of Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak, tells Gelf. "If you called it Cunt Mountain, it would be pejoratively the same."

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- Government
- posted on Apr 10, 07
Wendy Kelleher

Hi, Hadley,
my university affiliation is Arizona State University, not University of Arizona. ASU is in Tempe, AZ, while U of A is in Tucson.
thanks for making the change.

- Government
- posted on Apr 10, 07
David Goldenberg

Thanks for the catch, Wendy. It's fixed.

- Government
- posted on Sep 15, 08
Bruce Spangenberger

Squaw Peak used to be a hangout for all the hippies in the 60's.
A local band called "the Beans" (later the Tubes) used to play there alot.
They used to have "Nude-ins" where every one would climb up to the top (so the cops could not swoop on you)take off all our clothes and smoke alot of pot.
Maybe it was the Indian spirits but what a beautiful time in a beautiful place.
What is wrong with Mother Natures herbs and the shape of a human body in the moonlight?

Article by Hadley Robinson

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