|Found: Indian Bowl, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.|
Made by Dexter, West Nyack, NY. Published by Wyman Post Card Co., Wausau, circa 1951
In his 2003 essay Simulating Culture: Being Indian for Tourists in Lac du Flambeau's Wa-Swa-Gon Indian Bowl, anthropologist Larry Nesper wrote that "After the Second World War, increasing numbers of tourists traveled to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to recreate. Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Indians encouraged this process by availing themselves as fishing guides and by building in 1951 the Indian Bowl, within which they staged Indian dances and related cultural performances." Nesper goes on to argue that a simulacrum of Indian culture in the Northwoods was produced. Today this roadside attraction, illustrated with a photograph from the road showing a brand spanking new 1951 Cadillac parked out front, is now in peril and needs support. Organizers of a restoration effort no longer criticize crass tourism, but acknowledge its importance and that tourism dollars are key to preserving the historic Indian Bowl and outdoor amphitheater. The Indian Bowl facility hosted Pow Wows, Ojibwe dance, and cultural events for decades. The plan it to create a unified multicultural native arts center to be known as the Lac du Flambeau Cultural and Performing Arts Center with a mission to preserve and showcase native culture and heritage.