What kind of racialized masculinities are represented in "Pow Wow Highway"? How are these masculinities transformed by the road trip?
Preceding the plot on Pow Wow Highway, it is known that the Native Americans have fought for hundreds of years to keep their rights and traditions. They have been pressed back against by the government and businessmen for years to give up their land and to become modern. Because there is so much pressure to be strong and to stand up for their tribe, the Native American men have no choice but to be extremely masculine. They have the mentality to protect their women, their people, their land, and their traditions. As all men are different, all men respond to these responsibilities differently. As the macho man, Red Bow is quite violent with protecting his people. In a certain case at the beginning of the movie when Young Blood, a fellow tribe member, tries to convince others to modernize their town, Red Bow stands up forcefully and grades him down. Later on in the movie he then takes on his anger and gets in a fight with Young Blood, to show him that the core values of the tribe do not correspond with modernizing the town. Philbert, a more humble man, takes his masculinity in a different direction. He still is gung ho for protecting the tribe, but he cares more about preserving the traditions and beliefs rather than the land. Along the trip, Red Bow gets dragged along Philberts spiritual journey and starts to realize how important the actual background of their culture is. At the end of the movie when Philbert almost dies, Red Bow realizes that it is okay to not be completely masculine all the time, and being able to show your feelings through a hug is quite all right. On the other hand, Philbert becomes more of a manly man by working on completing the journey to become a warrior. Along his journey, he rides his "pony" all around to different areas where he finds signs of his masculinity. At the end it all comes together when he breaks Bonnie out of the jail cell. Although the Native American culture has its stereotypes, this movie showed that they can all be changed through a spiritual journey.