While listening to the radio the other day, one commercial starts out with the exclamation: "COWABUNGA!" The rest of the ad follows. Anyway, I told a friend of mine that being part American Indian, this offended me. Which brought on this witty exchange:
"'Cowabunga,' is an Indian word?"
"I dunno, it sounds like one though."
"You're Native American?"
The rest of the talk was determining that all we knew about the word was that surfers said it, as did Bart Simpson. Not a real endorsement to fuel my fake indignation of the white man stealing my heritage which I know almost nothing about. Clearly some etymological research was needed. My initial research revealed nothing. An unknown origin.
Then I had a breakthrough. The word was from the "Howdy Doody Show" It was spoken by Chief Thunderthud as a greeting and such. Well, clearly I was in the right, and I could resume my indignation. I mean doesn't this look like someone who is an authentic Native American:
That was the only pic I could find. But he looks pretty real to me. And if you can't trust a children's show from the 1950s to give you an accurate, historical Indian expression then this world is in real trouble.
Nick Cave at the Beacon, June 14, 2017
5 weeks ago