Ten Little White Folk by Shawna Hanel

In 1868, Septimus Winner penned the song Ten Little Injuns based upon an 1850′s minstrel act. An abbreviated version became a popular nursery rhyme. My parents, in 1974, purchased The Giant Golden Mother Goose for their bookwormish toddler. As a child, I adored Ten Little Injuns. However, rereading the text as an adult eviscerated any affinity I had for the poem, inspiring me to create a revised edition. For the new version, I replaced every instance of the term “Injun” with “White Folk.” I also exchanged every illustration of an Indian with a photograph of white characters from neighboring pages. My hope is that this effort clearly demonstrates the depths to which historical racism permeates modern material culture and points to a future in which genocide and assimilation can no longer masquerade as children’s literature. This is a second edition based on the original, unique book.

Artist Bio

Having grown-up in a home originally decorated at the height of the psychedelic era, Shawna has spent the remainder of her life in recovery. Initially, her rehabilitation involved the exploration of the works of great masters while studying art history. After four years of textbook therapy, she made her way to Europe to behold the classics in person. During a year of hitchhiking from one museum to another, she discovered she was not a budding art historian, but rather a fledgling photographer. Concurrently, she caught a nasty travel bug. On a quest for a cure, she obtained English teaching credentials enabling her to live in Indonesia, Chile and Taiwan. Throughout her time abroad, she refined her photographic technique until she began to suspect that she'd taught herself all she could. This led to graduate studies in Australia at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Today, she has returned to Idaho, where she is an artist educator-and has come to embrace her colorful childhood.