elation and concealment: "The closer you get, the greater the mystery becomes"-a colonial version of Freud's uncanny. What better way for a white world to capture the alternaEMRTCting rhythm of mimesis and alterity than with the uncanny imag
The mission of he white Indian? On the one hand is the mimetic revelation of whiteness, on the other, the alterity of the Indian hidden in Darien jungles, the two "moments" of mimesis and alterity here energizing each other, so that the more you see the phenomenon as mime
tic, as "like us," the greater you mak
e alterity, and vice versa.
War Paint This alternating current is depicted in innumerable ways, none more strange than the two events when Marsh was personally involved in armed combat in the Cuna uprising. In each instance, according to Marsh, the Indian men opened fire on his orders, executing a plan he claimed to have had a large part in planning. The first occasion was just after h
e had drafted, together with Cuna ch
the Cuna Declaration Of Independence (based on his knowledge of the U.S. Declaration of Independence). The second was an attack on a garrison in which twenty-two Panamanian soldiers were killed, and which had a great effect on the outcome of the uprising. On these two occasions Marsh let slip that he was costumed in Indian dress. Before the battle, "All of us, including myself in Indian dress, had our cheeks painted red, a red stripe put on our noses, and each was given some concoction to drink, p
repared by the Indian medicine men."
(255) In no other circumstance does he mention being dressed like this except for the dance of the "Chocoi" Indians of the interior in 1924, a year before, when the women painted his body. In the thick of struggle where men blend in common cause, mimesis and alterity are bro
ught to a fine intertwinement. The a
lternating current flows smooth and fast, along with the paddles of the fastmoving war canoes. We can just about see him in there, dark as it is for this night-time attack, concealed among the Indians he is leading. There seems, in our imaginations at least, to be a flurry of feathers and the glistening of war paint-then suddenly we haul back before a photograph of Cuna Indians from that time, for instance a
board the USS Cleveland. What is this