Monday, September 30, 2013

Is Cher an Indian? The Controversy of Cher's Heritage

Rumors persist that Cher has Indian heritage. Are they true? If you watch this video, the whole half breed thing strikes you as a little dubious:

Cher rocks the outfit, but she's precariously perched on what appears to be a horse that is almost dead. It makes you wonder what kind of Indian would run down to a ponyride, toss aside some ten year old birthday girl and commandeer her mount. Cher's riding style is also suspicious. It is excessively upright. But let's look at the alleged facts:

If you reference Wikipedia, you will find that "Cher's father, John Sarkisian, was an Armenian truck driver with drug and gambling problems, and her mother, Jackie Jean Crouch was an occasional model and bit-part actress with Irish, English, German, and Cherokee ancestry."

Yahoo Answers reports: "Her mother is of French and Cherokee descent. Her father is of Armenian descent. Cher was born in California and her father left her and her mother soon after her birth. She was raised by her mother with American traditions and standards." 

It seems everyone agrees that Pop was a deadbeat Armenian. And Mom's fambo clearly got around. Most sites claim Cher's maternal ancestors undertook sexual relations with the Irish, English, German, Dutch and/or French. 

Not to mix it up, but here's a wrinkle: 

Was Cher born on a wagon of a traveling show? Is Cher a gypsy, tramp and/or thief like she claims in this number? The internet says no. Cher has no troubadour roots. This whole song is one big lie. Moving on.

Mental Floss seems pretty authoritative on the matter: "Prior to 1973, Cher's biography always listed her father (John Sarkisian) as being of Armenian heritage, while her mother was of Irish and German extraction. But when Cher's single "Half Breed" started climbing the Billboard charts (it would eventually hit number one), suddenly she remembered that she was 1/16th Cherokee on her mother's side."  This makes some sense to me, as I appreciate crafty marketing campaigns.

Here's another reference saying ixnay on the eeCherokay, "Cher's father was born to Armenian parents. Her mother was of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French, descent. Cher is also stated to have Cherokee ancestry on her mother’s side, but no Cherokee ancestors are documented on any publicly available genealogies of Cher."

And Cher's IMBd profile says, Cher is  "of Armenian heritage on their father's side, and of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French heritage from their mother's side." No Cherokee mention, you will note.

So I think this mystery is solved, subject to the flexible accuracy standards of the internet and my waning interest in further pursuit of this topic. But here's a few extremely important books and videos every Cher fan should really have in their collection. If you don't I'm pretty sure you cannot call yourself a true fan:

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