Chief Nah-Mee or Chief Namee is a character from the Jungle Cruise.
- 1 History
- 2 Disney Parks
- 3 Trivia
- 4 External links
- 5 Gallery
Chief Nah-Mee is a (presumed) South-American man who lived in the Amazon Rainforest during the 1930s. He was a chief and made frequent trade with outsiders such as the Jungle Navigation Company, predominately selling and obtaining shrunken heads. Nah-Mee was the cousin of Trader Sam, another trader of shrunken-heads who was considered to be the jungle's head-salesman with Nah-mee himself being considered, "The Head Man of the Jungle". Sam is a figure believed to hold supernatural abilities such as immortality but it is unknown if Nah-Mee shares such powers.
The chief used to be encountered around the end of the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom, offering guests deals on shrunken heads where they would receive two of his heads for one of theirs. Skippers may also make a variety of dark humoured jokes regarding his head-shrinking business and cannibalism. Sometimes he is characterized as killing those who harm the ecology of the jungle and river to use their heads. During the Jingle Cruise overlay, Nah-Mee was dressed in a makeshift Santa Claus costume and was referred to as, "Trader Sam-Ta".
Designs differ significantly between the Disneyland Jungle Cruise and the incarnation featured in Walt Disney World. Because of these differences, this second version's introduction at Magic Kingdom was eventually scripted as being given the name "Chief (Name)" to allow for Skippers to use whatever they wanted. However, with the sense of humor the attraction encourages in its skippers, they began calling him "Chief Namee". At some point in the late 2000s, scripts were changed at the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise to maintain consistency with Disneyland and the character was again referred to as Trader Sam.
When the Trader Sam's bar opened in the Disneyland Hotel in 2011, the second version was called Chief Nah-Mee in pictures and described as being Trader Sam's cousin. This would confirm Sam and Nah-Mee being separate characters within the Disney Parks mythos. The adapted name appeared to be another play on words, here as if to say, "That's na' (not) me" in reference to the confusion between Sam and Nah-Mee. Despite this, Magic Kingdom's Cruise script continued using the Trader Sam name for the character.
In 2021, the figure of Chief Nah-mee was removed from the Jungle Cruise as part of a refurbishment aimed at removing racial stereotypes from the attraction. The replacement for this was a JNC "Lost & Found" which was repurposed by Trader Sam as, "Trader Sam's Gift Shop". His figure still appears in Tokyo Disneyland albeit without connotations of murder or corpse desecration.
A photograph of Chief Nah-Mee is hung on the wall in this bar with print saying, "Trader Sam's cousin, Chief Nah-Mee, on opening day of the east-coast franchise". The east coast franchise being Walt Disney World's Adventureland but in-world being an allusion to one of the Jungle Navigation Co.'s franchises. On the photograph there is a message left from Nah-Mee for Sam saying, " Sam, thanks for helping me get a head". Another photograph shows Sam and Nah-Mee together and also Nah-Mee's umbrella is hung on the wall with a note saying it should be returned to him.
Chief Nah-mee still appears in Tokyo Disneyland's Jungle Cruise where he sells produce and jewellery. He is accompanied by Ellie, the pet Indian elephant of his cousin Trader Sam.
Walt Disney World
The Jungle Cruise
Following his removal, Nah-mee's top hat was featured in concept-art for Trader Sam's Gift Shop. Within the Jungle Navigation Company's Amazon River Base is a booth filled with produce and Coca-Cola, seemingly referencing Nah-mee's fruit trading from the Tokyo version of the attraction.
In the lost & found of this bar is a shrunken head next to multiple umbrellas, seemingly alluding to Nah-Mee's character.
There is an illustration of the chief featured in the menus of the Skipper Canteen. He is also alluded to in books by Trader Sam which titled Top Hats and Umbrellas, What's In a Name, and The Banana Trade.
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto
In this bar is a photograph of Sam and Nah-mee together.
- Goofy briefly appears dressed as Chief Nah-Mee while holding a shrunken-head in the Mickey Mouse short, "Wish Upon a Coin".
- Nah-Mee is alluded to in the Jungle Cruise film when Lily Houghton gives Trader Sam a top hat.
- Chief Nah-Mee and Dr. Albert Falls are both Jungle Cruise characters who got their official names from improvisational jokes made by skippers.
- Supposedly, one of Nah-mee's shrunken-heads was made to resemble actress Katherine Hepburn. This would be attributed to her character Rose Sayer in the film The African Queen (1951) which inspired the Jungle Cruise.
- Nah-Mee's skirt is a tribute to the original Jungle Cruise boats as the fabric is made to look like the same fabric used in the canopies for the original boat designs, as if Nah-Mee salvaged the outfit.
- Nah-Mee was designed by animator Marc Davis and resembles another one of Davis' characters from Peter Pan who was an inappropriately racially-stereotypes Neverland native with an umbrella and top-hat.
- Jokes made by skippers often referenced Nah-mee eating family members such as a wife, brother and father; often alongside the skipper in question.