So I’m going to rant here a bit. The time of year has arrived where empathy and consideration go out the window. The image on the left is an ignorant portrayal of what is supposed to be a native woman. The image on the right is in fact, a native woman.
There is no excuse for any race or culture to be compacted into a costume for one night of “fun”.
Portrayals like these strip us of our humanity.
I do not support any person who decides to make the conscious effort to perpetuate a vile act such as dressing up as something you’re not.
You are not honoring me. You do not care about me. You are not going to use my culture to spice up your dull life for a night.
I’m human. I’m native. I’m sick and tired.
Okay, but do keep in mind that “dressing up as something you’re not” is literally the point of Halloween. (Straying from what it originally was meant to be perhaps, but nonetheless, what it is today.)
I am not trying to un-justify your offense to this particular costume (it isn’t something I would ever wear) but perhaps think of it this way:
Let’s say someone, a non-native american, really likes the Disney movie ‘Pocahontas’ and wants to dress up as the titular character for Halloween. (We all know that Pocahontas isn’t exactly an accurate portrayal of the real story but let’s set that aside for now.) Or maybe even dressing up as Tiger Lily to accompany a friend’s Peter Pan costume.
Would you consider this to be racist or offensive?
You say there is no excuse for anyone to dress up in the aesthetic of any race or culture but the fact of the matter is, it happens all the time, with every kind of culture + race, and I don’t think it is ever really meant to be harmful in the way you are perceiving it. Spirit halloween is shitty for plenty of reasons though, and it shows in a lot of their costumes as well. Especially anything accompanied with the word “sexy”… and everyone knows nothing is accurately designed or portrayed. All I am trying to say is that I personally believe there are a few exceptions to your claim.
Actually, let’s talk about Pocahontas and Tiger Lily for a second
They’re both problematic characters for many reasons
I have a problem with Matoaka’s (Pocahontas’ real name) portrayal mainly because of the inaccuracy. She was a child when she met John Smith. She’s hypersexualized in her short buckskin dress and made to look like an older woman. Indeed it is not necessarily problematic to wear a costume that is 100 percent identical to the movie, but it does not sit right with me.
Tiger Lily on the otherhand, doesn’t speak throughout the entirety of her scenes.
The “Why is the Red Man Red?” segment had me squirming awkwardly everytime I would see it. It’s not fun watching blatant racism being thrown in your face at such a young age. (If you don’t think that was one of the most offensive scenes you can fuck right off)
Costumes and representations that hypersexualize and demean native women perpetuate violence. Violence among indigenous women is an epidemic that has been overlooked throughout time. Harmful stereotypes in the media play a significant part in violence amongst indigenous women.
1 in 3 native women will be raped in her lifetime. 70 percent of abusers are non-native people.
1,186 reported cases of missing indigenous women in Canada has called for a national inquiry that is STILL overlooked
Overall, this is extremely toxic. Cultural appropriation should not occur as a basis for costumes. There are so many other creative and original ideas one can muster up, but using race and culture stings like no other.
Chickasaw Nation: The Fight to Save a Dying Native American Language
A 50,000 year-old indigenous Native American tribe that has weathered the conquistadors, numerous wars with the Europeans, the American Revolution and the Civil War is now fighting to preserve its language and culture by embracing modern technology.
There are 6,000 languages spoken in the world but linguists fear that 50% of them will become extinct within the next century. In the US, 175 Native American languages are spoken, but fewer than 20 are expected to survive the next 100 years.
The language of the Chickasaws, known as “Chikashshanompa”, is a 3,000-year-old living language that is categorised by Unesco as being “severely endangered”.
The last remaining monolingual speaker of this language, Emily Johnson Dickerson, 93, died in December. Now the tribe is scrambling to make sure that its language does not become lost.
Dwindling native speakers
The Chickasaw Nation consists of 57,000 people, including 38,000 who live in 13 counties in Oklahoma, a state designated as the Indian Territory which boasts rich oil and natural gas preserves.
"There were over 3,000 speakers of Chickasaw in the 1960s," Joshua Hinson, director of the Chickasaw Nation Language Department tells IBTimes UK.
"The last native speakers who learnt the language at home were born in the late 1940s. From that point on, with people leaving Oklahoma for other parts of the US, mandatory schooling and political pressures to be bilingual in English, the number of people dropped, and now, our youngest native speakers are in their 60s."
There are now only 65 native speakers of the Chickasaw language who are also fully bilingual in English, and only four to five confident conversational speakers who are under the age of 35.
Modern Chickasaw people in Oklahoma live in houses on land held in trust for the Chickasaw Nation by the Federal government.
They have been Christian since the Civil War, although religion co-exists with traditional native Chickasaw customs.
Some customs have died out, such as the native doctors and practice of native medicine, but others, like the role of the woman as a matriarch in the family and in government, have continued, and 60% of the community’s leaders are women.
Read more at:
Whoever reblogged this and got it to 280 notes…THANK YOU.
Preservation of language is a cultural necessity!
(Source: fani-hilha, via getlostmylove)
miumiubyprada-deactivated201407 said: I want to learn the Lakota language but there are no Lakota tribes in my state. Any ideas on where I could learn it?
So, I’m Lakota Sioux. And for a while I wanted to learn really badly.
What I did was google “learn Lakota language.” And I got all sorts of useful results. There were pages with useful phrases/words. There were pages on how to address other people. There were even a few tapes and books on Amazon on how to speak Lakota.
There is also this school called St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. I donate to them once a month because they’re a poor school for Indian children. They have a website with a bunch of information. And I bet if you called them, they might even offer a class over the internet or something. It never hurts to ask. You could donate a couple bucks while you’re on there, too. They’ll send you cool stuff in the mail for every donation as incentive. Like return address stickers and tote bags and ornaments and stuff. They also include handwritten thank-you letters from kids at the school. It’s for a great cause.
(Source: m00nlight-equilibrium, via lastrealindians)
#Lakota grandmothers are rejected as foster parents by#SouthDakota for being too old, rumors, having too small of a house, decades old crimes, too poor, the list goes on.
Then, the children go to non-Native, private, foster group homes and psychiatric institutions. The answer is tribal foster care programs, with unbiased foster standards.
Learn more about the solution: http://lakota.cc/IIaGPC