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Halloween: The Stereotypes Of American Indian Culture

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Halloween tends to be a U.S holiday in which American Indians are repeatedly depicted in offensive ways. Costumes of American Indians on Halloween contain many similarities to the costumes of those of individuals who “played Indian.” Like the costumes put on by children, teenagers, and adults every Halloween claiming to portray an Indian identity, Lewis Henry Morgan and the other society members played Indian and took part in “yet another reinvention and dramatic appropriation of Indianness” (Deloria 94). Halloween costumes continue to reenact “stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples as a much-distorted, monolithic culture” (Robertson). The stereotypes and tropes continually reenacted in these “authentic” American Indian costumes are feathered headdresses, …show more content…
Images of the costume quickly circulated on social media, and the couple was met with a wave of criticism. Individuals on Twitter responded to the costume with Tweets stating “Apologize for your disgusting costume & to Native people of this land who continue their struggle to be seen, heard & respected” or commenting that the costume choice was “ignorant and incredibly disappointing” (Britton). I agree with those who are angered by the couple’s costume. Not only is the costume insensitive given the events at Standing Rock, but Duff’s boyfriend is donning a stereotypical Indian costume of a feather headdress, red war paint, and fringed suede clothing. Although the couple later apologized on social media, their assumption that the costume was harmless and appropriate shows how little society has come in eradicating the racism and dehumanization of American Indians.
A second incredibly offensive Halloween costume is that of two young women pictured below. The two women are wearing stereotypical feathers in their hair and as earrings, one has a braid, and both have headbands going across their foreheads. They are holding beer cans and are portraying “water pertecters,” likely misspelling words on purpose to reference American Indian unemployment. Not only are they mocking and disrespecting Natives, but they are making light of the terrible arrests and attacks happening at the #NODAPL protests

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