How Native American Halloween Costumes Debase Cultures And Communities


Imagine a culture being mocked and ridiculed as entertainment and dress up for others; Natives do not have to because it is happening every day to them. For years people have just looked at Native American traditions as a joke when in fact they are serious and extremely important to them and their way of life. Their traditions have been done for years before Christopher Columbus “founded” America. Sports leagues mock them with their mascots. People dress up in “Native” costumes for Halloween when their culture is not just fashion but deeper than that. Another way they are appropriated is in movies and television shows. Halloween costumes, sports mascots, and movies are all ways of cultural appropriation towards them.

Sports teams using Indians as their mascots without knowledge of native culture goes to show how people disregard them. Sports teams such as the Washington redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta braves and more are using native culture as mascots, chants, and symbols. Not to mention the tomahawk chop cheers the crowd does is an offensive mockery of the Natives. The mascots, names, and symbols they use are biased towards the culture because they are using their traditions as a form of enjoyment when natives use it as a form of tradition and oral history.

Halloween costumes uses their culture as a form of entertainment. Indian costumes are examples of cultural appropriation because they are dressing up in traditional clothing as a costume. Non- Natives pretend to be a Native for one day out the year to be cute and funny but, there are real natives who are killed by simply expressing their culture. For example, they dress up in their outfits without even being aware of the traditions and heritage the attires are used for. The native clothing has gone back centuries and is very important to their culture so to use them as amusement is shameful.

Natives have been deprived of their culture in movies and television shows for years. The movie “Peter Pan” exploit Native American culture. In the movie “Peter Pan” the character “Kaw Chief” was supposedly supposed to have been a Redskin that resides with other fictional things such as mermaids and pixies which shows the dismissal of the culture. Also, by the way they used “how” as a way they greeted each other which is known to be racist towards Natives. Shows and movies does not put much consideration into Native characters as they do others and is more likely to be racist for humor.

Finally, it may be concluded that Halloween costumes, sports mascots, and movies are all ways of cultural appropriation against Natives. Using another culture as a form of entertainment is highly applauded when in fact it should be discouraged. Many sports teams are thinking of or already changing their offensive mascots, symbols, and chants. More people are becoming aware of the racist remarks and looks against Natives in movies and shows. As for Halloween costumes people are still oblivious to the fact that they are mocking and disregarding the disrespect they caused towards Native culture and needs to be reminded why its disrespectful and will not be taken as a joke.

 

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