GOING NATIVE OR SUPERNATURAL FOR HALLOWEEN?
Halloween is coming… All Hallows Day, better known as All Saints Day has become an open invitation to a wild array of costumes. We expect to see vampires, werewolves and hybrids, ghosts, witches and zombies, and other ghouls and goblins. If network TV is any indicator, these creatures are all the rage. Some of the most popular shows on network TV are:
The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, American Horror Story (Coven), Freakshow, Beauty and the Beast, Supernatural, The Walking Dead (and Talking Dead), The Tomorrow People, and soon Star Crossed. Did I forget any of the supernaturals?
On Halloween, we can also expect to see people dawning costumes that, to them, represent other ethnic groups. Inevitably, one popular costume is dressing “Native American.” This is challenging on many fronts. For one thing, “Native American” Halloween costumes often mirror the “Hollywood Indian” portrayed through TV and movies. Pocahontas and similar costumes are stereotypical at best. A related challenge was voiced by Noel Altaha, an indigenous scholar and thinker, and a fan of Remember Native Americans, our Facebook page. Noel’s message was loud and clear: “I am Native American and I am not a costume.” This is her video.
In the past, we’ve blogged on several debacles involving “Native looking” clothing on runways and in retail stores… from the Navajo hipster panty and Navajo clothing line by Urban Outfitters, to the Kim Kardashian fashion line going tribal, to the Manifest Destiny t-shirt by the The Gap, to the Native American runway outfit by Victoria Secret. We appreciate that Noel is adding an important, personal perspective to these efforts and helping to raise awareness around sensitive Native concerns.