Tell me why, Tumblr.
Tell me why I did a search for ‘Wampanoag Dress’ looking for historical and reconstruction Wampanoag attire and found THIS instead.
Tell me why non-native people think that it is remotely appropriate to dress their children up like this:
And make them choose ‘Indian Names’ (The OP’s child chose the name ‘Creative Spirit’ and the OP thinks that this is just darling).
Tell me why non-native people are still perpetuating the myth of ‘The First Thanksgiving’.
Tell me why Wampanoag people are continuously referred to in the past tense in this post, as if they stopped existing the day after the setting of that myth.Tell me why the OP is flippant and silly and almost proud about her own ignorance:
“The first thing we did was build a wetu. Huh? Yeah, a wetu. Apparently that’s what the wampanoags lived in. This is how my kindergartner described it to me. Silly me, guess I should have known that. I mean who doesn’t know what a wampanoag and a wetu is?”
Tell me why they call this ‘Educational’ and think they’re doing a good thing.
This is how racism starts.
This is how stereotypes are formed in the minds of children.
This is the start of the path that ends with hipsters in war bonnets frolicking in fields half-naked, carrying bottles of booze and getting self-righteously angry (And refusing to learn. And continuing to be angry) when they’re confronted.
When you only speak about Native American people in the past tense, in certain contexts. When you only mention them as pertains to White history. When you depict them in stereotypical ways. This is how it starts.
Depictions like this are hurtful. Dressing up in redface is hurtful. Wearing ‘war paint’ is hurtful. Dressing up as another race by wearing terribly stereotypical caricatures of what you think that race looks like is not appropriate. Teaching your child that this is what they should think of when they hear ‘Native American’ HURTS REAL NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE. It creates, in the mind of your child, a stereotype, a caricature, of what Native people do/should look like that erases us in reality and removes us from their perception of the modern world. It turns ‘Native American’ into someone wearing beads and headbands and feathers and face paint. It turns an ethnic, racial identity into a costume.
That is not what Wampanoag people -ever- looked like.
THIS is what Wampanoag people looked like in the 1620’s:
THIS is what Wampanoag people look like today when dressed in Regalia for powwow:
And THIS is what we look like when we’re -NOT- dressed for Powwow: