Do you consider native headdresses used in Halloween costumes to be culturally insensitive?

Poll choices
Poll posted 4 years ago.

38 Comments

  • jean - 2 years ago

    The racists pretend that the "indian" " names, like the Washington redskins, are just another ethnic name, whereas they are well picked, against a "defensless people" as noam Chomsky calls them. To demonstrate, racist team owners and fans will never dare call a team the New York Jews or the Atlanta Blackskins. And why not, those are just other fun ethnic names, and should be used for some pro team to force the issue.

  • Denise Laitinen - 4 years ago

    An Aboriginal woman said its okay for people to dress as a Viking, because there arent any around anymore. EXCUSE ME? I am Norwegian and this comment is racist, spiteful and hateful - The Vikings are alive and well and living in Norway and Britian and Canada. If you find the halloween costume thing offensive DONT go insulting other people to make a point, I DONT apologize to anyone for being Norwegian and Caucasian, I am second generation Canadian and I dont apologize to anyone for what happened before my family came here, but I DO take exception to the insults aimed at the Vikings http://www.visitnorway.com/us/about-norway/history/the-vikings/

  • Montana - 4 years ago

    I dont think anyone white should get to have an opinon. Of course it isnt offensive to you. it's not your culture. Its absolutely disgusting and yes, it is very offensive.

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    And by the way. If all of you that find it offensive that these costumes are available and being worn. Why would you not find it offensive to live in a house and not a longhouse or lean to or teepee or wigwam. Why would you not find it offensive to drive a vehicle as opposed to paddling our canoes down rivers. Would we not find it offensive to use Nike or adidas or reeboks as opposed to moccasins. Would you not find it offensive when we shop and eat out of a grocery store instead of living off the land. Where's the line. Where do you as people realize you are actually undermining our people and our progress in society. Unfortunately another example of two steps forward. And Three big steps backwards

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    Oh and my point about the REAL hereditary CHIEFS that deserve the right to defend these symbols of our history and cultural identity, was in fact that even those Indians or natives only do it for a few hours at a time or a few days out of the year so. It is out of respect for these men that it may be a little offensive. But to portray these Headresses and Regalia as sacred!? If it was taken from a museum or stolen from one of these REAL CHIEFS!! Then I would understand the outrage. Where do we draw the line is all I'd like to ask?! As I mentioned in earlier statements: THERE ARE REAL ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED. And those people that wear these Headdresses probably won't even stoop to our level and even debate or waste their breathe on this bullshit. With that said. I'm out. And by the way have a safe and happy Halloween eh!!!

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    We as Natives are responsible to keep our traditional ways just so. Traditional. Yet you see Native Rap artists that integrate their music into our traditional music. A lot of traditional ways are used for monetary gain. Dream catchers made in China. Little Indian dolls made in China. Where do we draw the line. We have Native woman that act and dress like white woman. And carry their beliefs. And Native men that do the same. Everyday. Not just on Halloween. What should we say or do about that. Fuck all. Because that is life. Reality. I think a lot of you people that are taking great offence to this may still be suffering from PMPMS. That's the PoorMePoorMeSyndrome. I think they have meds for that now. It's even covered under your status coverage. Lol

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    The reality is these hereditary Chiefs that wear these traditional regalia at pow wows or at prestigious gatherings with political people or that they might be on news or some form of media platform.

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    There are a lot of other examples I could use. That we as Natives have learned to accept

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    Exibit B: Chicago Blackhawks

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    I'd like to refer to exhibit A: Washington Redskins

  • john johnny johnson - 4 years ago

    guess we better dress in real indian costumes... drunk and messed up!

  • Garrett - 4 years ago

    WHY CAN'T THEY GET OVER IT!!! IT"S JUST A COSTUME!!!! You entitled white people all scream. You have no idea about oppression. If you think it's the same thing as wearing a cowboy costume, or some group of not marginalized people, you need to go do some research. Seriously, NO ONE IS TRYING TO RUIN YOUR GOOD TIME. You can have a good time without dressing up as a marginalized group. People are calling you out because, whether they are offended or not, your costume perpetuates harmful ideas about indigenous cultures. It stereotypes, sexualizes, and lumps all native cultures into one group. It invalidates indigenous cultures and identities, which dehumanizes them. DEHUMANIZATION LEADS TO VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT, AND AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SOCIAL INEQUALITIES. Because hey, their weird culture is weird and why can't they just assimilate?!!??! THEN we would treat them right! It's also a fucking slap in the face when thousands of indigenous women have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada since 1994, and continue to be, as well as the government dumping vast quantities of toxic waste onto reserves, LITERALLY killing native people AND colonization also continues with the government not giving a FUCK what indigenous people have to say about them building pipelines on reserves. And yet us white people have the audacity to insult their culture. Fucking get out of here if for some reason you NEED TO wear a shitty ass culturally appropriative costume

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    Ok. I've had a good laugh this morning

  • Liv - 4 years ago

    John, sweetie, it wasn't accurate in the first place. Hun, use a little common sense, anyone can find this poll and give their opinion. This poll isn't being given to Native American people, its open to ANYONE. Meaning, of course you're not instantly going to see anything wrong with it if you're not native american. Are you that hypocritical? IT wasn't accurate in the first place. I swear all racists have an IQ in the negatives good fuckin lord.

  • John - 4 years ago

    This poll is being strongly skewed by a tumblr post viewed by tens of thousands of people advocating for viewers to vote "yes"
    While it was originally not likely to be a representative sample, it is DEFINITELY not now.

  • Vivian - 4 years ago

    http://apersnicketylemon.tumblr.com/post/130846958257/so-my-local-news-station-is-doing-a-poll-asking-if

  • Apsol - 4 years ago

    I like how this poll isn't being given to native american tribes, but anyone who can find it. I mean of course someone who isn't a native american or knows nothing of the cultures will say,"Yeah, it's totally fine." Like seriously, go to some native american tribes, learn their culture, learn what the headdress symbolizes, then pull it from the shelves. It's racist and it shows poor character on the side of the shop owners, the people buying them, and the people manufacturing them.

  • Aziz - 4 years ago

    All or none. If it's okay to dress up as a Scotsman and dishonor their warriors, or a Mexican and dishonor their heritage, or a terrorist or literally anything else that's offensive to any other culture then this is okay too.

    You can't pick and choose, that's a slippery slope which only stifles democracy.

  • Kat - 4 years ago

    Costumes are often, but not always, a way to show support or idolize certain figures. I do not feel that there is anything wrong with costumes that portray any person, culture, or item, as long as it is worn in a positive way.

  • liv - 4 years ago

    So 1/2 the people commenting in support of the appropriation and exploitation of native culture are not making sense, rambling on about irrelevant subjects, the Quran, drunk driving, prisoner costumes, kilts, and a comment from "Noah" that i still can't understand the meaning of.
    Let me expand, Native Americans are posed with a multitude of threats, disadvantages, and inequalities, ones that they face daily and repeatedly, and which white people do not. To provide an example of an inequality Native Americans face, for every $1 a white male makes, Native American women earn about 54 cents. In addition, their entire population are reduced to minute plots of land while consistently being told (primarily by white people) "to get over it." there is the expectation that native americans should be happy that, "hey ya know it could be worse, be happy that we gave you at least a little land, we could have taken ALLL of YOUR land after all." This undeniably racist and biased mindset sets us up to have a tainted view of Native Americans, we paint them in the media as whiny, entitled, bratty, and greedy, always finding SOMETHING to complain about, whether its headdresses as costumes or minute reservations, etc, etc.
    Furthermore, white people are over represented in every form of media. Papers, books, movies, TV, the music industry, etc, etc. and are consistently denied awards and recognition when it is deserved (a recent example of this, though not with a native american, but instead with a black women, who both enjoy significantly lower status in society than whites, is the VMA awards with the artist Nicki Minaj, research it if you don't know what I'm talking about)) Also, Disney has more than a dozen white princesses, but 4 who are not. of these 4, all are from a different ethnicity, and only 1 is native American. And her story, Pocahontas's story, that is, is whitewashed and inaccurate. You want something to compare it to (after you finish googling WHY its inaccurate and offensive, because you probably don't know why, especially if you're white)? Its like making a love story set in the Holocaust where a ruthless Nazi falls for a starved, abused, persecuted Jewish girl dying away in a concentration camp. Its that messed up. Not to mention the fact that almost every time you have an opportunity to cast a native american in a movie or other role, they are played by non-native american actors/actresses. Then you also have the fact that native american women, in addition to latinas and asian women, are amongst the most sexualized groups. Really. I'll give you a quick example, since you're probably tired of scrambling all over the internet for any remotely relevant fact to back your racist beliefs up at this point, just google: native american halloween costume. you'll see photos of, you guessed it, white people parading around in native american cultural items! But try googling white woman/man costume. Haha. funny how that doesn't work out. Id also like to take this moment to point out that the "Naative American" costumes for women are extremely sexualized but uh, the mens aren't? which only further proves the sexualization of native american women, who are amongst the most sexualized groups, up there with latinas and asian women.
    So, let me ask you: why is it that you're telling native americans to "get over" the racism they face daily? Is it maybe because you support a white supremacy? Because you have ignored the continued racism they face everyday? That you just don't care enough?
    Why is it that you're so dead set on dressing up in culturally significant clothing, parading around as a "native american" when you aren't?
    Whatever unique answer you've created for yourself, whatever excuse, everyone's answer has one thing in common, and that's roots in racism against native americans.

  • Angela - 4 years ago

    Sigh, I don't even know where to begin! Um, why aren't all the other ethnic groups complaining Mexican... Punjab.. Greacian... Egyptian. Instead of seeing it as a negative light why not just use it to educate people and as long as no one's using it to promote hatred then whatever! Im sure other groups have special cultural meaning to their clothing as well! If you haven't noticed mostly all of the women's costumes are sexualized and so wearing a headdress as part of a costume isnot meant to be offensive nor does it promote or condone violence against aboriginal women.

  • Angela - 4 years ago

    Sigh, I don't even know where to begin! Um, why aren't all the other ethnic groups complaining Mexican... Punjab.. Greacian... Egyptian. Instead of seeing it as a negative light why not just use it to educate people and as long as no one's using it to promote hatred then whatever! Im sure other groups have special cultural meaning to their clothing as well! If you haven't noticed mostly all of the women's costumes are sexualized and so wearing a headdress as part of a costume isnot meant to be offensive nor does it promote or condone violence against aboriginal women.

  • Noah - 4 years ago

    Get over it already. For all of you who seriously believe this warrants a nanosecond of your time I have a suggestion. On Halloween nite light your hair on fire & run around in a blind panic. The light you provide may save a child from serious injury as they navigate around in the dark. Cuz if it saves the life of even one child its worth it correct ?

  • Anonymous - 4 years ago

    The thing people are failing to remember is that not selling RACIST costumes... WON'T ruin halloween for kids or anyone else. You all keep saying we need to 'start acting like adults' but the commenters saying that Native's need to 'get over it' are the ones being childish, not the people saying 'my culture is not your costume'.

    The fact is that Canadian's are RACIST. And we are ESPECIALLY racist against Native Americans. We have taken something that is a deeply important and SACRED object and bastardized it into a costume we can put on and take off one day in the year and we are SO ENTITLED to this that when people with a perfectly legitimate complaint speaks out and points out our racism we say 'get over it and grow up'.

    How about the people who think this is acceptable grow up for once? How come it is always the oppressed and marginalized group that has to 'let it go'. Why can't the racist white Canadians just grow up instead and STOP BEING RACIST instead of saying "I feel so entitled to your culture that I will wear it as a costume in a bastardized way and you just have to put up with it, and the fact that I will make jokes at your expense'.

    This is not about having fun. This is not 'nothing'. It isn't about it being 'risque', and it isn't about the costumes being super sexualized. It's about the racism involved in wearing another culture as a costume in a clearly disrespectful way. And no, you are not honoring their culture when you wear the equivalent of a Medal of honor for a funny costume. You are not honoring their culture if they have asked you to STOP. Refusing to stop when someone has asked you to is directly disrespecting and dishonoring them.

    You racists really need to grow up, and let it go already. So you can't wear a racist costume on Halloween... there are still thousands of others you can wear, like a hotdog or a fireman. You don't HAVE to be racist on Halloween to have fun, and saying other people should not be RACIST won't ruin anything for you or for children. Using children is such a pathetic argument anyways. They will have just as much fun dressed like a shark or a cat. Not being able to dress as a racist stereotype won't hurt them and won't ruin their fun. Like come on, how ignorant and racist can you get?

    Honestly, I am so disappointed that more than half of Canadian's think being racist is perfectly acceptable. We're not any better than anyone else. We're just as racist as other countries are.

  • M - 4 years ago

    Natives can care about more than one thing. We can concern ourselves with offensive costumes AND systemic poverty, environmental racism, MMIW etc. This is an issue. White people wanted us to assimilate but now that they have found a way to profit off of a bastardized version of our cultures it's okay?? because it's "for fun"?? I don't find the commodification of my culture fun. Any ethnicity as a costume is an offensive harmful stereotype.

  • Stephen - 4 years ago

    It's a valid observation but then aren't costumes of uniforms sexualized and even female newscasters to some degree with their glossy lipstick and bleached blonde hair? It's a slippery slope with no clear boundary. It does seem odd that an advanced society will use such an occasion to make themselves out to be dead or have some grotesque feature like an eyeball hanging on the cheek. The Qu'ran advises women to dress modestly but that's been bastardized to the point where we support cultures that veil women that stems from treating them as property. Maybe we should just bury the hatchet on the Hallowe'en thing and focus more on issues like drinking while driving or making sure we hold the door open for the next person.

  • Pietro - 4 years ago

    It's Halloween. I think some aboriginals or natives or indigineous or Indians , wait a second. What day is it today? Friday. Ok it's Indians today. I find it funny that any Indian would be offended. It's Halloween!! We must be a little more discretionary in the issues or battles so to speak in which we want to actually engage in. This seems to be a very simple issue to deal with. It is HALLOWEEN!! It's for the kids. As adults let's not #*:%@ it up for the kids! Remember: KIDS. We must act more mature than them.

  • Pietro Gray - 4 years ago

    So if all races and nationalities start whining and complaining over a darn costume then we as grown fn adults may ruin it for children. Ffs. Christmas and the whole Santa thing was hard for me to deal with as a child!!

  • Liv - 4 years ago

    If a native goes out dressed in traditional dress or w a headdress theyre gonna be mocked and degraded (all while facing racial and social inequality including inequal pay, employment, and police brutality, also about 0 representation in any media, as well as an incredible amount of whitewashing). But you think its okay to throw on am honored, respected, and integral part of a culture as an accessory? For
    What? A fashion statement? This is called cultural appropriation, when an important part of a marginalized culture is taken by people who are not from or participating in that culture for their own benefit whether it be financial benefits or for 'fashion' or what. Native american is not a costume. Native american is not a fashion trend or style. This is a population with a centuries long history of oppression which spans on to this day. Wearing a culturally significant headdress as a mere costume when you are not a part in any way of that culture or heritage, is cultural appropriation. Hate to break it to you but so are dreamcatchers. I mean there are thousands of options, why do u feel the need to dress up as another culture? Its absolutely degrading and disrespectful. Be a fucking character or usethe slightest amount of creativity and make your own non offensive costume. I promise if u think for maybe like 3 seconds youll think of something that isnt culturally insensitive. Really! A head ess. Culture is not a way to dress. Culture is not a costume. Native american is not a costume. Its simple. Dont dress as a native american. Its not a way to dress. Its heritage. Its culture. And if its not yours, its not yours to dress up in. Seriously? If its so offensive and degrading, why be dead set to dress in it? And no--blackface is not acceptable either.

  • Pietro Gray - 4 years ago

    So if all races and nationalities start whining and complaining over a darn costume then we as grown fn adults may ruin it for children. Ffs. Christmas and the whole Santa thing was hard for me to deal with as a child!!

  • Pietro Gray - 4 years ago

    So if all races and nationalities start whining and complaining over a darn costume then we as grown fn adults may ruin it for children. Ffs. Christmas and the whole Santa thing was hard for me to deal with as a child!!

  • Matt - 4 years ago

    Newsflash: Most costumes are offensive to someone, it comes with living in a free country. I think most people understand that aboriginal issues have nothing to do with concert goers or Halloween costumes. Placing any kind of blame on indian costumes is used as a distraction that can be used to keep the victim mentality going.

  • Nora - 4 years ago

    Ok I agree that costumes have gotten riske but come on. Costumes are costumes. Soon prisoners with get offended when you dress like a prisoner or maybe us country people will get offended when you wear cowboy hats and so on. When will it stop. Don't say this, don't wear this. Seems like Canadians freedom to do things is always getting supressed by someone's idea of what is proper and not proper by their own standards. Last but not least let people enjoy this one day event.

  • Pietro Gray - 4 years ago

    I think that this is completely ridiculous. Native people in Canada in my opinion have serious issues that are being overlooked on a daily basis. But if this is what we as Natives decide to stand up about. I think our motives may be starting to get more and more misguided. If we as Natives continue to segregate or set ourselves apart we might find our peoples worse off in the future if that is at all possible. And after all that being said. It's a costume after all. Would you be offended if a little Indian child wore a pope costume or a nun costume. Or better yet would we as Natives be offended if one of our own dressed up in a three piece suit and decided to be Stephan Harper on Halloween?!? Just a thought

  • aadumb - 4 years ago

    Give it up ambulance chasers. There is complete equality in the amount and variance of different cultures and races that have been made into costumes. Indians should be satisfied that they've been included in the costume business.

  • Auriel - 4 years ago

    This is absolutely disgusting, it's degrading and embarrassing. Stop making native traditional outfits into costumes and having them sexualized.

  • Madeline - 4 years ago

    This is disgusting and disturbing how almost 63% of us think that cultures are costumes. I thought we were better than this.

  • Jesse - 4 years ago

    Get over it - and I won't stop wearing my kilt!

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