Police allege the man, who had held them at bay for almost 24 hours, was wearing an Indian head dress and war paint when he surrendered today, and was shouting war-cries prior to his arrest.
1) Indians are universal symbols of protest--mainly against government authority. Examples range from the Boston Tea Party to Palestinians Dress Like Faux Indians to Protest Israeli Oppression.
2) Indians are universal symbols of violence. People who dress as Indians usually do something aggressive: dumping tea, chucking spears, waving tomahawks, or threatening neighbors with a nail gun. They accompany their actions with war paint and war cries. The Palestinian protest above was a rare exception.
(Side note: Nail guns don't kill people. Indians with nail guns kill people.)
3) Plains chiefs are the universal symbols of Indians. Few protesters dress as a Cahuilla or Ute or Shawnee or Wampanoag Indian. If you want to get your message across, use the stereotype of the powerful chief from the past. Show the world that you too can be a legendary figure that no longer exists.
So the entire world is aware of the stereotypical Indian portrayed in countless movies, sports logos, and product labels. Yet Kenn and Ken think eliminating mascots, which this man mimicked, is a problem? Yeah, it would be so tragic if Australians couldn't dress up like Chief Illiniwek or Chief Wahoo for their angry protests. They might have to crack open a book to find out what real Indians look like.
For more on the subject, see The Political Uses of Stereotyping.
Below: Palestinians emulate Indians by dressing up as party clowns.