June 09, 2009
Order of the Arrow video
Comment: The Order of the Arrow is a Boy Scouts group. You can see its "American Indian activities" beginning at the 0:32 point. The white boys are wearing chiefs' headdresses, which is generally wrong. Other than that, it seems they're trying to imitate Indians faithfully.
But it's weird to see white boys as fancy dancers, a drum group, and Peruvian singers. I don't know how many mistakes they made, but I doubt real Indians would consider them authentic. Besides, dressing up as if it were Halloween implies that the clothes make the Indian--that anyone can be an Indian by pretending to be one.
And of course the arrow emblem stereotypes all modern-day Indians--dancers, drummers, singers--as primitive warriors. It's about as accurate as having an Order of the Crossbow to "celebrate" European culture. Yes, Europeans once used crossbows, but so what? What does that have to do with anybody who has lived in the last century or two?
For more on the Boy Scouts, see Order of the Straight Arrow in King of the Hill and Scout Society Stereotypes Indians. For more on the subject in general, see Indian Wannabes.