December 06, 2011

Stereotypical Yulefest postcard

Adrienne Keene writes about a holiday tradition gone wrong in her Native Appropriations blog:

Cambridge 5K Yulefest Postcards, Really?"Yulefest" is a Cambridge, MA tradition of sorts, a Holiday-themed 5k race through the streets of Cambridge, ending at a big tent full of beer. It's considered to be irreverent, silly, and (from what I've heard) an overall good time. "Creative holiday wear" and costumes are encouraged, and everyone has a grand ol' time. Until now. Cause I'm not having a grand ol' time after seeing their promotional materials.Two vintage-looking Indian women, waving/saying "how," wearing stereotypical feather headbands, accompanied by a tipi wrapped around a Christmas tree. Fantastic. I assume they were going for "cute" "clever" maybe even a little "hipster" or "ironic"? Or maybe it's a weird reference to the taking the "holidays back to their old school roots" in the description? But, what, I ask you, does the stereotyping of Native people have to do with running, or even the holidays for that matter?After Keene posted the pic on Twitter, the Cambridge 5K people responded:@NativeApprops Didn't mean to offend anyone. Thanks for the schooling, we agree with you.Comment:  I don't see any irony or message here. I think they were going for a straight, traditional "cute."

The Cambridge 5K people admitted they were wrong, more or less. That's better than the usual response.

For more holiday celebrations gone wrong, see Duke's "Pilgrims and Indians" Party and Thanksgiving Dinner in Suburgatory.

P.S. I'd say the image is of an Indian man and woman, not two women.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, hey, speaking of tired "cute" stereotypes, Paw-Paw Bears (which takes my "white people think Indian country is the moon of Endor" complaint literally--by portraying Indians as teddy bears) came in #8 on Topless Robot's list of the Most Atrocious Hannah-Barbara Cartoons Ever. If you're wondering why only #8, I should point out that Scrappy-Doo only came in at #6.