Apparently some Miami nightclubs hold dress-up (cosplay) nights on Thursday. I gather Sleepless Entertainment arranges the events and provides a few professional dancers to entertain the crowds, who may or may not dress up in the evening's theme.
Past themes include:
Down the Rabbit Hole (Alice in Wonderland)
Halfway to Halloween (skeletons, ghouls, etc.)
Star Wars Cantina
Lost City of Atlantis (mermaids)
So...Halloween-style parties every week. It seems harmless enough, except for this:
Pow Wow Tribal Cosplay Thursdays @ Spazio Nightclub
April 4 at 11:00pm in EDT
Spazio Nightclub in Miami, Florida
No doubt they'd say they're members of some generic "global tribe" But they're using the Native American word "pow wow" and Native-specific headdresses, facepaint, and other accouterments. It's hard to read this as anything but stereotypical and racist mockery of Indians.
The fire-twirling and tiki-style mask aren't part of any American Indian culture, although they might qualify as Native Hawaiian. Yet these performers also have the facepaint and handprints specific to American Indian cultures. So Sleepless Entertainment is telling us all indigenous people are the same. The company's view is that they're barbaric people who wear strange costumes, do strange dances, and worship strange gods.
Look at the cosplay line-up: fictional characters, supernatural beings, aliens, mermaids, circus freaks...and Indians. One race is relegated to fantasy-land along with elves, fairies, ghosts, goblins, unicorns, and the rest. (Note the woman with elfin ears.) As far as Sleepless is concerned, Indians don't exist except in some make-believe realm.
Can you imagine if Sleepless held a Safari night with people dressed up as Africans in grass skirts and bones through their noses, shaking their spears and rattles and dancing with animals? That's exactly what this Tribal Cosplay night is. Yet no one seems to recognize the inherent racism.
I wonder what America's 566 federally recognized tribes would think of being portrayed as drunk, dancing, preening peacocks. I.e., as primitive savages who have no intellect, culture, or religion. Who exist only to satisfy their basic urges, like animals.
And spare us the arguments about how they didn't intend any offense, it's just harmless fun, don't take it so seriously, worry about more important things, etc., etc. Unless you have something new to say, don't bother defending this racist behavior.
For more on the subject, see Nicole Ritchie Dressed as "Indians" and Half-Naked Drummer Dressed as "Indian."