October 30, 2006

Dressing up = learning experience?

More on Indian Costumes at Halloween

Un-PC Mom:People dress as Marie Antoinette, don't they? People dress as Vampires. The point is, people dress as things that they find intriguing and actually might want to learn more about. I am very sorry if you find it offensive, but honestly, I find it an opportunity to talk organically with my child about what she finds interesting and then that opens the door to what is there academically. She certainly means no offense, being 6, and I, most certainly do not either. In this day and age, when so little is actually taught correctly about native american indians, I find it a great "in" to talk about everything with my daughter. I am sorry if it offends your sensibilities, but then, that is something for you to deal with. At the end of the day, do you want people to be insinserely NOT talking about Native America Indians, or do you want them to learn, by hook or by crook, what is real?Educator:I’m wondering what resources you and your daughter would use to find information about “Indian” ways of dressing and looking? Without the most accurate resources and careful choices, the result is likely to be a pseudo-historical mélange of styles and inaccuracies that will add to her misinformation about what it means to be Indian, in either the historical or contemporary sense. Even if the costume is 100% authentic/accurate, you still run into the problem of allowing your child to think that "playing Indian" is somehow on a par with pretending to be a vampire or Marie Antoinette, which it isn't.(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 10/29/06.)

Comment:  I guess children are suppposed to learn what's real by looking in the mirror and saying, "Indians sure didn't look like this!"

See Indian Wannabes for more on the subject.


Rob said...

There's no evidence that un-PC Mom has actually discussed Indians with her daughter. And Halloween costumes such as the ones illustrated are clearly influenced by sports mascots in the media.

Rob said...

There are some interesting comments on Debbie Reese's original blog entry, including one from me. Check 'em out.

Rob said...

If you're talking about my comic books and website, Natives find them more than tolerable. See The Fans Speak and The Web Fans Speak for the evidence.

I expect these cultural pursuits will have a small but lasting effect on the national landscape...just like your stories.