May 15, 2007

Costume or clothes?

The word "costume" and American IndiansWhen you're talking about the clothes that American Indians wear, call them clothes, or traditional attire, or regalia. If you know the specific words for the items you're talking about, use them. But it'd be great if we could all stop using the word costume.

Maybe an analogy is helpful? When a Catholic priest is in his robes, it is not proper to call it his costume. If you want to dress up like a Catholic priest for a play, or for Halloween, then what you put on IS a costume.
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 5/15/07.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although; I understand your message concerning how people refer to Indian clothing as costumes, I want you to know that as I searched the web for accurate pictures of Indian dresses, I never meant to offend anyone by using the word costume. I too have Indian heritage; however, I do not have a great deal of background information. Thanks JJ