Baby Teepees are like, totally, in
Um, yeah. I laughed out loud at Julia's commentary on her tumblr (she blogs at A'allure Garconniere as well), and I really don't think I can say it any better:
I’m so happy incorporating teepees into my home decor allow my child the opportunity to erase my nation’s history of violence and cultural genocide by encouraging his imagination run wild about the ways he, too, can be cultural appropriative when he grows up.
Some commenters on this item debated the idea of playing Indian:
[W]hen I was a kid, I did "play Indian." I also played cowboy and farmer and caveman and princess and astronaut and pioneer. Some of the characters I pretended to be were fantasies (like Wonder Woman) and some were not. I do not think that "playing Indian" relegates Indians to the domain of fantasy. The point of pretending to be someone else is imagining what it's like to be another person, to live another life. And I think this is good for children: it is GOOD to foster imagination and empathy, and furthermore, it is a way that children choose the kind of lives they want to lead as adults.
Debbie Reese said...
reptilegrrl thinks it is good for kids to imagine what they want to be as adults. She says that as a kid, she played Indian, and, she also played cowboy and farmer and caveman and princess and astronaut and pioneer.
An odd mix, I think. Cowboy and farmer and astronaut and pioneer are all things that people choose to do with their lives.
People cannot choose to be an Indian. They can't choose to be Black, or Asian, or Latino/a....See the difference? And when children "play Indian"--just what kind of Indian are the playing? Usually they're playing a stereotype (the wild, menacing Indian, or the noble one). Either way, the actions and items they wear are problematic.
Do you encourage your children to "play Black" to foster empathy for African Americans? How do they dress up to do that?
For more on stereotypical tipis, see The Pee-pee Teepee and Teepees in Koff Beer Ad.