July 09, 2011

"Navajo Wolves" Spirit Hoods

Adrienne Keene writes about another fashionable appropriation of Native culture in her Native Appropriations blog. This time it's a company that makes "spirit hoods":

Oh Spirit HoodsBlack Wolf-Navajo
Mysterious » Shapeshifter » Beauty

The black Wolf spirit has unmatched ferocity, cunning, stealth, confidence, and loyalty. They howl at the moon and are great communicators with a strong appreciation of music. This animal spirit feels at home within order and chaos. Often a teacher or dancer with keen senses, these warrior spirits will also defend their ground. The Black Wolf is in touch with lunar influences and the shadow within. This healer brings the magical spirit-medicine.

Adrienne responds:Deep breath. Ready? Let's looks at this critically. How many stereotypical "Indian" traits can we fit into a short paragraph? So apparently Navajos are described by the terms "mysterious, shapeshifter, beauty"--because we're all like Twilight and turn into wolves. Though, it's an interesting reference to skinwalkers too (f you want to be scared s***less, have a Navajo tell you some of those stories. ::shudder::). Then we've got the "warrior spirit" and "brings the magical spirit-medicine"--basically every line of this description reads like a bad Indian fantasy novel. We've got the warrior stereotype, the connected with nature and the environment stereotype, the wise teacher stereotype, the mystical healer stereotype, the musical stereotype...on and on and on.Comment:  Adrienne also rips the company for its "white privilege" defense of its Native ripoffs. Check it out.

For more on fashion, see "Cherokee Chic" = Generic Hippie Look and Geronimo "Make Believe" T-Shirt.


Anonymous said...

Weren't Traditional Navajos shepherd folk?

I doubt they would hold wolves very highly then...

HideStyle said...

They should have just called it "dismembered wearable teddy bear carcass" and left it at that.

Shadow Wolf said...

To the first poster without a name. I would certianly add to it, that this idea of theirs is simply-- "Make Believe":

They are just as fake and fallacious as the White "injuns" they put in Hollywood films.