I mostly love this celebration. I get to dress my kids up in crazy costumes and raid their Halloween candy as part of my ten per cent mommy tax.
I say ‘mostly’ because there is one aspect of Halloween that I do not love. That is passing by the rows of Indian Princess/Stoic Warrior headdress get-ups that pop up every year.
Seriously, why is this still a thing? I mean costumes are something you put on. Culture is not.
And while we are seeing the headdress being banned from music festivals, it still shows up every Halloween through DIY sites and costume shops.
A “Native American Headdress” is still an option at many Halloween costume shops. (CBC)
So why should you not dress your little one up as an “Indian” or yourself for that matter?
Let’s de-feather the issue and take a naked look at the headdress. There are three things to know about the feather headdress.
1. Who wears them?
The headdress was sacred and still is to many indigenous cultures like the Plains Cree and the Lakota people.
2. How do you get one?
They were not just handed out willy nilly, you know.They have to be earned and gifted in ceremony. Only the most fearless leaders and warriors traditionally wore them. It is kind of a big deal.
3. Why is it important to First Nations cultures?
Again, because it is a sacred item. You don’t see people running around with yarmulkes or hijabs in colourful mockery trying to be trendy.
As the image of the stoic warrior and sexy Indian maiden became more prevalent in movies, advertising and pop culture, the more tarnished the headdress became. Until something that once symbolized accomplishment and position was merely a chicken feather hat to be worn as a costume, an accessory, a joke.
While we as a people try to regain the respect for the headdress, we must also still wrestle the image away from hipsters, celebrities, sports team owners and costume shops.
Throw away the war paint, use the feathers to stuff pillows and just say no to culture as a costume this Halloween. Your indigenous friends will thank you.
Well, it’s nearly Halloween, which means it’s that time of year again when cultural misappropriation runs amok; when you end up at a party and some one comes clad in faux Native American garb, i.e. a chicken-feathered headdress and multi-colored racing stripes on his face. Invariably, the man’s date comes costumed as a “Pocahottie,” and is completely oblivious to the plague of violence against indigenous women in North America. So, folks, here are 15 people who have publicly expressed their interest in dressing up as a Native American this year. Be warned. Some of these are pretty awful:
Halloween is just around the corner, pumpkin-spice-everything is everywhere, and the rain is back in full force. To me, this means it’s time for a visit to my favorite U-pick pumpkin patch! Since most of our area’s best spots have corn mazes, petting zoos, and more, you can definitely make a day trip out of it for you and your family.
Here are five of Washington’s best pumpkin patches that are about an hour away from Seattle:
LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District doesn’t want their grade school kids to be left out of the seasonal fun on the weekend before Halloween, which is why Lakewood Elementary, English Crossing Elementary and Cougar Creek Elementary have come together again to stage the annual HiJinx Carnival from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, in the gymnasium of Lakewood High School.
David Campbell, president of the English Crossing Elementary PTA, explained that local PTAs put on this fall carnival for all the families in the Lakewood School District and the surrounding community.
“Our main focus is to provide the students of our schools the chance to come together, in a spirit of friendship and community, in a safe environment for kids,” Campbell said. “Since we encourage each of the kids to come in costume, we’ve arranged for a few local family photographers to capture this moment. The Lakewood High School Drama Department has also agreed to give us a great time of spooky stories throughout the night.”
These new features will complement familiar favorites such as games, bouncy houses, raffles and a cake walk, all of which are administered by PTA members and volunteers to whom Campbell expressed his appreciation.
“HiJinx is a great carnival that is completely volunteer-run,” Campbell said. “While the PTA is a main sponsor of the event, we recruit local individuals, businesses and other groups to help out with the event, and we always encourage groups and clubs from the high school and middle school to come by and pitch in. The football team, the cheerleaders, Drama and Honor Society, just to name a few, help run our games, paint faces and generally support the elementary school kids.”
According to Campbell, a yearly average of 30 adult volunteers are required to set up and tear down the staging for the event, but the majority of volunteers come from high school groups.
“These students really fill each of the booths and help the younger students have a great time,” Campbell said.
This year, Lakewood Elementary PTA President Julane Urie suggested a costume exchange, which took place at her school on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and marked the first “Give a Costume, Take a Costume” event for the Lakewood School District.
“It was a huge success,” Campbell said. “Anyone with school-age kids probably has a few boxes of costumes from years past that are still in great condition, but are too small for their own kids to wear another year. For many families, these costumes are worn only once, then put into storage, so this was a great way for everyone to get the chance to try a different costume without spending any cash at all.”
Especially in light of the country’s ongoing economic troubles, Campbell acknowledged that a number of families in the Lakewood School District might not otherwise be able to furnish their children with Halloween costumes.
“We really hope that this gave them a chance to step forward and enjoy this lasting memory,” Campbell said.
Looking to the HiJinx Carnival itself, Campbell reiterated that the invitation to this event extends beyond the boundaries of the Lakewood School District, to all grade school-aged kids. “This event isn’t about school politics, PTA grants or sports boosters, but rather, it’s just about clean safe fun for all families,” Campbell said. “In recent times, trick-or-treating has caused anxiety attacks for parents, when they think about sending their kids out door-to-door, so we strive to create a safe place for parents and kids to come and enjoy this holiday.”
Although the fall can often turn into a mad dash between various school sports and extracurricular activities, Campbell hopes the community will take the time to treat themselves to one of the largest volunteer-run events presented by local PTAs throughout the year.
“Halloween is a holiday that parents and students should try and fit into their busy schedules,” Campbell said. “By encouraging appropriate costumes for all of our families, we hope to allow parents and their children a chance to enjoy this event and celebrate the season.”
Lakewood High School is located at 17023 11th Ave. NE in Arlington.
Cabela’s Tulalip will host a “spooktacular” for kids and adults from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with trick or treating in each department of the store. Then take a stroll through the haunted aquarium, try a shot in the 3D Pumpkin Archery Range, decorate yourself with ghostly camo face paint, sample some terrifyingly delicious Dutch oven treats and hunt for the elusive, hairy Sasquatch. Try your hand (1-15 years of age) at the Sasquatch calling contest at 1 p.m. for a chance to win prizes.
Sorry ladies, but we’re calling Halloween 2013 a win for the boys.
Because Halloween in Indian country is always a horrorshow of snide stereotypes peddled to mainstream America as harmelss costumes. Usually — like, almost always — the stereotype is the playful “Native American women are sluts.” Oh, so fun. But this year we’re struck by the men in the Dreamgirl “Restless Wranglers”collection of Halloween costumes: Chief Wansum Tail and Chief Big Wood.
Really? Chief Wansum Tail is OK? Because we wonder whether the same company would dare market an African-American themed costume (we don’t claim to know what it would look like) with the name “Big [anything sexual] Jones.” And lest we neglect the American Indian women unjustly characterized as “Pocahotties,” let’s also wonder whether Dreamgirl could put out an Asian-themed costume called “Little Miss [anything sexual] Geisha.”
Here’s the complete collection of Native-themed costumes from Dreamgirls — and yes, we’re aware that most of them were available last year, if not earlier. No points for longevity. Dreamgirl has a Facebook page.
TACOMA, WA (October 15, 2013) – After 13 days of costume sales at 29 Goodwill stores in Tacoma Goodwill’s 15 county region, non-scary costumes are topping the list for adults and children this year.
Fairy – traditional (33)
Witch – sexy (32)
Fairy – traditional (49)
Witch – scary (25)
Tinkerbell Fairy (31)
Devil – sexy (23)
Witch – scary (27)
Witch – hip (25)
Army brat, Flapper, Go Go Girl, Nurse-Sexy, Soldier
Police Officer (24)
In a straw poll of 1,500 costume purchases from Oct 1 – 13 where cashiers asked customers their costume choice(s):
A majority of the top 10 are non-scary: seven top adult and eight top children’s costumes are traditional, fun or sexy this year
More kids costumes are selling (821) than adults (684)
Top children costumes are trending unisex (gender neutral) such as animals, ninja, vampire and police officer
The impact of merchandising is apparent as adult and children fairy costumes were a featured item in our store imagination station wall displays
The poll reflects the imagination of Washington residents this year as the vast majority of Goodwill costumes are assembled from a non-Halloween base product that is accessorized. (For example, a fairy would be centered around tights, a leotard, a tutu and slippers accessorized with wings, a wand and make up. A “ghost bride” would consist of a real wedding dress with a white hat, parasol and makeup for accessories – and all for 20% of original cost).
“By culling through 8,000 truckloads of household, estate and community donations each year, we create a Halloween shopping experience similar to visiting a wardrobe department in a movie studio,” said John Nadeau, Director of Retail Sales for Tacoma Goodwill.
“Pirate coats, boots and belts are real. And the same for pilot, soldier, fireman, doctor and nurse attire. Now a “She Devil” can wear that fantastic red dress AND Prada,” said Nadea.