The over-consumption of Native American imagery and the ongoing results for contemporary reality
This paper originally served as a complement to the 123 slides of contemporary Native American images, shown as a looping slideshow at the Contemporary Indigenous Realities conference held at the University of Montenegro in the summer of 2015. These popular images have patterns that include primitivism, savagery, sex objectification, buffoons, anachronisms, and stereotypes. The prevalence of these images can be found in commercialism, sports, movies and television, literature and magazines, toys, the military, and endless entertainment celebrities dressed as Native Americans for fun (not roles). This paper examines the “cause and effect” of this phenomenon that is ubiquitous worldwide. The misinformation, lies, stereotypes, and myths about Native Americans have resulted in an image, held by both Natives and non-Natives, that is archaic at best and psychologically harmful at worst. This (mis)perception of indigenous peoples has become American schema due to pervasive and myth borne legacy. Numerous scholars over the last century have measured the effects of related oppressive societal qualities, always with the results harming the psyche of those so poorly portrayed.
KeywordsInternalized oppression Stereotypes Psychological insecurity Significance Marginalization and exploitation
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