First, let’s start with definitions. There are many terms often used to describe, categorize, identify, or refer to Aboriginal Peoples… you know, the Peoples who lived in the American continent before europeans colonized it
fucked everything up. These terms include but are not exclusive to:
- Aboriginal, First, or Indigenous Peoples: refers to ethnic groups that existed in a territory prior to its colonization and that were affected by this process (e.g. through genocide)
- Indian: Inaccurate term to describe Aboriginal Peoples
- Native American: descendants of Original Peoples of the Americas (used mostly in North America)
Scroll down for some visual examples from NYC cityscape:
– From Urban Outfitters “festival pieces”:
– From tumblr:
This is throughout North America (and probably elsewhere in the Americas and Europe. In New York city, you also see it everywhere on the street and in the subway. Tweens, Teens, and adults alike, walking around dressed in cultural genocide.
During colonization, from what is now Argentina all the way to Canada, Aboriginal Peoples were systematically killed and tortured by white European settlers or otherwise forced to adopt a foreign european culture and give up their own culture! Including language, fashion, dances, religion, and other traditions. And now, native american headdresses and patterns are the *must have* fashion statement of the season? WTF.
I was walking around the Lower East Side a couple of weeks ago and I walked into a few boutiques. Between 100% organic cotton $100 T-shirts and $700 dresses, I saw one too many ebags, scarves, and canvas shoes made from what it looked like handwoven mayan textiles. Then went for at least a couple of hundred bucks a piece. I wonder what percentage the woman who wove that fabric received. My guess is 0.1%. I also saw one too many “chic” native american inspired and “dia de los muertos” rose headdresses.
Meanwhile in Indigenous communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Urugua, Ecuador, the United States, Canada, etc. are victims of a system that privileges a non-indigenous, white sections of the population and are thus prone to higher unemployment, illiteracy, discrimination as well as limited access to higher education and health, amongst other troubles.
To conclude… if white people once destroyed your culture, one day you bet their kids will bring back a watered version of it for everyone (not just white people) to consume!