Indigenous Appropriation and ‘Dead Indians’: An Open Letter to Raised by Wolves
November 12, 2013
I just came across your line through Hypebeast this morning and wanted to let you know that your 'skull and dreamcatcher' t-shirts and hoodies—whatever allusions you think you might be making to Romulus, Remus and Mowgli—are yet another instance of an insidious form of cultural appropriation that continues to be offensive to our people. It’s played out aesthetically, politically and, in case you need a reminder, it contributes to the false mythology that our people are dead and dying.
Unfortunately for your brand you now join a long list of other contemporary appropriators, from Paul Frank to Yeezy, that puts you in poor company. Our people are not dead skulls for you to drape your appropriated Indigenous iconography on—or a set of Pendleton-inflected patterns to be lifted to lend a ‘folkloric’ element to your aesthetic.
I’m saying: don’t be that guy. It’s tired, it’s disrespectful, and it’s not helping anyone but you. I ask that you remove the t-shirts from your line and discontinue their use.
And if you need some further reference, check the hard work that good people like my brother DJ NDN from A Tribe Called Red and sister Adrienne K. from the NativeAppropriations blog have been doing to fight the ongoing theft and misuse of our peoples’ cultures.
Frog Lake First Nation
Indigenous Nationhood Movement
ITS UR BOOOOO c:
An Open Letter to Caitlin Moran by Nyux (via redefiningbodyimage)