Perpetrating Stereotypes: Offensive Videos Instruct People on Creating ‘Indigenous’ Halloween Makeup

Once again this Halloween, many people across the country will partake in the misappropriation of indigenous cultures by wearing headdress or war bonnets and dressing up in sexualized “tribal” costumes adorned with feathers and fringe.

For the price of about $50, like this insulting outfit on, people will follow in the steps of celebrities like the Kardashians in perpetrating stereotypical notions of Native people.

Indian Country Today Media Network rounded up some examples of non-Natives ridiculing indigenous culture by teaching people in YouTube videos how to create Native-inspired makeup or “war paint,” thus furthering the myth that Native are not active members of modern society and contributing to the discrimination of indigenous people.

Here, a young woman provides a tribal makeup tutorial:


In this video, a woman shows how to create “Tribal Amazonian” war paint:


Here, a face art company demonstrates how to do tribal-inspired makeup:


Many more videos and blogs tell non-Natives how to mock indigenous culture. Like last year’s “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume Campaign” by Students Teaching About Racism in Society, it is up to American Indians to educate the public on indigenous identities and protest the degradation of Indian culture.

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