It is not good to dress up like a Native Americans for Halloween. In the video My culture is not your costume by Teen Vogu the people said “My culture is not a costume” because dressing up like them is offensive to them.
Dressing “red face” like they did in movies makes Native Americans feel like they are not worthy. It makes them feel bad. Painting your face red is offensive because the paint was a way to show respect and how important you were in the tribe. Also Native American skin color is not red. Native Americans paint their faces not for fun but a way to show how important they are in their tribe.
Their regalias are special and what they wear to celebrate their religion. When people mix up the regalias and other parts of the Native Americans clothes it is disrespectful and makes them feel like they don’t matter. All the different tribes have different ways they believe so mixing up all the ways is not right. Simon Moya-Smith, citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and journalist says, “The headdress is reserved for our revered elders who, through their selflessness and leadership, have earned the right to wear one. It’s a spiritual garb, not just cultural; it’s not merely an addition to one’s attire. Wearing one, even an imitation headdress, belittles what our elders have spent a lifetime to earn.”
Some people think Native people are like what they see in cartoons on TV. When people dress up in sexy or mean Indian costumes and you are not native it is not ok. This is not how they acted for real life. This is called cultural appropriation. Dressing up little kids as Indians is making a game out of Native American culture and race.
I think that the solution to why you should not wear Native American costumes is to talk to people about why this is not ok. It is important to talk to kids about why not to dress up like this. Parents could say the native people were treated bad and that is why we don’t dress up like them because they matter just as much as we do. Being silent about this kind of thing is very bad because it makes people think you are ok with it or just don’t care. Dennis Zotigh, Cultural Specialist, National Museum of the American Indians says, “By practicing cultural politeness. If in doubt, ask the artist or tribe for permission to wear their tribal designs, jewelry and cultural items. You can contact tribes and Native artists on the Internet.”
Have you ever worn a Native American costume for Halloween? How do you think that made Native Americans feel?
Video Halloween: Why not to dress up like a Native American.
I am a culture not a costume https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/30/culture-not-costume/
Why dressing up like Native Americans is offensive
Video: My culture is not your costume by Teen Vogu