Anthropologie "Haida Poncho"–is Haida the new Navajo?

October 7, 2011 — 20 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I drew attention to how obsessed Urban Outfitters is with the term “Navajo” to represent a catch-all stereotypical southwest/plains asthetic. Then this week, reader Julia sent me a link to the Anthropologie website, with several “Native” inspired pieces. The one that caught my eye was the “Haida Poncho,” shown above.

I just thought it was interesting, given we recently discussed Miss Canada’s horrific “Homage to Haida,” that Haida keeps popping up, rather than the typical Navajo or Cherokee.

First of all, this poncho is made by Pendleton, but is part of their “Portland Collection”–the hipster cool line that I’ve written about before. I went to both the Pendleton site and the Portland Collection site, and couldn’t find anything with the name “Haida.”


After the Urban post, a few readers pointed out to me that the products were not named “Navajo” on the original brands’ sites, meaning Urban had added the name on later.  Pendleton is generally pretty accurate with their descriptions, linking them to the correct tribe or community where the design originated, so I was surprised that they would call this southwest mess a “Haida” poncho. It makes sense that it may have been a branding choice by Anthro.

Oh, did I mention Anthro and Urban (as well as Free People) are all under the same parent company? Cause they are. Surprise, surprise.

So, if you were wondering what a Haida poncho would look like, here’s an example, made by the incredible Dorthy Grant, a Haida designer:

A little different, right? Here is where we pause and talk about how harmful this is to smash completely different cultural groups into one stereotyped “Native American Design.” This erases out existence as  diverse, living, and contemporary communities, and furthers the stereotype that there is only one type of “Indian”–the plains warrior that died out long long ago.

But you know what I thought of instantly when I saw the poncho? Wednesday Addams in the Thanksgiving Pageant:

Side-by-side comparison?

Look, I made Wednesday a new outfit!

UPDATE 10/11: A commenter pointed out that the website has changed the name from “Haida Poncho” to “Ashcreek Poncho”! Though some other third party sites are still calling it “Haida.” A definite step in the right direction, and pretty awesome if we had anything to do with it!

Links:
Anthropologie “Haida Poncho” (only $248!)
Dorothy Grant, Haida designer

Earlier:
Oh, (Miss) Canada
Urban Outfitters is Obsessed with Navajos
Let’s Talk About Pendleton

(Thanks Julia!)

Adrienne K.

Posts

  • Amber

    I just have a quick, kind of off topic question for you. What do you think about this new craze (well at least in Wisconsin) where you put a feather extention in your hair? I’m not Native, but I have respect, a lot of respect (seriously) for the culture and traditions. So when I see people walking around feathers in their hair the stereotypical indian comes to my mind. Is this part of the new hipster phase?

  • Amber

    I just have a quick, kind of off topic question for you. What do you think about this new craze (well at least in Wisconsin) where you put a feather extention in your hair? I’m not Native, but I have respect, a lot of respect (seriously) for the culture and traditions. So when I see people walking around feathers in their hair the stereotypical indian comes to my mind. Is this part of the new hipster phase?

  • http://www.thetravelingpeach.wordpress.com/ Peach

    wow, Dorothy Grants poncho is stunning.

  • http://www.nodtostyle.blogspot.com/ NodToStyle

    wow, Dorothy Grants poncho is stunning.

  • L Alessandra87

    I find that on one hand I am happy to see a popular recognition of Native American existence through the proliferation of these designs. Yes, we are STILL here, and our myriad aesthetics are cool too. BUT at the same time, it is troubling to see the mass amounts of misrepresentations that perpetuate sterotypes and continue to misinform the American public.

  • L Alessandra87

    I find that on one hand I am happy to see a popular recognition of Native American existence through the proliferation of these designs. Yes, we are STILL here, and our myriad aesthetics are cool too. BUT at the same time, it is troubling to see the mass amounts of misrepresentations that perpetuate sterotypes and continue to misinform the American public.

  • Graceruth

    check out the halloween costumes that Dillard’s is offering. Super great.
    http://www.dillards.com/product/Fun-World-Native-American-Ladies-Costume_301_-1_301_502814210?splashlink=btm3_es1_100611_Halloween
    Please note the name “Fun World Native”…where is Fun World?

    • Karen

      I think it’s a “Fun, World-Native” costume, lol…but Fun World sounds interesting, lol…(ps, I have a daughter named Grace and a daughter with Ruth as a middle name!)

  • Graceruth

    check out the halloween costumes that Dillard’s is offering. Super great.
    http://www.dillards.com/product/Fun-World-Native-American-Ladies-Costume_301_-1_301_502814210?splashlink=btm3_es1_100611_Halloween
    Please note the name “Fun World Native”…where is Fun World?

  • http://twitter.com/sariel13 Sariel

    The Dorothy Grant piece is so much more beautiful. I kind of want it just as a piece of artwork.

  • http://twitter.com/sariel13 Sariel

    The Dorothy Grant piece is so much more beautiful. I kind of want it just as a piece of artwork.

  • Jaden Keitlah

    The title for this entry is just… oh so wrong.

  • Jaden Keitlah

    The title for this entry is just… oh so wrong.

  • Joseph Smith

    I looked at the webpage and the item is now labeled “Ashcreek Poncho”.

  • Joseph Smith

    I looked at the webpage and the item is now labeled “Ashcreek Poncho”.

  • India

    Haida, in Canada, is bandied about much like Navajo down here. It has particularly affected other NWC peoples, who’s iconographies often become lost in what has now become a homogenizing term. That cliched – and completely fantasized – totem pole seen behind Wednesday is the perfect example of how ‘Haida’ has become a placeholder for all things Native.

  • India

    Haida, in Canada, is bandied about much like Navajo down here. It has particularly affected other NWC peoples, who’s iconographies often become lost in what has now become a homogenizing term. That cliched – and completely fantasized – totem pole seen behind Wednesday is the perfect example of how ‘Haida’ has become a placeholder for all things Native.

  • Kristina

    They changed the name to the Ashcreeck Poncho – maybe because of this blog post?

  • Kristina

    They changed the name to the Ashcreeck Poncho – maybe because of this blog post?

  • Karen

    What a GREAT site you have here! Speaking of these things – have you seen or heard of the “Hopi” boots they have available at Sears? I can’t find any mention of them anywhere but at Sears’ site itself. Thanks for all the time you’ve put into this – love, New Follower, lol, KP.