10 Days until Halloween: Step Away from the “Indian” Costume

In Halloween by Adrienne K.5 Comments


(I know you just want to look as cool as this guy. He’s SO COOL. ::eyeroll::)

Hey. It’s me again. It’s that time of year. You might be like, “Hey! What should I wear for Halloween this year?!?!” and some of you might be like, “OMG, I’ll be an INDIAN.”


Don’t know why? I’ve got 8 posts about why. Detailing every angle and possibility of why you might think it’s ok. It’s not. Feel free to peruse/browse/read/repost, and hopefully learn!

Indian costumes



Spirit Halloween-Annotated




TL;DR: Native peoples are a contemporary, LIVING group of people, not a costume. Seriously. Stop putting us in the same category as wizards and clowns. Don’t believe me? come to a Native event dressed like that, and see how many friends you make! Fun for everyone!

  • BigchiefUs

    then dont go as s Viking, a German an Irish person a dutch girl….get it grow up honey you can go as a douche bagit aint no thang

    • Guest

      Being a Viking, German, or Irish is not the same thing as being a Native American, so shut the f*ck up, idiot.

    • Meow Mixte

      Being a Viking, German, Irish, or Dutch is not the same thing as being a Native American. Study some history and shut the f*ck up, “honey”.

    • Ray F

      There is a cultural significance to the war bonnet that does not exist for the kilt or “Dutch” attire. There is also no history of cultural erasure and subjugation of those cultures by the white majority as there is to the Native American. No laws banned us white guys from practicing our cultural heritage. We also don’t place any cultural or spiritual limitations on those articles. You can choose not to respect the cultural beliefs of a culture that’s not your own, but if you don’t claim that you’re not being racist, xenophobic, and disrespectful

  • Amy Ariel

    Dr. K.,
    I’ve been trying to figure out how to contact you more privately to share an article I wrote in which I linked to your blog, and to thank you for giving me reason to spend a year thinking about costuming and identity and what it might mean to be an advocate or an ally. Or, at least, to try. Here is what I wrote: http://tcjewfolk.com/halloween-time-reflection/. It is far from perfect, but it’s a start. I’m open to constructive reflections and comments and criticism, of course. I’m also starting to think about a Thanksgiving article based on an experience a Jewish colleague of mine had last year when her 5 year old was invited to come to school dressed either as a “Pilgrim” or an “Indian” for a Thanksgiving event. She didn’t like it, but she wasn’t sure what to do about it. I want to give people the motivation to do something and some ideas about what to do.
    I haven’t figured out how to contact you privately, but with Halloween at the end of the week I want to be sure to say thank you before it gets here.