Native American Sterotypes

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Taylor Smith

23 March 2011

NAS 1013-001

Native American Stereotypes

Upon searching for Native American stereotype images, I realized that nearly every image I found online, I had already seen. This, was interesting to me because it shows how fully assimilated Native American stereotypes are into our culture and into the way I was raised as an all American white female. Of the three images that I found, two of them were used for advertisement mascots and the other was used as a Disney character that portrayed an Americanized version of an “Indian princess”. These images are proof that our society has used stereotypes of Native American people for their own benefit by creating “picture perfect” stories of the Native American and “the white man’s” relationship as well as using the stereotypes as successful product mascots.

As I mentioned above, two of the images I retrieved were used as product mascots. The first of the two is one I have seen many times at the grocery store because it is on a certain brand of margarine known as the “Land O’ Lakes” butter. The second image I have seen because many of my family members chew chewing tobacco, and a few of them chew this brand, known as “Red Man” chewing tobacco. As I analyzed these two images, I noticed many similarities. Both of these Indians looked very traditionally dressed as each of them wore a head dresses and both were covered in items that only an “Indian” would wear. These two stereotypes work well for consumers because they consider Indians to be a part of the American story, and although most Americans are not fully educated on this story as a whole, it still works because of the stereotypes America has created for its society. As young children, my classmates and I learned the “Thanksgiving story” and until my junior or senior year in high school I was in complete belief that this story was of the truth. In this story, I learned that the Indians and the Pilgrims were friends and...
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