Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Truth in Giving Thanks

Did you know that the United States is home to more than 500 different tribes? Each one with their own dialect or separate language. Each one with their own history and mythology. They dress differently, believe differently, speak differently and would be very insulted to be mistaken for a member of another tribe. To lump all Native Americans into one feather wearing, ugh-speaking heathen is such a loss, both to the indigenous people, our history, and to yourselves, because under the stereotypes there is a wealth of information central to the development of the United States of America and to what has become to all of us, our beloved country.

Okay my bloggy peeps, let us get this straight. The Native Americans who met the pilgrams when they arrived are Wampanoag. They live here:

Their homes look like this:

The men traditionally dress like this:

The women traditionally dress like this:

On the other hand, the most stereotyped of all the Native Americans are my very own people of the plains. Although if you want to be even more specific, the Lakota

We live/d here:

And traditionally, our homes were buffalo hide tipis.

The women traditionally dress like this:

And guess what? Our tribe is the one with the long eagle feather head dresses. This is one the traditional outfits for the men:

Our traditional clothing is never called a costume. It is either an outfit, or regalia. Many of the things that are worn are of a religious nature, so never touch someone's outfit without asking permission first.
And for a bit of etiquette, since you are asking. Yes, many Native Americans find people wearing "indian costumes" offensive. That leads back to the above. Because it is often religious in nature, it is not respectful to wear it in "costumed" activity.

If you love the truth, if you love your Jo, if you want to expand your mind, then if you are going to discuss Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and the Indians with your family, do it in a historically accurate fashion. You will be glad you did. I even gave you the linkies to make it easy for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

13 Kids Who Want To Play:

Kristina P. said...

Jo, thank you for this! I didn't realize that Native Americans find it offensive when people dress up.

Me said...

Jo, you are AMAZING! Hopefully you already knew that! I learn something new almost EVERY time you post! I especially enjoy these sorts of life lessons that you share!

K and/or K said...

Thanks for this. I like and respect!

K J and the kids said...

Love this !!
It is a great wealth of information.

I can't imagine when playing cowboys and indians when we were little would be ok today either.

I think it's that little girls dress like Pocahantes.

Better than for thought.

Dads(2) said...

I'm loving the Jo . . . . you are amazing and I honor you.

The Boob Nazi said...

And thank you for saying that you find it offensive. My friend was telling me we should have a cowboy and Indian party, and I was like, ummm no, that's disrespectful. Thanks for having my back! haha

Torina said...

Thank you. I am still learning about mine and my boys' tribes all the time.

rychelle said...

thank you for sharing this imformation. I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Jillene said...

This post is AWESOME!! The funny thing--we had parent teacher conference and H's teacher told me that she is very advanced. She asked her to pick a subject that she was interested in and to do a research project on that subject.

The teacher gaver her some options like a type of dance, a country, a planet, etc. She said that she was very interested in learning more about Indians!!

I told her one of my good freinds was Indian and that she could give us soem really great information--and here I click over to your blog and WALLAH!! I might need to contact you for even more if you wouldn't mind!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Thanks for sharing yor heritage with us all!!

Ambitious Blonde said...

Cool stuff, JO. I love it when you post things about your heritage. :)

WV: connor A friend's son's name.:)

Susie said...

I like that, a nice concise history lesson that I can share with my Chick! It is too bad there are so many stereotypes out there that are false.

Holly said...

I love it when you share this part of YOU. I always learn so much.

Whitney R said...

Very informative. Thank you :)

It's great to learn history.