Stereotypical Images Of Native Americans Essays

Stereotypical Images Of Native Americans Essays

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For most Americans, their knowledge of Native Americans and their culture of both past and present are based predominantly on outdated labels and stereotypes. Over the past 7 weeks, we have covered several sources that have contributed to the continuous development of the stereotypical images that have unsettled the Native Americans over time. These misleading pictures, novels, Hollywood films, professional sports mascots, and other mediums have misrepresented and alienated the indigenous peoples within in each respective time period regarding the current Euro-American centered culture. In order to empathize with their situation one need to understand how and why these stereotypical images of Native Americans were first created in the first place and understand how it has continued over time.
For most Europeans during the 15th century, their first exposure to Indians, as Native Americans were called back then due to a misunderstanding of world geography, were from some artists’ depictions of them through sketches and carvings. Unfortunately these artists were given some poor descriptions of the natives with various traits being absent or omitted, thus the artists ended up filling in the missing details with characteristics based on classic Greek art and other European styles. Unfortunately many interpretations of the Natives had them depicted as savages who would partake in Cannibalism and other animalistic behaviors. Based on the lecture Early Images of Native Americans: The Origins of the Stereotypes, these misrepresentations would serve to encourage more of a negative view of Native Americans as the Europeans began to see them as less than human: both inferior but menacing at the same time.
James Fenimore Cooper 's romanti...


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...out the people. This is a deeply disturbing mindset as normally most businesses would make attempts to clear up any controversy in order to save face, but the management and the fans of these sports teams would not have it any other way. This is a sign that our society still does not see Native Americans as a respected minority.
In order to understand what the Native Americans are suffering from one need to know how and why these stereotypes came to be and recognize how it has persisted over time. Most of what Americans know about Native Americans and their culture comes from distorted information and thus they have misinterpretation of who these indigenous peoples are like. In order to end this cycle of misinformation and misrepresentation we need to take the time to learn about their culture and reflect that in our work not just rely on centuries old stereotypes.

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