Adrienne K., who blogs at Native Appropriations, recently put together a post about food products that feature stereotypical images of Native Americans. I’m reposting some of them here, but check out her original post for more.
It started out with Calumet baking powder:
In my head, I thought “I could make some stereotype biscuits for breakfast!” Which got me thinking. How many products with stereotypical imagery could I fit in one imaginary breakfast?
Excluding vintage products and items that weren’t easily available, she still found an awful lot. Indian Head corn meal, anyone?
The Sue Bee Honey logo:
Umpqua ice cream:
Pemmican beef jerky:
And you can top off your meal with Cherikee Red soda:
In isolation, each of these would seem like no big deal–these are the “good” stereotypical images. The “noble savage.” No wild eyes or big noses, just headdresses and Indian maidens. But when taken as a collective, is it any wonder that most people in the world think of Native peoples as headdress-wearing Plains chiefs or buckskin-clad Indian women? I’m not saying there isn’t stereotypical imagery of other racial/ethnic groups in branding, but the ubiquity of Native imagery is striking.