More Wooden Verse

Here’s another set of aboriginal stereotypes, drawn on pieces of wood with some of their bark still attached, and described in some even more wooden verse.  The usual markers, by now readily recognizable, are present: the hooked noses, the war bonnet, the headband, the braids.  The wooden poems, not so readily readable from the photos,Continue reading “More Wooden Verse”

More Adult Indigenes

Unlike the sets of salt-and-pepper shakers I’ve been describing in my last five entries, this set does not appear to represent children, and is not particularly cute.  The binary opposites are preserved, as they almost always are in the salt-and-pepper world, and it’s still a male and female couple.   But  the male is aContinue reading “More Adult Indigenes”

Aboriginal Metallica

This set once more represents an aboriginal couple as adorable children, and with more or less the usual stereotype markers: both with chubby cheeks,  both with pigtails, both, this time, wearing headbands with a single feather, he in a loincloth, she in a fringed long-sleeved dress.  While the two figures are both the same  height, he isContinue reading “Aboriginal Metallica”

Cute Natives Yet Again

Are they children, or just sort of generically pudgy cuties?  One way or the other, this set confirms the prevalence of certain characteristics as markers of a stereotype.  They wear fringed leather-coloured garments.  They have round eyes and chubby cheeks.  The male has the usual war bonnet, the female the usual one feather sticking upContinue reading “Cute Natives Yet Again”

More Cute Aborginals

More of my population of youthfully chubby natives.  These guys come with their own teepee–which has a mysterious large hole and a Thunderbird painted below it.   Despite the somewhat mucky colours and unglossy surfaces, these two appear to be utopianly young and adorable, as she holds one of her braids with a come-hither lookContinue reading “More Cute Aborginals”

Cute Aboriginality

The set of shakers I talked about in my last post stands out from most of the other pairs I have that represent stereotypes of indigenous people in one key way: it depicts adults.  Most of the others are more like this set:  They seem to be representing children–cute chubby-and-rosy-cheeked children, even in spite of theContinue reading “Cute Aboriginality”

Miniature Aboriginality

The racial and ethnic stereotype population of my salt-and-pepper collection consists primarily of shakers depicting the indigenous peoples of North America: I have nine pairs of them.  But of course, these shakers don’t really look anything like any actual former or current members of indigenous nations: what I have on my shelves can be moreContinue reading “Miniature Aboriginality”

Ethnic and Racial Slurs

Shortly after I bought my first set of salt-and-pepper shakers, I came upon this one: It’s a perfect representation of the kind of adorable miniaturized  cuteness that defangs–or at least makes less immediately noticeable–its toxicity.  What could be less harmful than this cheerful pair of people at rest, depicted in a world of shiny primaryContinue reading “Ethnic and Racial Slurs”

Cuteness

I’ve often had people look at one or another of my salt-and-pepper sets and say, “Oh, that’s really cute.”  And indeed, it strikes me that almost all of the sets I have in my collection do fit easily in the category of “cute.”  The exude cuteness.  Which raises the question: what do we mean whenContinue reading “Cuteness”