This research examines the way the identities of Native Americans have been stereotyped, altered, and appropriated through the representation of Native Americans in the media created by and in order to serve white settler colonizers and/or non-Native American audiences and consumers. I hypothesize that the acknowledgement of historical Native Americans and simultaneous denial of the existence, legitimacy, and sovereignty of contemporary Native Americans is demonstrated, in part, by the frequent incorporation of Indigenous religious and cultural symbols and artifacts into contemporary fashion. I include a literature review that focuses on the cultural context of headdresses, stereotypes and their perpetuation in the media, as well as the appropriation of Native American cultural artifacts. I also analyze examples of the appropriation of headdresses and the stereotyping of Native Americans in popular media. Findings include that the appropriation, homogenization, and historicization of Native American peoples is tied to the continued oppression and degradation of their basic human rights.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia


Sociology and Anthropology


American Studies | Anthropology | Critical and Cultural Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Indigenous Studies | Museum Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | United States History


Native American, War Bonnet, Anthropology, Appropriation, Cultural Appropriation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Emma West