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Art and Design Commons

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2010

SelectedWorks

Identity

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Full-Text Articles in Art and Design

Designing, Producing And Enacting Nationalisms: Contemporary Amerindian Fashion In Canada, Cory Willmott Jan 2010

Designing, Producing And Enacting Nationalisms: Contemporary Amerindian Fashion In Canada, Cory Willmott

Cory A. Willmott

Today, generations after the adoption of European styles, Amerindian peoples’ everyday clothing is almost indistinguishable from that of other residents of North America. Until recently their culturally distinct clothing has been mainly reserved for ceremonial occasions such as powwows and religious rituals. This bifurcation of clothing styles and contexts parallels the dichotomy between ‘traditional’ and ‘assimilated’ Native identity that has been imposed by the dominant society. The dichotomy is a double bind: adopting ‘traditional’ identities, Native peoples are cast into a static ahistorical frame, while appearing ‘assimilated’ erases cultural distinctiveness. In both cases, Native peoples cannot effectively stake claims to ...