So Ralph Lauren, the serial cultural appropriator of all things Native American, is in trouble once again. Lauren has given offense to Native Americans before with his inappropriate uses of war bonnets and eagle feathers. There was also that time he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, showing off his absurdly fetishized and culturally mangled collection of “Navajo stuff” in the five “hand painted” teepees he maintains as extravagantly outfitted guest quarters on his Colorado ranch.
Now, Lauren has found a new way to appropriate Native culture, while inflicting real psychic harm on Native people at the same time; reinscribe the historical trauma of a 19th century-originated genocidal policy of forced cultural assimilation and massive dispossession of tribal lands upon them by using the frozen images of their dead relatives in faux-assimilationist pose.
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