Fawn Douglas, Reduced, mixed media, 5'x 5', 2020.
I have created a headdress and cloth extension art piece that is in the color of the “Indian Warriors” of Western High School (Las Vegas). The headdress looks fake, plastic, with the words “REDUCED” across the headband. The school as well as many sports teams across the nation have reduced the idea of the “Indian” to a caricature. I have utilized my art to raise awareness to the fact that we are not a stereotype. People have made a mockery of us by “playing Indian” as they adorn themselves in headdresses, paint their faces, make whoop cries and wear faux buckskin with no regard for our cultures, our people, our voices, our struggle, our lands, our water, our rights, our treaties, our bodies, or our future. We are romanticized, painted as a relic of the past. We are seen as animalistic, less than or othered. Although there are 574 Federally recognized Tribes, with different cultures and languages, we have been reduced to one image. We are the pages ripped out of the history books. Reduced to a headdress at a costume shop. Even though 4/5 of Indigenous women will experience violence in their lifetime, we are reduced to a “Pocahottie” costume. The statement on the hanging cloth of the headdress reads: “Pocahontas Vibes - Savage Sexy Dior.” Counter to these words is a statement that “Most Indigenous women will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes #MMIW.” The art is meant to draw the viewer in and to challenge their ideas about how they perceive Native American culture.