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An Indian princess (or Native American Princess) is a representation of indigenous women of the Americas. Often Indian princesses are portrayed as daughters of Tribal chiefs.[1] Typically, Indian princesses are depicted as cartoons that conform to unnatural standards of beauty.[1] The most famous and legendized Indian "princess" is Pocahontas. Neo-feminist scholars have stated that the myth of Pocahontas helps to perpetuate white Eurocentric values because she leaves her tribe and becomes a Christian and this arguably insinuates that Christianity is better than traditional indigenous religion. Thus, the myth of Pocahontas becomes a method of to promoting Eurocentric values and norms and tool of colonialism . The words "Indian Princess" are derogatory terms & deemed highly offensive & insulting to natives young & old.

Media representation

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily is an Indian princess character in Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie. In the book, she is captured by Captain Hook and rescued by Peter Pan. She only speaks in a stereotypical dialect following her rescue. Her most famous depiction in adaptation is in the 1953 Disney film. Controversy has surrounded the character, as its representation has been touted as racist and sexist.

Pocahontas

The Disney character Pocahontas, eponymous star of the 1995 Disney film is the most famous modern representation of an Indian princess. She has been inducted to the ranks of the Disney Princess franchise.[2] Critical reception of her character has panned her overly sexualized portrayal.[3] Her appearance was modeled on a number of sources, including Eskimo-French Canadian/Cree actress Irene Bedard, who provided the character's speaking voice,[4] Powhatan historian Shirley Little Dove Custolow,[5][6] and her sister Debbie White Dove,[5] Christy Turlington, who is of Caucasian descent, and Dyna Taylor, a then-21-year-old senior at the California Institute of the Arts, who was used as the model for the character's face. Taylor, who is of Filipino descent, was paid about $200 for four modeling sessions, saying, "I work across from a Disney Store. When they show the promos, certain expressions are really familiar."[5][6][7]

Reclaiming the stereotype

Indian princess pageants

Indian princess pageants have taken the stereotype and used it as a form of empowerment for young indigenous women.[8] Contrary to typical beauty pageants that judge based on physical appearance, indigenous women who compete in Indian princess pageants are judged on how well they promote traditional values and represent their community and not on how they look.[8]

Miss Indian World

The Miss Indian World contest began in 1984. The contest is held each year during the Gathering of Nations pow wow in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[9] The contest is the largest and most prestigious of its kind.[9]

Requirements for participation[10]

  • Must be a woman of Native or indigenous descent
  • Must be between 18–25 years of age
  • Must be affiliated with a Tribe
  • Must be Single
  • Must never have been married
  • Must not cohabitate with an intimate companion
  • Must not have, nor ever had, children
  • Must conduct themselves morally and refrain from drugs, alcohol, smoking, profane language, and intimate public displays of affection with a boyfriend.

Judgement criteria[10]

  • Must be a woman of Native or indigenous descent
  • Must be between 18–25 years old
  • Must be affiliated with a Tribe
  • Must be Single
  • Must never have been married
  • Must not cohabitate with an intimate companion
  • Must not have, nor ever had, children
  • Must conduct themselves morally and refrain from drugs, alcohol, smoking, profane language, and intimiate public displays of affection with a boyfriend.

Winners[11]

  • 2014 – Taylor Thomas
  • 2013 – Kansas K. Begaye
  • 2012 – Jessa Rae Growing Thunder
  • 2011 – Marjorie Tahbone
  • 2010 – Dakota Brant
  • 2009 – Brooke Grant
  • 2008 – Nicole Alex’aq Colbert
  • 2007 – Megan Young
  • 2006 – Violet John
  • 2005 – Cassie Thomas
  • 2004 – Delana Smith
  • 2003 – Onawa Lynn Lacy
  • 2002 – Tia Smith
  • 2001 – Ke Aloha May Cody Alo
  • 2000 – Lillian ‘Cepa’ Sparks
  • 1999 – Mitzi Tolino
  • 1998 – April Whittemore
  • 1997 – Shayai Lucero
  • 1996 – Andrea Jack
  • 1995 – Crystal Pewo
  • 1994 – J.C. Lonetree
  • 1993 – Gloria Snow
  • 1992 – Lanette Asepermy
  • 1991 – Janet Saupitty
  • 1990 – Lovina Louie
  • 1989 – Tammy Deann Billey
  • 1988 – Prairie Rose Little Sky
  • 1987 (August 87 – April 88 ) – Jovanna Plenty
  • 1987 (April 87 – August 87) – Celeste Tootoosis
  • 1986 – Lisa Ewaulk
  • 1985 – Shelly Valdez
  • 1984 – Cody High Elk

Calgary Stampede Indian Princess

The Calgary Stampede Indian Princess contest began in 1964.[12] The Calgary Stampede Indian Princess joins the Calgary Stampede Rodeo Queen and Princesses to complete the Calgary Stampede Rodeo Royalty. While the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess is considered part of the Calgary Stampede Royalty, she has a separate category and competition of her own.[13]

Evelyn Locker (née Eagle Speaker) of the Kainai Nation was the first First Nations woman to participate in and be crowned as Calgary Stampede royalty in 1954.[14] Controversy erupted after Evelyn Eagle Speaker’s crowning because she was of Aboriginal descent. The issues surrounding her crowning focused on how she should represent the Calgary Stampede and perform her role as Queen, specifically what kind of clothing she should wear (her traditional regalia or cowgirl gear). Most of the time the Calgary press referred to her as the Indian Princess instead of her rightful title as Rodeo Queen.[14]

Requirements for participation:[15]

  • Must be a First Nations member of Treaty 7
  • Must be between 18 and 25 years old
  • Must never have been married, lived common-law, or have had a child
  • Must agree not to marry, live common-law, or have a child during her reign
  • Competency in a native language is an asset
  • Riding ability is required

Judgement criteria:[15]

  • Application package
  • Personal interview
  • Public speaking presentation
  • Dance
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Horsemanship and riding ability

Winners[12]

  • 2015 – Maya Many Grey Horses
  • 2014 – Carly Weasel Child
  • 2013 – Amber Big Plume
  • 2012 – Amelia Crowshoe
  • 2011 – Eva Meguinis
  • 2010 – Sahvanne Weasel Traveller
  • 2009 – Nikkole Heavy Shields
  • 2008 – Calgary Stampede Indian Princess Ambassadors
  • 2007 – Livia Manywounds
  • 2006 – Nichole Weasel Bear
  • 2005 – Lana Waterchief
  • 2004 – Marcie Meguinis
  • 2003 – Natasha Calf Robe
  • 2002 – Chrissy Snow
  • 2001 – Tiffany Andy
  • 2000 – No Royalty Crowned
  • 1999 – Camille Wildman
  • 1998 – Charity Red Gun
  • 1997 – Gaylene Weasel Child
  • 1996 – Nicole Yellow Old Woman and Lisa Starlight
  • 1995 – Vada Hoof and Ivy Kim-Scott
  • 1994 – Lori Ann Wright
  • 1993 – Rachel Poucette
  • 1992 – Lonetta Starlight
  • 1989 – Eleanor Crane
  • 1972 – Denise Yellowhorn
  • 1966 – Donna Weasel Child
  • 1965 – Gloria Little Light

References

  1. ^ a b Garcia, Alma (2012). Contested Images: Women of Color in Popular Culture. Lanham, Md: AltaMira Press. pp. 157–166. 
  2. ^ "Pocahontas Disney Princess". www.princess.disney.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Edgerton, Gary; Jackson, Kathy Merlock (Summer 1996). "Redesigning Pocahontas". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 24 (2): 90. doi:10.1080/01956051.1996.9943718. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Weeks, Janet (June 30, 1995). "The Face That Launched a Thousand Animators' Pens ". Tulsa World.
  5. ^ a b c Mackie, Drew (June 23, 2015). "Disney's Pocahontas Has Been Painting with All the Colors of the Wind for 20 Years". People.
  6. ^ a b Cochran, Jason (June 16, 1995). "Pocahontas needed an ethnic look". Entertainment Weekly.
  7. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (July 6, 1995). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Who in the world is Dyna Taylor? She may be the face that launched a thousand movie tie-ins.". The New York Times.
  8. ^ a b Ellis, Clyde; Lassiter, Luke Eric; Dunham, Gary H. (2005). Powwow. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 152–171. 
  9. ^ a b "Miss Indian World Information". www.gatheringofnations.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Miss Indian World Application" (PDF). www.gon.wpengine.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Miss Indian World Past Winners". www.gatheringofnations.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Milestones Calgary Stampede Indian Princess". www.Facebook.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Calgary Stampede Indian Princess". www.csroyalty.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Jourdey, Susan L. "The Expectations of a Queen: Identity and Race Politics at the Calgary Stampede". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "2015 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess Application" (PDF). www.indianvillage.ca. Retrieved 15 December 2014.