Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dress your tween daughter as a "sassy squaw" this Halloween

My sister-in-law, Laura L., shared this picture from a Facebook. I'm used to Halloween being a celebration of awkward and/or offensive stereotypes, but "squaw"? Seriously?

The term was once common for indigenous North American women, entering English as a loan word from the Algonquian languages, but is now usually considered a derogatory (by some, even obscene) term.

This costume is marketed by inCharacter. Here it is in their catalogue:

The company also makes "adult" versions, but omits the "s" word:

The "Sassy Squaw" costume is also for sale at,, ebay's and (where it was renamed "Sassy Indian Maiden Costume") along with a number of other stereotyped native costumes for girls.

To my First Nations nieces, and all Aboriginal women: I am sorry this shit is still happening.


  1. ok, off topic, but is it just me or does the "indian maiden" look like a photoshop disaster?

  2. Hey there! Thank you for writing this. I too was outraged when I saw this on FB. I immediately found the company that makes these Costumes, They are called In Character, I wrote them as well as posted the link to "contact us" on the picture that was circulating, Another friend of mine contacted the company and spoke with the Owner of the Company, He advised him (verbally) That he was aware of the issue and they had issued a recall on all costumes, Again this was verbal. I am hoping to hear back from my email to them and would be more then happy to share if I do receive one. Lets hope he was speaking the truth and it has been recalled. I did notice that the costume is not up on their Website, so maybe that is a good sign!


    1. Thanks, Ashley. I don't think that the resellers (Amazon, Sears, etc.) should get off the hook either.

    2. OH I TOTALLY AGREE!! I never heard back from the company that made them. But yes I hadnt thought of that, that they are also fostering this negative stereotype!