While this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the latest No Doubt video are being roasted for their cultural insensitivity to Native Americans, this pair of Christian Louboutin shoes is on display in the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s American Indian Art Collection.
They were designed by Hawaiian-born artist Jamie Okuma who beaded them with glass and 24k gold-plated beads in the tradition of American Indian moccasins. In this piece, titled Adaptation, the artist makes two statements. First, she refutes the stereotype that Native Americans live in the past without the sophistication to function in a global society. Additionally, she reminds us that American Indians who remain committed to their Native heritage are often required to live in two worlds.
I find them absolutely gorgeous and much more respectful to a continent of people who have experienced a bad rap for hundreds of years than “white girls playing Indian for a profit.”
What do you think?
- CNN: Native American Designers Fight Cultural Caricatures
- CBS News: Victoria’s Secret Apologizes for Native American-Inspired Look at Fashion Show
- The Guardian: No Doubt’s Native American Video
- American Indian Art Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
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