Even more than Indians, the Eskimo (or Inuit) seem to be America's symbol for primitiveness. The prevailing myth is that they lived (live?) in ice houses, hunted seals, and had "loose" sexual practices. Need a handy metaphor for people so backward they have no knowledge of wood or metal—much less modern technology? Use the Eskimo.
The reality of Inuit life today—like the reality of all indigenous lives today—is much different. But the Inuit are more-or-less permanently stereotyped as living in the distant and primitive past.
For more discussion of this issue, see the contest entries below.
Eskimos in the Stereotype of the Month contest
Palin rap features "Eskimos"
New Yorker cartoon: Eskimo is "retired" to die on an ice floe
Dentist: Cultures allowing tooth decay "will soon disappear"
McCartney: Inuit seal hunts are "stain" on Canada's character
In the Bleachers: Eskimos play b-ball in parkas near igloo
Bizarro shows Eskimos in parkas building igloos like gerbils
Brevity: Eskimos use many words because they can't spell
Mr. Boffo depicts Eskimos savoring subzero temperature
Mr. Boffo portrays Eskimos using ice cubes to keep warm
Non Sequitur shows Eskimo with parka in kayak by igloo
Bizarro depicts igloos melting because of global warming
Gilmore Girls: "What the hell are the Eskimos thinking?"
New drink good only for "microwave-challenged Eskimos"
Bizarro portrays Inuit as hypocrites for wanting to hunt
Rhymes With Orange mocks chandelier-decorated igloo
Baby seal ad implies the Inuit aren't in tune with nature
Vanilla Coke commercial impugns Eskimos' sexuality
Mr. Boffo implies igloos are poorly designed for the cold
Dennis the Menace shows Eskimo kid with parka, igloo
JAMA article: Yupik elders retreat to the wilderness to die
Finger puppet set includes an Eskimo with polar animals
Alphabet products show igloos among animal kingdom
More on Eskimos and Alaskan Natives
Debunking Alaskan Native stereotypes
Native Alaskans vs. soda pop
King Lear with Eskimos
Preview of HELLCAT mini-series
More Indian bits in Family Guy
Sunglasses and snowmobiles
How Alaskan Natives get drunk
Images from The Simpsons Movie
Medicine woman in The Simpsons Movie
Hollywood's take on Eskimos
More Eskimos on ice
Kinky Indian sex
. . .
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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
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