By Andy Deck


Since January 2000 I've collected 258 iconic images of Native Americans, many from American school web sites. After over a hundred years of callousness, in August of 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned tournament participation by schools using Native American mascots. Since then schools like Illinois University and Arkansas State University have decided to abandon their indian mascots. I began collecting such images to emphasize the glib stereotypes and crass appropriation of the image of the Native American. Having attended a suburban high school that used a chieftain head as a mascot, I grew up seeing many of these alienating and vacuous caricatures. In 2021, my old high school finally abandoned its chief mascot.

This collection of images is related to my personal work with frontal portraiture. Generally the faces in my drawings stare confrontationally back at the viewer. I suspect the similar tendency in chieftain imagery inspired me to begin this collection. As can be seen in some of the images, portrait-style depictions of Native Americans date back to the conventions (and technology) of 19th-century photography. Contemporary mascot images derive from this tradition of portraiture, as well as from old ethnographic and pulp-fiction illustrations.

Many of the images have been "cleaned up" and adapted for the sake of a more consistent series. Actually one of the images was drawn by me in when I was in high school.

I would like to thank the artists, including jimpunk and Oscar Arredondo. You are encouraged to add to the collection.

Another Native American Graphic
If you would like to be credited, please change the file's name to include your name before uploading it.

Finally, a word about intellectual property. I feel that presenting these images in sequence has an aesthetic and social function that demands exemption from copyright. This type of fair use is not unprecedented. For more information see U.S. Code 107 on the Cornell Law School Web site.


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