An Indigenous Horror: 'Native American-Inspired' Knockoffs on Amazon

Written by: Kirkland Douglas



Time to read 3 min

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and sharing affiliate links I earn from qualifying purchases. All opinions are my own. "Never Whistle at Night" - #ad -

The Rampant Reality of 'Native American-Inspired' Knockoffs

Warning: by clicking this link you will be redirected to Amazon - (paid link) (NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PURCHASE)  - Pictured above "Native American Inspired Warrior Costume, Small"

Wander into Amazon’s ‘Native American-Inspired’ section, and you’ve entered a scene that makes those low-budget horror movies look Oscar-worthy by comparison. It’s so blatantly inauthentic, it's almost laughable—almost. It's too bad the likes of Anna Wintour weren't Native; the sight would not just make her choke but she’d probably challenge Jeff Bezos to a cage match to end this horror show of cultural appropriation.

Feathered Faux Pas: The Chicken Feather Chronicles

Of course the first Native American-Inspired horror I stumble upon is a spectacle that would make even the most stoic of spirits facepalm: "The World of Feathers Native American Indian Inspired Feather Headdress." - (paid link) - - click link if you dare see what they are charging for this thing...(NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PURCHASE)

Black Native American-Inspired Headdress
This headdress, adorned with what can only be described as a flock's worth of misrepresented culture, is a far cry from anything authentic.

DISCLAIMER: My official review of "The World of Feathers Native American Indian Inspired Feather Headdress" is I do not recommend you purchase this product. It is cultural appropriation at its finest. Being photographed in any headdress could have real life complications and could cause you to lose work opportunities and impact important relationships. You've been warned!     

This isn't just a fashion mishap; it's a misrepresentation contributing to harmful stereotypes, including those impacting MMIWG2S.

Such portrayals not only distort the sacred significance of traditional attire but also feed into damaging narratives. It's a reminder of the importance of seeking authenticity and respecting the cultures behind the products we choose to purchase and promote.

The Reality of Our Digital World:

Online shopping has become an inescapable reality of modern life, offering unparalleled convenience but also presenting new challenges in preserving cultural integrity. It's crucial for authentic Indigenous businesses and artists to assert their rightful place within these digital marketplaces, ensuring that their voices are heard and respected amidst the cacophony of commerce.

How to Shop Smart for Indigenous Designs

Finding genuine Indigenous items among the fakes can feel daunting, but it’s simpler than you might think. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Read the Story: Authentic items often come with the artist's name and their community’s story. If it reads like a generic description, it’s probably not the real deal.
  2. Look for the Connection: Authentic Indigenous art carries deep meaning and connection to the culture it represents. Beware of items like headdresses or regalia being sold as costumes—these are sacred to Indigenous peoples and not meant for general consumer purchase. If an item feels more like a costume piece than a respectful representation of Indigenous culture, it's likely not authentic.
  3. Research the Seller: A quick online search can reveal a lot. Authentic artists and communities usually have a presence beyond Amazon.
  4. Ask Questions: When in doubt, reach out. Sellers of genuine items are usually happy to share more about the art and its origins.

TwoChiefs Product Feature

Black Cotton T-Shirt - Eagle Feathers by Nikki LaRock, Coast Salish 


An Ironic Twist and an Indigenous Book Recommendation

Just when I thought my journey through Amazon's 'Native American-Inspired' section was becoming predictably disheartening, an eerie twist emerged from the shadows. Among the endless aisles of faux atrocities, I unearthed a genuine gem that felt almost too fitting for this horror-themed blog post: "Never Whistle at Night," an anthology of Indigenous horror stories by Shane Hawk (Cheyenne-Arapaho), Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.(Mackinac Bands of Chippew). It's an ironic revelation—my quest for authenticity leading me straight to a collection that explores the very essence of fear and folklore within Indigenous cultures.


"Never Whistle At Night," Shane Hawk (Cheyenne-Arapaho), Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.(Mackinac Bands of Chippew) - #ad 

My Next Steps

Intrigued and eager, I'm diving into "Never Whistle at Night," ready to immerse myself in its pages. My review will follow in a new blog post, offering insights and reflections on this authentic work.

But the journey doesn't stop here. I'll also be continuing my hunt for other authentic Indigenous pieces on Amazon, determined to shine a light on the real over the replicated.

Stay tuned as this series unfolds, where each find will be a story of discovery, a testament to the resilience of Indigenous culture in the digital age. Together, we'll learn, uncover, and support genuine Indigenous creativity—one click at a time.


TwoChiefs Online Catalogue - click here

"Never Whistle at Night" - Amazon #ad -