Sacajawea, Pocahontas, and Crayons: Representations of Native American Women in Children’s Coloring Books

  • Michelle Stokely Bowling Green State University

Abstract

Children develop social understandings through interactions with toys, books, and craft activities, including coloring books. This article presents a study of representations of Native American women and girls in Euro-American produced children’s coloring books commercially published during the past 75 years.  This content analysis focuses on appearance and character activities from a gender-based lens of representations of social expectations held and perpetuated by dominant Euro-American productions of Native American masculinity and femininity. The study found that Native women are insufficiently and inaccurately presented. These findings are consistent with analysis of children’s books in general, indicating a need for authenticity from Native American lived experiences and perspectives in the content and presentation of women and girls to enrich children’s understandings of Indigenous people and culture learned through coloring books.

Author Biography

Michelle Stokely, Bowling Green State University

Michelle Stokely is an instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from The University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include representations of Native American women in popular culture as well as Native American ethnohistory. She has published articles in Plains Anthropologist, Great Plains Quarterly, and Journal of Texas Archaeology and History. Contact mstokel@bgsu.edu

Published
2017-09-15
How to Cite
STOKELY, Michelle. Sacajawea, Pocahontas, and Crayons: Representations of Native American Women in Children’s Coloring Books. Visual Culture & Gender, [S.l.], v. 12, p. 39-47, sep. 2017. ISSN 1936-1912. Available at: <http://vcg.emitto.net/index.php/vcg/article/view/109>. Date accessed: 19 oct. 2017.