"For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all."

-John F. Kennedy in
the introduction to The American Heritage Book of Indians

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Going Native in Ireland Part II

It's one thing to find a single product in a store that appropriates Native culture but to find an entire business...

Meet Apache Pizza!


Ireland's most popular Native American themed dine-in and carry-out pizza restaurant!

This popular pizza chain with over 40 locations throughout Ireland left me scratching my head just like the Irish Indian Chief Headdress.

Some of the menu highlights include:

  • WIGWAMMER pizza  (cause nothing screams woodlands tribes like double decker pepperoni!)
  • CAJUN APACHE pizza (I've never had shrimp gumbo with fry bread, have you?)
  • HIAWATHA pizza (which apparently is how they spell Hawaiian in Ireland)
  • BACON APACHE pizza (cause everything is better with bacon?)
  • GERONIMO pizza (how timely of them)

Here is the full menu and a few screenshots:






    And what themed restaurant is complete without over-the-top decoration (click on the images to enlarge)



    (but mankind really had to pee and couldn't afford a slice!)



    And if you can't make it to the restaurant, just order carryout!

    PIZZA BOX (front)

    PIZZA BOX (back) featuring:
    TEN NATIVE AMERICAN COMMANDMENTS



    They even sell licensed merchandise and other novelty gifts such as the Apache Novelty Arrow, Apache Fun Feathers, and Apache Feather Headdress.

    "King of your tribe?, then prove it with a feather headress."



    Someone care to explain to me what Native Americans and the Apache in particular have to do with pizza?

    What's that, absolutely nothing.

    Indeed, Native American culture is a pretty odd choice for a pizza chain in the emerald isle, but then again considering the cultural phenomenon that is the "Indian" I'm sadly not surprised by this.

    This chain is the epitome of "drawing on Indians" because it is so completely detached from real Native culture and instead dives head first into the stereotypical soup of the "Indian".

    It has all the best known elements: a chief head with war bonnet, Hiawatha, Geronimo, a special Indian connection to the natural and spiritual world (though I personally prefer my Native wisdom from tribal elders, not from the back of pizza boxes).


    I'm assuming the founders of Apache Pizza were enchanted with the stereotypical Indian of American frontier lore and decided it would make a great memorable pizza mascot.  Thus was born "Big Chief" (he's named in one of the radio adverts) and Apache Pizza!

    I was originally going to "go easy" on this company and simply decry it for its clear stereotypes of Native Americans but then I heard the radio adverts.

     Apache- Wife

    Apache Pizza is officially racist.  How else can you describe such an ugly stereotype as the tonto-speaking gruff-voiced Indian named Big Chief who literally says HOW every other word?!!!

    Stuff like this is supposed to be a thing of the past but I suppose when you take centuries of ugly stereotypes and then move across the ocean to a place far removed from real Native people, this stuff does happen.  Sad.


    Outraged?

    Let em know:

    http://www.apache.ie/customer_feedback.htm


    For more European examples check out:

    Glastonbury "Indians"

    The Dudesons: A Retrospective

    Going Native in Ireland Part I



    <>

    3 comments:

    1. Found my way here from a link on the "American Indians in Children's Literature" blog.

      Thank you for posting this & part 1. Makes me want to vomit, preferably on the sellers, but I appreciate you posting this and the feedback link to apache pizza nonetheless.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Over here in Ireland we really know nothing about Native American culture. All of this probably comes from old westerns. Very few people I know actually eat there anymore (for these exact reasons) and the people that do go don't actually know it's racist.

      It would be great if we could teach Irish people about Native American culture and hopefully with that the chain might rebrand

      ReplyDelete
    3. Over here in Ireland we really know nothing about Native American culture. All of this probably comes from old westerns. Very few people I know actually eat there anymore (for these exact reasons) and the people that do go don't actually know it's racist.

      It would be great if we could teach Irish people about Native American culture and hopefully with that the chain might rebrand

      ReplyDelete