The offensive practice of white/non-Indigenous performers being cast as and portraying Indigenous characters. Redface performance is often achieved by non-Indigenous performers altering their appearance by darkening their skin and/or appropriating cultural clothing and imagery in an attempt to portray and/or mimic Indigenous peoples. Another form of redface performance may be found outside of the theatre, where non-Indigenous individuals “dress up” like they are Indigenous, either as a racist Halloween costume or to intentionally ridicule Indigenous peoples. For more, please see Manning, Keyes.
Sources and Further Reading:
Fadel, Leila. “Cultural Appropriation, A Perennial Issue on Halloween.” NPR, 29 Oct. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/10/29/773615928/cultural-appropriation-a-perennial-issue-on-halloween.
Keyes, Daniel. “Whites Singing Red Face in British Columbia in the 1950s.” Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches Théâtrales Au Canada, vol. 32, no. 1, University of Toronto, 2011, pp. 30–63, doi.org/10.3138/tric.32.1.30.
Manning, Adrian S. A. “The Differing Shades of Redface: The Evolving Image of Native Americans in Hollywood Comedies.” Studies in American Humor, vol. 6 no. 2, 2020, p. 301-322. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/765848.
Reyes, Ronny, and Gina Martinez. “Math Teacher is Placed on Leave for Wearing Feather Headdress and Performing Native American Dance to Teach Kids ‘Easy Way to Memorize Trigonometry Terms’.” Daily Mail, 23 Oct. 2021, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10122583/Math-teacher-placed-leave-wearing-feather-headdress-performing-Native-American-dance.html.