"ESQUIMAUX" IN AMERICAN ADS
Images of Inuit, Inupiat, and Yupik peoples
have been American a staple in American advertisements since the
1800's. Sometimes, the stereotype of the infinitely friendly and
cheerful Eskimo was employed, while at other times, a very
negative stereotype of the Eskimo as a "primitive" was
also used (most notably in the highly offensive ad for Grape Nuts
An advert from the 1920's showing the "happy Eskimo" as a consumer of Clicquot ginger ale.
This advert deploys one of the oldest negative stereotypes about the Inuit -- that they are somehow less civilized because they don't cook their food -- and uses it shamelessly to promote more "civilized" fare such as Grape Nuts.
Of course, many earlier advertisements, though
still drawing upon popular stereotypes, used Eskimo figures for
advertising products related to snow, ice and cold -- so it was
with many companies which manufactured stoves, coats, gloves, and
in this case, boots.
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