It was a mistake to remove the native American maiden from Land O' Lakes packaging, says artist's son

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/06/it-was-a-mistake-to-remove-the.html

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It wasn’t a mistake, they removed the Native American and left the land.

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Plus you can’t do this anymore

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Kids today will never understand the effort we once had to go through to see pictures of boobs in the pre-internet era.

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I’d assumed they removed the Native American to be “politically correct” I assumed they were being accused of cultural appropriation. No clue the artist was actually a native american. Now the meme going around saying “they got rid of the indian and kept the land” is more poignant.

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I’m curious, is there any actual historical connection between American Indians and dairy products? For example, would a woman in traditional deerskin garb be likely to be part of a community that raised cattle?

The “Cigar Store Indian” may be an outdated stereotype but at least there’s a clear connection to be made between Indigenous Americans and tobacco.

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Hello, what have we here? (slathers butter on a slice of toast)

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It’s a purely geographical connection. I.e. “here’s one of the people native to the named region from which (ostensibly) comes the butter (and presumably displaced to make way for dairy farms).”

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Couldn’t do that for a while they’d changed the packaging a while back to just feature her head.

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So, without her it’s just Farmer Owned Land O Whites?

Looks more like a Stargate now. I keep staring at the O waiting for something to happen…

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Before the Europeans came - there would have been none. They did eat a lot of meat, but there were no domesticated animals in North America that provided milk.

When some Natives transitioned to farming I am sure some raised live stock and harvested milk and made diary products. Not sure that constitutes a “connection”. I think Mia has more to do with WHERE the dairy is now made.

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I have to say I agree with Robert DesJarlait, that accurate depictions are different than the stereotype images (such as the Cleveland Indians). I may not go as far to say it “inclusion” - it is just an advertising mascot to sell you stuff. But I think it is a good mascot.

DesJarlait

Not sure how old their family name is. Lots of French settlers ended up intermixing with Native Americans, including my ancestor Pierre Navarre. The Potawatomie used to be in and around the Land - O - Lakes before forced removal :confused:

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The mascot was redesigned by an Ojibwe artist in the 50’s in response to criticism. But dates to the 20’s and was created by a white artist. I’m pretty sure it’s been redesigned since too. And they’ve apparently been fairly active on ties to Native American groups with scholarships and such.

So they’ve been well ahead of the game on whatever we’re scare quoting today.

Their stated reason for the change is to better stress that they are a farmer owned co-op. Rather than a sub brand of a multinational.

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What i don’t understand as others have mentioned is… what is the connection between the butter itself (not the land), and the Native Americans from that region? Additionally what is Land of Lakes Butter’s connection to said peoples? Are they involved with tribal matters? If not then it seems they are banking on an assumed connection that doesn’t exist to make a profit.

There very well may be a connection but i’m just working out some questions out loud here. And i tried doing a Google search but the majority of hits i get are discussing the removal of the woman, i don’t know if there’s previous history.

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Admittedly I was being glib with my comment.

But

The fact that the Land O’ Lakes art was an accurate representation of a native woman by a native artist, well they just fucking erased that.

I don’t necessarily see a great way out of the bullshit Land O’ Lakes was facing, except maybe doing a run of packaging highlighting Patrick DesJarlait and his artwork.

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The artist being native american is a nice story to be sure, but this artwork isn’t owned by the artist, its owned by the company. I would love to learn the company has a substantial native american-held equity stake. Were that so, it wouldn’t necessarily be yet another example of cultural appropriation.

But I am doubtful.

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From what i understand nothing. Branding of this sort was common in the 20s. They apparently went with a Native American mascot to stress an image of connection to nature and purity. Similar to slapping “all natural” and images of grass on a label today.

The artist who designed the original drew inspiration from the Ojibwe since they’d been the original residents of the area where the Land o Lakes coop started.

Having it redesigned by an Ojibwe artist in the 50’s was a response to criticism from Native American activists. And any involvement with Native groups follows that. It comes from the logo, and attempts to do right given the history of such things (or gloss over the problem depending on how charitable you’re feeling). Not the other way around.

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It occurred to me that what is really being lost in this conversation is Patrick DesJarlait’s art. Fuck butter, fuck the controversy, his shit was good.


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Different product line entirely.

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You know, the artist did say everything was intentional. Maybe it was no accident that the knees made perfect boobs.

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