Racism against indigenous peoples – alive and well

// 17 August 2007

Menchú We all know that to be a woman is hard, to be a woman on minority ethnic descent harder. Spare a thought for Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Prize winner, UNESCO ambassador, Guatamalan Presidential Candidate, women’s and indigenous people’s rights activist and trade unionist. Despite her international renown Menchú was evicted from a hotel in Cancun recently. What had she done wrong? Tried to enter wearing traditional Mayan dress.

Apparently to do so is to be taken for a beggar, bag-lady or street vendow. Now lets just pause here – the wearing of traditional dress is assumed to mean you are dispossessed and penniless. That is, the celebration of traditional ethnic identities is seen to mean you cannot, at the same time, be engaged in modern life and must be begging. As the Guardian comments:

Commentators noted the irony of upmarket resorts discriminating against real Maya while trying to attract tourists with fake Mayan architecture and spectacles. From The Guardian

Sad comment on the impacts of globalization and gender.

Have Your say

Comments are closed on this post

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds