Zitkala-Sa, excerpts from “The School Days of an Indian Girl,” 1900

“and she had overheard the paleface woman talk about cutting our long, heavy, hair.  Our mothers had taught us that only unskilled warriors who were captured had their hair shingled by the enemy”

A young Native American girl in an industrial school accounts the act of the white woman cutting off her braids,  a sign in her Native American culture of honor.  The white women uses her position of power to oppress and destroy the Native Americans culture and last remaining thing to her heritage.  Just like the slave owners who used their intersectionality as a way to gain power in one aspect of their lives these white women destroy the last remaining thing this girl has and forces her to assimilate to a culture that will never truly accept her because of the color of her skin.


3 thoughts on “Zitkala-Sa, excerpts from “The School Days of an Indian Girl,” 1900

  1. Pingback: Order of Blog Posts | The Intersectionality of Oppression

  2. How does this post connect to the previous one? Also, you could talk about other ways within this excerpt that her identity was being stripped, like her shoes (although it is not as permanent as her hair being cut). Or you could talk a bit more about how she felt leading up to, during, and after getting her hair cut to help paint the picture.


  3. This was a touching post as we talked about it in class. Don’t forget to post the source. You might also mention how the girl hid under the bed and fought to not let her hair be cut, representing its importance to her.


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