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 reproduced below).

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.


This page maintained by Dr. Russell A. Potter. If you have any comments, or information on other Franklin materials on the web, feel free to contact me at: rpklc@etal.uri.edu