Native Humor: 8 Native-Themed Valentine’s Day gifts to avoid

Vincent Schilling

These are some Valentine's Day gifts ... NOT to get

We’ve said it before—nothing says Valentine’s Day more than a naked baby shooting arrows into your heart. But what if the baby was Native? Now, before you romantics run out to grab chocolates, flowers and a teddy bear—we thought you might like to reflect on some other possibilities… to avoid.

If your sweetheart is Native and you’re considering any of these gifts, you should think about sticking to the chocolate and flowers. Otherwise cupid won’t be the only one shooting a proverbial arrow at you.

Weeping Heart Smokerhawk

Ok, we don't see this on sale anymore, it might be a good thing. (Photo: Cherokee Visions)

Ok, first of all, there is nothing wrong with the Native American artifacts that are made at Cherokee Visions—hey, a lot of their items are made by Native American artisans. But when you’re trying to celebrate a day with loving gifts and want to make your darling, sweet, loved one happy with you—even through all your wrongdoings—are you sure you want to give them an actual weapon? You may be the one weeping.

Vintage Racially-Insensitive Valentine’s Day Cards

Racist Valentine’s cards are never a good option. When you want to send a card, greetings like “You Heap Fine Valentine,” “Me Go On ‘WAR PATH’ Til Get Um,” and “Me give-um you Heap big VALENTINE SMACK” are not going to instill loving feelings. See more terrible vintage cards at


That Washington Team  Valentine’s Day Cards

valentine redskins

Not to be outdone, contemporary culturally inappropriate Valentine’s can be had as well. NOTHING says Happy Valentine’s Day to a Native American loved one like a Washington team Valentine’s Day card, which can be found on pinterest. With such honorable slogans as “I’d give up R*dskins tickets to be with YOU” and “Shhhhhh…. You had me at Kickoff,” these are sure to be all the Native rage; or cause rage anyway.

valentine redskins 2

A Lee Bogle Soulmate Plate

The love, the tenderness, the caress. These two intertwined Indian soulmates show a magnificent love that has been captured on a plate. Where your sweetheart can see it while they enjoy dinner, which hopefully you made to make up for this tacky gift. Did we mention it’s only $60 on eBay?

native plate

A Moose Poop Necklace

We even have an idea if your significant other likes jewelry. A quick Google search turns up a plethora of necklaces made of real moose poop. No, that is not a typo. It’s dried, varnished and hung from twine, or fancied up with silver and gold. Be careful wearing this in the rain or if running from wolves in the wild—they have a good sense of smell.

In the photo below, is a gift from my nephew. It was a funny joke gift. Maybe not so appropriate for Valentine's Day. If you do get one, have a back-up plan. Or you might have something in common with a moose. You'll both be sleeping outside.

P.S.—If you’re broke, pick an animal, follow them around, pick up their poop, dry it out, hang it on twine—done.

moose poop necklace
My nephew got me this in Maine. It wasn't a Valentine's gift, It was just funny. 

Tickets to Coachella

With so many hipsters and celebrities jumping on the Native headdress misappropriation bandwagon, tickets to Coachella would be a safe thing to avoid for a romantic excursion. If you do go, just stay away from the offensive teepee village.

Although to give Coachella some credit, I think they outlawed headdresses or something, I'm not sure, I have to email Moby.

Coachella teepee's / Steer clear of the teepees.
Found on Twitter, Original from / This infamous photo is from GQ's ‘Girls of Coachella 2010’ and has become a signature image of the hipster-headdress-at-music-fest phenomenon.

Anything Washington NFL Franchise-related in the form of jewelry

What Native-themed Valentine’s Day would be complete without a horrifying plethora of Washington team gifts for him or her? Check the Internet—everything emblazoned with this team's logo can be found—from wine glasses to drink koozies, even jewelry, like necklaces and earrings. You can even get your sweetheart a logo sock monkey instead of a teddy bear. 

Just say no.

redskins jewelry / Have your sweetheart bejewel themselves ...
redskins jewelry 2 / Oh look. A necklace to match the earrings. Wonderful.

Pilgrim Candy

As the website suggests, these are the perfect treats for “remembering the pilgrims and Native Americans Thanksgiving feast?” No thanks. We are all for giving candy on Valentine’s Day, but these treats harken back to a less than romantic time. Stick to roses and chocolate.

pilgrim candy
Yumm, pilgrim hats.

This article originally appeared in 2015. With a few added adjustments in 2019.

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Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

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