Tuesday, December 14, 2010

so apparently the elves are black... and muslim

Santa and Pete Poster
Over at Black Improvement Blogging there is an interesting post called Santa's Black Elf. They give a nice summary of some of the European legends and customs surrounding Santa Claus, especially in terms of his assistant/slave Black Peter. Depending on the time and place, St. Nicholas has been assisted by a shackled devil, a Moorish servant, a Black freedman named Peter, or six to eight black men in addition to the diminutive non-union workers (elves) we are familiar with in the United States. In the film Santa and Pete this Black character is apparently portrayed as a Muslim.

And before anyone is tempted to go think that this kind of imagery is limited to white Christianity, you should probably explore the Persian character of Hajji Firuz who is often portrayed in blackface and associated with Nowruz or the Persian New Year.

see also:
the wise men

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