Minneapolis burlesque dancer ditches act after backlash


A Minneapolis burlesque dancer that uses costumes and props to impersonate a Native American on stage is suspending her act after receiving criticism from community members, Vita.mn reports.

"Tomahawk Tassels," or Amanda Riley, is known for her risqué schtick where she dresses similar to Disney's Pocahontas--leather, feathers, long black braids--the whole bit and dances around stage, slowly losing items of clothing. In some performances, she incorporates a canoe and paddle.

Her stage name leaves little to the imagination of what she's left wearing at the end of the act.

The local Native American community finds Riley's gig offensive. A protest is being held at Ground Zero Nightclub, the venue where Riley usually performs, on Friday calling for Riley to retire her stage name.

"Pretty much she’s the embodiment of the Land O’ Lakes butter maiden,” said R. Vincent Moniz, a member of the local Idle No More movement. "She doesn't want to get rid of the name because to Amanda, that's what Native America is, a bunch of people with 'weird' names like Eats-With-Hands, or Orders-More-Onion-Rings. We have to constantly fight uphill against these ideas everyday."

Riley, who identifies as half-Cherokee, is also involved with Idle No More and has been spotted at the Minneapolis American Indian Center in her stage getup.

Riley admits her costumes are “super stereotypical, cheesy and ridiculous," Vita.mn reports.

"It’s who I am. It’s something I always felt connected to," she says.

Click here for a video found on YouTube of the "Cherokee seductress" during one of her performances. Warning: it's racy.

Next Up


Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

Two people fatally shot by police in Wadena County, two officers injured

Another man was shot in the altercation, which police claim started when one of the suspects opened fire on officers.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.


Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.


Minnesota dancer prepares for national stage

Next Wednesday, July 11, Dareian Kujawa will be among the top 20 finalists to dance on this season's two-hour live performance of the FOX reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance.' Kujawa grew up in St. Paul and graduated from the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in 2010.

Man in custody after downtown Minneapolis bank threat

A downtown Minneapolis building was evacuated Friday afternoon after a threat was made against the M & I Bank, according to witnesses at the scene, WCCO reports. Witnesses say a man entered the M & I Bank in the Gaviidae Commons in downtown Minneapolis and made threats. A man also allegedly made a threat to WCCO-TV.