War Bonnet

With Coachella just around the corner, I’d like to look at the cultural significance of a feathered headdress by certain groups of Native American peoples. No, Hipsters, it’s not for you to play with. Culturally, the headdress is only worn by specially designated members of a tribe and only during ritual occasions. It is not to be worn by bikini-clad women looking for an “exotic” look because the feathers in the headdress are symbols of honor and respect. The most appropriated Native American item is the warbonnet which is especially are reserved for respected figures of power and most importantly, is supposed to be earned. They are also reserved for men in Native communities while most appropriators are women. In the words of Adrienne K. from nativeappropriations.com, “I can’t read it as an act of feminism or subverting the patriarchal society, it’s an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. This is just as bad as running around in a pope hat and a bikini, or a Sikh turban cause it’s ‘cute’.” I completely agree, Adrienne.

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