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I have been reading so many complaints from blogs and media outlets about non-natives wearing feathers in their hair and this new trend of European women donning headdresses. So many people are saying it is offensive and one should not rock a feather, unless it is part of their culture. To the people who say this, perhaps you should educate yourself in history a bit before you play the culture offense card. Maybe feathers is a part of their culture as well.
Ancient Egyptian Nobles, Vikings, Roma People, and Druids are among the numerous cultures who also wore feathered headdresses and feathers in their hair. So the next time you see someone wearing a feather, do not be so quick to judge as you have no idea who her ancestors were.
So as a native myself, I realize that Native Americans are NOT the only people to wear feathers …If I expect non-natives to be culturally aware of my culture, I should also be aware of theirs. Respect works both ways.
Multiple indigenous tribes of South America and
Latin America have sported feathered head garments for
thousands of years and many still today.
Pende Tribe of Africa
I even saw once where a native, well she claimed to be native, reprehended a young girl for wearing a single feather in her hair on FB. A single feather, really? Like natives own the rights to every feather?
Amazon Feather Headdress
Similar to Celt before Roman invasion
I am not defending non-natives who purposely rock traditional native headdresses, like the chicks on the runway. They are wrong. They are offensive. But I do keep in mind that they are most likely ignorant. Most have no idea they are being culturally offensive. Most admire native culture and in their minds, they probably think they are endorsing it. They're are some, though, who continue knowingly, like a certain group of FB that I will not name as I refuse to add to their popularity, because people like this relish attention. Arguing with them online is what they want. Sharing their pics is what they desire.
Alas, I will tell you what I really find insulting and that is my many native friends on my social media rocking traditional headdresses and booty shorts, who say, "its alright because I am native". No, it is not alright. It is not alright because we, as natives, are not ignorant. We know what traditional head wear and regalia represents. Respect must start at home. It must start within our own people.
UPDATE: to the lady who messaged me raging and claiming her GGG grandmother was a Cherokee princess, I stopped reading your message at "Cherokee princess". PLEASE educate yourself before engaging in native matters. You are part of the problem and you do not even know it.
Labels: Feather Headdress
I normally avoid reality on this blog and tend to blog to escape the chaos of real life but today I am a bit irritated and decided to make my aggravation public. I am annoyed by a group of left-wing bloggers who under the pretense of fighting stereotyping on behalf of Native Americans really use their blogs to encage us. These bloggers fantasize in their minds that we natives are enchanting sacred beings and set limitations on what we are suppose to be like. So when a native youth jams to rap or a native girl adorns a cute pair little miss-match socks or a native father takes his child to a soccer game, they are condemned for stepping out of the isolated box that these masked advocates have dreamed up in their head. These bloggers have mentally invented a set of standards and have isolated us inside their fantasy cage. In their minds, natives dance with wolves and foresee the future in the spirit world. We should live in earthy dwelling and sing to the stars. We are not mystical, we are not sacred: we are humans! The only things that are sacred is nature and spiritual beings not of this realm and if you truly understood we natives than you would know this. And when a native breaks these unwritten laws that you have conjured, we are accused of being ignorant of our heritage or not possessing Native Pride. We are condemned and ridiculed. We are told that we have low self-esteem or that we are traders to our on race. We are lectured that our parents did not raise us properly. You scold "this is what comes of walking the white man’s path”.
I like to read J.R.R Tolkien books, watch movies about King Arthur, and cook Italian cuisine, AND this does not make me any less native for stepping outside of your box. It means I am tolerant, open-minded, and curious to learn about other cultures. Possessing acceptance and not being ignorant will not erase my Native Pride and move me from our traditions. Tolerance will not weaken my blood. I will not forget my native ways just because I find pleasure in un-native things. I refuse to allow bullies like you to intimidate me and segregate me. Indulging in modern society will not assimilate us as you warn. Such warnings are really scare tactics that certain people inflict when they really want us to submit to oppressive chains to promote their veiled agenda.
You are not native and you never will be no matter how much you fantasize about being one. Your fantasies have evolved into delusions. You need to separate fantasy from reality and stop using us natives as pawns in your imaginary game. And if you are a native who has fell prey to these radical fanatics and mistake derivation with un-bigoted flexibility, ask yourself who set these niches for us; was it a wise elder from our ancestry or some new-age ex-hippy pretending to teach natives the way? Modernization and expanding our minds will not assimilate us, we will not evaporate just because we indulge from time to time in another’s art or because you slap on a Swatch Watch. We are stronger than that, 500 years is proof enough. Native Pride is not what you watch on TV or reveal in what you wear, it is reflected in your soul, embedded in your heart, and no new-age blogger can ever take that away from you. Native Pride is something these kinds of people cannot even begin to understand.
So if you are one of those bloggers reading this, go ahead and insult me, condemn me, ridicule me, even pity me. Go back to your blog and blog away about treasonous natives like me as it is people like you, the ones who claim to fight stereotyping, who is really stereotyping natives. As I said, Native Pride is something you will never truly understand.