i stumbled across this guy on youtube, and i totally thought it was impossible he could have a good argument as to why a white dude wearing (what i mistakenly thought) was a skewed version of a Plain Indian War Bonnet could possibly be ok.  but if you actually watch the entire video, i admit, by the end, he won me over, and i am generally pretty hardcore about white folks not assimilating aspects of other cultures.  but here, while it’s not something i would do, i don’t he is in the wrong, and i admit i was initially mistaken.  (if it is of importance to the reader, i am 34, female, and caucasian.)  note: not looking for a flame-war, i’m just curious.  opinions?

That beadwork looks like its a Lakota design. The other brown peoples in asia and south america tend to knife natives in the back by copying anything we do here to make a quick buck while gently reassuring white ppl. 

Here’s a photo that native children in residential school (forced re-education camps) had to put up with. They were stripped of their culture and then forced to wear a mockery of their former image. Everytime ppl like him do shit like that it opens those old wounds. 


If it’s not native american then why is it that everytime I fly my regalia in front of white people who don’t normally hang around natives I get sarcastic remarks and racist jokes told towards me. Its because of assholes like him going around reinforcing that stereotype above.

When awarding feathers to a non-natives often other birds are used because eagle and other predatory birds are off limits to them. All birds are sacred because they are seen as flying close to creator, The eagle is the at the top because it carries the prayers. 

Basically saying who’s native isn’t relevant sounds like the whole I don’t see color argument. Along with “I don’t care, Our rules our way”

When you wear a headdress like that, It says to other natives that you are the person to go to for help. Like if I wore one other other men would come to me for guidance, Women and children for assistance/protection. Not really allowed to say no. Like if a woman had a problem with an abusive boyfriend and saw me walking down the street she could ask for help. Individuals like him it makes her question if she can really turn to others because there are white passing native americans. I once got pulled into a 2 day horang by a Elder (old woman) because I wore my feather home on the bus. She stated I’m because I’m traditional (to her) and she’s an elder that needs help.

The swastika was once apart of Navajo and Ojibwe (my tribe) culture, Look what white ppl did to that. 

“and I understand where their uneducated views are coming from”
then he acknowledges a lot of his criticism comes straight from Native people.

Ah, yes, the white guy is more educated on our culture than us and in a better position to decide for us what’s offensive. Well let’s go through his arguments here.


“And all the shapes and symbols on the headband are just simply triangles and things that don’t really mean anything, they’re just look kinda cool, I guess.”

Okay, except for the fact that those are









But, no, go on. Educate me some more.

“Now in contrast a traditional ceremonial headdress of some Native cultures traditionally had very bright colors, a lot of white, they were never dark, never black, because black symbolizes death and it’s bad and traditional headdresses were never dark in color.”

That so? Which tribe are you speaking about now? Because I think you’re gonna have to







“So the only thing that my headdress has in common with a traditional ceremonial Native American headdress is its shape. Other than that it doesn’t resemble in the symbols on the headband. It is made from a different animal. It is dyed the wrong color. The shape is similar but everything else is totally different making it not a traditional ceremonial headdress.“

Seeing as we’ve just established why you’re wrong about almost everything, let’s talk about why that matters. Why is cultural appropriation bad? Well, it all starts with this guy name Raphael Lemkin. Who’s that, you ask? Why it’s the lawyer who first coined the term “genocide” and initiated the Genocide Convention where the term was adopted by the UN.

You might not be aware, but “genocide” means more than killing members of an ethnic group. It has to do with the eradication of that group. You don’t have to kill members of a group to eradicate them. This is why he devoted a lot of time to defining “Cultural Genocide,” which he emphasized as one of the most important aspects of genocide. Cultural genocide is a deliberate attempt to destroy the culture of a people. He also defined several ways this could be done:

  • desecration and destruction of cultural symbols (books, objects of art, religious relics, etc.)
  • loot destruction of cultural leadership
  • destruction of cultural centers (cities, churches, monasteries, schools, libraries)
  • prohibition of cultural activities or codes of behavior
  • forceful conversion
  • demoralization

All these things, of course, have been carried out against Native American peoples (as well as all other aspects of genocide, including physical and biological.) But I want you to take special note of the first bullet there.


Taking a cultural item, ie a headdress, stripping it of its meaning, and subverting it into a new purpose? Absolutely a desecration. What you’re doing here is a component of genocide.

To let Raph himself further explain, ‘the destruction of cultural symbols is genocide.’ To destroy their function ‘menaces the existence of the social group which exists by virtue of its common culture.’

I don’t care how much you want to believe ”[Native American Culture] is not relevant to this argument.“ You are blatantly taking our cultural objects and robbing them of their meaning. Stealing and subverting our culture is an act of genocide.

“Just because somebody is offended doesn’t mean they’re right and doesn’t mean you need to listen to them.” Yeah, except I’m offended and I’m right. And you are ignorant as hell, so, trust me, listening is in your best interest.

This white tlatsintli literally made a video about head dresses while knowing absolutely no shit about them and what they mean, and making up shit as he goes.
Non native people cannot wear them, they are earned and they are sacred.
Fuck this gringo and fuck everyone who thinks head dresses are some cosmetic prop.


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