There’s been a lot of controversy brewing in Oklahoma lately over cultural appropriation and Native American war bonnets. The Governor’s daughter, Christina Fallin, has been at the center of it.
But, long before Fallin posed in a Native American headdress, college majorettes were wearing them with terrific fanfare. It’s interesting how one generation’s pride is another generation’s controversy is another generation’s shame.
Today, The Atlantic published a story about the slang and slur of the term Redskin. The story highlights the controversy of team trademarks.
Given all this context, I thought these vintage photos of twirlers in Native American headdress made for an interesting Throwback Thursday. These majorettes have absolutely no clue how offensive these headdresses are to Native American warriors.
By the way, two days ago, Kloe Kardashian wore a Native American headdress to her neice’s birthday party.
The date on this picture from the Boston Public Library archives is 1934-1956. It seems majorettes in Indian headdress were quite a common thing for the G.I. and Silent Generations.
More Twirlers in War Bonnets
The writer of the blog âpihtawikosisân wrote an open letter to non-Native Americans who choose to wear headdresses:
“…unless you are a native male from a Plains nation who has earned a headdress, or you have been given permission to wear one (sort of like being presented with an honorary degree), then you will have a very difficult time making a case for how wearing one is anything other than disrespectful, now that you know these things. If you choose to be disrespectful, please do not be surprised when people are offended… regardless of why you think you are entitled to do this.”
Do you think it’s OK to wear a Native American headdress as part of a Halloween costume? What do you think about Pharrell wearing a war bonnet in his cover photo for Elle?
Do you think schools with mascots like chiefs, Indians or Braves should be forced to change their names?