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Culture Wars

Ravers in Native American Headdresses: Should This Be Happening on Tribal Land?

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By and

Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:10 AM

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click to enlarge JOSH "CURIOUSJOSH" REISS
  • Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss
...that the tribe frowns upon such attire at these types of events. 

"We'd prefer that people don't wear war bonnets to music festivals. It doesn't represent us well as Natives," she says.

"The Chumash don't wear war bonnets; we have different regalia, but Chumash headdresses are worn for specific, cultural reasons. Our feeling is that we don't like that and we don't want our culture to be represented in that way. There are different ways of expressing an appreciation to Natives - you can get to know our traditions or come to our public gatherings."

Some ravers we've talked to say there's a respectful way to go about this - it's not dressing up like a Halloween costume, for starters. (Or even wearing the headdresses like the ones on this Etsy page, which have very little to do with Native American culture.)

One person's fashion evolution can be offensive to another. So this issue is not likely to go away soon, but if you're planning your Lightning in a Bottle outfit and are looking for a general rule of thumb, we'd say leave the headdresses at home. 

See also: What's New at Lightning in a Bottle This Year?

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