Untitled

Apr 16

veganparty:

So why can’t I wear it?

  • Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.
  • Headdresses, feathers, and warbonnets have deep spiritual significance.
    The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Eagle feathers are presented as symbols of honor and respect and have to be earned. Some communities give them to children when they become adults through special ceremonies, others present the feathers as a way of commemorating an act or event of deep significance. Warbonnets especially are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. 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. (see my post on sweatlodges for more on the misinterpretation of the role of women). This is just as bad as running around in a pope hat and a bikini, or a Sikh turban cause it’s “cute”.  
  • It’s just like wearing blackface.
    “Playing Indian” has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstral shows or dressing up in blackface. You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so. Like my first point said, you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them. Which leads me to the next issue.
  • There is a history of genocide and colonialism involved that continues today.
    By the sheer fact that you live in the United States you are benefiting from the history of genocide and continued colonialism of Native peoples. That land you’re standing on? Indian land. Taken illegally so your ancestor who came to the US could buy it and live off it, gaining valuable capital (both monetary and cultural) that passed down through the generations to you. Have I benefited as well, given I was raised in a white, suburban community? yes. absolutely. but by dismissing and minimizing the continued subordination and oppression of Natives in the US by donning your headdress, you are contributing to the culture of power that continues the cycle today.

But I don’t mean it in that way, I just think it’s cute!

  • Well hopefully I’ve illuminated that there’s more at play here than just a “cute” fashion choice. Sorry for taking away your ignorance defense. 

But I consider it honoring to Native Americans!

  • I think that this cartoon is a proper answer, but I’ll add that having a drunken girl wearing a headdress and a bikini dancing at an outdoor concert does not honor me. I remember reading somewhere that it was also “honoring the fine craftsmanship of Native Americans”. Those costume shop chicken feather headdresses aren’t honoring Native craftsmanship. And you will be very hard pressed to find a Native artist who is closely tied to their community making headdresses for sale. See the point about their sacredness and significance.

I’m just wearing it because it’s “ironic”!

  • I’m all for irony. Finger mustaches, PBR, kanye glasses, old timey facial hair, 80’s spandex—fine, funny, a bit over-played, but ironic, I guess. Appropriating someone’s culture and cavorting around town in your skinny jeans with a feathered headdress, moccasins, and turquoise jewelry in an attempt to be ‘counterculture’? Not ironic. If you’re okay with being a walking representative of 500+ years of colonialism and racism, or don’t mind perpetuating the stereotypes that we as Native people have been fighting against for just as long, by all means, go for it. But by embracing the current tribal trends you aren’t asserting yourself as an individual, you are situating yourself in a culture of power that continues to oppress Native peoples in the US. And really, if everyone is doing it, doesn’t that take away from the irony? am I missing the point on the irony? maybe. how is this even ironic? I’m starting to confuse myself. but it’s still not a defense.

Stop getting so defensive, it’s seriously just fashion!

  • Did you read anything I just wrote? It’s not “just” fashion. There is a lot more at play here. This is a matter of power and who has the right to represent my culture. (I also enjoy asking myself questions that elicit snarky answers.) 

What about the bigger issues in Indian Country? Poverty, suicide rates, lack of resources, disease, etc? Aren’t those more important that hipster headdresses?

  • Yes, absolutely. But, I’ll paraphrase Jess Yee in this post, and say these are very real issues and challenges in our communities, but when the only images of Natives that Americans see are incorrect, and place Natives in the historic past, it erases our current presence, and makes it impossible for the current issues to exist in the collective American consciousness. Our cultures and lives are something that only exist in movies or in the past, not today. So it’s a cycle, and in order to break that cycle, we need to question and interrogate the stereotypes and images that erase our current presence—while we simultaneously tackle the pressing issues in Indian Country. They’re closely linked, and at least this is a place to start.   

Well then, Miss Cultural Appropriation Police, what CAN I wear?

  • If you choose to wear something Native, buy it from a Native. There are federal laws that protect Native artists and craftspeople who make genuine jewelry, art, etc. (see info here about The Indian Arts and Crafts Act). Anything you buy should have a label that says “Indian made” or “Native made”. Talk to the artist. find out where they’re from. Be diligent. Don’t go out in a full “costume”. It’s ok to have on some beaded earrings or a turquoise ring, but don’t march down the street wearing a feather, with loaded on jewelry, and a ribbon shirt. Ask yourself: if you ran into a Native person, would you feel embarrassed or feel the need to justify yourself? As commenter Bree pointed out, it’s ok to own a shirt with kimono sleeves, but you wouldn’t go out wearing full kabuki makeup to a bar. Just take a minute to question your sartorial choices before you go out.       

…and an editorial comment:  I should also note that I have absolutely nothing against hipsters. In fact, some would argue I have hipster-leaning tendencies. In my former San Francisco life, had been known to have a drink or two in the clouds of smoke outside at Zeitgeist, and enjoyed shopping on Haight street. I enjoy drinking PBR out of the can when I go to the dive bars near my apartment where I throw darts and talk about sticking it to ‘The Man’. I own several fringed hipster scarves, more than one pair of ironic fake ray-ban wayfarers, and two plaid button downs. I’m also not trying to stereotype and say that all hipsters do/wear the above, just like not every hipster thinks it’s cool to wear a headdress. So, I don’t hate hipsters, I hate ignorance and cultural appropriation. There is a difference. Just thought I should clear that up.

Sad

Apr 15
hazhono:

Got the dirtiest looks all day for this only ‘cause I’m reminding them of something they have the privilege to forget.


Yup

hazhono:

Got the dirtiest looks all day for this only ‘cause I’m reminding them of something they have the privilege to forget.

Yup

Apr 11

3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce →

no-more-ramen:

This basic tomato sauce is really easy and really tasty.

28 oz canned tomatoes (fresh tomatoes could easily be substituted in summer)
5 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion
(salt to taste)

Slice the onion in half. Put the two halves of the onion in a large saucepan, add the tomatoes and butter, and bring…

Easy and yummy

Apr 11
cookingeating:

Cheesy Baked Quinoa- a great alternative to macaroni and cheese! #healthy #pinksandgreensClick to check a cool blog!

Yummy

cookingeating:

Cheesy Baked Quinoa- a great alternative to macaroni and cheese! #healthy #pinksandgreens

Click to check a cool blog!

Yummy

Apr 07
diyideas4home:

16 DIY Studying Ideas To Help You Ace Your Next Exam
Don’t forget to Follow Us on Tumblr and Like Us on Facebook to keep up with the latest in Do It Yourself Ideas.
Having problems Aceing those exams?  Well we have found 16 DIY Studying Ideas To Help You Ace Your Next Exam.  These ideas are great for pretty much any one that is going to writing their finals this year or just to help those that have trouble studying for exams.http://diyideas4home.com/2014/04/16-diy-studying-ideas-help-ace-next-exam/

Good to know

diyideas4home:

16 DIY Studying Ideas To Help You Ace Your Next Exam
Don’t forget to Follow Us on Tumblr and Like Us on Facebook to keep up with the latest in Do It Yourself Ideas.
Having problems Aceing those exams? Well we have found 16 DIY Studying Ideas To Help You Ace Your Next Exam. These ideas are great for pretty much any one that is going to writing their finals this year or just to help those that have trouble studying for exams.
http://diyideas4home.com/2014/04/16-diy-studying-ideas-help-ace-next-exam/

Good to know

Apr 07
Apr 04
cary-fukunaga:

http://www.popsugar.com/Pictures-Zoe-Kravitz-Mia-Wasikowska-Michael-Fassbender-Cary-Fukunaga-NYC-Jane-Eyre-Premiere-2011-03-10-055021-14823319

Yummy
Apr 03

yo the simpsons be droppin truth bombs 

Ha but true

Apr 03

How to Survive as a Black Kid →

tweenagekix:

How to Survive as a Black Kid

 

  • Don’t rely on school books for your education about history; they are heavily edited by European colonialism. Have you ever been taught about the ancient Wagadu Empire? Or the likes of Elijah McCoy?

 

 

  • Be aware there is a whole cityscape of well taught untruths and social constructs designed to block your view and destroy you mentally. You will have to gird your mind with carefully sought out knowledge to keep it fortified.

 

  • One day you may encounter a police officer whose sole aim is to belittle you. Be aware he is driven by great bitterness and life’s sorrows. This particular man was beaten by his father and called a failure since his youth. His wife is having an affair with someone who knows tenderness. Daily, he has to pretend he does not know. The system has allowed him to feel as though he has real power. You are the victim of his delusions. Try not to become too riled.

 

 

  • Don’t feel guilty if you don’t ‘act black’. These narrow paradigms someone has set up of how a typical black person must act and speak are one of the many, many ways to keep you locked up in a box. Yet…

 

  • Don’t feel guilty if you are accused of ‘acting black’ If you are expressing yourself in the essence of where you were raised, the confidence, lingo, mannerisms and intonations. Don’t feel you have to edit yourself for fear of other’s narrow minds and even narrower racial confines. As formerly stated, this term is a myth you learn to bypass. Simply a coin created to shame you whichever side it lands on.

 

 

  • Don’t feel guilty if you fall in love with someone of another race. As long as your admiration stems from a love of the soul’s beauty and not a hatred of blackness, or a fetish or worship of another colour, let love do what it does best –teach you to live outside of all of your ‘Self.’ Though be aware there will be those who’ll label you a “sellout.”

 

  • Teach yourself that hips, full lips, thighs and derriere and kinky hair are a point of beauty, not shame. Whether you have them or not.

 

 

  • Racist comments – let not your heart be perturbed. If someone has a heart and mind so festered, you should not be able to muster enough respect for them that their opinions mean anything to you.

 

  • If you’ve been brought up on ‘gangster’ rap, wean yourself off it. The record companies who pump sewage audibly are happy to have ‘music’ promoting envy, greed and murder, to infiltrate communities and be the backing track to their decay.

 

 

  • Words can be powerful. Words can be used against you. 16th Century words such as ‘blacklisted’ and ‘blackmail’ reinforce ‘black’ as a negative. Equip yourself with words that empower. P.S in China, white is the colour of death. These things are cultural. Cultural things are not concrete. However, they are fascinating. Learning about other cultures will expand your mind outside the small euro-centric vista you’ve been raised to have.

 

  • Understand that people will try to destroy you when they are afraid of your power

 

 

  • Read books. Many books. The right books.

 

  • Remind yourself daily that you as a human being have overwhelming intrinsic beauty and strength

 

 

  • Use your power wisely.

 

  • Use your power wisely

 

  • Use your power wisely

Think

Mar 24

Black Women Are Not Bitter →

gradientlair:

Black women are not bitter simply because we expect to be treated as human beings (versus negative archetypes, a collection of stereotypes or animals) and demand such from others.

Black women are not bitter because we vent sometimes about our very human struggles that other humans experience as…

Yes