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Once worn into battle and at ceremonies of a spiritual nature, the headdress (or war bonnet) worn by Native Americans of the Plains is now more often seen in the fields of music festivals. While the traditional headdress was comprised of feathers -- each one signifying a good deed of brave act in battle -- today, each faux-Bald Eagle feather could perhaps represent the number of light beers drank in the parking lot or number of times the wearer has seen Skrillex.
Photos by Eric Gruneisen, LP Hastings, Laura June Kirsch, Nick Lucchesi, Brandon Marshall, Timothy Norris, Colin Young-Wolff and Christopher Victorio.
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Published on June 10, 2013
Sigh. The reason why traditional Native people find this offensive, is because of the use of eagle feathers in ceremonies and prayer. For a lot of tribes, the eagle is a sacred being, a winged entity that has a direct connection to the creator. A lot of people who aren't familiar with that concept usually just see feathers as "decoration" or "fashion." It's a lot more than that. That's why there are federal laws protecting the eagle and use of eagle feathers. When warriors came home from battle, they were given feathers to honor their role in the tribe. That still happens today we have veterans returning from the middle east. It's like the medal of honor given to our soldiers. I can only imagine the uproar that would happen if Native people wore US medals of honor or other Christian or world religion relics in such a casual and frivolous manner. But I forget this is modern America, where guns rule and where mass media and pop culture kill our beliefs and simplify things to its basest and most one dimensional form, the images here show
white privilege in all its glory.