Saturday, January 5, 2013

War Bonnets as Deco

I've seen chicks and war bonnets more than I care to remember over the last months. I'm not one any more to preach or to wear my political and cultural world view on my sleeve, but just in case you didn't know. War Bonnets are not a Halloween costume nor is it clever to wear them for some model shoot or video. It's worse than wearing a  giant afro or singing in black face.

"Feather headdresses, or war bonnets, are a symbol of bravery and are worn by Native American leaders in some tribes, including chiefs. Women don’t wear war bonnets."

People died because they wore these things. The have deep meaning and significance to an entire culture. To wear them like you put on some ear ring or clever hat, is disrespectful beyond words.

"The bonnet had to be earned through brave deeds in battle because the feathers signified the deeds themselves. Some warriors might have obtained only two or three honor feathers in their whole lifetime, so difficult were they to earn. The bonnet was also a mark of highest respect because it could never be worn without the consent of the leaders of the tribe. A high honor, for example, was received by the warrior who was the first to touch an enemy fallen in battle, for this meant the warrior was at the very front of fighting. Feathers were notched and decorated to designate an event and told individual stories such as killing, capturing an enemy's weapon and shield, and whether the deed had been done on horseback or foot."