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Should You Wear a Native American Headdress to Coachella This Year?: A Handy Flowchart

Coachella 2015

By Dan Ozzi

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Photo via Novum Crafts, a company that produces and markets fashionable Native American headdresses and accessories. Feel free to check out their products here and read their description as to why it's like, totally cool to wear them here. They can be contacted here.
 

Coachella is finally here! We hope you have the best time. We hope you rage so hard to Drake that you have #tbts to carry your Instagram through the next decade. We hope you sweat so hard in the Sahara Tent that you have to throw that Free People romper out when you get home. We hope you get thumb cramps from swiping right so hard on Tinder. So pack your neon tank tops, pack your flower crowns, and definitely pack your sunscreen! But… [guy from Office Space voice:] we’re gonna need you to go ahead and leave the Native American headdress at home this year, m’kay? Thaaanks.

Why? Great question! And we’d love to answer that. We’d be happy to tell you about how wearing a war bonnet is promoting a hackneyed stereotype of Native cultures. Or how it disrespects the deep cultural significance of wearing the feathers. Or how, for Native Americans, seeing a drunken festival-goer in a headdress is akin to blackface, and an insult to their ancestors’ long, brutal history of facing colonialism and genocide.

We would gladly tell you all of this but what’s the point?

Every year, the internet is literally plastered with outrage pieces and explainers on why you shouldn’t do this. And every year, Coachella rolls around and while a good majority of people do listen, there’s always a handful of people who ignore the annual reminders, believing they will miraculously be the stylish, funny, ironic, or cool exception to years of people telling them otherwise.

Are you one of these people on the fence? OK—you already bought the headdress, you’ve got just enough room for it in your carry-on between the giant heart sunglasses and the banana hammock, and you’re still thinking of throwing it in there, just in case. You don’t have time to read some lengthy thinkpiece about cultural appropriation. We get it. Reading sucks. Why read when you can listen to Tame Impala, right?

So to help you figure out whether or not you should bring a Native American headdress to Coachella (or any other music festival), we went ahead and created this handy flowchart. Please consult it.

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