DEBATE: Indie Hipster Headress Party?

Today’s topic of conversation comes courtesy of Gordon Lamb’s Threats and Promises column this week in Flagpole.

So Gordon’s working on an article about the growing popularity of Native American costume at indie rock shows. Fans and bands alike will come out dressed in war-paint, headdresses, and other bits and pieces that could be considered “Indian.” I’ve noticed it a bit around town with some of the wackier bands and the occasional touring act. Now, Gordon’s collecting opinions on this whole thing so if you want to let him know your say, drop him a line at

Personally, I’m kinda neutral on the whole thing. Sure, I’ve got some Cherokee blood, who in the area doesn’t? It doesn’t offend me but I can see where it might be a bit uncomfortable for others.

So what’s your take on this? Harmless hipster fad? Annoying misunderstanding of history? Or something more sinister? Post comments below…


  1. Maybe it's a type of modern-day minstrelry or it could be a reaction to every other band and music fan (me included) that wears pearl-snap shirts.

  2. I'm going to start dressing as a late 19th century US Army cavalryman to shows — replete with pistol and sabre. I'll take care of those injuns!

    “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” — General Phillip Sheridan.

  3. It looks quite smart and querky but real Indians earned headresses and such so I could see how people get offended.

  4. they should stop it. they should find their own thing. just cause they don't see us doesn't mean we are extinct.

  5. i find it very offending! i think that they should leave us alone already! i mean you take our land, force us to forget our language, you made trades and gave us booze and you ruined our nations. I want you to stop stealing our culture! i want you to leave this land and return to England and never come back again! look at what you are doing to this land we call the UNITED STATES! you pollute, you trash our lives, you steal our lives. you try to claim that your a Native American, you put your forefathers on our mountians, where is are forefathers @? Sitting Bull, Chief joseph, Red CLoud and Geronimo? what happend to them….? what I forgot YOU killed them off thats what happend!

  6. How dare you demonize all white people for something only a few did. Yes it was wrong, but instead of dwelling on the past events,why dont you start to rebuild your culture and relearn your language and spread the knowledge to others so that they as well as you can learn to respect the culture. How naive of you to think you can just sit back and have things handed to you because something that happened to your ancestors so long ago. We are ALL Americans now, are we not? Native American culture is very much a part of our society. A society in which we all live and contribute. My ancestors didnt even come to this country until 1906, and if you want to dress as a german immigrant…be my guest. And in case you were wondering, the Sitting Bull monument is near Fort Yates, North Dakota. And not to mention the Crazy Horse monument being constructed in the black hills of south dakota, which when completed will be the largest rock monument in america. People may have not tried to embrace your culture back then, but they sure as hell are trying to now. Forgive, and lets move on together as americans.

  7. Because of the history of attempted genocide in our country AND because much of the native regalia is religious or spiritual- – there's NO WAY items representing native culture can be worn appropriately as a fashion statement. It's pure ignorance and disrespect at the least.

  8. I am native American.
    I can forgive but never forget.
    “our Nation” was once pure and untouched until the immigrants came and started raping our women, killing our men and babies. Giving us alcohol and watching us get drunk and laughing with your immigrant friends. You'd think this doesn't happen but I see it more than once a week. We had a very strong nation. things have changed because of the greed. Everything now is money, money, money.
    Imagine there was no money.
    Now, unless all white people were farmers. Good for you. Probably not very good hunters.
    fruck, to much to list….

    Bottom line,
    If you have not earned it, don't wear. I know the army shows you how to wear their uniform. it should be the same thing for Natives. Have an Elder show you how to wear it. IF THEY EVEN ALLOWED YOU TO.

  9. I love music. Don't get me wrong.
    It's going to far for these 'hipster costume' themes.
    White people are starting to have Pow wows? lol Ignorance.

  10. I am a mutt of so many things, but I know my grandfather and his high cheek bones and his serious look, they are here on my face in the mirror. I see my mother's dark eyes and stare at the odd chunk of brown on my one blue eye. Two fully different Native heritages, Irish, Dutch… but I most fondly find a following to the culture of the Natives. I believe race is a man-made thing, not a blood thing. What should matter to you are your ancestors and the culture you embrace. I feel lost, but maybe one day I will be found. I go to the yearly public powwows and tribesmen who knew me as a babe come greet me and tell me what their paint means, tell me stories, ask about my life. But I still don't feel comfortable enough to step foot there in the beautiful outfits they adorn. It's just me, perhaps, but that's something special. I don't mind seeing people with necklaces or tattoos of the culture of The People if they seem to really enjoy, honor, and cherish the culture. Far be it for me to judge and say someone with blonde hair and blue eyes cannot love the land. But to don objects or clothing of a culture for greed and attention is selfish and offensive. Be-careful, it doesn't matter if you think you're being offensive, it matters if you are offending. Perception.

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