Maybe I’m missing something here. Please tell me I’m missing something there.

There must be some logic to selling a “REAL CHIEF INDIAN HEADDRESS 90CM FEATHER Native American Costume war bonnet NEW,” with bidding starting at US$24.50 on eBay. Marked down from $40.00 mind you!

I mean, it’s one thing to even buy ready-to-wear, pow-wow regalia off of eBay, but a whole other thing to buy what would be considered both a status symbol to some First Nations bands but also a right-to-wear that can only be gifted through generations of hierarchical leadership, not bought for under a hundred bucks.

I wrote a similar article about some merchant selling a knock off of a Saami gakti and the threat of cultural appropriation.

Yes, at best maybe someone would buy this hipster new-age art piece to hang on their wall somewhere.

But I’m afraid some person (according to the war bonnets creator, it could be a man or a woman; not technically or historically true) would actually try and wear the headdress around — as the crafter encourages the potential buy to do so.

Hey Justin Beiber, can you spare $40.00, baby! 

Maybe this will get snapped up by some German hobbyist. 

Yup, in case you didn’t know, Germans have quite the taste for all things North American Indian, regardless how ridiculous they look living in their historical approximation of a tipi among their faux-warrior society brethren.

According to article author Noemi Lopinto in Alberta Views, “a remarkable cultural phenomenon: some 40,000 German ‘hobbyists’ who spend their weekends trying to live exactly as Indians of the North American plains did over two centuries ago. They recreate tepee encampments, dress in animal skins and furs, and forgo modern tools, using handmade bone knives to cut and prepare food. They address each other by adopted Indian-sounding names such as White Wolf. Many feel an intense spiritual link to Native myths and spirituality, and talk about ‘feeling’ Native on the inside.”

How come you never hear anyone walking around stating that they feel so “Jewish inside” that they feel compelled to artificially re-create and re-make sacred Jewish rites and rituals. No one says that?

You laugh, but that is exactly what someone in Germany right now, sitting in a tipi in the damn cold on a Sunday afternoon as they prepare for their next sundance, is doing.

I know they’d be willing to fork over US$24.00 to suddenly bestow upon themselves — by way of access to a Indian Chief headdress — the title of Indian Chief of their Germanic tribe?

I’m tempted to just buy the damn thing myself just to keep it from the hands of some new-age, wanna “Chief.”

I remember reading somewhere that black freemen and freewomen in the United States would use their new wealth to buy up pieces of cultural appropriation like black-faced dolls or Mamie cookie jars.

Krystalline Kraus

krystalline kraus is an intrepid explorer and reporter from Toronto, Canada. A veteran activist and journalist for rabble.ca, she needs no aviator goggles, gas mask or red cape but proceeds fearlessly...