Cultural Appropriation Of Native American Heritage Essay

948 Words Nov 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Cultural appropriation refers to picking and choosing elements of a culture by a member of another culture without permission. Cultural appropriation has been around for years but is becoming more evident to members of minority groups. While not important to some, it is imperative that this growing trend of cultural disrespect end. Ignorant of the history and tradition the cultural appropriation of minority groups leads to misrepresentation and further oppression. In recent years, the group most vocal about cultural appropriation has been Native Americans. One of the many criticisms include the use of traditional Native headdresses as fashion-accessories. From being sold at Urban Outfitters to being worn by Victoria’s Secret models, headdresses also known as feather war bonnets have gone mainstream. Many prominent people of Native American heritage have been open with condemning the selling and usage of their culture. Simon Moya-Smith, who is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and journalist has said, “the headdress is reserved for our revered elders who, through their selflessness and leadership, have earned the right to wear one. It’s a spiritual garb, not just cultural; it’s not merely an addition to one’s attire. Wearing one, even an imitation headdress, belittles what our elders have spent a lifetime to earn”(Ehrlich, 2014, p. 2).So not only does wearing a headdress reinforce stereotypes about Native Americans but it pays no regard to the history and traditions of…

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