Glastonbury organizers announced that the sale of Native American headdresses will be prohibited at Worthy Farm during the 2015 festival.
The ban arrives following a petition on change.org requesting that Glastonbury “stop racism” and ban the sale of headdresses, claiming the outfits are offensive and disrespectful to Native Americans.
There has long been consensus among indigenous civil rights activists in North America about the wearing of headdresses by non-Natives–that it is an offensive and disrespectful form of cultural appropriation, that it homogenises diverse indigenous peoples, and that it perpetuates damaging, archaic and racist stereotypes.
Please consider banning the sale of Native American-style headdresses on-site at festival stalls from 2015, in order to raise awareness about this damaging form of cultural appropriation.
Garnering a mere 65 signatures, the petition got the attention of Glastonbury officials who announced yesterday that vendors will no longer be allowed to sell the headwear on festival grounds. As it currently stands, festivalgoers will still be allowed to wear the headdresses at the event, but activists hope that by having the festival ban the sale of the headwear in a public manner that fans will be discouraged from wearing them to the festival.
Cultural appropriation when it comes to Native American attire has become a hot-button issue for festivals in the last year. The sale of headdresses has already been banned at festivals like Canada’s Bass Coast Music Festival, who also prohibited fans from wearing any type of Native American garb on festival grounds. California’s Lightning In A Bottle festival strongly discouraged its attendees from wearing any type of Native American wear at its 2014 festival.
While more and more festivals are getting behind the movement, some fans still don’t see the harm. Many see it as honoring a culture’s heritage and belief system. A longtime proponent of the headwear, famous raver and Kandi queen Lady Casa has been forced to reinvent her native festival look–transforming her former headdress into a stylish mohawk with feathers. Casa recently told LA Weekly that she, and many like-minded festivalgoers, are honoring the tribes in a respectful manner and want to reflect the values and beliefs of certain Native American tribes.
We are honoring a Native prophecy that is helping us be better people, that is helping us send a vibe we believe is helping the planet.
I know a lot of people wear headdresses to festivals with this in mind. Even just having this in mind, thoughts are frequencies, so for them to feel that warrior spirit and feel that love, that’s a beautiful expression.