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Old 07-29-2015, 06:13 AM   #1
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Who can wear a war bonnet?

What is the general consensus about wearing full war bonnets while dancing at powwows? I know that historically and culturally the war bonnet was made up of individual coup feathers collected over a lifetime, each being awarded for counting coup upon an enemy. I know that there were many stages of coup that could claimed. I also know that today a fully bonnet, with or without trailer can be awarded as a whole to someone who has completed some act of benefit to a tribal group or who holds office within that tribal group. I also know that some of these bonnets are passed down in the family from father to son and nowadays, can be even be inherited by a daughter. The Interent is full of beautiful war bonnets being sold by registered Indians and non-Indians alike. If not to wear them at powwow, why buy them?

Knowing all this, I have been making and wearing war bonnets for dancing since I was a kid and have never been confronted with any objection when wearing one. I am considering making one more, probably my last, to wear while dancing in my old age. Before I expend the amount of energy, money and time in doing so I thought Id garner input from the online Indian community. What do you think?

White Coyote
I am a non-Indian. I started dancing powwow when I was 11 years old as a fancy dancer in boys scouts and continued dancing with CIHA, here in California until my career forced me to put it on hold. Now that I am retired I have returned to the dance circle, completing a new regalia which I wish to top off with a war bonnet, as I always have in the past.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:34 AM   #2
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Did you earn each and every feather? Did the Native community acknowledge your many worthy acts? If you had I doubt you would be asking this.

Let me frame this in dominant culture terms:

You can buy diplomas online. They'll give you a PhD for life experience and a VISA. Should I feel the person with the diploma from U-Pay-Me U. has a much right to call themselves Dr as I do after putting in 12 years primary and secondary school, 4 years undergrad, 6 years in a tier one research institution, and two postdocs? When I saw them, would I stand up in the middle of a talk at an academic conference and denounce them -- no. Because I am polite and would not wish to disrupt the event for others. But, would I recommend them if on an academic search committee -- no. Don't mistake noninterference or the absence of a confrontation for approval.

Wear a warbonnet you weren't given and given the right to wear... Would you wear a Purple Heart or Medal of Honor you didn't earn?
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:31 AM   #3
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What do you think?

White Coyote
I am a non-Indian. I started dancing powwow when I was 11 years old as a fancy dancer in boys scouts and continued dancing with CIHA, here in California until my career forced me to put it on hold. Now that I am retired I have returned to the dance circle, completing a new regalia which I wish to top off with a war bonnet, as I always have in the past.
I think the last part of your post says it all ! You are NOT ndn. You've been dancing all you life and plan to do so regardless of what anyone thinks. A true "war bonnet" is made from eagle feathers. You have already laid claim to our dance , our culture , so why not ? Wear whatever you want ! It won't make you ndn and you'll never really have the respect of the ndn community.Go play ndn , you've done it since you were 11 , why stop now ?
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:57 AM   #4
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by whitecoyote View Post
What is the general consensus about wearing full war bonnets while dancing at powwows? I know that historically and culturally the war bonnet was made up of individual coup feathers collected over a lifetime, each being awarded for counting coup upon an enemy. I know that there were many stages of coup that could claimed. I also know that today a fully bonnet, with or without trailer can be awarded as a whole to someone who has completed some act of benefit to a tribal group or who holds office within that tribal group. I also know that some of these bonnets are passed down in the family from father to son and nowadays, can be even be inherited by a daughter. The Interent is full of beautiful war bonnets being sold by registered Indians and non-Indians alike. If not to wear them at powwow, why buy them?

Knowing all this, I have been making and wearing war bonnets for dancing since I was a kid and have never been confronted with any objection when wearing one. I am considering making one more, probably my last, to wear while dancing in my old age. Before I expend the amount of energy, money and time in doing so I thought Id garner input from the online Indian community. What do you think?

White Coyote
I am a non-Indian. I started dancing powwow when I was 11 years old as a fancy dancer in boys scouts and continued dancing with CIHA, here in California until my career forced me to put it on hold. Now that I am retired I have returned to the dance circle, completing a new regalia which I wish to top off with a war bonnet, as I always have in the past.
no
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:35 PM   #6
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To OLChemist, I was asking about war bonnets not diplomas. I don't understand your point of reference or YOUR terms. Your dominant culture terms, not mine. To Wardancer, I do not want to be an Indian. I never wanted to be one. I have never worn a TRUE WARBONNET made of eagle feathers. I don't ever want to wear such a war bonnet. I lay claim to neither your dance nor your culture. How does my dancing in the circle diminish you in any way. Nor am I asking your permission to dance. To gisili I am as repulsed by that video as you but that is not me. You don't know me but you judge me a drunken fool. When I dance I dance for the same reason as you, I dance to pray. So much anger out there. Get over it! Open powwows are just that. Open to everyone who wants to dance. All I asked was for opinions about wearing war bonnets at powwows and instead I get attitude... very negative attitude. To Josiah, thank you for your opinion, That's ONE for "no".
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:41 PM   #7
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The Internet is full of beautiful war bonnets being sold by registered Indians and non-Indians alike. If not to wear them at powwow, why buy them?
Further more :
The bonnets being sold online are made with imitation eagle feathers making them imitation bonnets. non-ndns buy them and hang them on the wall or put them in a showcase. By doing what you propose to do ( and probably will do), it lessens the honor of those who actually earned a real bonnet.My great grandfather had a really nice "real" bonnet. Even if it had been passed down to me , I would not wear it.
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

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Old 07-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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When I dance I dance for the same reason as you, I dance to pray.
Maybe you should just go pray your own way and not ours !
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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To Wardancer, I do not want to be an Indian. I never wanted to be one.
If that were true , you would have never started dancing in regalia to start with !
So why did you start dancing ?
And now you are mad at us because we tell you not to.And we're not really telling you not to , just don't wear a bonnet. Opinion that !
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__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:07 PM   #10
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To OLChemist, I was asking about war bonnets not diplomas. I don't understand your point of reference or YOUR terms. Your dominant culture terms, not mine.
It is called an analogy -- a comparison between objects for the purpose of explanation or clarification. Let me spell this out for you:

1) A warbonnet is, among other things, a indicator of accomplishment within those cultures that use them. A diploma or military awards are indicators of accomplishment within the dominant culture.

2) To buy a warbonnet on the internet or make one with feathers you have not earned, is the same as buying a diploma from a internet diploma mill. You are claiming credentials that are not yours.

3) To buy a warbonnet on the internet or make one with feathers you have not earned, is the same as wearing a military metal you did not earn. You are claiming honors that are not yours.

4) Even when the bonnet is made with turkey feathers, its form is an appropriation of MY culture's insignia. It is copying and mocking the structure of an item which is sacred in MY culture.

5) Just because when you were 11 -- in what the 1960's, a much less assertive time in Native communities -- you were never publicly called out, does not mean comments were not made behind your back. It does not mean notice and offense were not taken. It just means Indian people are usually polite to strangers. Our disciplinary methods are inductive, so we keep hoping you'll get the message when we ignore you.


Can't you get that is it one thing to dance, but another to help yourself to our intellectual property? Whether or not you get the spiritual dimension of the clothes, the song, the dance, you should understand this is OUR intellectual property. WE should control it. There is a huge difference between dancing an intertribal in street clothes or being dressed by a Native family and invited to join us, and just deciding to make us a hobby or a merit badge. There is a huge difference between us placing the bonnet on your head and you putting it there.

Last edited by OLChemist; 07-29-2015 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: Ouch a 4F. Honk if you used a Harbrace Handbook in school.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #11
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And lest some non-Indian reading this tells me to get off the computer and go back to my rez, I was invited by your educational system and other colonial institutions to enter your culture and partake of its "gifts." I have found much I enjoy and value. I obey your laws, customs and rules about your intellectual property -- you can ask my patent attorney about that, LOL. But, you made the decision about including me. (Though you may at this point regret it.)

Maybe we'll "get over it" and quit "being so negative" when you obey our rules when in our cultural spaces. And grant us control over who we include.

Last edited by OLChemist; 07-29-2015 at 09:42 PM..
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #12
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Get over it!
Just what is it you want us to "get over" ?
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:01 PM   #13
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What is the general consensus about wearing full war bonnets while dancing at powwows? I know that historically and culturally the war bonnet was made up of individual coup feathers collected over a lifetime, each being awarded for counting coup upon an enemy. I know that there were many stages of coup that could claimed. I also know that today a fully bonnet, with or without trailer can be awarded as a whole to someone who has completed some act of benefit to a tribal group or who holds office within that tribal group. I also know that some of these bonnets are passed down in the family from father to son and nowadays, can be even be inherited by a daughter. The Interent is full of beautiful war bonnets being sold by registered Indians and non-Indians alike. If not to wear them at powwow, why buy them?

Knowing all this, I have been making and wearing war bonnets for dancing since I was a kid and have never been confronted with any objection when wearing one. I am considering making one more, probably my last, to wear while dancing in my old age. Before I expend the amount of energy, money and time in doing so I thought Id garner input from the online Indian community. What do you think?

White Coyote
I am a non-Indian. I started dancing powwow when I was 11 years old as a fancy dancer in boys scouts and continued dancing with CIHA, here in California until my career forced me to put it on hold. Now that I am retired I have returned to the dance circle, completing a new regalia which I wish to top off with a war bonnet, as I always have in the past.
From one old man to another. It seems you are a little ashamed to be white and dancing in a Native American culture.

Now here is why I think this (you asked). You dance at Hobbyist (what is your definition of a hobbyist?) powwows, or call to see if it is an OPEN powwow. It would seem you are afraid of what might be said to you if you wore a warbonnet to a powwow where the Natives who claim ownership to the right to wear warbonnets would be attending.

You justify wearing a warbonnet because 'The Interent is full of beautiful war bonnets being sold by registered Indians and non-Indians alike. If not to wear them at powwow, why buy them?'. As an old man, do you really live by this statement? Seems like moral ethics would tell you, "they are doing wrong. Should I do wrong, too?".

What I read in your other posts is, because people don't agree with you, or didn't give you the answer you wanted to hear, they are rude and have an attitude. I tend to agree with the other posters, and like them, know you will not take the opinions to heart. You will continue doing whatever you want to do with another race's culture. I'll sleep tonight. I dance at all powwows. I don't have to call to see if it's an OPEN powwow.

When it's all said and done, you'll make whatever you want to make, dance where others who have low-NDN esteem and dance and ask for input then not agree with it. Heck, you will probably yell at me for writing all these words.

Remember, I'm old. I'm six decades in this world. I dance for my reasons. I pray for my reasons.

Now put on your warbonnet and stand up and say, 'It's a good day to be INDIGENOUS".
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post

Remember, I'm old. I'm six decades in this world.
Dang , you are old.........how'd you learn all that stuffs ?
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:26 PM   #15
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To gisili I am as repulsed by that video as you but that is not me. You don't know me but you judge me a drunken fool. When I dance I dance for the same reason as you, I dance to pray.
Dem guys ain't drunk, they are white.

This is the whole issue here^^^ what you say. I don't judge you as a drunken fool, I judge you as a white coyote.

By the way.... don't presume that we have common motives for dancing. We don't.

I have attended quite a few powwows here in Cali, and I have yet to see a white guy in regalia wearing a war bonnet..... just FYI I wouldn't advise that.

After I read your first post, I thought you were the one who got kicked out of Vallejo Powwow.

SO.... go away, or go away mad, either way.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:58 PM   #16
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Dang , you are old.........how'd you learn all that stuffs ?
The boy scouts.

Did you know they are letting 'gay' scout scout leaders back? But, that's another topic.
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"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 07-29-2015, 11:48 PM   #17
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The boy scouts.

Did you know they are letting 'gay' scout scout leaders back? But, that's another topic.


Them boys'll be so happy!
windanncer and gilisi like this.
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care

Last edited by wardancer; 07-29-2015 at 11:52 PM..
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
Dang , you are old.........how'd you learn all that stuffs ?
That's the learning 3 score years of flirting with water moccasins will get ya.

(Yes, I've had one good come back in the past 5 years. Now I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.)
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:10 AM   #19
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That's the learning 3 score years of flirting with water moccasins will get ya.

(Yes, I've had one good come back in the past 5 years. Now I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.)
, ,
windanncer likes this.
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #20
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That's the learning 3 score years of flirting with water moccasins will get ya.

(Yes, I've had one good come back in the past 5 years. Now I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.)
Yeah, but it took me 3 years to score!
__________________


Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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