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Christina Fallin: Native American Insult or Art?

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An Oklahoma news station tell us that Christina Fallin, the daughter of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, has recently come under fire for an Instagram picture that involves her wearing a Native American headdress. The almost-authentic looking red-and-white headdress was posted on Fallin’s band Facebook on Thursday with the caption “appropriate cultivation.”

It has since been taken down due to the uproar, but Fallin hasn’t backed down from the picture stating that she “feels a connection to the Native American culture.” She also posted a letter on Facebook stating:

“we feel that it would not be honest if we did not admit publicly that a woman in a headdress can be a very beautiful thing. You can keep your distance from something your whole life out of fear that you might taint it, or that it might taint you. Or you can embrace it and let it affect you. We chose to live our lives in the latter category.”

It seems as if Fallin and her band hold ideals that may not mesh with some, and that her status as a governor’s daughter may be causing more scrutiny that it would another indie band such as this one, for instance:

Still, No Doubt, a major pop band attempted the same thing to be shot down in earlier times. Native Americans, however, are seeming to become more active of the treatment of their culture, and are not letting it fly. The fact that many Native Americans have been misplaced in the state of Oklahoma may also add more insult to the injury. Wado, a writer for NativeAppropiations.com, states the reasoning behind the strong negative reactions:

But here’s the thing: my tribe is not there by chance or by choice, my tribe, and the vast majority of the other Natives peoples in Oklahoma, are there by force and by trauma. In 1830, the US government and Andrew Jackson passed something called the “Indian Removal Act,” which resulted in the removal of thousands and thousands of Native peoples from their homelands in the southeast. You know where those Native peoples were forced to march? Oklahoma. Though it was referred to as “Indian Territory” then. So all that “Native American culture” you’ve been able to come in contact with? It’s thanks to violence, colonialism, and genocidal policies. It’s not an innocent cultural exchange.

What do you think? Although musicians such as Afrika Bambaataa and others are known for wearing a Native American headdress for years with no criticism, do you feel as if the treatment of Christina Fallin is unfair?


Image via Oklahoma News on 6

Christina Fallin: Native American Insult or Art?
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