After an online petition received a meagre 65 signatures, organisers for Glastonbury decided to prohibit sales of the traditional Native American headdress. The petition convinced the administration that the ceremonial outfit maintains too much cultural significance to be treated as fancy dress.
Daniel Round started his Change.org petition almost two months ago, asking those involved to, “lead the way this side of the pond in raising awareness of the issues surrounding the wearing of feathered headdresses”.
Although the festival conceded to one demand from those against the trivialisation of Native Americans, Glastonbury has not realised all of the commands in Round’s petition. No spokesperson has addressed this issue.
Glastonbury’s ban of Native American outfits is not an isolated issue. Recently Pharrell Williams apologised after a public backlash for his wearing of a Native American headdress in a photoshoot. Also, the organisers of Bass Coast in Canada banned attendees from wearing the headdresses to their concerts. “We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets,” they wrote. “They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated.”
Was Glastonbury wrong in prohibiting sales of the ceremonial headdresses? Or is this the start of something highly beneficial for Native American culture?