Feather headdresses banned from Bass Coast music festival

The war bonnet has become a controversial fashion accessory

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The Independent Culture

Bass Coast music festival has banned feather headdresses out of respect for “the dignity of aboriginal people”.

The ban will be implemented by the event’s security.

The Canadian dance music festival – which runs from 1- 4 August – is housed in Nicola Valley.

“We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets,” organisers said in a statement. “They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated.

“Bass Coast festival takes place on indigenous land and … we feel our policy aligns with [aboriginal peoples'] views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us.”

Feather headdresses have become a popular fashion accessory to wear to festivals over the past few years, a trend that has received criticism for trivialising the item’s cultural and historical significance.

In June, Pharrell Williams was forced to apologise for wearing a Native American war bonnet on the cover of Elle.

“I am genuinely sorry,” Williams told Buzzfeed. “I respect and honour every kind of race, background and culture.”

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