What makes the electronic dance music culture so unique is the freedom of expression that it allows for all of us. Whether we feel like wearing furry boots or nearly nothing at all, the ideas of self expression play an important role in the development of the rave culture around the world. But have you ever thought about the meanings behind some of the things you wear to these events?
For the first time in North American history, the organizers of Bass Coast Festival have barred individuals from wearing Native American headdresses on festival grounds (which will be heavily enforced by security). Becoming a popular item at major events around the world, the Native American war bonnets are aesthetically pleasing, boasting bright feathers, cool designs, and allow individuals to stick out in the crowd. But the true meaning behind this bonnets focus on honored Indian men and are seen to hold great spiritual and magical powers.
When the announcement was made about the banning of such headdresses, the festival organizers remarked:
Bass Coast Festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people. We have consulted with aboriginal people in British Columbia on this issue, and we feel our policy aligns with their views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us.
This example being set by Bass Coast and the organizers of the event should not only be emulated across the electronic dance music world, but a cultural spectrum as well. For far too long, Native appropriation practices have persisted and its negative views have taken away the true meaning behind the indigenous ways of life. It may seem silly that something as simple as a headdress could have such an effect on a group of people, but its time to realize what we are doing is wrong and it needs to stop.