Mar 29, 2013 - Appropriating Native Culture
Rappers Snoop Dogg and Chief joined the ranks with No Doubt, Victoria Secrets, Michelle Williams and others in pop culture’s seemingly never ending appropriation of Native culture and gross sexualization of “Native” women with the new video Blowed.
The video consists of near naked non-Native women dressed “Native” with feathers in their hair, wearing head dresses and donning buckskin fringed bikinis dancing seductively and smoking weed while Snoop Dogg and Chief rap about getting high. Snoop raps Yes, “I’m an Indian/Two braids in my hair with a pipe in my hand”. Later Chief references the pipe again by rapping “Man that’s kush in my peace pipe”.
The song comes from Chief’s, Smoke Signals EP. Chief who grew up on the Six Nations reserve in Canada,
Sadly, this is not Snoop’s first brush with appropriation of Native culture. His “Double G News Network” Thanksgiving special featured him wearing a head dress at a Thanksgiving feast being served by scantily clad “Native” dressed women.
Much has been written on the origins of the plains head dress its sacredness and meaning. For those to continue its desecration, especially with such high profile incidents of late, simply either don’t care, or don’t respect our culture.
Perhaps even more troubling is the reference to the pipe (cannunpa). Pte San Win brought the cannunpa, a gift from Wakan Tanka, to the people so that the people live. Pte San Win was sacred who brought something sacred to the people, to have this historical knowledge of who she was and what the cannunpa stands for is unsettling to say the least.
Like Pte San Win, our women, all Native women, are sacred as well. Let us not stand for the degradation of our women and cultures and call out these despicable acts whenever they arise.
It is time to end the Chief Wahooing of our Native cultures.
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)