I see a lot of (non native) people with tattoos of skulls with headdresses or dream catchers. I was wondering if that’s seen as disrespectful by the Native community
I’m pretty sure I’ve answered a question like this before regarding Miley Cyrus’s stupid dream catcher tattoo… (it might be in my FAQ, but I can’t remember off-hand.) So I’d like my Native followers to give their opinions on this topic.
And, as NativeAppropriations stated in an article on the subject, “dream catchers are probably one of the most appropriated and exploited Native images. In many Ojibwe communities, dream catchers are still a sacred, and their creation involves specific ceremonies and prayers. The plastic commercial keychains sold in rest stops are making a mockery of a sacred object. When people buy the dream catchers because they’re “pretty” or to ward off bad dreams, and aren’t aware of the power and history behind the objects, it dilutes them to a commercial object disconnected from their origins and community.”
In my, probably unpopular opinion, Native American tattoos on non-Native people are super cringy. Especially the ever so popular: skull wearing headdress and the Bert Grimm style tattoos of women wearing headdresses.
As a Native American person, anytime I see a Native headdress tattoo on a non-Native person, (specifically a white person, let’s face the facts) it’s like a major “F.U.” & a slap in the face. I’ve seen so many of them all my life… I’ve even had people who, upon asking me if I’m Native American, then proudly proceed to want to show me their awful headdress tattoo. (And please don’t send me ask messages after reading this saying things like, “But my skull wearing headdress tattoo is honoring Natives” or something as equally ridiculous like, “but I’m 1/100th Native American through my great great great great Grandmother so it’s okay for me to have such & such tattoo.”
When you look at that tattoo, you might see honor, but when I look at your tattoo… I see your ancestors forcing Native people to abandon our ways of life, culture, and belief systems, to assimilate to yours.
If you really want to connect with your “indian roots” or honor and show solidarity for Natives, I can think of lots of way better ways than permanently tattooing a culturally appropriative & disrespectful headdress tattoo on your body.