In response, Carol posted the following links:
Native American Women Warriors Vice President Sgt. Maj. Julia Kelly, representing the Crow Nation, is a retired Command Sergeant Major of the Army.
Sarah Winnemucca, Paiute.
American Indian Women: The Warriors
The first headdress probably was bestowed by tribal leaders to recognize a soldier's service. The second may have been worn as a publicity stunt in violation of cultural norms. Or--since Winnemucca was Paiute and the headdress isn't a Plains headdress--her tribe may have had different rules.
The only explanation that applies here is "publicity stunt in violation of cultural norms." The other explanations don't apply to Crystle Lightning. There's still no justification for a young Native woman to appropriate a Plains headdress for her own commercial purposes.
Now that you've found a couple of exceptions to the rule, try addressing the rule:
An Open Letter to Non-Natives in Headdresses
So unless you are a Native male from a Plains nation who has earned a headdress, or you have been given permission to wear one (sort of like being presented with an honorary degree), then you will have a very difficult time making a case for how wearing one is anything other than disrespectful, now that you know these things. If you choose to be disrespectful, please do not be surprised when people are offended… regardless of why you think you are entitled to do this.
More comments from Carol:
No, the posting on women warriors is not irrelevant, it's fact and facts cannot be denied. Crystle's intentions were honorable to honor Native America and the First Nations People and to dispute otherwise is insult to her and her mother whom I have known for many years and whom I consider a true warrior woman.
Let us stop the division, it serves no purpose.
Crystle isn't honoring a fallen father, brother, or husband. She isn't a Crow woman and she isn't performing a traditional ceremony. I'm pretty sure she hasn't served in the military. So again, irrelevant.
Every person who wears a headdress believes their intentions are honorable. As does every person who stereotypes Indians: Johnny Depp in his Flying Nun costume, Saginaw Grant in the execrable Dudesons episode, every fan who has cheered Chief Wahoo or Chief Illiniwek, et al.
Their intentions are irrelevant when judging the outcome. So are Crystle's. Like every other woman who wears a headdress inappropriately, she's violating the tradition stated above. Period.
When you find a case of a Native woman honoring a ballerina from another tribe who's also wearing a headdress, please let us know. Because that's about the only case that would apply to this situation.
Meanwhile, you haven't begun to address the standard position stated above. Nor have you begun to address the blatant stereotyping involved in donning a headdress like a million Indian wannabes. I guess these issues are too hot to handle because you keep ducking them.
As for the so-called division, quit disagreeing with Michelle and me, Andrea, and the division will stop. We're stating the standard position held by most Natives. You're disagreeing with them because you arrogantly think you know better.
Another respondent raised the issue of Crow women wearing headdresses legitimately. Learn to read all the comments so I don't have to explain them to you.
I guess you're not Native since you're criticizing me. In fact, you're well-known for criticizing anyone who challenges your positions--e.g., your criticism of Adrienne Keene in the Johnny Depp affair. Fortunately, I'm not bound by that restriction.
It's arrogance to state the position held by most Natives? Wow. I guess you know as little about the definition of "arrogance" as you do about the Plains headdress tradition.
Again, you haven't begun to address the standard headdress position stated above. Nor have you begun to address the blatant stereotyping involved in donning a headdress like a million Indian wannabes. Whenever you want to start addressing these issues, go ahead.
For more on the subject, see Crystle Lightning = Maria Tallchief? and Crystle Lightning in a Headdress.