May 20, 2013

Tepee mania hits New York

10 Non-Indian Tepees: Get Ready for Tepee ManiaA story in the New York Daily News over the weekend entitled "Hip households in New York are installing tepees as places of play and reflection" documented the phenomenon of indoor tepees, which are "taking off in New York."

The story highlights tepees built by young urban parents in their homes in Brooklyn, as well as one belonging to a young woman who enjoys sitting inside it and writing poetry. Also mentioned are a couple of tepees built to add ambience to commercial spaces in Manhattan. But the Daily News article doesn't forget to give some cultural context: "Of course, Brooklyn hipsters didn’t invent tepees, and their significance in Native American culture can’t be ignored" it says, then goes on to quote Ines Hernandez-Avila, Native American Studies department chair at the University of California, Davis.

Her view: "It's a really strange thing to do."

It makes us wonder—when enough Brooklyn hipsters do something to justify articles in the local press, are we deeper into the trend than we might have imagined? Have we arrived at, or passed, the tepee tipping point?

Perhaps the living-room tepee is what happens when the music-festival headdress-wearing set settles in to raise their young.
Comment:  The article goes on to catalog 10 kinds of tepees, including wedding tepees, cat tepees, tepee diapers, tepee hors d'oeuvres, tepee tattoos, and tepee motels. I've posted some of these before, but here they are in one handy round-up.

As the article indicates, the tepee trend is undoubtedly part of the headdress-wearing hipster trend. Headdresses and tepees are an easy way for "liberals" to show they're getting back to nature, in touch with the roots, down with multiculturalism, part of the global "tribe," etc. Without having to spend a minute or lift a finger to actually demonstrate their sympathies.

For more on tepees, see Where Are the Tipis? and Mummers Parade in Redface, Blackface.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Technically, hipsters are supposed to be doing something "ironically" or "before it was cool". But "hipster" is overused to the point of being meaningless.

It falls into postmodern academic nonsense. Same as when Republicans have Hummergasms. It's the idea that your positions are indicated by how closely you adhere to a stereotype. Of course, it's just conspicuous consumption.