Indian culture

Kansas City chiefs ban hairstyles and face painting appropriating Native American culture

Kansas City Chiefs officially banned fans wearing headdresses in an ad which describes the steps taken by the NFL team to better celebrate and understand Native American cultures.

The Chiefs, who discouraged fans from wearing such headdresses before this ban, are also banning face painting that appropriates Native American cultures and revising the use of the “Arrowhead Chop” celebration, the team said Thursday.

These changes are a result of conversations the reigning Super Bowl champions have had with Indigenous leaders over the past six years.

“As an organization, our goal was to better understand the issues facing Native American communities in our region and explore opportunities to raise awareness of Native American cultures and celebrate the rich traditions of tribes with a historical connection to the region. of Kansas City. , indicates the team’s statement.

Based on NFL and Department of Health guidance on the coronavirus pandemic, the team said it will continue to invite tribes to participate in its American Indian Heritage Month game. The Chefs will also continue their traditional ceremonies of the Blessing of the Four Directions and the Blessing of the Drum.

The team was also exploring the creation of a “formal education program” on Native American issues.

“We are grateful to the members of the task force for their guidance and collaboration, and we look forward to continuing our partnership,” the statement said.

A Kansas City Chiefs fan screams during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. On September 24, 2017.Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images File

In July, the Washington, DC, NFL team announced it would rename and drop its old name, long condemned as an anti-Indigenous insult.

While the word “chief” doesn’t come from American Indian references, the Kansas City franchise has long associated with Indigenous imagery, including its stadium name, Arrowhead.

The Kansas area was home to several native tribes until a federal ordinance in 1825 forced the Kansa and Osage tribes to abandon their lands along the Missouri River and settle on reservations, according to the Kansas City Visitor’s Guide.

Former President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act five years later, offering native tribes uncolonized land west of the Mississippi in exchange for their land on existing colonized land. The Cherokees, who resisted resettlement, were forced to march west by the federal government, according to the Library of Congress.

An estimated 4,000 Cherokees died during the forced march, now known as the Trail of Tears.


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