Yellowstone County Museum Director Benjamin Nordlund explains how headdresses were earned in the warrior culture.

Video: How Warriors Earned Headdresses


In this Montana History Minute, Yellowstone County Museum Director Benjamin Nordlund explains how headdresses were earned in the warrior culture and how important they were.

“Specific types of warriors would be able to where the headdress, you wouldn’t be able to just go out and make your own buffalo horn headdress, you have to earn it,” Nordlund says in the video for the Billings Gazette.

So, to all those celebs and models who think it’s a way to honor the Native culture, we say again—it is not.

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Suswecha's picture
Submitted by Suswecha on
I hope some Lakota (and of course, others who know the buffalo) will comment on many more meanings and the spirit in which Tatanka is perceived, which is important to understand in understanding the wearing and wearers of the horns. Just to help some others, I'll try a little here: Tatanka is a Bringer, Giver, Protector. One who could wear his very spirit had to show these attributes in ways. He is the one who can outsmart Micha, the Coyote, the endless trickster. I think that some Lakota, and many of you, know a few who could be known to be wearers of this spirit. But not many. Thanks for calling down those who would claim to be allied with the spirits of things without complete respect, or seen to be Shunkaku to them. Thank you!

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Very informative, but it's too bad that the people who would benefit MOST from this information will NEVER see it! ____________________________________________________________ For the record, EARNING a headdress does NOT mean: A, you've put up with a makeup artist, a hairdresser and searched for the "perfect costume" for three hours before settling on the headdress, B, You're a big fan of Pharrell, or C, you have enough money to simply "buy off" anyone who protests your ignorant choice of clothing.

magnamagus's picture
Submitted by magnamagus on
First things first the reconstruction of the meaning of headdress worn by Souix needs to be delineated by the Sioux. So far the Dominant Academic View of Social Scientists which includes anthropologists, archeologists, historians, social psychologists, etc. has always been a highly racialized, subordinating, and dehumanizing, contextualization and construction of Native Americans and other Non-white Peoples around the world. Hence, the so-called White Museum Curator here characterizes the Natives As wanting to look "DEVILISH" or satanic, devil worshiper, etc. in others he is using White Christian Racists view of Non-white cultures. This Guy is Racist -- Get rid of him we need actual Native Americans telling us what these mean rather than some Eurocentric Racist Christian White Man posing as an educated Anthropologists or archeologists, who was hired by this museum by the way, regurgitating White Racist Christian Accounts of Non-white races of the world. These are same people who belong to professional organizations selling skulls, body parts, human zoos, slavery, and who are participating in the cover up genocides non-white peoples around the world.