A tip of the cap to Indian Country Today Media Network user bigbppr, who left this helpful comment on our most recent Johnny Depp story:
"Apsaroke Indians wore a full bird as part of their headdress. There are 2 photos in the book of Edward S. Curtis photographs entitled The Great Warriors."
The poster is right. Some Indians did wear birds on their heads.
For the media and bloggers — including ICTMN, Native Appropriations, and now Gawker — who've been scrutinizing Depp's costume and his public statements about it, what does this mean? Most importantly, what does it mean to you? If the bird on Tonto's head has a precedent in American Indian culture — any American Indian culture — does that make the costume any more palatable to those who've objected to it thus far?