All these episodes were hurtful for many American Indians, who consider the feather headdress a sacred piece that is only to be worn by Tribal members who’ve earned the right.
On the Mediterranean party island of Ibiza, off the coast of Spain, a nightclub and famous French DJ are perpetrating a display of tasteless cultural appropriation, trivialization, and female sexualization that may rival any other we’ve seen in recent years.
David Guetta is the headliner of “F**k Me I’m Famous,” a summer-long series of parties at the Ibiza club Pacha that are using a Native American theme that incorporates face-painted models in buckskin bikinis and headdresses (often calles “warbonnets”) and male models in similar outfits. Props hanging on the walls in Pacha include huge dreamcatchers and a pearl-handled revolver; in a photo shoot conducted on a beach, faux-Native models planted a mock totem pole in the sand to the sound of war whoops.
As if this mockery of Native culture wasn’t enough, Guetta and Pacha have outraged animal activists as well with one stunt that was posted to YouTube (scroll to the bottom of this article to see it). During a loud, chaotic dance-music set, a faux-Native model rides a real horse out onto the stage, subjecting the animal to a noise level that many humans would deem painful.
For those unfamiliar with dance music: Guetta is one of the most famous DJs in the world. Wikipedia states that he has sold over 9 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Billboard magazine named his 2009 single “When Love Takes Over,” made with Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, the greatest dance-pop collaboration of all time.
Reaction to these antics has been intense. On the YouTube page hosting the video and the “F**k me I’m Famous” Facebook photo galleries hosting the dozens of photos, Natives and other concerned parties are calling the DJ and nightclub out as racist and condemning the smiling participants as idiots. Here’s one choice response:
F\** Me I’m Famous? More like F*** Me I’m Racist and Misogynist!!!! DJ culturally appropriates sacred regalia and objects and organises an event which will be little more than a huge piss-up involving the worst common denominator of all kinds of mindless, soulless trash in Spain. I’m sure Ibizans are sick of this as well. Now, to literally wipe your white supremacist ignorant arrogance over all over 500+ years of genocide and genocidal misogyny… that takes a whole new level of wilful ignorance, because I doubt that someone marketing himself as “hip” and “edgy” is unaware of the issues. Bravo, David Guetta!!!*
This is utterly disgusting. I was so disappointed to see this as a pretty big guetta fan. Taking someones culture and raping it for something that looks cool, is totally wrong. To our people (notice how i say our) the eagle feather is held as the highest level of honor you can give. You wouldnt take your grandfathers war medals to a rave… this is the equivalent of that. Its like taking the holy bible, and dragging it through the mud, but its all in “good fun” right? Wrong!. People say ” well all were trying to do, is honor you guys jeeze”. Well that too is an excuse to be completely ignorant. You are not honoring us at all, in fact you mock the millions upon millions of first nations people that died in the cultral genocide, for the past ohhh I dont know hundreds of years. Dont shit in my coffee and call it marshmallows. This is completely disrespectful.
Deadmau5, another internationally famous DJ, took to Twitter and YouTube to berate Guetta. “im sure the horse really appriciated it. stupid fucks. fuck @davidguetta and fuck @pacha,” he tweeted. “for real… horses belong on a farm, not in a shitty overpriced nightclub to be subjected to a shitty overpaid DJ. @pacha” Beneath the horse video on YouTube, Deadmau5 wrote, “discusting…. as expected from pacha and guetta. stay classy.”
Here’s the promotional video for the tour, featuring models in sexualized Native garb emitting juvenile and stereotypical aw-waa-waa-waa type war whoops on the streets of Ibiza:
More shots from the promotional photoshoot accompanying the video:
Inside Pacha, the nightclub, things get hotter, with the bikini tops often replaced by pasties, and a lot more bump-and-grind. Notice the decor as well: