Klaudia Amenábar was visiting with a friend and posted photos to Twitter. “We felt really gross and just wanted to leave.”
UPDATE: The American Museum of Natural History has removed the Native headdress from their gift shop.
The museum’s communications department sent an email to Indian Country Today stating: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The headdress has been removed from our shop while we work with our vendors to conduct a review.”
The American Museum of Natural History in New York, which hosts such exhibits as Amazon Adventure, Dinosaurs Among Us, Mummies and ¡Cuba!, also currently sells a faux Native American-style headdress in it’s gift shop. The Native headdress retails for $999.
Latinx visitor Klaudia Amenábar was visiting the museum with a friend who saw the headdress. She told Indian Country Today she and her friend thought it was a museum display case.
“A friend of mine and I were going through the gift shops. She’s from LA and was telling me about other gift shops that have questionable stuff, and then she points this out to me. I’m like maybe it’s just a display, and she’s like, ‘Nope, it has a price tag,’ so we took pictures.”
“It’s in a glass case on the wall of their main gift shop so from afar it looks like one of those exhibits that might live in a gift shop but it’s NOT, everything in the case is for sale,” said Amenábar.
“They were also selling dream catchers,” she said.
Amenábar said she was joking with her friend about appropriation and offensive merchandise at gift stores when they came upon the headdress. She said she was also shocked at the $999 price tag.
“It’s extremely expensive which either means it’s a display that’s just ridiculously priced to make it just for show because no one would buy it, or they are selling a legit war bonnet? I highly doubt it, it looked manufactured.”
Due to her frustration, she posted the image to Twitter along with the caption: Hey @AMNH why are you selling a war bonnet in your gift shop?! WTF?!
The American Museum of Natural History replied to Indian Country Today’s request for comment on March 23rd, 2018.