Governor’s daughter defends headdress photo

By KRISTI EATON, Associated Press Published: March 7, 2014
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The daughter of Oklahoma’s governor, who is part of a punk band and has posed for revealing photos at the state mansion, defended herself Friday after posting a photo of herself in a Native American headdress that critics called insensitive.

Christina Fallin, who is not Native American, wears a red-and-white feathered headdress in the post, which includes the phrase “appropriate culturation.” The post says the photo was taken at Remington Park, a racetrack and casino owned by the Chickasaw Nation, one of the state’s most powerful tribes.

The photo was posted Thursday to Fallin’s Instagram account and the Facebook page for her band, but was later replaced with a statement saying she felt the “deepest respect” for Native American culture and asking people to forgive her for wearing beautiful things.

Fallin, the daughter of Oklahoma’s first female governor, Mary Fallin, made headlines in 2011 after a photo shoot at the governor’s mansion. A local magazine focused on 20-somethings posted videos from the session, showing her strolling around the mansion property in avant-garde fashions.

Those videos were removed from the magazine’s website after some people said they were distasteful. Christina Fallin issued a statement at that time saying she was thrilled to be a part of the magazine.

The 26-year-old Fallin is currently a marketing consultant for and appears in another local magazine that features fashion trends, health tips and beauty advice. She is also part of a local band that describes itself as “electronic-punk.”

In the past few weeks, she’s also posted several photos from events with her mother: first, one from the State of the State speech at Oklahoma’s capitol, and others from Washington, D.C., while at the National Governors Association meeting.

The picture of the headdress quickly drew negative comments on social media.

Headdresses, historically worn by Native American warriors who received feathers for heroic deeds, are considered sacred items and are still used for some ceremonies.

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