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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in cultural appropriation
Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation:' Part III: Memes as cultural organisms

 

Memes

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Moving Beyond Cultural Appropriation: Part II. Cultures as Ecosystems

Jarume Uwujare  argues cultures should relate as equals when they take something from another, and contribute something to the other in return. I think we all can agree people can and should relate as equals, but I argue this is a confused way to think about cultures.

If I have what you want, we are not equal unless you also have what I want, and want it with about the same intensity. We can easily have a formal equality to make an exchange or not, but this equality is modified, sometimes drastically, by the intensity each of us has to make the exchange. The more desperate one party is compared to the other, the greater an important kind of inequality.

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Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation,' a Pagan Perspective. Part I.

Some people within the Pagan community object to instances of what they consider “cultural appropriation.”  Smudging with sage, seeking a power animal, celebrating Day of the Dead, is somehow stealing. To my mind they are confused about culture, confused about appropriation, and even confused about what it is to be a human being. In their confusion they attack other Pagans, creating a problem for all of us.

No NeoPagans practice traditions with an unbroken connection to pre-Christian times. Almost all old Pagan traditions have been mostly oral, and the core of those teachings have been lost. When once Pagan practices have survived, their interpretation will have changed, as Sabina Magliocco has described in rural Italy.         

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós Jezebel quotes cultural appropriation as "'Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or ar
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    I too, have found the phrase to be mostly a stumbling block. It seems as if it may have been mostly used for more extreme example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you for continuing the discussion! Though some of what you raise eill be in later installments, here is some stuff I hope y
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "You say for you it was limited to the sacred. Maybe for you. For example, thoughtlessly eating a burrito was given as an example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós I am not very concerned with where the term first appeared, but if you can provide a link I will be happy to make that disti

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Going Viking

The sad, sorry truth is that none of the old ways have come down to us intact.

None of them.

That's why we go viking.

The way of the shaper, who makes the new, is good.

The way of the merchant, who buys and sells, is also good.

But when you can't make for yourself, and there's none to be had by honest means, then betimes needs must set sails.

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Day of the Dead, Samhain, and Halloween: cultural appropriation or something wonderful?

 

Taos, where I recently moved, is famous for its celebration of Day of the Dead.  Not surprisingly Day of the Dead themes have been integrated in to Halloween celebrations here.  Day of the Dead also shares many points of overlap with Samhain.   For the previous two years I worked with Mexican friends to organize a joint celebration of Samhain and Day of the Dead in Sebastopol, California. We had side by side altars and people were encouraged to light votives honoring their deceased loved one, and to place them on the altars of their choice.  My Wiccan altar had marigolds on it, and the skull was a colorful one in keeping with Day of the Dead symbolism. Otherwise it was very traditional.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Pagans Must #StandWithStandingRock

I've been following the events on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where hundreds (if not thousands) have gathered to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL for short) for the better part of two months, though I've been dimly aware of the issue since last spring. As a native South Dakotan transplanted to Texas, I still follow news outlets from my beloved prairies, including several independent Native news agencies. When I started sharing posts about the growing camps of protectors -- community members prefer this term to protestors -- I was shocked and amazed when friends told me that my Facebook feed was the only place they were hearing about the situation. (The 1,172 mile pipeline, which will carry oil from North Dakota's Bakkan region, crosses the Missouri River in a number of places, threatening the only source of drinking water for many indigenous communities. Construction also threatens burial grounds and other culturally important sites for the Standing Rock Sioux. For a quick primer on the situation, go here and here.)

I've been heartened to see that the Pagan community has spoken out about the DAPL and has offered support to the protectors at Standing Rock. While I understand that many Pagans "don't like to be political," there is no question in my mind that we have a duty to stand with indigenous peoples everywhere, and in particular with Native American/First Nations peoples. For Pagans in the United States and Canada (and elsewhere in the Americas), the very land on which we stand and which we purport to venerate is the same land (and water, and air) threatened by the DAPL and projects like it. The environmental stakes alone should give us reason to stand up and say #NoDAPL and to support those seeking to prevent the "black snake" from being built across the nation's prairie heartland, from North Dakota all the way to Illinois. As earth-venerating people, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to stand up against environmental degradation -- as Al Gore famously said in Earth in the Balance, Paganism is the spiritual arm of the environmental movement. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know about a pipeline being built here in Virginia, there have been a lot of newspaper articles on it. It looks like the state
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, October 14

An artist creates masks that celebrate goddess spirituality. A Pagan writer considers the place of disabled persons within the social justice movement. And does the Pagan community have a problem with cultural appropriation? It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly feed for news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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