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Author Topic: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation  (Read 8480 times)

Maps

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2012, 03:16:30 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;41143
I tend to think the best approach is something like wearing a piece of religious jewelry: if you can't figure out a good, brief, non-offensive explanation for why you're wearing it, you should maybe not be wearing it where other people can see it. Because for every person who asks, there's probably dozens who won't, but will make assumptions. You can counter many of those assumptions by other choices in dress, behaviour, etc. - but you need to be aware of whether you want to.

Totally agreed, no question there.

Quote from: Jenett;41143
So if someone honestly wants to wear dreadlocks, and comes up with an answer of "Oh, yes, I know they come from X culture, but I'm drawn to them because of Y reason.", that's one thing. Someone who is stuck at "They look cool, and I don't care that they have significant meaning" is still in a place that's very likely appropriative.

My original point being that being educated and understanding the context and implications of your borrowing/appreciation is still horrible according to this definition. THAT, and not what anyone here in this thread has said, is what I'm disagreeing with.

cigfran

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2012, 03:24:09 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;41143


I tend to think the best approach is something like wearing a piece of religious jewelry: if you can't figure out a good, brief, non-offensive explanation for why you're wearing it, you should maybe not be wearing it where other people can see it.


Does this include Goths and Ankhs?

Nyktipolos

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2012, 05:28:19 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;41147
As I understand it, they do this themselves. Tribal membership is determined by their own idea of the 'blood quantum.'

It's only used because the idea that one must have a certain amount of "Native blood" was imposed directly by the American and Canadian governments originally. There is also quite a bit of internalized racism within Native communities as well.

Quote
I seem to recall a news item from last year where a group of blacks who had been adopted members of a particular tribe, had that membership revoked on strictly racial grounds.

That would be the Cherokee Nation (one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribal bands, I believe). The only people who lost membership, as it were, were those who never had Cherokee ancestry in the first place. I don't agree with the decision myself, but I have talked with people from that nation, as well as other bands, on what the reasonings were (limited funding and resources, mostly).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 05:28:44 pm by Nyktipolos »
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Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2012, 10:52:12 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;41167
It's only used because the idea that one must have a certain amount of "Native blood" was imposed directly by the American and Canadian governments originally. There is also quite a bit of internalized racism within Native communities as well.



As far as I know, it is not BQ that is the deciding factor.  In order to be enrolled one must be able to trace their ancestry to a name on the census taken in the treaty year (I can't remember the specific years).

At one point this tracing had to go through a male line - the children of women who married out did not have status no matter how high their bq (which could be quite high if the mother married the son of another woman who married out - especially if the communities were close and this happened often)

This has since changed but there are many families who simply did not re-enroll because of the way their maternal lines were treated by tribe and government.  A line in which the males married non-native wives can have children now with very little bq but full status.

As for the Cherokee incident, I think it was unfair as well, but the fact remains that nobody is adopted by 'the tribe' - they are adopted by particular families and their nations do not have to ratify the adoptions.  Someone adopted by a British family is still considered British even though they have not been adopted by the country as a whole, and  I feel the Cherokee should have looked at it that way.  It's not my call, though, and I do understand some of the reasons for the denial, whether I agree with them or not.

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Nyktipolos

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2012, 11:24:12 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;41192
As far as I know, it is not BQ that is the deciding factor.  In order to be enrolled one must be able to trace their ancestry to a name on the census taken in the treaty year (I can't remember the specific years).

I'm not sure if you're coming from a Canadian stand-point or not, but even if you can trace your lineage back (legitimately), there are a number of tribes (both Canadian and American-based) you can't enroll in if you don't have a high enough BQ. There are of course other bands one can enroll in that don't have a BQ requirement.

Quote
At one point this tracing had to go through a male line - the children of women who married out did not have status no matter how high their bq (which could be quite high if the mother married the son of another woman who married out - especially if the communities were close and this happened often)

This has since changed but there are many families who simply did not re-enroll because of the way their maternal lines were treated by tribe and government.  A line in which the males married non-native wives can have children now with very little bq but full status.

This is I think Canadian-specific, correct? Bill C-31 is what changed this, I think.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 11:25:13 pm by Nyktipolos »
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Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2012, 10:35:17 am »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;41197
I'm not sure if you're coming from a Canadian stand-point or not, but even if you can trace your lineage back (legitimately), there are a number of tribes (both Canadian and American-based) you can't enroll in if you don't have a high enough BQ. There are of course other bands one can enroll in that don't have a BQ requirement.



This is I think Canadian-specific, correct? Bill C-31 is what changed this, I think.


Canadian stand-point, yes.  I know of bands (in the states, mostly) that allow anyone who claims heritage to enroll, but if you check they are usually heritage clubs, not tribes, and have no standing.

The who counts/who doesn't crap is definitely Canadian, although it might have happened elsewhere.  My sister checked into it once (after my grandmother died, because she was one of the ones that wanted nothing to do with the res) and was told that she only needed our mothers birth certificate and Grandma's marriage lines to enroll.  She didn't end up doing it but was told her daughter still could.  After that it gets fuzzy.

This was at either Bkejwanong First Nation (Walpole Island Unceded Territory) or Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Chippewas of Sarnia).  We have family on both and I'm not sure where she checked.  For myself, I'm happy with the culture I grew up in (mostly Scottish) and have no desire to enroll.

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« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 10:38:37 am by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2012, 11:43:34 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;41167
That would be the Cherokee Nation (one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribal bands, I believe). The only people who lost membership, as it were, were those who never had Cherokee ancestry in the first place. I don't agree with the decision myself, but I have talked with people from that nation, as well as other bands, on what the reasonings were (limited funding and resources, mostly).

 
The Cherokee Nation doesn't look at blood quantum at all. If your ancestor was listed on the 1910 Dawes Rolls, then you can be part of the Nation, basically. (I'm in the middle of finding out if my ancestors were, and if I'm Cherokee or Choctaw, because there's apparently some confusion there.)

I personally don't have an opinion on this particular incident because I'm not that well-informed about it yet, but it's a tricky area. I hear from my classmates in First Nations Studies about similar problems up here with Coast Salish bands and rez residency rules. The rules are messed up because it's a form of gov't that's been forced onto First Nations people and is usually completely alien from their traditional forms of governance. So of course there's going to be corruption and issues like that.

What makes my blood boil is the attitude of "Well, you bring it upon yourself". Like you said, Nykti, internalized racism is a huge problem. As are issues with forms of gov't that have been forced onto First Nations people and, generally speaking, do not work with present cultural beliefs.

This also causes tensions among tribes, like between Tsawwassen and various Vancouver Island-based tribes, including (I believe) Snuneymeux -- Tsawwassen is on the mainland and traditionally they shared the waters between the Island and the mainland, and intermarried and etc.

Well Tsawwassen got their tribal lands set by the gov't before the other bands could, and now previously-shared land is theirs exclusively because the gov't doesn't understand different systems of ownership. There is a lot of tension on this side and it's causing huge family feuds, etc.

But, you know, bring this up outside of First Nations class or other similar groups and you get a raft of people talking about how greedy Natives are, how they bring it upon themselves, etc etc etc post-racism society my foot.


/rant.
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Micheál

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Re: The Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2012, 03:38:17 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;41043
Though, to contradict myself, I have to admit that if I saw someone obviously not-Maori wearing a full Maori facial tattoo, I would read them as saying "Look at me, I'm Maori" and my response would be "no, you're not."

Unless they had amazing panache.

I mean, beauty is its own purpose. Strength of character is worthy.

Blather. I hope I'm allowed to quote and reply to myself, in lieu if editing a prior response, when I have further thoughts.

Good topic, and I'm trying to think of secular examples. We mostly encounter spirtual ones on these topics with Yoga, Reiki, the Kabbalah, e.t.c,  but I keep relating with the tattoo posts. I actually have a tattoo of a bobcat,and the Japanese Fujinkan kanji Takeda shingen adopted from Sun Tzu's Art of War. Now I'm not Japanese, but used to be able to speak it pretty proficiently(took it in high school for 4 years, and spent a few months there in the military), and the tattoo is related to martial arts since I have a blackbelt in one(another cultural art&tradition), so although I'm not Japanese, I have an appreciate of their culture that I learned about and got to experience briefly. I don't think that would be appropriation, because I'm really not trying to pass anything off, and they'd spot me for a Gaijin easily.

The Bobcat one is a little tricky, because it's in relation to a totem animal. Now the Native Americans weren't the only peoples to have them, and I'm not claiming a certain tradition from it, but I do think of "North America," my homeland when I see it. I'm not a Native American, but I am "native" to the Americas. Despite my ancestry& European DNA groupings, my bones were formed from the water&minerals provided by my environment when I was in the womb. That environment was Missouri, my native environment, and the tattoo also connects with a native North American animal , so again I wouldn't think of that appropriation because I'm not trying to pass any certain tradition, although it comes with an awareness& appreciation of common known ones I have an awareness of being from the same land.

Even if taking ancestry into consideration, I'm of Irish ancestry, can speak Irish, live in Ireland, can have 3 passports, but I'm not considered "Irish" here because I have a yankee doodle accent being brought up in the States. Would it be appropriation to buy into Irish stereo-types by wearing Green&drinking German beer in America every March 17th, the holy feast day of Ireland's patron saint? No one is 100% anything, and plasma&hemoglobin have nothing to do with ones'c culture. Many people do have shamrock tattoos because their surname is "Mc" or "O" something,  and they know nothing of the actual cultural traditions other than talking like a pirate and mocking the tradition dance by their goofy drunken jigs one day out of the year. That's why I think ancestry has little to do with it.

IMO, I don't think cultural appreciation and identification is appropriation. I would consider that impersonating, or capitalising on cultural elements of a mostly declining culture, and in doing we can clearly see that there is no appreciation involved.

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