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Author Topic: Dia de los Muertos  (Read 4357 times)

Jujulinda

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Dia de los Muertos
« on: August 25, 2011, 11:12:44 am »
I know it's a bit early but I was wondering something...

Would it be disrespectful to incorporate some of the day of the dead into something of your own. I want to do the feast and putting out food, sugar skulls and decorating graves for the dead like they do, I just don't want to be disrespectful. I've read a lot of peoples rants on others who incorporate things like that. I just find it a beautiful thing. I know a lot of other cultures do something kind of like this. I've researched it but I find Dia de los Muertos the one I keep coming back to...

So, yeah...is it disrespectful?

yewberry

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 11:54:53 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498
So, yeah...is it disrespectful?


If it's disrespectful, we're in the same boat.  I'm not of Latin American descent, nor did I grow up around people who celebrated it (well, very peripherally, but I barely remember it).  I started incorporating more and more Dia de los Muertos imagery and "props" into my Samhain celebrations, until one year I realized that in my full-blown altar building, homemade pan de muertos, molé, and tortilla making, sugar skull molding and decorating...it had become a de facto Dia de los Muertos celebration.  So I might as well just start calling it that.

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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 12:16:49 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498
So, yeah...is it disrespectful?

 
Thank you for asking this, because I think cultural appropriation is a big issue in the 'pagan community' (...whatever that is, of course). I have to admit, I side-eye a lot at anyone from a dominant culture who says that, say, they 'find Native American spirituality so beautiful' and they 'really connect' with it and therefore it is totally okay for them to have a tattoo of a girl in a war bonnet. ('Native American spirituality' as a phrase also gives me a headache, but that's another story.) I don't believe that intent is an excuse either; just because someone means well doesn't mean what they're doing is right.

(I know Dia de los Muertos is Mexican, but my experience up here in Canadia is with people appropriating First Nations/~Native American~ culture, so that's what I'm using as an example.)

On the other hand, it's not a cut-and-dry issue where everything that isn't in your culture is completely off-limits. That's where you get into weird racist territory, and that's not okay either. (The 'you' here is general, BTW, I'm just thinking out loud because I've thought about this a lot.) For example, I associate with Coyote. It wasn't a choice - he came after me - but I still have to work hard at not being some white Canadian girl playing around with things that aren't mine to play with.

To answer your question, though: I think incorporating a Dia de los Muertos celebration into what you do is fine, as long as you're careful about it (which you obviously are). If there's a conversation about it, don't assume your experience gives you some kind of insight into either the culture or the celebration, and if you buy Dia de los Muertos artwork of any kind, buy it from someone who has it as part of their culture. (Not to say you wouldn't do those things already, but I've seen a lot of things that make me wince.)

Again, thank you for asking and opening up this conversation :)
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monsnoleedra

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 09:54:01 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498
.. Would it be disrespectful to incorporate some of the day of the dead into something of your own. I want to do the feast and putting out food, sugar skulls and decorating graves for the dead like they do, I just don't want to be disrespectful. ..


For me personaly its a fine line. To use it and incorporate facets of it but know the why's of it is a lot different than seeing something in a store or reading of it and saying that's neat and just taking it.  The other facet, and I might get hammered for this, is I also think it geographical in nature.  Thus to incorporate things that are from your geographical area is to acknowledge the local spirits and energies and acknowledge them through established traditions.

Jujulinda

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 11:14:22 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);15651[/QUOTE

 
Thank you all for your answers. I agree that you need to research and study before you use anything of another cultures. I have been studying and I did a lot of studying of it when I was younger as well. I may not be part of that culture but my family is very big on visiting graves of their loved ones. They go every year on birthdays and death days. That's one of the reasons I was always interested in Dia de los Muertos. I live in a very anti-Mexico part of the United States, but I do know several people who celebrate it (they're from Mexico).

I also live in a very Native American part of the country. I have a lot of Native American history in my family. Especially around my area. We've figured it out that I'm at least 1/16th Cherokee. I don't look it because of the Russian but yeah. Off topic. I feel a lot more comfortable with Native American things because it's in my blood. I just wanted to get opinions on this subject and thank you.

SatSekhem

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 11:08:34 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498
So, yeah...is it disrespectful?

 
Personally, I say no.

The reason I say no is because I honestly think of most pagan traditions that are of a solitary persuasion to be a kind of "melting pot." I'm a perfect example: My patroness is Sekhmet. I have always had a deep affection for all things ancient Egypt. I love everything about it. However, my practices of late have been rather Vodun in nature. I've also been picked up by Papa Legba, distinctly not Kemetic.

I am the epitome of the spiritual melting pot that I seriously believe is the way paganism and Neo-pagan traditions will evolve as time goes by.
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Jujulinda

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 02:56:37 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;15938
Personally, I say no.

The reason I say no is because I honestly think of most pagan traditions that are of a solitary persuasion to be a kind of "melting pot." I'm a perfect example: My patroness is Sekhmet. I have always had a deep affection for all things ancient Egypt. I love everything about it. However, my practices of late have been rather Vodun in nature. I've also been picked up by Papa Legba, distinctly not Kemetic.

I am the epitome of the spiritual melting pot that I seriously believe is the way paganism and Neo-pagan traditions will evolve as time goes by.

 
I agree with you and I also think that people should definitely study. Especially before they practice, to just know how what they're doing came about. Religion evolved. Is evolving and will continue. As cultures and beliefs meet each other. I mean they already have but new things pop up all the time. Those meet and form other ideas, philosophies and beliefs. If you know what I mean.

SatSekhem

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 03:49:40 pm »
Quote from: Jujulinda;16897
I agree with you and I also think that people should definitely study. Especially before they practice, to just know how what they're doing came about. Religion evolved. Is evolving and will continue. As cultures and beliefs meet each other. I mean they already have but new things pop up all the time. Those meet and form other ideas, philosophies and beliefs. If you know what I mean.

 
I totally understand.
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stephyjh

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 01:14:37 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498
I know it's a bit early but I was wondering something...

Would it be disrespectful to incorporate some of the day of the dead into something of your own. I want to do the feast and putting out food, sugar skulls and decorating graves for the dead like they do, I just don't want to be disrespectful. I've read a lot of peoples rants on others who incorporate things like that. I just find it a beautiful thing. I know a lot of other cultures do something kind of like this. I've researched it but I find Dia de los Muertos the one I keep coming back to...

So, yeah...is it disrespectful?


I don't see it as such, but then, I grew up in a heavily Mexican-American area, fluent in Spanish, and it's been something I've been aware of most of my life. It was a bigger deal to me back when I worked with Mictecacihuatl/La Santa Muerte, an Aztec death goddess who has been adopted as an unofficial Catholic saint, but I still make sugar skulls and leave offerings for the dead.
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

Jujulinda

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 10:51:36 am »
Quote from: stephyjh;17316
I don't see it as such, but then, I grew up in a heavily Mexican-American area, fluent in Spanish, and it's been something I've been aware of most of my life. It was a bigger deal to me back when I worked with Mictecacihuatl/La Santa Muerte, an Aztec death goddess who has been adopted as an unofficial Catholic saint, but I still make sugar skulls and leave offerings for the dead.

 
She has been adopted as an unofficial Catholic saint?!?! That's very interesting......
Thank you for your input. :)

SatSekhem

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 04:34:41 pm »
Quote from: Jujulinda;17378
She has been adopted as an unofficial Catholic saint?!?

 
I don't think that's all that surprising. Brighid became St. Bridget, Dionysus becomes St. Denis, Bacchus becomes St. Bacchus, Lucifer--the Roman god of light--becomes St. Lucifer... There are people who think that the personification of the Virgin Mary has much to do with the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Most of the lwa from Vodou have a Catholic saint counterpart: Papa Legba is related to Lazarus and St. Anthony; Papa Ghede and St. Gabriel; and Erzili Danto as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Of course. To clarify: the saints in relation to the Vodoun lwa was formed in a very different manner than the Christianizing of the pagan gods.
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Rahni

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 07:49:05 pm »
Quote from: Jujulinda;15498


So, yeah...is it disrespectful?

 
I think it would be disrespectful to yourself if you weren't true to yourself.

Whatever makes you happy.

You are embracing someone's traditions and making them your own, and I think that it is honorable.

I was raised in a Hispanic/ Czech house hold.

I am neither.
We acknowledged a lot of different things.
Mostly Christian.
Which some of it was really selfish. "Why didn't you get me an expensive gift" versus "Thank you so much for thinking of me this year!"

You know what I mean?

Do what you think is right, the way you can to best express yourself and feel happy about it.

Rahni

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 07:54:17 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;17437
I don't think that's all that surprising. Brighid became St. Bridget, Dionysus becomes St. Denis, Bacchus becomes St. Bacchus, Lucifer--the Roman god of light--becomes St. Lucifer... There are people who think that the personification of the Virgin Mary has much to do with the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Most of the lwa from Vodou have a Catholic saint counterpart: Papa Legba is related to Lazarus and St. Anthony; Papa Ghede and St. Gabriel; and Erzili Danto as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Of course. To clarify: the saints in relation to the Vodoun lwa was formed in a very different manner than the Christianizing of the pagan gods.

 
That makes a lot of sense now.
I see how Christianity 'borrowed' other Pagan religion ideas and holidays and gave them new names...and when you try to tell someone that they're religion is based off of another, older one...they don't understand.

But like I said.
Do what makes YOU happy...and like others have said here, research!

Jujulinda

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 08:39:26 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;17437
I don't think that's all that surprising. Brighid became St. Bridget, Dionysus becomes St. Denis, Bacchus becomes St. Bacchus, Lucifer--the Roman god of light--becomes St. Lucifer... There are people who think that the personification of the Virgin Mary has much to do with the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Most of the lwa from Vodou have a Catholic saint counterpart: Papa Legba is related to Lazarus and St. Anthony; Papa Ghede and St. Gabriel; and Erzili Danto as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Of course. To clarify: the saints in relation to the Vodoun lwa was formed in a very different manner than the Christianizing of the pagan gods.

 
Oh yeah. I guess it just slips my mind sometimes. Probably because it's Aztec is why it made me go "what?". Lol.

monsnoleedra

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Re: Dia de los Muertos
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 09:02:21 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;17437
I don't think that's all that surprising. Brighid became St. Bridget, Dionysus becomes St. Denis, Bacchus becomes St. Bacchus, Lucifer--the Roman god of light--becomes St. Lucifer... There are people who think that the personification of the Virgin Mary has much to do with the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Most of the lwa from Vodou have a Catholic saint counterpart: Papa Legba is related to Lazarus and St. Anthony; Papa Ghede and St. Gabriel; and Erzili Danto as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Of course. To clarify: the saints in relation to the Vodoun lwa was formed in a very different manner than the Christianizing of the pagan gods.


You can add Diana / Artemis of Ephesus/Ephesos as part of the inspiriation of Mary and the Cult of Mary.  Many of the universal names and traits of Artemis were passed to Diana then to Mary at Ephesos/Ephesus.  Possibly even Cyebe as many traits associated to Artemis at Ehpesos / Ephesus may have derived from the earlier worship of Cyebe there.

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