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Author Topic: Appropriation or ancestry?  (Read 4391 times)

Aubren

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2015, 12:22:54 am »
Quote from: Materialist;181935
Thank you for this very thought-provoking response. Making use of older sources (read: pre-neo-pagan/new age era), I can see the reason for that. I came across a book by Alanson Skinner last night, and he seemed an honest and transparent fellow.

I also popped over to the Wazhazhe's website as well and found it mentioned that the tribe had territory in southern Illinois. I hadn't heard of this-from what I've read they were intermittent hunting and war parties. Unless that's what was meant-traditional hunting territory. Anyway, I wish to investigate this further and am wondering if you know of a good history of your tribe?

 

The Wazhazhe (our denomonym was Niukonska at the time) were a semi-nomadic people who, like the Mexica (Aztecs), required war honors to boost up an individuals rank.

 They grew strong from fighting the Caddos (moving them westwards) and integrating another tribe into them.
Thay a huge territory. My understanding was the they ranged from--to put a modern U.S map perspective-- northern Arkansas, to the northernmost edge of central Missouri (encompassing nearly the entire state) to very eastern Kansas & northeastern Oklahoma (having but a tip of the original territory that now constitutes as the sovereign nation).

Illinois is right next to Missouri, so I wouldn't be surprised if they edged a little in there.
But most likely, it refers to the pre-seperated nation.
The one that included most of the Osages (minus the added on tribe in our oral history), Quapaw, Omaha, Kanza, and I think Ponca.

This tribe once lived around the Ohio River Valley area. The Ohio river seems to mark the border between Illinois & Kentuckey.
They were chased southwestwards by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). Did the Haudenosaunee live that far southwest?


I wouldn't call myself a historian. I've just been reading books passed down the family line. So the information is heavily influenced by those, and is accurate in some ways and inaccurate in others.

An example of inaccuracy: Some library books have indicated that the Osage have been in contact since *flips it open* ...wow, the 1670s. But yet another book (title escapes me, but probably by Louis F. Burns. The red one.)  indicates that they had no direct white contact until the 1800s.

I just read the old books. And since I'm not from the rez and read the books before I got the newspaper (and other modern sources), I have knowledge that modern on-rez Wazhazhe either keep or shuffle away, for various reasons.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 12:25:00 am by Aubren »
Wazhazhe

Aubren

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2015, 12:32:03 am »
Quote from: Morag;182002
Just as a note, the term and concept of "two-spirit" was come up with as a way of combating homophobia in Native communities. There was a belief that homosexuality and transgenderism were European things that had been forced onto tribes and had no place in Native lives, when the truth is that LGBT people have existed in Native communities for a long time, since well before colonization. Framing those identities as two-spirit was a way to reach reconciliation, and dispel the idea that homophobia/transphobia was the same as anti-colonialism.

So yes, it is a pan-neo-Native concept, but there's good reason for it, and I'd hesitate to call it problematic, myself.

(Source: an academic book on queer Native identity I read while doing my First Nations Studies degree that I can no longer remember the name of because of too many concussions. I'll try to find it back. Idea was corroborated by other reading done in the course of my studies, and by discussions with people who had experience in that area.)

 
I actually thought it was a concept a few tribe happened to have that got twisted and used for that puposes. Like dream catchers (which are an odd-form & usages of ancient Ojibway dreamcatchers).

Like, I thought that the Cheyenne originally had it?
I'm kinda feeling done with the topic, though. We've deviated from the original one.
Wazhazhe

Lionrhod

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2015, 04:12:10 pm »
Quote from: myeka;181530
I'm a fairly new pagan and being Canadian, I'm a huge mishmash of different cultures... mostly European (Irish, Scottish, French and Scandanavian).

I recently got into doing my family history and went quite far back on my mother's side. My grandpa was French Native and that is the side I went quite far back on. I know that there is Iriquios, Cree and Metis. I admittedly know very little about any of these cultures and really want to learn more. I often stop myself from delving into it though...

My cousin, who is dark skinned because her mother was Indian (from India), is quite involved in the native community in the area and married a native man. We are not close so I don't feel like I can talk to her about these things.

She really embraces her native side and I have uncles and cousins that have Metis status and are somewhat involved in the Native community. However because of tragic family history, the family is not involved with each other (and because of the very dark happenings - I do not want any involvement with them).

They are all darker-skinned but I feel because I got my dad's very white skin that I "should" stick to the European bits.

At what point are you "native enough" to study and maybe practice some beliefs? I feel awful even asking this question, like I should just forget it and stick to my Celtic/Scandanavian heritage.


My heritage INCLUDES  Polish, English, Irish, Scots, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Gypsy (Rom), Algonquin, possibly Albegensian, possibly Magyar Hun, maybe Welsh, potentially a bunch of other things I never thought to list and haven't discovered yet.

And at the root of it, aren't we ALL descended from Lucy in Africa?

Sorry but I am not of the belief that your blood heritage determines your magickal path.

Follow the path that sings to you.
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Aubren

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2015, 07:30:17 pm »
Quote from: Lionrhod;182841
My heritage INCLUDES  Polish, English, Irish, Scots, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Gypsy (Rom), Algonquin, possibly Albegensian, possibly Magyar Hun, maybe Welsh, potentially a bunch of other things I never thought to list and haven't discovered yet.

And at the root of it, aren't we ALL descended from Lucy in Africa?

Sorry but I am not of the belief that your blood heritage determines your magickal path.

Follow the path that sings to you.

 
I think you're missing the basic principal here.
It's not that your blood heritage determines what path you must follow.

It's that your blood (& cultural) heritage determines what you *can't* follow.
Wazhazhe

Floofy Bunny

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2015, 04:03:43 pm »
Quote from: Lionrhod;182841
My heritage INCLUDES  Polish, English, Irish, Scots, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Gypsy (Rom), Algonquin, possibly Albegensian, possibly Magyar Hun, maybe Welsh, potentially a bunch of other things I never thought to list and haven't discovered yet.

And at the root of it, aren't we ALL descended from Lucy in Africa?

Sorry but I am not of the belief that your blood heritage determines your magickal path.

Follow the path that sings to you.


While this may be true, this ignores histories of oppression - it's akin to color blindness. Yes, we all are largely mishmashes of cultures that go very far back, but the context of contemporary societies, histories of oppression, and power make this especially difficult. For example, I am 1/16 Cherokee as my (many greats) grandmother was more than likely taken from her tribe at a very young age then ended up in my family lineage. But my family has largely grown up rural white, and while there are class issues there, I pass as white and reap those benefits like not having police being more likely to suspect me of criminal activity.

It's like when high end fashion designers draw inspiration from Native American designs and aesthetics such as Navajo prints - these designers who are usually not Native American benefit from selling these designs to a largely white audience with significant wealth. The people who created these designs that inspired them receive no financial benefit or recognition. How would a Navajo fashion designer receive similar acclaim and financial reward?

Scales

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2015, 08:01:23 pm »
Quote from: Aubren;182942
I think you're missing the basic principal here.
It's not that your blood heritage determines what path you must follow.

It's that your blood (& cultural) heritage determines what you *can't* follow.

 
Quote from: Floofy Bunny;182987
While this may be true, this ignores histories of oppression - it's akin to color blindness. Yes, we all are largely mishmashes of cultures that go very far back, but the context of contemporary societies, histories of oppression, and power make this especially difficult. For example, I am 1/16 Cherokee as my (many greats) grandmother was more than likely taken from her tribe at a very young age then ended up in my family lineage. But my family has largely grown up rural white, and while there are class issues there, I pass as white and reap those benefits like not having police being more likely to suspect me of criminal activity.

It's like when high end fashion designers draw inspiration from Native American designs and aesthetics such as Navajo prints - these designers who are usually not Native American benefit from selling these designs to a largely white audience with significant wealth. The people who created these designs that inspired them receive no financial benefit or recognition. How would a Navajo fashion designer receive similar acclaim and financial reward?

 
Just wanted to add support to these, especially as far as religions that are heavily culture-based (like the ones we're talking about).

Lionrhod

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2015, 07:09:49 pm »
Quote from: Aubren;182942
I think you're missing the basic principal here.
It's not that your blood heritage determines what path you must follow.

It's that your blood (& cultural) heritage determines what you *can't* follow.

 
I'm going to both agree and disagree here.

My first Wiccan teacher was a black man who followed both a Faery/Wiccan path and an Orisha one.

He'd grown up on an Orisha path, but felt drawn to Celtic Faery. Now, neither I nor you, nor he know exactly what his bloodline may contain. His last name is Hispanic, but that doesn't mean that is his entire line. As a descendant of slavery it is well possible that his roots are Celtic and that in the proposed estimation, he may be perfectly well allowed to define himself as a Celt.

What I do know is that his teachings were wise and intelligent, and that they were very much in line with Celtic Faery tradition.

Now there is a big difference between saying that you are a member of a particular tribe/following a particular tribal tradition and merely in your own private moments following an understanding of what you believe that heritage to be.

I have Algonquin HERITAGE. As much as that intrigues me and as much as I was introduced to Algonquin mythology as a child, I will not claim that I am following an Algonquin path. But am I allowed to follow an Algonquin-inspired path should I desire? Heck yes, I think.

Same goes with the Pole/Slavic stuff which could also be mine to "own."
When given a choice between black and white, choose purple.
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Aubren

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2015, 05:05:31 pm »
Quote from: Lionrhod;183212
I'm going to both agree and disagree here.

My first Wiccan teacher was a black man who followed both a Faery/Wiccan path and an Orisha one.

He'd grown up on an Orisha path, but felt drawn to Celtic Faery. Now, neither I nor you, nor he know exactly what his bloodline may contain. His last name is Hispanic, but that doesn't mean that is his entire line. As a descendant of slavery it is well possible that his roots are Celtic and that in the proposed estimation, he may be perfectly well allowed to define himself as a Celt.

What I do know is that his teachings were wise and intelligent, and that they were very much in line with Celtic Faery tradition.

Let me be straight up, I'm not black. I don't know how African-Africans feels about slave-descent African Americans, vice-versa, and "foreign" African Americans to slave-descent African Americans taking up their culture.

I have heard of some slave-descent African Americans talking about Nigerians appropriating their dreads, and that's it.

However, I will say that Slave descent African Americans attempt to "go back to their African roots" LOOKS rather similar to a white-passing/claimed Native American going back to their "Indian roots". That is, more book & online research than actual tribal affiliation.

By tribal affiliation, I mean getting the right cards, contacting the Nation, receiving their newspaper, voting, etc.

To me, these seem more like a genuine attempt to acknowledge one's heritage than just adoring the ancient ways & religion.


I will also mention (with some personal vendetta) that slave-descent African Americans have a tendency to (ironically) appropriate from Native Americans, Egyptians, and some other cultures. They seem confident that because they are people of color, they can do this; and it annoys me greatly.

Quote
Now there is a big difference between saying that you are a member of a particular tribe/following a particular tribal tradition and merely in your own private moments following an understanding of what you believe that heritage to be.

I have Algonquin HERITAGE. As much as that intrigues me and as much as I was introduced to Algonquin mythology as a child, I will not claim that I am following an Algonquin path. But am I allowed to follow an Algonquin-inspired path should I desire? Heck yes, I think.

Same goes with the Pole/Slavic stuff which could also be mine to "own."

How do you think full-blooded Algoniquans & Poles in Poland would perceive you?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 05:07:31 pm by Aubren »
Wazhazhe

Spiritual Blood

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2015, 01:38:03 pm »
Quote from: myeka;181530
I'm a fairly new pagan and being Canadian, I'm a huge mishmash of different cultures... mostly European (Irish, Scottish, French and Scandanavian).

I recently got into doing my family history and went quite far back on my mother's side. My grandpa was French Native and that is the side I went quite far back on. I know that there is Iriquios, Cree and Metis. I admittedly know very little about any of these cultures and really want to learn more. I often stop myself from delving into it though...

My cousin, who is dark skinned because her mother was Indian (from India), is quite involved in the native community in the area and married a native man. We are not close so I don't feel like I can talk to her about these things.

She really embraces her native side and I have uncles and cousins that have Metis status and are somewhat involved in the Native community. However because of tragic family history, the family is not involved with each other (and because of the very dark happenings - I do not want any involvement with them).

They are all darker-skinned but I feel because I got my dad's very white skin that I "should" stick to the European bits.

At what point are you "native enough" to study and maybe practice some beliefs? I feel awful even asking this question, like I should just forget it and stick to my Celtic/Scandanavian heritage.

 
So I've been lead to believe that the natives of Australia were taught that the land itself dictates the tradition, not the blood. It was held that those who live in the land should learn the ways of the land and adopt them, to appease native spirits.

So I would say there should be no worry.

Scales

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2015, 04:07:44 am »
Quote from: Spiritual Blood;183512
So I've been lead to believe that the natives of Australia were taught that the land itself dictates the tradition, not the blood. It was held that those who live in the land should learn the ways of the land and adopt them, to appease native spirits.

So I would say there should be no worry.

 
Australia's pretty far from North America, and the beliefs (and realities) of one aren't necessarily remotely connected to the other.

Honestly, although I doubt you intended it, this has a really icky air of "primitives are all just primitives," or at the very least is romanticizing cultures foreign to you as somehow more deeply spiritual and apparently knowing universal truths.

Because OP has biological (if not cultural) heritage and wants to embrace it (not 'oh, this looks special, I'm just going to start messin' with it'), I think they have a right to try to immerse themself and learn, although I think even with that blood link, they shouldn't just start googling stuff and doing it, because many First Nations' practices are deeply rooted in culture and larger ceremonies (eg smudging).

Materialist

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2015, 09:39:44 am »
Quote from: Aubren;182340

They were chased southwestwards by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). Did the Haudenosaunee live that far southwest?

 
Thanks for the info. From what I've read, the Haudenosaunee tried to establish an economic empire based on the fur trade, and so went on several campaigns to drive tribes out of the best hunting areas-they invaded Illinois several times so I'm not surprised the Wazhazhe got in their way, too.

Aubren

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Re: Appropriation or ancestry?
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2015, 07:18:55 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;183643
Thanks for the info. From what I've read, the Haudenosaunee tried to establish an economic empire based on the fur trade, and so went on several campaigns to drive tribes out of the best hunting areas-they invaded Illinois several times so I'm not surprised the Wazhazhe got in their way, too.

And thanks for your info! ^u^

Edit: And let me add a disclaimer of sorts. For historical clarity's sake. It wasn't the Wazhazhe per se, but a tribe that eventually became 5 different tribes, also including Omaha, Quapaw, Kanza, & Ponca.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 07:22:14 pm by Aubren »
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