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Recent Comments

Re: “Burners Torched Over Native Party

To unknown.

It would only be cultural misappropriation if invited non-natives to perform Native-style drumming and singing at the Pagan Festival. Hopefully more pan-pagan events will unfold despite things like this.

And yes full-bloods who have been initiated into the spirituality of their tribe do have a more "proprietary" (although I dont think that is the appropriate word) claim on native spiritual practices than I as a mixed blood woman have. I would never, for example, be so disrespectful as to lead a sweat lodge or any sacred ceremony.

To the druidess who was so offended,

You should be happy that druidry is considered so highly among european-pagan paths. They didnt mention Wicca did they? And last I heard, Druids werent doing DNA tests to join a grove. That's a little dicey dont you think? I think druidry is one of the most beautiful types of reconstructionist faiths. Reconstructionist Hellenic (ancient Greek), Norse and Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) groups also deserve much respect for working to recreate the spirituality of their/our ancestors.

Posted by JoHanna White on 04/06/2009 at 10:35 AM

Re: “Burners Torched Over Native Party

I'm a mixed blood woman. My father was born just off the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, because women were waking up sterilized in BIA hospitals in 1958. The oppression and mistreatment of Natives is not 500 years ago, it is in the lifetimes of the people who said that this was not okay.

I do not burn, or at least, have not so far. I have gone to burning man decompression parties. I did used to rave. I am actively involved in the Bay Area Pagan scene. Good intentioned white people who want a connection to the earth should explore their own spiritual heritage traditions: druidry for example. I'm trying to teach myself Lakota (the language), I am trying to recognize my history. Maybe you should try to recognize your own cultural and not use someone else's.

Cultural Appropriation is not hip or clever. It is imperialism in its most recent form and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This kind of thing is exactly why I have trouble getting Native singers and drummers to show up at Berkeley's Pagan Festival which I organize. European Americans do not get license to use the cultures of others to make $ whether it's Lakota or Hopi or Maori or Tibetan. That leaves a dirty taste in my mouth.

The party choices, promotion and costume code was all in horrible taste. In fact when someone first mentioned this to me, I thought it was a joke. I mean couldn't you have come up with something recognizing the elements without using an indigenous theme? Where is the creativity that I know exists in the Burner community?

I am not trying to put down VV but i think they need to take some sensitivity classes if the non-party wasnt enough of a clue for them.

Posted by JoHanna White on 04/02/2009 at 1:08 PM

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