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Water boys of Yerevan, Armenia used to walk along the streets of the old city with clay jugs slung over their shoulders and a bowl in hand, offering a refreshing drink of cold, clean Yerevan water; they walked through the dusty, noisy streets of the old Abovian, singing out their ware : “Water! Cold Yerevan water!”

No longer a part of the city’s life, these ragamuffin merchants are still remembered through the many knife sharpeners, vegetable and fruit vendors and matsun (yogurt) sellers that still move through the courtyards of Yerevan calling out their wares.

Peering out from the trees and shrubbery, the small Yerevan Water Boy statue commemorates one of the endearing symbols of Old Yerevan. Sculpted by  Hovhannes Bejanyan in 1970.

anonymous asked:

Do you think that one needs to actively maintain claim to a culture in any way to have rights to "use" it? Eg, I'm 1/16 Cherokee, but I don't really feel like I have any legitimate claim, given my upbringing, and it'd be appropriation for me to use Cherokee culture in some ways, improvising off stories, changing key details, etc. What about a religion? In contrast, I think I could do anything within my own culture/relig without it being appropriation even if intentionally misrepresented b/c art.

Cherokee Culture, Rewritten Aspects

Hello,

Well let me tell you this. My grandfather (whom I never met) was half Native. I have had no part in his culture and i’m not sure how much he did either so no traditions were really passed down to my mother (that I know of) or to me. If these traditions were passed down, I would definitely feel comfortable partake in such culture. But since I don’t, I’d honestly feel very uncomfortable waltzing in and “using” the culture i’ve had no strong connection to before just because I now felt like it. I’d at least want to connect with a relative and be lead into the knowledge first.

I also don’t think in terms of entitlement of whether it’s a given right. It’s all about the people, and making sure one respects them and aren’t stomping over them or their culture which they do partake in actively.

Now, as for your story, no, I really do not think it’s right to take a culture and just switch up aspects, especially when you have no strong ties to it at all. That is definitely offensive. The same goes with religion as has been discussed here in the post “Muslim Genies & Rewriting a Religion.”

Do you actively identify as Cherokee? Would you really not mind if someone approached your culture, pulled it apart, and misrepresented it for the sake of story? Be mindful that readers generally will see your portrayals of a culture, partially one connected to PoC for face value, so I find it harmful to pick apart a marginalized people’s culture and change up “key details.”

I would like to hear from Native and Cherokee followers!

~Mod Colette