native baby

anonymous asked:

okay so i asked someone already and they were an asshole about it. since you are a witch mom, maybe you can explain?? why can't we call them spirit animals?

Originally posted by 2009wasagoodyear

This would be the part that the lights would lower and all eyes would be on me as I roll in a white board.  Anyway…

See, darlin’, there is thing and it is called CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

*The very words echo off the walls of the empty auditorium.*

By definition, cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.  Let’s take the United States and use it as an example…

Because people from hundreds of different ethnicities make up the U.S. population, it’s not surprising that at times cultural groups rub off on each other. Americans who grow up in diverse communities may pick up the dialect, customs and religious traditions of the cultural groups that surround them.

Cultural appropriation is an entirely different matter. It has little to do with one’s exposure to and familiarity with different cultures. Instead, cultural appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups–often with little understanding of the latter’s history, experience and traditions.

“Borrowing” is a key component of cultural appropriation. In the 1950s, white musicians borrowed the musical stylings of their black counterparts. Because African Americans weren’t widely accepted in U.S. society at that time, record executives chose to have white recording artists replicate the sound of black musicians. This led to musical forms such as rock-n-roll being largely associated with whites in spite of the fact that black musicians were pioneers of the art form. This move also had financial consequences, as many of the black musicians who helped pave the way for rock-n-roll’s success never saw a dime for their contributions to the music.

Onto the more witchy aspects of this…

The term Spirit Animal, as used by young adults today, is a bastardized version of a Native American tradition.  The word’s loss of meaning is damaging to the concept of tradition, especially one as regularly plagiarized and demeaned as the traditions of Native Americans. Religion and belief is something to be taken seriously, and when it’s corrupted by pop culture and turned into something it shouldn’t be, then that’s where the damage starts to set in. 

I am nowhere near qualified enough to go into the importance of the term, and by no means do I want to generalize Native Americans as a singular identity, especially since Spirit Animal is not the same for every tribe. However, I (and many of my other witchy peers, AKA those assholes you speak of) do feel like the inappropriate use of the term is something that should be pointed out more, since most of the time people don’t know how problematic certain language can be.

Alternatives to “spirit animal” could be: personal totem, Patronus (ha!), familiar, and so on and so forth.

And by the way, I do have three personal animal totems I refer to in my craft.  I used to say “spirit animals” when I was younger and I quickly realized how offensive it was because I, a mixture of some very weird Cajun-Creole/Black Irish, am not Native American.

Hope this helps.

TL; dr: If you appropriate other cultures, YOU are the asshole.

10

Axl: I can’t help it. I either stand there bored or I run back and forth. And I kinda get into dancing. I didn’t even know that I like what I do. I just, I looked down at my feet and go “what am I doing now?” but I feel like if I stand there, then people think “oh this is boring” so I gotta do something and I just try to do whatever happens. It’s a lot of fun. I thought about taking dance lessons and stuff but then I was worried about getting too stale, being too much like organized and everything. I like the spontaneity of just whatever happens, keeps it real raw and fresh. If it got too ballet’ed out, I couldn’t handle that.

(source)

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Nativity Cat

10

Sorry i have not posted in awhile i have been very very busy with school work and wedding ceremony planning. We are legally married but never had a ceremony :) well lately kimber and ezra has been super busy and driving me nuts!!!! See you guys later