Author Topic: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation  (Read 49166 times)

Offline earthw7

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2012, 04:03:03 am »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Atehequa, Earth did not say all NDN cultures have the same name for the Creator, or that all NDN Nations have the same traditions. :) She was speaking from her perspective as a traditional Lakota woman who lives in her community. Please don't try to grill her. She is well known to us and well-respected - both here and in the community where she lives with her people. You'll also find that people don't usually discuss details of beliefs and ceremonies here.

Greetings.

That wasn't grilling.  I was speaking from the perspective as a traditional Indian who is not Lakota and did nothing to disrespect Earth in responding to her statement about god and beliefs that are not usually discussed here. I have been at places where the one god or single great spirit concept for all Indians has been pushed.

I have to ask, in this endeavor to reveal new age frauds and plastic medicine people, one would think the discussion of what is true and what is false when it comes to those who rip off our spirituality is necessary. Of course I'm not asking anyone about their personal spiritual paths, nor claiming all Indians worship one god.


Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language, we all dont understand each other language or ways so there in no one way to lump all of our language and ways in to one concept,
the belief in one enity greater than ourselves, one that is what we are Lakota people call the great mystery, it is not the same name to other tribal nations, but we do not have gods and goddress.
We dont understand the other tribal Nations nor their belief so to have one name for god is impossible
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:38:57 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »
In Spirit

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2012, 11:48:07 am »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Atehequa, Earth did not say all NDN cultures have the same name for the Creator, or that all NDN Nations have the same traditions. :) She was speaking from her perspective as a traditional Lakota woman who lives in her community. Please don't try to grill her. She is well known to us and well-respected - both here and in the community where she lives with her people. You'll also find that people don't usually discuss details of beliefs and ceremonies here.

Greetings.

That wasn't grilling.  I was speaking from the perspective as a traditional Indian who is not Lakota and did nothing to disrespect Earth in responding to her statement about god and beliefs that are not usually discussed here. I have been at places where the one god or single great spirit concept for all Indians has been pushed.

I have to ask, in this endeavor to reveal new age frauds and plastic medicine people, one would think the discussion of what is true and what is false when it comes to those who rip off our spirituality is necessary. Of course I'm not asking anyone about their personal spiritual paths, nor claiming all Indians worship one god.


Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language, we all dont understand each other language or ways so there in no one way to lump all of our language and ways in to one concept,
the belief in one enity greater than ourselves, one that is what we are Lakota people call the great mystery, it is not the same name to other tribal nations, but we do not have gods and goddress.
We dont understand the other tribal Nations nor their belief so to have one name for god is impossible

Greetings Earth7

So you’re saying the spirits known to me, including Kukumthena, our earth mother spirit do not
exist ? As far as different tribal languages are concerned we are using a common tongue here.

It is good that you have your one god, or Great Mystery, but remember there are other Indians besides the Lakota. Hundreds of different tribes and many different people all not beholden to a single Great Spirit. Perhaps we should make an effort to understand at least some of the ways of other tribes before stating such a broad assumption.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:39:12 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2012, 01:40:33 pm »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Atehequa, Earth did not say all NDN cultures have the same name for the Creator, or that all NDN Nations have the same traditions. :) She was speaking from her perspective as a traditional Lakota woman who lives in her community. Please don't try to grill her. She is well known to us and well-respected - both here and in the community where she lives with her people. You'll also find that people don't usually discuss details of beliefs and ceremonies here.

Greetings.

That wasn't grilling.  I was speaking from the perspective as a traditional Indian who is not Lakota and did nothing to disrespect Earth in responding to her statement about god and beliefs that are not usually discussed here. I have been at places where the one god or single great spirit concept for all Indians has been pushed.

I have to ask, in this endeavor to reveal new age frauds and plastic medicine people, one would think the discussion of what is true and what is false when it comes to those who rip off our spirituality is necessary. Of course I'm not asking anyone about their personal spiritual paths, nor claiming all Indians worship one god.


Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language, we all dont understand each other language or ways so there in no one way to lump all of our language and ways in to one concept,
the belief in one enity greater than ourselves, one that is what we are Lakota people call the great mystery, it is not the same name to other tribal nations, but we do not have gods and goddress.
We dont understand the other tribal Nations nor their belief so to have one name for god is impossible

Greetings Earth7

So you’re saying the spirits known to me, including Kukumthena, our earth mother spirit do not
exist ? As far as different tribal languages are concerned we are using a common tongue here.

It is good that you have your one god, or Great Mystery, but remember there are other Indians besides the Lakota. Hundreds of different tribes and many different people all not beholden to a single Great Spirit. Perhaps we should make an effort to understand at least some of the ways of other tribes before stating such a broad assumption.
That is not what i said i said: This is what i said---- (Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language), (we all dont understand each other language or ways) so there in no one way to lump all of our language and ways in to one concept,
(the belief in one enity greater than ourselves), one that is what we are Lakota people call the great mystery, (it is not the same name to other tribal nations), but we do not have gods and goddress.
(We dont understand the other tribal Nations nor their belief so to have one name for god is impossible)
That is what i said.
I am not saying anything about your belief! I dont know your belief! I am saying Native Belief don't have have one word for god because we have some many language and ways-- and --No we don't have what is called common tongue unless of course you call English common tongue? You confused me but we do have sign language.  As far as Native belief we have the Mother earth but she is not a goddess she is our mother, I do know know many different native ways from acroos our lands. I spend a great deal of time on what is real traditions compared to what is pan-indianism. The movement that is happen among the new agers as the try to lump our belief into something they are not. I object to this if you have evident of what i am saying is not true then give me the name of an elder i can talk to. I will ask 
i see it all the time, so can you tell me which Native Belief has many god and goddess because i have never heard of it and i am with native people who lives among my people and see Native people from all different tribal nation all the time. Just had a great visit with Northern Cree woman about their ways
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:39:27 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »
In Spirit

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2012, 03:06:22 pm »
When you say ‘god, ’is it in reference, or applied as a term meaning all Indian spiritualities, or are you implying that each tribe has just one god ? -”That is not what i said i said: This is what i said---- (Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language)”

Truthfully, Earth7 I am not attempting to invoke any ill feelings .I’m just asking a question pertaining to your use of the word god in reference of Indian beliefs. I too have become disgusted by the new agers and have spoken out against their attempts to patch the holes in their new age faith with bits and pieces of the spiritualities of  different Indian tribes, or lump us all as believers of one great spirit, or seeing us as all living a stereotypical Indian lifestyle.

The very fact that we are communicating in the English tongue proves it is serving as a common language between us. Then again we could continue this conversation with you speaking Lakota and I Shawnee, but how far would that get us along ?

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2012, 04:45:29 pm »
When you say ‘god, ’is it in reference, or applied as a term meaning all Indian spiritualities, or are you implying that each tribe has just one god ? -”That is not what i said i said: This is what i said---- (Each tribal nations have their own name for god in their own Language)”

Atehequa, Earth has made it clear she's not speaking about anyone else's culture but her own, and she is speaking about her own experiences. I'm not sure why you find that confusing. However, as she said, she does know traditional people from a number of cultures, and she is certainly qualified to make some assessments based on that.

Quote
Truthfully, Earth7 I am not attempting to invoke any ill feelings

Respectfully, you are kind of coming off that way, even if it's not your intent. I ask you to please re-read what we have said about how we don't discuss too many details of belief or ceremony here. I'm perceiving that your idea of what is OK to discuss on a public message board is a bit different from ours. You are welcome here, but please respect this, OK :)

Quote
The very fact that we are communicating in the English tongue proves it is serving as a common language between us.

The thing is, you are asking people to discuss things that can only be understood in the language of the specific culture, and within the entire cultural matrix that those words refer to for the people of that culture. Especially when it comes to discussing spiritual beliefs, English is often clumsy, and a semantic minefield. This is especially problematic when anthropologists and people on the Internet approach Indigenous concepts with the mindset and worldview of a person who thinks in English. Those raised with English as their first, and often only fluent, language think differently than those raised to think in a language that has more precise words for their specific cultural/spiritual beliefs. Some things simply do not translate. So a cultural outsider may call a spirit being a "god" or "goddess", as that is their English-language-thinking framework and cultural assumption. But that word will probably name a completely different concept and reality to someone from the culture in question.

I think what's been apparent in a lot of the discussions referred to in this thread, and now taking place in this thread, is that we can never assume that an English word (or word in any language) is naming the same thing to everyone in the conversation. Finding a common language does not just mean being able to have basic conversational skills, it means being aware of the constant need for translation, and making sure the words mean the same things to everyone in the conversation.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:41:19 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2012, 05:30:58 pm »
"What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!"

Perhaps it was because of my own basic conversational skills that I misinterpreted this statement in reference of the OP. Now if this is a case of  I am questioning things that you as a mod feel should not be questioned here, then indeed accuse me of grilling someone, going against your authority and therefore the rules you enforce. I've experienced the same at new age sites while speaking up for real Indian people.

Aside from mentioning the name of Kukumthena, I've have not gone into believes, ceremonies or any other aspects of spirituality. I asked a question, but did not expect to be grilled myself.


« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:39:45 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2012, 05:09:27 am »
i guess for me i am confused by your questions, I am real
I am Lakota and Dakota 7/8 Standing Rock 1/8 Oglala i live on the
Reservation among my people and live my ways. I know my language
but I am not fluent, I have been a part of my ceremonies for 35 years now
I have never heard of the Dene, Cree, Crow, Cheyenne, Pawnee ect.. having
them using the concept of gods and godess, Every Tribe has their own word for
God as i said it is the Great Mystery to the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota People. I have never
heard of Native from this land having more than one god or godress.
We have the White Buffalo Calf Woman but she is not a godress she is the woman who
gave us our pipe.

In Spirit

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2012, 04:40:22 pm »
Atehequa, I have to repeat what I said above. I think this is a semantic argument. There is a language barrier here, even though we are all typing in English. The being you refer to in your post has been called a goddess in writings by non-Natives. I read that same story and think of her as a revered ancestor and Spirit Woman. Someone from another culture may call her something else. It's not about disrespect, it's about how one names these ideas based on what culture they come from. As long as you assume all the words mean the same thing to everyone in the conversation, I think you will keep having misunderstandings with people.

Also, speaking as a non-Native here, some cultures have a certain degree of ambiguity, punning, and multi-level naming about the spirits. In Gaelic lore, some think of our Creator spirit(s) as a deity or deities, others as ancestors, others as some other kind of spirit(s). It can also be argued whether one is talking about one spirit being or several. Or both. That paradox is part of the mindset and worldview of Gaelic tradition.

A monotheist, a henotheist, an animist and a polytheist all walk into a room with an elephant. They are all blindfolded. What do they say is in the room?  Then they relate their impressions to a traditional Lakota, a Cheyenne, a Cherokee, a Catholic, a Gaelic Polytheist, a Baptist, a Newager, a Mormon, and a Wiccan... whose version is correct?

I don't know...Maybe it helps to have done interfaith work. And to speak multiple languages.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:42:02 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2012, 07:07:02 pm »
Thank you so much Kathyn yousay so much btter than i do  ;D
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Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2012, 07:30:59 pm »
*hugs Earth* Without your example, I would not know what was important to know, and what was important to say and not say. Thank you for all you've taught me.  :)

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2012, 12:04:52 am »
Atehequa, I have to repeat what I said above. I think this is a semantic argument. There is a language barrier here, even though we are all typing in English. The being you refer to in your post has been called a goddess in writings by non-Natives. I read that same story and think of her as a revered ancestor and Spirit Woman. Someone from another culture may call her something else. It's not about disrespect, it's about how one names these ideas based on what culture they come from. As long as you assume all the words mean the same thing to everyone in the conversation, I think you will keep having misunderstandings with people.

Also, speaking as a non-Native here, some cultures have a certain degree of ambiguity, punning, and multi-level naming about the spirits. In Gaelic lore, some think of our Creator spirit(s) as a deity or deities, others as ancestors, others as some other kind of spirit(s). It can also be argued whether one is talking about one spirit being or several. Or both. That paradox is part of the mindset and worldview of Gaelic tradition.

A monotheist, a henotheist, an animist and a polytheist all walk into a room with an elephant. They are all blindfolded. What do they say is in the room?  Then they relate their impressions to a traditional Lakota, a Cheyenne, a Cherokee, a Catholic, a Gaelic Polytheist, a Baptist, a Newager, a Mormon, and a Wiccan... whose version is correct?

I don't know...Maybe it helps to have done interfaith work. And to speak multiple languages.

Akee tepwe ? LOL!

Keewal leskawe,  ichquekie.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:40:07 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »

Offline Smart Mule

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2012, 12:43:36 am »
Akee tepwe ? LOL!

Keewal leskawe,  ichquekie.

Haiha, nila niwaneleta Sawano.  Nualhige.

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2012, 06:12:00 pm »
What is wrong with people? They live in fantasies. I was talking to a friend who is "eclectic" to put it mildly. I was explaining why it was so wrong that someone she knows was using White Buffalo Calf Woman as one of her deities in her "pantheon.

I started wondering how non-Natives would even get the idea to try this. So I did some looking around. I think I have found one of the ways this misappropriation of White Buffalo Calf Woman started. Here is a book by a white author that makes some rather offensive claims:

http://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9781567184631

Goddess Companion - Daily Meditations on the Goddess

"Now you can turn every day into a day dedicated to the goddess and your own personal spiritual evolution, when you get The Goddess Companion by Patricia Monaghan."

"This spirit-nourishing collection of 366 authentic goddess prayers, invocations, chants, and songs was culled from dozens of diverse eras and cultures."

"·Each is illuminated by readings about the ancient quote that offer rich material for reflection, inspiration, and bliss
·Explore the goddess as envisioned by 68 different cultures throughout the ages—including the Americas, classical Greece and Rome, Asia, ancient Sumeria and Babylonia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
·Find prayers that encompass nearly 130 aspects of the goddess, from Aida Weydo and Amaterasu to White Buffalo Calf Woman and Zemyna."

Obviously, this is pretty shocking. So I looked further into the author's history. All it really took was googling her name plus "White Buffalo Calf Woman" or "White Buffalo Woman". The author has been selling altered and misinterpreted versions of Native stories since 1981 at the least. I have here a copy of her "Book of Goddesses and Heroines" from 1981. And it not only includes WBCW, but terrible renditions of stories from a number of other Indigenous cultures. In some cases, she has the wrong Nation of origin for the story. In others, she has a story that's almost right, but it's ascribed to the wrong spirit. In all of them she changes key details. She shouldn't be selling these stories, let alone her own changes to them, in the first place.

I don't know if Monaghan also tries to sell ceremony, but isn't it wrong for her to sell books with twisted misappropriations of Native stories, along with allegedly traditional "prayers, invocations, chants and songs" and suggestions for people to create their own ceremonies based on these stolen or imagined fragments? Isn't that how lots of the frauds we list here got started? Maybe this author needs her own thread.

Offline non-NDN

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2012, 10:18:05 pm »
"·Find prayers that encompass nearly 130 aspects of the goddess, from Aida Weydo and Amaterasu to White Buffalo Calf Woman and Zemyna.""


...its disgusting on other sides, too; as a Vodouisant (Haitian Vodou, aka Sevis Ginen) Ayida Wedo is *not* a goddess; we're a monotheist tradition with a heirarchy of spirits/intercessors created by (Bondye is our word for 'good god', how we view the creative intelligence) As a syncretic religion, Vodou services manifest themselves on a Catholic model with a Catholic view of God... referring to a single one of our non-divine spirits as a Goddess is both an insult to the tradition that carries her as well as to the religion's view/definition of it's own concept of divinity.

Outside of Haiti and the influence of the slave trade/shifts in beliefs from Africa to the Caribbean, Ayida is *male*.

But, like the NDN trads, it seems we arent able to define ourselves satisfactorily for them (as a living tradition and all) so they need to define us for us.

Offline ThunderDrake

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2019, 06:03:49 pm »
Speaking as someone who has been Wiccan for 8 years, this is extremely disturbing to me. Early on in my practice, I remember wandering into the Witch bookstore and thinking, "I want to learn the truth." That's the whole reason why I decided to convert to this religion. Now I'm wondering just how much of Wicca is stolen, and from what.