enosdrive (enosdrive) wrote,
enosdrive
enosdrive

Cultural Appropriation

Now I'm all confused. The sweat lodge I used to go to, it recently got a lot of flak from people in the Native American community, who were pissed and said white people shouldn't do sweat lodges (even though the person who runs it is actually part Native American - oh well).

I'm all confused now. It's not a thing where I feel I can easily take any side because um, wait.

Like there're lots of people in the Native American community (which is kind of a dumb word, becase it's not just one community. IT's a bunch of different indigenous cultures, but whatever) that say other people shouldn't do sweat lodge ceremonies cuz it's cultural appropriation or something like that.

Like, they say it's stealin' from them, I think, or something like that. Like it's taking a sacred tradition and doin' something unsacred to it.

Well, I don't know all the arguments, but one compelling one was, if you're not a Catholic priest, you can't just hold a Catholic mass in your garage and hand out saltines and Kool-aid and call it a Catholic mass with a communion. It would be something entirely different from a Catholic mass. It'd be a guy in a garage with saltines and kool-aid. And this person said same goes for sweat lodges. If you have a tent in your back yard, and go through all the motions, can you really call it a Sweat Lodge, if you're not one of the people who originated the practice? I don't know. That actually is a really compelling argument, actually.

I dunno. I mean, I know I've benefitted greatly from the lodges I've gone to, and I really feel a lot of resonance with the ceremony. Like it's a good fit for me, y'know? The person who does
em, white as she is, actually was trained by Native Americans on how to do it - Lakota Sioux, I think. So the ceremony, itself, did stick pretty close to how it's s'posed to be, although she changed it up a bit, as well.

I dunno. She got this angry response from AIM, I think it was, but she met with a guy from AIM, and they worked out a solution; I'm glad, cuz I'd be sad if she didn't get to do that cereemony anymore.

Now it's called a Spiritual Sauna.

I felt sad that it can't be called a sweat lodge anymore, and yet, I can understand (well, not directly because I haven't experience it directly) how a people can be trampled on and treated like shit for years. How our country tried to eradicate all their cultural traditions and all that. And then all these tacky new age white people come along and start doing their traditions. It seems like a painful irony and all that.

And I'm torn because I love the sweat lodges I've been to and I don't feel like they did anyone any harm. I mean, like, the person who runs them is really safe about making sure nothing bad happens - not like that one in AZ where people died.

Yup, I'm torn. I'm so torn. To be someone who benefitted greatly from a ceremony, the very act of which some people deem as an act of violence to a culture that's been mistreated (or I should say a bunch of indigenous cultures).
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