According to Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.: “Smudging is traditionally a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place.”. I sat on the floor and nervously struck a match. A viral video has started a debate about "cultural appropriation" and the racial politics of hair. Smudging and space cleansing is cultural appropriation and disrespectful to the Native communities in the Americas. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. Smudging isn’t Wiccan. Sage is not the only sacred medicine used for smudging. Also, just because a person, or groups of persons from a particular culture or ethnic background says or believes it is so, does not make it so. Regenerative Agriculture. However, sacramentals, such as holy water, rosaries, crucifixes, medals, scapulars and the like can be used by anyone. Palo Santo and Cultural Appropriation. In Shamanism, Cultural Appropriation is taking the spiritual practices of other cultures and using them as your own. It was illegal for Natives to practice their religion (including smudging) until 1978 in the U.S. It’s something they’ve had to fight for. For the term cultural appropriation, we are using the definition of appropriation “take and use without the owner’s permission.” In many traditions, the … Continue reading → There are helpful staff members at the Indigenous Resource Centers if you’d like to stop by for more information. While it may be difficult to always know what is and what isn’t cultural appropriation- we can recognize its existence. My theory? It’s similar to the idea of smudging but very different. I’ve stumbled over a comment by someone in a book review stating that smudging, as it’s originated from certain Native American cultures is cultural appropriation. ... And when we are called on cultural appropriation we need to ask ourselves why it is so worth holding on to that thing we are taking and why that is worth more than doing less harm to that marginalized group. Let’s be clear on that from the get-go. When the dominant culture in society takes aspects from another culture that’s experiencing oppression, that’s best understood as cultural appropriation. Look into smoke cleansing, sound cleansing, light cleansing, things that exist within your own cultures. Now share it with your friends and community. Native American Smudging typically consists of white sage, cedar, tobacco, feathers and either a shell or clay dish used for burning. Posted on February 21, 2016 February 21, 2016 by Asali in Herbs, Reflections. Yes, brain storage. Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. Get a FREE Active Meditation audio file download and my weekly Wellness Wednesday tips + tricks. This, of course, also applies to burning sage. Cultural appropriation is never cool, and as the practice of burning sage becomes more mainstream, it’s important to remember that we should respect … It does not, and in academic circles, cannot form the base of an accusation. on smudging and appropriation. Similarly, someone who just incorporates an aspect of religion or culture just because it is edgy, fun, or what they want to do. So keep burning away! “Smudging” is a practice that is from Native North American spiritual traditions. Sure enough, back in September of 2018, Nicole had spoken to Kiera via her shop Instagram, @littleboxofrockshop stating: “Smudging is a traditional, spiritual ceremony practised by Indigenous cultures. I’ve found cleansing my space with herbal smoke works best for me, but if it’s appropriation I’ll need to find an alternative. In most cases, however it's a simple misunderstanding of what smudging actually IS. Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. Smudging is a ritual practiced by indigenous people of North America and Canada. Plant Research. White sage is the most commonly sold because it’s the most aesthetically-pleasing form of sage. Not as pretty, not as popular. Refrain from indulging in these practices if you are not an Indigenous person, and do not buy into the trend of it, especially without educating yourself on … Cultural appropriation can come in many forms outside of a religious context. White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. Or if they cannot articulate why you shouldn't be doing it. And we’ve already done enough. So I don’t speak on behalf of Indigenous People, but rather as a person of privilege about something that needs to change. However, to serve him properly, one must be duly initiated. However, cultural appropriation has been a regular, integrated practice in neo-paganism for so long that folks appropriating often experience denial or resistance when confronted with the fact they are perpetrators. A quick side note on Palo Santo, another popular source to burn: it’s also being over-harvested and near being endangered, so please avoid and do not buy! It’s all about what Halloween costume you wear, or who’s cooking biryani. Stenberg then goes on to give the best definition of appropriation I’ve ever heard. Our modern understanding of cultural appropriation is highly individualised. Catholic not in a state latae sententiae excommunication. So when someone can give you a valid reason you shouldn't be doing something, listen to them. I show it to people all the time. If you buy a smudge kit at a health food store or on an Etsy site that includes a feather and a fan for blowing around the smoke, you’re participating in cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is a big, catch all term that people like to throw around. Burning incense is also awesome. In other words, closed religion does not mean what most people think it means. People have been smudging since before they knew, that there were American Indians accross the seas. Is Smudging Cultural Appropriation? ... "Smudging sage … All of whom I have never heard express an issue with someone using the term smudging. Smudging is likely not going to be some new-age practitioner waving a bundle of white sage tied up with string to clear a space or themselves of negative energy. It brings us one step closer to healing as a collective. In the end, if you actually study the religions you are taking things from. If you’re non-indigenous, should you even be using palo santo as a spiritual aid? While it may be difficult to always know what is and what isn’t cultural appropriation- we can recognize its existence. (Can I smudge with sage if I'm non-indigenous?) Purification practices are there to remove influences from being overlooked or to remove unwanted spirits infl… Infinite Embers is a holistic guide to mind/body wellness, delivered with no-bs realness. Say it with me now: Smudging is not Wiccan. But if you want to continue burning sage, the good news is, you still can—. Some alternatives include cinnamon, juniper, lavender, pine, rosemary, and clove. I’m a yoga teacher in Southern California—and I see it being used and sold everywhere. And can we all agree that sage should no longer be sold at the checkout counters of expensive (white) clothing boutiques? White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. This is continuing systemic racism and oppression against Indigenous People. For instance, a number of many Indian born Hindus find people using the word karma to describe what is not karma cultural appropriation. As an Indigenous woman, it’s important for me to inform you that using the word ‘smudge’ contributes to cultural appropriation. Sometimes it’s a word, like Smudging, that makes it appropriation. What is a hardiness zone? If it bothers you ... call it "cleansing" instead of smudging. But talks about how terrible, third world of a country India is. Azealia Banks has referred to this as a “cultural smudging." From the appropriation of headdresses and moccasins, to textiles and beadwork, ... it broadly outlawed Indigenous religious and cultural activities, of which smudging is an integral part. From the appropriation of … There’s been a lot of interesting comments, with a broad array of viewpoints and insights. “Cultural Smudging:” Appreciation and Appropriation of Black Culture through Music Paige Burditt Submitted under the supervision of Dr. Josephine Lee to the University Honors Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude in English. However, much of the public remains confused about what the term actually means. Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. In some cases, this has led to the sale of fake smudging tools and their use in ceremonies that are culturally and spiritually insensitive and inauthentic. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to that culture. But there will always remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and smudging. ✖️ JOIN ME n, Let’s talk MUSIC ✖️ I need to freshen up my, “Your vision isn’t about it coming true exactl, Blue Light Glasses ✖️ If you were to make just, GIVEAWAY TIME ✖️ Hi friends, I’m back with r, Happy Holidays, everyone! All day long I can wave a candle, some incense and water in front of a Deities face and call it a puja or an aartik. In the end, if you are doing something respectfully to honor its roots, it is not cultural appropriation. Sometimes it’s a word, like Smudging, that makes it appropriation. Because of this, I’ve been more sensitive to the growing trendy use of sage. As an Indigenous woman, it’s important for me to inform you that using the word ‘smudge’ contributes to cultural appropriation. It really is magical. If they are, then they are very flimsy and will crumble sooner or later. And if smudging with sage, for example, is not something that’s in your lineage, you can engage with “smoke clearing” using other substances instead, such as rosemary, sweetgrass, and mugwort. In this case it does not. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you dont like what a term means. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. It's a controversial topic, one that activists and celebrities like Adrienne Keene and Jesse Williams have helped bring into the national spotlight. When we use to learn language properly, we can begin having intelligent conversations. this year has started to shift some foundations, illegal for Natives to practice their religion, You can get through anything. And if smudging with sage, for example, is not something that’s in your lineage, you can engage with “smoke clearing” using other substances instead, such as rosemary, sweetgrass, and mugwort. A Smudging Practice To Try (with a Native Prayer): A word to the wise: ... as well as the fact that you are encouraging cultural appropriation. Like, I’m honestly very ashamed to admit I got this particular pretty sage stick from a vegan restaurant. We must also be aware of cultural appropriation in the language used by … But the way in … Recently, Sephora advertised a bohemian “witch kit” with white sage included. But before that time, it is best to leave it to more advanced individuals. The same way they dislike people sticking the word yoga behind any posturing exercise to claim it the same as hatha yoga. I’m also concerned about some of the comments from non-Native people who say that they are using eagle feathers to smudge. Sage, dream catchers, and Kachina dolls are literally sold in kiosks in our small airport. Without paying respect to its roots, approaching it properly, and seeking correct guidance. The other reason why there is such a cry of Cultural Appropriation right now is because when something like plants and herbs become mainstream, businesses jump on the chance to make money. I’ve stumbled over a comment by someone in a book review stating that smudging, as it’s originated from certain Native American cultures is cultural appropriation. You will still find people telling you, you have no business doing it. All that matters is that it fit the parameters of that term. Up until two weeks ago, if you were one of the thousands of people each month … Walker notes that not all Native cultures burn sage for prayer, which is known as smudging. Cultural and spiritual appropriation is insidious, and a lot of white people (such as myself) can’t actually see it because it’s all around us in our culture, and we have been taught it’s acceptable. You don’t need sage to do it. I.e. Being a Wiccan does not give you the right to appropriate Native culture. Use of white sage and the term smudging by Non-Natives is cultural appropriation. For instance, it takes a tremendous amount of plant material to produce just one drop of essential oil. You can still smoke cleanse though! But in no way educate themselves about Their true worship, by members of clergy associated with Their original religion. Ahhh… do you love sage as much as I do? If you don’t agree with that impression and would like me to re-open the comment section to keep the discussion open, feel free to drop me a line :) (I’m just currently moving house, so I can’t keep a close eye on the comments). More literacy is needed. Into Pagans & Witches? Is Smudging Cultural Appropriation? Do we know what it means? It doesn't change the definition by feeling, but by intellect. You can pretty quickly discern whether or not something actually is cultural appropriation or in some way disparaging to that religion. This isn’t an opinion or debate, it’s fact. So we’re destroying something of sacred importance for its beauty and making it less accessible for the Native American peoples, who were using it first. The act of burning things to energetically cleanse and protect our energy field and surroundings spans across nations and cultures. Yes, burning herbs, resins, roots, specific woods, incense, etc as cleansing or for prayer is something shared across many spiritual traditions. This is a *much larger issue* than just my post and the appropriation of the smudging ceremony alone. Stop claiming that you can smudge because that’s a “Wiccan thing”. Saining practices are important but why did Scottish folk magic practitioners carry them out? Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. When all they can tell you is that they dont like it, dont worry about it. Smudging IS a native american ritual, smoke cleansing isn't. One step closer to unity. Recommended. This is cultural appropriation, and here's why it's harmful. Depending on the region, Indigenous practices include tobacco, sweetgrass, and cedar. I remember distinctly the first time I decided to smudge in my dorm room in college. She says that cultural appropriation “runs rampant” but that the lines between appropriation and adoption will always be blurred. As an aromatherapist, I am becoming more and more aware of the strain some of our medicinal plants are under as we seek to return to more natural ways of living and healing. It is performed by “bathing” a person in smoke made from bundles of sacred herbs, often with the use of a shell to hold the smoldering bundle and a feather to waft the smoke around the person. Seeing as I have attended many religious ceremonies of various native american traditions. Here’s where the cultural appropriation steps in: using herbs that are sacred to a culture while disregarding the rest of that culture’s richness is appropriation and an aspect of colonialism. This is a complicated subject and my opinion is that I am a US citizen, born into a culture described as a "melting pot". Edit: guys, I’ll be closing the comments for now. “Cultural Smudging:” Appreciation and Appropriation of Black Culture through Music Paige Burditt Submitted under the supervision of Dr. Josephine Lee to the University Honors Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude in English. If you are unsure why you should make this shift, I highly recommend reading Smudge and the Cultural Appropriation Issue, Language Has Power: On Smudging And Appropriation… There has been a lot of conversation around appropriation of certain practices across the world by westerners. People seem to like to throw around the term closed religions without really understanding what that means. Now the national conversation has begun to shift to focusing on the abused minorities in our country, so no more excuses: let’s all take a moment to think about our sage. I am treating this space like a diary and a repository for my brain. Smudging. Smudging is definitely probably not a non-Indigenous/non-Indigenous elder-trained person using a bundle of white sage tied up with string to clear a space or themselves of negative energy. I am indigenous and I believe that it is a beautiful thing that is positive and good. You can also try energy-clearing practices for your space that don’t require any burning, like Himalayan salt lamps, crystals, and diffusing essential oils! The Current Study . Respecting sage and the practice of smudging means we are respecting Native Americans. Cultural appropriation is "taking or using from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing you understand or respect this culture." If you buy a smudge kit at a health food store or on an Etsy site that includes a feather and a fan for blowing around the smoke, you’re participating in cultural appropriation. Something that has been discussed (link) and explained (link) and elaborated (link) over and over again. It just means I am ignorant and using words incorrectly. We should have a conversation about cultural appropriation when it comes to this. But do we know why we use it? Join the community. Over the last few centuries, smudging has become recognized and practised by non-Indigenous peoples. You can practice smoke cleansing with different kinds of wood and herbs. For instance someone who wants to practice Hinduism here in the US or worship Hindu Deities. They are based on teachings, evidence, and intellectual, not emotional intelligence. He listens to and assists anyone who prays to Him. Just be careful and respectful I say. Growing up in NM, I assumed sage was pretty common stuff. Bottomline: Smudging is hardly the homogeneous aberration we of the global west have made of it. Ceremonial smudging involves the burning of sacred medicines. In other words, cultural appropriation is a thing, in and of itself. Cultural appropriation is an issue I’ve really only been aware of for the last few years, but when I encounter it now, my response ranges from an internal cringe to a lengthy rant, depending on the situation and who’s around me. Avoid FOMO: sign up for the Infinite Embers newsletter! Cultural Appropriation in Witchcraft: Smudging, Chakras, and Spirit Animals, Oh My! Palo Santo and Cultural Appropriation. Smudging, or burning sage, is a sacred Indigenous practice that has been commodified. For instance, people who want to worship a certain Deity from certian pantheon. Likewise, simply calling something a word used by another culture or religion is not cultural appropriation. One could also make the argument that the use of the image of Our Lady of Guadeloupe by anyone other than a Mexican Catholic is cultural appropriation. This is a *much larger issue* than just my post and the appropriation of the smudging ceremony alone. and the cultural significance of smudging and how it relates to the Medicine Wheel. Azealia Banks has referred to this as a “cultural smudging." It’s so important for us to stay informed about the practices and rituals we adopt so as not to contribute to centuries of harm. Smudging is a spiritual ceremony performed by Indigenous people around the world. Yes, it is. But there are a few things you need to do: Picking up what I’m putting down? For instance, one could easily make the argument that the use of a rosary by a non-catholic is cultural appropriation. The good thing about words, is that they have meaning. Recommended Websites and Forums. Very soft and clean and Instagram-y. Saining practices, similar to smudging, were carried out primarily to remove influences of negative spirits on people, places, objects, and livestock. For guidance, I turned to Brown University professor Adrienne Keene, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an expert on the topic. Refrain from indulging in these practices if you are not an Indigenous person, and do not buy into the trend of it, especially without educating yourself on … The idea that cultural appropriation is primarily a form of erasure – a kind of emotional violence in which people are rendered invisible – came along later. Smudging is cultural appropriation? Cultural appropriation or cultural celebration? But if you actually study the religions you are taking things from is. In good standing 's all good are 23 tribes ) ceremony performed by Indigenous people express an issue someone! 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Know to heal your mental + physical health and lead a fired-up life and less is.. Using them as your own never heard express an issue with someone using the term actually means, only misuse... The cultural significance of smudging. feeling, but by intellect what smudging is... Improve your online experience and show you personalized content educating yourself—so thanks for taking the time to read article! Non-Native people the Pagans and Witches out there best definition of appropriation I ’ ll be closing comments! Remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and overharvesting more than cancel out the good about! The religions you are doing something, but by intellect s all about what the term by. M also concerned about some of the comments from non-native sources- like white sage, the good is... Burned… I ’ ve been more sensitive to the growing trendy use of a closed religion is not prayer! 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To learn certain form of sage with a broad, interesting statement you have made that means smudging..., interesting statement you have no business doing it being used and sold everywhere themselves... A number of many Indian born Hindus find people using the term smudging by Non-Natives is cultural is! Long been a lot of scrutiny culture is a culturally specific practice surrounding reservations appropriation. On February 21, 2016 February 21, 2016 February 21, 2016 21...

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