While organizing a Native American Cultural festival here in Cleveland I am asking a lot of questions. We are striving to bring money and awareness to the Native community, if you try to bring in product made in China, I will send you packing.
They say “I am Native American”…”Wonderful, how do you know that?” A lot give tribe names and even clans, but some have really creative tales and goodness this Cherokee princess, not the best reputation.
I don’t know…there are people that self recognize. Looks are deciving and really it isn’t my place to say you are or aren’t. Plus, Cleveland was used as a relocation city, so you never can know. We just want the money earned to go where it should.
I am curious though, there are some people that identify so much they speak it, dress in some way that the text books told them to, make refrences to “their people.” Yet they are as white as my Irish ass.
Why does that happen? I mean we both know you aren’t.
This lady had two braids in her hair, wore beaded moccasins, talked about sweat lodges and how “her people” have been so wronged throughout history. Little did she know…her son was a friend of a friend of mine (thank you social media). This woman is straight up German/ Irish like most Clevelanders.
I let her keep going…she told her tales and ended with a prayer to the Creator. She was good, smart and maybe she did love the culture so much she wanted to “be” it.
I just kept thinking in my head “Actually, I’m sure it was your ancestors that caused harm to the indigenous people, just like it was mine.” This woman does some great things for the community, but they aren’t “her people.”
I LOVE turquoise and Native American designs, but as I put on my ring, I would never say “my people” this isn’t magic. I admire it, I will support it, but I will never BE it.
I will never see that stuggle and shame on people who do take it and use it for their odd use and even try to make money off it.
People need to understand their own culture and use that to uplift other cultures and peoples.
“Imitation is the sincerist form of flattery.” Is it though? I think the greatest form of flattery is really liking something and no matter what you do with it giving credit to the originator. That is pretty dope.