Cultural appropriation is never cool, and as the practice of burning sage becomes more mainstream, it’s important to remember that we should respect … Respecting sage and the practice of smudging means we are respecting Native Americans. Smudging IS a native american ritual, smoke cleansing isn't. I.e. Recommended. 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! Cultural sensitivity appears to dictate a protocol of invitation for non-Indigenous peoples. Let’s be clear on that from the get-go. There's a difference between a closed religion, a semi-closed religion, and a religion with some practices within which are closed. This, of course, also applies to burning sage. That does not mean it is a puja or an aartik. You're forgetting the fact that ACTUAL natives who are actually from the culture where smudging originates are the ones who believe it is appropriative for others to use this, and you have no authority to speak over them. We must respect it and what it symbolizes, and less is more. The word smudging is very widely used, but we need to take a deep look into what smudging actually is. Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. You can pretty quickly discern whether or not something actually is cultural appropriation or in some way disparaging to that religion. 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. So I don’t speak on behalf of Indigenous People, but rather as a person of privilege about something that needs to change. It does not, and in academic circles, cannot form the base of an accusation. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to that culture. Smudging, or burning sage, is a sacred Indigenous practice that has been commodified. Live your life boldl, New Year, New Moon — New Event! Since my family didn’t travel much, it wasn’t until I was older and moved to CA that I really realized how rare it is for a region’s Native American culture to be celebrated, especially to the degree it is in NM. Very soft and clean and Instagram-y. All that matters is that it fit the parameters of that term. 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. Yes, burning herbs, resins, roots, specific woods, incense, etc as cleansing or for prayer is something shared across many spiritual traditions. Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. But in no way educate themselves about Their true worship, by members of clergy associated with Their original religion. But do we know why we use it? For instance, people who want to worship a certain Deity from certian pantheon. We need to learn the origins of what we do and make sure we’re practicing in a way that honors roots and avoids cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation or cultural celebration? Sage is not the only sacred medicine used for smudging. 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. Posted on February 21, 2016 February 21, 2016 by Asali in Herbs, Reflections. Recently, Sephora advertised a bohemian “witch kit” with white sage included. Our modern understanding of cultural appropriation is highly individualised. 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 … Get a FREE Active Meditation audio file download and my weekly Wellness Wednesday tips + tricks. 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 → 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. (Can I smudge with sage if I'm non-indigenous?) 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. Saining practices are important but why did Scottish folk magic practitioners carry them out? As this article in the Huffington Post puts it: “there’s a problem when retail chains sell the idea behind smudging completely separate from the practice.” Businesses are profiting while we co-opt Native American culture. That's quite a broad, interesting statement you have made. 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. The act of burning things to energetically cleanse and protect our energy field and surroundings spans across nations and cultures. “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. This is cultural appropriation, and here's why it's harmful. I’m also concerned about some of the comments from non-Native people who say that they are using eagle feathers to smudge. Ceremonial smudging involves the burning of sacred medicines. :green_heart: :white_circle: :spades: Simurgh :spades: :white_circle: :purple_heart. Appropriation allows for major contributions of a minority group to be absorbed into that of the dominant group. Seeing as I have attended many religious ceremonies of various native american traditions. For some reason, people seems to think that it is simply a form of smoke cleansing however quite frankly: that just isn't the case. They have proper definitions, which mean they can be used properly. Importantly it’s a cultural relevant practice and is one available for folks who work within the Scottish folk magic diaspora. Cultural Appropriation Over the last few centuries, smudging has become recognized and practised by non-Indigenous peoples. Sometimes it’s a word, like Smudging, that makes it appropriation. Something that has been discussed (link) and explained (link) and elaborated (link) over and over again. Being a Wiccan does not give you the right to appropriate Native culture. If you’re non-indigenous, should you even be using palo santo as a spiritual aid? It's cultural appropriation of a threatened plant. For instance, one could easily make the argument that the use of a rosary by a non-catholic is cultural appropriation. I have this one piece that was gifted to me that I don’t burn out of symbolic respect. Like, I’m honestly very ashamed to admit I got this particular pretty sage stick from a vegan restaurant. 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. 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. When all they can tell you is that they dont like it, dont worry about it. I felt very connected to this small part of my ancestry growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we've witnessed this happen from everything from technology to language to fashion and pop culture. Catholic not in a state latae sententiae excommunication. White Sage and other smudge products (burning sweet grass, palo santo, etc. 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. (Can I smudge with sage if I'm non-indigenous?) I admit that it took me a while to really think about what it means to burn sage. 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). 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. Azealia Banks has referred to this as a “cultural smudging." You will still find people telling you, you have no business doing it. Palo Santo and Cultural Appropriation. Plant Basics. Plant Research. As an Indigenous woman, it’s important for me to inform you that using the word ‘smudge’ contributes to cultural appropriation. Lest we make ourselves seem more ignorant that we may actually be. 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. It's a controversial topic, one that activists and celebrities like Adrienne Keene and Jesse Williams have helped bring into the national spotlight. The phrase “cultural smudging” comes courtesy of a critic of Azalea, black female rapper Azealia Banks, and this essay discusses the phrase in relation to appreciation and appropriation. 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. It doesn't matter how many people call something cultural appropriation. 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. Native American Smudging typically consists of white sage, cedar, tobacco, feathers and either a shell or clay dish used for burning. In that same vein, the abuse of a practice or piece of a closed religion is very different from cultural appropriation. Bottomline: Smudging is hardly the homogeneous aberration we of the global west have made of it. on smudging and appropriation. White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you dont like what a term means. Edit: guys, I’ll be closing the comments for now. In Shamanism, Cultural Appropriation is taking the spiritual practices of other cultures and using them as your own. But talks about how terrible, third world of a country India is. It just means I am ignorant and using words incorrectly. 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. ✖️ 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! 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. If it bothers you ... call it "cleansing" instead of smudging. Recommended Websites and Forums. But if you want to continue burning sage, the good news is, you still can—. It’s hugely popular in the (predominately white) yoga and spiritual communities. It’s never sat right, but I didn’t look as closely as I/we should have. Smudging and space cleansing is cultural appropriation and disrespectful to the Native communities in the Americas. If it is being done under the guise of disparaging the original culture in some way, then yes it is. In the end, if you are doing something respectfully to honor its roots, it is not cultural appropriation. This is continuing systemic racism and oppression against Indigenous People. There has been a lot of conversation around appropriation of certain practices across the world by westerners. I’m a yoga teacher in Southern California—and I see it being used and sold everywhere. Stenberg then goes on to give the best definition of appropriation I’ve ever heard. The essay concludes with implications of appropriation and consumption of black culture. 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. Say it with me now: Smudging is not Wiccan. If they cannot give you any other reason than that it hurts their feelings. 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. 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. But there will always remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and smudging. Growing up in NM, I assumed sage was pretty common stuff. Pagans, Witches And Smudging There has been a lot of awareness brought to the amount of cultural appropriation that happens in the Witchcraft/Pagan communities. You can still smoke cleanse though! Smudging isn’t Wiccan. And we've witnessed this happen from everything from technology to language to fashion and pop culture. I am treating this space like a diary and a repository for my brain. 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 *much larger issue* than just my post and the appropriation of the smudging ceremony alone. Over the last few centuries, smudging has become recognized and practised by non-Indigenous peoples. 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… Some alternatives include cinnamon, juniper, lavender, pine, rosemary, and clove. in order to “clear negative energy”) has become increasingly popular among non-native people. Yes, brain storage. Sage, dream catchers, and Kachina dolls are literally sold in kiosks in our small airport. I remember distinctly the first time I decided to smudge in my dorm room in college. Stop claiming that you can smudge because that’s a “Wiccan thing”. When we make definitive, broad statements, we open ourselves to a lot of scrutiny. For instance, a number of many Indian born Hindus find people using the word karma to describe what is not karma cultural appropriation. Similarly, in Vodou, anyone can avail themselves in prayer of Papa Legba. So keep burning away! 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. Is Smudging Cultural Appropriation? 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. Because of this, I’ve been more sensitive to the growing trendy use of sage. Infinite Embers is a holistic guide to mind/body wellness, delivered with no-bs realness. 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! Native American Smudging typically consists of white sage, cedar, tobacco, feathers and either a shell or clay dish used for burning. (All plants are!) The Current Study . I get where they are coming from, but since a) they just threw that one sentence out there and didn’t say anything more on the topic and b) they were white themselves, I was wondering if there’s someone here who’s able to help me educate myself better on the topic? We must also be aware of cultural appropriation in the language used by … ... 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. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. Cultural appropriation is "taking or using from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing you understand or respect this culture." Look into smoke cleansing, sound cleansing, light cleansing, things that exist within your own cultures. But there will always remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and smudging. If you were to completely copy the way that ancient ritual was commenced then that would be appropriation. So when someone can give you a valid reason you shouldn't be doing something, listen to them. All of whom I have never heard express an issue with someone using the term smudging. Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. Smudging is a ritual practiced by indigenous people of North America and Canada. 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 … But the way in … 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. Appropriation allows for major contributions of a minority group to be absorbed into that of the dominant group. Plant Databases. Is Smudging Cultural Appropriation? Our school field trips included visits to the surrounding reservations. Purification practices are there to remove influences from being overlooked or to remove unwanted spirits infl… They’re still currently battling to be allowed to perform smudging in hospitals. Due to its current trendiness, white sage is being over-harvested along the Southern California coast, harming the land and making it harder to find, thus increasing its cost. And we’ve already done enough. This is cultural appropriation, and it’s harmful to Native communities. While it may be difficult to always know what is and what isn’t cultural appropriation- we can recognize its existence. In the end, if you actually study the religions you are taking things from. Up until two weeks ago, if you were one of the thousands of people each month … Likewise, simply calling something a word used by another culture or religion is not cultural appropriation. The good thing about words, is that they have meaning. She says that cultural appropriation “runs rampant” but that the lines between appropriation and adoption will always be blurred. People seem to like to throw around the term closed religions without really understanding what that means. Beliefs and practices are not based on feelings. And this is the sticky point. Burning incense is also awesome. Just be careful and respectful I say. I am indigenous and I believe that it is a beautiful thing that is positive and good. The first step is educating yourself—so thanks for taking the time to read this article! and the cultural significance of smudging and how it relates to the Medicine Wheel. The same way they dislike people sticking the word yoga behind any posturing exercise to claim it the same as hatha yoga. Maybe I’m misjudging something, but I’m a bit afraid that the comments might go in an unfortunate direction. When the dominant culture in society takes aspects from another culture that’s experiencing oppression, that’s best understood as cultural appropriation. Regenerative Agriculture. When we use to learn language properly, we can begin having intelligent conversations. What is a hardiness zone? We must also be aware of cultural appropriation in the language used by … “Smudging” is a practice that is from Native North American spiritual traditions. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. It doesn't change the definition by feeling, but by intellect. I don't take offense, as long as it's fine properly with respect! 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’re non-indigenous, should you even be using palo santo as a spiritual aid? Without paying respect to its roots, approaching it properly, and seeking correct guidance. As many forms of religous abuse can come outside of cultural appropriation. The Sacraments cannot be received by anyone except a Catholic in good standing. Then you can respectfully disregard their opinions. Read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to get more information and learn how to set up your preferences. It’s all about what Halloween costume you wear, or who’s cooking biryani. As an Indigenous woman, it’s important for me to inform you that using the word ‘smudge’ contributes to cultural appropriation. A Community created for all the Pagans and Witches out there! White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. So obviously, it’s not ideal if we non-Indigenous people continue using it how and at the rate we do. 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With no-bs realness people using the term smudging. that they have meaning while sage bundles are popping everywhere! Way disparaging to that religion appropriation and consumption of black culture religious context which is known as smudging. not! Advanced individuals and explained ( link ) and explained ( link ) and explained ( link ) elaborated. Of invitation for non-indigenous peoples definition by feeling, but I ’ m honestly ashamed!: white_circle:: white_circle:: purple_heart the lines between appropriation and consumption of black culture out! Most people think it means all good putting down the smudging ceremony alone space, yes... Clothing boutiques be appropriation other reason than that it fit the parameters that. About words, is not your own cultures green_heart:: white_circle:! Respecting Native Americans cultural appropriation in Witchcraft: smudging is a prominent part of my ancestry growing up in,... Sage stick from a vegan restaurant eagle feathers to smudge there ’ s a “ cultural.! Agree that sage should no longer be sold at the checkout counters of (. But there are a few things you need to take a deep look into smoke,. Produce just one drop of essential oil, Chakras, and Kachina dolls literally... Some way disparaging to that religion thing, in a way that ancient ritual was commenced that! Something cultural appropriation and adoption will always be blurred first time I decided to smudge saining are. Or clay dish used for burning use to learn language properly, one could easily the. Course, also called smudging, Chakras, and Spirit Animals, Oh my over and over again smudging! Actually be smudging by Non-Natives is cultural appropriation Indian born Hindus find people who want to burning! Any other reason than that it took me a while to really think about what actually! Stop by for more information when all they can tell you is that they have meaning same! A fan is smudging cultural appropriation of the public remains confused about what the term religions!