deluxvivens-deactivated20130417
apihtawikosisan:

To put some perspective into the cost of native-made goods.  This is:
7 square feet of smoked moose hide, $77
3 dyed-red rabbit furs which were 57% off so it was only $10.
5 square feet of purple split leather (rough on both sides, not suitable for mitts/moccasins, mostly just trim etc) $20
You can see how little it is.  That’s just the cost of materials, now factor the time needed to work with these materials. Beading alone is a huge time suck. If I were to make moccasins out of the moose hide and if I were crazy enough to trim them in red fur (I’m not, that’s for mitts later) and if I beaded them, I’d be lucky to get two small (kids) pairs out of that and you’d be damn certain it would be worth at least $300 a pop just in materials and labour.
Polished moose or deer hide is $8.99 a square foot.  I’d need about 28 square feet to make maybe three adults pairs of moccs, and that’s $251.72 in material costs alone.

apihtawikosisan:

To put some perspective into the cost of native-made goods.  This is:

  • 7 square feet of smoked moose hide, $77
  • 3 dyed-red rabbit furs which were 57% off so it was only $10.
  • 5 square feet of purple split leather (rough on both sides, not suitable for mitts/moccasins, mostly just trim etc) $20

You can see how little it is.  That’s just the cost of materials, now factor the time needed to work with these materials. Beading alone is a huge time suck. If I were to make moccasins out of the moose hide and if I were crazy enough to trim them in red fur (I’m not, that’s for mitts later) and if I beaded them, I’d be lucky to get two small (kids) pairs out of that and you’d be damn certain it would be worth at least $300 a pop just in materials and labour.

Polished moose or deer hide is $8.99 a square foot.  I’d need about 28 square feet to make maybe three adults pairs of moccs, and that’s $251.72 in material costs alone.

apihtawikosisan

An Open Letter to Non-Natives in Headdresses

apihtawikosisan:

tânisi!

I see you are confused about what constitutes cultural appropriation.  I would like to provide you with resources and information on the subject so that you can better understand what our concerns are. 

However, I also want you to have a brief summary of some of the more salient points so that you do not assume you are merely being called a racist, and so that I do not become frustrated with your defensive refusal to discuss the topic on those grounds.

If at all possible, I’d like you to read the statements on this BINGO card.  If any of those have started whirling through your head, please lock them in a box while you read this article.  They tend to interfere with the ability to have a respectful conversation.

RESTRICTED SYMBOLS

  • Some items are restricted items in specific cultures.  Examples from Canada and the United States would be: military medals, Bachelor degrees (the actual parchment), and certain awards representing achievement in literary, musical or other fields.
  • These items cannot be legitimately possessed or imitated by just anyone, as they represent achievements earned according to a specific criteria.
  • Yes, some people will mock these symbols.  However in order to do this, they have to understand what the symbols represent, and then purposefully desecrate or alter them in order to make a statement. They cannot then claim to be honouring the symbol.
  • Some people will pretend to have earned these symbols, but there can be serious sanctions within a culture for doing this. For example, someone claiming to have earned a medical degree (using a fake parchment) can face criminal charges, because that ‘symbol’ gives them access to a specialised and restricted profession.

UNRESTRICTED SYMBOLS/ITEMS

  • Other items are non-restricted.  Flags, most clothing, food etc.  Accessing these things does not signal that you have reached some special achievement, and you are generally free to use these. 
  • If you do not use these items to mock, denigrate or perpetuate stereotypes about other people, then you can legitimately claim to be honouring those items.

 HEADDRESSES IN NATIVE CULTURES

For the most part, headdresses are restricted items.  In particular, the headdress worn by most non-natives imitate those worn by various Plains nations.  These headdresses are further restricted within the cultures to men who have done certain things to earn them.  It is very rare for women in Plains cultures to wear these headdresses, and their ability to do so is again quite restricted.

So unless you are a native male from a Plains nation who has earned a headdress, or you have been given permission to wear one (sort of like being presented with an honorary degree), then you will have a very difficult time making a case for how wearing one is anything other than disrespectful, now that you know these things. If you choose to be disrespectful, please do not be surprised when people are offended… regardless of why you think you are entitled to do this.

Even if you have ‘native friends’ or are part native yourself, individual choices to “not be offended” do not trump our collective rights as peoples to define our symbols.

TRY REAL CELEBRATION INSTEAD OF APPROPRIATION

It is okay to find our stuff beautiful, because it is.  It is okay to admire our cultures.  However I think it is reasonable to ask that if you admire a culture, you learn more about it.  Particularly when the details are so much more fascinating than say, out-dated stereotypes of Pan-Indian culture. 

You do not have to be an expert on our cultures to access aspects of them.  If you aren’t sure about whether something is restricted or not, please ask someone who is from that culture. If people from within that culture tell you that what you are doing is disrespectful, dismissing their concerns because you just don’t agree, is not indicative of admiration. 

If you really, really want to wear beaded moccasins or mukluks or buy beautiful native art, then please do! There are legitimate and unrestricted items crafted and sold by aboriginal peoples that we would be more than happy to see you with.  Then all the nasty disrespectful stereotyping and denigration of restricted symbols can be avoided, while still allowing you to be decked out in beautiful native-created fashion.

If you are an artist who just loves working with aboriginal images, then please try to ensure your work is authentic and does not incorporate restricted symbols (or perpetuate stereotypes).  For example, painting a non-native woman in a Plains culture warbonnet is just as disrespectful as wearing one of these headdresses in real life.  Painting a picture from an archival or modern photo of a real native person in a warbonnet, or in regalia, or in ‘street’ clothes is pretty much fine.  Acknowledging from which specific nation the images you are using come from is even better.  “Native American” or “Indian” is such a vague label.

MIYO-WÎCÊHTOWIN, LIVING TOGETHER IN HARMONY

It’s okay to make mistakes.  Maybe you had no idea about any of this stuff.  The classiest thing you can do is admit you didn’t know, and maybe even apologise if you find you were doing something disrespectful. A simple acknowledgement of the situation is pure gold, in my opinion. It diffuses tension and makes people feel that they have been heard, respected, and understood.

If you make this kind of acknowledgement conditional on people informing you of these things ‘nicely’ however, that is problematic.  The fact is, this issue does get people very upset.  It’s okay to get heated about it too on your end and maybe bad words fly back and forth.  My hope is that once you cool down, you will accept that you are not being asked to do something unreasonable.

Remember that BINGO card above?  It demonstrates how not to go about the issue.  You and I both know this issue is not the end of the world.  But it is an obstacle on the path to mutual respect and understanding.

Thanks for listening.

êkosi

A even longer version (ever sick!) of this article was originally posted on the author’s blog, âpihtawikosisân  Questions?  Comments?

deluxvivens-deactivated20130417

deluxvivens:

apihtawikosisan:

liquornspice:

If someone tells a white and Native person they “don’t look Indian,” you can be pretty certain a chorus of angry voices will come to their defense, OUTRAGED, writing about how stereotypical images of Indians negatively affect people’s lives and we don’t all look like…

I feel like I’ve missed something going on here…it’s hard to keep up with tumblr sometimes, even with as much time as I’ve been spending here lately.  So I’m scrolling back to see what happened but wanted to comment initially anyway.  Anti-Black attitudes are huuuuge in a lot of native communities.  Even in communities (like mine) where there has been next to no actual real-life interaction with Black people at all.  It has always confused the hell out of me, especially considering that where I grew up, a specific (and distorted) US Black influence on our style of dress, on our musical choices and non-traditional dance styles was massive.  How do you elevate and denigrate at the same time? Dunno, but it happens.  I guess it starts with stereotypes.

black ppl in the us have been wondering that pretty much forever, lol. I would have thought that people who think that Black folks are that inferior would therefore stop listening to and creating from Black music and dance, stop using Black slang and language patterns etc but for some reason they never actually want to.

I have absolutely no idea how this impacts Black natives.  I am wholly ignorant on what it means day to day.  I honestly wasn’t even aware that there were many Black natives until fairly recently. 

tbh i  dont get anywhere near the amount of ignorant hostility we’ve seen on tumblr in from people i engage with in RL who actually know the history of eastern woodlands and coastal tribes, the enslavement of natives from those lands,  and the areas where my family is from. 

I’m sorry that you are experiencing shit that is obviously not okay, and worse, having that obvious fact denied.  But the fact that people are contributing to the information out there on what it means to be a Black native is pretty seriously important.  Even if those of you doing this get tired and say, ‘fuck this shit’, I’m at least aware that there is something to learn, which is an improvement to being oblivious.  So thank you, even if you walk away from these discussions forever.

thank you for this.