It just means I am ignorant and using words incorrectly. 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. 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. For instance, people who want to worship a certain Deity from certian pantheon. We must also be aware of cultural appropriation in the language used by … When we use to learn language properly, we can begin having intelligent conversations. Catholic not in a state latae sententiae excommunication. Plant Research. Use of white sage and the term smudging by Non-Natives is cultural appropriation. 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. 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. If you fan around a bit of smoke to cleanse your space, then that's all good. 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. Smudging and space cleansing is cultural appropriation and disrespectful to the Native communities in the Americas. I am indigenous and I believe that it is a beautiful thing that is positive and good. Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. Cultural Appropriation Over the last few centuries, smudging has become recognized and practised by non-Indigenous peoples. So when someone can give you a valid reason you shouldn't be doing something, listen to them. As an Indigenous woman, it’s important for me to inform you that using the word ‘smudge’ contributes to cultural appropriation. 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.”. 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. Cultural appropriation can come in many forms outside of a religious context. Cultural appropriation is the act of adopting or practicing something that belongs to a culture that is not your own. ... "Smudging sage … If they are, then they are very flimsy and will crumble sooner or later. That does not mean it is a puja or an aartik. Regenerative Agriculture. I show it to people all the time. There has been a lot of conversation around appropriation of certain practices across the world by westerners. Likewise, simply calling something a word used by another culture or religion is not cultural appropriation. Then you can respectfully disregard their opinions. 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. Respecting sage and the practice of smudging means we are respecting Native Americans. In this case it does not. Hello and welcome to my corner of the web! When all they can tell you is that they dont like it, dont worry about it. The most important takeaway from this post is to respect sage and the original Native American practice of burning it to smudge. A viral video has started a debate about "cultural appropriation" and the racial politics of hair. 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! 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. Not as pretty, not as popular. Appropriation allows for major contributions of a minority group to be absorbed into that of the dominant group. 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. Saining practices, similar to smudging, were carried out primarily to remove influences of negative spirits on people, places, objects, and livestock. It’s all about what Halloween costume you wear, or who’s cooking biryani. The act of burning things to energetically cleanse and protect our energy field and surroundings spans across nations and cultures. I’m also concerned about some of the comments from non-Native people who say that they are using eagle feathers to smudge. 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. The good thing about words, is that they have meaning. If you’re non-indigenous, should you even be using palo santo as a spiritual aid? Plant Databases. Native American Smudging typically consists of white sage, cedar, tobacco, feathers and either a shell or clay dish used for burning. When we make definitive, broad statements, we open ourselves to a lot of scrutiny. Join the community. Recommended Websites and Forums. More literacy is needed. Purification practices are there to remove influences from being overlooked or to remove unwanted spirits infl… Recently, Sephora advertised a bohemian “witch kit” with white sage included. Yes, it is. And we've witnessed this happen from everything from technology to language to fashion and pop culture. Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. I admit that it took me a while to really think about what it means to burn sage. It’s never sat right, but I didn’t look as closely as I/we should have. You will still find people who whine and yell about it. So keep burning away! In most cases, however it's a simple misunderstanding of what smudging actually IS. But there will always remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and smudging. There is quite a bit of cultural appropriation going on in the pagan comunity surrounding this particular subject, and a few others. Plant Basics. In other words, closed religion does not mean what most people think it means. 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. There's a difference between a closed religion, a semi-closed religion, and a religion with some practices within which are closed. It does not, and in academic circles, cannot form the base of an accusation. 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. But the way in … I’m a yoga teacher in Southern California—and I see it being used and sold everywhere. If it bothers you ... call it "cleansing" instead of smudging. The first step is educating yourself—so thanks for taking the time to read this article! It’s also not always harvested correctly, in a way that leaves the roots and allows the plant to regrow. You can practice smoke cleansing with different kinds of wood and herbs. This is cultural appropriation, and here's why it's harmful. But sage is currently by far the most common in the wellness world. I’ve gotten most of the sticks I’ve used when visiting home in NM, and those not-white-sage bundles look much more like regular leaves. Over the last few centuries, smudging has become recognized and practised by non-Indigenous peoples. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to that culture. 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. A thing, in a way that ancient ritual was commenced then that all! 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