Now that summer is here. How about let’s not….CULTURAL APPROPRIATION…

Morgan Mae 90 yr old Navajo Weaver
Morgan Mae 90 yr old Navajo Weaver
Summer Vibe Tribe Collection
Summer Vibe Tribe Collection

Hello dearest ones. This evening, I would like to share my view on what is happening in my world at the moment. I am dealing with cultural appropriation, smack in the face! Some of you, may or may not know I have a day job- which is working at a very global and popular makeup brand. In which I believed in for it’s founding father’s ethics. Artistry for artists and sharing that with the public, and it’s many socially aware programs. But those days seem to be long and lost. For this year I could not believe what has happened!  At this time this makeup brand has launched a ridiculous collection called “Vibe Tribe.” Ahem, excuse me? They should stick to silly collections, like Haute Dog and Washing Machines… Hey!

Thyme Tomas
Photo: Thyme Tomas

Wait a second, you can not take a Navajo Pattern, put it on all of your packaging. Name the collection TRIBE! Name your products ….”Arrowhead?, Wild Horses?!, Adobe Brick?!.” and then go on to defend themselves by saying it’s inspired by colors of the fucking desert and music festivals! That this collection has NOTHNG to do with Native Americans! Please don’t insult our intelligence. Are you crazy!? I am literally going insane looking at this stupid collection everyday, without being able to talk about how wrong it is.

 

Except here,

Allura Beauty has hit the nail on the head about this collection in further detail…in this video below.

This topic opens up discussions we should be having with each other about taking from other cultures without knowing what any of it means or where it came from.  Shall we ask ourselves … is having a cultural identity important?

Do we link ourselves to our ancestors? Do we as Americans know how?

Our closest connections to our heritage are with the elders in our families. They are our teachers and lineage. Do we pay attention to them, can we?

Knowing your elders, enables oneself to connect, to be rooted, to be ‘of’ somewhere. What if, you had no roots? You had no knowledge of where you came from, there was no communication from your family what traditions were stolen, hidden, erased……. or gone? We all have stories of loss and being despondent with our families for many reasons. Can we be sensitive with each other and not be so mean and disrespectful?

How can we find our future selves without a connection? These are the questions, I ask myself.

I cannot speak for others, but only of my story. One of traveling this life alone, with no guidance, support or family to learn from or lean on. I do a million times over thank my elders for being there for me and siblings as we would not have had a stable ground to stand on. Now, that I am older I can reflect on this and I understand why it was that way and I have no anger or resentment towards my family. I can only sympathize and understand what happened and why it happened. I can now offer my support to them, and I do so with my loving partner who has given me more strength to be patient.

Loving and learning about my family has opened up doorways into my heart that were long lost and closed. Those connections have become important to me in identifying myself and moving forward. The heritage that my family had, was shut off and suppressed through the generations of christian schooling and re-programming.

california-mission-with-padres-spanish-soldiers-and-native-americans
Mission with padres spanish soldiers and Native Americans

These stories are buried with my Great Grandmother Josephine with her long flowy silver hair (Chumash), she spoke of that time in the Mission Orphanages in Los Angeles as strict and terrifying. My Grandmother Petra lived in the era of great racism and depression. She had learned to assimilate into the white society that Los Angeles had become.(Los Angeles used to be covered in Orange Orchards!) She raised her kids with in the new America. Then came my mother-  there is my lineage. In somewhat of a short and fast history that I don’t want to completely make public knowledge. I feel a responsibility to hold a torch and show support to the American Indian Community.

And I guess, that is why I feel a desire to write about these topics. Well, quite honestly as many of you know….well… I am not much of a talker. I am rather a thinker/dreamer/observer. I will always allow others to express themselves. I do choose to share these topics with people that I feel would actually listen, otherwise I don’t waste my energy.

I don’t blame people for not being aware, but I do blame people for being blatantly strong in their opinions without the facts! Here is Marlon Brando speaking generally about the American Public being completely unaware of who Native Americans are….

I cannot summarize my story so briefly as to how I have come to these conclusions. But I can only share what is in my heart and what is of my understanding. To be good to others and support and fight for what is right. Simple facts I cannot ignore.

Cultural Appropriation. …Firstly, what is this? And how does it affect your everyday life? – How can one person, such as yourself make supportive decisions?

I am aware of course that this world is a shit show so to speak, and there are severe atrocities happening constantly. What can we do? I am with you, they hurt and we are of only one human life capacity. Or, are we? Yes, we are of one. But every’one’ touches another and another and another. Small enlightenments create larger enlightenments.

Where, am I going with this?

To be put simply. Balancing life and what the heck my tiny voice your voice/actions can do. Well, I only hope to spread awareness. And to help those who care, to not look so unaware and silly for taking part of Cultural Appropriation by buying this stuff with NO meaning.

Just Say No to Ambrosio copyThe point is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION is a term to describe an entity that completely takes another cultures identity and uses it as a means to profit. Without permission or giving due credit to where the hell the “INSPIRATION,” came from! MAdness! Any simple acknowledgement to at least educate the public, what the hell they are supporting, wearing – unknowingly promoting  without fully getting it!

Okay, can you follow me on an identifiable point..

misfitsjacketFor example, there are subcultures that we can identify ourselves within music, community and other things. Then we in turn, support these bands, communities and groups/and or ideas. By wearing a certain style, badge, button, patch because we are in line with the idea it represents. In using this analogy we can come to understand what it means to wear something from another culture. Do you ‘know’ what you are wearing? You do this everyday, whether you like it or not.

michaelkkorsIn this culturaly blind society, we see people wearing cultural identities without being the wiser. Because, consumers in turn believe they are being in trend! Some may use what they wear as a status symbol, yes yes you are in the Michael Kors club congratulations here is your cookie. Ohh, that’s a cute medicine bag – let me just see how much they are selling it at Urban fucking Outfitters!

Okay, I think it is totally fine to think something is cute and want to get it. But if you like something from another culture, Please for the love of the creator! Go on google and search for a REAL American Indian who made it! You can buy and support REAL NATIVE products from REAL living NATIVES! American Indians are NOT DEAD. They are alive, they have communities and are trying to carry on traditions or reawaken what was lost/stolen/forgotten/buried. They make things! Instead of supporting the fucking 1% corporate greed machine, support real people, support real Natives……hey you! In those mocassins! Buy them from Natives! Not the local DSW, Macy’s, Rag & Bone! grrrr.

 

Pictures I took just walking through Macys. Ralph Lauren Ponchos. …

 

Check out this list compiled on

http://www.beyondbuckskin.com/p/buy-native.html

BUYNATIVE_2012_Large

if you are more inclined to do some research on Cultural Appropriation, please check out the link below. They go into this topic in greater detail.

http://www.beyondbuckskin.com/p/buy-native.html

Virgil Ortiz

Virgil_Ortiz_DenverArtMuseum_1w-copyHow incredible is the new and modern work of Virgil Ortiz! Ortiz makes traditional Cochiti figurative pottery, experimental figurative pottery, traditional pottery vessels, and designer clothing. Wow, yes and yes. Coming from a Cochiti pottery heritage he uses these traditions and fuses this artwork into a new storyline for our time now and beyond.

madeinnativeamericaHe has also started a foundation called “Made in Native America.” Which enables his tribe and community to work from this label and support their community. Natives making Native Art, Fashion, and Textiles for all.

The Pueblo Revolt New Mexico

ventutian soldiers 21

http://www.virgilortiz.com/

Thank you, for taking the time to read my thoughts.

P.S. for the love of the Creator

Please stop saying you are 1/4 Cherokee, when striking up a conversation about American Indians just listen. You don’t need to show your badge. It IS a THING! 80% of people I have  talked to about American Indians has immediately talked about their great grandmother being a full blood cherokee. Why only Cherokee? Why not ANY other tribe? and there are so many other dumb things people say..

I am not talking about my friends, if you want to be my friend please don’t irritate me with this stuff….

Good Night,

my signature