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Old 06-19-2008, 11:28 PM   #4
eap7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbear View Post
Like many competitors, Tsinnajinnie has embraced what's becoming a pan-Indian
look: the quest to be the dancer with the most eagle feathers.

This article really misses the point. As many non-Indian people are unable to understand time and again (makes me think of that I want to go to ceremonies in KY thread), our spiritual beliefs are not something we practice one day of the week, or practice only in a church, or only in a Indian ceremonial space. Just because some powwows are competitive, does not mean that eagle feathers have been completely commodified and dancers totally forget any spiritual aspects of dance styles. Whether or not the dance style is from this guy's tribe is irrelevant. Indians traded from South American all the way to Canada pre-contact, and we're still doing it now.

It also frustrates me that the article looks at only 2 potential sources of black market buyers: Indians, and "Euro-Indians" or hobbyists in Europe. I doubt one has to look all the way to Europe to find a hobbyist. What about hobbyists in America? There is no mention of them at all. No, instead there's a quote from a German graduate student saying "well Eastern Europeans are poor! They can't be buying the eagle feathers!" Many Indians in America are poor too! The article also completely ignores private collectors, regardless of race, who may be interested in buying Indian arts and crafts with authentic eagle feathers. I'm not saying that American hobbyists and collectors are to blame; probably it is a combination of Indians, non-Indian hobbyists, and private collectors who buy eagle feathers on the black market. But by completely leaving out these two other groups, the article really misses a major point AND completely blames Indians.

Finally, I do not condone buying eagle feathers. I haven't and won't. But I think the general attitude of criminalizing those who legitimately need eagle feathers for spiritual reasons or religious practices, and have to resort to illegal methods because of the long wait time at the repository, is really problematic. This article makes me think of the one "Powwows are the Biggest Killer of Eagles". Why is there all this propaganda arguing that powwows are going to be the next DDT? I think that the repository application system is confusing to some and the wait time frustrates others. I'm next going to post some other articles on this issue that I've found interesting. Again...I'M NOT CONDONING KILLING EAGLES. They are a threatened species and need to be protected. But I do think there needs to be changes in the current system and less blaming only Indians for the black market eagle trade.

Last edited by eap7; 06-19-2008 at 11:35 PM..
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