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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Talk Cultural appropriation concerns Cultural appropriation concerns

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Old 11-22-2016, 08:49 AM   #1
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Cultural appropriation concerns

Hi there, I have a question for you all which I feel is important.

First off, I am a music producer from Scotland and after years of making dance/club electronic music I would like to return to my more organic, instrumental and traditional roots. For this project I would like to use a different alias and Iíve fallen upon the name Many Horns.

I am sensitive to the debates surrounding cultural appropriation and wanted to gather peopleís opinions on this and see if they found this to be an acceptable use of the name or not?

Primarily, I like the metaphors the name represents. Many horns to me could mean: Many sides in a spiritual sense/ many talents and instruments in a musical sense etc.

Whilst I do have a great appreciation for the nameís origin and history, I am in no way trying to imitate the original man or what he represented as I feel that this would be inappropriate. Since I was a young child i have always been interested in Native culture and greatly admired it even though itís not something I can directly identify with growing up in rural Scotland. Despite this, itís still something that has inspired me throughout my life to appreciate the earth and itís people in a more positive way.

Currently, the imagery I have used as branding for my alias is reminiscent of native artwork, showing an almost totem-like chief figure. Although the artwork is very nice I feel like this is definitely something I should change as I feel that it makes too explicit a connection with Native culture which I donít feel qualified enough to back up. Iíve decided I would change the image to that of a deer/stag using a similar drawing style.

I would really like to know your opinion on these matters. Ultimately I want to know if this is something that Native peoples would find offensive as this is the last thing that I would want to do. I want to be respectful, and I donít want people to think that Iím trivialising Native culture.

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:17 PM   #2
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If you're trying to get back to YOUR instrumental and traditional roots, why not focus on the celtic traditions, names and imagery? You have a wealth of rich history around you that could be easily accessed without having to search a different continent for themes and inspiration.

That being said, you said it yourself that you don't feel qualified enough to back up your use of some native american art styles and concepts. If you don't feel qualified to use an idea or item, then it might be best to let it be.

While I personally don't take offense to the sharing of cultures and styles and would deem it hypocritical of me to say that no one should be inspired by our culture, when I myself am inspired by others.... If you blatantly take imagery or names from a culture without adequate knowledge of what you are using or what it means to the people, you are definitely stepping into the realm of misrepresentation and cultural appropriation.

You can be inspired by something without taking directly from it. Also, there are some similarities between traditional Scottish cultures and the cultures of the indigenous nations within North America. I would suggest representing your own culture and the beauty therein, while still acknowledging outside influence.

Last edited by Fang; 12-01-2016 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 11-24-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
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This ^^^^ is a spam.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thank you for your reply Fang. It was very helpful and you highlighted some of my main concerns.

I have come to the decision that using the name and imagery of another man and his culture to represent myself is unjust. It would be a slightly different story if i made up a name inspired by the man/culture, however i feel the direct imitation is inappropriate.

As much as I like the name and its symbolism, it would be unfair of me to try and justify its use.

Back to the drawing board!

Thanks again.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:52 PM   #5
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Red Deer are indigenous to Scotland. Name yourself Red Deer Horns! #problemsolved
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwormjim22 View Post
Hi there, I have a question for you all which I feel is important.

Since I was a young child i have always been interested in Native culture and greatly admired it even though itís not something I can directly identify with growing up in rural Scotland. Despite this, itís still something that has inspired me throughout my life to appreciate the earth and itís people in a more positive way.

I would really like to know your opinion on these matters. Ultimately I want to know if this is something that Native peoples would find offensive as this is the last thing that I would want to do. I want to be respectful, and I donít want people to think that Iím trivialising Native culture.

Thanks in advance
What about the ancient Picts of Pictland, the Painted People?

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