Yemanja -The Awakening of the Heart- by A. Andrew Gonzalez
22, Brooklyn, NY
Dima Mabsout, "Naked Wagon"• Ask
This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer. Surfing was banned in Hawaii by missionaries in the 1700s for its “ungodliness,” but fortunately the natives didn’t pay much heed to that decree.
And this is an example of why it is offensive to appropriate Hawaiian culture. I’m not talking about surfing, I’m talking about the caption. This is why it isn’t okay for non-Hawaiians to have luaus, wear grass skirts and leis, have tiki bars, and get hula dancer tattoos.
Hawaiians were essentially banned from their own culture. The things you appropriate were things the Hawaiians were told were sins. My ancestors were told they were going to hell for their religion. The missionaries didn’t just bring protestantism to the islands, they also brought suicide. People felt so guilty about how they lived that they killed themselves.
The things Hawaiians were made to feel ashamed of, the things they had to atone for are now thought of as “kitsch” and “exotic” by non-natives.
This excerpt from a zine is quite fitting (even though it is about Native Americans, it applies here too): “Spiritual practices of Native peoples are particularly prone to appropriation by the dominant culture. It is exceptionally ironic, given that a!er colonization, it was not until the passage of the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act that Native people in the United States were legally permitted to practice their traditional spirituality. Since the colonization of this continent by white settlers, Native people have faced monumental obstacles to the free exercise of their spiritual practices, including boarding schools, forced relocation, endless broken treaties, “kill the Indian, save the man” policies, and forced assimilation. So it is particularly insensitive for white people to attempt to justify their/our use of Native spiritual practices when Native people themselves have often been brutally persecuted for the same.”-Cultural Appreciation or Cultural appropriation
But anyway, this photo rules.
Desert Choreography (by Marsel van Oosten)
We were heading back to the lodge when I suddenly saw this small herd of oryx running right in front of us on a giant sand dune.
Indigenous people of Brazil trying to prevent their eviction from an old indigenous museum which they have been living in for the past 7 years.
On March 22nd all of the inhabitants and their supporters were forcibly removed or arrested.
The building is being destroyed to make a parking lot :(
Louis Armstrong entertains children at the Tahhseen Al-Sahha Medical Center (Cairo, Egypt, 1961)
Indigenous protestors file suit in Brazil after violent eviction in Rio
April 4, 2013
More than a week after the Brazilian Police’s Shock Battalion evicted indigenous and allied protestors using tear gas, pepper spray and batons from a contested site in Rio de Janeiro near one of the country’s top sports stadiums, attorneys for the Tamoio Movement of Original Peoples (TMOP) have filed suit at the Federal Public Ministry to halt the eviction and prevent the demolition of the old museum.
On March 22, close to 200 agents of the Shock Battalion marched into the area and attacked the gathered protestors with tear gas and pepper spray, forcing the removal of the last residents of the Aldeia Maracana and arresting at least six indigenous people from the area.
The TMOP, representing the various Indigenous Peoples who have been settling around the former Indian Museum in Rio de Janeiro, filed the lawsuit and issued a press statement on Monday, April 1st. In their statement the TMOP gave an overview of their activities in the area and their negotiations with local and federal authorities.
The conflict over the site dates back to 2006 when Indigenous Peoples began to occupy the area around the museum which had been closed and abandoned, by building huts and reclaiming the area for its historical and spiritual significance to indigenous people in Brazil. The former Indian Museum sits on property next to the Maracana Stadium, one of the sites for the upcoming 2014 World Cup soccer games.
Since the occupation, the TMOP asserted that indigenous activists have developed programs for use in local schools and universities for the purpose of “…deconstructing the distorted history of our peoples in the majority of textbooks…” as well as start to build a small community dedicated to preserving indigenous history and culture. The community members of the TMOP are from the Pataxo, Tukano, Guarani, Puri, Apurina, Tupinamba, Kaingang and Satere-Mauwe peoples and they refer to their settlement as the Maracana Village.
The press statement also noted the reaction of the Indigenous Peoples to the actions of the Shock Battalion troops.
“We want to reaffirm that we repudiate the barbaric and inhuman way that we were treated by Military Police by order of the government, disrespecting that which was established in the document of reintegration… While the military police used pepper spray, tear gas bombs, rubber bullets and sonic weapons against us, all we had to defend us were only our maracas and our songs evoking our ancestors.”
The TMOP activists also said that they were approaching various government officials, such as the Minister of Agriculture, to negotiate a way of preserving the contested area to include a possible indigenous reference center.
They also noted that, “…the property of the old Indian Museum, located in the historic center of resistance Tupinambã¡ and Tamoia against the Portuguese invasion… There were the spirits of our ancestors and it was time to return home.”
Got this in my email today:
We are elders of the Maasai from Tanzania, one of Africa’s oldest tribes. The government has just announced that it plans to kick thousands of our families off our lands so that wealthy tourists can use them to shoot lions and leopards.The evictions are to begin immediately.
Last year, when word first leaked about this plan, almost one million Avaaz members rallied to our aid. Your attention and the storm it created forced the government to deny the plan, and set them back months. But the President has waited for international attention to die down, and now he’s revived his plan to take our land. We need your help again, urgently.
President Kikwete may not care about us, but he has shown he’ll respond to global media and public pressure — to all of you! We may only have hours. Please stand with us to protect our land, our people and our world’s most majestic animals, and tell everyone before it is too late. This is our last hope:
Our people have lived off the land in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries. Our communities respect our fellow animals and protect and preserve the delicate ecosystem. But the government has for years sought to profit by giving rich princes and kings from the Middle East access to our land to kill. In 2009, when they tried to clear our land to make way for these hunting sprees, we resisted, and hundreds of us were arrested and beaten. Last year, rich princes shot at birds in trees from helicopters. This killing goes against everything in our culture.
Now the government has announced it will clear a huge swath of our land to make way for what it claims will be a wildlife corridor, but many suspect it’s just a ruse to give a foreign hunting corporation and the rich tourists it caters to easier access to shoot at majestic animals. The government claims this new arrangement is some sort of accommodation, but its effect on our people’s way of life will be disastrous. There are thousands of us who could have our lives uprooted, losing our homes, the land on which our animals graze, or both.
President Kikwete knows this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists - a critical source of national income - and does not want a big PR disaster. If we can urgently generate even more global outrage than we did before, and get the media writing about it, we know it can make him think twice. Stand with us now to call on Kikwete to stop the sell off:
This land grab could spell the end for the Maasai in this part of Tanzania and many of our community have said they would rather die than be forced from their homes. On behalf of our people and the animals who graze in these lands, please stand with us to change the mind of our President.
With hope and determination,
— The Maasai community of Ngorongoro District
- The Endorois people (also in Kenya) were removed from their sacred land in the 1970s under similar circumstances & for similar motives (the establishment of parks for colonial tourists.
PLEASE REBLOG THIS AND SPREAD THE WORD GUYS. Traditional cultures in East Africa have been getting completely trampled on by the government and barely anyone seems to know or care. And this loss of land isn’t just destroying their livelihood but their entire culture. These really are issues that could actually get some backing if people just freakin’ knew about them, so PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST!
A play by Wilson Barrett. First performed at the Lyric Theatre, London in 1917.
Devendra Banhart for The New York Times (March 2013), Robert Wright