Cultural Appropriation Gallery

"Cultural appropriation" has gone on since forever, but came to be seen as a problem only quite recently, cast as misrepresentation, disrespect, outright theft of the cultural property (talismanic, possessed of Meaning that may be untranslatable, often 'sacred' or otherwise powerful) of some group — sometimes a 'tribe' in the old sense, sometimes a much wider/looser sense of 'culture' (e.g., "Black culture" or "First Nations" or "Aborigines"...)

Cultural property removed from its context, repurposed for display in some other context — from museums to decor to artistic creation to commercial product; seen by people who CAN claim authenticity as not respecting, as stereotyping: identity disparaged, violated, misunderstood, misrepresented; ignoble motives...
Cultural boundaries are defended in various ways. Tim Minchin shines a brilliant light on the problem:

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The Dos and Don'ts of Cultural Appropriation
Borrowing from other cultures isn't just inevitable; it's potentially positive.
By Jenni Avins and Quartz (from The Atlantic) wave upon wave of shrill accusations of cultural appropriation make their way
through the internet outrage cycle, the rhetoric ranges from
earnest indignation to patronizing disrespect.'s anyone's right to dress like an idiot at a festival, but
someone else's sacred object shouldn't be a casual accessory...

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Some of these videos might need a Cultural Trigger Warning.
The point is to show diversity in ways to consider 'appropriation'
of course each video has a Point Of View

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Can Culture Be Appropriated?

The Rise and Fall of Cultural Appropriation

The Halluci Nation - Burn Your Village To The Ground (Neon Nativez Remix)

Snotty Nose Rez Kids - Boujee Natives

The Halluci Nation - R.E.D. Ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear

Prolific The Rapper x A Tribe Called Red - Black Snakes

Thomas X - Indigenous Hip Hop ft. Native Son & DJ AO

Emma Stevens - Blackbird by The Beatles sung in Mi'kmaq

Kalolin Johnson - We Shall Remain (It Wasn't Taken Away)

Ix̱six̱án, Ax̱ Ḵwáan (I Love You My People)


Reservation Dogs | Greasy Frybread ft. Punkin' Lusty

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq "You Got To Run (Spirit Of The Wind)"

Investigating Buffy Sainte-Marie's claims to Indigenous ancestry

Identity Check | APTN Investigates

A growing number of "Pretendian" artists and the potential repercussions

Understanding Aboriginal Identity

Indigenous Communities: Surviving Canada

The line between cultural appropriation and appreciation | TODAY Show Australia

Indigenous Identity (Australia)

Aboriginal or Not

Cultural Appropriation: Whose problem is it? BBC Stories

Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation | CBC Radio

Non-Indigenous clothing designer accused of cultural appropriation by competitors CBC

Indigenous Arts Protocols Ontario Arts Council

Here's what it looks like when cultural appropriation is done right

Who Can Claim to be Indigenous?

Another facet of the current state of play in the worlds of North American First Nations Identity, Appropriation, Grievances, and Restitution is the vogue for and nascent obligation to make formal Acknowledgment of presence on lands stolen from Aboriginal people. Consider:
Every time I hear a land acknowledgment...
About a year and half ago, a Lakota friend texted me saying he was attending a gathering at a prestigious university, and it began with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. "What's that about?" he asked. I told him it was a practice that was popping up in the "woke" crowd. We both agreed it was a good practice, but that words without action are meaningless.

You want to do a land acknowledgement? Great! Why?

I would assert that a land acknowledgement in and of itself with no plans of additional action - even as a long-term goal, is essentially tokenism. A land acknowledgement is, at its core, a tool to reverse invisibility. Land acknowledgements made without efforts to open your doors to and provide opportunity for Native people can have the effect of reinforcing the mis-perception that Native Americans (for instance) are a people of the past. In other words if you are not doing additional work to create equity for Native people in addition to the land acknowledgement, perhaps you need to go back to the drawing board and re-think your plans and intentions.

A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people's history and culture. Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation. Naming is an exercise in power. Who gets the right to name or be named? Whose stories are honored in a name? Whose are erased? Acknowledgment of traditional land is a public statement of the name of the traditional Native inhabitants of a place. It honors their historic relationship with the land.

Honoring Original Indigenous Inhabitants: Land Acknowledgment (Smithsonian)

We gratefully acknowledge the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native communities who make their home here today.

Land Acknowledgement Example (Amnesty International)

As Amnesty International calls upon the Canadian government to uphold its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we must recognize that those rights were stripped and denied using centuries of laws and policies based on legal doctrines such as "terra nullius", which declared this land empty despite the presence of Indigenous peoples. Acknowledging the land becomes a small act of resistance against this continued erasure of Indigenous people and their rights.

To keep with this being a thoughtful act we have decided to not include a "script" in this guide but instead a process of reflection to support you in writing your own contextual land acknowledgements.

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A couple of further examples of the (mis?)appropriation of cultural identities:


(at about 5:00 the white folks turn up to applaud, and the dancers flee... what's that all about?)

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and now from South Africa, and here the waters get murkier:

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Quoting Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man
Dylan's song revolves around the mishaps of a Mr. Jones, who keeps blundering into strange situations, and the more questions he asks, the less the world makes sense to him. Critic Andy Gill called the song "one of Dylan's most unrelenting inquisitions, a furious, sneering, dressing-down of a hapless bourgeois intruder into the hipster world of freaks and weirdoes which Dylan now inhabited."

That's a central problem once one adopts the perspective(s) of anthropology on human variety: humanity is more varied and inventive than you'd ever imagined, and you're forever being brought face to face with your own cultural assumptions and limitations. I think it's important to know where the Edges are, and this last example is about as Edgy and Contested as it gets. Here's Wikipedia on the song, and the lyrics. You've been warned...

Die Antwoord 'Fatty Boom Boom'

Die Antwoord Responds To Comments About "Fatty Boom Boom"