Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

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Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Sunbeam56 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:16 pm

I saw a post. My mind is full from perusing this site for the last week, I don't recall where or who - that sort of implied "fake-Indian" dancing was ...ummm... not appreciated.
I perfectly intend to "fake-Indian" dance. Specifically, as much as I can of the Sious Ghost Dance. At sunrise. Near the Temple
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Where does this fit on the meter of weird versus usual?
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:25 pm

i would say, go for it...

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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:25 pm

If feathers and/or lots of tiny, loosely-attached beads are involved, that part is more than discouraged, it's actively forbidden.

Which doesn't mean that feathers and shoddy bead construction don't happen anyway.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby oneeyeddick » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Only real Indians will know if you are faking it or not.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby TT120 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:30 pm

I thought it was "fake indian, dancing"

Either way, only a "real" indian would know.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Canoe » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:09 pm

Is this the same Ghost Dance that originated with the Northern Paiute, Nevada, before spreading to other western tribes?
The one that is associated with the Lakota Sioux massacre at Wounded Knee?

I believe that the Pyramid Lake Paiute are part of the Northern Paiute.
Not sure which of the Northern Paiute may follow the Ghost Dance, but I'd bet the Pyramid Lake Paiute are aware of it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby trilobyte » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:32 pm

It's possible people could think you're a culturally insensitive asshole, or they might be okay with it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby ranger magnum » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:46 pm

You better be careful... Dont let the Moccasin Maffia catch you.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby tamarakay » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:01 pm

trilobyte wrote:It's possible people could think you're a culturally insensitive asshole, or they might be okay with it.


This is when I wish we had a Like button. And I'm not a big user of the Like button on that other site lol
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby tamarakay » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:02 pm

I think free spirited dancing from the soul is not owned by any one race or culture. Don't mimic, do your own thing.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby jkisha » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:09 pm

trilobyte wrote:It's possible people could think you're a culturally insensitive asshole, or they might be okay with it.

More insensitive than a camp that executes barbies in ovens that are guarded by ken dolls dressed up as nazzis? That sort of humor epitomizes the artistic freedom of BM, if you ask me.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:26 pm

I find it inherently problematic to take something sacred from a culture that has been fractured by your own people and use it as your own.
For some reason, I don't feel quite as queasy about the Sundance. I'm guessing it's because you're putting your body on the line (and that culture exists with the burn) and because that massacre of Ghost Dancers that ended the practice. I suppose it counts as a Cargo Culture response...
but I still love the theme, go figure...
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:34 pm

see, that's the thing:
"culturally insensitive"? no, and so what?
Dance, if you wish.
People who want to bitch and whine because it's "their" dance, best go listen to gourd shaking music, not the Doors.
I can see no insult in dancing a dance, you like.
Yeah, so, who gets to do "the twist"?.........only people born in the 40's? (teens in the 50's).

Gosh dang people and "P.C." crap.
it's not like your pointing and laughing and saying somethings wrong with it or them

I say dance........dance like no one, or everyone is watching. Make it your own.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Canoe » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:19 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:... that massacre of Ghost Dancers that ended the practice...[/size]

It is reported that the massacre ended the practice, which would suggest that the Ghost Dance is unlikely to be sacred to anyone. Yet I watched a modern video in which a Paiute Shaman stated that there were only six left who know the songs for that dance, which suggests that the five day dance continued, and possibly continues, to be performed in one form or another.

That said, how would one person perform a Round Dance?
Perhaps there are others who would be interested in joining you?
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:35 am

I'll bring cake.
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Sunbeam56 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:49 am

The "ghost dance" I was thiking about is a physical prayer. A body movement, shuffe, stamp, while thinking and praying to and for the souls of departed loved ones.

I don't know that this prayer existed in authentic Indian religions - hence the question about "fake-Indian" dancing.

Indian religions are not well documented, for obvious reasons. After Wounded Knee there was a "Ghost Dance" Society. It was started by a Prophet who believe that they could dance the world to peace. Its a modern charismatic sort of movement, still practiced today - and I am NOT part of it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby CornMan » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:58 am

I've seen people do what looks to be unauthentic cowboy dancing. Nobody gets bent out of shape about that. If I were a cowboy type, I'd be happy and flattered that somebody likes our dance enough to want to emulate it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:00 am

You probably have your own forgotten prehistoric culture. It's a shame that you don't honor it.
That's what my Injun friends say anyway.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:01 am

Sunbeam56 wrote:The "ghost dance" I was thiking about is a physical prayer. A body movement, shuffe, stamp, while thinking and praying to and for the souls of departed loved ones.

I don't know that this prayer existed in authentic Indian religions - hence the question about "fake-Indian" dancing.

Indian religions are not well documented, for obvious reasons. After Wounded Knee there was a "Ghost Dance" Society. It was started by a Prophet who believe that they could dance the world to peace. Its a modern charismatic sort of movement, still practiced today - and I am NOT part of it.





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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby trilobyte » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:02 am

jkisha - exactly. People could think of BDC or a million other things out there as being culturally insensitive. Or they might be okay with it.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Canoe » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:52 am

Sunbeam56 wrote:The "ghost dance" I was thiking about is a physical prayer. A body movement, shuffe, stamp, while thinking and praying to and for the souls of departed loved ones.

I'd guess body movement, shuffle, stamp, while... would be fine. Much like a lot of the very drunk dancing, only with prayer... which we already see with some of the drunk dancing.

As Ghost Dance is a defined Round Dance, perhaps NOT calling what you'll do a Ghost Dance will avoid offense, although it is BRC and just about anything can be offensive to someone there.

Would you be dressed like a Holywood Indian while doing this?
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby CornMan » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:12 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:You probably have your own forgotten prehistoric culture. It's a shame that you don't honor it.
That's what my Injun friends say anyway.


Yeah, it wasn't until I was an adult that I found out that my grandfather immigrated from Estonia. Maybe that's why we embraced this America thing so thoroughly. I don't know if I would want to try to adopt Estonian culture at this point. It would probably feel contrived.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:16 am

Back in my dancing days.. A native Am. friend asked to copy my country stomp for his pow wow dance..Must have hurt his feet. I always wore boots.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby 5280MeV » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:24 am

As long as your dancing and your prayers are sincere, then there can be no legitimate complaint against it. This is your inherent freedom as a human being, to believe as you wish, and to practice any sort of spirituality that you wish.

I tend to be a skeptical and empirically minded person, but if anything in this world is really spiritual, then dancing is pretty near the top of my list.

If music or the rising sun compels you to move in a certain way, then you move in a certain way. This movement may be in part guided by ways that you have seen other people move, and it is possible that it may be influenced either by actual Native American dances or by inauthentic portrayals of Native American dances. This simply doesn't matter. One must be allowed to move how ones spirit dictates.

Religion and art is inherently syncretic, and I simply cannot accept the notion that certain basic movements, ideas, or patterns are off limits to anyone based on the atrocities of the past. If the influence on you is sincere - if your actions represent nothing more or less than you being you, accepting the sum total of all you have experienced - then what you are doing is valid.

I don't really buy into the whole language of "appropriation" versus "appreciation" that I often hear. If a cultural artifact or story speaks to you in a deep and meaningful way, and if you are sincerely moved by it, then I call that appreciation. I don't think it matters if you have permission from anyone or if you even understand what the original meaning of the piece was to the author. Once you are sincerely affected by something, you have gained a new appreciation of it.

That said, one must realize that taking cultural artifacts and being ironic or silly with them is going to piss some people off. Especially in light of the atrocities that were committed against the Native American people - atrocities which many people still refuse to admit were real. When people in the United States take these cultures and make light of them in a patronizing manner, then yea, they are basically being giant assholes.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:35 am

5280MeV wrote:

I tend to be a skeptical and empirically minded person, but if anything in this world is really spiritual, then dancing is pretty near the top of my list.


I'll drink to that..( coffee please)
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:44 am

Zeke Chaparral wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:You probably have your own forgotten prehistoric culture. It's a shame that you don't honor it.
That's what my Injun friends say anyway.


Yeah, it wasn't until I was an adult that I found out that my grandfather immigrated from Estonia. Maybe that's why we embraced this America thing so thoroughly. I don't know if I would want to try to adopt Estonian culture at this point. It would probably feel contrived.


Yeah, you have a good point. Either way, I supposed you're going to offend somebody. Though when I go to Europe and tell people that my ancestors came from their village, they are thrilled. But if I showed up at the "res" with a war bonnet on, I'd probably get a different reception.

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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Savannah » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:49 am

The breadth of responses here is probably similar to what it'll be out there, i.e., no one can know what kind of reaction you'll get. The city does not move in lockstep--it's got people from all over the world.

If a certain dance feels spiritually necessary to you, then it might be worth it regardless of the reaction you get.

If you move people with your dancing, that might compensate for a lot. (No promises.)

If it's organic to you, rather than a performance, there's no reason you can't wait and just decide on the playa.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby ygmir » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:50 am

Zeke Chaparral wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:You probably have your own forgotten prehistoric culture. It's a shame that you don't honor it.
That's what my Injun friends say anyway.


Yeah, it wasn't until I was an adult that I found out that my grandfather immigrated from Estonia. Maybe that's why we embraced this America thing so thoroughly. I don't know if I would want to try to adopt Estonian culture at this point. It would probably feel contrived.


Tere Homikust!!

Zeke:
Esti culture, is very near Pagan, judging by my experiences there.
I loved everything about the country, including the pervasive "Pagan" overtones and practices.
They claim to have been the last to "fall" to Xtianity, and some claim they just nodded, to go along.
It is a magical land, I'd love to return to. wonderful people and culture.
Check it out, really, it might fit better than you think.

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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby jkisha » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:57 pm

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I remember whan people thought this might be disrespectful too.
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Re: Is "Fake Indian dancing" discouraged?

Postby Sunbeam56 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 pm

"Would you be dressed like a Holywood Indian while doing this?"

Naw - no feathers on the playa... :)
Maybe a leather bikini?
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