Addressing Cultural Appropriation
There’s a lot of concern regarding cultural appropriation out there and for good reason. Perhaps you've also noticed most are unaware of being part of it. However, there’s also a lot of confusion of what is cultural appropriation. Many have a hard time distinguishing between appropriation and the mutual sharing of cultural and spiritual elements.
Tree of Totems greatly respects other cultures and only share that which we’ve been given permission to share and have received extensive training and certification in. We are part of a global movement of conscious cultural sharing. Together, with other cultural leaders, peacemakers, and changemakers, we are learning and supporting what it takes to live as an intact community that lives in a relational way with the land and people rather than the common transactional mindset modern society is indoctrinated with. We share the universal principles, understandings and mindsets that help people connect and be in greater relationship with themselves, Nature and Spirit.
What’s Cultural Appropriation?
It is where cultural elements are copied from a minority culture by members of a dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context and without respect of their significance—sometimes even against the expressly stated wishes of members of the originating culture.
For example, Performing a ritual and ceremony that belongs to another cultural without their permission and/or performing it out of context with its original intentions.
Another example is printing the image of Buddha on sandals. You find this fashionable but in the Buddhist traditions it is a sacrilegious act to touch your feet to the Buddha or other sacred items.
You can see how the image of Buddha has been appropriated for fashion and used outside the original context and in a disrespectful manner in their eyes.
Dressing in attire of another culture without recognizing the significance and purpose of it. Very few Native Americans earned the honor of wearing a headdress. The number of feathers a person wore had special significance and were only worn in specific situations.
How Does Tree of Totems Share In The Right Manner?
Here at Tree of Totems, we only share that which we’ve been given permission to share . We share the wisdom, practices and understandings as been directly handed down to Chivito from his teachers and those that have been awoken within us through our own intense immersion of training.
We believe it's every person's birthright to have a relationship with Spirit & Nature and the means of connecting and living in sacred relationship is inherent within us.
We gather with Elders and teachers of various traditions in a mutual sharing so we may bring forth the universal principles, understandings, and mindsets found worldwide that reveal the commonality of a global consciousness. We’re ALL people of Spirit and it’s magical to discover how Spirit expresses these common understandings worldwide. From this we discover how to incorporate these common understandings within our own lives to breathe greater connection, balance and harmony.
Much like how musicians around the world learn from each others’ style of expression and techniques, or chefs learn cooking techniques of other cultural cuisines, we learn how we each uniquely connect with and live in balance with nature and Spirit. In this, we are sharing in a mutual exchange, honoring the context, the intentions and the people.
Again, with that said, we share what's been handed down to us and help others discover the understandings, mindsets, and principles so they can cultivate their unique relationship with Spirit and Nature.
We primarily share the wisdom of Ayurveda.
A Path of Integrity
We strive to live and share in the right manner AND WE ALSO recognize we are still students on this path. You can see most cultural appropriation happens not because of an intention to do so, but because people are unaware it's even happening.
We invite you to please email us with any concerns or inform us of how we may be appropriating or doing something out of context. We strive to honor all cultures, traditions and people and share in the right manner.
Email us at Learning@TreeOfTotems.com
We're honored to serve you!