Order Subtotal$0.00 USD
View Cart / Checkout
Added to CartView Cart / Checkout»
APPROPRIATE (CULTURAL) APPROPRIATION?

APPROPRIATE (CULTURAL) APPROPRIATION?

It’s pretty common to find cultural appropriation as an issue in the EDM community. From girls wearing Bindis at festivals to guys wearing native headdresses, and David Guetta’s music video there’s a huge uproar about it all. As a community based on the principles of PLUR and acceptance where is the line drawn? Are some things just simply overlooked or are they just accepted? Here’s a look from a person who is guilty of cultural appropriation and came to realize when it is wrong.

According to a quick Google search, the dictionary definition of the word appropriation is as follows: “The action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission”. By this definition I believe we are all guilty of appropriation of some kind at some point in our lives, therefore there is nothing wrong with appropriating something, especially if it’s for reasons of self expression. By the motto of PLUR we should keep the PEACE  by RESPECTING the way others express themselves, I’ve met tons of people who were sporting Native Headdress, Bindis, or some other form of so called “cultural appropriation” and had the best vibes! The fact is people aren’t appropriating things because they want to spite or demoralize a culture people appropriate things because they appreciate them for their face value. We preach love, respect, and acceptance yet horribly bash people for doing the things they enjoy which are ultimately an expression of themselves. To make matters more ironic Bindis are a traditional accessory and their meaning is deeply rooted in spirituality and self expression. There’s even heated debate among people who wear Bindis for religious or spiritual purposes as to whether people who don’t not follow similar beliefs  should be allowed to wear them for this reason!

rave girl wearing simple face jewels

A Bindi being worn in festival fashion

However some people need to use the PLUR mentality to understand when the self expression is blatantly offensive. Unlike Bindis, native american headdresses have a very deep meaning in personal achievement through acts of honor, hardship, loyalty, strength and bravery in addition to the self expression of the individual who crafted the headdress. As a result  people should RESPECT the deeper meaning of native headdresses and avoid wearing them as a form of self expression no matter how well they can rock one. The cultural appropriation of native headdresses has no justification for this reason, something the descendants of Native peoples can agree upon.

However another universally allowed form of cultural appropriation is flow arts! Poi, hooping, fan dancing, staff spinning and the like all have traditional cultural ties with variations around the world. However this form of cultural appropriation receives no flak, aside from festivals that ban them for “safety” reasons such as HARD events. Why you may ask? Because in the umbrella term it’s EXPLICITLY described as art, the ultimate form of self expression! Art and self expression are the reasons we have the gloving is not a crime movement as well!

maori women preforming traditional poi

Traditional poi found in Maori culture

Rather than just pointing fingers or wearing something for looks we should take a little more time to be aware of our actions. Cultural appropriation won’t go away with people being upset about it. It is only going to go away if we take time to understand some things deserve the respect to be worn for more than just appearance and vanity.


Jacob Lopez
Born and raised in the Bay Area of California. I entered the rave scene on February 15, 2013 at age 15 with a Tjani, Mord Fustang, and Feed Me show at SF's Regency Ballroom. Since that day EDM has been my true love; I mean all genres of electronic music. You can catch me at events either in the mosh pits, shuffling, spinning poi, and on the lucky occasion doing some d'n'b step. Currently working towards a Psychology major specializing in Psychiatric Journals at California State University Sacramento. Other musical tastes are hip hop, rock, alternative, and indie.

TAGS: Jacob Lopez, fashion, Festival, festival fashion, festival season, Good Vibes, headdress, music,



1 Comment

Hi… I would love to write an article on this topic… Here are my condensed thoughts.

No, people shouldn’t be attacked, but it should be made to be more widely known that appropriation is highly disrespectful to other cultures. Not only bindis and headdresses, but also i see a lot of raver girls getting braids nowadays. This is cool and all to them, but the reason why it’s disrespectful to black women is because we get soooo much flack for our hair and appearance. But then when a white girl does it it’s cool and trendy.

All our respective cultures are not accessories. They have meanings and histories behind them.

Honestly, it wouldn’t bother me as much if these clothing lines had more black and brown models. And i mean darkskin girls with 4c hair. We need representation more than anything. If there was truly an equal balance there, i feel like appropriation wouldn’t be such a big deal and hurt us as much.

Lily

October 15, 2018

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.