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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNote - White sage, Amerindians and virtue signalling

White sage is really not that hard to find. You need a little care when harvesting to avoid harming the plant. If you're in the right area and you don't overwater, it's fairly easy to keep in a container garden. Oh, and if you're harvesting your own, avoid polyester thread or yarn to tie the bundles, that smells terrible when burned.

I grew up next to the Diné and Hopi and near the Havasupai and a handful of other tribes. I promise that pretty much any sage ceremony from a book or a pamphlet or a website isn't anywhere near culturally appropriated, much less "authentic."



Okay, maybe I am not understanding because the stuff is all over New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Maybe I'm wrong, but if it was a native supplier who was selling, how is wrong for the company to resell?

I never really have understood the whole cultural appropriation bit. Syncretism happens.



Pardon, but it's some of the First Nation folks. Some of the Diné I know are far more concerned with the abuse of corn rituals than sage rituals.

I guess what I am saying is that this strikes me as politics, a way to control other's behaviors using little-understood religions. Look at this, we're talking Native, we're talking First Nations, but these groups are absolutely not the same as the various tribes.

This was acceptable and practiced behavior a couple of days ago. No one was hurt, no one was abused, no one was demeaned. From what you yourself have said, anyone who is not Native should Stop Now. This isn't about honoring the First Nations, it's about control through guilt.

Why does your enlightenment require that I sacrifice?


Granted I haven't been able to talk to more than a handful of people in the last day or so about this issue, but most of what I got was laughter.

This is not a "bubble," I was born on the res, the Diné and Hopi are some of my friends and neighbors.

This whole thing about honoring the First Nations seems very selective. A few months back during the Dakota protests I tried to point out how the state of Utah was using legal maneuvers to steal land and money from the Ute and Diné (Navajo). That didn't rate so much as a burp, but the discussion on the protests went on and on.



Trust me, white sage is not endangered. Not even in the wild. The land is mostly desert and the plant life is not as plentiful, but it is all over the place. It's not the most common plant, but it's not rare.



That's something else we've been tiptoeing around, isn't it?

That also drags the FedGovs in. Truthfully there are some peyote users that aren't interested in the ritual.

The whole mess between the NAC and the Feds is one thing that convinced me that government and religion should be strictly separated from other. And that was when I was (briefly) a Young Teenage Republican Male. Twelve years old and I could see what a farce it was on both sides.



Well, the hunt is part of the ritual, but yeah.

==>Insert obligatory lengthy libertarian anti-drug law rant here<==

For the record, I don't even drink or otherwise imbibe. I even try to avoid aspirin.



So you can use the higher authority gambit to cite the Good Amerindians, but I am not allowed to question?

These are questions that should be asked.

Starting with the big one that almost everyone keeps tiptoeing around. Why should white sage be forbidden to anyone not of First Nations stock?

That in itself raises questions, very political questions in fact. Some tribes have taken a hard line on who is and is not a member.

Do you have to be Officially Recognized before you dare consider using white sage?



I do that when someone claims higher morality so they can control the choices and actions of others.

It's a first step.

You should see what I do with self-righteous Christians.



Pardon, but some Native Americans are upset. The (admittedly few) that I talked to just thought it was silly.

They still think the plant and the smudging ceremonies are sacred. They just think there are more important things in the World than this fuss.

Which, BTW, didn't exist a week ago.



I have a bit of a problem with lumping different tribes under one heading like First Nations or Native or Amerindian. Whenever possible, I prefer to refer to the tribe name and not the generic label. The cultures and ceremonies are different.

That being said, the handful of Diné I talked in the last couple of days thought this was silly and virtue signaling. I think they were more irritated by "whites" trying to "protect" Amerindian rituals and plants than "whites" using sage in purification rituals.

It was only a small number of people. It would be a mistake to claim their opinion is representative or that I have a greater understanding of their culture.

But that's parity again. It cuts both ways. If the people I talked to are not representative, then what about the Amerindians who complained? If my understanding is insufficient, then what about all the non-Natives who are making a fuss now?



That happens a lot.

Thomas Sowell said “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”

Just because it is truth doesn't mean people will listen.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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