or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › So give me the latest, coolest trends in Blessingway ideas!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

So give me the latest, coolest trends in Blessingway ideas!

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

A friend is having her first baby--she is in her forties, a professional, and not the type who would want the traditional koochey koo baby shower. She is interested in attachment parenting and alternative parenting, and another friend wants to host a blessingway for her. It can't be too hocus pocus if you know what I mean--I think a blessingway that was more hip and cool than hippie and granola would go over best. I've been asked to scare up some ideas--got any??

post #2 of 58

The term "Blessingway" is specific to a certain Native American culture--the Dine, I think.  Therefore it's not PC for others to use the term.

 

That being said, here are my best baby shower ideas:

 

Get white onesies and white bibs, and fabric markers.  Have the guests decorate the onesies and bibs with the fabric markers, then use a blow dryer to set the ink.  Let the mother-to-be keep these, of course.  (This is fun for all ages!) 

 

Have everyone bring a poem, saying, or quote about mothering, parenting, or children in general.   Have them read this to the mother-to-be and have them say why the poem/quote matters to them.  Then let the mother-to-be keep the copies.

 

Have a "book shower" where everyone brings their favorite children's book for the mother-to-be.

post #3 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

The term "Blessingway" is specific to a certain Native American culture--the Dine, I think.  Therefore it's not PC for others to use the term.


There are tons of words out there that originally were part of a specific culture, but now are part of the greater language.   I use the term blessingway to describe what the op is looking for.   Rather than baby shower.  Words and terms have to start somewhere.

post #4 of 58

one thing I've done for a blessingway is as the "favor" give every guest a candle with a little inspiration word or quote tied around it.  Then when the mom to be goes into labor, we all light our candles.

post #5 of 58

Here are some things that have been done at ones I have attended or been part of:

-candles passed out for guests to light when the mother is in labor.  My friends and family did this for me and it was so nice to think about all the candles burning in solidarity.

-a beaded bracelet made by the guests at the blessingway/shower for the mother to wear while in labor. 

-a fabric happy birthday banner with well wishes written on the back from friends and loved ones to hang up after the baby is born and for each birthday after (loved this)

-henna the pregnant belly with meaningful symbols

Have fun!

post #6 of 58


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

The term "Blessingway" is specific to a certain Native American culture--the Dine, I think.  Therefore it's not PC for others to use the term.


I've heard the term "blessingway" used for years, usually by mothers planning a celebration for another mother that they want to have be a deeply meaningful expression of love and joy, rather than just an afternoon of presents and games.  I can see how using the original Dine name for their ceremony might be offensive, but I'm guessing that original name is probably not an English translation?

 

As for ideas, at a recent... celebration... we collected letters, and poems of encouragement and wisdom for the mama to be from all the women in her life (mom, sisters, grandmothers, friends, etc.), and then printed them up on nice paper and put them into a scrap book.  We included a lot of old photos (baby photos from mom, sisters at the beach, friends in college), etc.  The mom really loved it, and it was just intended to always serve as a reminder that the new mom has support from the people who love her, that they all believe that she'll be a wonderful mom.

post #7 of 58

Here's an older thread about it:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/778097/please-rethink-using-the-term-blessingway-to-describe-your-baby-shower-new-info

 

The Navajo themselves want you not to use it. It's a little like calling your child's 13th birthday party a bar mitzvah.

post #8 of 58
People sensitive to the issues surrounding cultural appropriation of terms the actual culture in question doesn't want others to use tend to use "Mother Blessing" as an alternative to "Baby Shower" if they want to indicate that something more than cutesy games is in the offing. I've been to a couple of Mother Blessings and they've been very nice.

At one, each person brought a candle. As she lit her candle, each guest spoke a wish for the pregnant mother. At the end of the evening we blew out the candles. The idea was that when she went into labor, the mama-to-be would re-light the candles and be surrounded, as it were, with all those good wishes.
post #9 of 58

I think calling it a Mother Blessing conveys the idea nicely without the problematic cultural misappropriation.

 

I like the idea of having guests write and illustrate a wish for the baby on a scrapbook page for mom to keep.

post #10 of 58

I called my childrens' ceremony a Blessingway.

 

But then I'm Navajo.

 

My maternal family doesn't get together and play "white guy"...z'all I'm sayin'....shy.gif

post #11 of 58

And there are a lot of words that aren't.   As said above - would you throw a generic 13th birthday party and call it a Bar/Bat Mitzva?  Would you have a party for your baby at home and call it a Christening?  Do you have a big shindig on the 8th day of a boy's life and call it a bris?   If you have a cocktail party with wine and crackers, is it a Eucharist Celebration? 

 

Is it only okay to appropriate the name and a few fun candle games from someone's deeply-held spiritual beliefs if they're a Non-Western culture?   

post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

And there are a lot of words that aren't.   As said above - would you throw a generic 13th birthday party and call it a Bar/Bat Mitzva?  Would you have a party for your baby at home and call it a Christening?  Do you have a big shindig on the 8th day of a boy's life and call it a bris?   If you have a cocktail party with wine and crackers, is it a Eucharist Celebration? 

 

Is it only okay to appropriate the name and a few fun candle games from someone's deeply-held spiritual beliefs if they're a Non-Western culture?   


ilu.

 

bow.gif

post #13 of 58

When I was pregnant with DD2, guests brought their own beads to represent their birth(s). If it was a rough birth, the bead felt coarse. If it was easy, the bead was smooth. If it was natural, it was made from a natural material. If it wasn't, it was made with man-made material. The beads were all strung together, and I held it during DD2's birth, feeling the strength of all those women, feeling connected to them through the act of giving birth.

post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

The term "Blessingway" is specific to a certain Native American culture--the Dine, I think.  Therefore it's not PC for others to use the term.


There are tons of words out there that originally were part of a specific culture, but now are part of the greater language.   I use the term blessingway to describe what the op is looking for.   Rather than baby shower.  Words and terms have to start somewhere.

censored.gif
.

post #15 of 58

Seriously, why do you have to call it a blessingway? Find two words that sound cool and hippieish, stick them together, and call your celebration that. Maybe I am a little superstitionish but I don't feel it is appropriate to begin a new life by offending existing groups of people. 

 

There are lots of creative mamas here, why don't we brainstorm some new ideas. (and I'll be back after coffee)

post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post

Seriously, why do you have to call it a blessingway? Find two words that sound cool and hippieish, stick them together, and call your celebration that. Maybe I am a little superstitionish but I don't feel it is appropriate to begin a new life by offending existing groups of people. 

 

There are lots of creative mamas here, why don't we brainstorm some new ideas. (and I'll be back after coffee)



yeah that.

post #17 of 58

Is the offical language of the Dine English?  If not, then is Blessingway really even the same term?  Let's take BAr mitzvah as an example.  Should people use the term  to describe a party for a non jewish 13 year old?  probably not.  But I don't really see a problem for a non-jew to have a coming of age ceremony and "son of the commandment -(if that means something to them - they're religious, etc...) ceremony.  What is the term in the Dine's language?  Protect that.  But how dare anyone say that a group of people can't use words from their own language however they see fit?  Is every word that can be translated or has it's roots in another language off limits?  Boring.  Sad.  OP - Good luck with your blessingway <3

post #18 of 58

You know what word I find way more offensive as far as cultural (mis)appropriation goes?  Yoni.  And its used all the time here.  How dare we white people use the sanskrit term???  It is sacred to them, too.

post #19 of 58

best post ever on blessingways...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/778097/please-rethink-using-the-term-blessingway-to-describe-your-baby-shower-new-info/200#post_11343107

 

this poster also suggests in another thread the idea of explaining the origin of the term blessingway and asking, in lieu of gifts, for people to bring a donation for a group that supports Navajo culture:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/896021/blessingway/20#post_11343198

 

post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post

best post ever on blessingways...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/778097/please-rethink-using-the-term-blessingway-to-describe-your-baby-shower-new-info/200#post_11343107

 

this poster also suggests in another thread the idea of explaining the origin of the term blessingway and asking, in lieu of gifts, for people to bring a donation for a group that supports Navajo culture:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/896021/blessingway/20#post_11343198

 


Of course, that post is suggesting a culturally sensitive teaching about the actual rituals and beliefs of another culture.


not appropriating the name of something sacred and then tacking on a bunch of new-agey random hippy ideas onto it. 

 

Want a "Blessingway?"  then do some research, explain that you're adopting the beliefs and positions of the culture of its origin, and then do it.  Don't call it a "Ancient Navaho Ritual" and then tack on henna bellies and fun candles and belly casts and diaper pin games.    Doing that is like saying you're going to have a Passover Seder and then decorating Easter eggs.

 

The "it's just language" argument is especially ironic, given the US historic policy of stripping native cultures of their language on a formal, systematic basis.   If the term has been translated, its because generations of native children were  removed from their parents and not allowed to learn the language and traditions of their people.   

 

All in the context of a situation where, unless you're a member of the group in question, you're a member of the group that attempted to eradicate that culture in the first place.   You're talking about appropriating a cultural practice as some kind of  fun party theme, without any real idea of what the practice means, its history, or what traditionally, or currently, is done during it.  

 

Pratt's practice of Americanization of Native Americans by forced cultural assimilation, which he effected both at Fort Marion and Carlisle, was later regarded by some as a form of cultural genocide.[5] He believed that to claim their rightful place as American citizens, Native Americans needed to renounce their tribal way of life, convert to Christianity, abandon their reservations, and seek education and employment among the "best classes" of Americans. In his writings he described his belief that the government must "kill the Indian to save the man". At Fort Marion and Carlisle, he sanctioned beatings to force Native Americans to stop speaking their own respective languages. Later schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Carlisle model were marked by kidnapping and imprisonment of children at the schools, disease, sexual abuse, and suicide.

 

Lest you think "that's history,"  remember that many states, Arizona included, are passing "English only" and "official English" laws even today, designed to ensure that native languages remain second class.

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Talk Amongst Ourselves
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › So give me the latest, coolest trends in Blessingway ideas!