please rethink using the term Blessingway to describe your baby shower*new info* - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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also, i have been communicating with a Dine Medicine Woman for the last week or so, and i have shared with her the link to this thread and also the many website's describing exactly what the "new blessingway" entails. she has given me permission to share this with you:

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I am a Dine' Medicine Woman who is infuriated by what I have heard! These women have NO idea what they are doing! The Blessing Way is an ancient Ritual that, yes is used to welcome children into the world, but by far, that is NOT it's only use, but just one of many of it's functions. I am not permitted to explain the many times we use Blessing way in ritual, but some of the rituals would be surprising for those not of the Dine'. Anyone not of the Dine' people should not be using our Sacred rituals bastardized in such a way for their own idealized mentality - it is more dangerous then they could possibly realize. We have certain "spiritual safeguards" on protecting our Old Ways & what is misused or misappropriated would have dire consequences for those who try to take what is sacred to us & is not of their people, but of the Dine'. To place this upon innocent babies is an anathema With much thanks, Firewolf Bizahaloni Nelso

she also gave me her phone number and said she would be happy to discuss this in a deeper way with anyone who needed more information, so if anyone wants to talk to her, pm me.

*i added this post to my OP so that any new poster's would see this info right off the bat.
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#122 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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Bellymama-
Thank you so much for the research and effort you have put into this thread. I was particularly thrilled to see the information you recieved directly from Firewolf Bizahaloni Nelso. I am thankful that she is willing to open herself up personally on this subject, and I hope the information will help people have a deeper understanding of what you have been trying to impress upon us.

 
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#123 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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bellymama, I just have to say that I've procrastinated coming to read this thread and I am SO SORRY I did not make it here earlier so I could give you mad props for being peaceful and gentle and patient with so many people who are determined to deny the real pain and hurt of using all or part of native sacred ritual for any non-dineh new mom.

It is sickening to me that so many mamas on MDC are unable to support the native mamas and spiritual leaders who have asked them to see the bigger human picture and not the linear, logical and genocidal one of cultural entitlement.

Thank you for allowing the rest of us to grow in this way.

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#124 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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If cultures and peoples lived together harmoniously, would appropriation still be an issue? It seems to me that it is because we have separated ourselves (out of arrogance, the desire to control, fear, self-protection, etc.) that we see each other as "other", so that when I recognize something universal in that which you have manifested first, it is regarded as stealing and disrespectful for me to acknowledge it as applicable to me as well. The sad, ironic thing is that it is the people who aren't a threat who are the ones sensitive enough to abide by such requests, which are really only necessary because others are separatist in spirit.

Using the term while innocently regarding it as a descriptive term for a beautiful act is one thing, and using it while knowing others regard you as a thief and racist is anther entirely. It casts a pall over whatever semantic appropriateness and beauty the term would otherwise hold. So I don't use it. But I still don't understand why it is that the Dine' own the term "blessing way". Bear with me here please -- this is not, for me, about "us vs. them". It's not about a sense of cultural or racial entitlement. What I am perceiving is that The Way is a universal spiritual notion, as is the notion of a blessing. If their spiritual ground is real and true, they did not create the bringing together of these things. They were open to it and it came through them and manifested with their cultural coloring. Now, for me to take on cultural coloring that doesn't belong to me would be embarrassing, and in some cases disrespectful, yes. But they (a few or most or all, I don't know, but somebody who I'll refer to as "they", for convenience,) are trying to claim ownership to something that they do not in fact own. The Dine' recognized it and named it, and interpreted it through their culture. I can recognize it through their manifestation of it, interpret it with my own cultural coloring, and the descriptive term that they have used is semantically just as appropriate.

It just makes me sad that we live in a world where such a thing would even be an issue.
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#125 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
If cultures and peoples lived together harmoniously, would appropriation still be an issue? It seems to me that it is because we have separated ourselves (out of arrogance, the desire to control, fear, self-protection, etc.) that we see each other as "other", so that when I recognize something universal in that which you have manifested first, it is regarded as stealing and disrespectful for me to acknowledge it as applicable to me as well. The sad, ironic thing is that it is the people who aren't a threat who are the ones sensitive enough to abide by such requests, which are really only necessary because others are separatist in spirit.

Using the term while innocently regarding it as a descriptive term for a beautiful act is one thing, and using it while knowing others regard you as a thief and racist is anther entirely. It casts a pall over whatever semantic appropriateness and beauty the term would otherwise hold. So I don't use it. But I still don't understand why it is that the Dine' own the term "blessing way". Bear with me here please -- this is not, for me, about "us vs. them". It's not about a sense of cultural or racial entitlement. What I am perceiving is that The Way is a universal spiritual notion, as is the notion of a blessing. If their spiritual ground is real and true, they did not create the bringing together of these things. They were open to it and it came through them and manifested with their cultural coloring. Now, for me to take on cultural coloring that doesn't belong to me would be embarrassing, and in some cases disrespectful, yes. But they (a few or most or all, I don't know, but somebody who I'll refer to as "they", for convenience,) are trying to claim ownership to something that they do not in fact own. The Dine' recognized it and named it, and interpreted it through their culture. I can recognize it through their manifestation of it, interpret it with my own cultural coloring, and the descriptive term that they have used is semantically just as appropriate.

It just makes me sad that we live in a world where such a thing would even be an issue.
I can see what you are trying to say, but words have power. And I think that ignoring the fact that the word is part of the Dine's sacred ceremony ignores that power. I guess if people don't recognize that there really is powerful things at work during this ceremony(don't know if magic would be the correct term)they don't recognize the danger of appropriating the word. But we have been told from the mouth of someone who understands and practices this that it can be dangerous, as well as people discribing why it's disrespectful to the Dine.

For me, it comes down to trusting what the people who are directly involved and affected by using the term Blessingway for something besides the Dine sacred ceremony have to say. I don't really understand why people would choose to ignore or put their own spin on it when there are so many other appropriate words to use, words that you can imbue with your own traditions and ceremony.

 
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#126 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
If cultures and peoples lived together harmoniously, would appropriation still be an issue? It seems to me that it is because we have separated ourselves (out of arrogance, the desire to control, fear, self-protection, etc.) that we see each other as "other", so that when I recognize something universal in that which you have manifested first, it is regarded as stealing and disrespectful for me to acknowledge it as applicable to me as well. The sad, ironic thing is that it is the people who aren't a threat who are the ones sensitive enough to abide by such requests, which are really only necessary because others are separatist in spirit.

Using the term while innocently regarding it as a descriptive term for a beautiful act is one thing, and using it while knowing others regard you as a thief and racist is anther entirely. It casts a pall over whatever semantic appropriateness and beauty the term would otherwise hold. So I don't use it. But I still don't understand why it is that the Dine' own the term "blessing way". Bear with me here please -- this is not, for me, about "us vs. them". It's not about a sense of cultural or racial entitlement. What I am perceiving is that The Way is a universal spiritual notion, as is the notion of a blessing. If their spiritual ground is real and true, they did not create the bringing together of these things. They were open to it and it came through them and manifested with their cultural coloring. Now, for me to take on cultural coloring that doesn't belong to me would be embarrassing, and in some cases disrespectful, yes. But they (a few or most or all, I don't know, but somebody who I'll refer to as "they", for convenience,) are trying to claim ownership to something that they do not in fact own. The Dine' recognized it and named it, and interpreted it through their culture. I can recognize it through their manifestation of it, interpret it with my own cultural coloring, and the descriptive term that they have used is semantically just as appropriate.

It just makes me sad that we live in a world where such a thing would even be an issue.
I agree with much of your perspective. Isn't it great that many cultures have recognized the great upheaval of birth and labor and newness? This is one of my favorite times for ritual.

However. This from your post is interesting to me:

"It seems to me that it is because we have separated ourselves (out of arrogance, the desire to control, fear, self-protection, etc.) that we see each other as "other", so that when I recognize something universal in that which you have manifested first, it is regarded as stealing and disrespectful for me to acknowledge it as applicable to me as well. The sad, ironic thing is that it is the people who aren't a threat who are the ones sensitive enough to abide by such requests, which are really only necessary because others are separatist in spirit. "

Deciding that because one hadn't heard of such a thing before one heard of the appropriated-from-the-dine term "blessingway", and then making your own culturally-approprate ritual and calling it the same thing is not harmonious. In the context of colonization and genocide - two very real and very current penomena in the US - this otherwise well-meaning process is an expresion of power-over, not merely and issue of "semantics". And frankly, when I hear someone [usually from a dominant and/or privileged group] complain of how we are separated from each other because one or more non-dominant groups provide us with a better, more respectful context in which to practice our own sacred ceremonies, I just become impatient.

I do understand that you are really questioning ownership of a word. But unwillingness to see how the word is also powerful and part of a group's cultural expression is part of the problem of white supremacy, and something which I try to work hard to work against. This is the challenge to non-native mamas - to continue to find sacred expressions of power in our own contexts, neither exclusive nor oppressive, and to do so with as much respect as possible. Because this is the only way I see true harmony flourishing.

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#127 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It just makes me sad that we live in a world where such a thing would even be an issue.
it makes me sad too. sad that people can't understand why a people who have been abused, decieved, and persecuted might be a wee bit protective of the traditions they have managed to salvage in the face of such adversity.

perhaps it's difficult to understand because today, our lives are so secularized, that we see "religion" and "sacred space and time" as something you do and then you go on about your way until next time. The Dine' see "religion" differently

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There is no word in the Navajo language for what we refer to as "religion," defined by Webster's Dictionary as "man's expression of his acknowledgment of the divine." The reason why this word does not exist in their language is simple. their way of expressing acknowledgment of the divine is a way of living. Traditional Navajo religion is not something that can be abstracted from or examined apart from traditional life in general. When traditional life is dissected by Western methods of categorization usually only the rituals and ceremonies are labeled 'religion.' These moments of sacred time, however, are but portion of the all-encompassing world view and philosophy of life that constitute the Navajo idea of 'religion.' The rituals and ceremonies carried out by traditional people are such an integral part of their daily routine that they themselves describe their religion as life itself. Even today, in these modern times, there are many Navajo people who still live in accordance with the traditional religious teachings. This is particularly true for those people living on the "disputed lands" of Black Mesa. These people, who live without many of the conveniences we take for granted (i.e. running water, electricity, paved roads) continue to survive in the harsh desert climate by following the teachings their ancestors have passed down from time immemorial. These teachings, the world view that emerges from them, the ceremonials, and living according to teachings are all what they consider to be 'religion." The traditional Navajo religion, like all religions, provides meaning and ascribes value to the lives its adherents. It is their religious teachings that have enabled them to survive in the arid desert land and will, if allowed, will be their path into the future. Their religious obligations to the earth and to their family and community is their purpose of life. All of these things that are important to them spiral back to the land itself. The land is the center of their orientation in experience and the base of their sense of reality and identify. To separate them from it would cause them to lose contact with all that is sacred and holy to them. To force people to live such a life or meaninglessness is religious persecution and a condemnation to a slow death, for believing in and practicing their religion is living. When we recognize the religious persecution is, by definition, the infliction of pain and suffering on a group of people because of their religious beliefs, then there is no doubt that forced relocation is indeed this.

now, let me clarify first that i think that it is a fantastic idea for women to celebrate the sacredness of their transformation from maiden to mother, the holiness of their being able to create and sustain life in their womb, and their connection to creation in this way. i see no reason why a woman shouldn't celebrate this...my issue is not with creating new and better traditions in a new world. my issue is with the lack of understanding of the tradition that they are flat out taking from...the medicine woman i spoke with was actually concerned for the safety of the women and babies involved in this activity...because her traditions are real to her, they are serious...they aren't just trendy or fun or psuedo-spiritual...they are real. and if you chuckle to yourself at this moment and think "oh how silly...nothing bad would happen if i did a Blessingway..." then that proves that you shouldn't be borrowing ANYTHING from that tradition, because you don't think it is real. v
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#128 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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And frankly, when I hear someone [usually from a dominant and/or privileged group] complain of how we are separated from each other because one or more non-dominant groups provide us with a better, more respectful context in which to practice our own sacred ceremonies, I just become impatient.
Just to clarify -- I wasn't saying that. I'm not sure how you're getting that out of what I said. I was just musing that in a world in which there weren't these hierarchies of power and perceived value among peoples, that it wouldn't be considered so offensive. Or not necessarily, depending I suppose on how it was actually used by the people taking it on. Perhaps that's wrong, but what I'm perceiving is that a large part of the reason why it's offensive is that they are a marginalized, oppressed people, and it is (as they see it) the oppressor group that is appropriating the term.
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#129 of 274 Old 11-11-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bellymama
my issue is with the lack of understanding of the tradition that they are flat out taking from...the medicine woman i spoke with was actually concerned for the safety of the women and babies involved in this activity...because her traditions are real to her, they are serious...they aren't just trendy or fun or psuedo-spiritual...they are real. and if you chuckle to yourself at this moment and think "oh how silly...nothing bad would happen if i did a Blessingway..."
Wait a minute. The issue -- I thought -- is that non-Diné women are appropriating a Diné-coined term for a non-Diné event. They are not attempting a Hózhójí ceremony, so how exactly would they be in danger -- unless the term "blessingway" is considered synonymous with the Hózhójí ceremony itself?
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#130 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 08:06 AM
 
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OK, I'm reading this from an outsiders point of view: I'm not American, and to the best of my knowledge I have yet to meet a Native American: but I don't get this.

The Baby Shower is a uniquely American tradition. I haven't heard of this elsewhere in the world. It's something that the women of this new nation created to celebrate their communities and their lives as women, bearing children, raising the next generation and bringing gifts to the new mother as a thanksoffering for the blessings in their own lives: right? From an outsiders point of view, this sounds amazing: a little on the pink and fluffy side, yeah, but sometimes fluffy pink stuff is good. WHY would anyone feel the need for an alternative word? Why is the tradition that your mothers and grandmothers created for you not good enough? What is wrong with this rite of passage? WHY is this not enough?
As a pagan who celebrates Halloween as a religious festival, reading the Halloween threads here was at least, disturbing. Generally, it was insulting and demeaning, and yes, I feel that the lack of integrity shown in the "modern" Halloween puts children and families in danger. I can understand why the Dine woman showed concern; by using this term in place of the words of your own culture, you give away your own power, your own integrity, your own strength and replace it with what, exactly? You leave the gateway open for darkness and negativity to enter in.

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#131 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wait a minute. The issue -- I thought -- is that non-Diné women are appropriating a Diné-coined term for a non-Diné event. They are not attempting a Hózhójí ceremony, so how exactly would they be in danger -- unless the term "blessingway" is considered synonymous with the Hózhójí ceremony itself?
"new-age blessingways" for lack of a better term, ARE directly referencing the aspects of the Hózhójí that are open to public knowledge...therefore it is, as the medicine woman said: "a bastardization"...it's not two unrelated things, as people keep trying to say. look up ANY new age blessingway website or books and it will directly reference the Hózhójí. yes, i am aware that it isn't REALLY a Hózhójí...no non-DIne' really knows the details of what happens in that ceremony. but SOME aspects have been revealed, and they are being appropriated....
so while the new age blessingways are not Hózhójí, they ARE directly unfluenced and related to what little knowledge that we, as non-Dine', have of this ceremony. both of these things are issues.
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#132 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'm reading this from an outsiders point of view: I'm not American, and to the best of my knowledge I have yet to meet a Native American: but I don't get this.

The Baby Shower is a uniquely American tradition. I haven't heard of this elsewhere in the world. It's something that the women of this new nation created to celebrate their communities and their lives as women, bearing children, raising the next generation and bringing gifts to the new mother as a thanksoffering for the blessings in their own lives: right? From an outsiders point of view, this sounds amazing: a little on the pink and fluffy side, yeah, but sometimes fluffy pink stuff is good. WHY would anyone feel the need for an alternative word? Why is the tradition that your mothers and grandmothers created for you not good enough? What is wrong with this rite of passage? WHY is this not enough?As a pagan who celebrates Halloween as a religious festival, reading the Halloween threads here was at least, disturbing. Generally, it was insulting and demeaning, and yes, I feel that the lack of integrity shown in the "modern" Halloween puts children and families in danger. I can understand why the Dine woman showed concern; by using this term in place of the words of your own culture, you give away your own power, your own integrity, your own strength and replace it with what, exactly? You leave the gateway open for darkness and negativity to enter in.
great post!!!
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#133 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.manataka.org/page23.html
check out this article.very interesting.
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Bates says, "Cool Indian Stuff" became popular as pseudo-Indian groups sprang up in the late 1970's talking about the environment and practicing altered versions of American Indian ceremonies.
also a little history on why NA's might be so protective of their traditions and ceremonies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...us_Freedom_Act
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#134 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Over the years the disrespect and utter disregard shown American Indian Religious practices has been tantamount to a contempt of Inidan rights and feelings. Moreover the society of today has little or no understanding of native peoples and their cultural ties.....and the ensuing prying into Indian Ceremonies currently among New Age Practioners....in our minds, these attitudes are not unlike past grave robbing, artifact stealing and other forms of cultural theft.
www.neaseno.org/ancestors.htm
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#135 of 274 Old 11-12-2007, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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even dear old Mothering mag....

http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...blessings.html
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The blessingway is reputed to derive from a Navajo ceremony honoring the pregnant woman and preparing her for birth

i FINALLY found one that mentioned that the Dine' disaprove!
http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/blessi.../aa102202a.htm
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This is actually a Navajo term. Many people now use this term to mean a celebration of pregnancy and motherhood. The Navajo people actually do not approve of its use in this form, so many other use the term Mother Blessing or something similar
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#136 of 274 Old 11-14-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Just for the record, I don't use the term blessingway, and wouldn't use the term blessingway.

I am just curious for more explanation of the danger element. First brought up in the quote from the Dine woman, and now this:
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
As a pagan who celebrates Halloween as a religious festival, reading the Halloween threads here was at least, disturbing. Generally, it was insulting and demeaning, and yes, I feel that the lack of integrity shown in the "modern" Halloween puts children and families in danger. I can understand why the Dine woman showed concern; by using this term in place of the words of your own culture, you give away your own power, your own integrity, your own strength and replace it with what, exactly? You leave the gateway open for darkness and negativity to enter in.
What does this mean? What danger? And what is this "hole" or "gateway" that is left open for darkness to enter. What does this mean?

It sounds like if you wander from your culture, even a little bit (in this case these spirits, for lack of a better word, were born on the same land) you are leaving a hole open in which danger might enter through? How do you decide what is your culture? Is it where you were born? Who raised you? Your DNA? What if you don't know which culture is "yours", are you then a walking target for evil?

I'm totally confused.
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#137 of 274 Old 11-14-2007, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i will ask Firewolf about this and see if she can explain it. i don't want to speak for her. i'll get back to you.
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#138 of 274 Old 11-14-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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Using the term while innocently regarding it as a descriptive term for a beautiful act is one thing, and using it while knowing others regard you as a thief and racist is anther entirely. It casts a pall over whatever semantic appropriateness and beauty the term would otherwise hold. So I don't use it. But I still don't understand why it is that the Dine' own the term "blessing way". Bear with me here please -- this is not, for me, about "us vs. them". It's not about a sense of cultural or racial entitlement. What I am perceiving is that The Way is a universal spiritual notion, as is the notion of a blessing. If their spiritual ground is real and true, they did not create the bringing together of these things. They were open to it and it came through them and manifested with their cultural coloring. Now, for me to take on cultural coloring that doesn't belong to me would be embarrassing, and in some cases disrespectful, yes. But they (a few or most or all, I don't know, but somebody who I'll refer to as "they", for convenience,) are trying to claim ownership to something that they do not in fact own. The Dine' recognized it and named it, and interpreted it through their culture. I can recognize it through their manifestation of it, interpret it with my own cultural coloring, and the descriptive term that they have used is semantically just as appropriate.
I totally agree.

Until now, I had never heard of the "official" term Blessingway.

But I am planning on holding a ceremony and ritual that will involve a lot of Earth-centred symbols, prayers and actions. It could easily be described in English as a "blessing-way" and I would not be referring to anyone else's cultural practises, nor infringing on them. I would never call it a "Hózhójí" and knowingly ape some of the motions or words because that is not my language or my culture.... and I think that's really silly and weird.

However my own practises won't have any less meaning to me or less of an "effect" in the grand spiritual scheme of things just because some of them might coincidentally over-lap with Navajo methods, or if I had referred to it as a blessingway.

Maybe a Red Herring, but:

What if a non-Navajo woman had been adopted by a Navajo couple? Could she hold a Hózhójí then? Or, is this being perceived as a racial thing? If that's the case, then, all of the white Europeans who fervently believe in Christ are really just kidding themselves, because they are not Semites, and Christianity was something that was either forced upon their ancestors or adopted at a later date.

As far as the magical words go..... If we want to go so far as to say that words, actual words have practical and concrete meaning resulting in consequences, (example: speaking to my child in Latin about a "God King" and my child instantly imagining Jupiter in the minds eye while smelling olives) then the actual word Hózhójí would be the one to carry the "power" and not the English term Blessingway.

Trin.
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#139 of 274 Old 11-20-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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First of all: BellyMama you should write an article for Mothering.com (Heck, you're already bustin' your butt to research it )

I say this because I got the term "Blessingway" from TWO articles on this very site: "Charlotte's Web" and "Beads and Blessings" under Pregnancy under the Birth Preperation link. (I'd go get the actual links but I keep getting kicked out and I'm scared to venture).

I was aware that the term came from natives (due to some very minor research) and I just thought that it was a beautiful expression of the journey that is conception to birth. I did not think it would be hurtful because as a UU I often learn about the beliefs of other cultures and use those teachings to further my own spiritual path. I really thought of it as an homage to a dignified and sacred people.

Of course the intent is meaningless if something really offends someone.

I will not be calling my UN-babyshower (I am not having a consumer driven streamer laden monstrosity...I actually find it offensive to compare a spiritually driven gathering to those) by the term.

However I don't really like Mother Blessing or Birth Blessing (they just don't flow for me ) PM me if you have any other suggestions till then I'll call it Preggo: the Gathering.

Breeder Mama: = wife to an amazing man + mama to J-Bear (07/02) and E-Train (06/08), nanny to Little Bird (07/10).

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#140 of 274 Old 11-20-2007, 07:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack
"OK, I'm reading this from an outsiders point of view: I'm not American, and to the best of my knowledge I have yet to meet a Native American: but I don't get this.

The Baby Shower is a uniquely American tradition. I haven't heard of this elsewhere in the world. It's something that the women of this new nation created to celebrate their communities and their lives as women, bearing children, raising the next generation and bringing gifts to the new mother as a thanksoffering for the blessings in their own lives: right? From an outsiders point of view, this sounds amazing: a little on the pink and fluffy side, yeah, but sometimes fluffy pink stuff is good. WHY would anyone feel the need for an alternative word? Why is the tradition that your mothers and grandmothers created for you not good enough? What is wrong with this rite of passage? WHY is this not enough?As a pagan who celebrates Halloween as a religious festival, reading the Halloween threads here was at least, disturbing. Generally, it was insulting and demeaning, and yes, I feel that the lack of integrity shown in the "modern" Halloween puts children and families in danger. I can understand why the Dine woman showed concern; by using this term in place of the words of your own culture, you give away your own power, your own integrity, your own strength and replace it with what, exactly? You leave the gateway open for darkness and negativity to enter in."
_______


Originally posted by Bellymama in reference to above posts (Bold is hers not mine)

"great post!!!"
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Bellymama - I think it's interesting that you lauded Flapjacks posts about why "anyone would feel the need for an alternate word" and yet it seems that this is one of the core issues of the debate - the alternate word that the Dineh now use instead of the one that their grandmothers gifted them with. I think it goes both ways. It's an alternate word on either side, Dineh or not.
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#141 of 274 Old 11-20-2007, 07:59 AM
 
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"new-age blessingways" for lack of a better term, ARE directly referencing the aspects of the Hózhójí that are open to public knowledge...therefore it is, as the medicine woman said: "a bastardization"...it's not two unrelated things, as people keep trying to say. look up ANY new age blessingway website or books and it will directly reference the Hózhójí. yes, i am aware that it isn't REALLY a Hózhójí...no non-DIne' really knows the details of what happens in that ceremony. but SOME aspects have been revealed, and they are being appropriated....
so while the new age blessingways are not Hózhójí, they ARE directly unfluenced and related to what little knowledge that we, as non-Dine', have of this ceremony. both of these things are issues.
But if the whole thing and not just the use of the word blessingway is a bastardization, as this posts seems to say, why would not using the word but doing the same thing make it less of a bastardization? So is the problem that the word or the event is influenced by Navajo tradition. Because if people are still doing the same things and just changing the word to something like motherblessing it's still influenced by the original Navajo Hózhójí ceremony. Right?
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#142 of 274 Old 11-21-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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Bumping...

Bellymama, Flapjack, anyone?

Has anyone been able to get an answer to the questions I asked a few posts upthread?
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#143 of 274 Old 11-22-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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Bumping...

Bellymama, Flapjack, anyone?

Has anyone been able to get an answer to the questions I asked a few posts upthread?
I'm curious about the answers to your and gingerbane's questions, too.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#144 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i've been coming to MDC less and less lately, i got other stuff to do IRL, but i sent message to Firewolf regarding the question about the danger issue, and as soon as i hear back from her i will share her response.

to be honest, i really no longer want to debate this issue with anyone. i shared a lot of info and my opinion and i don't want to keep rehashing it over and over, because i could be spending that time with my family...this thread was meant to just make people think...if you have read all of this and still think that Blessingway is the right term for you, then i am exhausted and i don't want to try and argue with you about it.
each person knows what is best for themselves.
peace.
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#145 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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i'm off to read up
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#146 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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Bellymama - I think it's interesting that you lauded Flapjacks posts about why "anyone would feel the need for an alternate word" and yet it seems that this is one of the core issues of the debate - the alternate word that the Dineh now use instead of the one that their grandmothers gifted them with. I think it goes both ways. It's an alternate word on either side, Dineh or not.
Not bellymama, but for me the difference is that the American government had a policy that attempted to destroy Native languages and cultures. Children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into schools where they were rountinely beaten for speaking their own langage. So it is much more understandable to me that they would HAVE to have an alternative word. English speaking Americans have never faced any such oppression and therefore, have no similar reason for using an alternative expression.
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#147 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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Not bellymama, but for me the difference is that the American government had a policy that attempted to destroy Native languages and cultures. Children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into schools where they were rountinely beaten for speaking their own langage. So it is much more understandable to me that they would HAVE to have an alternative word. English speaking Americans have never faced any such oppression and therefore, have no similar reason for using an alternative expression.
THANK YOU!!! You put that so clearly. I think it is incredibly arrogrant and displays a huge sense of entitlement to claim that, since it's an English word, the Dine appropriated it and therefore have no right to ask others not to use it.

Bellymama has put so much effort into gathering information that any one of us could have done if we had taken the time. People wanted proof that the Dine actually felt this way--she brought it. And brought more. She gave you links, she shared correspondence--and for some people, it's still not enough, and that's sad. At some point, you have to do your own work.
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#148 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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: there are no words.
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#149 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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orangebird, i spoke with Firewolf about your questions. i originally posted her exact reponse, but she asked me if i would delete that and just paraphrase what she wrote me. so here it goes:
basically she told me that she wasn't going to explain to anyone the details about the safegaurding of the Dine' medicine, simply that the safeguards were put their to protect their people. The stuff we are discussing in this thread is very private and sacred, and she didn't feel comfortable discussing it further than she already has because it was important to her to respect the traditions and their privacy...
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#150 of 274 Old 11-23-2007, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Missy View Post
THANK YOU!!! You put that so clearly. I think it is incredibly arrogrant and displays a huge sense of entitlement to claim that, since it's an English word, the Dine appropriated it and therefore have no right to ask others not to use it.

Bellymama has put so much effort into gathering information that any one of us could have done if we had taken the time. People wanted proof that the Dine actually felt this way--she brought it. And brought more. She gave you links, she shared correspondence--and for some people, it's still not enough, and that's sad. At some point, you have to do your own work.
thanks missy. i appreciate this a lot.
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