After posting the previous blog, Pipes – Ceremonial and Otherwise, I’ve been asked specifically if I feel that no pipe should be photgraphed, if there are exceptions, and why?
I think it comes down to a matter of choice, purpose, and in the midst of that the opinions of traditional elders within a nation whose wisdom, guidance, and approval when it comes to issues of importance should always be sought, and yet always isn’t.
If you look through archival photographs you’ll see more than one example. Some will interpret that as approval.
Some nations in the past allowed photographs and attendance of outsiders during ceremonies, and some of those same nations no longer do.
For me a question arises why then and not now?
I can’t answer that other than to speculate it may in part have been due to an element of coercion or a belief that that in doing so it might promote understanding and respect thereby improving conditions, which in looking at the times I don’t believe it did.
Nor is it doing so now as it about celebrity and money, which may well be the reason for closing ceremonies and banning photographs.
Among those doing likewise now there may be a handful who honestly feel it’s about “sharing”, but if that is the motivation then leave the desire for personal attention/promotion and profit seeking out of it.
Pow wows are one thing, they have evolved into inclusive social events, but ceremonies are another, and I’m not keen on the idea of conducting them as a public event, especially name branding them, selling licenses to conduct them, or a non indigenous person conducting one or taking an active role as a participant.
Parallels exist in other religions like Catholicism – if you’re not Catholic you can’t take communion, If you’re not a Muslim you can’t participate in the pilgrimage to Mecca and nobody seems to take issue with that.
On the otherhand if you adopt a similar attitude when it comes to our ceremonies that somehow is wrong – we’re not “sharing” what “belongs” to everyone.
Bullshit, neither Christianity, Islam, or any other belief system other than our own belongs to us and you don’t hear any of us complaining about that – in fact the complaints are about the force and atrocities that accompanied the coercive “sharing” of Christianity.
Can you imagine the uproar if we incorporated communion wafers into our ceremonies, or any element of Islam?
Muslims as I understand it believe the Koran should alwyas be kept above the level of a persons feet – what if we started carrying a Koran and kept it on the floor or the ground, think there wouldn’t be anybody raising hell?
This corruption and taking specific elements of our beliefs to incorporate into some new age crap is offensive and the equivalent of not only throwing them on the ground but once having done so trampling them – doesn’t seem to matter though does it because we somehow above all others are obliged to “share”.
This concept of sharing has led not only to an ongoing corruption but a profit making venture as well ……. I give you as examples the Star Knowledge crowd, Crow Dog, Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Bank$, and a growing number of others.
What they market is the equivalent of Chinese drywall and rip off iphones/pads.
They’re the guys on big city street corners selling knockoff Rolex watches and Givenche hand bags – for some it doesn’t matter if they’re fake as long as its enough to give the appearance of being genuine, and maybe they can become a franchisee.
Of all the various excuses I’ve heard for this sort of thing the lamest may have been defending Leonard Crow Dog’s doing so as paying his daughters utilities bill with the reciepts.
What does this say, that the price of integrity and respect is the equivalent of a utility bill? I think not.