The fact that this has become an “industry” speaks volumes to me, and whether people like it or not ceremonies developed in cultural settings – different people, different setting, different environment, different values, different beliefs – all being specific to those key ingredients.
None of which implies to me they have a cross cultural efficacy on the basis of being a ceremony alone.
No less of an industry has developed around the ceremonies and customs of indigenous people in this country.
For some like Dennis Bank$ and Leonard Crow Dog they are profit making ventures, even to the point of selling licenses to anyone to conduct them that will pony up the money.
The downside should be apparent to all – how do you put a price tag on what your ancestors believed in?
How do you put a price on tag on what Bank$, Crow Dog, and others refer to as “sacred” or “spiritual”, and once having done so how do you avoid a corrupting cross pollination from a genetically modified belief system?
I don’t believe you can and a growing number of examples speak to that.
But the concern for those engaged in this type of corruption isn’t about that, it’s only about the profit margin – as long as they can make a buck they don’t give a damn.
It’s a business, an industry, the more shares that are sold the more revenue, the greater the CEO’s salary.
There’s nothing magnanimous in any of this, the bottom line is it’s about the money, attention, and self promotion.
As a people, as nations, we don’t “owe” anyone anything, we aren’t obliged to “share” a single word of our languages or customs – if that weren’t true then the one’s who claim we are wouldn’t have an issue with team mascots or Halloween costumes.
That is unless their professed indignation is predicated on not personally profiting from such costumes and mascots.