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A viral TikToker is using her platform to call out cultural appropriation of Native American ritual traditions in the spiritual community.
Kenna of @kennas.crystals.co, an online crystal shop that’s found popularity on TikTok, recently posted a video from inside a store selling crystals. She has three million followers on the app, and her video received nearly 450,000 views as of Thursday.
In the video, Kenna shows various contr items being sold at the store, including palo santo, white sage, and bags labeled “traditional medicines.” After highlighting those items, the TikToker is seen leaving the store, seemingly without having bought anything.
“Why is this so normalized?” Kenna wrote in the video’s caption.
@kennas.crystals.co Why is this so normalized? 😬 #culturalappropriation ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
Palo santo is the wood of a tree that’s native to Peru, Ecuador, and other South American countries. It is a traditional remedy for pain, inflammation, and stress, and it is also used to clear out negative energy, according to Healthline. Its popularization in health, wellness, and spirituality circles has caused a demand for its wood, which is already threatened by climate change.
White sage is an evergreen perennial shrub that is native to the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, according to Healthline. Burning sage is believed to clear out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects. White sage is commonly used in Native American ritual traditions.
“White sage is a sacred herb. Smudging is a closed practice. Palo Santo is also unethically harvested for profit. Everything about selling these is wrong,” Kenna wrote in a comment on the video.
Some viewers were confused by Kenna’s disapproval of the items, but other Native American users clarified why they were inappropriate to sell.
“Palo santo is commonly used in Latin countries as a way to de-stress and as a medicine. It’s a part of our culture,” one viewer commented.
“For everyone confused the things shown are part of Closed practices meant to be only used by specific cultures-mostly NA,” a second viewer commented.
“for everyone confused i think it’s not right to sell sage at crystal stores. i’m first nations and i’m pretty sure it has something to do with our traditions and how we gather it,” another viewer speculated.
Some users said it’s OK to use plants like sage as long you do it respectfully.
“if you have all most respect and educate yourself on what you’re doing.. it shouldn’t be bad,” one user said.
“It’s okay for anyone to cleanse with sage. But source it properly. This mass production of sage takes away from the point and it’s not okay,” another user wrote.
The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.Source: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/native-american-cultural-appropriation/