Monday, August 15, 2011

A comment about appearances

 Today I received a comment regarding a post I made on my blog May 13, 2011.  The post included several photos of items I'd made with Seminole patchwork on them.  Here's the comment, and my response.
 
Anonymous said...
nice work, but you do not look Seminole to me and there is a law against you making money on our culture and traditions...did any of that money go to help my people? Didn't think so.
Linda said...
Yes, Ms. or Mr. Anonymous, I do not look like a Seminole. I am a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and taught myself how to make the patchwork. I've received high commendations from even the Chief of the Florida Seminole tribe for my work. And I spent a good number of years participating in Native American art shows, pow wows and festivals in order to help promote the craft. I'd love to know where you got the idea that there's some sort of law restricting the making and selling of the patchwork. Please feel free to post the information here and I'll certainly look at it.

 The comment left by "Anonymous" isn't the first time that I've been told "you don't look Indian" or "you don't look Seminole". 
 
I also don't look like a wife, mother, accountant, small business owner or a Democrat, but I'm all of those things too.
 
The assumption made my "Anonymous" was that I had, as a non-Indian, cashed in on a part of Indian culture. My fair skin lead to this assumption, I'm sure.
Well, Ms. or Mr. Anonymous, let me tell you MY TWO CENT'S worth..........I made patchwork items and sold them at Native American festivals, pow wows, rodeos, and art shows for several years.  
 
I can't tell you how many elders came into my booth and complimented me on my work.  We usually had long conversations about how the younger tribal members have no interest in learning this craft and it's dying out.
 
I received a commendation from the Chief of the Chickasaw Nation thanking me for my promoting and perpetuating a Native American craft.

The Chief of the Seminole Nation of Florida visited with me at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City and purchased some of my items for his own use.  The reason?  Because authentic patchwork, made by a tribal member, is so difficult to find in Florida.

Prejudice and assumptions lead to misunderstandings.  Before rushing to a conclusion, get the facts.
 

13 comments:

Robin's Crafty Thing's said...

Give'em hell Linda, WHAT A RUDE PERSON!

Crazy Cricut Lady said...

Your work is beautiful Linda. Many of us don't "look" Native American, but it doesn't mean we aren't. Anonymous needs to get a clue and realize that their comment was totally out of line and uncalled for and should offer an apology.

Crazy Cricut Lady said...

Your work is beautiful Linda and many of us don't "look" Native American, but it doesn't mean we aren't. Anonymous needs to get a clue and realize that their comment was rude and uncalled for. At the very least, they should apologize to you.

Amysangels2 ~ Amy P. said...

I'm as white as a bottle of elmers glue... But the truth is... I'm also Indian. Very few people know that about me and I don't share it with many people simply because it's nobody's business. Although many people have commented that my "high cheek bones" and "Dark hair" give me away. LOL! Guess those are traits I didn't realize lumped me in with other "indians" Now my grandma couldn't deny it to save her life. LOL! Good for you for standing up for yourself!

Vanessa said...

I'll never understand why people feel the need to be so nasty and judgmental. As much as I love the internet, I despise that so many people use it as a weapon because they can remain anonymous--human nature at its worst.

So sorry this happened to you! You seem like a nice person, and I'm basing this on your willingness to help others, not on your appearance.

Flamenco92627/ Julieta said...

Exactly! It never fails to astonish me how people can make assumptions like that! Wow, and how convenient (for them) that they remained anonymous. They should have signed it "cowardly bigot" instead. How awesome that you have such an involvement in the Seminole heritage. You are definitely contributing to, not taking from it.

Carrie K said...

You tell 'em, Linda!!!

cgreer said...

what a rude, judgmental person....sorry this happened and you go get 'em!!!!

Brenda said...

I am so happy that you stood up for yourself Linda! Some people are just so rude about how they go about things. I am part Indian too, but would people see that in me when they look at me? Not usually. There are a lot of people that don't "look" like what people of society think we should, doesn't give them the right to be rude and accusitory! So this is a good lesson on getting the facts FIRST before opening a mouth and inserting a foot!!!

Carolyn/MamaC said...

I got chill bumps reading this! I am so proud of you! Congratulations on all the praise you received on your artwork from the very people who appreciate your talent! Some people open their mouth and insert both their feet before looking where they step..then they fall on their behind! Your response is excellent!

Betty Latty said...

You go girl! I read your blog everyday and enjoy everything you do and respect you devotion to our troops. You have inspired me to try something at my grandsons' school with cards for troops.
Betty from Tulsa

Karr said...

How rude! You tell'em Linda! You go girl!

Linda said...

Wow I knew there was a reason I wanted to get to know you. Way to give you two cent's Linda. But is also a reminder to all that we are not always what we appear to be. I really enjoyed this post.