On settler appropriations: Kristen Dobbin, ‘Appropriation (?) of the Month: Indigenous Teacups’, IPinCH: Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage, 18/06/15
Excerpt: The artifacts in question are teacups, created by Indigenous artists from bark and grass or carved from stone. The teacups, often accompanied by matching saucers, remain formally recognizable, evoking European, especially British, civility and refinement, but are materially and technically distinct. In a certain light, their rendering by Indigenous artists from local materials has transformed them from something familiar to something exotic, foreign, and fundamentally “Other.” Is this an appropriation? If so, what is being appropriated here, exactly? Or does it, rather, represent the Indigenization of an everyday object, a process bound to occur in the colonial contact zone? These are questions that my colleague Lisa Truong and I debated earlier this spring, as we worked through our initial ideas about Indigenous teacups.
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