Is Burning Sage Cultural Appropriation?

burning sage

The burning of sage for cleansing is a trend that keeps on growing in the world. You will find bundles of Palo Santo and white sage sold in different places all over the place including yoga studios and even online stores.

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People have grown to believe that purchasing the smudge kit from different places means that you have what you need for smudging. But the truth is that smudging has been a spiritual practice by Indigenous communities and Native Americans.

So, is smudging cultural appropriation? We have thoughts that you might need to know before you decide to purchase that smudge kit.

What is Cultural Appropriation?

Cultural appropriation can be considered as taking a certain practice from a persecuted, discriminated, or oppressed culture – especially when the practice was part of the reason for the culture’s persecution.

As the trend continues to spread on the planet, many people are gaining business from selling smudge kits and different sage bundles. However, this is all at Native communities’ expense. For a long time, the burning of sage was banned. In the US, it was illegal for more than 100 years, and in Canada, it was illegal for more than 50 years.

Should you Sage if you are not Native American?

You probably should not sage if you are not a Native American. However, if you grow the sage yourself or if you know someone who does, you can make your bundles from that sage and that would not cause harm. However, it is not recommended that you purchase it – especially if you do not know its source.

The bundles that have a label showing it is ethnically sourced will normally go through a deeper verification process.

If you still feel like you should clear your space of negative energy, we would recommend that you choose other types of plants. For instance, mint, lavender, and rosemary are great ways to eradicate negative energy.

Also, read: Is Burning Sage Toxic to Dogs?

Final Words

It is important to respect Native American cultures. Even though smudging is effective, it is recommended that you find other alternatives for smudging. That way, you can respect the cultures and preserve their practices.

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