There is a fine line between cultural appreciation and appropriation. When in doubt, you probably shouldn’t wear the thing. There is a lot of great media out there on wearing cultures as a costumes and all the reasons why you shouldn’t. Here is a small sampling and we are sure there are tons of new articles popping up just in time for Halloween!
What is the Costume Campaign…And Why Do We Do It
Native Appropriations blog
Search “halloween” or “costume” to get quite a lot of posts!
Bustle- How Not to Culturally Appropriate for Halloween
Schneider: Your friendly reminder to wear conscious costumes this Halloween
Is your costume culturally appropriate?
It’s Time We Have A Real Talk About Halloween Costumes
Episode 20: Your Culture, Their Costume? Fancy Dress and Cultural Appropriation
Stuff Mom Never Told You
SMNTY Classics: What Not to Wear on Halloween
Oct 27, 2018 · 38 min
But what about cultural appropriation and deities? That is less often addressed so we thought it would be worthwhile to share our humble opinions and general guidelines.
Ask yourself a few questions before dressing up as “X” god/goddess/deity:
Are they a part of a living religion or spiritual practice? Are people actively worshipping this deity today? Then we would say that is a hard NO.
Would my grandmother/mother/auntie be offended by this costume?Now perhaps you are interested in dressing up as a manifestation of a deity from your own cultural and/or spiritual practice. That Is a little more complicated. But if it is actively discouraged in your spiritual texts or you know your mom/grandma/auntie would not approve then please save it for your own halloween party and not the gala. This would include dressing like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Jehovah, Hindu deities and Indigenous spirits and deities. There are probably many more.
So what can you wear?
- Get creative and create your own deity. Think of your favorite element, season, weather phenomenon and imagine what colors, shapes, hair styles that deity should wear.
Deities from ancient cultures could be a great inspiration. Look to your own cultural background first and remember to follow the guidelines to cultures as costumes above!
- Monsters are a lot of fun and there are endless sources of inspiration. Dress as mythical creatures and characters from modern fantasy and horror books and movies. Dress as something that is monstrous to you.
- Don’t sleep on the “Humans” portion of “Humans Gods Monsters!” Dress as a testament to human ingenuity, perseverance or bravery.
- If you are really struggling feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through private message on Facebook!
We’re excited to see you in all of your masked and costumed creativity at Humans Gods Monsters, Saturday November 9th at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Event Center (1200 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis MN). Tickets on sale now. Contact us for scholarship and guest tickets, we don’t plan on turning away anyone interested in joining us in celebration! If you cannot attend please still consider supporting our work with a donation at marnitastable.org/contribute.