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A Dreamy Night at FP Portland

Remember how I told you our Portland store was having an awesome event with artist Rachael Rice? Well she was kind enough to send me a little write up and some photos from the event! I’m so sad I wasn’t there, it looks like it was a magical night :)

We had a blast at Friday’s DIY Dream Catcher event! A nice crowd of people of all ages came to get their dream on! Free People Portland served maple butterscotch cake with edible glitter from The Yoga of Cake, and supplies were donated by local indie shop Relica Vintage. Plus, everyone was super cute in their FP clothes! Said one crafter, “I felt so Portland getting on the bus with my dream catcher!” Rachael made another smaller piece to raffle off, so now there are two chances to win. Drawing is Dec. 15th – don’t miss it on their Facebook page!














Images via Rachael Rice.

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Eitak -December 7, 2011, 5:20PM
Morgan -December 7, 2011, 5:28PM

Oh, how adorable. A bunch of white girls cluelessly committing cultural appropriation. Profiting off of another group’s blood and suffering is hardly okay.

Margaux Olverd -December 7, 2011, 6:16PM

So cute, dream catchers for life. I believe they actually do work. Such a good gift for the holidays too.

Mary R. -December 7, 2011, 6:32PM

This looks so fun! Everyone is adorable! Thanks for the how-to, I want to try! I ordered some cruelty-free feathers on eBay and Etsy just to make some!

ladysadie -December 7, 2011, 6:34PM

There is blood & suffering & oppression in every culture, every race, it is human history. I made dream catchers as a little girl, in an old west mining-turned-tourist town. Do you have to be born into a culture for it’s traditions to have meaning to you? If I want to sing the blues, do I have to be African American? Sometimes what calls to our hearts, to the deepest parts of us, has little to do with what we look like. Besides, at least in America, we are each made up of so many different cultures- it is this combination of culture that makes us American. I think it is important to seek an understanding of history, to learn where art forms came from, to carry them on and to both preserve them and allow them to evolve into new forms. Besides, I am pretty sure that crochet-doilies are European in origin.

ladysadie -December 7, 2011, 6:45PM

I mean.. my brother teaches martial arts. He is not Japanese. He has deep respect for the tradition though. Would you deny him the right to carry it on just because he was not born in Japan?

Anonymous -December 7, 2011, 7:48PM

Well said, ladysadie. Could not agree more.

lindsey -December 7, 2011, 8:37PM

Morgan I agree with you, I see it every day, like Mukluks made by “Manatobah” which claims to be an Indigenous owned company, which is actually not but has a Metis partial owner… appropriation to me is validation for the colonizers that it is okay that they attempted to eradicate an entire peoples identity, in essence their souls. Its funny you know, at one time they wished we were dead but now they want to dress up like us and claim it as THIER identity.

lindsey -December 7, 2011, 8:39PM

But its pointless arguing with those who don’t want to listen. But I AM glad you are one of the informed few. Chi Miigwich! (Thank you in Ojibway)

Eitak -December 7, 2011, 8:55PM

Reposting earlier link and drawing out some quotes as some commenters aren’t getting the message. It’s not about whether or not it’s ok for white people to teach Japanese martial arts or sing blues music. Instead, the issue is about the mis-appropriation of indigenous peoples’ images and symbols that essentially nullifies their original meanings.

“Non-native hipsters, I know that native imagery is trendy right now, that your friends are wearing it and the blogs and magazines you read are telling you to join in the fun. But when you and I look at those dreamcatcher earrings at the mall, I’m pretty sure we see different things. So I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to share my perspective, as a real live native person.”

“Consumer culture depends on you divorcing the politics behind native imagery from the history of struggle it has taken for it, and us, to be here. This is an active forgetting, requiring you to spend energy keeping current issues separate and apart from the images you emblazon on your t-shirts, the ‘tribal’ designs you get tattooed on your shoulder or the native names you use for your bands (Geronimo being a good example).”

“It isn’t necessarily that there is a problem with wearing Indigenous art or symbols – in fact, my family’s success as artists depends on people like yourself buying their jewelry, t-shirts or masks. The challenge is maintaining a connection between the imagery and the practice of our cultural wealth (including artwork, language, ceremonies, and law) and the history and politics that have ensured their survival.”

Eitak -December 7, 2011, 8:59PM

Lindsey – Agree with your comments. Must have been writing my response at the same time you were posting.

Eitak -December 7, 2011, 9:02PM

BTW, privileged white girls singing the blues IS highly annoying, but it’s not the original message I was trying to convey

lindsey -December 7, 2011, 10:05PM

Yes, now if the money spend purchasing knock offs were actually going back into the communities that make AUTHENTIC native designs/crafts/ what have you I wouldn’t have a problem with it, because most people who make these art pieces (which I like to think of them as such as I am someone who makes these pieces too) make sure to educate the purchaser on cultural meanings to enhance mutual respect. And to drive the importance of buying AUTHENTIC further, if we all bought authentic some of the Native communities might now be in such dire conditions fighting for running water, heating and toilets like Attawapiskat in Canada. Profit for them might be nice, no? Just saying. :)

Maria Cole -December 7, 2011, 10:15PM

Oh my goodness, I am soooo proud to see the Portland store being represented!! Love Free People, and I love Portland!!

Sara -December 8, 2011, 1:10AM

In that case, do you have to be white to celebrate Christmas? I mean, its a Judeo-Christian tradition coming out of pagan rituals in Germanic tribes and polytheistic societies. Or is it ok to steal European traditions as long as White Anglo Saxs don’t DARE even IMAGINE to understand another culture or tradition. Come on people, it was an arts and crafts project. LET IT GO

Rachael Rice -December 8, 2011, 1:14AM

I learned to make dream catchers at camp in Oklahoma where I lived as a little girl. Later I became an art teacher and explored all manner of non-European art and craft. As explained at the event, these are aesthetic, not spiritual objects.

My art draws on the same love I have for cultures that influence my own and features elements of rock and roll (African-American Blues tradition), Eastern spirituality (mystic Vajrayana Buddhism), and the arts and crafts traditions of the world. I claim no heritage other than the space occupied by my own heart.

Cultural appropriation is a risk a “white privileged girl” runs if she explores traditions and cultural expressions beyond McDonald’s, astroturf and Neoconservatism. But in perspective, it’s a dream catcher, not a nuclear bomb.

The blues are universal. Everyone can sing ’em.

eris -December 16, 2011, 9:09PM

My best friend’s uncle used to make these back when we were kids. He admitted dream catchers were not a tradition of his particular people. But he said none of his customers questioned the authenticity of his art since he was an old “indian” guy. Don’t think that this cultural appropriation is something that only privileged whites do. Very little in this world is ever authentic.

Holly Martin -November 9, 2013, 8:03PM

My goodness. Coming from a ‘real live native’ myself, I’d like to say that the comments provided by the other ‘real live natives’ are very angry and rude!
We have no idea what others have been throug, regardless of skin colour, so saying ‘priveledged white girls’ is extremely uneducated and a little hateful.
I think you ladies are absolutely adorable!
Keep up the good work!

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