Reply To: Is this cultural appropriation?

Forums Fiction Plotting Is this cultural appropriation? Reply To: Is this cultural appropriation?

Chelsea R.H.


Sorry I’m super late to this but I only just saw it and since this is a topic I’ve actually done a lot of research on, I thought I’d quickly give you my thoughts.

Some people may call your story appropriation and some might not. However, the most agreed upon definition of cultural appropriation is when a piece of a culture, usually a minority culture that has at some point either in the past or present been oppressed, is taken by somebody who is not from that culture and used without regard to its original context. A good example is sacred religious objects or significant pieces of dress. For a practical example, in Australia the Aboriginal people have various weapons (such as the boomerang) which have spiritual, as well as practical, relevance. In many Aboriginal cultures, women touching or using many of these weapons is taboo. It would be cultural appropriation if I wrote a story in which a white woman used a boomerang as her primary weapon, since it takes the weapon out of its significant spiritual context.

However, I don’t personally feel that retelling a story from another culture necessarily fits the description so I think you’re good. Cultural Appropriation and taking inspiration from other cultures aren’t the same thing.

Hopefully that makes sense and good luck with your writing!

Mahalo keia huiʻana

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