Rancid wrote:I was just fucking with you. Do what you wish.
I thought so, but it gave me a chance to talk about something that I think is poorly understood.
On that note, I am going to pontificate on the OP, so if cultural appropriation is not an interesting subject for you, please ignore the rest of the post.
There seems to be three separate issues here:
1. Moccasins as cultural appropriation.
2. Making money by representing one’s products as the products of another culture.
3. US law.
Dealing with US law first:
Interestingly, the US actually has a law against non-Indigenous people making money by dishonestly claiming they are selling Indigenous arts or crafts: the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_ ... ct_of_1990
). So the company in the OP may be running afoul of that, or are trying to evade being charged under that law.
Making money off misrepresentation of your stuff as belonging to culture x can be treated very seriously, like the use of the term ”champagne”, which is illegal in most of the world. This part is interesting because we tend to respect it when France does it, but not when people with less societal power do so.
Finally, wearing moccasins is not considered cultural appropriation because they are not restricted. They are just shoes, and everyone wears shoes. Much like jeans or pizza, everyone can have some. What is considered cultural appropriation is when we use restricted symbols such as a headdress or a Maori ta moko. This is because these things are restricted; you have to earn the right to wear one in the appropriate culture, and when we wear these things without earning them, we dishonour and cheapen the thing. We do this is western cultures too, by making it illegal to impersonate cops or claiming to have some sort f education or training that they do not.