Random Appropriation of the Day! ("Money House Blessing" Air Freshener?)

In Indian Spirit, Money House Blessings Air Freshener, random appropriation by Adrienne K.3 Comments

One of the things I love most about having this blog is getting Random Appropriations from my friends as they go about their lives all over the world. Last week I got a text message from my friend Shane in Taipei showing an “aboriginal” cartoon at the airport, my friend Steven sent me some great ones as he drove cross country this summer, and then this weekend my friend Genia tags me on Facebook…as this. I burst out laughing in the middle of the library. I love it.

Let’s discuss.

Things I am partial to: “100% Genuine!” and “Contains Genuine ‘Indian Strawberry'”(?) and the nice aesthetics of the Mr. Stereotypical Plains (we’re getting pretty well acquainted on this blog, aren’t we?) with the cornucopia of strawberries. Award-winning graphic design, right there.

But the best part is the “Money House Blessing.” While, as Genia pointed out, we all can probably use some Money House Blessings…I’m not sure even the included “Genuine Indian Strawberry” is gonna get it for you. Sorry.

I’m guessing the company is playing off of the tradition of smudging (burning of certain sacred herbs, roots, or grasses) that many tribes use as a form of blessing or purification, but trying to commodify that in a pink can? Ridiculous.  

Also amazing, I googled to see if I could find any more information about the company, and found this:

Shoprite.com has a glorious typo–“Monkey House Blessing.” Pretty fitting, actually. Cause there’s about the same probability spraying this stuff will bring monkey blessings to your house as there is that it’ll bring money blessings. That’s all I’ve got to say.

(Thanks Genia!)
  • Hi, I’m reposting the comment that I wrote on Facebook in response to this, in case you missed it:

    Wait… Taipei, as in Taipei, Taiwan? The island does indeed have an aboriginal ethnic group; 14 indigenous Taiwanese tribes are officially recognized by the government, while Wikipedia lists 12 more. Sadly, they are a 2% minority in the island, which was pretty much taken over by fleeing democratic Han Chinese as the last refuge for the “Republic of China”.

    Throughout history, Taiwanese aborigines have been subjected to Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese rule, and efforts to “civilize” these so-called “savages” and deprive them of their languages, religions, and culture. Proving Christopher Columbus not to be alone in his bone-headed, they’re-all-the-same mentality in mis-wielding ethnonyms, the Dutch sometimes called Taiwanese aborigines– wait for it– “Indians”!

    I really wish to see the cartoon which you saw as problematic before I draw any conclusions, but– having just briefly perused various photos of Taiwanese aborigines in traditional dress– I think it is very possible that you mistook native Taiwanese clothing for a caricature of Native American clothing. (It is important to note that all but one of the primary branches of the Austronesian language family are extant exclusively in Taiwan; historical linguists consider Taiwan the birthplace of Austronesian languages, of which the Polynesian languages are a part.)

    Things like this happen all the time. The Sami people– indigenous to Fenno-Scandinavia and Russia– have a long, long history of using a tent-like structure called the lavvu. And guess what? It looks like a tipi! Some lavvus do less so than others, but if a layman browsed Google images, they definitely would call the lavvus tipis. Sometimes, halfway around the world, the contexts from hour home cultures are simply insufficient to fairly analyze what we see. (Although the Alta Dam protests by the Sami over indigenous land use rights, and the resultant Finnmark Act have striking similarities to fights for traditional land use here in the states; the activist Niillas Somby was even given sanctuary by the Iroqouis First Nation when he fled to Canada. The documentary “Give Us Our Skeletons” tells this story)

  • Have you never seen this? I’m in OKC and I see this stuff everywhere and I since I was little. It’s at EVERY dollar general. I always wondered why it was called that. It smells like ass!

  • I have some of this stuff its amazing
    T Houle