Abstract

The definition of cultural appropriation, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general, used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance”. Is it right that dominant groups in society are able to trivialize a culture's art, music, fashion, etc., that ultimately lead to a type of prejudiced stereotype where it originated, but is deemed as fashionable when the privileged take it for themselves, without attentiveness of the significance of the culture they are partaking in? On the other hand, are there proactive and positive things marginalized groups do to educate others on the proper way to appreciate their culture? This study is primarily concerned with the possibility of redirecting cultural appropriation into appreciation in a way that is respectful to that culture, but with an innovative approach, so as to promote unity in a society that is so ethnically diverse. How can we protect the traditional parts of a culture in a way that can be appreciated by the mass society? The word “Pawada” is a Yoruba word, it means “to change.” More specifically, it translates roughly to “one that has changed his ways”.This will be accomplished by utilizing aspects of fashion technology, such as digitalized prints and incorporating traditional elements from West African cultures; specifically the Massai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania, Adire from Nigeria and color inspiration from the Kente cloth of Ghana.

Modified Abstract

This study is primarily concerned with the possibility of redirecting cultural appropriation into appreciation in a way that is respectful to that culture, but with an innovative approach, so as to promote unity in a society that is so ethnically diverse. How can we protect the traditional parts of a culture in a way that can be appreciated by the mass society? The word “Pawada” is a Yoruba word, it means “to change.” More specifically, it translates roughly to “one that has changed his ways”.This will be accomplished by utilizing aspects of fashion technology, such as digitalized prints and incorporating traditional elements from West African cultures; specifically the Massai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania, Adire from Nigeria and color inspiration from the Kente cloth of Ghana.

Research Category

Art/Fashion

Author Information

Paula Oyedele-CalebFollow

Primary Author's Major

Fashion Design

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Ja Young Hwang

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

21-3-2017 1:00 PM

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Research Area

Fashion Design

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Mar 21st, 1:00 PM

Pawada: Distinguishing the lines between Appropriation and Appreciation of West African culture in the Western World

The definition of cultural appropriation, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general, used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance”. Is it right that dominant groups in society are able to trivialize a culture's art, music, fashion, etc., that ultimately lead to a type of prejudiced stereotype where it originated, but is deemed as fashionable when the privileged take it for themselves, without attentiveness of the significance of the culture they are partaking in? On the other hand, are there proactive and positive things marginalized groups do to educate others on the proper way to appreciate their culture? This study is primarily concerned with the possibility of redirecting cultural appropriation into appreciation in a way that is respectful to that culture, but with an innovative approach, so as to promote unity in a society that is so ethnically diverse. How can we protect the traditional parts of a culture in a way that can be appreciated by the mass society? The word “Pawada” is a Yoruba word, it means “to change.” More specifically, it translates roughly to “one that has changed his ways”.This will be accomplished by utilizing aspects of fashion technology, such as digitalized prints and incorporating traditional elements from West African cultures; specifically the Massai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania, Adire from Nigeria and color inspiration from the Kente cloth of Ghana.