Man, sometimes our world can be so beautiful - it can be awesome, full of potential, kind of fun, with good times all around. But then, some darkness has to come along and destroy our positive sense of humanity (and when I say 'our', you know that I'm pretty much just talking about myself).
Which brings me to Eagle Spirit.
I got a message from an Etsy artist, Mary, who I've highlighted before, back in the good ol' days of the Beyond Buckskin Holiday Gift Guide. Mary is a proud member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, a stay-at-home mother of two, a student trying to put herself through college, and a beadwork artist in her free time. But evidently some operation called Eagle Spirit has been up to no good, and this is what she tells me:
"So I was just alerted by someone in the Native Forum team on Etsy that someone is stealing my (and other team member's pics) and posting them on FB. I'm going to correct my pics now, or try to, but do you have any suggestions about what to do in the meantime to get this person shut down? The person's page is here : http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1757138907."So, I went to the person's page. And it took me a solid two minutes to learn 3 facts about Eagle Spirit (yea, I've become a pro at crap-sifting):
1) There's way too many eagles and wolves on this page, they're over-compensating for something
2) They ripped off Mary, straight stealing her images
3) They operate some nonsense called the "Eagle Spirit Store"
Exhibit A: Mary's Etsy Page
Exhibit B: Eagle Spirit's Facebook Page
I mean, what a coincidence that the same pattern would show up on the same pink lighter and be photographed on the same wood backdrop with the same exact patterns in the wood. Wow. I mean, you almost had me fooled by horizontally flipping the image. That really threw me off. Good thing I have my PhD.
So (imagine me pulling some Law & Order: SVU detective shiz) - Eagle Spirit joined Etsy, linking up with Native shop sites, for the sole purpose of ganking images, ideas, and content from other Native artists.
So who is Eagle Spirit, you ask? Well, they are, and I quote, "a Cherokee (Heritage) owned and operated Native American business. We offer the finest in unlimited, Native American, handcrafted items, traditional goods, arts & crafts, gifts, decor & an array of Southwestern goods" (you know, because Cherokees specialize in Southwestern goods) (and yes, they sell Authentic Navajo Man & Woman Cloth Dolls for $12, and Kokopelli Votive Candle Holders, but my fave is Sky Wind's Clothing and Accessories: "These beautiful native designed T-Shirts make the perfect gift for the Indian lover." HAHAHAHHAHA oh no they di'int!! Yes. They did.)
No, but really, who are they? Well, that remains a mystery. Much like most faux-Indians, they lack any connection to Native communities - so they pop up, steal, and then disappear into white hairy fuzz.
Pretty sure we have some tradish stories about characters like these. Hey Eagle Spirit, do you Windigo much?