Imee Marcos calls for law against “misappropriation of cultural heritage” after Whang-Od and Nas Daily controversy


Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday renewed her call for the passage of a law that will protect Indigenous Peoples (IPs) from “cultural heritage misappropriation” after the controversy involving vlogger Nuseir Yassin and Kalinga tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate Cultural Communities Committee, stressed the need for cultural sensitivity to IPs, especially in cases where profit and self-promotion are involved.

“The problem is, we have no legal definition of what constitutes cultural misappropriation. Until we do, our IP addresses will remain exposed to continued exploitation, ”Marcos said.

“Indigenous peoples have felt poorly represented or even deprived of their customs, traditions and forms of expression which have spiritual value, but are treated by city dwellers as mere objects of aesthetic appreciation or potential commodities”, a- she added.

The lawmaker noted that this was not the first time that Whang-Od had been involved in such a controversy, citing a previous proceeding involving the Philippine unit of a US headgear company.

She cited another incident involving a fashion brand that used Kankana-ey from the Cordillera administrative region, Yakan from Basilan and Manobo from northern Mindanao as names for their shoe designs.

Apart from that, the lawmaker said that the t’boli community in southwestern Mindanao had also been offended by the use of their sacred and spiritual T’nalak textile fabric for footwear.

With these incidents, Marcos tabled Senate Resolution 517 in September 2020 which calls for an investigation to craft a law that “will dramatically, if not totally reduce, the misappropriation of indigenous cultural heritage and promote branding, labeling, manufacturing. , shopping and wearing of indigenous textiles and other products inspired by the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.

“We need a new [Intellectual Property Office] framework allowing first collective intellectual property, and not just individual ownership of intellectual property. In addition, indigenous peoples must own these cultural property in perpetuity, and not for a simple period of time as currently stipulated in our intellectual property laws, ”Marcos said.

The National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said the alleged signing of a contract between Whang-Od and the Palestinian-Israeli vlogger would be investigated over allegations of exploitation.

The online learning platform Nas Academy has removed one of its offered courses featuring Whang-od, who belonged to the Butbut tribe of Kalinga, after being labeled a “scam” by their niece. last.

Nas Daily responded to the allegations, saying the tattoo artist signed a contract using his thumbprint.—AOL, GMA News


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