5 thoughts on ““Cultural Safety””

  1. I myself have a small museum in my house, devoted to Igbo cultural objects. They are so culturally sensitive that only Igbo people are allowed to see them. I bought them for $50,000 on spec from an on-line dealer. After I set up display racks in a windowless, securely locked room per his specification, he and his assistant arrived to deliver the objects and collect the payment (in cash). He and his assistant rolled a few heavy looking crates into the display room, closed and locked the door, and set up the displays in what he assured me was the “best Igbo tradition.”

    After a while, they emerged with empty crates, and locked the secure door. I ceremoniously handed over the $50,000 cash, then gave them some reassuring words. I said that I fully understood the proscription against non-Igbo people ever seeing the objects, and gave them my oath that I would never attempt to see them myself. I added gravely that this cultural safety provision was doubtless needed to avoid the wrath of Igbo gods, who would consider any outsider viewing of the objects to be sacrilege, or, as to make it more understandable to them, “bad ju-ju.” They looked at each other in evident amazement at my cultural perspicacity, and the dealer then replied “Yeah, that’s right, b’wana.” Then he appeared to remember something funny, and though he tried to suppress his laughter, burst out in a laugh so contagious that his assistant also broke out into laughter. Well, I’m one who likes seeing others enjoy a good laugh, so I joined in. After a while, things settled down, and they took leave.

    The story doesn’t end there, however. The dealer asked if he could bring visiting Igbo people in to see the exhibit once in a while. I thought that was a splendid idea! No use keeping an exhibit from being seen by its own people. So every few days, the dealer brings in a few Igbo people. They retreat into the secure exhibit room and lock the door behind them, then a little later emerge to thank me for my hospitality, and pay tribute to my advanced cultural sensitivity. Then we all share a hearty laugh.

    1. What a coincidence! It turns out by sheer happenstance, that I too stumbled upon some Igbo artifacts locked away in a chest in my attic. I know this because I had been told by my neighbors that the guy I bought my house from was a big Igbo-Boo (or was that Igbo-Bob?) Well anyway I called an Igbo appraiser, who for a mere $5000 (cash) was willing to come to the house and spend some time alone in the attic with the chest. When he came out he told me essentially the same story about the artifacts you just shared. I have since kept the chest locked. But would be willing to part with it for a mere $25,000 (cash, USD not Igbo-coin), if you’d be so interested….

      1. Ooooh, what an opportunity! This is how I have built generational wealth – continually availing myself of fortuitous breaks such as this.

        Are you sure that you’ve never seen these artifacts? I wouldn’t want to contaminate my pristine exhibit.

        1. Are you sure that you’ve never seen these artifacts? I wouldn’t want to contaminate my pristine exhibit.

          Sir! I object!

          To think, to even suspect, that I would dishonor the Igbo culture through concupiscent temptation strikes to the very core of trust!

          If such were the case in our society why even the foundations of monetization would be at risk. Thus threatening the very essence of modern civilization! The one thing I shall never risk!

      2. I remember now, it was my neighbors telling me he was a big Igbo-ramus! I of course, immediately assumed he was a shaman of the highest order. And the artifacts he left behind of some rarity, things not ordinary in the possession of your typical Igbo.

        All later confirmed by the Igbo appraiser….

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