View RSS Feed


Fate/Grand Order General Discussion (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Rate this Entry
Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Formless Creature View Post
Playing with hellfire, but I was MIA during Wandjima's last appearance. What happened?
Wandjinas are religious symbols of the Mowanjum tribes and a major part of their worship is that contact with these spirits is done via rock art painted in caves since pre-history. It's their belief that you cannot look at the painted Wandjinas without following proper protocol, which involves stating your name and the reason for your visit, wearing a specified color of body paint depending on your background, etc.

The maintenance of the rock art is also very ritualistic. The members of the tribes do yearly maintenance on cave paintings and their own Wandjina images following traditional rules that give their painted Wandjinas different meanings that represent their life experiences. They don't have a set rule that outsiders can't paint Wandjinas, but they have a rule that they need to get express permission that only comes when they feel convinced that you know what you're doing.

That said, Wandjinas were the subject of a popular sci-fi show in 1966 and the Mowanjum people themselves and all visitors fill all articles on the subject with photos of the rock art, so while we know looking at a painted Wandjina directly requires some prep, maybe looking at them through a screen is perfectly fine? No one in the debate knew how to answer this question a couple weeks ago and I don't think anyone does now.

Anyways, let's finally get to the topic of why are people so mad about depictions of Wandjina. Since the 2010s, the tribe has been dealing with a few major problems related to improper Wandjina paintings:
1) Grafitti artists having been painting Wandjinas on the streets of the cities, causing a lot of people to suddenly look at Wandjinas without following the rites.
2) Commercial use of Wandjinas, as stickers in cars and surfboards and whatnot, also making people inadvertly looking at Wandjina when they aren't prepared.
3) A Swedish woman named Vesna Tenodi self-alledgedly was told by the Aboriginal gods to move to Australia and open a museum to she can remind the Australians of their own traditions and teach them how to perform them correctly, because the gods where supposedly telling her the surviving tribes got something wrong along the way. She opened her museum were she displayed hers and other white artists painting and sculptures of tribal icons, but to her surprise, instead of the tribes thanking her for saving Aboriginal religion, they (unsuccessfully) sued her over, smashed her Wandjina statue with an axe, and sent her so many death threats that police simply told her to give and go back to Sweden, all while she unfailingly tripled down on the argument that she was on a divine mission to save this land from its incorrect faith.

These cases (specially the Tenodi one, I can't understate how much this woman is a lunatic) made a few people very testy about unauthorized use of Wandjina images. And people are very suspicious that Type-Moon and Lasangle didn't get their permission from the Mowanjum tribes because
1) The fact that a permission is required at all is already obscure information for an English speaker and impossible to find in Japanese
2) The event story uses Wandjina as a god forgotten by time, indicating Nasu doesn't know the worship of Wandjina is still active (information you can only find in Japanese through two tourist blogs)

As others mention, someone made a Tumblr containing roughly half of the information above, and that sparked heated debates there and here about respect to marginalized cultures, whether or not anyone has the right to gatekeep their religious figures, how good or bad Type-Moon research was, and how right it is for a white savior to snitch Nasu to the Mowanjum Art and Culture Center (this would accomplish nothing, as they're already losing trial in their home country and against an indisputably deranged woman).