Disney Attempts to Own Title of Indigenous Mexican Tradition

20 May

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News


Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday with roots in indigenous Aztec traditions that honors the dead with elaborate processions, vigils, and the decoration of alters and the graves of deceased ancestors. 

On May 1, the Walt Disney company filed 10 applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the term “Dia de los Muertos” in anticipation of a yet untitled Disney-Pixar movie about the holiday.

The filing is a clear attack on the spiritual traditions of indigenous people as well as another telling example of the drive of corporate ownership over an ever expanding purse of traditional cultural resources, from plant knowledge in India to racist depictions of indigenous faces as mascots of major sports teams in the U.S.

Fortunately, following public outrage Disney has since dropped the bid — for now. 



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