Giving objects your own interpretation?

is it acceptable to give something that is associated with a different culture your own interpretation? I know that is usually claimed as “appropriation” but I just relaly don’t know.

for example, I got one of those evil eye things when I went to Greece, without really even knowing what it was. I honestly thought that is was supposed to symbolize the eye of God watching over us, because Greece is predominatly Christian. later on, I learned what the evil eye really is and I obviously don’t believe in superstition. can I just keep my original interpretation of what I thought it meant to me?

I also have a couple dreme catchers, which to first nations aren’t even that religious, it’s more of a children’s legend about an old woman taking care of children by sending them good dreams. another symbol is unity because of how it’s a web, which really reminds me of the church and its different strands but all related.

of course, others say that as catholics,we wouldn’t like it if other took our things and give them different meanings, but I feel like this is kind of different.

any thoughts?

I would avoid using other culture’s sacred objects out of respect for their culture. I think non-sacred artwork is fair game though.

My thought is that souvenirs are harmless because you bought them as souvenirs.
I would just keep them as remembrances of my trips and not “use” them as they were designed.
I have many Native America pots, and things like fetish necklaces, heishi necklaces with the bear over the heart, squash blossom necklaces, zuni sun god inlay work, and they are art objects.
Nobody seriously thinks I’m conjuring up things. They’re collectables and decorative.
Be at peace.

They may be harmless but I’d avoid keeping anything that has occult significance.

Even if it has none to you it might to others.

I agree.

Moving house ten times in 15 years means not accumulating things. The only exceptions are the crosses , crucifixes, Pieta etc that form a small shrine in every room here. All I want and all I need

That’s bad advice.

Occult items can be useful for understanding how others think, and why they value such things. Owning a sacrificial dagger (for hyperbolic example) doesn’t mean you preform sacrifices or encourage others to do so; it could just be an artifact kept for the purpose of studying the culture that produced it.

Anthropology helps expand the mind and helps people relate to their fellow man.

If the OP was doing research that argument might be relevant.

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