“Saging” has gone mainstream. This viral trend is now common in movies, TV shows, social media, and cleansing rituals—people burning sage bundles in the hope of purifying space and clearing bad energy. Instead of healing, the appropriated use of saging in popular culture is having a devastating impact.
White sage (Salvia apiana) is the key ingredient in the now ubiquitous sage bundles. This ecologically vital and culturally sacred plant only occurs in southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico. Indigenous communities have tended a relationship with white sage for thousands of generations. Today, poachers are stealing metric tons of this plant from the wild to supply international demand. Saging the World spotlights the ecological and cultural issues intertwined with white sage, centering the voices of Native advocates who have long protected and cherished this plant.
Directed by Rose Ramirez and Deborah Small (USA)