A viral video shows a TikToker intentionally smashing a 3,000-year-old pottery artifact, drawing criticism from viewers.
The video, which appears to have since been deleted, was posted by the TikTok account @engineeredlabs. It showed someone, who appears to be white, picking up the artifact with on-screen text saying, “This pottery has lasted 3,000 years without breaking.” Then they dropped the artifact on the ground, shattering it.
Indigenous TikTokers say the video shows callousness and white supremacy.
One TikToker, @oodhamboiii, stitched up the original video in disbelief.
“Notice how useless other people’s artifacts/cultures are to you,” the video’s onscreen text reads.
Some viewers have speculated that the original video isn’t real and that user @engineeredlabs didn’t actually break a 3,000-year-old artifact. @oodhamboiii says it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not.
“It doesn’t matter the justification or if it was real or not. Just posting content like this is so harmful,” they wrote in a comment on their video.
Viewers agreed with the Tiktoker.
“This tiktok made me nauseous, thinking about how many other things they so carelessly destroyed just because they ‘had too much’,” one viewer commented on the video.
“I can’t really believe if this video is real or not because it seems [too] foolish to destroy something like that,” another viewer said.
A TikToker, known as Anna (@e.annawads), assembled @oodhamboiii’s video by assembling the original video.
“Never belonged to you in the first place. This is why tribal recovery of ALL artifacts is necessary,” reads the video’s on-screen text. In the video, Anna flips her middle finger as the artifact shatters.
Anna’s point viewers couldn’t understand why user @engineeredlabs decided to break the artifact.
“Why would they do that? It’s not like Indigenous people would like to have their own artifacts to preserve for future generations. I actually hate it,” one user commented.
“Why would they even break it? What is this thought process??? said another user.
A third user said the action showed a lack of respect for indigenous people.
“OH MY GOD…they never respected us and never will until the earth maybe even crumbles,” the user commented.
Another TikToker, known as Anabell (@hija.del.viento), went into detail explaining why the break was wrong in his own point of the original video.
“I guess it’s a white person doing this, and if not, it’s someone who’s been brainwashed by the system to think it’s OK,” says Anabell in the video. “I don’t know if this thing is real or not, and if it isn’t, it’s still incredibly disrespectful.”
The TikToker says if someone were to walk into a white supremacy museum where certain wars were praised and “God forbid” you broke something or even said shit, white people would call them incredibly disrespectful .
“Just look at how angry they got when people literally knocked down Confederate statues,” Anabell says. “They had a fit.”
The Daily Dot reached out to users @oodhamboiii, @e.annawads and @hija.del.viento via TikTok comments. The Daily Dot contacted Engineered Labs via their website contact form.
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*First published: May 12, 2022, 3:12 p.m. CDT
Cecilia Lenzen is a journalism student at the University of Texas at Arlington and a freelance writer for the Daily Dot.