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Lesson Plans


Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM & Storyteller doll DIRECTIONS

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Graeme Chalmers (gfchalm)
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 17:52:08 -0800 (PST)

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Jeff, thanks to you, Nancy, and Margaret for your thoughful responses.

04:11 PM 2/5/97 CST6CDT, Jeff Young wrote:

>So is the main issue here the appropriation of the "storyteller"
>image? This issue has been of interest to me as I teach my
>pre-service teachers. In using the storyteller image are people
>simplifying and/or changing an object with deeper meanings which
>people not of that culture might not appreciate?

Yes, I think so. We can study something without appropriating it. But once
we begin to copy it we not only take something that is not ours, we so often
trivialize it.

>Are there times when appropriation of such an image might be okay?

This is a huge issue with many implications, but my quick answer would be
"only with permission." In my part of the world many First Nations people
own the rights to particular images and the most sacred are not even talked
about with outsiders.

>I know there are similarities to this in other fields. For instance,
>back in the mid-eighties, Paul Simon began to incorporate strands of
>"township jive" music from Africa in his music. Some African
>musicians played and sang on his Graceland CD. I remember there
>being questions at that time about the relationship of this
>collaboration.

Cultures are consistently changing, adopting and adapting. We are all
living more multicultural lives. I think that respectful and sensitive
collaboration is inevitable. Students can certainly study the impact of the
art of one cultural group upon the art of another group.

>Would it be possible to make a storyteller doll that did not look
>like the storytellers we have seen in other cultures?

I think so -- particularly if students related the assignment to their own
popular cultural worlds and the stories that they most want to tell.

Graeme

Graeme Chalmers
Graduate Adviser
Department of Curriculum Studies
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z4

Tel: 604 822-4842
Fax: 604 822-9366


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