What a wonderful discussion.
Just to respond with an idea to this particular notion of adornment,
another possible way to go in order to personnalize the "why" with kids:
instead of creeating their own adornment for similar purposes to those
used in other culture, self portraits of their own heads (or even "paper
doll" figures of their bodys?) might be created, and then over the
course of a study, kids could create costumes of what they would look
like in various adornments related to various "purposes" or "roles in
which they would to see themselves if they were a part of the culture(s)
being studied. How would I look as "chief", "king" "hunter," "healer,"
"wife," "lawyer", etc.
Of course there is the issue of cultural appropriation here as well. But
I think the ability of seeing themselves and taking themselves seriously
in roles associated with another culture would begin to help kids
understand the seriousness and importance of what otherwise are
perceived only as "exotic costumes," helping them identify with these
standards of adornment.
This of course would also require a more in depth study of what cultural
meaning the adornment had, rather than a simple aesthetic appreciation
of its beauty.
I would like to point to this discussion at ARTSEDGE. Hope that's OK?
-- Kit Eakle Program Manager ArtsEdge the Kennedy Center Washington, DC 20566 Phone: (202)416-8874 E-mail: keakle.org