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Re: An Explanation for lack of Iroquois mask images


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jun 16 2003 - 20:15:27 PDT

Judy Decker wrote:
> Here is the policy for Iroquois False Face masks:
> I am sure a more authorative site could be found that would have the same
> information posted - this was just the first one that popped up. After
> reading this - there is no way I would do a lesson having my students
> duplicate the false face mask style (I never had my students use false face
> anyway). I still think it is OK for students to know about the masks - and
> know why they are no longer in museums for viewing.


This site seemed pretty authoritative to me. I wholeheartedly agree
with your statement to never duplicate a false face mask. I shudder
every time I read a lesson that seems to ask students to replicate
ANYTHING from ANY culture. I've been writing an article in my head, and
hope to get it on paper, about this very topic. It's one thing to view,
compare, and contrast artifacts from several cultures; it's something
else entirely for a teacher to tell students they will "make" katsinas
(out of toilet paper tubes, no less!). Eesh!

There are some interesting issues this brings up. Hopis resent the
Navajos for carving--and selling--katsinas. Navajos resent the Mexican
Zapotecs for recreating their rug designs. Fake "Indian" jewelry comes
from Asian countries, floods the market at cheap prices, and puts native
jewelry makers at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Wow--For a year and a half I did not have a home land line, and could
only skim over the messages and respond to very few--believe it or not,
there was a LOT MORE I wanted to say but just didn't have time to at
school. I also didn't have the luxury of checking out most of the Web
sites y'all posted. Now, I'm not working, have a home Internet soon as the boxes are unpacked there'll be no holding me
back. Lar, I'm still chewing on Joyce's statement.