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Re: [teacherartexchange] Norval Morrisseau - Ojibwe Native American Art to admire

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From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2006 - 07:21:24 PST


I think what bothers me about teaching other cultures is that the artwork
that seems to offend is the religous icons. Since it is almost impossible to
become knowlageable enough to teach another cultures' religon properly, why
not focus on the utilitarian objects of that culture? You can teach the
culture without infringing on their beliefs. My father in law married a
woman from Tibet. She brought her teenage daughter and her mother to the
states. Within the 3 generations there are differing values and beliefs -
very similiar to our own culture! I have searched on the internet, and the
core beliefs do not seem to show up on the internet anywhere. It is only
through talking to them extensively that you begin to understand their
belief system. So if I really wanted to be respectful to their culture, why
not go for that which would not offend? If students in Africa were wanting
to create art representational of :MY culture, I think I would be offended
if they focused on the Virgin Mary for their project. This icon insinuates
alot without really telling anything of Kansas - it insinuates that I am
Catholic, and doesn't touch on the wonderful, vibrant art of Thomas Hart
Benton, the photographs of Gordan Parks, the crop art of Stan Herd. That's
my .02 anyways.
~Michal
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids

> This attitude that non-Natives should not teach about Native cultures
> really bothers me..... If all art teachers believed this way... then
> we could not teach about African Art.... Chinese art.... Japanese
> Art..... etc. I am White English-German-Swiss-French-American.... Does
> that mean, I can only teach about those cultures to which I belong? I
> would leave out growing groups of my student body. I believe that art
> education needs to take a global view. Art can bring this world closer
> together - it is the one subject that can.

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