I am with you Woody - I think it must be up to art teachers to teach
respect for what these cultures (all cultures) believe.... to leave it
out of our curriculum only further divides. Until more Native
Americans are in the classrooms teaching the beauty in what they
believe, I think we must do it. (I took a class in grad school to
learn specifically about the Lakota - many other Native cultures were
also presented). We must remember that so much of Native art IS about
their beliefs - even the "every day objects" that Michal wrote about.
I believe we are ONE nation under God.... their God is our/my God.
In time - we will bring the cultures closer together when we/they see
how we are more a like than we are different. I guess we all have to
work for what we see as the greater good? I don't think any art
teacher deliberately teaches a lesson to offend. Just my final "2
cents worth" (smile).
P.S. Of course, I am also one who found Chris Ofili's (of African
decent) Virgin Mary with elephant dung beautiful.... beautiful for all
the meaning it portrayed. My students found beauty in it, too, and
wrote letters to the museum.