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Lesson Plans

ID: UA RE: Mask Making... -Reply

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Johanna Gorelick (Gorelick)
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 09:15:47 -0500

I would also caution to be sensitive to the peoples who make the mask. If it is a "medicine" mask perhaps it is sacred and should not be taught in a classroom setting. Furthermore, when approaching another culture's art, it is always advisable to research that culture from an insider's perspective - Native people often feel very differently than their non-Native counterparts. As educators we are all responsible for the information we pass along to our students. We must educate ourselves first before passing along faulty or Euro-centric information.

A great resource is the National Museum of the American Indian's Resource Center. They can be reached by telephone (212) 514-3799 or email: NIN. They also have a website:

Good luck!

>>> Adam Arthur Hillier <ahillier> 11/20/98 11:43am >>>

I read through your email to the getty, and also read through Janice
Hayes email. I would have to say that a lot of what she commented on is
what came to my mind.

It is very important that you discuss the difference between the masks
that you and your students are making in class, and those that you are
referencing with the anthropological approach to the lesson.

In addition to MS. Hayes' comment about the purpose of a mask, also
consider the purpose of what the mask is made of. Is it a result of the
available materials? Or is the material a reflection of its purpose (ie:
are the celbratory masks made of the same material as a medicinal one)?

One last thing, you may want to limit your lesson to one or two specific
tribes. As Ms. Hayes said, there are many-probably too many to offer the
children a firm grasp of the lesson.

Good Luck!

Adam Hillier