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On Wed, 15 Oct 1997, Bunki Kramer wrote:
> Hi.....I have been reading with interest many thoughts of using
> (ie....totem pole) other cultural beliefs, mores, artwork, etc. and putting
> those into our cultural place and time. I think, BTW, we have been handling
> this potential firecracker rather well between all of us. I have some
> thoughts for pondering...
> If you are comparing Christianity and the "cross", you might think also
> that in our own Christian culture, we have ALSO used the "cross" to mean
> many other things other than spiritual. Instead of original wood, WE'VE
> used wire, jewels,
> paper, toothpicks, TP rolls, pretezels, etc. for materials. Think Madonna.
> Think Klu Klux Klan and burning cross.
> I will never know "exactly" what the Northwest Indians might really have
> intended when they made their masks, but what I do know, or research, I
> intend to share with my students when we make our own. To know that there
> are other cultures who also make masks and also other reasons to make them
> is beneficial to my kids. It broadens their scope in many ways. So the
> Indians make them out of wood and natural fibers, etc. That's not what is
> all-important to me. There's much more than this to discover.
> One last thought....
> We have been enlightened, pushed, forced, asked, required (you supply your
> own verb) into including and enlarging our "take" on diversity/integration.
> Until this past year it had been left up entirely to me. I personally love
> this exploration but only when it enriches what I'm teaching as in
> everything else I use. But....and a big BUT....doesn't "diversity", in a
> sense, deepen isolation? We should all relish our heritage...don't get me
> wrong. But shouldn't we ALSO be pushing what we have in common? Wouldn't
> this commonality make for a better world and a better
> brotherhood/sisterhood of man? We're different, to be sure, but also aren't
> we all the same in humanity? Just a thought.....
> Bunki Kramer
> Los Cerros Middle School
> Danville, California 94526