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Lesson Plans

Re: Re: Today in Art Class....religion

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 18:07:47 EDT

Interesting thread here. We really need to do our homework when we try to
use ceremonial artforms from other cultures and have our students copy them,
or use them as inspiration for their artwork.

Like Maggie, I too live in AZ on a reservation, the Navajo Reservation,
(which is the size of West Virgina). We are 30 miles from the Hopi
Reservation which is right in the middle of the Navajo Rez.

The only thought I have to add, is:

Did you know that the Hopi forbid outsiders to view or participate in more
and more of their ceremonies? It started with the Snake Dance and has
expanded to others. They were offended by non-natives who refused to respect
their beliefs and values and just came to gawk. For example, it is forbidden
to take photographs of a Katsina who is the embodiment of the unique spirit
the costume represents during the time of the ceremony. Many outsiders
ignored this.

On the subject of Katsinas... Many Navajo carve figures similar to the Hopi
Katsina. The Hopi people have asked that they sell them as carvings, not
Katsina figures. When I look at them I now, ask the artist where they are
from, and whether the figure is a Katsina or a Navajo Carving.

When teaching this activity to our children, it might be a good idea to help
them understand the difference between true ceremonial artforms and tourist
art. The additive sculptures made by students from toilet paper rolls are
called ______?

(just playing devils advocate here :)

Christine Merriam
Kayenta Intermediate School