Letters to the Editor
Thanks very much for the thoughtful description of the Hopi Powamu ceremony in this month's (July 2001) issue of Art Education. It set the theme in an appropriate way. It was a meaningful followup to read the articles on multiculturalism. Having recently attended the NAEA Research Institute on that subject, and hearing from 35 educators interested in growth in that area, I was pleased to have this relevant reading information.
Thank you again,
Rebecca J. Martin
University of North Texas
Wow! Thank you for being so candid with your exciting experience at Hopi during Powamu (July 2001). I was so excited to read your editorial, I could barely help myself from reading it over and over again. My first experience at Hopi was personally enriching and extraordinary, also.
It is sad for me, as an art educator, to see Hopi Katsinas portrayed in a classroom as something other than what their true purpose is. To make Katsinas out of toilet paper tubes doesn't say much for the integrity and sensitivity of the instructor teaching this in an art class.
It would never be allowed in a Native classroom. Why should it be allowed in public school? It has never been in mine.
I have just given a presentation to my graduate class concerning the very same issues, and from a non-Native perspective, most of the students didn't see anything wrong with it. They simply didn't understand the religious implications behind the art form and its ceremonial purpose.
More voices need to be heard on this subject. Not concerning only the Hopi, but other cultures as well, who might be offended by such artistic practices in U.S. classrooms.
Please continue to explore this road of inquiry. I'm sure there are many other educators out there, like myself, who have strong beliefs in this regard.
I am writing to correct a misrepresentation of my views about critical discourse in Teresa L Cotner's "Why Study Classroom Art Talk?" (Art Education, January 2001). Citing two of my articles (Geahigan, 1998, 1999), Cotner attributes to me the belief that "talk [about art] is only a form of reporting thoughts and feelings." In neither of these articles did I make such a claim.
Cotner's misrepresentation of my ideas is especially dismaying because in one of these articles, I argue against such simplistic views of critical discourse. …