Anthropology | Native American Art
E624 | 0415 | Thomas
This class will address the principles of Native art and its
materials, styles, functions, methods, meanings and the cultural/
religious contexts in which they are used. The time span will cover
from historical rock art to contemporary usage of CDs as Pow Wow dance
ornaments and so forth.
Besides addressing the principles, cultural, anthropological and
Indigenous theories will be explored. A considerable amount of
Indigenous cultural background information will be interwoven in the
lectures and discussions, which will be the core of the class, aside
reading several books and other documents which will be hand out
throughout the semester. In addition, various media sources, i.e.,
videos, films, and so forth, will be used.
Each student will be assigned to create a Native art piece, which has
to be approved by the Professor. Four "work-in-progress"
presentations will be made in class. The finished art piece will be
presented as part of the final exam grade, accompanied by a ten-page
research paper (twenty-page research paper for graduate students)
about the piece's cultural history and its place within a Native
The viewing of collections in the IU Museums and other entities in
Bloomington will be utilized as a part of the class time.
Tentatively, a field trip is schedule to the Eiteljorg Museum of
American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis. The event will take
place all day on a Saturday. This course will focus on various Native
arts, but not limited, to basketry, pottery, textiles, literature,
films, paintings, carvings, dances, songs, poetry, paintings, jewelry,
tanning, beading, clothing, quillwork, quilting, photography,
drawings, folk art, embroidery, ceremonies, and many others.
As a class project, all of the students in Native American Art will
participate in helping organize the Third Annual First Nations Pow Wow
(March 26, 27 & 28, 2004) at Indiana University-Bloomington. This
project will be conducted under the guidance of the Professor.
Class requirements: Class presentations; meet with the Professor four
times; a ten-page research paper (twenty-page research paper for
graduate students); create an art piece; help in all phases of the pow
wow; read eight assigned books (twelve for graduate students) and
additional handouts; and take mid-semester and final exams.