ANIMISM: Apply the concept of animism to the arts of Africa.
NATURE: Discuss and give examples of the ways in which the arts of ancient African and Native American peoples reflect a holistic view of nature. Are there analogies here with other civilizations, such as those of Asia?
MASKS AND SCULPTURES: African masks and Native American sculpture are now to be seen in museums of fine art. What would you say is missing when we remove these objects from their cultural context? Is their value changed by being placed and looked at in museums?
SUNDIATA: In Sundiata, the griot says, “The world is old, but the future springs from the past.” Apply this observation to an overview of the materials you have covered from Chapters 1 to 18. Describe the patterns of continuity. Does the future, indeed, “spring from the past”?
TRIBAL ORIGIN: Research and compare the myths of origin among African and Native American tribes. (Both are readily available in English translation.)
AFRICAN MUSIC: What are the main characteristics of African music as reflected in the Music Listening Selections “Greetings from Podor” and “Gangele Song”? Are any of these features apparent in today’s popular music, such as Afro-pop, rap, etc.?
CHANTS: What similarities can you detect between the Navaho Night Chant, the Gregorian Chant, and the Buddhist Chant?
AFRICAN SCULPTURE: Speculate on why so little of African sculpture is centered on the naturalistic representation of human individuals.
ANASAZI: Carefully consider Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, Colorado. Find out the function of the circular structures. What do they tell us about Anasazi social life?
CORTEZ: What aspects of Aztec life and culture most impressed Cortés? Why so?
BARTOLOME DE LAS CASAS: Research the life and personality of Bartolomé de Las Casas. Why was he called the “Apostle to the Indians”?
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