ERIC Number: ED334125
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Utilizing the Arts for Healing from a Native American Perspective: Implications for Creative Arts Therapies.
This report on how Native American healing methods can be utilized in Western creative art therapy emphasizes that for Native Americans, art is an element of life--not a separate aesthetic ideal. Furthermore, American Indian philosophy does not separate healing from art or religion; the belief is that traditional healing, which uses shamanic knowledge, is consistent across the planet. Comparisons are made in this study between Eskimo stone carving, Tibetan floor design, and Native American art. (Common symbols include birds and the medicine wheel.) Conflicts between Native American healing methods and western methods are identified, and it is explained that the revival of Indian customs are traditions, and western health professionals' recognition of the value of native therapeutic resources, from the mid 1950's to late 1960's, helped alleviate many Indian problems. It is pointed out, too, that the arts played a vital role in the Indian religion, Peyotism, which aims to promote the general well-being (mental and physical) of its members. In conclusion, the major similarities and differences between creative arts therapists and Indian healers are outlined. Creative arts therapists train and work in pre-existing permanent structures whereas the traditional healers are responsible for designing and constructing their own place in society. Indian healers use music, dancing, poetry, sand painting, and mask carving to heal their patients; therefore, it is natural for creative arts therapists to be attracted to Indian healers. (KM)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian History, Art Education, Art Therapy, Cultural Activities, Educational Therapy, Mental Health, Mythology, Physical Health, Religion, Symbolism
Editor of Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Brandon University, Dept. of Native Studies, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A6A9, Canada.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A