Discussion Forum: Changing attitudes toward Native American culture
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As you look through the materials on the Web links, you will notice that the tone is respectful of Native American culture and traditions. That was not the case until the later 20th century. The Europeans who came to North America in the colonial period carried with them colonial attitudes toward non-European cultures. These attitudes contributed to destruction of Native American grave sites and the acquisition of burial objects and even human remains for display in museums. Native American objects were displayed in museums as artifacts rather than art.
- How should Native American cultures, lifeways, and objects be displayed in museums?
- Should they be displayed at all, or should they be repatriated to the descendants?
- Should an object that was made for burial or for ritual use be mounted in a case in an art museum? Why or why not?