This site accompanies the exhibition Position and Imposition: MCAD Faculty Responds to Politics at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. It is a forum for MCAD's Liberal Arts faculty to recommend books, films, and other cultural artifacts that contribute to the dialogue surrounding the exhibition. We invite you to comment on the books, the work in the exhibition, and address how they are part of a larger conversation about art, politics, and society.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ruth Voights


Native American powwows are a people’s art form that in performance are also political statements. When ceremonies were outlawed, people risked jail to sing and dance. The songs, dances, ceremonial dress of powwow all work together to maintain identity. There is a saying in powwow that the drum is the heart. When you participate in powwow, you as an individual symbolically connect to the body of tribal history, the personal and the political become one. The power of powwow is the power of song and dance to carry the heart of a people!

It is best to attend a powwow but a resource is:
“Into the Circle: An Introduction to Native American Powwows”. prod. Full Circle Communications. 52 minutes. 1992. Videocassette.

If you'd like, please leave a comment to share a song or music that connects you to your own political history.

[[ Ruth Voights has taught in the liberal arts department at MCAD for more than 30 years, and in the 1980s she was the department’s first woman chair. Prior to that she was a student, instructor, and curriculum writer for the American Indian Studies program at the University of Minnesota, one of the first programs of its kind in the country.]]

1 comment:

Mark said...

You go Ruth! Best friend and professor!