AIS 170: American Indian Art and Aesthetics
5 cr. VLPA
Instructor: Dian Million
The mind is called ʻmom tune ay chi kunʼ. ʻMom tune ay chi kunʼ is the sacred place inside each one of us where no one else can go. It is in this place that each one of us can dream, fantasize, create and, yes, even talk to the grandfathers and grandmothers. The thoughts and images that come from this place are called ʻmom tune ay chi kunaʼ, which means wisdoms, and they can be given to others in stories, songs, dances and art. Stories are called ʻachimoonaʼ, songs are ʻnugamoonaʼ, dances are ʻneemeetoonaʼ and art is ʻtatsinaikewinʼ. They sound almost the same, donʼt they? That is because all these words, describe gifts that come from the sacred place inside (Maria Campbell, 1985).
Art and aesthetic is the creative force of people and their worldviews. “Indian” art and
aesthetic is an interpretation and expression of life by the Indigenous peoples of North
America. While numerous Indigenous peoples reside in the western hemisphere, this class
introduces you to the aesthetic universe of peoples who are currently known as American
Indian, Alaskan Native and some Canadian First Nations. This class will provide you an
abundance of thought, expression, stories, dance, art and art objects, film, and music to
consider. The intent is to invite you into the sounds, motions, objects, spirit and colors that are the aesthetic universe of Native North America.