Michael Brady wrote:
% My initial reaction was that Kate's post revealed more about the government
% officials than the Inuits themselves. I thought the story exemplified two great
% misguided modern social practices:
I think that everyone should understand that `traditional soapstone sculpture'
is not a government plot. Since Kate's original post, I've written a few
messages to the list and not sent them, because I didn't want to come off
as fanatical on the issue, but let's be clear about a few things:
1. there is a tradition of carving among the Inuit which goes back for
2. it didn't involve large objects, such as are traditionally displayed
3. which doesn't mean that the more recent, large items aren't in that
4. I have never seen a misrepresentation of the Inuit sculptural traditions,
and anyone who cares to suggest that there has been one should come up
with names and dates (they do exist, even among the Inuit);
5. the Canadian goverment had nothing to do with any of this, and in
particular, the idea that anyone involved in the government though that
sculpture would be a good make-work project is risable;
6. the representation of Inuit attitudes expressed in Kate's original
posting was contemptuous and insulting, if not libelous.
In my opinion, Kate's posting revealed nothing about the government, and
nothing about the Inuit. I'm not sure there's anything in her original
posting on the subject which could be called factual, and there's a great
deal which could be described as contemptuous.
I suspect that the thing which got Ron all keyed up was that it came
essentially out-of-the-blue. He said `Inuit sculptors say they see things
this way' and she said `when they talk about being traditionsl, those Inuit
sculptors are all a bunch of fraud artists'.
Patrick TJ McPhee
East York Canada
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