Caught in the maelstrom of scholarly debate about cross-cultural values, we seek some straws for our intellectual salvation. Groups of theoreticians and practitioners, like schools of fish roiling in the seas, create waves. Some groups, like those who supported the exhibition of Primitive and Modern artifacts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, are historical revisionists seeking new values through the alleged "influences and affinities" they attempt to demonstrate. Others more mundanely offer youngsters cardboard and paint so they may produce their own Kachina dolls in order to come to grips with the fundamental values of an alien culture. Still others wish to alter the function of the art educator by changing his or her role from the tripartite producer/historian/critic to that of ethnographer. And some would use the study of artifacts as a means towards social unification. Nor would we leave out those who continue to speculate about the nature of art and its various categories and hierarchies. In seeking the means to ride these waves we have chosen a modest and possibly different approach to the problem of cross-cultural understanding.


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