International Journal of Art & Design Education

Duodji: A New Step for Art Education

Volume 31.2   2012



In this article, I intend briefly to present some views of how cultural expressions can be used as a basis of artistic education of an indigenous people in a particular area. In the past 30 years, indigenous peoples have demanded that their cultural expressions (and knowledge) be included in higher education; to achieve this, they have applied diverse strategies. This integration is, however, a complex process, as universities or institutions of higher education often have to follow national programmes and regulations concerning higher education. Nevertheless, many indigenous peoples have attempted, in their regions, to create art programmes for higher education, often as part of another art programme, or as an independent programme.
The case that I use in the presentation is based on my work at Sámi allaskuvla/the Sámi University College in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino) in the Sámi area of Norway. The main question here is: How and under what conditions is it possible to launch higher art education that has duodji as its foundation? A key question is what the significance of the overall discourse and praxis that has emerged and developed in indigenous societies is when it is transferred to higher education.