As a child growing up in New Mexico, Christine VanPool remembers visiting museums and state parks with her family. By all accounts, VanPool was a normal kid who loved to ask questions. Living on the edge of the Mescalero Apache reservation, VanPool developed an appreciation for the rich cultural history of her Native American friends, which led naturally to her interest in anthropology.
Art history, studying the artifacts of the past, provides context for all the history we learn, Stanton says. She believes that art history is the core discipline of the humanities because it touches on all of the other aspects of life: language, culture, science, and math.
VanPool describes her research into shamanic practices among different groups of people. In order to develop a connection with the gods, some tribes use mind-altering drugs to slip slowly into a temporary altered state.