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Ask anyone the world over to identify a figure in buckskins with a feather bonnet, and the answer will be "Indian." Many works of art produced by non-Native artists have reflected such a limited viewpoint. In American Indians in British Art, 1700-1840, Stephanie Pratt explores for the first time an artistic tradition that avoided simplification and that instead portrayed Native peoples in a surprisingly complex light. During the eighteenth century, the British allied themselves with Indian tribes to counter the American colonial rebellion. In response, British artists produced a large volume of work focusing on American Indians. Although these works depicted their subjects as either noble or ignoble savages, they also represented Indians as active participants in contemporary society. Pratt places artistic works in historical context and traces a movement away from abstraction, where Indians were symbols rather than actual people, to representational art, which portrayed Indians as actors on the colonial stage. But Pratt also argues that to view these images as mere illustrations of historical events or individuals would be reductive. As works of art they contain formal characteristics and ideological content that diminish their documentary value. Stephanie Pratt, a tribal member of the Crow Creek Dakota Sioux, is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom.
Why has Asmat art, from a remote and small south-coast West Papuan society, had such a significant and prolonged impact on the world stage? This book explores the way major collections were made and examines the motivations of the collectors, their relationships with those from whom they purchased and the circumstances of the exchange. It also considers the involvement of artists and film-makers, anthropologists, representatives of the civil authorities and missionaries. Asmat artists have maintained their unique appeal through constant stylistic innovation and by engagement with new publics, both locally and internationally, as exemplified by the recent displays of women's weaving alongside the men's carved wooden shields, drums and figures. Despite accelerating social changes, Asmat art continues to thrive as a compelling and transformative Melanesian presence in the global art world. 'Awe-inspiring works of Asmat art loom large in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in dozens of other great museums around the world. Nick Stanley's engagingly written study provides the best history to date of the making of Asmat art traditions and of their avid acquisition by successive European and north American collectors. Most importantly, the book foregrounds the creativity and imagination of Asmat artists themselves. This is a book that will be welcomed by everyone interested in the arts of the Pacific.' Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge
Contents: Introduction (Francoise Fauconnier and Serge Lemaitre); 1) Rock art sites as spiritual places ? Canadian Shield rock art as part of the Algonquian sacred landscape (Daniel Arsenault); 2) Thunderbirds and Horned Snakes: Cosmogony at Canadian Rock Art Sites (Serge Lemaitre); 3) Cueva de la Serpiente: Interpretive Analysis of an Archaic Great Mural Rock Art Panel, Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Roberto Martinez, Larissa Mendoza and Ramon Vinas); 4) El Salto del Perro, Durango, Mexico: La construccion de un paisaje sagrado en los confines de Mesoamerica (Fernando Berrojalbiz y Marie-Areti Hers); 5) Paisaje y petrograbados del sitio de la Ferreria, Durango, Mexico (Jose Luis Punzo Diaz); 6) Imagenes de guerreros en el arte rupestre del norte de Michoacan. Una aproximacion a los ritos de los cazadores recolectores del Posclasico (Brigitte Faugere); 7) The Cave of the Bat, a Primordial Cave of the Sun, Acapulco, Mexico (Martha Cabrera Guerrero); 8) Myths and Oral Tradition in the Study of Rock Art: High Plains of Cundinamarca-Boyaca, Past Ethnohistory and Country Folk Tradition (Guillermo Munoz C.); 9) The Rock Art of the Bochica Route. Possible Connections between Oral Tradition and Sense and Function of Rock Art (Judith Trujillo Tellez); 10) El arte rupestre del rio San Juan del Oro (Bolivia): Reflexiones sobre el simbolismo y la funcion de las imagenes (Francoise Fauconnier).
On a 140-acre campus on the high plains south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) stands as a world leader in contemporary Native arts and culture education-an educational institution committed to "difference." This fifty year history explores some basic questions. How is IAIA different from other colleges? What is it about the history, structure, location, and curriculum that makes it a special institution? How did a school that began as an experiment in American Indian arts education progress from a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) high school to a junior college to an accredited non-profit baccalaureate institution in less than fifty years? And what does the next fifty years have in store? Published in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of IAIA, this compilation of historical documents, photographs, essays, and conversations illuminates the history and role of art education at the Institute of American Indian Arts. RYAN S. FLAHIVE is the archivist for the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has dedicated his career to education, museums, and public history and specializes in digital preservation and manuscript curation. Flahive earned his bachelor's degree in history and anthropology from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri and holds a master's degree in history and a graduate certificate in museum studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Since Columbus first called the natives of the Americas "Indians," the sources of their art and culture have been a puzzle. The strange mixture of objects of Asian appearance with those decidedly un-Asian has provided fuel for controversy between those who see the American cultures as products of diffusion and those who see them as independent inventions. Origins of Pre-Columbian Art cuts through this old dispute to provide a fresh look at ancient cultural history in the Americas and the Pacific basin.
Using evidence from archaeology, ethnology, and psychology, Terence Grieder suggests that contact between individuals across cultural borders is the root of both invention and diffusion. By tracing the spread of early symbolic techniques, materials, and designs from Europe and Asia to the lands of the Pacific and to the Americas, he displays the threads woven through humanity's common cultural heritage.
While archaeology provides examples of ancient symbols, ethnology reveals widely separated modern peoples still using these symbols and giving them similar meanings. Mapping these patterns of use and meaning, the author describes three waves of migration from Asia to the Americas, each carrying its own cluster of ideas and the symbols that expressed them.
First Wave cultures focused on their environment and on the human body, inventing symbols that compared people and nature. Second Wave symbolism emphasized the center and the periphery: the village and the horizon; the tree or pole as world axis; and the world's rim, where spirits exist. These cultures created masks to give form to those beings beyond the horizon. The heavens were finally incorporated into the system of symbols by Third Wave peoples, who named the celestial bodies as gods, treasured heaven-colored stones, and represented the world in pyramids.
Emphasizing the interpretation of art in its many forms, Grieder has found that such seemingly minor decorations as bark cloth clothing and tattoos have deep meaning. Ancient art, he argues, was the vehicle for ancient science, serving to express insights into biology, astronomy, and the natural world.
S'abadeb, The Gifts captures the essence of Coast Salish culture through its artistry, oral traditions, and history. Developed in conjunction with the first extensive exhibition of the art and culture of the Coast Salish peoples of Washington State and British Columbia, the book traces the development of Salish art from prehistory to the present. Sculpture in wood, stone, and bone--including monumental house posts--as well as expertly crafted basketry, woven regalia, and contemporary works in glass, print media, and painting showcase a sweeping artistic tradition and its contemporary vibrant manifestations. S'abadeb is the Lushootseed term for "gifts" and invokes a principle at the heart of Salish sculpture: reciprocity, both in the public and spiritual domains. This richly symbolic word expresses the importance of giving gifts at potlatches, of giving thanks during first food ceremonies, of the creativity bestowed upon artists and other leaders, and of the roles of the master artists, oral historians, and cultural leaders in passing vital cultural information to the next generations. The theme of S'abadeb and practices of reciprocal exchange in Salish society are illuminated here through the intersection of art with ceremony, oral traditions, the land, and contemporary realities.
The Matopo Hills, an area of rugged and majestic hills in Zimbabwe, contain a staggering number of prehistoric rock paintings. Eighteen years of fieldwork in this area has produced a stunning collection of rock art images, many previously unpublished and probably unique to the Matopo region. These rock paintings are a unique record of hunter-gatherer society and provide insights into the relationship between hunter-gatherers and immigrant pastoralists, evidence that is generally lacking in the archaeology of the area. Well over one thousand painted panels have been closely observed and the illustrations presented here have been drawn from 124 separate sites. The exact copies have been produced using techniques that scrupulously avoid direct contact with the images and are the work of Janet Duff, a scientific illustrator. This method emphasises the importance of conservation and preservation which is also discussed extensively in the book. An evocative look at the work of a lost people, this study is intended to stimulate further research and interpretation of these incredible paintings.
Jewish texts are a hidden treasure of information on Jewish art and artists, the patronage and use of art, and the art created by non-Jews. Most of these texts are written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Those scholars able to read them often do not understand their art-historical importance, while many art historians who would understand the references to art are hindered by language barriers. Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts includes fifty translated texts dating from the bibilical period to the twentieth century. They touch on issues such as iconoclasm, the art of the 'Other', artists and their practices, synagogue architecture, Jewish ceremonial art, and collecting. Through the introduction and essays that accompany each text, Vivian Mann articulates the importance and relevance of these sources to our understanding of art history.
Alfred C. Haddon began his study of these native fabrics and garments with the collection in the Sarawak museum, Kuching, of which many of the patterns had been identified. His own collection, supplemented by one purchased for him from Dr Charles Hose, is now in the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. These sources, together with an examination of the cloths in the British Museum, formed the basis of this memoir, which was originally published by Cambridge University Press in 1936. This was the first time that the beautiful and intimate patterns of Iban textiles had been investigated and illustrated. Laura E. Start contributed a full technical description of the manufacture of the fabrics and provided all the drawings.
James Terry described several Native American sculpted stones from the Pacific Northwest that appear to show apelike characteristics. These stones have been of interest to cryptozoology enthusiasts, as, if Bigfoot exists, these may be intended to depict this undescribed primate. This is a facsimile reprint (with minor modification of the original oversized publication) of the original 1891 text.
Pacific Island Artists Navigating the Global Art World brings together artists, academics, museum curators and gallery owners to discuss the creation and promotion of contemporary Pacific arts in the global art world.Addressing art production from across the Pacific region (Australia, Papua, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Rotuma, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, Guam, Hawaii, and the Northwest Coast of Canada) this volume examines how these arts are exhibited and marketed on a world stage. It provides the opportunity for a global dialogue concerning contemporary indigenous arts while it explores the diversity and complexities of contemporary Pacific art. In so doing, these contributors confront a variety of issues associated with the production, marketing and acceptance of indigenous arts in a global art world.
The study of the cattle-horned initiation masks of southern Senegal and the Gambia innovatively weaves together art history, history, and cultural anthropology to give a detailed view of Casamance cultures, as they have interacted and changed over the past two centuries. Based on seven field trips to West Africa and fifteen years of research in colonial archives and in museum collections from Dakar to Leipzig, Professor Mark's work presents a subtle interpretation of Casamance horned masquerades, their complex ritual symbolism, and the metaphysical concepts to which they allude. (The masks protect against the power of the kussay, or "sorcerers.") In tracing the cultural interaction and changing identity of the peoples of the Casamance, the author convincingly argues for a new and dynamic approach to art and ethnic identity. Culture should be seen, not as a fixed entity, but as a continuing process. This dynamic model reflects the long history of interaction between Manding and Diola and between Muslim and non-Muslim, a process that has resulted in the creation of hybrid masking forms.
"California Indian Baskets" is lavishly illustrated in full color with rare baskets from the magnificent collections of the University of California, Harvard University, Smithsonian Institution, The British Museum, Madrid's Museo de America, Royal Museum of Scotland, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Southwest Museum and many other world-class museums and private collections. The vast majority of these rare baskets have never appeared in print before. Made possible in part through the support and vision of three California Indian tribes, this remarkable book is the result of decades of research by noted basketry scholar Ralph Shanks.
Expertly researched and well written, "California Indian Baskets" honors the achievements of the First Californians. The book illuminates Native American art, history, technology, population movements, cultural interactions, and native plant uses. The book demonstrates basketry studies can rank with archeology, linguistics and DNA research in understanding and appreciating Native American culture and history. This is especially true in California where baskets were central to daily life. It was through basketry that the most populous and linguistically diverse Native American population in the United States was able to create a highly productive economy and vibrant cultural life with no agriculture and very limited use of pottery. Native California was not "pre-agricultural," but rather a land where basketry was combined with native plant resources so successfully that agriculture was not needed.
Ralph Shanks is the author of the companion volume, "Indian Baskets of Central California," and is president of the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin. Lisa Woo Shanks is editor of the "Indian Baskets of California and Oregon" series.
"This is the outstanding new companion volume to Ralph & Lisa Shanks' acclaimed "Indian Baskets of Central California." The authors once again provide an authoritative book, this time on the southern half of California, on an important American art form. Excellent photography and text." -Jonathan C. H. King, The British Museum
The origins of rock art in Australia are probably as old as that of the hunter-gatherers of Western Europe, well-known for the prehistoric caves of Altamira and Lascaux. That the practice of painting and engraving on rocks continues in parts of northern and central Australia emphasises the importance of this art as a source of visual information for Australia's indigenous communities, Rock art can be 'read' to determine cultural processes and provides a durable record of thousands of years of cultural change. This book is an extensive survey of Australian rock art, presenting detailed case studies revealing the significance of both recent and ancient art for Australia's living indigenous communities. Archaeological data provides evidence of the ways in which rock art traditions have changed over 15,000 or more years in response to changes in the environment, the development of new forms of social organisation and the impact of European colonial settlement.
Sandpainting has it origin in the religious tradition and practice of the Navajo people. It forms a central part of their religious chants, being a place where Earth People and Holy People come into harmony, giving healing and protection. Sandpainting is understood as being very powerful, and for many years it was deemed unwise and even dangerous not to erase the paintings when the ritual was completed. In the course of the twentieth century this attitude has modified allowing for many representations to be made, while still not violating the religious traditions. Sandpainting thus have come to be an internationally appreciated and collected art form. In this newly revised and expanded volume, over 400 sandpaintings are illustrated in full color. They range from the most traditional to the new forms that are being developed today. The sandpaintings are organized by artist, making this an important reference for collectors.
The delightful arts of American Indian tribes in the Southwest are occasionally made in miniature by especially talented artists who dare to work in tiny scale. This book presents, for the first time, a wide array of these miniatures of al the major craft styles of the region. Shown through hundreds of all color photographs, the miniature arts are arranged in sections devoted to beadwork, rattles, sandpaintings, weavings, basketry, Kachinas, paintings, and pottery. The weavings section includes geometric and pictorial styles from each of the regional areas, while the basketry and pottery sections have all the major style areas represented. Wherever possible, the artists and their regions are identified. This collection of truly appealing tiny art works will be enjoyed for many years to come.
Throughout the Baha'i world in 1953 hearts throbbed with longing and minds quickened with dreams of destinations and destinies in response to the call for pioneers to open territories virgin to the Baha'i Faith. The spiritual reward, to be accompanied by the correlative title of "Knight of Baha'u'llah," would be great. This book is the story of that call and the results. It was in response to this call that I did not only go to the remote Island of Unalska in the Aleution chain but was a trip from a material world to a spiritual world.
The focus of this comprehensive work is the aesthetics and the decryption of the language of the textiles of the Nagas, a group of tribal local cultures in the north-east of India and the north-west of Burma. For more than ten years, anthropologist Marion Wettstein has systematically been drawing the traditional fabrics, and researching their design, production techniques, meaning and contemporary transposition into fashion. More than 60 colour pencil drawings and 180 watercolours on the morphology of the textile samples are considered by the author to be not just an artistic translation but in particular visual argumentation. While the work shows how the textile patterns are laden with meaning of a complex system of status and social structure, it also illuminates what is understood by these concepts in the context of the Nagas and to what extent they are also constructs of colonial and scientific intervention.
The nation's premier private collection of Rookwood art pottery
featuring American Indian portraiture is on display at the
Cincinnati Art Museum from October 2007 to January 2008. "Rookwood
and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from
the James J. Gardner Collection" is a remarkable exhibition
catalogue that will be of interest well beyond the exhibition
because of its unique subject matter. Fifty-two pieces produced by
the Rookwood Pottery Company are showcased, many accompanied by
black-and-white photographs of the American Indians portrayed by
the ceramic artist. In addition, the catalogue includes a brief
biography of each artist as well as curators' comments about the
Rookwood pottery and the Indian apparel seen in the portraits.
Many masterpieces of central African sculpture were created to amplify the power of sacred relics that affirm a family's vital connection to its ancestral heritage. This important volume, focusing on some 130 works representing a diverse variety of regional genres, illuminates the purpose and significance of these icons of African art, which first came to prominence because of their appeal to the Western avant-garde. While providing an overview of sources ranging from colonial explorers, missionaries, critics, artists, and art historians, the book breaks new ground in its examination of the complex aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of the reliquaries. Its interdisciplinary approach brings together the perspectives of scholars in African and medieval art history along with those in African history, religion, and ethnography.
Ranging from the islands of the Bering Sea to Alaska's interior forests, "Alaska Native Art" celebrates the rich art of Alaska's Native peoples, both setting their work in the context of historical traditions and demonstrating the vibrant role it continues to play in contemporary Alaskan culture. "Alaska Native Art" showcases a staggering array of types of art - from beadwork to ivory carving, basketry to skin sewing - from Aleutian Islander, Pacific Eskimo, Tlingit, Athabaskan, Yup'ik, and Inupiaq artists, as well as full-color photographs of artists at work. Lavishly produced, and featuring a fascinating study by author Susan W. Fair of the concept of tradition in the modern world, it is a tribute to the incredible vision of Alaska's Native artists.
This volume investigates Pacific collections held in Australian museums, art galleries and archives, and the diverse group of 19th and 20th century collectors responsible for their acquisition. The nineteen essays reveal varied personal and institutional motivations that eventually led to the conservation, preservation and exhibition in Australia of a remarkable archive of Pacific Island material objects, art and crafts, photographs and documents. Hunting the Collectors benchmarks the importance of Pacific Collections in Australia and is a timely contribution to the worldwide renaissance of interest in Oceanic arts and cultures. The essays suggest that the custodial role is not fixed and immutable but fluctuates with the perceived importance of the collection, which in turn fluctuates with the level of national interest in the Pacific neighbourhood. This cyclical rise and fall of Australian interest in the Pacific Islands means many of the valuable early collections in state and later national repositories and institutions have been rarely exhibited or published. But, as the authors note, enthusiastic museum anthropologists, curators, collection managers and university-based scholars across Australia, and worldwide, have persisted with research on material collected in the Pacific. This volume is a very important one for anyone studying the art and material culture of the Pacific. It focuses on collections now in Australia. Even those well versed in museum collections from the Pacific will learn about many important but little-known collectors as well as better-known figures like the anthropologists F. E. Williams and Thomas Farrell, the husband of Queen Emma. This will be a treat for students and specialist alike. -Professor Robert L. Welsch, University of Dartmouth
The first art historical study of Yoruba-descended, African Brazilian religious art based on an author's long-term participation in and observation of private and public rituals.
At a time when the art of the African diaspora has aroused much general interest for its multicultural dimensions, Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara contributes strikingly rich insights as a participant/observer in the African-based religions of Brazil. She focuses on the symbolism and function of ritual objects and costumes used in the Brazilian candomble (miniature "African" environments or temples) of the Bahia region, which combine Yoruba, Bantu/Angola, Caboclo, Roman Catholic, and/or Kardecist/Spiritist elements. An initiate herself with more than twenty years of study, the author is considered an insider, and has witnessed how practitioners manipulate the "sacred" to encode, in art and ritual, vital knowledge about meaning, values, epistemologies, and history. She demonstrates how this manipulation provides Brazilian descendents of slaves with a sense of agency -- with a link to their African heritage and a locus for resistance to the dominant Euro-Brazilian culture.
Manipulating the Sacred will be of value to students of art history, religion, anthropology, African American studies, and Latin American studies, and to the growing English-speaking community of initiates of African-based religions.
This study is the first gendered study of the prehistoric rock art of Naquane National Park in Valcamonica, northern Italy. Its purpose is to identify and describe gendered representations and imagery in the rock art of Naquane, in order to reconstruct potential gender roles, gender relations and ritual activities during the Bronze and Iron Age periods. The social role of art in non-western cultures is explored, as well as recent work on gender studies in archaeology and rock art, with a view towards placing the prehistoric rock art of Naquane within a social and cultural context. Gender-specific access to and usage of the rock art sites during successive phases of prehistory is considered and analysis is presented of the possible rituals being portrayed in the rock art and their potential social implications. Discussion also focuses on the social and ritual construction of femininity and masculinity during different chronological periods, as well as upon possible gendered motifs and sexual imagery in the rock art. The study concludes with a discussion of the incidence of over-carving and the incorporation of earlier images into later rock art panels, considering potential reasons why certain earlier carvings were actively curated among the predominantly male-orientated Iron Age rock art.
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