Mar 23, 2009

Ancient gifts. Art: Those magic symbols.

Continuing my thoughts on gifts from the distant past. 

Art: Magic symbols that represented the animals or plants we sought for food. Or, music that recreated the sounds of the forest with special emphasis on dangerous or useful animals. Stories, told with gesture became dance. As with language, a gift that really continues to give benefits to the present day.

When cave painting are discovered in France or ocher in the Great Rift Valley of Africa we confront the symbolic use of materials from peoples who lived tens of thousands of years ago. I'm sure that all the earliest artistic urges left no permanent mark since they were most likely drawn in the sand or ashes, or marked out with rocks, twigs, branches, or leaves. 

The earliest art (by which I mean visual, musical, movement, culinary, agricultural, architectural, or wearable) is probably all lost to scholarship. But, we can surmise that growing brains of people led us to great leaps of creativity. By taking a chance on a crazy idea our ancestors dreamed, thought, or created a new way of living. Gone were the days when we could not imagine the world through the eyes of the others. This ability to see the world as if through the eyes of another put us on the path to hot fashions, really great food, the best and worst TV programs, and a diamond crusted skull from Damien Hirst.

No comments:

Folks who care enough to follow my posts: