Presentation on theme: "Chapter Twenty Arts of the Pacific and of the Americas"— Presentation transcript:
1Chapter Twenty Arts of the Pacific and of the Americas Sites: Pacific Cultures The Americas: Mesoamerica South and Central America North AmericaThere are unique qualities noted within each ancient culture that we have studied. Some traits are consistent with those of other ancient cultures, even though they had no contact with each other, suggesting a sense of “kindred spirit”. In the previous chapter, we stressed the contacts that linked India and China, as well as the Mediterranean world. Here, we might do the opposite, as the land bridge linking Asia and Alaska disappeared, and the Americas and the Pacific Islands were largely isolated. As trade, conquests and exploration accelerated communication, styles began to spread.
2Aborigines Painting: Line & pattern,Dreamtime Pacific CulturesAborigines Painting: Line & pattern,DreamtimeInsert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.1Lipundja, Djalumbu,1964.Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.2Female mask, Tubuan of the duk duk society, New Guinea.The art of the Australian aborigines are focused on abstraction for essence and universal concepts, and is often elaborately patterned. The oldest known example of pacific art is the Aboriginal Rock Carvings. There is a recent study that suggests that some rock painting sites were chosen because of the reflection of sound echoing from particular areas of hollow rocks.On the left is an example of a painting with natural pigments on bark, utilizing hatching and cross-hatching techniques. Because water is scarce during the dry season, it is a common subject in their art, and in important spiritual events. In the center is a log coffin, which also represents a catfish that assists in the soul’s journey to the other world during Dreamtime. Their religious belief in Dreamtime allows them to connect with ancestors and spirits from the past, who help the transition. The two circular eyes of the coffin symbolize the alert and otherworldly gaze of an ancestor. The fish must avoid being eaten by diver birds, depicted on the lower right. During funerary rites, noisemakers are whirled in the air to suggest diver birds in flight, while dancers painted as catfish scatter in fear.Mask used in ceremonial dances are believed to materialize spirit beings. This mask represents nature and the power of the natural order that assists in punishing lawbreakers. The prominent eyes suggest an “otherworldly gaze”. These dances include music, dance, art, and highly patterned body art, similar to those in Africa. This particular mask represents tubuan, the female spirit of a society called duk duk. Duk duk are male spirits which are reborn each year from their immortal tubuan. She lends her support to the communities leaders, but they must show they can control her, as tubuan’s powers are volatile and a potential force for chaos.
3Pacific Cultures Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.3 Stone figures on Ahu Naunau, Easter island, Chile.Thousands of these stone carvings (average height 36’) had to be quarried, carved, hauled for miles, stood upright, and placed on pedestals. Their meaning has been lost, as the entire culture died out. Note the prominent eyes, which stare out to sea. They are believed to date back to around 900 C.E., then warfare destroyed most of the figures, which were restored in As there are no individual traits portrayed, the theory of these images portraying individual leaders is questioned. There are several theories as to their purpose: memorials, guardian spirits to protect invasion from the sea, gods or leaders.We know very little of this culture that virtually disappeared, though artifacts have been found in numerous caves.
4Pacific Cultures Polynesian Islands Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.5Raharuhi Rukopo, master carver, Meeting house from Manutuke Poverty Bay, New Zealand, , restored 1935.This is a Maori men’s meeting hall in New Zealand. The belief in the continuing presence of ancestors is reflected in their art and architecture. The house represents the body of the sky father, with the ridgepole as the spine, rafters as the ribs, and the face and embracing arms carved on the exterior. The carved figures represent crouching ancestors in the aggressive posture of the war dance. Note the relief carvings with prominent eyes, and symbolic patterns. Relief panels are carved with still more ancestors, creating a myriad of shell eyes that gleam and glitter as they catch the light. Ancestors were believed to participate in the discussions held in this house. The panels of lattice contain patterns of stories about Maoro deities and heroes. While the Maori women wove these panels, they did so from the outside and were not permitted to enter.
5Mayan Civilization Step-pyramid MesoamericaMayan Civilization Step-pyramidInsert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.8Palace and Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque, Mexico, Maya,7th century C.E.The ancient art of Mesoamerica is often referred to as “pre-Columbian” to distinguish it from the art that evolved after the introduction of Spanish influences. ayan culture began to form around 1000 B.C.E., probably under the influence of the Olmec, considered “the Mother Culture” of all Mesoamerican art. The Olmec influence spread throughout Mesoamerica. Though they were replaced by Aztec and Mayan civilizations, this influence continues to be assimilated in the arts. In honor of their heritage, the influences are melded with those of the Mayans, Aztecs, Mixtec and contemporary styles. We noted that Japanese art tended to maintain aspects of tradition while assimilating new styles. That concept certainly applies to this culture.Speakers of Mayan languages still live in the region today. T he Mayans excelled in the step-pyramid form of architecture, as seen here. These monumental structures were built to impress and defend. This structure is known as the Palace and the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque, in the Chiapas region of Mexico. The great ruler, Lord Pacal, was buried beneath the temple, whose sarcophagus we viewed as an example of low relief in Chapter 11 (11.12). The square pillars of their open porches support massive stone ceilings with corbelled vaulting. This civilization had many accomplishments including astronomy, biology, the concept of zero in mathematics, a calendar, and a writing system. Warfare was common as were human sacrifices that were considered a necessity to appease the gods. Mexico has never been fully excavated, and many locals resist the removal of objects from sacred grounds.
6Mesoamerica Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.9 East wall, Room 1, Bonambak, Mexico, Maya, 800 C.E.Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.11Ritual mask, AztecEarly 16th century C.E.Rulers were an important aspect in the warring factions. This restored copy of a mural depicts the presentation of an heir to the throne, complete with a costumed, festive procession. The mural provided insight into history and relics lost long ago: jaguar pelts, woven textiles, jewelry, and ornaments. This is a copy made carefully from the faded and crumbling murals discovered at Bonampak. The four lords on the upper band have vertical panels next to them that detail their names.The Mixtecs, located near Oaxaca, Mexico, were considered master artisans. They were commissioned to create much of the art for the Axtecs. This head shows the elaborate use of valuable materials (gold, silver, turqouise, pearl and often human teeth). The Mixtecs still produce traditional arts (masks, weavings, pottery, metalwork, wood carvings), which is now sought after by museums and collectors. Aztec books were burned, and much of their art was melted down for precious metal by Spanish conquerors. Luckily, some of these objects survived. Students may recall Diego Rivera’s mural of this heritage (figure 7.4). Instructors may wish to add a thumbnail of this image in the slide.
7Mesoamerica Aztec Civilization Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.7Temple of the Feathered Serpent, Teotihuancan, Mexico,2nd century C.E.Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.6Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuancan, Mexico,C.E.The Aztecs were amazed by the abandoned 9 square miles of grid-patterned streets, sculptures, and step pyramids, which held temples originally. They felt the gods must have created the universe here, and took over what would become one of the largest cities in the world. It grew to a population of 200,000. The 3-mile-long avenue is known as the Avenue of the Dead to honor ancestors. The largest structure to the left is the Pyramid of the Sun, which rises to a height of over 210 feet, not including the temple. Like the ziggurat of ancient Mesopotamia, they symbolized mountains.Rituals, stone ball games, and sacrifices to the gods were practiced on this site. T he winner of the ball game was sacrificed in order to gain his strength and skills, as assured him status in the levels of the afterlife. Olmec, Mixtec, and other indigenous art were found in tombs and collected by the Aztecs who assimilated these styles into the culture. Each region boasted unique materials (jade, gold, silver, obsidian, coral, terracotta, wood). The media and techniques were traded and taken in conquest.The focal point of the Avenue of the Dead is the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. On the right we see how elaborate these temples were with stone carvings, patterns and step-pyramid facades. The Feathered Serpent appeared in the Olmec pantheon, and the Aztec named him Quetzalcoatl, the god of windstorms for rain. Rain, water and wind were essential to the agricultural societies of Mesoamerica. This is located in a large sunken plaza that is surrounded by temple forms.
8South and Central America IncaInsert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.14Macchu Picchu, Peru, Inca,15th-16th centuries.The Incas created the largest empire of its time in the world. By 1500, Inca rule extended for some 3,400 miles. It is home to a fascinating culture that built over 20,000 miles of stone-paved roads enabling communication and travel in the Andes Mountains. Machu Picchu is terraced, showing their advanced agricultural awareness. Their sensitivity to the natural landscape is obvious. Incas believed stones and people to be equally alive and capable of changing into one another, thus the relationship between the architecture and its setting. The sturdy construction was done without the aid of masonry, yet still exists today. Large blocks of granite were patiently shaped through abrasion until they fit perfectly together. A free-standing boulder was carved to repeat the silhouette of a mountain peak that can be seen beyond it in the distance
9South and Central America Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.12Stirrup vessel, Moche,C.E.Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.15Pendant, C.E.The knowledge of extracting and working gold was mastered in Peru, and spread north to Mesoamerica. Using the lost-wax process, they added to this process by adding copper to lower the melting point, then used acid baths to dissolve the copper. The Mixtecs became adept at gold-working using the Incan techniques, and their works were highly sought after by the Aztecs. This pendant portrays a ruler, who was also a shaman. The birds on either side are the spirit altar egos that give him access to the other world.Among the first South American peoples to leave a substantial record of art are the Moche, known as excellent potters and goldsmiths. Much of their work exists because they used molds for mass production. On the right we see one of many examples of their kneeling warriors. T his one has a beak of the barn owl, his warrior animal, known for nocturnal hunting abilities. Known as a stirrup vessel , it is named for the unique U-shaped spout, which pours well, is easily carried, and minimizes evaporation. This vessel was adapted by the Mixtecs, also.
10North America Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.19, Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, Colorado,c 1200 C.E.The Anasazi people are known for their wise use of nature for defense.Cliff Palace was known for its communal dwellings at Mesa Verde, Colorado. Dated to about 1200 C.E., it is constructed of stone or adobe with timber. It was designed for protection for this civilization. A complex series of hand and footholds made access difficult for this peaceful community on the underside of a cliff. It contained over 200 apartment-style rooms, and 23 kivas (round chambers for religious purposes). The structures are aligned so that every 50 years, the sun hits certain areas. It was mysteriously abandoned in the 14th century despite its hidden location.
11North America Insert 72 dpi visual Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.17Tabbed skin Bag, Ottowa culture (?),c. 1790Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.16Effigy Pipe,Adena culture, B.C.E.Many artifacts in North America were made from perishable materials, so we have a limited knowledge of the history. Much of the art involved daily life and were portable, such as baskets and clothing. This is common to early, nomadic cultures. Much of the remaining arts from ancient North America were functional, with meanings that go far beyond their practical functions.Tobacco was considered a sacred substance used in prayer. The rising smoke faded to the other world, bidding the spirits to emerge. The stone pipe is a North American invention. Note the ear spools and crescent-shaped head ornament. It is sculpted with a gently rounded musculature and bent knees to convey movement and life, similar to the Moche warrior.On the right is an example of quillwork from porcupine quills which were dyed and woven into deerskin. The three levels of existence are represented (sky, earth, and underworld). The thunderbird is depicted rising over the earth (horizontal band) and the underworld ( two abstracted reptiles). Abstraction is used for economy, as these symbols were almost logos, or a form of writing.
12North America Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.18 Hide painted with scenes of warfare, Western Lakota culture, North or South Dakota, cInsert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.20Bowl with Mountain Sheep, Mimbres culture, cNorth American tribes were resourceful in their use of natural materials, letting nothing go to waste. Buffalo hides were used for shelter, clothing and paintings. This hide would have been draped over the shoulders like a robe. Nomadic tribes followed food, particularly buffalo, and we have few artifacts to learn from. Here we see the use of eagle tail feathers (identified with the thunderbird) in the headdresses of proven warriors. The spirits of nature brought power to those who honored them, while others were merely used as decorative finery. Drawn by Lakota warriors, the images here record a battle between the Lakota and the Crow.The word Mimbres is associated with a type of ceramic vessel, developed around 1000 C.E., that were decorated with geometric designs and stylized figures. Recovered from burials, these pieces seem to have been ritually “killed” by piercing with a hole. This act draws a parallel with the human body, which is a vessel for the soul. In death, the vessel is broken and the soul is released.
13North America Insert 72 dpi visual Insert 72 dpi visual Suggested visual: figure 20.22Johnny Davis, Crooked Beak, 19th century.Insert 72 dpi visualSuggested visual: figure 20.21Kachina Doll, Zuni culture, before 1903.These kachina dolls are an example of over 200 identified characters, each with its own name, mask, character, dance movement and powers. They were doll-size educational toys to teach the children of Pueblo cultures (Zuni and Hopi) about the spirits. Sales were considered a crime, but many were sold in spite of the harsh punishment. It was feared that this would result in crop failure or disaster.Dances with tribal members duplicating these images would be held to bring rain or celebrate successful crops. The Kachina were believed to enter the community to bring blessings. This doll portrays a Kachina named Tamtam Kushokta. He wears a white Hopi blanket and a bucket-shaped leather mask. He holds a tortoise-shell rattle, which would have been shaken during ceremonies and a bundle of prayer sticks tied with corn husks.These masks are from the Pacific Northwest, and were used in dance ceremonies. This mask on the right has a hinged beak that could be opened and loudly snapped shut. They represent the annual invasion of Cannibal Birds that would turn humans into cannibals. Over a pot-latch dinner that would last days, the elders would cure the cannibalism for another year. The flamboyant Kwakiutl mask illustrated here is Crooked Beak, one of the four mythical Cannibal Birds.These masks are still carved today and are popular with collectors due to the creativity and unique design of each mask.
14Chapter Twenty Arts of the Pacific and of the Americas Sites: Pacific Cultures The Americas: Mesoamerica South and Central America North AmericaThere are unique qualities noted within each ancient culture that we have studied. Some traits are consistent with those of other ancient cultures, even though they had no contact with each other, suggesting a sense of “kindred spirit.” In the previous chapter, we stressed the contacts that linked India and China, as well as the Mediterranean world. Here, we might do the opposite, as the land bridge linking Asia and Alaska disappeared, and the Americas and the Pacific Islands were largely isolated. As trade, conquests and exploration accelerated communication, styles began to spread.