Three Regions of Primitive Art

Three Regions of Primitive Art

Three Regions of Primitive Art

Three Regions of Primitive Art

Excerpt

The three lectures that comprise this book are loosely joined by a single concern: each discusses in detail some one area of the broad and inclusive field which has come to be called primitive art. The authors treat their special subjects very differently.

Dr. Kooijman deals with a circumscribed area, the art of a still existing people whose description lies within the disciplines of ethnology. It is an art which, though recent, is yet entirely of the past, since the cultural conditions from which it sprang have been destroyed by the rapid impact of alien beliefs and techniques. From what we know of it, we conclude that its history was short, its geographical distribution extraordinarily restricted. Despite--or because of--these circumstances, there were evolved distinctive and unified styles, which produced works whose average quality was extremely high and included sculptures which we judge as masterpieces. Behind Dr. Kooijman's careful account lies the persistent question, how and why were the small groups of people living in western New Guinea able to create such art.

Dr. Movius, on the contrary, discusses an art of the long distant past, known to us only through archaeology. By an examination of exact detail, he wishes to clarify both the extent and the limitations of our knowledge, avoiding facile generalizations and conclusions reached by analogy with the art of other, more recent and very different, "primitive" peoples. The close- . . .

CONTENTS

Page

FOREWORD 7

ASPECTS OF UPPER PALAEOLITHIC ART 11

THE ART AREAS OF WESTERN NEW GUINEA 41

RIVAL APPROACHES TO AMERICAN ANTIQUITY 61

PLATES 77

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