Patterns That Connect: Social Symbolism in Ancient and Tribal Art

Overview

Travelers & scholars have long been puzzled by similarities in the arts of diverse ancient & tribal cultures. It remained for the American art historian Carl Schuster (1904-1969) to discover a set of patterns designed by ancient peoples to illustrate their ideas about kinship. Schuster succeeded in decoding this iconography, which lasted over ten thousand years, crossed continents, & outlived most of the cultures that sheltered it.
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Overview

Travelers & scholars have long been puzzled by similarities in the arts of diverse ancient & tribal cultures. It remained for the American art historian Carl Schuster (1904-1969) to discover a set of patterns designed by ancient peoples to illustrate their ideas about kinship. Schuster succeeded in decoding this iconography, which lasted over ten thousand years, crossed continents, & outlived most of the cultures that sheltered it.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
American art historian Schuster (1904- 1969) crisscrossed the world, gathering ancient and tribal art and identifying motifs and archetypal patterns that show a remarkable continuity across cultures and eras. For example, equating the image of a tree with the branching of the human race dates back at least to the Upper Paleolithic and finds expression in anthropomorphic "Y-posts," often with a carved human head at the end of each branch, from Siberia, Hawaii, New Guinea and Mali. Carpenter, an anthropologist, has distilled the work of Schuster, his former colleague, into a single, gracefully written volume, an important cross-cultural survey and a cornucopia of discoveries and insights for art historians, anthropologists, students of myths, religion, folklore and symbolism. Elegantly decked with 1023 illustrations, the study uncovers often astonishing similarities in labyrinths and cosmic drawings from Crete to Finland; in village layouts mirroring creation myths of the Winnebago of Wisconsin and the Solomon Islanders; and in mosaic garments, body and hand decorations, sculpted figurines, robes, carved stones and children's games from around the world. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810963269
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 Family Tree 13
2 Genealogical Patterns 79
3 Bodies & Hands as Kinship Charts 131
4 Social Bodies 153
5 Mosaic Garments 199
6 Compartmented Robes 223
7 Incised Stones 253
8 Rebirth 267
References 315
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