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Ancestral Connections: Art and an Aboriginal System of Knowledge

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Ancestral Connections: Art and an Aboriginal System of Knowledge Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ancestral Connections unlocks the inner meaning of Australian Aboriginal bark painting. Drawing on more than ten years of fieldwork among the Yolngu—an Aboriginal people of Northeast Arnhem Land—and applying both anthropological and art historical methods, Howard Morphy explores systematically the graphic representation of traditional knowledge in Yolngu art. He also charts the role that art has played in Aboriginal society both present and past.

The rich symbolism of Yolngu art links the Yolngu directly with the "Dreaming," the time of world-creation that continues as the spiritual dimension of the present. Morphy shows how a complex dialectic of "inside" and "outside" interpretations of painting structures the system of knowledge in Yolngu society, and how European interest in this art has caused certain changes in the conditions of its production. The "inside" significance of the art, however, has not changed; it retains its dual ability to represent and to constitute relationships between things.

Ancestral Connections is a major contribution to the anthropology of art. A subtle commentary on the colonial encounter in northern Australia, the book demonstrates how the Yolngu have used their art—against all odds—as an instrument of cultural survival and as a component of the economic and political transformation of their society.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-319) and index.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Art for Sale

3. Yolngu Society: An Outline

4. The Rights to Paint

5. Inside and Outside: The Yolngu System of Knowledge

6. Paintings as Meaningful Objects

7. The Meanings of Paintings in Ceremony

8. The Components of Yolngu Art

9. Changing with the Times: Categories of Art and the Composition of Paintings

10. Manggalili Iconography

11. Yingapungapu

12. Nyapililngu's Blood

13. Conclusion: Yolngu Art and the Creativity of the Inside

Note on Orthography

Glossary

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226538662
Author:
Morphy, Howard
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
History, Criticism, Surveys
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
Australia
Subject:
Rites and ceremonies
Subject:
Symbolism in art
Subject:
Philosophy, Australian aboriginal.
Subject:
Yolngu (Australian people) -- Social life and customs.
Subject:
Bark painting, Yolngu.
Subject:
Yolngu (Australian people) -- Kinship.
Subject:
Yolngu
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Philosophy, Aboriginal Australian
Subject:
Art - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
9269
Publication Date:
19920331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
56 figures
Pages:
348
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Asia and Far East
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Australia and Oceania
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Folk Art
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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