+0

Hi teachers! The following is from a book I study nowadays, and I really don't get what the writer is trying to say.

First, I do not find what is the meaning and purpose of prehistoric art.

Second, I do not understand how prehistoric are is related to modern hunter gatherer society.

Third, I wonder which period the word "modern" refers to.

Fourth, No matter how hard I tried, I cannot distinguish the topic sentence and topic.


Please help me to fully understand the essay.


" Speculations about the meaning and purpose of prehistoric art rely heavily on analogies drawn with modern-day hunter-gatherer societies.


Such primitive societies, as Steven Mithen emphasizes in The Prehistory of the Modern Mind, tend to view man and beast, animal and plant, organic and inorganic spheres, as participants in an integrated, animated totality.


The dual expressions of this tendency are anthropomorphism (the practice of regarding animals as humans) and totemism (the practice of regarding humans as animals), both of which spread through the visual art and the mythology of primitive cultures.


Thus the natural world is conceptualized in terms of human social relations.


When considered in this light, the visual preoccupation of early humans with the nonhuman creatures inhabiting their world becomes profoundly meaningful.


Among hunter-gatherers, animals are not only good to eat, they are also good to think about, as Claude Lévi-Strauss has observed.


In the practice of totemism, he has suggested, an unlettered humanity “broods upon itself and its place in nature.”


Many thanks in advance.

+1
Michelle Chameaning and purpose of prehistoric art.

Why did these people spend valuable time deep in dark caves doing this? Art does not feed the family does it? These people did not live in the caves, so it was not to decorate their residences.

The activity must have a reason.

Michelle Chamodern hunter gatherer society.

It means communities who exist today and where the people do not farm and do not live in cities. They kill wild animals for meat, and find fruits and vegetables growing wild.

Michelle Cha" Speculations about the meaning and purpose of prehistoric art rely heavily on analogies drawn with modern-day hunter-gatherer societies.

The people who made the cave paintings lived from 13,000 to 40,000 years ago. They did not have writing. They did not leave videos or text or anything else to tell us what they were doing and why.

Scientists are trying to figure out why these people made the paintings. They know that the people were hunter-gatherers. They were not farmers. There were no cities or towns.

So the scientists study communities on hunter-gatherers who live today in very isolated places in the world such as southern Africa, the Amazon rainforest, Papua New Guinea, and Australia..

Comments  
Michelle ChaFirst, I do not find what is the meaning and purpose of prehistoric art.

Art of any period has meaning. It means something the same way a sentence does. It is often up to the viewer to decide what that meaning is. To take an example, one of the cave paintings at Lascaux seems to show an ox facing a prostrate man. Does this mean that the ox killed him?

Art can have a purpose. Are the animals in the cave at Lascaux supposed to magically bring more game for the hunters?

Michelle ChaSecond, I do not understand how prehistoric are is related to modern hunter gatherer society.

The hunter-gatherers alive in the world today probably live in much the same way that prehistoric people lived. They also produce art that is similar to the prehistoric art we find. It is reasonable to try to understand prehistoric art by comparing it with modern examples whose meaning and purpose can be discovered by asking the people who are making it.

Michelle ChaThird, I wonder which period the word "modern" refers to.

Here, "modern" simply means present, current, existing and happening now as opposed to prehistoric.

Michelle ChaFourth, No matter how hard I tried, I cannot distinguish the topic sentence and topic.

You have presented several detached sentences in your post. I would have to see the text in its original form to comment properly. A paragraph has a topic sentence, and I don't see a paragraph, and I can't tell if there are other sentences before, after, or in between. That said, assuming that what you have presented is complete, the first sentence is the topic sentence. He goes on to say what we know about modern hunter-gatherer societies as it relates to their world view and thus their art.

 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.