4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A beautiful and important book,
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This is surely one of the best books on the Palaeolithic cave-painters ever written. Lewis-Willimas is able to lead you down to the secret subterrean realms, where 30.000 years ago spirituality, creativitiy and art began to develop and form human societies. After his study of shamanistic rituals of the 20. Century (San people in Namibia and North Americans Indians), he sees parallels to the people of the Palaeolithic times, which probably also tried to get in contact with animal-spirits, which for them existed beyond the thin and "living membranes" of the cave walls. Different from the Neandertal-people the Cromagnon-people werde able to remember and fix their dreams and reactualize them in group-rituals and painting them in their caves. Unifying with the spirits of bisons, lions and horses they tried to win their supernatural powers, and in consequence, building up new social divisions: those who have the "knowledge" and those who have not. That sounds "archaic" in a bad sense, but it was not only for the purpose of selfish Power, but also to build up more efficient forms of social organization (planning the hunting actions etc.)
Lewis-Williams' language is as sensual and colorful as the paintings he desribes. This is not a boring scientific approach, but that of an enthusiastic explorer, which has a strong feeling for the subtilities of art and religion. In the end he writes: we can today be fascinated by the mystical background beyond the paintings without believing, "that they will work in the present day world". But is that really a good ending of the book? Is not a lot of art even today based on a similar animistic and mythological thinking? And what about Non-Western cultures like the Aboriginals, Indians, San, Sami, Inuit, which exist even today and want to be respected by the - so called - "higher civilizations"?
Are there not other forms of "modern shamanism" (Love parade, Pop-concerts, Rap-parties etc.), where people also look for experiences of transcendence? Of course those questions are to much for a book about cave-painiting, but they rise always in my head, if I think of Lewis-Williams' excellent study.
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