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Anthropological Art Research Paper


The form in which the human figure was being represented in the early civilization was very important to the early people’s culture. The representation of human forms in the art was to show some aspects such religions, decorations and also some cultural practices. The art of human body that was portrayed had a very crucial role within the cultures which was created in because people associated with them depending on rituals, spiritual aspects, and also decorative purposes. The earliest human form in the art to be shown was about 12,000 to 25,000 years ago. The art outline carved from the ivory and stones showing or representing the figure of a woman was meant to outline some aspects of fertility. The rock painting related with South Africa and the European early cave paintings were human crafts that featured some spiritual aspects. These crafts were mostly related to very significant ritually deities and people. The Aztec head Sculpture was used in the context of ritual artistry whenever there was the death of Aztec head.

The representation of both figures and faces in various cultures had very important roles since they do not talk or portray the same things. Examples are the Egyptian one and also the one in Mexico. While the human figure is being represented on art, a lot of things are used starting with wood, bones, wax, shells, hair, plant fiber, feathers, and many others. There is a very beautiful model that is made in Japan by the Japanese artists. The objects that were built in this art, very many techniques were applied including casting, recycling, molding weaving and other many. In the representation of the Japanese art, it may appear real or even stylize. A culture with very many different crafts shows how figurative this art can change the culture.

The way the human figures are represented in various artistic styles in the same culture shows how the culture is divested and also it portrays their styles. The picture of the face of the Ancient face of the pharaoh was significant since was used during ritual activities as the case with the Aztec death’s head. The art was metaphorical with various materials such as stilts, bells, body ornaments, betel nut chewing things and many others. Many materials that are used in this art are for decorations showing the important and also the beauty of the art but what is more crucial is the cultural importance and also the beliefs of different groups of people. The Aztec death’s head was very important since was used for performing rituals while the Ancient face fragment of Pharaoh was used for both ritual and religious purposes. The Taoist model of the Eight Immortals which is in Chino was also used for religious purposes.

This model was used to represent the human figures of divine characters and also spiritual beings that people related to. The model also has spiritual virtues they believe they guide them since they are associated with the Eight Immortals. The Islam opposes the use of Taoist model and also that of Pharaohs’ ancient fragment since they do not allow the use of living things to represent any artistic aspect. In some instances where the symbolic art by use of human figure is used, the art is mostly used to reflect on the criticizing, religious stories and also to emphasize on some religious things. An example of how art was used to criticize is the ivory panel that is in Europe that showed a nun and a monk kissing. This is a very good example to show how criticizing was done in the early days. The human figures were symbolically used to poke fun having an intention of an establishment. They also aimed at showing how some cultures value beauty and also the way they decorate themselves using various artistic styles and body ornaments. Art can be used to show the way the body would appear using various aspects. This is because every culture has got its ways in which they do their skin decorations, the way they modify themselves, the way they dress, accessories, and also how they do their hairstyles. All this portrays how the body can be used to show different arts. These body decorations are done to enhance the beauty and spiritual context, and mostly they are used for cultural and social

identity. The materials used in the decoration of the model of the Ancient Pharaoh are used to show the kind of decoration and artistic materials that are used by the Egyptians to do decorations. Some decorations are very important in some culture.Example of such decoration is the use of jewelry and Gold. Another art that is used to show body decoration is that of Tolita perforated head Esmeraldas which is used to show the aspect in which a tooth filling was related to the traditional culture of Tolita people. When the head is worn as a pendant, it shows some importance of traditional, aesthetic and ideological. Some other body crafts including hairstyle, mode of dressing, and also jewelry are not permanent, and they are used to show or present beliefs and fashions.

There is another very significant example of a beautiful picture head “Venus” that is located in France which is used to portray how jewelry and the unique hairstyles are related with the people of France. Other countries that have a more detailed female sculpture that shows decoration include Germany, Russia, and Italy. Hand prints also play a very crucial role in portraying human body to certain cultures. Examples of places with this kind of art include; Upper Paleolithic cave art, Gargas, Le Postel, Altamira, and Lascaux. These hand prints were smeared on the walls using different colors giving different meaning as per cultural context. The importance of hand prints depends on the type of events that were being held in the ancient times.


Peterson, K. E., & Gell, A. (2000). Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory. Contemporary Sociology, 29(2), 390. Coote, J., & Shelton, A. (2000). Anthropology, art, and aesthetics. Oxford studies in the anthropology

Poo, M.-chou. (1995). The Images of Immortals and Eminent Monks: Religious Mentality in Early Medieval China (4-6 c. A.D.). Numen, 42(2), 172-196.

Aguilar, M. (2006). Handbook to life in the Aztec world. Facts on File library of world history (p. xxiii, 440 p.).

Barsegov, E. V. (2014). Philosophical-anthropological approach to human body modeling in art sculpture. Pacific Science Review, 16(4), 283-288. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved from

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