Regarding the Arizona rock art ‘dictionary’, academic “educated guesses” about the meaning of abstract shapes are vaguely useful to understand the conscious rationalisations of the artists. It is actually ethnography, not art history. Artists themselves could verbalise only rationalised aspects of abstract signs. Your source implies that these “meanings” are shared across boundaries of language and identity in your area (similar to the “pan-San” idea that academia here in Southern Africa was forced to adopt, to account for universal similarities. But they draw an arbitrary 'genetic' boundary, as you do, thus their San art remains "a very different thing from fine art or modern art" (Lewis-Williams, verbatim). They are still ”working towards a lexicon” in San rock art. Only one researcher, Sven, now in Australia, ventured to hint at a universal "world view" in rock art. That view did not catch on in academia). Thus signs are not a kind of language, nor a 'primitive writing system'. They should rather study “signs” in a global, structuralist, thus subconscious context.
Hopis “reflecting upon their ceremonies” re-express collective wisdom, they do not develop or change culture, but keep it archetypal. Which is highly structured.
You should distinguish between genetic migration and cultural diffusion. And between poetry and fact. Myth is not history. And between craft and science. Just for the sake of rigour. You could not please DrRayEye, who wants his “blue sky thinking” based on certain literature, and within existing ‘schools’. He would not recognise a new school until it were in the textbooks.
If Hopi and Zuni kachina characters “come from the sky”, then so do clan totems and minor gods everywhere, but they don't. Some major gods mirror planets, but their set is exclusive, and too small to express the full cycle of archetype. Discovery of invisible planets did not change any pantheons. Astrology use them all, even asteroids now, because nature and culture arise from archetype. Not because culture "comes from" celestial features.
Most cultures believe as you do. But this is common, garden, rationalised ethnography, not requiring any science. If rationalisation is adopted in anthropology, it leads only to correspondence theory (De Santillana, etc, and yourself). Even common sense knows that “the sky” comes from nature (Lion etc), and myth (Hercules), and legend (Perseus etc), and society (Virgin), and calendar (Plough List). Even cosmology (direction, orientation) is independent of the sky. Orientation does not come from the sky, but equally "from" earth. Language, dress, species, cooking, healing, herbs, art (of which I have massive data), building site spacing (ditto), come from re-expression of innate perception. Cultural media rarely illustrate one another, each has its own fixed structure, and its own range of options. The sky is a myth map and a structure map. Here is a version relevant to many aspects of all cultures;
We tack some of our core content and optional identity choices up there, thus the structure comes via our perception and collective expression (with a few broad archetypal features in the sky inviting our gestalt). Inherent astronomical structure has its own logic, and very little of it is independent of culture. There is more culture in species, seasons (of which only some spatial aspects are inherent in the sky, but changes with precession), ritual, society, music, language, art and architecture. Not from the sky. Thus if you find a few correspondences between kachina troupes and constellations, it is from below to above. The hermetic dictum does not explicitly state which direction correspondence goes, merely that natural and cultural media share the same structure.
Please do not quote poets as if they were anthropologists. That was the trouble with Sitchin (see Graham's eventual belated response to this irksome 'scientific' novelist, and my comments supporting Graham about two years ago). If you confuse the praxis of craft and science, you are not doing culture, or science, any favours. Copper does not come from Venus.
In Cape Town we have kachina type troupes marching on Second New Year, 2 January. The Malay temporary ritual groups are based on aspirational or humorous identities; Black movie actors; singers (Al Johlson, Sachelmouth, later Jerry Lee Lewis); cakewalk caricatures sending up slave owners, bosses and high society; cartoon stereotypes Donald Duck, Miss Millie, Popeye, Uncle Sam, rhinestone cowboys (which Elvis Presley adopted in Nashville). Eventually almost all troupes in Cape Town became Uncle Sam (Saturn?). Some characters could find parallels in constellations or planets.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 23-Apr-18 09:50 by Edmond.