The Ancestress Hypothesis: Visual Art As Adaptation (The Rutgers Series in Human Evolution)
Kathryn CoeISBN: 0813531322;
Book DescriptionIn our society it has long been believed that art serves very little social purpose. Evolutionary anthropologists, however, are examining a potential role for art in human evolution. Kathryn Coe looks to the visual arts of traditional societies for clues. Because they are passed down from previous generations, traditional art forms such as body decoration, funeral ornaments, and ancestral paintings offer ways to promote social relationships among kin and codescendants of a common ancestor. Mothers used art forms to anchor themselves and their kin to the father and his kin, and to promote the survival and reproductive success of kin and descendants. Individuals who abided by this strategy, accompanied by its strict codes of cooperation, left more distant descendants than did individuals who did not. Over time, given this reproductive success, large numbers of individuals would be identified as codescendants of a common ancestor and would cooperate as if they were...
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